You know what I hate? When I am telling you a story about something that hurt me and you dismiss my feelings. So, I was touched about something and I was telling my best friend about it and she said, “It comes with the territory. But you knew this.” I had nothing further your honor.
What upset me was, the fact that we know that the territory, which is patriarchy, sucks. But why was I not allowed to feel what I felt? Why wasn’t I allowed to be upset. It’s like I should just be okay with an oppressive system stabbing me with blunt needles. I shouldn’t cry or feel the pain because, well, we all know that blunt needles aren’t comfortable. Just smile and take it.
Oh, wait, another example, we all know people are going to die. It’s God’s first promise to us. Just because we know that life is terminal does it mean we shouldn’t cry when people pass on? Are our feelings of loss not justified because people have been dying since the beginning of time? Even though death isn’t brand new, the pain of losing my loved one is. That’s why we console people. Knowing that something is a pain point doesn’t give you immunity from it hurting you.
A lot of the times when someone is accused of rape or sexual harassment on Twitter we see people gung-ho attacking and defending whichever side they would have chosen. And I never take a side because I ask myself a very important question, “But Thembi Terry, were you there?” If my answer is no, who am I to get involved? The one thing life has taught me, is to never vouch for a human being. You’ll be thoroughly embarrassed. Will I fight against the concept of sexual violence? Absolutely! But I will never pick a side.
We all experience people differently. The version of my best friend that I know will not be the version which you know. That’s how life is. So just because she is good to me, it’s not fair of me to assume that she is good to everybody. Some of you be really trying her patience shem. So when someone comes out to say that So-and-So hurt them, you had better not say, “you’re lying. I know So-and-So and they wouldn’t hurt a fly.” You do not live in So-and-So’s body, you haven’t a clue what they are capable of. I’ve blogged about how rapists also have friends and family. Just because he didn’t rape you as his mother doesn’t mean that he isn’t a sexual predator.
When I discuss the various contraception that I have previously used, I’m sharing my lived experiences. I had a horrible experience with a certain one and I’ve met women who have been on it for years with no trouble. Does my truth then cancel out their truth? No, both truths can live simultaneously. Just because they had a good experience it doesn’t mean that the pain I felt wasn’t real. I would wake up at the witching hour to call my husband to tell him how I was about to remove the damn thing by myself. I had watched YouTube videos of other women saying how they managed to remove that contraception method by themselves at home. The pain was so excruciating, I was ready to risk it all.
When you negotiate with people how much pain they need to feel from a situation you’re making matters worse. Who made you the Pain Doctor? Just walking around prescribing what level of pain we should be feeling based off of the situation. Oh, they blueticked you? This is Level 1 pain, just walk it off. You know which gender likes to do this? Women. When you’re on your period and they say some dumb stuff like, “Take a painkiller, you’ll be fine. Stop being dramatic. We’ve all been there. You are not the first, you won’t be the last.” Listen madam, you have no idea what having dysmenhorrea feels like. You are not in my womb, you don’t know the first thing about what I’m going through.
No 2 people were made exactly like. This means that our pain tolerance levels are different. If you use the same insult on me and my husband, it won’t hit the same S.I measurement of pain. This is because we have different triggers, different issues and different perspectives of life. It will be hard to find an insult which hurts both of us equally.
That’s the same thing with life, just because you had great parents, doesn’t mean that there’s people who didn’t have toxic parents. Our role in life, is to hear people out when they say that they are hurting. Just because that thing wouldn’t hurt you, it does not give you the right to tell them to just shake it off. If you genuinely love a person, you’ll care when they are hurt and you will comfort them without trying to dismiss their feelings. If they say that they are hurt, believe them.
As a friend, I don’t care if you are hurt by things that aren’t there because you know what’s real? Your feelings and they are hurt. As my friend, it’s my job to help you cope and work through them.