Believe Her

TW: sexual assault

It’s been a difficult week.
I have seen people say horrible things.
Both strangers and people I used to trust.

I have felt small.
If so many people can spew hate at her –
Disbelieve her –
Call her awful names –
How can my experiences matter?
My experiences when I too was fifteen.
When I blamed myself and tried to forget.

This week, it’s impossible to forget.
And I don’t want to.
I don’t want to forget that I was raised to believe it was my fault.
Because I flirted.
Because the “relationship” was a secret.
Because I didn’t do everything in my power to push him away.
Because I legitimately couldn’t figure out why I felt so sick to my stomach for weeks afterwards.
Because mild sexual assault always took a back seat to the more pressing parental abuse – that happened every day, so it was easy to forget one uncomfortable night.
But this week, it’s impossible to forget.

Still, as much as what’s happening in our country is breaking my heart, I feel strangely empowered.
For every asinine Facebook comment, there are five stories of strength, of survival, of sisterhood in the face of it all.
I’ve seen friends step forward and add their stories to the chorus. And we’re all singing the same thing.

My body is my own, no matter what you did when you thought you had control of it.
And I never forgot.

Let me tell you another thing
My sisters and I?
We will still remember on November 6th.

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