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Thursday, October 19, 2006A Page from my Journal
I went camping this past weekend with a group of women that are part of a non-profit program that mentors abused women. The point of the trip was to welcome the newest clients and match them up with their mentors. Here’s a page from my journal for that weekend…
Saturday: On the way up to the camp now and they’re playing the movie , “Enough” starring J-Lo. In this flick J-Lo plays an abused wife who turns the tables on her husband and kills him. Is this something we really should be showing these women? I mean we are going up to the middle of no where with these chicks. Supposed one of them has a flash back and flips the hell out while we’re there? I was thinking we should’ve been playing a Pixar flick like “Toy Story” or some Enya Cd’s something soothing to relax these chicks not amp them up.
Evening : We sat around talking with the women it was a productive session for those who felt strong enough to share their stories. I felt myself choking up wondering how does a woman get to the point where she allows a man to beat on her? The answer came in many forms, bad childhoods, sexual abuse, and low self-esteem. The reasons were different for all the women. Where did the courage to run come from? That answer seemed to remain constant their children gave them the courage to flee. For one woman it was when she found out her husband a pillar of his community was sexually abusing their daughter. For another it was when she awoke one day and found her husband standing over her with a gun and she thought of her kids.
Sunday: I’m used to being mistaken for a teenager it happens to me a lot. A couple of the moms brought their teenaged boys (16 and 17) on the trip. They’ve been hitting on me since we got here. No one bothered to tell them that i'm part of the staff and am 23 yrs old . One of the older women a project supervisor I had just met reprimanded one of the kids who was hitting on me.The boys assumed one of the mentors was my mom and I was just helping out. When she was done she came up to me and said, “Girl you are just too adorable. How old are you anyway baby?” “Twenty three m’am" was my reply. “I’ve got panties that look older than you.” She adds. Before I knew it my mouth had gotten the best of me, “Target is having a sale.” “Oh yes you are just too precious!”, she said pinching my cheek just a little harder than necessary. I think I’ve made a friend. Help.
Monday: I just got home the body is achy as all hell. I guess falling out 10 feet from that obstacle thingy onto the bed of rocks and landing on my back wasn't a good idea. Good thing I didn't hit my head. Note to self: Make sure next time chick behind you is not so nervous about heights.
On the way home I hear a voice coming from the back of the bus the woman sounds like she’s from deep in the hood. “Gurrrrl I know rigggght!”, she says to one of the other chicks. Who the hell is that? When did we stop and pick up stereotypical Taniqua-alize the thug girl from da hood ? Then it hits me wait a minute I know that voice… I look and it’s my friend. This is a white girl from an upper middle class enclave who’s never ever been to the hood. Maybe the woods were haunted and she got possessed by the spirit of a lost ghetto girl. I hear her again, “aigghttt I’m saying” I’ve never heard her talk like this. I put my head in my hands. WTF?! Why is this heffa talking like she’s Project Chick # 2 from some some stereotypical Hollywood flick ? What next she gonna whip out a Tupac CD from her bag and start braiding hair as she balances a 40 in her lap and a blunt from her lip?
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