What 2 words someone in my past taught me about being “Too much”
(By Dahabe Abdella)
My one unfortunate relationship with someone against my will during my teenage years. claiming I had “too much spirit.”
For so long I've been treated Inhumanly, failing to respect my choice as an adult, as mother my beautiful innocent children, most of all another human beings denying me my basic rights of being free human beings. as Great American leader Abraham Lincoln once said “Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves; and under the rule of a just God, cannot long retain it.”
“I was ashamed for being a coward just for being an Oromo woman by default. I was afraid. A man likes to be the leader (dictator) in a relationship, a man likes to know the bulk of the knowledge so he feels more powerful in his masculinity. With you, I’m not the most intelligent, or the strongest emotionally. You would force me to change by simply being. And I wasn’t brave enough to step outside of all that I knew, and have grown comfortable in knowing.”
I’ve never explicitly written about my life experience in arranged marriage love, what I so often have had felt—that I was “too much”
I’ve been in relationships where I politely sat and nodded or didn't even look at people in the face and let the man be the man. But as I’ve grown, and as I’ve witnessed and experienced my share of heartbreak, my perception of what it means to be a man, and a woman, has greatly shifted.
What I used to find attractive in the opposite sex in my own society I am no longer drawn to. Is this what growth is all about?
The words he said sat with me for years.
I have always remembered feeling as if I had to quiet the immensity within for fear of threatening the manhood of significant others. You know, that walking on glass, hushing your soul type of feeling. I was just never articulate enough to point my finger on what that feeling was.
I’ve seen many Oromo women in Diaspora, with fire that radiates from each pore of their skin, get into relationships and slowly but surely that fire dies. because most trying to fit in the position of “woman” some people want them to be. I’ve seen the fire within myself die as well, countless times.
Is it because we don’t want to be “too much in Diaspora?” Is that how we are conditioned? To
shut down our outlandish ideas and dreams because they are just too far out? I can’t even remember all the times I’ve been told by a man, “Dee be “Realistic” and be “ woman.”
Those words, “be Realistic,” have stopped millions of souls especially many brilliant Oromo women from reaching the highest versions of themselves.
Those words, “be realistic” coming from the people we value most, can so quickly shoot down every ounce of confidence within ourselves. Our ideas represent who we are, and when those ideas are consistently hushed, then so are our identities.
Are our passions and desires being hushed because they are foolish? No.
They are being hushed because they threaten the person who is hushing them.
If we find fulfillment in something outside of our significant other, then where does that leave them?
I want Oromo men and women to know women in Diaspora or at home are never “too much” and if we ever are in a relationship where we feel that way, that relationship is not the one we are supposed to be in.
It’s so easy to fall into the trap of sitting back and quieting the restlessness in our souls. But Allah has placed that restlessness there for a reason, and that reason is not to be buried underneath what society deems as “Realistic.”
If I get an urge to become a politician with no previous experience in politics in my 30’s, I want the man beside me who says, “Okay baby let’s go see what we can find about politics in the bookstore.”
When I feel myself biting my tongue for fear of saying too much, I must re evaluate the space I’m allowing others to take up in my life. And in turn, I must always remember to never hush the fire inside another soul. Because by doing so, I’m breaking their spirit because it threatens my own.