I found this last week and I’ve been wanting to post about it; titled Literally, Why Can’t I Say #MeToo?, it deals with one woman and her struggle to speak about her own experiences. Case in point:
Yet I found that I couldn’t say it. And at the time of this writing, I still struggle to say it. Not because it’s not true. And not even because I find these things hard to talk about. I’ll talk to anyone about any experience. I’m an open book. I just…somehow…feel like my experiences weren’t “bad enough” to say #MeToo. I’ve mostly recovered from all of this. I don’t think about any of it too often or feel too deeply affected by any of it long-term. I don’t feel like a victim. And because I don’t feel like a victim, I struggle to call my experiences what they really are: indecent exposure to a child, assault, rape, abuse.
I feel guilty using those words. I feel like I’m being dramatic. Or desperate to be part of a conversation for attention. I feel like I’m exaggerating. And I truly, in my heart, can’t figure out if I am. I can’t and don’t trust my own judgment with the severity of less-than-pleasant occurrences that have happened in my life. It’s never been a matter of me thinking people wouldn’t “believe me.” It’s been an issue that I barely “believe” myself. And I don’t know what that says about me.
I know that feeling. In fact, my original #MeToo post made no mention of my ex. I purposely left him out of the first draft.
When I started writing my post, I covered the things that I knew–or at least felt–that could be considered abusive: the things that happened while I was biking on the street, the things that happened when I was a fourth grader, trapped in the girls’ bathroom, the things that happened when I was employed by two different shitty food service jobs. Those were actual abusive incidents. But the things with my ex? Sure, he’d needle me and beg and plead and pout and coerce until he would get some sort of sexual favor but it wasn’t really abusive. Was it?
The thing was, it was abuse.
I, too, had to deal with my own denial issues. I was quick to see my ex, even so many years later, in a less than negative light; he had issues. He meant well but didn’t understand boundaries. He really wasn’t such a “bad guy”.
That’s the main problem; he may not have been a bad guy, but he did some truly bad things. Things that were abusive. Things that I had every right to refuse, that he should have never asked.
I was in love with him. I cared about him. So of course, I couldn’t think see him as a potential abuser. I couldn’t see what he was doing as outright wrong. If he cared about me, how could it hurt me? And even if he did, it wasn’t so awful, now was it?
It was. It always was. What he did was terrible. It didn’t matter if he loved me or not, what he did was terrible.
It was hard, I will admit, saying what I needed to say about him. It was embarrassing. This was the guy who was supposed to be someone who cared about me, loved me. Instead, I was something he could use for his own selfish desires.
I wasn’t a person to him. I was something he could use. Realizing that hurt. But then again, coming back to the real world after a short trip down that river in Egypt always stings. But it’s well worth the pain, if you ask me.
The title comes from this song. If it sounds familiar, it’s because it was used in a video game commercial, namely for Transformers: Fall of Cybertron.