When I finished watching the movie “Acrimony” starring Taraji P. Henson a few days ago, I cried so much that I refrained from going outdoors on that day! I had a big AHA moment and I couldn’t stop thinking about the movie. “That could have been me!” I thought repeatedly to myself. “And I could end up like Melinda if I don’t watch my choices!”
Watching Melinda go from being the happy buoyant rich young lady with a promising future to being the angry, deranged, gun-wielding / ax-wielding ex-wife on the verge of committing murder (but who instead ends up dead) was a big eye opener for me. I took out a piece of paper and I wrote the following note to myself:
You need to protect yourself and prevent yourself from becoming someone you do not want to be in the future by only bringing the right people into your life (and cutting out and keeping the wrong people out of your life. With love.
Why would anyone put themselves through something like that? Why is it that women in relationships and marriages and within the family setting are often taught to put everyone else’s needs before their own and made to feel guilty about loving themselves?
Growing up in patriarchal societies I often had Melinda’s mentality and naivete until a seemingly insignificant experience I had when I was very young changed my life: I stumbled upon a magazine that featured true stories and real life experiences of women who have experienced trauma. Date rapes, gang rapes during war and tribal clashes, teen pregnancies, domestic violence, child abuse…the stories were many and the victims from many different backgrounds.
I remember reading a story of a sixteen years old girl who fell pregnant by a boy who sent her multiple letters and told her he loved her. When she told him that she was pregnant, he vanished and her parents threw her out of their house. She ended up living on the streets and gave birth in a public toilet before she was assisted by a humanitarian organization.
At the time when I read the aforementioned story, I was dating a boy who used to send me lots of love letters and tell me he loved me, and things were progressing very fast in our relationship. After reading the aforementioned girl’s story and countless other similar stories in the aforementioned magazine, I thought to myself “I don’t want to end up like these girls!”. I told him I wasn’t ready to sleep with him and I stopped putting myself in situations that would lead to stuff such as date rape. He dumped me and it hurt very much back then! But now, more than a decade later, when I look back at that situation (and the fact that today he is a drug addict, jobless with a string of failed relationships and children he can’t take care of) I can’t help but thank God for putting that magazine in my path and I thank my younger self for not only reading that magazine but also for protecting myself from becoming someone I did not want to become in the future!
And I think the fact that I stumbled upon the movie “Acrimony” is God’s way of reinforcing that protection that He gave me many years back and has continued to give me.
What a blessing!
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