There once was a little girl, the youngest of four daughters. By the time this little girl was four, her mom had been married three times, and the entire family was irrevocably screwed up. At four years old, this little girl and her older sister (six) were both already so tired of being made to feel expendable and also so tired of being the punching bag for StepFather #4 that they decided one night to run away. They packed a few things and were just getting ready to make their escape when the Mom and the Stepdad came home. It was not a pretty homecoming; Little Girl and Sister were given the option to either go (and Mom was considerate enough to pack a couple of bologna sandwiches to get these little girls through the next couple of meals, thoughtful and loving Mom that she was) or come back inside and get a spanking. At this house, a spanking usually meant a belt on a bare butt until there were bruises. Now, both sisters still thought running away was the better option, so they very bravely bundled up their few things and headed out the door. They lived on the second floor in an apartment complex, and right outside the back door was a very long flight of stairs with a door that locked at the bottom. The two sisters got all the way to the bottom of the stairs and could not get the door unlocked no matter how hard they tried. They pushed and pulled and cried to no avail, until finally, tired and cold, they decided to go back upstairs. At the door, though, after Sister went inside, Little Girl stood at the door and could not make herself go in. She tried really hard to step over the doorjamb into the light, but just.couldn't.do.it. Even when Mom and Stepdad acted all happy and made hot chocolate for Sister, Little Girl could not do it. She stood there, uncertain and afraid, until finally, Mom just came and shut the door without saying a word. Little Girl went back downstairs and couldn't, again, get the bottom door unlocked, so finally she decided that maybe it wouldn't be so bad to go back inside. When she got to the top, though, Mom had locked the door. And no matter how hard Little Girl kicked and screamed and cried, nobody came to answer it. Finally, exhausted, she laid down in front of the door and fell asleep, curled up in a little ball. In the morning, Mom opened the door and Little Girl had wet her pants and was cold and shivering, and Mom got the belt out and gave Little Girl a few more bruises. That was the last time either of them thought about running away.
And now, 32 years later, this Little Girl is all grown up and angry. She is angry because she has worked so hard to not turn into her mom, she has worked so hard to love and cherish and value her children above all else, and still gets completely lambasted at every turn for not doing it right. She has left a man who was rapidly turning into Stepfather #4 (minus his tendency to want to put his hands down Little Girl's pants every time had could get her alone), and left him with nothing but three children and a car that ran about 1/4 of the time, but has not been given accolades for that; after all, Marriage is Sacred and should be upheld no.matter.what. She is angry because now she has moved into a new home and has paid all of her bills on time (even when it meant eating Ramen Noodles for weeks on end. Little Girl does not give.a.shit. if she ever sees a Ramen Noodle again) and has worked her way up from taking a job at a temp service and making minimum wage to having a good job in a secure industry, yet still raises her four kids on less than $1000 a month, and can't get ahead. Little Girl is angry because this supposedly could have been prevented had she just been more loving, kind, patient, forgiving when her husband was out fucking other people and stealing money from the household to buy drugs and being gone for days and days at a time. Little Girl is angry because no matter which direction she turns, this world turns a blind eye on the fact that perhaps she would not be poor and struggling if it, as a nation, held all men accountable.
This Little Girl? She has been accountable for every decision she has made for the last 32 years, ans she is tired. She is tired of being told she should not feel a certain way-angry, happy, frustrated, bitter, joyful. She is tired of trying to explain herself to people in the hopes that just one-ONE-of them will get it, and maybe stop and think before casting stones at ALL single moms. This Little Girl is tired of a justice system that does not protect the true victims but instead protects the criminal, and this Little Girl is tired of being told she should not be angry-furious, TOXICALLY, uncontrollably angry-at the man who violated her daughter, or for the lack of support she has gotten from people who are her friends. She is tired, tired, tired of being told that she should be neither lonely nor sad, when there is much to be sad about and many ways in which to feel lonely. Maybe more than anything, she is tired of standing up and continuing to fight for understanding when there is none. She is tired of being a voice for single moms when nobody is listening, tired of being an advocate for not just HER children but other ones who are being abused and yet being called a bitch, one who should just let things go. Tired of listening to the accusations of bitterness and hatred, without once being given the opportunity to explain why there are sometimes legitimate reasons for it.
Just-tired. That's all.