She was crying. And trying to hide her tears. I watched as she puttered around her kitchen, fixing plates of food for friends and family. I gave her a moment, allowing her to release the frustration that had taken hold of her spirit. I knew that the simple task of plating pancakes and eggs would allow her to catch her breath.
Hours later, she said, “He’s mean. And nothing I do ever pleases him. I am beginning to feel broken.”
I understood broken. I had invested twenty-eight years of my adult life to feeling broken. I’d sworn on everything I held sacred that no man would every make me feel that way again.
She continued. “I have to hold back my emotions with him and I don’t dare cry. If I cry, or show my frustration, it’s a fight. Then he tells me I look foolish or I’m being overly dramatic.”
I understood bottling one’s emotions to appease someone else’s issues. I’d been there and done that.
“There was a man in my life once who wept with me when I cried,” she said. “He would wrap his arms around me and just hold me close until I had cried whatever hurt I had out. That simple gesture always made me feel…like…well…”
She struggled to find the right words but she didn’t need to because I understood. I knew comfort in a man’s arms. I had learned how to trust again. I had found love in all its imperfections and I believed in the overwhelming power of it. I knew the words even if they were unspoken.
“How did I get here?” she asked. And I knew the answer to that to.
I knew that dismissing even the smallest slight because you don’t want to rock the boat, will eventually capsize the vessel. I knew that biting one’s tongue and not speaking up, had never served any woman well. I understood that not giving voice to your feelings and allowing some man to think that what he wants and what he thinks is more important than your own needs and desires, has never served any woman well.