Smoked up cigs
Late nights on call
And unscrupulous young women
I spent days on end avoiding the mirror
I didn’t like what I saw
I didn’t know that girl
I didn’t recognize her
That care-free, ‘couldn’t be bothered’ free spirit I’d known wasn’t there
She was gone
It was like my soul had left my body before I could even reach out for it
She laughed but it was with condition
Had a few chats to feign presence, but it was without conviction
Eyes puffy on a daily trying to not look like death
Dragging herself out of bed hoping she’d woken up in another dimension
High out of conscience
Soul drank into oblivion
Drowning in misery
I was shattered
I watched life go on without me and I was stuck
Dragged myself to hell and back in darkest pits of my mind
The light at the end of the tunnel was the train that wrecked my soul on a daily
I died a thousand deaths
A thousand times over
I couldn’t breathe
I couldn’t eat
I couldn’t sleep
I couldn’t get away in the darkest of night bc my darkest days haunted at me
I woke up in cold sweats, shaking and trembling
Silently praying my demons take me away bc I didn’t wanna wake up to another day only for me to fall back asleep bc I was drained
I wanted it to end
I wanted it to stop
I NEEDED it to stop
Google: “How many pills do I need to take to assure death?”
To know the light of day is to walk in the darkness of night
How else do I get to see that the moon and the stars bring hope of the sun’s rays that adjust my eyes?
From the cold of night, how else will I welcome the warmth of day that touches my skin and turns it gold?
How else will the trees roots expand like that of my values?
Can the stallions roam free just like the birds in the sky?
I feel like I can’t breathe
Like, God keeps tripping the switch on my life support
I find myself, sweat drenched, hair a mess, bags carrying the tears heavily out of my eyelids, drawing every breath in
I’m standing in front of the mirror, smashed
My knuckles are bleeding from the knock, bashed
I can’t feel the groundNumbed downI need another drink
The room is black
”Why did she stay?” … ”Why didn’t she press charges?” … ”Why the sudden outburst?” … ”Didn’t her parents give her enough attention, growing up?” … ”Why does she have to do it live on the TL, when she can do it in person?” … ”What is she tryna to prove?” … ”He seems like such a nice guy, why would he do that?” … just to list a few of the questions that follow when a victim speaks out on abuse, these, many more. Not to forget the distasteful jokes that follow. The jokes that make one question our humanity.
I’m disappointed. Disgusted. Incredibly infuriated. Outraged. Hell, i’m just as defeated under the same breath.
I’ve noticed a trend amongst our generation, the society we live in, our judicial system included. We chant on that, WE ARE AGAINST ABUSE!!! However, when a victim breaks the silence and speaks on their experiences we question her, we label her, we don’t care to hear what she has to say, we are just waiting to load our clips and shoot at her.
Side note: I’ll speak on behalf of women because I only know of such accounts.
We ask the WRONG questions as a way to ‘understand’ how she let such a thing happen, we try in every way to defile the events by discrediting her. It’s disgusting, and one thing people don’t realise is that THAT is how secondary victimisation occurs. Friends and family that ‘know’ him better file in to talk about how great a person he is, mention all the positives and how he would never do such a thing. ”She’s gotta be crazy” … ”She’s bitter because he probably cuffed another dame over her, and she’s gon’ cry wolf by lying.”
DO Y’ALL EVEN KNOW WHAT FUCK ABUSE DOES TO A PERSON?? ARE Y’ALL AWARE OF HOW POWERLESS A PERSON FEELS?? THE LOSS OF CONTROL?? DO Y’ALL KNOW THE AMOUNT DAMAGE IT CAUSES??
We are SO quick to ask these bullshit questions of why she didn’t leave, press charges or some other shit because ‘she should know better’, ‘don’t let nobody treat you any less than you deserve’, that shit goes out the window when your abuser is someone you trust. And in more cases than none, the victim KNOWS the abuser. I’m talking from child abusers all the way to women who get raped by their spouses! We make time to Google what Nike has got in store for us; update our software, applications – including those we don’t even use; download the latest albums; yet… we couldn’t give two shits to learn about stuff that affects us in some way or the other. Actually, not even that they have to affect us, the mere fact that they affect someone, somewhere, out there SHOULD be something we want to be more learned about. ESPECIALLY when we want to put our two cents in.
For those who don’t know, when you are abused the last thing on your mind is, unfortunately, you. You’re way too confused to rationalise everything and that you don’t deserve to be treated like trash. You’re more concerned about what YOU did that ticked him off. Why is that? ”Because women run their mouths and don’t know their place. Know only to speak when spoken.” … ”If you could just shut up and stop getting me so angry, I wouldn’t have to hit you.”
