So… I admit that when I started to write this post, it began with something sad.
I was writing about the first time I vividly remember being sexually assaulted and what that experience was like for me.
I was writing about it for myself, for a therapeutic reason maybe, and to also go in-depth into how it has affected me.
Then I stopped, and deleted everything.
I’ve read so many #MeToo stories this weak. Too many.
I’ve felt my heart break… no, shatter… and come back together, and then be shattered again. Women who are my friends, family, mentors, colleagues, strangers — all of you have been hurt so badly.
And I’ve read pieces about how men need to learn, how there is still confusion about what sexual assault IS and what sexual harassment IS. I’ve read posts by men trying to put these into some kind of a list of worst to most worst. Rape is at the top, and everything else isn’t as bad… as if this is some sort of competition, or that women sharing #MeToo stories are comparing themselves to each other to see who had a shittier experience.
When this started, I shared bits of my story. That I’ve been sexually assaulted and harassed.
It happened by strangers and by people I felt close to. Former partners who forced upon me. A man on the street who violated my mental and physical space. So much more than this… Too much.
I sat there, staring at my Facebook post before I clicked the “post” button. I felt so many things, got so worked up. I was embarrassed and worried and so much more.
I thought, “What if my family sees this. What if someone says I overreacted, that what happened wasn’t what I thought it was. What if…”
I will not feel embarrassed. Because that means I am ashamed or confused. I am shedding my shame. I am brave. I love myself.
I will not worry about what others think. If someone, anyone, has it in them to tell me off for sharing my experiences and how I’ve learned from them, especially sexual assault and harassment, they’re a piece of shit. I am amazing. I love myself.
I will not stop talking. To be silent to me means accepting things as they are. And currently, things are not OK. We deserve better, we deserve so much better. So I will talk and post and share and comment and discuss until I feel the state of things are set right. I am loud. I love myself.
I will not give them glory or satisfaction. This is to the men who’ve hurt me, harassed me, abused me, taken from me. You don’t get to take any more. You don’t get to take from any of us any more. I won’t give you a post about the things you did. I will work hard to make sure you and everyone like you are held accountable. I am the hero. I love myself.
This is how I am saying Enough. This is how I move forward.
To all women, I love you. I see you. I am so proud of you. I cannot believe the movements we have made this week, the conversations we’ve started, and the action that has taken place.
We deserve better. We will get there. I live for the day we can fully say, “You’re happy. Me too.”