5 Thoughts That Went Through My Head When I Posted 'Me Too' on Facebook
It’s all over Facebook. The movement that’s bringing awareness to the tragedy that is sexual harassment, abuse and assault. A true act of bravery and solidarity.
It goes like this:
“If all the people who have been sexually harassed, abused or assaulted wrote ‘Me too’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem. And give survivors, who are so often doubted, a sense that they do not stand alone.”
While some might see this as a passing fad or Facebook trend, I believe it is so much more to some of us who have been personally affected. It wasn’t an easy decision to post publicly on Facebook something I have kept in the dark for a while, but after some thought, I decided if there was a boy or girl out there who saw my status read, “Me too” — keyword being “too” — they would know they are not alone. This was also an opportunity for everyone to see the disturbing reality of their Facebook page flooded with those two haunting words, and spread the message that hopefully we can all come together to end sexual harassment, abuse and assault.
But before I typed these two words… I had an emotional and internal battle within myself.
And no, it was not an easy thing to post.
So, here are the five things that went through my mind as I posted the words, “Me too,” on my Facebook wall.
1. Other people will look at me like I’m damaged.
I couldn’t help but think this. When some people hear of sexual abuse, they think that person is broken. For me, personally, this was true… When this happened to me, there was no other word I could use to describe the way I was feeling except for broken. It took me a while to realize I am far from that. One morning, I woke up and decided I refused to let the actions of one man deem me as broken. I was hurt. And I expected everybody else to pick up my broken pieces. But over time, I started to feel whole again. Because, instead of focusing my time and energy on the person who tore me down, I started to surround myself with the most incredible people who helped me put the pieces back together. So yes, I was damaged, but I am not beyond repair.
2. I saw him.
As I typed, “Me Too,” I started to relive the horror that was that night. The post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) became so real. I saw his face, his hands, my hands prying his hands off of me. I saw my tears. I saw me sitting in the bathroom stall, in my gold sequin dress, wiping my tears and replaying it over and over and over again in my mind trying to figure out how I let this happen… like it was my fault.
3. It was my fault.
Wrong. It wasn’t. I was not asking for it, and neither was the dress I chose to wear that night. Prior to that night, society has always convinced me that it is possible for “someone to be asking for it.” Last I checked, my dress couldn’t speak and I know I sure as hell did not say, “Hello person I have never met before, I know I don’t know your name or who you are, but please violate me in the middle of the dance floor.”
4. Will my boyfriend look at me the same?
Before I posted, “Me Too,” on Facebook, I couldn’t help but worry what my boyfriend would think. I figured he would see me in a different light. I feared he would see me as somebody who is defined by another person’s terrible decision. That is not who I wanted to be in his eyes. As I began to think this, I realized something. He loves me for who I am, past and all. I feel safe in my relationship and I know he would never hurt. When he found out what happened, it did not change the opinion of me because he knew it was not my choice and I am not defined by my past.
5. Everybody knows.
Since the, “Me Too,” does not call for the specification of the incident (which it shouldn’t) it’s pretty much of the imagination of the reader. All we know is that somebody who posted, “Me Too,” has been sexually harassed, abused or assaulted. In my opinion, all three of these things are equally wrong, and I’m so glad they are all tied in together like this so people can realize that we are a united front and that all three of these things are wrong.
As this Facebook movement continues, I am disgusted with how many times I have read the words, “Me Too,” on my Facebook wall. Men and women. It should serve as a wake up call to the whole world that this needs to stop. Keep in mind these were just a few of the thoughts that went through my mind when creating that post. There are too many people in this world who were affected by this and so many people on Facebook who made this post. We may never know what went through their mind as they relived a dark memory just to get through to you. This is an epidemic that needs to stop.
I want to live in a world where men and women can go to work without the fear of being sexually harassed.
I want future generations to grow up without the fear that they will be abused by a family member or family friend.
I pray not another college girl will walk home barefoot in the cold with her heels in her hands, tears streaming down her face, because a man she has never met treated her body like it was his.
If you or a loved one is affected by sexual abuse or assault and need help, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.
We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.
Thinkstock photo via littlehenrabi