I will acknowledge that abusers have their issues and need a sit down on what power means, and that to be authorative has NOTHING to do with controling another human being. I acknowledge, too, that they should seek help and surround themselves with people that will tell them when they’re wrong, because if we continue to pat such people on their backs we’ll never get far. We will continue to scream at the top our lungs that this NEEDS TO END NOW!
I know of abuse, I’ve endured it, both physically and emotionally. I know how it feels to be powerless, have no control of my life and STILL defend my abuser. I’ve dealt with one more than the other, and in that process, I noticed similar patterns. I know, too, why I never opened up about it. I was scared, as hell, of what would happen beyond then!
Will they believe me? What will happen to him? What’s the point of speaking out about it? What will I gain? I asked myself these questions so many times, I never got the answers, so I repressed all accounts of what happened. Forgot it ever happened until only much later, I wrote about it. In the moment it was a poem that just came to mind and I my pen started working, I remember being so proud of it, only to realise what it really was. I won’t say too much about that experience because I’m still struggling with it. I have a strong support system that’s done a hell of a lot to empower me.
And that’s what we really need to start doing. EMPOWER victims. We need to give them a huge hug and the biggest ROUND OF APPLAUSE for speaking out. We are to speak HIGHLY of them OVER discrediting them as way to prove a point that the abuser is a ”nice guy” or whatever bullshit that’s been fed. Abusers do not have a ‘look’, so, stow AWAY your snaai ‘But, he doesn’t look like he would kill a fly’ comments. Victims, too, do not have a ‘look’, so, STOW AWAY your bullshit justifications stemming from, ‘But, she’s full of shit anyway’. Man. Y’all just don’t get how much damage y’all cause.
Just… stop for a second, and THINK. Rid yourself of this ‘innocent until proven guilty’ mentality when a victim speaks out. She’s not biitter. She’s far from psycho. She is BRAVE and has JUST reached her first milestone, after crawling through hot coal and pins and needles, don’t drag her all the way back to starting line. All these questions that initiate victim blaming, and jokes that follow suit make you just as bad a person.
I wish I could find the right words to…
What is it that I’m trying to say?
The closest thing to perfection.
Supreme being, you make my eyes light up.
Through high tides and low tides you’re my shore,
I keep swimming?
Back and forth to my deserted island where I seek refuge,
Then swim back once my pain has defused.
Ink to my paper,
My painless baiter,
Taking me to heights,
I am, above any other kind, a black woman. Putting the word ‘real’ in front of the word ‘woman’ based on how I carry myself to your accord is something I will disregard, in fact, I detest it.
Growing up I watched my mother and aunt working at keeping our family intact. I told myself, every time they worked tirelessly at their jobs and making sure everyone in the family was well fed, that, “I wanna be that woman.” For the longest time I wondered when I would be deemed that title. Woman. When, I could go out one day and have people point out and say, “You see that woman?” Woman. The power that one word holds. I wanted that. It was a complex for me.
I knew well enough that a menstrual cycle was a start, but to be thirTEEN and already consider myself a woman felt awkward. Also, it was in that that I realised that to be a woman is more than just being, “a female human.”
Think about the many women you know, from your ‘ordinary’ to your ‘phenomenal’ women. Apart from having amazing breasts, and curves that one can carve onto a canvas and stand back in awe. What do they have? What qualities do they uphold? Their standards, their personality, their character. What is it about that, that makes them a woman? Apart from being over 20, that is.
Before my 21st birthday my mother sat me down and said to me, “You are a woman, now.”
Now, understand that this was quite a shift because it confirmed the notion of the older you get the more responsibilities you have.
“You are responsible for the decisions you make, and you need to understand that everything you do goes back to you, that includes your future.”
So, here it was again, this complex. And ironically enough it wasn’t on the day of my 21st birthday that it sunk in that I was a woman, it was about a month later when I was sitting at home and thinking about how far I’ve come – where introspection and self-awareness have become the order of the day;
1. Where, my definition of beauty is based on how I see myself and not the way society shoves it down my throat. As it has been done in such a way that, literally, the definition of beauty is more a fashion trend that little girls wait on seasonally to see if curves are the in-thing. Or, is it asses that look good in jeans? Flat tummies? Braids? Natural hair? Makeup? Lip-gloss or Ruby woo? Makeup that looks more natural??
