My heart is aching this morning. I won’t be telling the details of why, but I want everyone reading this to know… tears have been shed and I am in a state of sadness.
The #MeToo movement has shed even more light on sexual assault this week, and the victims have cast a net that has reached my family.
Now, those of you who know my story (link to that blog here), know that the net actually completely covers me. However, my kids do not know what happened to me.
They know that overnights at other people’s houses are not something I approve of them doing.
They know all the ways adults could sexually abuse them, and why they should tell me any time something happens. They have known that since they were 4 years old (when the abuse started to happen to me).
They know SOMETHING happened to Mommy, but they didn’t need to know details quite yet. Not until now….
This week I had to tell my oldest daughter (almost 13 years old) why “participation” does not always mean a person is willing. How consent is a tricky word when people try to defend dark actions.
I had to explain to her how even if she thinks she wants to do something for attention or love … if she is a child, and he is an adult, it is assault, and he knows better.
I had to explain to her why a child is a victim when an adult/person of authority coerced her to do something sexual. I had to explain that to her.
I had to tell her that sometimes she may put herself in a situation she should not be in because she trusts the person or people with her. That if she does that and is assaulted… it is not her fault.
I had to tell her that while I hope she never wears revealing/sexy clothes, if she chooses to do it, it does not give a person a free ticket to assault her.
I had to tell her at the age of 13, I made a very bad choice to trust my best friend, and ended up in a situation that is forever burned on me. I didn’t share the details, but I told her that for years, I was convinced I deserved a 21-year-old to do things to me that no person should ever do to another.
I had to tell her.
Because, if I didn’t, she may hear about victims in certain situations, including the story my family is just now hearing about, and she may hear others shame those victims. She may hear them say the girl wanted it.
She may then find herself in a situation she should not be in, wearing clothes that make her look sexy, and she may think: “I deserve this. I am a slut. I am a participator.”
And, she may live the rest of her life living with that demon. She may make choices to be with men who agree with that assessment of herself. She may never recover.
I want her, my youngest (who got a watered down version), and all girls and boys to never have to live with what I have experienced.
However… it happens.
So, if she finds herself in that situation, I want her to walk away thinking….
“That asshole just took something of mine, and I’m going to get it back. F*ck Him!”