Me. Freaking. Too.

I’ve been contemplating sharing my story for (roughly) twenty-four hours. Contemplating typing two little words into my status update and what that would mean for myself and my continuous healing. I tend to be outspoken about my history with sexual abuse (by a family friend when I was four years old) and my history with sexual assault (by a guy I had been dating when I was 20). And how I didn’t truly remember my sexual abuse until after the sexual assault. I’m outspoken about my experiences when talking face to face. Or phone to phone. Or email to email. Typically, it’s a one on one scenario, or a small group, where I have no anxiety or fear of discussing it. Talking about it publicly in this way… on a website or social media is a new experience and one I’ve shied away from for a multitude of reasons, but mainly because I wasn’t sure my heart could handle a larger platform.

So, when everyone started sharing ‘Me, too’… I hesitated. Because first and foremost, I need to take care of my emotional health and make sure my sharing comes from the right place. I had to ensure that by sharing, I wasn’t going to tear open a wound that I’ve worked so hard to heal.

Then, yesterday, I was walking to get a coffee. Next door… literally next door to our home, our neighbor is building a new house. The same construction workers I have seen every morning, every day, in my pajamas and eyeglasses with no makeup and hair in a messy knot–cat-called me. Well, one of them did. He made kiss noises as I walked by. A million thoughts ran through my head… did he not recognize me as the neighbor he sees daily? Is he new to the team? Am I wearing more makeup and he didn’t recognize me? And my final thought: Does it effing matter? Nope. No, it doesn’t. What matters is now I have been made to feel uncomfortable every time I leave my home until their house is completed.

The second thing to happen yesterday was that I was talking with a friend who is battling depression. In our discussion, I said the words: Just don’t mistake silence for strength.
And as I typed the words to her… I realized, they were truly meant for me.

So, this is me, saying ‘me, too’ from a place of healing. And if you’re among the women who are whispering ‘me, too’ to yourself because it’s too hard to type it or say it publicly: I understand. Post if you feel moved to do so. But don’t feel ashamed or guilty if you’re not ready yet. And if you need an ear to listen? My door is open.

Rachel Hollis gave an amazing metaphor when I heard her speak. She said that if you imagine yourself as a pitcher of water–and all your family and friends are the teacups surrounding you in a circle. You can either try to pour your water into everyone’s cups… resulting in some people with less than others and leaving yourself empty. Or… you can let your pitcher of water fill. And keep filling. Until you are so full of water that it is pouring over the sides. And what’s going to happen? That water that’s overflowing will fall into the cups around you, filling them as well.

Take care of yourself first. Posting pubicly doesn’t make anyone more or less strong. More or less of a survivor. More or less healed or hurt. It’s simply where some of us are at vs. others. It represents wherever you are at in your journey and you are allowed be as public or private about your pain and experience as you feel you need to be.

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