It is national poetry month, so I would be remiss if I didn’t post at least one poem this month. This poem represents just a few of the strongholds women specifically face. As I prepare to speak to youth this weekend on the topic of forgiveness as the catalyst for destroying generational curses…
Chains, I face them every day and it seems they formed in so many ways, over so many days, link by link. Controlling what I say, what I think. They’ve bound me as long as I can remember. They are such a part of me I now wear them fashionably. Today they’re a barely there skirt, tomorrow a flirty low cut shirt because now the sum total of my body parts is how I gauge my worth.
My father taught me this when he told me I was born to do for him all that my mother wouldn’t do. So now he haunts me all throughout my life, and I can never quite quiet the voice that tells me it was my fault, the assaults were because I deserved it. My mother turned a blind eye because I wasn’t worth saving. This voice, this chain is the root of my craving for older men who view me as their possession and why I’m undaunted when I find they are married. It actually makes me feel more wanted.
These chains leave me to think I can’t be loved by anyone though I’ve never done anything to deserve such a sentence. Even friends walk away and leave me with the thought that no one can stomach me for long. What’s wrong with me?
He left. Without so much as a word. I didn’t even know until I got home to a half empty house. That’s why he wouldn’t answer the phone. I had given him all of me in holy matrimony. Promises were made, plans were laid. We’d shared a bed, I love you’s had been said and now he’s gone. Friends stop by and sympathize and say, “it must be tough.” But none of them know what it is to live with the feeling that you just weren’t enough.
At least you had someone once. You know what they say, better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. I have been single for so long that I’ve given up hope that I am desirable at all. My mother once told me that no one would ever want me. It seemed at age 8 she was already disappointed in who I would one day be. While other parents told their kids they were great, she would look at me like I was the part of her she’d always hate.
These chains have multiplied and created sub chains that seek not just to imprison me, but also my family. They cause me to act in a way that visits my iniquities on my children day by day. Thereby creating chains for another generation.
My father left us when I was 3, so naturally I look for rolling stones. When I had my daughter that man rolled so fast no moss could even be found on the spot he once lay. Now my chains are hers and though I know it’s not what she deserves, she can’t see her own worth. I want to free her, help her overcome the damage done by that rolling stone, but I can’t help because my hands are tied by my own.
I want to be free. Free from the chains binding me. I want to see me like God sees me. I want to let myself believe in all that I can be. I don’t want to be who the enemy keeps calling me. He’s called me out my name for far too long. I don’t have to be who he says I am because of things I’ve done or things done to me. My past is just that…passed. Right now I’m shedding the old man and grasping the new. I want to break down the walls that keep hurt out, because they’ve kept God out too. I want to love functionally and forgive those that have hurt me. And I don’t want to hurt you. I want to be healthy and dine on success, be the best I can be. Use my gifts and talents fruitfully. I want no longer to be tied down, nor to drown in self-pity, nor to wallow in low self-esteem. I want to deem myself worthy of being really loved. I want to live without fear. I want to hear the sound of my own voice affirming me. Not the sound of the enemy lying to me. I want to repair the fabric of my being. I want to shed these chains. I want to be free!