I used to be this little creature, so helpless and smashable. The smallest glance, the hint of mean intention would have me crumbled into myself and make me feel as though I were without bones or muscles, as though I would just blow away on the wind.
I feel as though I am being reborn into a new, more powerful creature. I can look into the eyes of men who have hurt me and know that I am bigger than they are. Know that I will not be defeated by their cruel intent. Know that they cannot harm me with their words or actions any longer. I can look into their eyes and see them in my mind, smaller than small, like mice or worms or pieces of dust.
They look at me still, as though I were a child, easily molded, easily frightened, easily controlled by their manipulations. But they are so, so wrong. I am a woman, fully grown and wielding a new-found sense of self.
I am Phoenix, risen from the ashes of my childhood. I am a beautiful creature, made from fire. I have wings now, and I will fly.