This is me… Love me or Leave me

So another sleepless night reading interesting articles and one got me scrolling through my personal Facebook pics thinking about things. As I thought, I recalled an email I received a while back from a young woman with a history of abuse who was struggling with her sexuality. Wondering whether her abuse was a contributing factor to her being gay or was she born that way? I’m afraid I didn’t have a worthy response at the time.    Not that people come out and ask me directly, but often I’ve been questioned about my personal life. In particular my ability to have intimate relationships with people. Jon Faine asked me directly (and over stepped I feel) but I answered the only way I know how… Honestly. Have I been able to recover from what happened to me? Largely I think so. Has there been any irreparable damage as a direct result of my past abuse? Absolutely. What I said on the Jon Faine interview was I am unable to trust men. Given my past, most would find this totally understandable. Some men take offence and say not all men abuse. Women abuse as well… Blah blah yawn. I don’t understand why men get their back up because I don’t trust them. It isn’t personal. It is a direct result of my experience. And are we not all impacted by past experience that largely shape who we become and how we see the world? Sure, we can heal and grow and overcome many things, but I’m rather happy with how I’ve turned out. Do I need to work on things? Of course! Who doesn’t? Yes, women do abuse as well but this has not been my experience. Women, for the most part have played a pivotal role in my healing. Stepping in and loving me through the hurt. Seeing in me potential and taking the time to nurture that with me and stand back and watch it grow. My answer to Jon Faine was as follows; I am a great friend but I make a lousy partner. Does that mean I identify as gay? I’m not sure. The same story applies there. In the past, intimacy has made me run a mile. I have many beautiful friendships with women and a couple great guys and I seem very content with just that. Friendship! Im not looking for a life partner. Will I ever? Perhaps. And given my past, would I be able to overcome my fears, trauma and limitations to go beyond and have a beautiful relationship one day? Possibly. The one thing I know I am very good at, is loving people. I do it with my whole heart. Always have.       Many of my close friends tease me about how I dress. They think I wear the baggy guy clothes so not to attract male attention. They don’t think I’m gay, but more damaged by what happened to me as a child. That women are safe. And then I read that article last night in Elle on Ruby Rose on gender fluidity and non-binary. And then I started thinking about my natural style. What I am most comfortable wearing and how strongly opposed I am to the frock. I’ve never been one for labels given so many have been placed upon me growing up. I am who I am. Am I a product of what happened to me as a child? Probably. But I attribute all my positives to that as well. Gotta take the good with the bad, right? I’ve not posted anything like this before because I’ve not fully identified as anything. I don’t give it a lot of thought to be honest. But when Ruby was talking about gender fluidity and I had a look at how I often dress non gender specific, it sort of fit for me. It’s not a sexuality thing. But is it a gender thing? I dunno. I am female, I know this. But do I identify as such? Like really embrace my femininity? No, I can’t say that I do. Growing up, I hated being a girl. It meant I was hurt. My whole Refugee claims case was built around being persecuted as a member of a particular group – female. So maybe it is more that for me. It’s complex. Like we all are. I have been judged my whole life. I guess the positive in that is it has made me tolerant and accepting of others. There is no one way to be. I think it is dangerous and narrow minded to think otherwise.    image1 We are who we are for whatever reason. Maybe we are born that way, maybe experience plays a hand. But at the end of the day, does it really matter? Gay. Straight. Bi. Trans. Gender fluidity. Non-binary. Who gives a flying cuff? So to the young woman who sent me that brave and beautiful email with a totally different take away message from my book… I’m so happy my story gave you the courage to come out and be yourself! Be proud of who you are! You made me think about a lot of things. And like I said, there’s no shame in who you are. I’m not sure why I am so reluctant to publish this, but like everything else I’ve done so far, if I can help one person out there who feels all alone, it has been worth doing. I am so blessed and so humbled my story is resonating with so many in totally different ways. Many ways I never imagined possible. Ok. That is all. As you were soldiers 😊

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About cjbailee

I don't see myself as an author with a book, but a woman with a story and a message of hope and resilience. I want to use my lived experience and the lessons learned to help inspire others. Transforming the victim/trauma story and speaking to the possibility of what can be achieved when we have inner drive, a sense of worthiness and the love and support of others in our lives. I am a woman, a mother, friend, poet, writer, an advocate, an activist, a motivational speaker, a kid at heart, a deep thinker...a human being who suffered extreme abuse as a child and who continues to reclaim what was lost as an adult. I am someone who's been to hell and back and has come out whole on the other side of it to let others know they can do the same! I have an important message of hope, love, forgiveness and resilience. Come take a journey with me and discover how connected we all are and how truly achievable happiness and freedom is.
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10 Responses to This is me… Love me or Leave me

  1. Adrienne Sloan says:

    Thank you for your beautiful honesty, as always, Carrie. I just finished a season of a play in which we explored the whole idea of ‘femininity’ and how women are viewed and view themselves. The conclusions we came to, as a group of women of varying ages, were that Femininity is a social construct still being used to enforce conformity to a very narrow definition. It becomes oppressive when it forces girls and women to question how they fit in to it and how they need to change themselves in order to fit into it, rather than just allowing us to just ‘be’. As you say, our identity is shaped by our life experiences and it’s not static. We keep experiencing and living and being shaped for the rest of our lives and our relationships with others changes as well. I said in my closing monologue, I’m not going to give the power to anyone else to see me or not to see me (or define me, or accept me by such narrow standards). The only thing that matters is that I’m visible (acceptable) to myself…by my own definition of who I want to be in the world. Your resilience and courage to speak to the deepest things is profoundly moving and helpful to so many. Many blessings to you : )

  2. Dayle says:

    What a great blog! My feeling is that you took so long to publish this intimate piece as it is so personal and speaks to the “damage” you may forever endure as a victim of abuse. Who gives a hoot how you dress or identify yourself on a gender basis. You are who you are and at this very moment – and to me, that’s one hell of a brave “person”!

  3. Malki Rose says:

    Fluidity, and writing posts like this about it, is so damn important, because it’s fluidity that is the ultimate statement of “I dont gotta promise to be one thing to all people all the time”. It says “I will express myself in the truest form of me whenever and however I wanna”. ( And it would be good to turn those questions back around on some of the people who ask for definitions.)
    I have seen you display some of the most stunning expressions of gentle, mesmerising feminity and then seen you wear your bold, tomboi self with grace, strength and the pride of an NBA all star after winning the playoffs.
    I guess its like defining yourself by an emotion. Nobody is ever one binary emotion all the time. : Right? How much would that suck???
    Love you or leave you? Definitely love ya. xxx

  4. Beautifully said my brave brave girl. Such a powerful post. Lisa

  5. Barbara Z. Furlong says:

    Dearest girl, I am a powerful Spirit, come to Earth pretending to be what I am not…a human acting out as Barbara Z in this lifetime. That is my choice and whomever doesn’t like that, can deal with it! We are humans striving to figure it all out. I just happened to know who I was foremost from infancy. Watching life, experiencing humanness and being a girl, mother and now old Crone is my story. You are a wonderful inspiration to us all. Blessings on our journey, whatever it is. Love and Light, Barbara Z. Furlong, Intuitive Coach, Nova Scotia.

  6. Well said 🙂 We are who we are ❤

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