October 16, 2017
I have to say I am not at all surprised by the number of women who have been adopting the status "Me Too" in whatever platform they fancy. I think a lot of us have probably buried our sexual harassment and assault so that we can move forward daily. Unearthing it and announcing it to the likes of the internet is really uncomfortable for some. I think maybe, five people in my life know that I was molested when I was a child. Now you know. A teenage boy who attended my church molested me, twice. Once it was in his bedroom when our parents were visiting, and the other time it was behind the church. The first time, I remember we were catching butterflies in jars in his yard, and he told me to come to his room so we could make a house for it or something. When I spoke out about it, no one believed me. So I shut down and never spoke about it again. If you know me at all, you know I avoid confrontation at all costs. I even walked on the other side of the street once to avoid an angry stray cat staring at me.
At some point when I was in college, it came to light that he had also assaulted other young girls in the church. I wrote a song about it. This was my Tori Amos phase when I wrote everything all angry and on the piano. It felt all validating and theraputic, but I hadn't been writing for long, so it was definitely a shit song. I still have it in a notebook somewhere, but I am not going to revisit that. I've had a few other times when I've been touched inappropriately or verbally harassed, but they don't compare to the shame and guilt I felt after I put butterflies in a jar.
My point is is that I know I am not special or deserving of any kind of extra attention. I know that there are men and women who have endured far worse than I have. I imagine for many this whole "me too" movement is ripping off a thin scab of a wound that never healed. My inner response to it all sadly was NO SHIT, OF COURSE ME TOO. I think also "me too" can slowly raise the shadow that many of us have lived under and more importantly maybe shift the attitudes of those who have committed the acts and those who have been complacent.
At the end of the day, you're another day older, and that's all you can say... OH WAIT, I MEAN, at the end of the day, you are loved. If you were taken advantage of, if you were accused of dressing inappropriately, if you were whistled at on Rockdale Ave across from Buttonwood Park and you kind of thought it made you special because no boys ever whistled at you, if you just wanted attention, if you never wanted the attention, you are a worthy human being no matter how others have treated you. Like I said, maybe five humans knew my story, and now you know. Typing is easier than talking, and singing is even easier for me... so if you're feeling wounded or especially vulnerable this week, it's ok not to put on the pants, WAIT THAT CAME OUT WRONG, UM, it's ok to curl up. Find an ear to sing your song to. Find a heart to lay your head on. Find a cat to wrap your arms around.