judgement

‘I can’t do this,’ I muttered to myself. I was only 22, unmarried. I didn’t want my boyfriend to feel trapped.’: Young mother doesn’t believe she’ll be ‘punished’ for ‘having a baby out of wedlock’

“I was terrified, ashamed. I cared too much about walking around with a large stomach and no ring on my finger. My boyfriend and I had only been dating a little over a year. I’d been indoctrinated with the belief that what was happening to me was a sin that would tarnish me for the rest of my life.”

‘Why are your legs so fat?’ She laughed. I took my headphones out. ‘Pardon?’ Passengers watched.’: Woman brought to tears by stranger’s rude comment, realizes her ‘fat’ legs have ‘done her well’ in life

“I sat between two teenage girls. They were getting louder, being obnoxious. She repeated, ‘Why are your legs so fat?’ The woman next to me berated her for being so rude. I could still hear them giggling. I could feel my face burning. I couldn’t get off the train fast enough. The first thing I did was call my husband, crying, barely able to get my words out.”

‘My daughter darted away in a crowded mall. There was no sign of her.’: Mom terrified after losing daughter in mall, reminds parents ‘how quickly a child can get away’

“I frantically asked a lady at a kiosk if she had seen my daughter. She looked up at me confused and asked how she got away. Where was I? Why wasn’t her dad watching her? I ignored her questions and told her to call security before I darted away. After an hour of me violently shaking, the guilt set in. The kiosk lady’s words began to repeat in my head.”

‘I had this overwhelming feeling I was invited out of pity. I blurt out I’m a widow. ‘I’m so sorry,’ she says, horrified.’: Young widow unapologetic for making people uncomfortable, says ‘that is their problem’

“After my husband’s death, I ventured to a kid’s birthday party with my son. I was nervous. As I started mingling with the moms, things got weird. I not-so-casually slid into the conversation that I’m a widow. I was still wearing my rings, so they assumed I was married. This poor woman looked dumbfounded. I kept thinking, ‘Should I have done this differently?’ I cannot pretend my husband didn’t die just to placate people around me.”

‘I fell to my knees crying. ‘Mrs. Marlowe, when do you want her?’ I was determined to give little Teeba a home.’: Mom adopts little girl in wake of bombing, ‘I just couldn’t take no for an answer’

“Her skin was scarred from the bombing. She had virtually no hair left. But all I could see were those big, brown eyes with extra-long eyelashes. As we waited at the gate and the plane arrived, the last passenger walked out and there was no Teeba. My heart sunk. There was no way I wasn’t going to answer this calling.”

‘I no longer sit at tables where I might be the topic when I get up. I used to think that’s just how women are.’: Woman reminds us ‘worth’ can’t be ‘determined or negotiated’ by others

“If you’re sitting at the table where the topic of discussion is someone else’s shortcomings, mistakes, imperfections, flaws, or lawd the he said she said gossip, GIRL. GET A NEW TABLE. I assure you that when you leave your seat, you’re likely the next topic of conversation.”

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