These two words have taken social media by storm since yesterday. Thanks to a suggestion made by a friend to Alyssa Milano the words “me too” is trending with incredible impact.
When I first saw Milano’s request on Instagram I’ll be honest and say I was a little ashamed. Not for her, but for me. I’ve shared my past and the heart breaking sexual assaults that come along with it. As I read her post I stood on the precipice of falling forward where the fight to bring light to sexual harassment and assault or fall backward cowering behind the darkness of the hearts of those who hurt me.
I double tapped her picture in love with the idea. But, still ashamed and afraid of the opinions of others, I stood in the shadows.
I awoke this morning to the influx of “me too” statuses I was seeing on social media. Both by friends and celebrities alike. And I told myself, if these woman can stand, so can I. And so, “me too” was written as my status for the day.
I realized it’s so disheartening that even after half of my life the feelings of shame can still rock me hard enough to shy away from the very real fact that sexual assault is still so very much taboo. It doesn’t help when survivors feel they deserved it. I used to think I deserved what happened to me. I deserved what they did because I allowed them in the house. I deserved what they did because I snuck in alcohol during prom. I deserved what they did because I allowed him to hold me so close. I deserved what they did because I was a horrible person. I deserved what they did because I needed to be punished.
I’ve always followed Alyssa Milano’s career since her “Who’s The Boss?” days. And I think what she decided to do, to “give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem” is courageous and important. Too often survivors are left to be victims because we sit in the quiet refusing to tell people what happened due to shame or fear or both. I mean, look at what is going on with Harvey Weinstein.
I can releate. I went through one of the hardest, darkest and most difficult times in my life, feeling alone when it happened. I was diagnosed with PTSD because, although I knew I was physically safe from what had happened, my mind wouldn’t allow me to forget. I saw myself as a victim, feeling like I deserved the punishment, therefore never really healing from it.
As survivors we so often have this distant allegiance to the assaulter by staying quiet. I think it’s about time that we let the assaulter know that though we lost that particular fight, it wasn’t a fair fight. And that together, we stand against them, no longer looking at the past as a dark time but looking towards the future with hope. Together, we will rise, no longer victims but as survivors. They cannot win, nor shall they ever. I think it’s time we make it a fair fight.
Me, too. xoxo