These two words on social media have me completely stressed out. When I first saw them, I wanted them to disappear like many other FB “please comment and share” requests.
But the response kept growing and growing.
Before you judge me, please understand that I am extremely thankful for the awareness of sexual harassment and sexual assault. However, as an individual who has experienced both, I instantaneously felt a sudden influx of emotions like a jolt from some really strong and incredibly gross coffee.
- I felt conflicted. I really wanted to join in the social conversation about an epidemic that needs to stop
- I felt pressured. I felt a need to IMMEDIATELY DO SOMETHING. I hadn’t known what to do in the past and this seemed like such a small little thing that I could do.
- I felt weak for my reluctance.
- I felt proud. Women are powerful and they are waking up. When we mobilize, we get sh!t done!
- I felt validated. The sheer number of messages on Facebook was overwhelming but good. I knew I was not alone.
- I felt a weird and unpleasant mishmash of weak, conflicted, and sad. I can’t describe it any better than that and I’m sure glad it didn’t last long.
- I felt overwhelmed. Each “me too” made the reality of sexual assault and harassment sink it.
- I felt sad for my friends and for our culture. There are too many of us affected.
- I felt afraid. Messages to victims are overwhelmingly harsh. “Why didn’t you….” Or “What were you thinking….” I’ve heard every one of those judgmental comments and absorbed them deep into my bones until they have become a sick part of my biology. When you’re victimized, you become vulnerable or “thin” with little energy to defend yourself. Thank God I’m “thicker” now (in more ways than one).
The women who have posted are my heroes. Each and every one of you has more courage, strength, and FORTITUDE than you realize. You have my support and my admiration.
To the women who could have but chose not to post, are also my heroes. It’s totally okay. I get it. I really really do. You’re story belongs to YOU and only you. Share, don’t share, or write a freaking BLOG about it, do whatever feels right to you. But be gentle with yourself as you experience your own influx of emotions.
- Take a deep breath and take a break from social media.
- Decide what is right for YOU to do.
- If you find yourself triggered, turn off your computer (you can even remove the app from your phone).
- Call in the professionals to help! You deserve to live in peace.
If you have not been affected by this epidemic but are surprised by the response, great! Maybe you can help us out!
- Can you be a support to someone?
- Can you speak out against sexual assault?
- Can you stand up to stop it from happening in your presence?
- Can you learn more about the problem?
- Can you post something supportive on FB? Maybe “I’m Listening”
Thanks for reading. I’m done now and need to go to bed (and decide if I’m actually going to publish this). But, I’d like to leave you with one last thought…
Bad things happen in this life. It’s inevitable part of the human experience. Let us support each other and help each other, without judgment, whenever we can.
P.S. Feel free to share if you think it will help your friends.