Monday, October 16, 2017

Me Too... They Won't Win

If you have been on Facebook the past few days, you have noticed a new trend going around.

It's raising awareness of how many women (or men) have been sexually assaulted from the small to the big.

No details.

Just affirmation that we are not alone.

I was so incredibly hesitant to post on my personal Facebook profile.

Doing so would be the affirmation that I too, had been sexually assaulted (or worse) in my short life. To be honest, it wasn't just a slap on the ass. I wish it were. And the fact, that I wish it were, can tell you, or give you a clue. For some, it was minor infractions that were a discomfort, but some were full-blown cases that scar a person. It was bad.

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Doesn't posting it diminish the reality of how bad it is?

I thought if I joined in on this campaign and posted "Me Too", that it would be pointless. "Wouldn't it diminish the action of sexual misconduct from another human being to someone else (me)?" Putting something in writing, in two words, that has had an adverse effect on my life for many years into two words seems to insult and downplay the effects that sexually hurting someone can do.

But not posting would allow them to win. If they win, and I feel ashamed to speak up, which I did, then they have won. What is the point of being an advocate of many things including all things just if I don't speak up? The more I thought about it, no. No, it would not. What if, in fact, it let me take some more of my own power back but not allowing them to win?

This is not the place nor time to tell you what happened in full detail- but I will say this. It has happened multiples in my life. From the full line to the small things and some of that will honestly be included in the book I am writing about foster care, but I don't feel the necessity to tell you right now because sometimes shorter is better (yes, cue the short jokes). For once, I don't have to raise my voice through the story individually but maybe it is more powerful through two simple words. 

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Gaining Back Power

The power that is gained back and the release of energy that it is not something that I have to hold onto any longer is incredibly freeing. Although, I didn't need the two words from a Facebook trend to free me. I was in process and will always be in process to free the me I know is inside.

The genuine surprise was that once I posted it, I saw more people posting it too. Just as when I was nervous until I saw people who I didn't expect posting "me too" and some even with stories or choice words to go along with it. So, in short, you would be surprised who will 'fess up to also having it happen to them when you do it (if it happened to you). And you won't feel alone anymore either. That in of itself builds community, shows the beauty in social media having positive powerful effects (from what would seemingly be something that would shame a person) from negative actions AND it's good for the soul (chicken soup good for the soul).

If you feel shame posting it, don't. Regardless if you are a man or woman. You don't need to feel ashamed for something you did not ask to happen to you. Of course, do it with class and not naming names, as I believe that people can change. But what happened to you was not your fault! 

When I had my friends, both female and even male, sharing "Me too" it was freeing to me to know I was not alone. And even more, that some shared their stories and it was very humbling to see the stories of quite a few of my friends that would just make you want to hug them.

As bad as people talk about Facebook being an outlet where people air too little (called fluff) or too much, this is one of those things where I have learned more about people I love and care about. People who would have a hard time admitting some of these things if you were facing them and they would hold it in as if it were something to be ashamed of. Even if you opened up about it. I know, because I have had this happen to me. 

Thank you to all my friends and everyone who is telling their stories and being raw. It makes those around feel a little bit more normal and that they too are not alone in this struggle.

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Country & World Need to Step Up

Especially in the political climate, we are in, where people in power are not only condoning the behaviours that are animalistic and a personal violation but also committing these acts themselves. It is not the right precedent to set for the nation and for where we need to go. This country has so much going for it, and one of those things is growing and changing. We need to step up the plate and grow and change as a nation to no longer tolerate these despicable acts that are only jumping on a rat wheel and running backwards right now. We need to stop it and get off, NOW.

That being said, it is nice to see the trend going the other way too. I know MANY GOOD MEN that not only have good values but the LIVE by them and are on our side, standing there to fight with us. This was a comment from a friend of a friend that posted (and with permission, I am sharing here).

What if more men saw it like this??

Joshua B-- I have seen a couple of men post "I Believe You." I think that is a good start. I also saw one man post "Guilty as Charged," followed by "May my son be a better man than I." I think that all of these reactions are valid, and help us get the discussion out there and help us change society.

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So amazing! It is refreshing to see good men taking care of the women in their community. We need more men like this and even women. It is one thing to band together in the community due to a negative thing that happened to us, but to have people who have never had it happen to them, standing with us could men tremendous changes for better.

If you have never had sexual assault, I am GENUINELY so happy that you have not. I wish it on one. It can fuck with your mind and take so much to gain that power back.

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Until it happens to you....

But everything in this song by Lady Gaga is the truth! Until it happens to you, you don't know how it feels!


Please share this post and show your STRENGTH and POWER or your SUPPORT! 

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