I had a busy weekend, so I wasn’t on social media a ton.
Sunday night as I was doing some prep work for the following day I saw the hashtag movement #MeToo.
As I read stories of so many women who have been effected by sexual harassment or abuse I had a flood of memories come back that I had suppressed.
My best friend in the entire world Stephanie put her story on Facebook (above) and so many strong women I know personally put their stories out.
*Note: I got Stephanie’s permission to share her post.*
I continued to read these stories yesterday. I too have been the victim of sexual harassment and abuse. The courage of these women in my life gave me the strength to tell my story.
It started at an early age. I’d go to concerts in small venues all the time. I’d always work my way to the front. More times than not I would feel hands go up my shirt.
I was 16.
I had a boyfriend whom I was trying to get away from since it was an abusive relationship. One night he wrestled me to the ground and forced himself on me, inserting himself in my anus against my will.
I was 20.
After moving to San Diego I didn’t know many people so I spent a lot of time with my co-workers. They were all about 8-10 years older than I was. One night I was hanging out with 3 male ‘friends‘. They gave me a Xanax bar (never had one of those before; they told me it would make me feel good) and a ton of whiskey. I don’t remember much of that night other than flashes of each of them on top of me and feeling incredibly sore the next day. I talked to one of them about it later, the one I felt closest to as a friend, and his reaction was:
‘Don’t try and say we raped you because we didn’t. Don’t even try to say it. You said to do it.’
I carried around a lot of guilt about this for a really, really long time. Actually, I still carry around a lot of guilt and embarrassment about this.
I was 21.
I’ve been cat called, I’ve been told derogatory things while serving tables, I’ve even been touched inappropriately by a father who was dining with his family while serving tables in my uniform: a dress.
This things are NOT okay.
I stuffed these experiences down deep and I wonder if these experiences have anything to do with my lack of trust in relationships.
I don’t tell my story in search of sympathy or empathy. I share it for every woman who has ever been cat called, demeaned for the clothing they wear, touched inappropriately, and verbally/sexually assaulted. I do it for every woman who blamed herself for what happened to her. It’s not our fault.
I am beyond thankful that in my radio career I have NEVER EVER had any of these things happen to me.
We need to stand together in all of this. <3