For me, a few months back I was scrolling my news feed; that is when "Me too" came into my life. A video of a woman putting the mattress [that she was raped on] out on her lawn with the words "Me too" written in cheap permanent marker for all to see. I was moved, and I tried to swallow the feeling of a ball in my throat as I watched women write their own words in symbolism of the trauma they had endured. I, myself am a victim of sexual assault for many years in my adolescent life, and seeing the "Me too" movement make its way through social media had me feeling a concoction of feelings that included sadness, pride, and the cold dead realization that it is more common than I had assumed. As time went on, sexual abuse cases became more clear amongst the Hollywood community. Not only amongst females, but men had began to tell their stories. I started to think to myself, "This may just be a start; this movement may not solve a single problem in regards to the actual abuse but it may help people not feel so alone, lost, and isolated."
Time went on, my observations had changed in regards to the movement and the exposure of people's abuse. I would not only read people's comments on articles, I would hear them speak about everything, and it was not what I expected. Not everyone, but a very large percentage, seemed to have been getting tired of hearing about sexual abuse cases. I have even heard people feel bad Weinstein in his case; a man who had allegedly sexually abused and/or harassed over a dozen women. People were starting to get tired of all these women in the accusations or in the "Me too" movement as if it were just a trend everyone was trying to follow. Ten steps forward and two steps back. There are a small percentage of women and men who do lie for attention when it comes to sexual assault, there is no denying that, however you do not disregard millions of victim when 100 of the victims are false. "Why now then? why did they not come forth until it became a fad?" This is the most common argument I had heard among the skeptics. When you [feeling sad and broken] are standing in a dark room and you see or hear nobody, you truly feel alone, you wouldn't have any urges to speak up. Suddenly a light shines through and you see you are joined by many, you feel more empowered and strong enough, as you don't feel alone and misunderstood.
For 21 years, I had not told anyone who truly mattered. I was scared it was my fault, and that if I said something that I could destroy people's lives. I had been forced to tell, since some one else vaguely told my story to people that mattered. Too many years had gone by that I would not hold up in court, nor did I want to relive it. I spent many years up until that point co-existing with my abuser. When everything got exposed, there was a line in the sand drawn, very little support on my side. Excuses were made. "Oh it was made up," or it was just ignored. The very reason I did not want to tell anyone had come to pass. I did not even feel the urge for revenge or punishment, it was a trauma that was scratching me on the inside to get out. I fight everyday with myself; I tell myself it is NOT my fault, and that I should not regret anything getting exposed. I lost a lot. This is what victims feel and see when people push off the "Me too" movement. When you get annoyed at the amount of sexual abuse cases that keeping coming up, and want the victims to just stop "making it up," just realize that the victims get annoyed every time that they wake up, that they have to relive the trauma everyday. Some victims can not have healthy lives, suffer from P.T.S.D, or unable to maintain healthy relationships. I have seen victims so damaged that they either become addicts and become sex workers, I have also seen people so scared to become intimate with the people that love them most, and it destroys any chance of them being happy together. So next time, before you pass a judgement like "It's just a trend" or "They lied" or even "it doesn't solve anything," either educate yourself or don't say it out loud.