She Say, He Say + The Knowledge of Good and Evil: Part II
Storyteller: Akosua 'Sua' Bamfo
She Say, He Say
Approximately this time a year ago, after being all stuffed up with like a million different kinds of antidepressants and antipsychotics, I gained the most weight I’d ever carried in my life. It was mostly due to the side effects of those meds but you know because mental health is virtually invisible it’s hard for people to understand that that’s not only very possible but actually very common. So anyways yeah I weighed in at a solid 170 pounds. One day I made the foolish mistake of posting a link to my anonymous like social media profile where people can ask you questions. Thinking people would ask me you know cool thought provoking questions. Oh was I in for a rude awakening. Almost every question was about my weight. Clearly a touchy subject for any woman especially those of us who live in this western world. And especially me someone who had been recovering from a serious health issue.
But you know, people can be cruel sometimes, there were a lot of hurtful statements said on there you know things like “damn Sua you used to be so pretty when you were small” “you really let yourself go” “damn! wtf happened to you” amongst some others I didn’t even have the heart to post. Now, I thank God that it was anonymous because I know the ppl posting those msgs were ppl I know and may even consider them to be a “friend”. So anyways that really broke my self esteem and confidence down. And those are two things my parents and I, worked so hard to build up in me since I was little. Hence why I began stepping in the 3rd grade. Or I was on debate teams. etc. these were fun to me but they all served a very intentional purpose of helping me to break out of my shyness and be confident in myself. And so you know having what 22 years under my belt now I know I’m not only a very confident woman but I’m very strong. So when I say that broke me, I hope you can really imagine how much mental damage that did to me. But anyways, I had already made the conscious declaration that I was going to make my happiness a priority and I was really motivated to lose the weight so you know I was in the gym for atleast 2 hours and I went just about 4-6 days a week. So yeah I was really working. Because I wanted to prove to myself that this was not entirely my fault and that I am gonna get back to my normal weight, but also I couldn’t WAIT to get slim so I could STUNT on those who had looked at me with those sad pitiful eyes or had you know said or even thought mean things toward me.
But then I started to think about why I cared so much. Some (though very few) thought I was really beautiful when I was big, some thought I looked ugly when I was small. People are so mixy! We all have different preferences. So you can’t choose to live your life based on other people’s standards of what is acceptable or beautiful. So I started to remember a time where you know ppl would compliment me on how tiny I was. Even when I was really sick and was weighing about 98 pounds you know in this country thin is in so it made me feel proud to be able to see my ribs or my collar bones. But now I realize that the mind is really a powerful and dangerous thing. And I asked myself. What do I want? What is beautiful to me? And then my mindset changed and I stopped going to the gym so much because my goal was no longer to be thin. My goal was to be healthy. Happy and healthy. So I eased up and now I can honestly say I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been both physically and mentally. Though I have a lot more to work on physically to improve my health, like with eating habits etc. Im still better than I’ve ever been. And mostly I feel better than ever. And I’m happy with me. I don’t need anyone’s stamp of approval or Instagram likes to love myself. It actually really amuses me to see how much more popular I’ve become now that people percieve me to be I guess pretty again. It’s laughable because people can be so superficial. What I will say is that im fortunate to have had a few good friends who stuck by me when I was big and they still treated me like the same Sua that I’ve always been. Like my actual facial features never changed so I never understood what ppl meant when they said I used to be pretty. I’ve always been pretty. And once I convinced myself of that I really could care less about what people had to say because I don’t live my life trying to please others anymore. Yes I really like to make people happy and smile and laugh. But I don’t depend on that to keep me happy anymore. Because even now that I’m slim ppl are still talking and saying oh she must be smoking weed again. Oh she looks sick. Oh she’s too small. Again. It’s laughable! People will always have something to say, and your job is not to shut them up because they’re gonna talk anyways. You just have to get free! And be you. Be who you want to be and who you love to be and then nobody can affect you.
So for people asking me what kind of workout I’ve been doing and I tell you I haven’t set foot in a gym in a little over 5 months and you think I’m lying let me tell you what’s helped me to get my physical to match my mental. I keep my faith strong. People cannot shake me. Even though I’m naturally emotional and sensitive hence my being a Cancer lol, that’s not something I am sensitive about anymore. Because I know I am beautifully and wonderfully made
The Knowledge of Good and Evil: Part II
Who did that to you?
It pains me to see what he's done to you.
So beautiful you once were.
That laugh. That voice.
That smile. Those eyes.
That skin. That mind.
All of you, so beautiful.
Baby girl, what in the world has happened to you?
It hurts me to even look at you.
The scars on your body, I know they reflect the impact of the crushing he's inflicted upon you. your whole life. I tried to protect you, and oh did I warned you so, but still it pains me to see what he's done.
So you frown. Now frown harder. frown so hard it seems this frown has cemented over your whole soul. Trust me I know these things, I've seen this in men before.
But who did that to you? How could you let someone steal your smile? How could you let them rob, cheat, steal, spit, beat, kick, silence you?
What was your plan? How could you let them lie to you. Even worse, how could you believe their lies as truths. How could you Akosua? Why would you do that to you?!
I know you could never do that to you.
So I ask you again, who did that to you?
I would kill the man who dare lift his hand to hurt you.
Who did that to you?
I will give up my entire life before I let anyone hurt you.
So Akosua, Sua, precious girl, TELL me.
Please tell me, who did that to you?
It was me.
I did that to me.
I hurt myself so badly.
That girl, you see im not even sure if she breathes any more
because I crushed her down to her core.
I tortured her- in the coldest way
I can't even believe what I've done.
I'm crying so badly from just the thought.
I can't fathom the damage I've caused.
How could I do that to a girl?
Such a beautiful girl.
The most beautiful girl in the world.
That voice. That smile.
That laugh. That mind.
That skin. Those eyes.
She was gorgeous. Too gorgeous. Too good.
So I crushed her. I envied her.
I hated she represented something I knew I never would.
But see, She's so hurt this girl trapped inside of me. I look at my eyes now and I mourn for her soul. Because though she's but the tiniest pulp, she's superhero-strong. Indestructible.
She can't die. No matter how hard I try.
No matter how hard I lie, I spit, I kick, I rob, I cheat, I beat, I kill her and I kill her but she just won't die!
Father! Trust me I have tried. And with all my might. She cries so loud sometimes but still she remains on this ride. My whole life.
But can you see why I mourn for that girl? Such an innocent soul.
But now look at what this fear has done.
Look at her withering flesh.
She looks like death. But still.
She's alive. A rose.
I feel her rising inside of me. like a Phoenix in the sky.
Im telling you Father, I will be careful this time.
Now it's my time to protect this girl, I know.
I promise to God I never knew that the girl I hurt and hated so badly was really me all along.
C'mon now: I thought I loved me. Im the coolest girl that I know.
I will die for Me before I lift another finger to punish my beautiful soul. I put my whole life on the line for Me and swear to never again hurt me like I've hurt Me blindly following misguided ghosts.
Because that girl inside of me. She taught me the hardest lesson I have ever come to know...Don't ever put your hope, trust, faith in men or forever you will stunt your growth.