For years I feel as though I’ve been standing at the edge of the cliff, toes hanging delicately over the jagged rock face, arms open wide, eyes closed, chin lifted toward the sky deeply breathing in and out. Meditative. Waiting. Knowing that the time would come when I would walk forward and free fall. Last night was that night. I posted about my past. My dance with sexual assault and the loneliness that came with never being believed.
I went to bed my entire body vibrating, almost like on a high, which when you think about it seems odd given what I shared with all of you just hours before. I lay there as Yannick fell into a deep slumber contemplating why this would be the physical reaction I would have. One of excitement, similar to the feeling one gets when something completely awesome has happened to them. Yet, I would have thought I would have felt the opposite to that. It kept me awake for a long while, long after my husband was off in dream land beside me. I was confused. What about what I shared was so exhilarating. I mean I know that there are those close to me who still believe that I’m lying. They think that none of this happened. That I’m just a great story teller who has somehow exaggerated these experiences; to create what exactly I am not sure? Why on earth anybody would think that a child, a young pure girl would make shit like this up is beyond me. Like, honestly, do children/people do that? Do they? I’m on the side of “hell no.”
All I know is that I have three daughters, they are my light, my life, my joy. They are gifts given to me on loan from up above. I have been not only entrusted to guide them, but also to protect them. If any one of my girls came forward and shared that they were being assaulted, regularly, I can assure you if Yannick didn’t get to that person first, I would do some harm. There is nobody in this world who is going to put their sickness on any one of my girls, not while I walk the earth. It is with this fierce protection I feel toward them that causes me to go “hmmm” when faced with the alternative reaction that I was faced with. Like who wouldn’t believe a child? Even if that child grows into an adult and doesn’t feel strong enough to speak of what happened to them until they are grown, until some of the offenders are nothing but ashes in a coffin six feet below. Who would not believe a child who shared stories of sexual abuse??
And even more than the question of who wouldn’t, is the question, why wouldn’t you? Like what is in it for you to not believe them?? As a mother, a human I just don’t get it. Last week a girlfriend told me a terrifying story of an assault committed against her, and you know what? I believed her. Full stop. Didn’t even think for a second that she wasn’t being truthful. When another sweet friend shared that she had literally been held captive by a man she was dating on holiday, I didn’t think; “Hmmm this is a great story.” Hell no. I believed her. Why would I not? What is in it for the victim to make up these stories? Think about it.
Now moving on…
I thank many of you for writing in and sharing your own stories. I am sorry that we share this in common. But aren’t we fucking awesome. Isn’t it amazing that we’re still standing, that we didn’t let the abuse weaken us, quiet us, turn us inward? I think we are brilliant, wonderful, and women to be treasured. Keep going, you’re doing great. And for those of you who have been gifted with daughters of your own, you know what, protect them with all that you are, and to ensure that you’re equipped to do this. Read a book that I did many years ago, PROTECTING THE GIFT by Gavin De Becker, it is beyond brilliant. Hell even if you haven’t suffered any sexual abuse read it, if you have kids, if you’re thinking about ever having kids, or if you are a grandparent. It is solid reading about prevention. The stats on how many of the abusers are people close to the victims is staggering. Based on the fact that all my assaults were at the hands of people incredibly close to me I have been strangely, and often to our girls dismay, weirdly hyper-protective. But I always also honest with them, sharing with them my past, letting them know that I wasn’t keeping them from a “good time” but being vigilant in guarding them. I was famous for saying to them “that it takes two minutes to change their lives forever.” So I guarded my girls fiercely. And thankfully they are not stats, so all the fights we had when they were younger were worth it.
For those of you who wrote to me concerned that perhaps I’m not at peace, or am somehow I’m still in pain, you have my word that I am not at all in pain, and am fully at peace. And I’m not bullshitting you. You have my word.
And for a couple of you who took issue with me piggy backing my post yesterday on the most incredible powerful thirty minute speech that FLOTUS has ever given, the subject focusing on the worth of women in this world. You as WOMEN have SO MISSED THE POINT that you fall into the category of posts that I make on occasion, that are “I CAN’T EVEN.” You just keep on keeping on in your bubble of support for that man, and all I have to say to you, is that clearly you are a rare bird. A woman who is blessed to have never been groped without invitation, or had sex forced on you by a man with a similar mentality to him. And for that I am truly, deeply rejoicing for you. But please, do the rest of us a favor, and keep your support of him to a dull roar.
And in closing to those who have said “Hilary slandered the women who had affairs with her husband…” I say this. Again congratulations, you rare bird. You have gotten to whatever age it is that you are, and have never had to endure a man cheating on you. When you get a minute please send me an email about how one manages that! Because honestly, if you have ever been cheated on I am sure when you were crying to your girlfriends you didn’t say things like: “Oh well she’s a nice young woman, she just couldn’t help herself. I mean maybe in different circumstances she and I might be friends.”
Hell no you did NOT. I am sure you called her every name under the sun, and in fact I’m pretty confident you also thought about going up to her face and slapping it, or pulling her weave. So really, your reaction wouldn’t be all that much different from how Hilary responded to the women who knowingly slept with her very married husband. Again I direct you ladies to my post of September 8th, 2016…in the meanwhile…
She who lives in a glass house shouldn’t throw stones…just saying.