This is very difficult to describe.
Once discovered, the mental health aspect of a woman’s existence is often used to further deny her agency and freedom. Overcoming physical hurdles and sexual assault is easy, only momentarily. Eventually it brims up in your mental health report. So to me, all conversations on women empowerment should primarily be about how much things have affected our mind.
And so much affects our mind. As a woman I have found my empathy to be my greatest weakness and my greatest strength. Though honestly, I mostly regret having any of it. I realize eventually all it does is – take up my time.
I feel an invisible burden when I realize the number of hours I have spent coming to terms with my feelings. The journey of my physical and sexual existence in society has left me with thoughts I can not simply avoid. And to engage with these thoughts is important – but so very debilitating. Its as if my own life is a threat to my future existence.
I have learnt to deal with this in sincere ways; to grow from my reflections, not wallow in them. But the older I have grown, the more I have realized, this is the biggest way in which women lose their lifetimes. Women are abused and traumatized, this is very well known. But the time which women lose in simply getting over, reliving, revising and rearranging their lives because of this abuse – is not really addressed.
I personally found it most difficult to not feel hate and prejudice for successful individuals who have had the fortune of privilege and good health. Growing up, I couldn’t help but feel so much anger for everything I could have become, had I been these people I was looking at through the screen. It took a lot for me to come to terms with my social position and accept it positively. I can’t say I don’t get triggered anymore when I see and hear perfectly positioned individuals complaining about their lives. Its easier to not engage and completely remove myself from the conversation. Its healthier to remind myself that people derive their self-worth and power through multiple ways – most of which are twisted. And their sense of identity is internal to them, which never impedes on my sensibility unless I let it.
Can you imagine how much thinking has to happen to articulate that? I hate it when people don’t take me seriously. I am impossibly determined to curate my mentality. Nobody I know personally has made as much of an effort. Lots of strangers online though bring me peace. It has been transformative to come online and be introduced to very diverse individuals, yet all of whom are similar to me in their mentality. And mentality is not equal to mental health. Not at all, in my opinion. Mentality is quite rational and deliberate. I wish I could say the same for mental health.
I find myself at war with people who have never reflected on their mentality. I find myself losing a lot of ‘time’ as I wage this war, quite willingly. I question my motives almost all the time. And then I am reminded that I really have no alternative. I chose to climb out of my reality so I could create a better life for myself. Unfortunately that involves engaging with other people, so I can’t seem to step down. At this point in my life it seems like if I do, I give up on living the individuality I aspired for. How can I give up on all of that time I invested to become this person?