Watching her was hell. I was just so sad that this is where we are as a nation. Dr. Ford should never have had to come forward because Kavanaugh should never have come this close to the supreme court.
I didn’t even know what informed consent was at 16.
I didn’t know I could fight.
I didn’t know I had choices and I didn’t now what options I had or who I could turn to.
I thought I was meant to be abused.
I thought I was meant to be hit and silenced.
Like Dr. Ford, I know what it means to want two front doors.
I have been traveling a lot lately and it has given me a lot of time to think about my life. What it means. How I try to limit my expansive power.
I have been thinking I am a bad wife, a bad mother, for wanting to wander to speak and to experience this life. I have been riddled with guilt and then I ask myself, “where does this message come from?” How did I decide to get here? Why should I feel bad because I am living my dream and then it hits me.
Because I have been sent messages since the age of 6 that I am not worthy.
I am less than.
I am not a thing of value.
It seems to me now that it didn’t matter where it came from, the underlying message was always the same. “You are not perfect and so no one really want you. You are flawed and therefore you deserve to be left, to be hit, to be silences, to be hushed, to be touched where it hurts, to be discarded and trashed.”
Yes of course there were people along the way who loved me deeply. Even my abusers loved me in a way. But it is the message that for so long drew my anger and fueled my self loathing. No matter what kindness I experienced from friends or relatives, teachers or babysitters, there was that little voice that sat like a demon on my shoulder that said, “you are nothing because no one really loves you.”
Thank God I am a rebel.
It is my rebelliousness that has sustained me all this time.
It is my inner hooligan, scrappy fighter (she looks like Annie putting up her fists) saying nope…not on my watch…no way.
You are something.
You are too pretty.
You are too smart not to be something.
You Melissa Bird are worthy of greatness and the best revenge to anyone who has decided to treat you as if you are nothing is to keep going, keep creating, keep moving forward, keep speaking and crying and laughing and working.
Be super intentional in the moments of great joy when you get to look each of your children in the eye and say, “guess what your mom did today? She changed the world.”
It’s Friday, you know what to do,
Dr. Melissa Bird
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