I’m overwhelmed by all the encouraging comments on Facebook about my last post. I’m so grateful that my words reached so many of you. I’ve had over 600 views of this post in less than a day.
I didn’t realize that this was something I should feel brave about. I guess I’ve always looked at this thing that happened to me as a learning experience. It hurt me, yes, but it wasn’t something that broke me. Yes, I was carrying the weight of it around with me for a long time, but it’s a testament to my fantastic parents and the other people that raised me that it didn’t consume me. They taught me what was right and what was wrong. They gave me shelter, safety and support. I’m really lucky to have grown up in a safe place of the world. A place where getting raped doesn’t mean you also get to be publicly punished. That girl is the one that needs to feel strong and brave right now, and instead she is being publicly beaten for a crime that was committed not by her, but by a person she was supposed to trust.
It’s hard for me to feel brave for sharing this story, when I’ve seen so many braver, stronger women do braver, stronger things. I didn’t do it because I wanted to feel brave. I don’t need to feel braver than I already feel, having taken the time to fix a lot of the damage that this did to me long ago. I shared my story because I couldn’t stand the thought of someone feeling the way that I felt for so long. I couldn’t stop myself from saying something that might make it better. Before I hit the publish button, I had a moment of panic. Is this something I should be ashamed of? Is this too much to share on the internet? I had a moment of doubt. I had to really think about that feeling of shame… that feeling that I shouldn’t share this because it’s not something we discuss in polite conversation. “I was raped once by this dude in my class… anyway how’s your coffee?” Was I ashamed of it? Maybe I was. Why was I ashamed, even when I had proven that I wasn’t at fault? Now that’s a whole other can of worms isn’t it? Perhaps that’s a future blog… But the desire to do something, to say something, about this subject that I feel so strongly about, that desire takes priority over all else. I’m sure there will be some people who say I crossed the line. There are some who probably even think that I’m just a prudish girl who was asking for it. And that’s exactly why I had to publish it.
I didn’t do it to make me brave, I did it because it’s the right thing to do. That doesn’t make me brave, it makes me right.
Please feel free to share this story with your friends, with your teenagers, with anyone who will listen. Don’t be afraid to talk about this stuff. The more we get it all out there, the less ashamed we have to feel. The less darkness there is in the world.