Like many people one of the first things I do when I wake up is check my social media from the warmth of my bed, trying to force myself to wake up. This morning my feeds were filled with female friends and acquaintances posting a simple statement: Me too.
I’ve been struggling with what to say all day. I’ve been going between avoiding my social media feeds and scrolling through them with great sadness.
I feel like most women know somewhere in there hearts that shit like this happens to literally all of us but somehow we are able to put it out of our minds in order to function on any basic level. It’s hard to ignore today. It’s all over everything. Every single woman is raising their collective silent screams saying IT’S HAPPENED TO ME TOO. It’s hard to look away. I find myself wanting to see every post just to silently acknowledge every person’s trauma, discomfort, secrets, and pain. It’s not enough. Everyone knows it’s not enough. The hashtag will stop trending, our pain will be shoved back down where we’ve stored it all these years, and we’ll move on simply in order to keep functioning.
A few of my braver friends have shared an experience with their hashtags. I spent the day reliving many of my experiences in the quiet moments. I’m sure many other people are reliving much worse things every single day that they just can’t put out of their minds. I count myself lucky to be able to push those experiences out of my mind. Lucky in that the bad things that have happened to me have been mild compared to others experiences. Lucky that within my own mental illness I’m able to shut out things I don’t want to deal with so easily. Today I let those things I push away not only make their appearance but also play out in my mind. I know none of those things are or were my fault. I hope I’m lucky enough in the future for these experiences to not get worse. I hope other people reliving these things in their quiet moments are able to know that they’re not to blame.
I was fourteen. I was at a cafe with my other fourteen year-old friends. We were drinking coffees and hot chocolates. We were chatting and laughing and feeling alive. An old man came up to me, leaned in real close so that no one else could hear him. He said to me “You have beautiful eyes.” That was the first time I remember feeling that my body and my personhood did not belong to me. It wasn’t the last time.