“She carried mace on her keys bc she thought it would make her feel safe. The bruises on her arms and ass healed but not the one on her pride. For so long she put herself on a pedestal, as an advocate for setting the standard for ‘not to be fucked with’. She was never afraid. Now she was trying to fill in the cracks silently bc tough girls don’t feel small. We are loud and laugh in the face of men who look at us the way a lion looks at a gazelle. But in the end baby, we are still the gazelle. It’s not up to us to stop being the gazelle...it’s up to the lions to stop trying to swallow us whole when all we wanted to do was dance at the party, sip our drink, find a ride home...’you’re a rude bitch.’ And now she was afraid. When she told people of her plight she was met with 1 of 2 reactions: 1) oh my god are you okay? 2) maybe you shouldn’t have been running your mouth. As if somehow by saying no she was saying ‘it’s okay to treat me like an animal’. Two things were for sure; there were several people, both women and men, that she would never feel safe around again. And that regardless of how anyone made her feel, she would make herself okay again. Bc that’s the way it’s always been.” I don’t know I guess I thought if I wrote down how I was feeling maybe it would help.