Tina L Porter

Not My Shame to Carry

Grace, Sexual Assault 2 Comments

This is not a well-considered post, nor a well-manicured post, nor one where I think deep thoughts and posit them back for you all to chew on and consider and get back to me about it. This post is the spewing of shame that I’ve carried since I can’t remember when, carried in my bowels for decades, not talking about it, not confronting it, not even allowing it time to see light or breathe fresh air. And you know what? This shame I carried, heavy in my bloated belly, tugging down on my self worth, and telling a story of me that I thought was true–that shame should not be mine!

IT SHOULD NOT BE MINE!

IT SHOULD NOT BE DAUGHTERS’,
NOR MY SISTERS’
NOR MY BELOVED FRIENDS’.

Take your shame. I won’t hold it anymore. I won’t wear it on my sleeve or in my heart or at the base of my spine where I think Eve dwells.

I will not hold your evils, your defiled domination, your power-hungry violence, nor your liquored-up breath–not in my heart, not in my dreams, not in the arch of my back nor the veld of my skin. I will not hold your shame, your inability to see my body as my own. I will not hold it one second longer.

Decades in the making, this post is not about me. I will cry for my lost time, and for the mistakes I made along the way, raising daughters I couldn’t protect any more than I could protect me in the land of the free.

But today I declare my independence. I lay that shame at your feet–you know who you are. I lay it there and I walk away and I refuse to let your shame define me one second longer.

Decades in the making, this post is the scream I draw from the bottom of my arches. “Not my shame to carry.”

Even as I shout this, I know it will not change the world and the men upon it.

But I know that it will change me.

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2 Comments

  • Nell Newton on October 20, 2017

    Thank you.

  • Jodie Utter on October 21, 2017

    I hear you. You are right. Send it off to where it belongs. It is not yours.

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