It was a bright summer morning and I felt like I could conquer the world. I moved to a new city and finally I had an opportunity at a fresh start. The slate was wiped clean and I was in a new place where I didn’t know a single soul. I was grateful for this but perhaps it was the very same thing which made me vulnerable. 

I made a promise to myself that this time it would be different, that this time I would put myself first but it didn’t turn out that way. I sometimes wonder if it’s in female DNA to be caregivers, to want to love beyond reason, nurture, protect and give all that we have to those we care about. Perhaps it’s learned experiences from our interactions with our mothers. Whatever the reason I let it happen again, emotional abuse, a co-dependent relationship, from being debt-free to two years later still trying to pay off credit card bills that I did not run-up.  

Too embarrassed to tell people what I was dealing with I wore on a smile on my face and pretended that all was well. How could someone I trusted do this to me? How could a person listen to all the horrible things I’ve been through and then do worse? It was then that I decided men were monsters. I’ve never had any positive male figures in my life so all I knew about men was that they caused pain and left a trail of damaged women behind them. 

I got out of that situation and I put myself together piece by piece all on my own. I am still healing but I’ve learned about the importance of boundaries and never to accept anything that I’m uncomfortable with. My anger towards men has subsided and I’ve learned that I cannot generalize on an entire gender but I live guarded, with my sword at arm’s length, ready to pick it up and fight if the moment calls for it.

I am often called crazy if I state my opinion and men don’t like it. I am called bitter if I write the truth, my truth! I am often told by other women in toxic relationships that there’s nothing they can do about their situation so they choose to stay. It’s alarming the number of women who choose to stay in abusive relationships. Why is there still a stigma attached to single women over 30 yet single men over 30 are celebrated? Why does society frown upon women over 30 with no children but for a man it’s an achievement and why is it that these types of judgments also come from women? We should celebrate our unique chosen paths instead of bullying other females to conform to the norms of a patriarchal society.

Men protect each other they have each other’s backs while women are still learning to do this. We have many battles on the road ahead the least we can do is fight together. We must be united, we need to be kind to other women, and we need to stop judging women for the decisions they made or continue to make.  We need to be a support system for each other instead of attacking each other. 

The war women fight is far from over but we certainly can celebrate the battles won thus far and choose not to go to battle with each other.