I am exhausted for all the women I used to be

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Today,

I’m exhausted for all the women I used to be.

I’m exhausted for all the women I used to be.

My mug is empty but the coffee can’t cut through the fog.

I’m exhausted for my 16 year old self, the moment of confusion when a friends father told me “no grown man could say no to that.”

I am so tired today, the cumulative bags under my eyes from years of this shit weighing my head down.

I’m exhausted for my 20 year old self, in that dorm room, on that night. The clothes on the floor implicated me, it was like he had cotton in his ears. A yes is a yes until it’s a no, especially when she’s screaming it--just a friendly PSA from your local feminist.

I can feel the weight of that night in my bones, the weight I carried for the better part of a decade. A time when I sought solace in bulimia and was searching for part of myself in the bottom of a double tall.

I am exhausted for all the women I used to be. All the weight laid across young shoulders. Innuendos, unwanted touch, toxic caretaking, leering eyes, cat calls at 13 years old, marketing and movies that taught me my body is a sexualized object, made for what it can do for a man.

Not what it can do for me.

If I had a gray hair for every time a man bulldozed my boundaries, forced me to be a bitch because I’m as good as mute if I’m being nice about turning him down the first two times, or took my platonic friendship or professional relationship for a green light, I’d have...oh wait.

This is a trigger warning, as in, I’m easily triggered by men taking without asking, by unsolicited assumptions, by the cotton in your ears. Hear me the first time or kindly fuck off.

Today, I’m exhausted for all the women I used to be.

Need more inspiration? I’ve curated an incredible reading list of my favorite poets, essayists and nonfiction writers—the ones that have changed my life and given me the courage to become a writer myself. Want my required reading list?

Click here for the required reading list