The two words taking Facebook by storm.
The original post on Facebook:
If all the women 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.
An insightful addition
My friend Megan’s very wise, respectful, loving response:
I mean, I usually think it [abuse] goes without saying (which is a sad statement about our culture) but I do agree with making the magnitude of this reality visible so…
I’m one of the people who have been sexually assaulted or harassed. The rest of the blurb says I should tell you to copy and paste a thing and make this your status, but you should not feel pressured to do so. You are not obligated to share your victimization either for the education or edification of others. So if you are a “me too” with their hand down, know I’m holding space for you.
You are no longer an island
I am not a mental health professional. I love people that are — I especially appreciate my own therapist, she offers me a profoundly deep and Divine understanding of how I came to this place in time, what do I do now and how can I be the person I want to be. From my experience with her I have realized that
I am not alone.
Even when I was abused, harassed and in general made to feel less by men I was not alone — HE was with me. And his actions have STAYED with me.
And that is the shitty part.
Me too. Me two, and three, and four . . .
We are no longer alone. This FB thread has given us the opportunity to begin to heal, to support one another, to know that many of us have a common bond.
In the past few months women have shared stories with me of horrific, brutal rapes and stories of men simply asking “show me your tits”, both situations make us feel less than. Used. Dirty. Alone. Confused. Ashamed. And possibly the worst thing — Silenced. How can we possibly share that?
Shattering the Silence
Me too. It shatters the silence in two words. How paradoxically beautiful. I wonder how many women woke up this morning feel lighter, less alone, empowered to begin some kind of healing process.
I will caution you. If you haven’t told your story, the process of healing does not have a timeline. I’m not even sure what steps are involved. I always go back to the Kubler-Ross stages of grief as a starting point, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance but I change that to forgiveness. And luckily I’m not a mental health professional, I can jump around between them all and not feel like I’m grieving wrong — because really it is a waterfall of emotions. I’m pissed, I rage, I want to see justice in the form of body parts being cut off, in the end what I really want is for my abuser to understand what if feels like.
Let me say that again,
I want my abuser to know what it feels like.
So the guy in 8th grade who asked to see my tits. I want him to feel like I did. The list of crappy ass men in my life goes on and on with wide variety of abuse and harassment. Oddly, no two were alike . . . I made a list . . . so that I could check them off. Not in a hit man kind of way, although it did cross my mind a few times. I made the list so that I could systematically forgive them, forgive myself, and know that in every single situation there was a lesson to be learned. I do believe that what goes out must come back — what they put out into the world WILL come back to them.
The “F” List
First on my Forgiveness list, I put myself. With the help of Melinda — a wise woman — when she told her story, she was matter of fact and confident. I couldn’t understand that — how could she not lower her head in shame as she whispered her story? I didn’t understand until 8 years later when I told my story for only the 3rd time — I could say what I needed to say to the people who needed to hear it without feeling alone and less than. At that time I was not as confident as Melinda but I am now!
Why? Because the events no longer had a hold of me. It was just another thing that happened in my life that was horrible and it was up to me to find the lesson in it. Or not.
Once I was able to radically forgive myself, the events of abuse no longer had a hold on my heart. I could finally live open hearted. Completely.
I remember the moments of forgiving. Each one opening my heart just a little bigger. I cried a river and still do. To be free is a beautiful thing. To longer be bound by shame, regret, anger . . . but instead to only have love, empathy and compassion as my anchor.
Feeling Safe Again
There came a moment after some 40 years where I felt safe again.
You can’t hurt me anymore.
Standing in my kitchen, the sun streaming in, kids laughing on the trampoline, flowers blooming just outside my window and a breeze making my tears feel cold on my cheeks . . . I finally felt safe for the first time. I knew I could not be hurt anymore. The past pain no longer existed, in that moment, I felt Divine protection that has never left me.
I am not alone.
I am loved and protected by the Divine.
Silence keeps our hearts closed. Silence is part of the healing process but needs to be broken for true healing to begin.
Seeking therapy is a good thing.
Everyone needs their own Melinda. When we share our story we invite others to share their story.
It took me a long time to forgive . . . but when I did, I understood what it means to love unconditionally. Even the bastards. (clearly I’m a work in progress.)
Freedom exists and it is seeing the beauty in this very moment. Not the past, not the future but now.
When we feel Divinely bulletproof, we can begin to live.