Day 7

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    Leanne Matton

    Find the wild inside

    You were once wild here.
    Don’t let them tame you.
    Isadora Duncan

    First I was told what I wasn’t, the hints and reminders that I wasn’t theirs. I wasn’t their first choice. I wasn’t enough.

    As I moved from school to school to school, I was told I wasn’t like them. I wasn’t right. I didn’t fit.

    I was taught that my anxiety was incompetence, my differences were inadequacies, my sadness was sullenness.

    My short unruly hair cut by her, my flat chested body dressed by her, made unattractive, not someone who inspired care or empathy, overlooked and mocked.

    “I’m a girl” I said one day when I accidentally ended up in the boy’s line at school. “Only just” said one of the boys, and they all laughed, including my friends. Including me.

    Later I held my sensuality inside, I dressed down, I grew my wild hair long to hide behind. I could not consummate my relationships, too protective, too invisible, too repulsive, too unsafe.

    I grew thinner and my bones stuck out because I forgot to feed myself, I got chilblains on my toes because I forgot to put my shoes on.

    I was told to stop focusing on the past, stop talking about the pain, stop working on my healing because it looks like focusing on the negative. I was told to be someone who is happy and positive and smiling, who doesn’t burden people with her grief and trauma, who isn’t searching for identity and belonging.

    I spit them out: the falsehoods, the myths, the platitudes, the accusations, the victim-blaming, the dismissals. I am the sovereign of my Self.

    I resign from the role of good girl. After all, what good did it do me? I was named the perpetrator and the perpetrators were named the victims. I defiantly claim the victim – a word that has been demonised to mean much more than it does, simply one who was victimised.

    I decide what I do with the residue of the victim. She gave me courage and determination, she showed me my wild inside. That is her real legacy which I can’t claim if I deny her.

    A woman with clear boundaries, revealing my wildness, my beauty, deciding what touches me, what gets inside me, what stays at a distance, what matters.

    Claim your wild. Tell us about it.

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