I don’t ever talk about it.
I woke up this morning to a social meeting campaign, where people were sharing their sexual abuse/assault cases with the hashtag #metoo.
And by people, I mean women, because the narrative has effectively excluded men. It’s also portrayed men as the sole predators.
If you knew my story, you’d understand why I’m angry.
I thought about sharing my story in some heartfelt post but couldn’t bring myself to do it.
Because social media cheapens my experiences.
I’ve often thought about what would happen if people knew about my experiences. Typically, when I talk about my history of sexual abuse, I don’t talk specifics. I don’t talk about my grandfather. I don’t talk about staring at his hands or the red shirt he wore with a white stripe. I don’t talk about the massive amounts of porn he exposed me to. And until two years ago, no one knew I had spent most of my life struggling with a porn addiction.
Because girls don’t struggle with that. And while I knew early exposure denied me any opportunity to see sex in a healthy way, I blamed myself for my addiction. It was not until I was sitting in front of another woman who also struggled with porn addiction that I was able to find freedom.
My story doesn’t end there, because it happened again. This time at a church by an older girl. It went on for months. I struggled with sexual identity until I was in my late teens, because once again, I thought it was my fault.
Recently, I sat in my foster care class and we were talking about the feelings associated with sexual abuse. And I blurted out that guilt is a common emotion you experience. Because you think it’s your fault. It takes a lot of counseling to understand that it’s not your fault.
I have no judgments for women using the #metoo campaign today. I just want you to remember two things:
- Men are not the enemy. They are not the sole predators. The prolonged sexual abuse I experienced was at the hands of an older girl.
- Men are also survivors of sexual abuse. They need to feel safe enough to talk about it.
So that’s my story. I don’t talk about it often but I’m starting to understand I should. I read somewhere recently that when you share your story, you open up another person to get healing.