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#Metoo…a social media controversy that has enveloped us. “If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote “#Metoo.” as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.”
(Post contains possible triggers for victims of rape and abuse. Please read carefully.)
It wasn’t surprising how quickly this got a response. I was seeing this everywhere on social media by several of my friends. The response was overwhelming. Suddenly, so many people I knew were sharing their stories. People I never dreamed could hold so much pain and hurt in their hearts were opening up.
On one hand, it was encouraging to see how many people were opening up and being supported. On the other hand, there was a darker side. Some remarks were that people were saying it just for the attention and then others were saying that they hadn’t come “out” with their stories yet and didn’t want people to see them in such a different light. It broke my heart to see those comments.
Over half of assaults are committed by a friend. It’s not consenting if the person makes you afraid to say no. People will ask, “What were you wearing?” “Were you drinking?” “You shouldn’t have been provocative.”
Um, I’m sorry, but I don’t drink and the night I was assaulted, I was wearing baggy track pants and an old t-shirt that was covered in dirt after running cross country. I have an average body and won’t be winning any awards for beauty anytime soon. What had I done that was so provocative? I had run for my team with other males and females…so what made them pick me?
Forgetting was difficult but remembering was worse. It wasn’t the only time it had happened, but when I tried to speak up, nobody believed me. I was told that I was imagining things and that it couldn’t have happened that way.
Being told repeatedly that I was lying made me afraid. I cut most of my hair off since I had heard that long hair was more attractive and I was afraid to eat in front of people. I quit running. Any time someone got close to me, I would tense up. Would they hurt me? Would my voice still not be heard?
This was so many years ago and while I’ve grown up more and married, I still have nightmares about this event. It wasn’t a one-time thing and for so long I felt weak and alone for not being strong enough to fight it. The darkness that surrounded me was a constant and I felt as if I was standing on the edge of an abyss. Only the edge was made of sand and I could feel it slipping through my toes and I didn’t care. The abyss was staring back and I was eager to let the pain finally go away. It was scary at times to know how comforting the darkness of ending my life was becoming.
I’m here to say that our voices can be heard.
We’re stronger than what tried to break us. It’s NOT YOUR FAULT. I can’t say that enough. It’s truly, 100% NOT your fault that someone was a coward and took advantage of you. It wasn’t your fault that you tried to speak up and nobody would listen.
I know because…#Metoo.
We can beat this, lovelies. Until next time. Need some support? You can still sign up for our text therapy course here. And as always, keep smiling.