A lady I know approached me last week, after reading my post where I had shared another segment of this piece. She said she felt the words and asked her friend ‘Is Josie in my head?!’
I love her for saying this. I love this not just because I am a middle child (I am), who loves compliments (I do) – but because she touched so eloquently on the exact reason I write.
I want people to connect with my work and feel what I felt when I wrote it.
My original post mentioned that I love most about this piece is that it incorporates the many dimensions of my heart – and captures many of the memory-moments and different feelings I have had through my ongoing journey with the intended recipient. I think this allows different readers to connect their own personal experiences with different parts of my own story.
This is important to me… Obviously I am not in this lady’s head nor could or would I ever pretend to know her story or experience as she does. I do believe however that women often live their life journey feeling isolated in our struggles. We often feel as though there is something wrong with us, with our thoughts and our feelings. We know we hurt, but we can not talk about it. Women must be strong, and we often have others around us relying on us to remain so. We therefore box up our hurt and press on.
For women, and mothers, soldiering on in this manner is necessary but often leaves us feeling alone – and as though no one else feels or understands the way we are feeling.
There is great comfort in knowing that our struggles are experiences by others. Without this knowledge we can start to internalise and blame ourselves for the sexism we experience, the struggles we face and the pain we feel… which is not okay.
I see women carrying their stories, hurt and the shame assigned to them by society alone – limiting our growth with the weight of this burden. When we know however that it is not “just us” hurting and can find strength in the support in the sisterhood – then we can do a hell of a lot more than we can alone.
A lot of my work is about the intentional harm and limitations place on women and children. I want women to connect and build strength from each other to heal from this harm. I also want men to learn from my work and to stop inflicting or minimising the harm. While my piece You is about loving a man, who did not hurt me – and although I hurt, it is not hurt from malice. The reason connections are important for us to heal hurt remain the same.
I hope you all find something and someone to connect with at the times you need it.