We realize that Dr. Ford’s testimony may have stirred up some strong feelings. Many of you may be upset, triggered, empowered, proud…and the list goes on. Many humans who are part of the Only Human Advocate Community have shared their experiences with sexual assault over the last few years. Please know that all of those feelings are valid. We have and will always support survivors. We find ourselves at such a unique moment in history, where more and more women are sharing their testimonies on the political stage, in the entertainment industry, and on social media. Whether you share your story or not doesn’t make you any less brave than a woman who does. We believe you, we see you, we support you. We will always fight this fight alongside you.
Because I was 5 years old when it first started happening, and then 6, and then 7, and then 8.
Because his dad beat my mom to within an inch of her life on a regular basis and every single time the cops were called, I watched as nothing happened. Nothing at all. And so it happened again, and again, and again.
Because I felt useless. helpless. powerless. weak.
Because I was repeatedly told that I was a whore and a slut throughout my childhood while he molested me and at some point along the way, I started to believe him.
Because the adults in my life knew and didn’t stop it and when you’re that young and the humans who are supposed to care and protect you don’t, well, you lose hope real fast.
Because I honestly thought for the first few years that we were just playing, so I went to the shed, to the bed, to wherever he led me and followed along. By the time it kicked in that something was incredibly wrong, I was brainwashed.
Because after a while, I started to think that women were supposed to be treated poorly and I got in line.
Because I was a kid. Because I was a kid. Because I was a freakin’ kid.
Because when it happened again more than half a decade later at age 15, I looked at myself in the mirror afterward and screamed at myself out loud that I was stupid and I deserved it. I traded my last bit of dignity for self-hate.
Because I didn’t think they’d believe me after all those years.
BECAUSE THERE NEVER SHOULD HAVE BEEN ANYTHING TO REPORT. Because shit like this shouldn’t ever happen to anyone. Because the boys and the men in this world need to realize that enough is enough and that they will be held accountable for their fucking actions.
I rarely meet a woman these days who doesn’t harbor a story similar to mine in some way…who doesn’t battle the guilt and the shame and the sexism and the hate. None of it is okay. Our voices have been muffled by the hands of men we birthed who have recklessly abused their power and political strongholds to silence us for decades.
I didn’t report it, but I stand proudly beside the women of this world who are brave enough to take a stand. I believe them. I didn’t report it, but I’ll be damned if I don’t use every ounce of me to teach my son (and any male in my life for that matter) to be kind to all humans and to treat women with respect.
I didn’t report it, but I wish I had.