#MeToo. We keep hearing it. Over and over. Mother's. Sister's. Daughter's. Friends. I think we are beginning to get numb. Tune it out. I think it's more than telling the story. Sharing what happened. I think there is a lot of pain. And shame. And standing up and telling your story is brave. And huge.
What is the common denominator that has accompanied any and all of these experiences? Guilt and shame.
But my thoughts go to this. What goes along with every me too? What is embedded in each victims brain? How has it impacted them? How are they forever changed? #MeToo I cannot speak for anyone else so I will dig into my own stories. My own past. I'm not here to call out certain people or events. Teenage boys. College peers. Professors. Bosses. Partners. There are plenty. What is the common denominator that has accompanied any and all of these experiences? Guilt and shame. And a lifelong struggle with body image.
Memories haunt me. Memories so old that actual photos would be faded and oh so dated...but memories so crisp it is as if it were yesterday. Then the questions. What did I do? How could I have responded differently? What should have I done? Am I making more of this than it really is? That is the guilt. Then. The shame. The embarrassment. Innocence stolen. Treasured moments lost. Fear. Apprehension. Emotional fallout. Even now typing these very words...I'm embarrassed. What will people think? #MeToo I don't blame my depression and anxiety on "me too". I know that was in place long before the first encounter. However, I could not have fueled the fire any better. I remember crying in my bedroom, screaming out to God...what was wrong with me? Loathing myself. Wondering where I would ever fit in.
How do we ever make it stop?
For me, those moments began a triggered a mammoth struggle with body image. Too fat. Too tall. Hair too curly. Not smart enough. Not talented enough. Not pretty enough. And even though I KNOW who I am. I KNOW who I belong to. I KNOW I am not an accidental life. I am still human. The voices are still so loud. And what I see in the mirror is not reality. Or maybe it is. Maybe now I'm just deceiving myself. See how this plays out? #MeToo This is me. One story. One person. What about the countless others? Why are there so many stories? How do we ever make it stop? I don't have answers. I don't have solutions. I don't even know what else to say. I have 3 daughters. I've never told them my stories. Why not? Shame. Shame. Shame. I'm tired of living this way. I'm sure you are too.
We are beautiful souls created with purpose. Let's shine.
It takes bravery to say "me too". It takes even more bravery to overcome the demons that are created in the aftermath. Those demons are different for each and every one of us. I am hoping that through countless women speaking their truth we save our daughters, sisters, friends from having to say "me too" in the future. That we show them they can say no. That men will realize they will be called out and their actions are unacceptable. Yes, we do this for ourselves. But most importantly we do this to STOP the cycle. This behavior is inappropriate, abusive and in some cases illegal. So what? What if we speak our truth. What if we stand up for ourselves? Our future? Future generations? Let's be a part of the change. Let's support each and every person who shares their story. Let's unite. Believe in each other. Let's make a difference right where we are. #MeToo I see you. I see your illuminating light. We are no longer victims. We are beautiful souls created with purpose. Let's shine. much, much love, lisa