I’m learning to expect the unexpected in love. Recently, for example, I have had my faith in love restored in an unexpected way.
I had come to see myself as something utterly unloveable after being sexually abused. I believed that I was all alone with this outside of online support groups. Worst of all, it felt like my abusers had won. When “Me Too” happened, I’m sure I speak for many of us when I say, it was like some of my abusers’ power over me and the world was broken, if just a little.
There wasn’t any pressure to say anything more than those two words, and they were enough to break the silence.
It didn’t take long for me to join, reaching out to my friends who put “Me Too” on their profiles and adding my own “Me Too” to my profile. This opened up a lot of doors for connection and conversation that we had long since shut.
After I reached out to one friend who I first saw post “Me Too,” I learned more about his story and he learned more about mine. I felt something in my heart change as we talked, like something frozen solid started to melt. I didn’t tell him everything, and I didn’t need to; he still believed and cared. The same thing happened when another friend reached out, then another, sharing stories and words of encouragement. It wasn’t a big, bad secret we had to keep anymore, and my tiny list of people I can turn to for support grew overnight.
It’s so incredibly different from what I’m used to. I’m used to being met with disbelief, or worse, apathy. Sexual abuse was just one part (albeit a big part) of my story, and it usually changed those around me for the worse. I have been treated as a troublemaker for speaking and reaching out. I’d been called a liar, have been silenced and estranged. Some even used my past against me, to try to discredit me.
I hope “Me Too” continues, that the doors of communication stay open and we speak more openly about what we’ve gone through. “Me Too” has given me hope that evil doesn’t have to have the last word in this world; love can have a two-word reply.
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