2. Where, no one, not even a system created to shut women up because of their intelligence and awareness of how this system really works with the hopes to benefit men. I’m talking about women who can talk about the predicted crash of the stock market and not just makeup tips and boy trouble. Or, how they feel fat because skinny is the new black, and ‘I hate how those jeans make them look fat’ because, God forbid, waist-trainers hold everything together! Everything? What about your insecurities?
3. Where, I am not a woman because I stand beside a man and he speaks for the both of us. I have been there, and I tell you now none of that is fulfilling. Hell, my mind is LOUD and it was through freakishly loud silence that I realised that no man who thinks telling me “know your place” is worthy of the brilliance that my sober mind and royal mouth can bring to the table. I hear you misogynists chanting, “that’s why you’re single.” Lol.
4. Where, I know more now than I ever did because of my open mind. That I cringe when I read, “Ladies! Entrance free til 11PM.” because when you live in a world where patriarchy thrives, women are used as bait for men; then when women start to own that shit and get houses rented out for them, it’s a big HOO-HA! I know more now that ‘different strokes for different folks’ applies to everything else in the world and not just sexual preference.
5. Where, making choices should be based on how I feel, because regardless of the gun you put to my head I will die a more painful death for being at your mercy. I’m screaming: “FUCK THE SYSTEM!”
6. Where, empowering young girls is something I wanna spend the rest of my days doing. Including young boys! Can you imagine a world without patriarchy where equality amongst sexes actually exists? Y’all aren’t ready. I’m for building better generations filled with men that aren’t entitled to women and see the need to feel ostracized by the power a woman carries.
In Sepedi it is said, “Mosadi o tshwara thipa bogaleng.”
Translation: A woman holds the sharp end of the knife.
THAT statement alone holds power.
And it is with that, that I got to saying, “I am a woman.”
Put me in a box and I will break the fuck out of it! Throw me a title and I will own it as I laugh in your your face. I am strength encompassed in the human body. I am a force to be reckoned with.
#IAm a Black Woman.
“Take me as I am,
For have learned to
my being.” – Amogelang M.
What better way to articulate oneself knowing that you will be critiqued?
How else can one share the darkest parts of one’s minds without fear?
What better way to tell stories and share a part of you that not many know a way to?
How else can one bare one’s soul and not feel cold?
I know no better way than through poetry.
No better way than doing so by putting ink to paper where all the noise up here gets put into words,
The equivalent of going through rocks before settling into calmer waters of the river on a kayak.
I am a wanderer.
My name, Amogelang, Sepedi for ‘Accept.’
A writer in my own right, learning more about myself as I write.
Living in a vile world where being yourself is taboo, where for those who seek adventure looking for themselves is it.
I find myself in poetry.
Lost my innocence, as its flesh-ridden self was ripped off of me, uncouth.
Gave way to cynicism at the expense my pain in love and trust for others.
Lost myself when I drowned in misery and hate for he who may have hurt me.
Then I discovered words.
I discovered the ability to bring the deepest, darkest parts of mind into the light.
I spilled the secrets of my true self onto ink-stained papers, and found myself.
Check out my profile on Wattpad. http://w.tt/1IBzdzE
Originally posted on Thought Catalog:
1. Enough confidence to no longer feel the need to justify what she eats, who she dates or what she wears, not only to other people, but to herself. 2. The goal of a bank…
“How you can be such a gentleman, while parting my legs, is beyond me.” Is what I said to him, to which he, nonchalantly, tipped his hat. But that’s not even the half of it.
“Where’d you meet him?”
Some place far in the darkest parts of my mind.
That night out at the Great Elite’s Ball. His face was compelling. He didn’t smile too much. He spoke with confidence, summoned the attention of all those around him.
He had a presence. I didn’t know too much about him, but I knew I had seen him before. Perhaps in my dreams. He looked good. Smelt lovely. Familiar.
I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Midnight. I was bored of all chats regarding mergers; the economy, and whatever else filled the hall, so I set out to the rooftop. He followed. I wasn’t aware of it until his hand touched mine while I gazed at the stars. Familiar.
The rest is a blur. Not to say that I don’t remember, I didn’t have anything passed two glasses of wine. More dazed than anything. I know I screamed to the heavens. Begged for mercy and more. I was lost. My mouth on his, his manhood in me. Gasped for air a couple of times; and probably said numerous unintelligible things like, “How you can be such a gentleman, while parting my legs, is beyond me. I swear I’ve felt you before.”
And only then did I remember that this man was my husband.