We go from our 20 to our 30s without a pause.
There comes a point in your 20’s where you stop yolo’ing and start adulting.
I think we confuse adulting with maturity. Gaining more responsibilities does not automatically mean you are growing or evolving. It only means you have more possessions and possession is the opposite of freedom.
‘We go from 20 to 30’s without a pause’.
My journey of acceptance did not happen over night. It took a while to truly sink in and whilst this happened I still had to live life, pay bills, put on a smile and pretend everything was all good. My mind was clouded, my intuition all the way to the left, I was gasping for air…for help.
I found myself in yet another abusive relationship, I started to wonder if predators could smell vulnerability. The situation questioned my sexuality and everything I knew of me. In all honesty I just wanted to cry…not cry but weep. I wanted to release whilst being held. The only way I had been taught how, was to seek a relationship, not with myself but with others.
My take on relationships were very unhealthy. The gender stereotypes, the traditions and religious ideologies had been drilled into me from a very young age. I cared for the man and the man provided for me. Simple maths…but the 1 + 1 definitely did not equal 2. I attracted men who were versions of my dad. They were intimidated by anything that came from a woman and did everything they could do to belittle me. From throwing me down stairs, dragging me by my hair, to spitting in my face. It was physical, verbal and emotional abuse but at the time I only knew of physical abuse to be wrong, I had normalised emotional and verbal abuse and could never recognise it for what it was. Fragile egos surrounded me and society kept telling me it was my job to look after them because you know women bend we do not break.
Thankfully my relationship with a woman allowed me to indulge in vulnerability and divine feminine energy. For the first time in my life I had conversations about important issues beyond money and food. She provided me with emotional nourishment something I had never received before. Despite her still displaying toxic masculinity, it was an upgrade to all of the men I had previously been with. Unfortunately for my partner…I was exhausted by the previous abuse, I had my guard up and was triggered whenever they tried to intimidate me physically. I reacted despicably, I became the abuser. When I should have walked away, I did not. Accountability is everything when it comes to growth. I knew what I did was wrong and it pushed me in the right direction because what she taught me is what I needed more of.
Although I began to see and accept, I had not made enough change in my personal life. So the cycle continued. I began to drift into solitude. Cherishing time to myself where I could allow my mind to wonder without feeling crazy for addressing my wounds. My ‘friends’ did not like this, they were not used to this version of me. They knew the happy go lucky ready to party and have fun version of me. I spent 2016 reflecting in my mind but not out loud because of the stigma attached to vulnerability. Maybe as a black darkskinned woman they were not used to someone like me displaying such emotions.
I was shamed for expressing these feelings. I was called pessimistic and negative by many ‘friends’, claiming I was dwelling in the past. The reality is, opening up about my own problems made them think about theirs and they were not ready…they also did not have the answers.
Its emotional labour when you decide to dig deep, it takes mental preparation. Something you cannot rush or force anyone to do. At the same time do not punish people willing to address their issues. It takes courage and accountability to reflect on past actions.
Tog Danika Magdelena
MUA Giselle Ali
Hairstylist Lu’s Curls
Stylist Amie Wolfe
*Disclaimer: These posts were written last year (2017) Visuals shot (2018).