Love Me – Katy Perry
A Twitter campaign ignited after the video of the assault by NFL player Ray Rice on his fiancée, #whyistayed and #whyIleft. Those tweets form my story arc.
I stayed in an emotionally abusive marriage because of a sense of commitment, a sense of hope that things would get better, and mainly, ironically, because of love. Love for my spouse, after all, there were good times and affection, love for my children, doing what I thought was best to maintain an intact family, and as revealed, a lack of love toward myself. I didn’t believe that I was worthy of more.
I came to a point of no return that propelled me to leave. I regret the amount of time it took to leave. But I can’t change the past. What I can do now is to love myself in all my imperfect glory. I can help women learn the signs of abuse. I can help women learn to love their bodies, to know they are worthy, and to know they have a right to pleasure. I perform to own my body, to own my beauty, and to own my sexuality. Through burlesque, I want all women to own this for themselves.
Safe Harbor Shelter, Henrico, VA