If you’ve been on social media for even five minutes in the last week, you’ve more than likely seen the flood of sexual harassment and assault stories along with the hashtag, #MeToo.
Needless to say, if you’ve ever been sexually assaulted, you may have experienced a rollercoaster of emotions this week. I know I have.
The Me Too movement is great for building awareness of just how common it is for women to be sexually harassed and/or assaulted in their lifetime. It’s great for empowering and building support amongst survivors. It’s great for creating conversation on how we can better help those who have experienced this, and how we can prevent it from happening in the future.
However, it can also be great for bringing back horrible memories.
For reminding you how small you felt.
For bringing back that anger.
The disappointment in the world.
Don’t get me wrong—this movement is important and has noble intentions, and I am not opposed to it happening by any means. On the contrary, I’m really glad the issue is being brought to light. I just want those of you who are struggling to know that it’s okay to not feel okay about it.
There’s a certain pressure to share your story when so many others around you are sharing theirs–especially when you can relate to it. But if you aren’t quite ready to share, that’s okay. Don’t force it.
If your wound is still fresh and healing, digging into those memories publicly may feel a lot more like ripping off a scab than examining a slowly fading scar.
Instead, do what feels intuitively right for you during this time. If the stories trigger and upset you, you may want to skip over them or avoid social media for a while. If you appreciate the stories, keep reading! Maybe you can even reach out to others who have opened up and seek support and guidance from their own journey.
Most importantly–as always–be kind to yourself. Be gentle with yourself, the way you would with a friend struggling with the same thing. Do things that make you happy. Lean on a friend. Write about it. Remind yourself–no matter how much self-doubt and shame you feel–this wasn’t your fault.
Although the women sharing their stories with the world are brave and strong, the women whispering “me too” to themselves are just as brave and strong.
You’re brave too. You’re strong too. You’re healing, you’re loved, you’re growing, and you’re more than enough. You are a survivor.
It may not always feel like it, but every day is a new opportunity to heal a little more, feel a little better, and grow a little stronger.
You will be okay.
PS…As always, never hesitate to contact me. Even if we have never talked, I am here for you. Just to chat, to vent, to cry, to seek advice, talk about the weather, whatever it is–I’m here. You are not alone.