We all know that writing about anything involving politics, world events, things that matter in the world…these are not my topics, but I’m on a tear right now.
I posted this on Facebook:
Okay, after reading through some other posts regarding the Kavanaugh situation, I feel as if I can't keep my mouth shut any longer...
In college, I was almost gang raped by men that I knew. I was locked in a room with...I don't know how many...and I remember someone pulling at my clothes. I remember laughter and the smell of beer. I remember my fear. I can guess at who was in the room because of who I was hanging out with earlier in the evening but I can't remember exactly who did what.
The only one I specifically remember is the one who picked me up off the couch, tried to redress me, and threw me over his shoulder pushing his way out of the room. He then walked me safely back to my dorm.
Later, much later, I wrote a humorous article about the frat houses on campus and lightly hinted at the situation. I was suddenly the bad guy and ostracized for it and each and every man in that fraternity denied that anything happened.
Does the fact that I don't remember a lot of it mean that it didn't happen? Does the fact that they all have denied being there mean that it didn't happen? Does the fact that I didn't report it mean that that horrible night never was?
Have I gotten the details mixed up? Absolutely. Combine alcohol with trauma, fear, and years of trying to put it behind me, and chances are, a few details have gotten lost in the fray.
Do I feel the need to "go after" or "ruin" one of these men? No, I don't.
Nothing in me wants to relive that night, again and again, speaking of it out loud, to rooms full of skeptics, but...
If one of those men was in line to sit on the Supreme Court, a job that demands the utmost integrity, would I speak up?
So I wrote that on my “real” FB because I was pissed off at some conversations in my feed that were so hateful, and petty, and fucking inane, and ignorant, that I found I couldn’t keep my mouth shut.
Somehow I naively believed that since I had taken the time to read through others’ posts that others would take the time to read through mine and when they did, they would stop themselves from repeating the spiteful rhetoric that was spewing across the pages, across the country.
It didn’t work. I spent another hour this morning reading through more of the bullshit.
And these are people who I like.
But, what did come of my post gives me hope.
I received almost 200 comments and reactions – all of them positive. Okay, maybe not positive, but supportive.
And what has struck me the most is the number of women who have said, “me too.”
So many women. Such heartbreak. Such strength.
I received several private messages from women who have been sexually assaulted but for personal reasons do not choose to share their stories with the world.
So here’s what I am going to offer…
If you have a story to tell, and you don’t want to tell it yourself, for whatever reasons, yet it would help you in some way to share it, tell me.
I am safe. I am non-judgmental. I will not victim shame. I will not ask you why you were wearing what you wore. I will not ask you how much you had to drink. I will not ask you if you’re sure you are really remembering things accurately.
I will not ask you why you didn’t come forward before.
I will not say “Boys will be boys.”
I will not in any way, shape, or form, question the veracity of your story.
And, if you want it told to the world, I will share your story here – anonymously if you want – in a way that is empowering, liberating, and hopefully healing.
And if you just want to tell one person because you’ve never told anyone before, I would be honored to be that person.
And I will hold you with love and compassion and honor your bravery, not only in telling your story, but in surviving.
And just know that your secrets are safe with me.
You can contact me via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Blessings to all