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You Are Not Alone: Me, Too.

by Grace Bonney

This weekend, thousands upon thousands of people took to social media under the hashtag #MeToo to share their stories of sexual assault and harassment. I was blown away by their bravery, honesty and openness and was so inspired by the connections and moments of support coming from these discussions.

Not everyone is safe and supported in a way that allows them to speak up, and seeing so many stories honor those people and their experiences has been a powerful and heartbreaking reminder that these attacks and assaults aren’t limited to high-profile Hollywood stories. They happen every day in everyday places and situations, including here in our community.

When I told a former boss of mine that his co-worker touched me inappropriately during a work trip, he said, “You’re not going to make this a big thing right? Because if you do, you’re going to ruin his marriage.” I told a female co-worker what happened and she told me she’d experienced the same thing — and so had several of the women that had worked there before.

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t regret not speaking up and treating myself — and my body — with the respect that I deserve.

I realize how fortunate I was to be able to leave that job, find a new one and get help in the form of therapy. So many people who are assaulted or harassed can’t leave safely or without fear of retribution and the loss of their ability to keep a roof over their head or food on the table. So while this story (and the stories of those with similar experiences) haunts me, as I read through the #MeToo threads, my heart is deeply present with those who haven’t been able to escape or find a way to safety and support.

I’m sharing a part of my story in hopes of adding one more voice to the strong chorus of people who are speaking up. I hope those voices will get more people to take these stories seriously, to trust the people telling them and to take action to support those who are victims of assault and harassment. No matter where you are right now, please know you are not alone. You will always have a safe space here at DS. We support you. —Grace

 

 

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Comments

  • Hi Grace!

    I so appreciate your honesty and the beauty and truth I find every time I come to your site. Thank you! I’m inspired and challenged by you – and all the rest of the amazing contributors on your site – frequently. The part that’s tricky – but y’all do so well – is it’s done in a spirit of love and encouragement.

    I’ve never commented before and simply want to suggest (since it changes your meaning entirely – but maybe I’m reading it wrong?) – that you meant to write: There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t regret NOT speaking up and treating myself — and my body — with the respect that I deserve.

    Thanks again for all you do, Grace!

    Take care –

    Susan

  • HelloGrace!
    I have my own personal story too!
    When I was little, my mom would leave me in an old couple house that she knew (because se would go to work). Everything was fine, until the old man started to touch me. I was so young and I never understood that well what happened. I began to be affraid, but I never talked to no one because in my mind I always thought it was my fault! That last over 6 months, and then I stopped being there and eventually that man died. But I only talked about it when I was 15 years old! Now, I’m ok, but still I’m always in alert with old men and men in general. I know that not every single one are like him, but… my mind works around that situation now!
    I just hope that girls and women, that read this post and other stories, start to understand that is important to talk about! You need help and you won’t solve anything alone!!
    Kisses to everyone*
    http://www.fine-alchemy.blogspot.com

  • Thank you for sharing Grace. That was my fear when I told my previous employers about what had happened to me with a man who was renting our space for quite a large sum of money (which we needed very badly). I was surprised with how seriously they took it and how much they supported me, even saying that the money didn’t matter. Hopefully, one day, all employers will react that way. I’m glad to read that DS is safe and supportive. :)

  • Thank you, Grace, for a beautiful and insightful article. This whole me too campaign is so important. When I was probably 10 or 12 (I’ve blocked some of it, so not sure on the time frame. But I remember more than enough details.) my father started molesting me. I’m almost 65 now, but back then, it was never spoken about, much less any mention that there might be help available somewhere. I’m so thankful that there is more awareness now. It’s desperately needed. I’m one of the “lucky” ones. Despite it all, I was able to have a decent relationship with my husband, though it took years to truly trust him. If he hadn’t been the kind, gentle person that he was, we would never have made it. He’s gone now, and I can’t even think about developing that level of trust with another man. I am lucky, though. So many women who’ve been there can’t even have a relationship. I still talk to my counselor from time to time, and I’m prone to panic attacks and bouts of anxiety, but I’m a survivor. I talked to so many women over the last few days. They’re hurt and they’re scared, but they spoke up, anyway. And sadly, you’re right. There are so many more who just can’t speak up. I found myself telling others that they were brave, that it was never their fault, that there is hope, because there is. Now I think, did that really come from me? I’m not patting myself on the back, I promise. It was just that suddenly, watching all these hurting women, something in me said, “You have to speak up.” If all I ever manage to get across are those few thoughts, that’s okay. They are powerful. I know I’ve rambled on here, but hopefully I made some sense. Love and care for each other is the only way this world or any of us will ever get any better. I don’t know what anyone else’s beliefs are, and I’m not trying to influence anyone. But I believe that is God’s message to us. Love each other.

  • thank you Grace. your words are beautiful. Me too. funny, people tell you to get over it after you are assaulted.I was in a foster home (3-4 years old)and the man decided i would be a good tool to get his jollies off, and began sexually abusing me. His wife knew what he was doing to me, and she decided i actually liked what he was doing to me, so she began physically abusing me. this went on until i was adopted when i was 10 years old. it’s not funny smelling a scent and having nightmares. i saw a therapist and it helped a lot. i have trust issues with people; try to take it one person at a time. one thing i never doubt is my instinct. sending out hope and peace to all in Me Too.

  • I told my boyfriend once that I thought if you got a group of women together, from any country or walk of life or social standing, chances are all of them would have one thing in common – being sexually harassed or abused by men. I explained that there’d been multiple times when I’d been with a group of female (or female passing) friends and we’d ALL had a story about assault or harassment. Things that ranged from being inappropriately touched right up to violent rape. He was so shocked by this concept. Like I’d opened a door he never thought to look through. Now, because of #MeToo I feel like finally other men are having their eyes opened to this. I hate that woman are being forced to share their shame or re-open old wounds because of this movement (when the blame lies squarely on mens shoulders), but I think we can all agree that what has come out of it has been overall positive.

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