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I Didn’t Trust Women

Before beginning this process of recovery from addiction, my interactions with other women fell into one of two categories—I was either a vindictive bitch or a helpless clinger. The vindictive bitch part of me needed to feel superior by belittling other women. The helpless clinger part needed someone emotionally or physically stronger to hide behind. Neither was authentic, they were just roles I thought I had to play because I didn’t know who I was. I was either threatened by or jealous of every woman I knew.

Upon entering recovery, it was suggested that I lean on other women for hope and guidance. I remember thinking that there was no way I could ever trust women. I thought hated women. I thought I related better to men…so I could manipulate them! It was too difficult to manipulate another woman, and that’s really where my introduction to honesty began. I had to be honest with myself about why I feared other women. I feared them because I thought I couldn’t trust them.

I felt that way because I didn’t deserve to be trusted.

I saw women caring for one another in real and authentic ways; helping each other, not trampling the “weak.” I saw strong women allowing themselves to be vulnerable in order to save each other, not faking superiority like I did. Those early experiences with real sisterhood changed me.

Sisterhood is a spiritual experience for me. The women around me wake up my spirit.

Sisterhood is a spiritual experience for me. The women around me wake up my spirit. I cannot function properly without my sisters. I need that feminine strength to show me how to be a woman of high esteem and need to know that it’s okay to feel weak without being fearful of being trampled.

There are still days when I find myself wanting to wear my “Vindictive Bitch” or “Helpless Clinger” masks. They are comfortable and familiar, but most of all they protect me. I don’t have to show the world my real face if I put them on. I don’t have to see my own face as I really am when I wear them. Those masks are my excuse to be less than what I am capable of; an excuse to be vicious or cowering. Sometimes I put them on without even knowing it.

I am eternally grateful for my sisters in recovery today because they are a reflection of me. I don’t have to wear masks because they can see right through them. My sisters allow me to think I’m fooling them for a minute, raise an eyebrow and say,

“Try again, but this time be the real you.”

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