Women, why don't we leave?

Quiet contemplating filled with bursts of rage, in shared conversation with both men and women, the topic of “why don’t women leave” (à la Grace and Aziz) must continue to be chipped at until we rebuild trust in this human system again. I’m referring to why don’t women leave in a non consensual situation, be it — assault, rape, violation, abusive relationships or any matter where the power dynamics are nuances and blurred — living in the shadows of the heart.

Since the #metoo movement started, these words kept pounding in my head, louder and louder as the brave stories continued to be shared:

WHY DON’T WE LEAVE?! WHY DIDN’T I LEAVE?!

It’s been helpful to hold and share upset and anger with other women standing in that same confusion. By fiercely relocating the steady compass of a boundary that holds the stance of an “unrapeable woman” in our system (as my Somatica Method teacherswould say) — we get to heal.

The highlight of healing for me has been hearing women of different generations glimpse at compassion for themselves. Wise elders in their 60’s and 70’s telling me that when they were dating (group dates they call them), the veil was concrete and the choice of who they were to become as wives and women was defined by the thick moral codes of their church and culture. “Violation happened all the time, no one talked about it because we didn’t know that it was an actual thing!” said by a beloved client with a tone of reclamation.

For many, the thought of behaving any other way lived in their blind spots. Fit in. Be a virgin until you chose a man you can convince yourself you can be of service to, out your own free will. Like it or not. It’s the price of business. I mean… the potential dis-ease of the monogamous marriage.

I want to explore the cross generational conversations around re-initiating the concept of power between humans since the healing becomes collectively sustainable when the wider generational spectrum can hold permission to exchange their stories and create new ones for the generations to come.

Through a poem, I’m going to sum up my story and those of dozens of womens voices I’ve worked with who continue to move through the pain and confusion of the topic “why didn’t I leave.”

…Because poetry can be therapeutic and weave new ideas through the realm of creative unification.

With love and wild truth.

Laura

Why didn’t I leave?

Is it fucked up to feel bad
that I can’t care give
when I’m being raped?
Or is it more fucked up
to feel like I’ve always needed to be
of service to a man’s desires?

I didn’t leave because
In my mind
You were gonna love me
for me.

Who is that me
if I’m relying on good girl’s dreams
knit with romantic fantasies?
Easy peasy, voilà
Everyone knows how to love
Exactly. Hun?
Juste comme ça!

I didn’t leave because
I didn’t want to be wrong
about the person you vouched
you were.

I didn’t leave because
I was forcefully digesting promises
by men who wanted to be more
than they really were.

I didn’t leave because
I never learned
to say No
in a way
that didn’t mean
Yes to you.

I didn’t leave because
I thought I was stronger
but was never strong enough
to prove myself right.

I didn’t leave because
I thought I’d never be that woman
so I couldn’t be that woman — in that moment
No way Jose. Never. 
I didn’t spend my whole life
in fear of this happening. Just so…
Yet here I am. 
That woman.

I didn’t leave because
my mother
never taught me to truth tell
like a motherfucking witch. 
She couldn’t do it either anyway
until her heart became eroded
By years of misogynistic wear.

And even there…

I didn’t leave because
I thought I knew you
I wanted safety to stop lying to me
I wanted a mile
And yet settled for your inch.

I didn’t leave because
I still wanted to believe that
your physical strength
that trumps mine — sometimes
Is meant to protect me.

And just because she’s wet
Doesn’t mean my pussy wants it.

And…

What if I had left?
What if you believed my NO?
What if no one ever got to say “I told you so.”

What if “Fuck This” 
was never an option
and we got to
Cheer in the stands
like brave humans
face to face
fighting to heal
this human
race.

What if I wandered into your heart
and ate the poison that stops you from seeing me?

Because baby, 
I’m stronger than you.

Something a grown ass man
can hear but
can’t quite chew.

stillstanding.jpg
Laura Griffiths