When DotedOn submitted her essay My View to the Relating to Humans Women’s Issues feature, I could immediately feel its power and its truth, and the life lived as written, raw and exposed.
When submitted, DotedOn initially addressed it to me. I wrote to her soon after and asked if I could take out the address as I felt it may be distracting from the essay’s message. She wrote me back and, kindly, as she always is, said it was fine for me to make the edits and, since English is not her first language, she asked that I make any other edits that I felt may be necessary. I was pleased when she wrote this because there were, in fact, some grammar adjustments that I had wanted to make.
And, with haste, I made the adjustments.
However, after I read her essay with my edits, I found that something had happened. It seemed its power had somehow been diminished. I immediately restored the essay back to its original version, which, in turn, restored its power.
I spent the rest of the day reflecting on what had happened. The edits I made were almost insignificant, really; however, the impact of the edits was wholly significant. The impact was devastating to the overall feel and effect of the essay.
Perhaps, then, our words draw their strength not so much from our language and its form, but from our voice and our uniquely individual inflections and tones as only we can speak them…
I’m a single mom. I have five kids. I escaped an abusive relationship because I got to the point where nothing could be worse than staying one more second in that house. I exchanged comfort for unknown. I feel guilt every single day of my life. I know I took the right decision. I still don’t understand why my kids don’t see it and keep asking me why I don’t go back to daddy. They were there, they should know why.
Some people admire me… I still don’t get why. What’s to admire? That I left 5 kids without a dad? That I tolerate abuse for so long? That I’m alone and lost in another country miles away from every person dear to me?
I get questions like: How can you manage alone with 5 kids? I rub my eyes. I have everything. My question is: How could a widow 80 years ago manage 11 kids and no washing machine or fridge or disposable diapers or Nintendo’s to keep the kids quiet for a while.
Who should I please? Why I get judged? Why if I chose to be happy I feel this guilt all the time?