This is a hard post. But I wrote it and feel like it needs to be shared.
Me too. If all the people who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote “Me too.” as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.
When I saw a “Me Too” post on Facebook by a friend or two, I breezed past it, just like any other random post folks put up to share what they believe in. When I saw more friends post this statement about surviving sexual harassment and assault, I read it and it made sense. When I saw it this morning, over and over in my feed, I shared those two words myself.
Once I shared them, it took a minute for me to pinpoint what exactly made me write it. I know quite a bit of it has been pushed to back part of my brain. But then it came back. I was 20 and hanging out with a friend of a friend who happened to be 10 years older than I was. He never made me do anything when I said no, however, giving someone that young who never had drank before a whole bottle of wine to drink- that isn’t cool. But I was young and naive. I didn’t get a ton of attention from guys but I enjoyed flirting quite a bit. This guy and I got together a few more times (not quite so heavy on the alcohol, thankfully).
I never felt bad about things until I looked back on it, though. I did finally stand up for myself. The last time I saw him, I picked him up from the airport and drove him home. We hung out for a bit and, eventually, after saying I didn’t feel like doing some things, he told me I could leave if I didn’t want to do them.
I grabbed my bag and left. He called once and I didn’t answer. He didn’t try to contact me again.
Some would say that’s just what a young girl goes through. Some would say it has to do with the whole “coming of age” thing. Well, it wasn’t. Looking back, it was just incredibly gross.
And now, years later, I realize how many others have similar stories- some much worse and scarier. I don’t have a solution on how to fix this epidemic (I think we’re truly realizing it is now), but I do know that talking about it can be helpful.
The only advice I can think of is to watch out for yourself and your sisters out there and talk about it. Let it be known when something happens and it’s not quite right- speak up for yourself.
I can’t imagine what could have happened if I hadn’t walk out that night, away from that creep.
Take care of yourselves, friends. ❤
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