And I thought it was gonna be awful… (And sometimes it has been kinda awful, and kinda super hard…) But I also thought it was necessary… And I think it’s important. And I think it’s been worth it.
I know that I just talked yesterday about how hard it is for women to be heard and believed. (And I think I’ve mentioned that more than once in other posts…)
But I hope that in saying that, I’m not adding to the silence of people, making them wonder, “Eh, why even come forward?”
Because, I will say that while I’ve been met with some trolling or what have you, I have been met with so so so (so so) much love and kindness and patience.
For instance, when I was telling a friend of mine what an idiot I was to keep going back, and trying to make it work, my friend comforted me. “Aurora, you were in a situation basically unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before. It was like you were put in a very cluttered room with a blindfold on, in the dark. Of course you were gonna bump into some stuff. You can’t expect yourself to be perfect.” (And I appreciated him and his analogy.)
I have generally felt, for the most part, exceptionally respected and cared for and trusted and loved.
A sweet, sweet friend even sat and talked with me through the middle of the night in some of the toughest times.
I have had lovely friends help distract me – and also make me feel sexy again. (Thanks ;))
I’ve even had strangers, or people I don’t know all that super well, welcome my story/and me with open arms. From Cory Booker’s staff to the Dr. Oz show, I have been heard. And I really appreciate that.
Of course that doesn’t mean that everyone’s response is perfect all the time – even the people who adore you and do believe you, and want to be there for you…
(It’s not just the obvious trolls who can be a problem)
Some people don’t know how to respond. It is possible that some people – even people you really love – will try to minimize your experience. (And it’s not because they don’t love you or aren’t worthy of your trust… They may just not know how to deal with this weird tricky confusing issue (as I didn’t know how to either! – even when it happened to me).)
And that can be confusing, because I sometimes, with certain people, I’d think, “Goodness. I love and trust this person soooo much and if they think that maybe it ‘wasn’t as bad as it couldn’t been’ (like, if it were a more violent assault), or wasn’t as ‘real’ because I knew the person, or they try to minimize it as some normal couple’s spat…
or if they tell me I’m ‘taking too long’ to get over this. ‘Come on, buck up!’ as a way to show tough love to ‘get me back to normal’… Well… I trust them so freaking much. How could they be wrong?”
– especially because they may have been telling me some things I worry in the back of my mind too. “Huh… Am I taking too long to get over this?” etc.
But, just as you are human, they are human too. And this is a weird, tricky, complicated issue that I feel like we’re only all just learning how to deal with.
And I know every one of my friends tried their best. And I’m not trying to complain about anyone… I’m just saying it’s been hard…
So, coming forward might not be perfect, but I have found it to be more worthwhile than not to talk about all this.
I know that in some situations, it is really actually not safe to come forward. And I wouldn’t advise a woman put her safety in jeopardy.
But if this is something that happened to you, to whatever extent you are comfortable and able to speak out, I would say from this side of it, it is worth it. For me, it has made it better to have a support system who talked this out with me… And I think – I don’t know, but I think – that the more of us who are willing to step up and say, “This happened to me too!” that maybe, just maybe, we can start to identify the problem, and maybe – dare I say it – even start to get on the path toward fixing this problem in America. We may start to be taken seriously, and believed.
So, I just wanted to make it clear that by calling out how awful it is when people say things like “you wanted it,” I’m not say, “So silence yourself!” I’m saying, “Speak out! (if you feel you are ready, and are safe doing that)”