When I was a kid, anytime I said something “inappropriate”, gossiped, or basically just said something my mother felt we shouldn’t be talking about, she would always hush me and say with a whisper “Shh…the neighbors will hear..” or something to that effect. We could literally be in our living room with the doors and windows closed and she’d still say it. Unless our neighbors had bionic ears, pretty sure they couldn’t make out me asking my mom what the word “masturbation” meant. Nevertheless, I listened to my mother and decided that if it’s something she thought neighbors would be appalled at, then it was best to keep my mouth shut. I carried that with me, subconsciously I think, for a long time. When I came out, I was terrified. Not because I was struggling with being a lesbian (after my first experience with a girl, I was pretty comfortable with who I was internally), but because I was afraid of what people would say. What would my family say? After all, nice catholic Italian girls grew up to marry nice Catholic Italian men, right?
The same thing happened when I first started with depression and self-injury. I needed help. I needed to tell people. But, that same little voice in the back of my head that told me I needed help also told me I needed to keep quiet because it wasn’t anyone’s business. No one should know. I had to keep up with the appearance I was fine. Guess how healthy that was?
Let me say this-- it’s not my mom’s fault—she was raised old school just like her mom was and she battled her own hidden chest full of fucked up secrets. Eventually though, all of those secrets that were brewing boiled over and came to the surface, and even she had to come clean. Now, that’s what I am doing. The PMDD diagnosis was the real eye opener for me. As I began doing research and reading other women’s stories in regards to mental health, women’s health issues, sexual assault—I also began to see how fucking resilient women are. How we are survivors, supporters, advocates, revolutionaries… We are making changes. Being heard. But change only comes when we stop worrying , stop hiding, stop making excuses for other people and most of all—stop apologizing.
I decided to make a #sorrynotsorrylist for all of the shit (especially as a woman)I have always felt I wasn’t able to talk about…Leave a comment below—send me your list!!!
Sorry I’m Not Sorry For….
- Gaining, losing, gaining, and losing weight. It’s my body and only I know what it’s going through. I When I say I have a slow metabolism and people roll their eyes, I also know that I suffer from thyroid issues, a tumor on my pituitary gland, and bad genes. I also know that I make healthy choices- try to work out and do my damn best for MY body.
- Talking about my period. Yup. I am a woman and I bleed. How DARE I! I’m sick of having this be a topic that is only appropriate to talk to women about. If I’m hunched over at work in pain and someone asks me what’s wrong, why do I have to lie and say “Oh just a tummy ache!” I know it probably isn’t lady like to scream in my best Linda Blair impression “MY FUCKING EGGS ARE DROPPING!!!!!” but can I just be honest? It’s my time of the month, dude. It sucks.
- Talking about my PMDD. I know now that PMDD is not PMS. It’s debilitating, it’s uncontrollable. Do you think I want to feel freaking insane for a week? Do you honestly think I was to sit at my desk and start sobbing like a lunatic? Nope. I want to do what I can, at least in my little inner circle, to raise awareness about PMDD.
- Talking about SEX. This is an area that for some reason, I’ve always felt like someone was judging me for. I don’t know how much of that is all in my head or not, but I do feel like there have got to be some women who feel or have felt the way I felt. I’ve always been interested in sex and sexuality. I’m curious about other people’s sex lives, fetishes, interests…I genuinely am fascinated by it and I want to talk about it. But, I’ve felt like when I talk about it or think about it or am vocal about my needs that it makes me a pig or that I “think like a man.” Well guess what? I don’t think like anyone else but ME. And ME likes sex. A lot.
- Standing up for what I believe in. I spend a long time having these incredibly strong urges to fight the good fight—to be an advocate for those who have felt alone, targeted, unheard…Probably because I’ve felt like this before. But, I never fought, just thought about it, because again—what would people think if I supported things that could potentially spark controversy? Who would listen to me? Again, change is only as good as the actions that follow…I want to talk about being gay, about being a woman, about being a mental health warrior so that others will feel inspired to do the same.
What are you #sorrynotsorry for?