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The Village of Invisible Women

To be the woman I had to become, I had to create the imaginary supportive mother and sisters in my head for the girl child in me to reach this far. I had to create a whole village of supportive women who weren't there through life's critical moments of life and death over many, many years, an invisible cheering crowd, a circle of women who adjusted the crown, held one's hand, cuddled and soothed and made sure the fire within did not die. Who pulled you from the brink of real death, time and time again. For wild, ambitious and free spirited girls who would fight for all people needed love and care too even if they were branded bold, black sheep who never fitted in the way most girls do. Sisterhood that supported fiercely every inch of the way ... without fail. Sisterhood and motherhood that just wasn't there.

The ache for the imaginary family and tribe ... biting so sharp and deep .... scarring. Scarring. Scarring. And the bleeding would never stop. You freeze within, thawed by the smallest kindness from unexpected quarters, gifting motherhood and sisterhood easily to anyone who was kind because you are starved of kindness, understanding and a nurturing for your wildness. Until, at the end of a long trudge within to find home in oneself, after many desperate attempts to escape from the prison of conformity, desperate to keep the immense ability to think and feel and create alive within, grateful for the few unknown sisters out there who were kindred souls ... brave enough to stick their neck out for one, mad enough to have attempted adventurous journeys themselves ... one comes home to oneself ... building high, high walls trying to stay safe within high walls built to secure the self until death. Vulnerable no more because one risks no more.

And, then the newly emerging tribe of sisters come, jumping easily over the high walls as if they were nothing while one struggles in gratitude for the unexpected gift of fierce solidarity. And, suddenly ... after many lives led ... it feels like one could actually have a mother and sisters and sisterhood and still not sell out one's soul or fire merely to belong to earlier dead, jaded tribes that claimed mere blood ties.

And, suddenly ... one feels terribly lonely but know that one is strong enough to handle ... because sisterhood is one click or call away. That there are those who get you. Who will come when you need them, the way you would for them. Who won't abandon to deal with pain alone. Who bring their own torch along as you shine the way for all sisters. Finally you are home. Alone. But with a sense of a tribe. One has come full circle or rather the circle feels finally full.

Yes. It is a long walk home for an abandoned girl child who had to die many times before finding her tribe in womanhood and survive to tell the grateful tale.

- SS

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