The Girls!

Kenidra Woods

Cheetah MovementSt. Louis, MissouriStory by Kenidra Woods
Hey, I’m Kenidra Woods. I’m not just any “ordinary” girl, more like extraordinary. I feel way ahead of my time, like I’ve seen this all before but with a remarkable ending. While going through this journey I am growing much more wiser, mature, and insightful. Ya know us girls mature faster than boys anyways, right? Lol. As a young girl we never imagine life being hard and we really see no wrong in the ones who loves us. You just never know or ask for what happens to you. Well, I certainly didn’t ask nor would I have ever imagined being sexually abused starting at 8 yrs old and it went on for about two years by the two men in my life that were supposed to protect me. Feeling resentful, ashamed, and worthless, I started to harm myself in any way I possibly could to make myself feel better about what happened to me. After several suicide attempts, I was in and out of the hospital. One day, I just told myself I don’t want to live like this anymore. I needed a plan, a different way to release what I was feeling. That’s when I started my movement, CHEETAH (confidence, harmony, enlightenment, encouragement, tranquility, awareness, and hope) Movement for self-harm and suicide prevention- to let individuals know that they are beautiful even through their battle wounds inside and out. Whether it’s a scar inside or out, every scar symbolizes strength and builds each and every one of our characters daily. Ever since then I believe in my heart that I’ve made the right decision of choosing to walk into the light and out of the darkness by turning my pain into power. Also, to speak out on something that’s never really talked about and to end the many stigmas around mental health. I’ve seen and met such amazing people throughout this remarkable journey.
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“I believe that everyone is put on Earth to help someone and make a difference in someway, shape, or form and that’s what I’m gonna do with everything in me.” -Kenidra Woods

Sometimes in life hard situations can arise, and we are so equipped and may not realize how much until something happens. In fact, recently I was faced with one of the most challenging situations, it seemed. I had just started at a new school and felt confident after a few days to wear shorts which revealed my scars on my leg. I wasn’t mindful of them at the time, I just went to school like any other ordinary teen or tween girl with shorts on.
As I was walking up the stairs on my way to class I was approached by one of the principals and she and another whispered and stared at my

legs in awe. I couldn’t tell if the look was a look of concern or of disgust. I started to walk away, but she called me over to where there were lots of other students standing around just looking at me or at least that’s what it seemed. I was approached as if I was contagious and a psycho that needed to be tamed and be dealt with immediately. I felt like I didn’t belong. All because of my scars! I felt vulnerable.
“Why can’t I wear shorts like all the other girls and feel beautiful wearing them?” I thought to myself. That was certainly the first day in a long time that I had lost all my self confidence. I was REQUIRED to change my shorts into khaki pants (they were really uncomfortable and ones I felt ugly in) and if I had failed to comply it would have resulted in ISS or getting sent home. I complied because I care for school, probably more than what I’m feeling personally. Some won’t agree I know, but education will always be #1 no matter what I’m going through.
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I felt punished and as If I was dangerous for having scars and finally being almost sooo close to being all the way confident with myself and accepting what I’ve done in the past. I watched all the other girls wear their shorts and as small as people may think it was, it really got to me. I felt like I was drowning and they were just watching me sink. I clenched my fists and tried to stay strong. My first initial reaction was to go off and express myself through anger but I remained calm and I smiled through it ALL to hide to the hurt, shock, and bit of embarrassment. Before I went to change into the pants I felt like all the attention was on me and that everyone looked at me as “crazy” or “pyscho” – I felt empty, I thought “What do I do now?”
Then I thought, “maybe it wasn’t the principal’s intention to come to me the way she did and make a scene and such, maybe it was out of concern?!”

“Maybe she wanted to protect me from future ridicule from peers?!” Determined and open to find answers, I had gained enough strength the next day and I told her how I felt in a respectful and calm manner. I told her my perspective on the situation and how it affected me and she was happy to gain a better understanding of me and that my intentions were meaningful in wearing shorts- to show strength, to have confidence in yourself, and to love yourself unconditionally, your scars inside and out make me ME! I’m so much stronger just from that situation alone, I’ve gained much more perspective and understanding.

 

What challenging situation have you encountered in life that has made you the stronger YOU?

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2 thoughts on “Kenidra Woods

  1. Hey! I was wondering if there was any way I could join the tpfg or tpfw group? I am 16 years old and I am a file my Instagram handle is killinitwithkiki. I am all about positivity and being different and making a difference please get back to me, thank you

  2. Hello I’m Haylie and I’ve been following your site. I would like to know how I can become involved . I love the cause and I would love to be able to model and represent what I feel as a girl as well. This is amazing what you are doing . Hope I get the opportunity to come see you and plan something with you . Ck out my Instagram as well hope you like it . haylie_nowell_06

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