Not You Too.
No, my friend, not you too. I am so glad that the #metoo movement on Facebook has brought to light the fact that many women have been the recipients of unwanted sexual attention, which comes in many forms. That comment about your hair, the uninvited touch, the catcalls, the groping, and of course the examples travel on up the spectrum from a wolf whistle to outright rape and abuse.
I am so happy that this campaign has helped you to see that the problem is so pervasive in our society. And I am also so happy that it has helped you feel that you are not alone, that it’s not your fault and that you can now shed the shame you’ve been carrying for years.
But I’m sorry, it’s not you too.
People who know my story know that I have been raped and assaulted and sexually abused. And they wondered why I didn’t join in and add my voice to the raucous chorus of metoo-ers.
Well, because, quite frankly, most of you just have no clue. You have no clue what it’s like to be asleep and have someone walk into your room in the middle of the night and press your body so deeply into the bed you are sure you are going to suffocate before the ordeal is over. You have no clue what it is like to be repeatedly sexually abused in a degrading and painful way that causes you to cry out, “stop,” only to have the reward be more humiliation, more violence, more pain. You have no clue what it’s like to be sexually abused by a relative and then have to live with the person for years, being forced by others – who know what happened – and make you feel like it’s your fault if you still carry the trauma all these years later. You have no clue what it’s like to have someone who was supposed to protect you actually give you over to your abuser and then later in life act like it never happened, like you are making a bigger deal about it than you should.
You have no clue. Because not you too.
And because not you too, I have chosen not to put the horrific trauma I endured into the same category of your unwanted comment or a hand on your backside. I have chosen not to make you think that what I’ve gone through is the same. Because it’s not.
Not me too. Not you too. Just. Not.