Shackles of words so often spoken shred my skin as I tear apart the thickets.

Act like a girl. Talk like a girl. You can’t do this. You shouldn’t do that. For years I have been defined by others, conformed to standards set by the patriarchs. I have been loved, but that love has always come with terms and conditions. Be strong but needy, brave but within constraints, be smart but don’t have opinions.


I don’t know what’s out there for me. I may not make it, but I’ll fail on my own terms. I may never find that perfect soul-mate, but at least I’ll find me.


Written for Bikurgurl’s 100 Word Weekly Challenge for photo by Toa Heftiba

3 thoughts on “Breaking out

  1. I love this!! “I am woman – Hear me Roar!!” – Phenomenal Woman, not satisfied with allowing the patriarchs to make the rules, to impose boundaries, to limit…not this one. Your opening line sent shivers down my spine, “Shackles of words so often spoken shred my skin” – I’ve felt this myself but never have worded it so precisely: So eloquently. Thank you for your wonderful words ❤


    1. Thank you. This is high praise indeed. Having been raised in a conservative patriarchal society I live with my share of shackles. When a man looks at you and says ‘but I’ve given you so much freedom’, it’s very hard to make him understand that it was never his to ‘give’ in the first place.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well said! Thank you for raising your voice to this truism that many men — even those who think they’re not attaching shackles of shame and confinement ❤ Thank you ❤

        Liked by 1 person

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