judgement

‘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.”

‘I was holding hands with my boys when a friend shook his head at me. ‘Ya know, you’re raising them to be mama’s boys.’ Every hair on my arm stood up.’ Mom with all-boy tribe criticized for raising ‘mama’s boys’

“It was a neighborhood street, but the darkening sky and numerous curves made me a little nervous. So, I kept my boys close to me. And just like that, the cool air was replaced with hot steam billowing from my ears. He continued to list reasons why raising mama’s boys was a NEGATIVE thing. It was one of those Mama Bear moments you don’t see coming, but hits hard and fast.”

‘My stepdad locked me in a cellar. I was 3. My husband bought me diet pills for my birthday.’: Woman overcomes childhood abuse, addict husband to finally ‘get out of that darkness’

“He bought flowers, seemed to care. Then, he complained I had cellulite on our honeymoon. The church knew. According to them, a woman should ‘obey her husband.’ When girls don’t have a father figure, they’re not taught what to look for in a future spouse. My marriage was nothing like it seemed.”

‘I was teased that toothpaste had calories. I hated the whispers and stares. I thought it was cool to not get my period anymore. I’m ashamed of this.’: 43-year- old mom finally confident in body image after struggling with eating disorder most of life

“It intensified when I left my parents’ home and went to college. I drastically reduced my food intake. I hate thinking about the look of shock, disappointment, and concern on my mother’s face. She hadn’t seen me since Christmas, so when I came home for Spring Break, my mother was worried sick over my frail appearance. I felt guilty, but not guilty enough to change.”

‘I’m not everyone’s cup of tea. I’m too loud, too quiet. We try so hard to bend 50 different ways to fit a mold, but why? For what?’: Woman learns to accept herself as is

“We over-analyze texts. We wonder why we didn’t get the invite. We see glances, whispers and assume they’re directed at us. We waste so much of our time worrying about other people’s opinions only to leave ourselves feeling empty. But, why? For what? This is YOUR journey. Stop doubting your own decisions. Stop looking over your shoulder. Stop trying to please everyone else.”

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