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Why I Struggle With the #MeToo Movement as an Abuse Survivor

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The #MeToo movement is gaining momentum and so many smart, talented and strong women have spoken out about their own experience with abuse and people who felt they had a right to their body.

• What is PTSD?

But I struggle, and I’m not sure if I am deeply proud of it or really triggered by it. Probably equal parts of both. Because I struggle every single day of my life with my own distress — I have since I was 8 years old.

8 years old. An age of curious innocence, rock collecting, daydreaming about the future, bug catching, stargazing, joy and laughter — or so it should be, in a world where children are able to be young and carefree. That wasn’t my world. Like so many others, my innocence was torn away, along with my dignity. I was robbed of the carefree joyfulness that most little children experience; instead, years of emotional, physical and sexual abuse left me feeling totally broken and worthless, terrified and hiding away inside a vivacious exterior.

There is some comfort in knowing you are not alone in your trauma, but there is also pain. The pain of remembering things you would sooner put behind you is bad enough, but there is also the pain of comparison. “If they had that and they still went on to become who they are, why didn’t I do better?” or “Their story is worse than mine, I don’t have the right to be upset.

I am in two minds about #MeToo. While I am so thankful that women are united as a group and now feeling strong enough to speak up, I also find myself hurting from it too. The constant stories are hard to cope with — as an empath I hurt for them, and as a woman, I hurt for me.

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.

Photo via Unsplash

Originally published: February 7, 2018
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