If you spend any time at all on social media, you will know that in the last few days a trend has been happening with the hashtag #metoo. Hashtags have come under fire recently for being toothless and I am glad to see that in this case it’s not.
The aim is simple. If you have experienced sexual assault or harassment, you post #metoo on your wall with this message. I have been overwhelmed and cried like a baby over some of the stories that have been so bravely shared and some not shared.
Some people have just posted #metoo without sharing their story and that is 100% acceptable as well. You don’t owe anyone your story. It’s yours to tell or not tell.
I try my best to be real with you on this blog but I also don’t share everything and that is a choice I make every week as I sit down to pen this message. I hesitated to blog about this because it’s uncomfortable.
So, (deep breath) I will tell you only that both of those things have happened to me and that I have experienced both and no one protected me from sexual assault.
NO ONE PROTECTED ME.
It was the job of my family of origin to teach me to speak up and say something and it was their job to be on the lookout for this type of thing that was happening and they did not.
That’s a hard sentence to write. It’s even harder to sit with and live in that reality AND that was my reality until chance and I firmly believe, God brought me into contact with who I now know as my Mother of Choice, Joan Ellen Young.
I acknowledge no other mother.
Joan Ellen Young has helped shape me into the person I am today. I thank God every day that we crossed paths many years ago and she continues to be a tower of strength that helps support me in my journey of life.
My family of origin let me down over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. Still, I gave them chance after chance to see me, hear me, and love me and they didn’t. Not ever. Not even a little.
I could be bitter about that or I could decide to forgive them, which I have because the anger would eat me alive otherwise. The decision to forgive but not reconcile is something I have been questioned about but you know what, I am at peace and will remain so.
In order to change things, we are going to have to do what’s hard.
Our daughter will own her body and that starts with her parents not “forcing” her to hug and kiss us or other relatives. As her father put it, “just because she is a baby, doesn’t mean she doesn’t have rights”
So for those reading this for whom, “Me Too” applies. Please read this, it’s just for you.
I SEE YOU.
I HEAR YOU.
I BELIEVE YOU.