Heads up… I’m aware this may forever change how you know me. And that’s okay.
While I totally understand and appreciate the intent behind #metoo that has recently been circulating on Facebook, social media and mainstream news…
It’s important to note: there’s a very different energy when affirming “ME TOO” to having experienced sexual assault, violence, harassment, rape or unwanted sexual advances…VERSUS stating “I WAS” sexually violated, assaulted, harassed, or raped.
The former… feels as though it continues to dis-empower women and dumps you in a soup of indiscriminate victim-hood versus powerfully standing unified in the later statement of expressing your personal truth.
And then MORE IMPORTANTLY, is there something else you can do now with your declaration that is helpful to your well-being and the well-being of others?
Is simply joining in the pool helpful or enough?
It’s probably as personal as the experience itself.
I feel strongly that saying “I WAS” followed by the specifics of what you experienced, really encourages and allows women to:
- Come forward
- Unite in compassionate understanding
- Have a huge eye-opening awareness of the underestimated massive societal gender rights violations and inequality issues
- Gives an open channel for further broader dialogues and personal expression
- And ultimately, creates a new forum for personal and societal healing for women and men, young girls and boys
In that… this conversation spawned deep healing for me.
It brought forth a personal awareness and acknowledgement of an unhealed trauma and I chose “I AM addressing it”.
“I WAS” violated sexually, painfully and forcibly, held down against my will without my express verbal consent and despite repeated shouts of “no”, pleas for “help”, while kicking and struggling to keep his body off my petite 105 pound frame.
I can still see hear his cruel arrogance. He laughed at me, told me no one could hear me, tormented me that he was stronger than I was while squeezing my wrists, kneeing me in the thigh then insulted me by saying he knew I really wanted it.
I was scared, mortified, extremely sore, and bleeding when he finally let me go.
Before this writing, I had only told 1 person… a very long time ago.
I kept it to myself all these years because in someway I felt responsible for not being able to stop it and embarrassed for my choices.
Because this was done by someone I knew. A boy well-known in my hometown as his father owned a locally famous steakhouse.
We met during a hospital summer job internship and dated happily for 3 months shortly after high school graduation.
17 at the time, it happened just before I went off to start my college career.
He left town first for another University.
The reason I felt guilty… I begged my father to drive me to visit him there at his University.
And that’s when it happened.
Later that day, I drove home with deep pain in silence pretending to my father everything was fine praying the bleeding wouldn’t seep out onto the car seat. It was the longest most difficult drive I have ever done.
I share this to say…
It’s time to stop hiding, especially from yourself.
And it’s okay to express your #Iwas truth.
Find your #Iamnow inner strength. I am grateful I did.
Don’t stop at a social media post.
Give yourself the support you need to heal.
Consider, it’s hard to forgive others or impact greater awareness to change society when you blame yourself.
This has certainly been a powerful release and new exploration of compassionate actions, forgiveness and leadership for me.
Let me know how I can support the best energy for you.