For all my friends who have said #metoo,
I am so sorry.
But before I go any further, maybe you could say #metoo, but you haven’t yet. You still feel too alone to do it. Too scared that no one will believe you. Maybe you tried to tell a friend but their doubt and questions brought a second wave of shame.
This is for you too.
I would’ve fought for you then.
And I will fight for you now.
What happened was NOT your fault. You didn’t do anything to bring this on. He did it. It was his choice. He tried to silence your voice and take away your right to the most personal parts of your being.
I can’t imagine how hard this is for you. The flashbacks. The fear. You remember where you were- the time and place. Similar places shake you to the core.
Maybe it was nighttime when he attacked you, and now you’re afraid of the dark. Maybe it was a public place and you’ll never go there again. You can’t drive past the place where it happened. You go out of your way to be sure you don’t get anywhere close. You don’t want to leave the house alone. It was someone you trusted, and now you don’t want to be touched or hugged. It’s hard to trust again. Maybe you sleep with the light on now.
You tried to tell your friend. She questioned you like you were on trial. And you’re left wondering why?
And then the guy went around telling everyone that you had sex with him. You lost your reputation, and his friends celebrated his conquest.
People say things to you like:
Are you sure you didn’t give him the wrong idea?
Didn’t you want him to ask you out anyway?
Are you sure you’re not making something up?
It’s probably because of the way you dress.
They are WRONG. They’re the ones with the problem. I’m not saying that I hope they walk your road, but I wish they could see it clearly.
You are a fighter. You fight this everyday. You wake up and choose to get out of bed and breathe. You force yourself to leave the house even though you’d rather just stay home all day. Forever.
You’re good at making it look like there’s nothing wrong.
But all this stuff is exhausting.
You look over your shoulder constantly and you are vigilant. Some might call this obsessive, but it’s just personal protection. You replay it in your mind. It’s hard, unbelievably hard.
I can only imagine how hard it is.
But girl, I believe in you! I believe that there is so much more to your story. I believe that you’re going to LIVE everyday in opposition to his choices. His desire to silence you, his attempt to take away your voice and your choice, will not have the final say. You are brave. You are fierce and you will fight this all the way until the end. And you won’t just fight; you will OVERCOME! You’ve already developed a strength you never knew you had. I know you didn’t want to find it this way, but you have. And there’s such beauty in it. I don’t say that to justify anything. These aren’t empty words just to try to make you feel better. There’s no excuse for him. And I hope he’s held accountable to the highest degree of the law. But this is about you. And you’re allowing beauty to come from the ashes of your life. You’re doing it! And THAT, is simply amazing. Any good that comes is an opportunity to celebrate the success you’ve found in living and breathing and fighting. And that’s all YOU!
You inspire me.
You inspire others. I know that other girls are going to speak out because you were brave enough to do the same.
I’m always here for you.
I’ll listen. I’ll sit in silence with you in the parking lot at the mall while you try to decide if you can get out of the car. I know big places with lots of people scare you. If you want to walk in, we’ll go together. And if you’d rather just go home, well, that’s not defeat. You took the first steps!
I’ll drive you anywhere you need to go- the police, counseling…coffee. Just say when.
And then, when you’re ready to post #metoo, I’ve got your back. I’ll stalk your social media accounts and shut down anyone who has the audacity to prove their stupidity publicly. Because some of your “friends” will. You already know who they are.
And when you see him again I’ll be there. I will look him dead in the eye and I will burn a hole right through his retina with the intensity of my stare. My eyes will convey something I’m not allowed to say, and things I’m not allowed to do.
I’ve got your back. I’ll hold your heart. And I will walk with you through every last inch of this.
Because I believe in you.
And I hope you believe in you too.