by Mari cross posted from her blog Mari’s Muses
Images from Mari’s Muses.
I’ve been reading this book the past few days:
On the very first page, it said this:
Truer words have never been spoken.
One of the questions asked in the first few pages was something along the lines of “when did you become a woman?” A very thought-provoking question.
When and how do you become a woman??
It could be any number of things, from physiological changes, to trauma to getting a driver’s license to having a baby.
It’s different for everybody.
For me, I didn’t start to feel like a woman until I was about 32. It was when, for the first time, a man wanted to spend time perusing ideas with me and going on picnics with me and doing basic life with me. It was when I entertained for the first time in my very own home. It was when I finally got a job where I was treated like an adult.
I had done many “adult” things prior to that.
Around my 29th birthday, I realized that even though I’d been an adult for years, I still felt like a child.
I was fresh out of a very controlling environment and wondering why no one took me seriously.
And then it hit me. The problem was that I saw myself as a child. It’s hard for everybody else to think of you as an adult if you view yourself as a child.
I had to remind myself on a daily basis that I was a woman and not just a little girl playing dress-up with Mommy’s heels.
Reminders like “yes, you can go out for dinner with that guy. You’re an adult now.
Reminders from men that I wasn’t just a little girl; that I was a nice, person who was capable of having beautiful, intelligent and interesting conversations.
Reminders that I’d been doing grown-up things like paying the bills and fixing the car and cleaning the house for years and that means you’re a woman now, not just a little girl.
I had to convince myself that I was actually an adult.
But, I’ve been an adult in survival mode.
When you’re living in survival mode, it’s hard to explore the nuances of what it means to be an adult. A woman.
Now that I think about it, I really don’t feel like a woman and I don’t have a clue what it means to be a woman.
Adult, yes. I can do adult.
Woman? Not so much.
Mari is the middle of 5 kids — and the only girl — in a male-dominant, semi-quiverfull, rather patriarchal homeschooling family. She was raised in a patriarchal church and most of her social network as a child consisted of children of patriarchal or quiverfull families. This is the story of how she was sucked into the patriarchal/quiverfull belief system, and how she was lovingly (and in some cases, not so lovingly!) escorted out. Read her blog at: http://www.marismuses.wordpress.comThe Spiritual Abuse Survivor Blogs Network
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