It began when I saw a colleague’s post. Me too.
I kept scrolling.
An acquaintance I hadn’t seen for years. Me too.
A good friend. Me too.
Thinking that I’d long ago cast away the shame of my own experience, at least on an intellectual level, I decided in a spur of the moment to join in.
I typed. Me too. Hit send in a rush.
Thought about deleting the post, wondering if somehow the ones around me would see me differently. Not whole. Unclean. Broken.
With assault or harassment, acts by design meant to shame and belittle, there is something that lodges itself deep inside.
You convince yourself that this is somehow your fault. You keep wearing this shame, like someone reluctantly slipping on a funeral dress.
As with anything we wear with our minds and hearts, slowly it begins to seep in.
You think maybe you are a broken woman. Maybe you are meant to feel ashamed. Why should you ever expect good in your life?
But soon that two-word chorus was singing loud and clear.
I looked around. Not alone.
Even with the sheer amount of people around me who’ve been assaulted and it hurts my soul to know this, it was still a moment of joy.
We can type two words on social media and not feel like we will forever be painted as broken, dirty, unworthy, but instead feel held.
A special moment.
Those who cannot speak out or choose not to: this is your life and your story, you do exactly as you see fit with it and don’t let anyone tell you what is right.
But this shame never did and never will belong to you.
There’s a lot more I want to say about where to go from here. How we need to have difficult conversations with our men and with ourselves, put up a magnifying glass to our lives and not let the normalized violence slip by. Let the online ripple reverberate out and create great swells of conversation, movements, policy change, compassion.
But I’ll leave it here.
Two little words can mean a whole lot.