Me Too

I was sexually assaulted too. Unfortunately the majority of my female friends have confided in me their stories of relentless harassment and abuse as well as many of my male friends. The rampant sexual abuse and misuse of power in our society is epitomized by the rapist running our country.

I’m writing this because I felt the need to share solidarity with the brave people of many genders who have been opening up about the horrors that have been done to them. My experience is different as is everyone else’s but I think that it’s important that we share our stories and thereby invite as many people as possible to bring to light the horrors done to us that thrive in darkness. In silence.

I was sexually assaulted when I was about 4 years old. My entire adult life has been spent recovering from this. What’s unnerving about abuse that happens at an early age is that it has to be teased out over time. When we don’t have our complete language faculties, we cannot construct narratives; we cannot create stories that make sense of what has happened and what to do with it.

I believe that all survivors experience at times, the horrible memories that get stored in their bodies. They bring us into the past through flashbacks and they unconsciously control our present. One person exerting power over us can create a lifetime of suffering. That is only part of why assault is so insidious.

After more than a decade I realized that something had happened to me as a child. I went to a white, male psychologist and told him my story. He dismissed it and said that it was something I made up. I believed him and lived with this horror for years, silenced by a stranger whom I trusted.

The silencing we encounter is a systemic denial that rape exists. It’s a silencing that is violent and dangerous. Worst of all, it is a silencing that plays on the shame, denial and fear that fights our powerful desire to be heard, and the immense bravery that it takes to acknowledge the horrible things that have been done to us.

I eventually recovered from sexual abuse. After about a dozen therapists, I found a woman who could actually see me for who I was. Being seen and being heard led to trust. And trust lead to healing.

Healing is different for us all and it can be a long process. We have to regain self esteem. We have to make sense of a world in which terrible, often unspoken or unspeakable crimes have been committed against us.

Sometimes the very people from whom we seek help are not healthy, are not allies. I’ve had therapists silence me, shame me, dismiss me, and more in my search for help. I’m a black straight cis man, and I don’t fit what many people expect a typical survivor to look like, (if they’re naive enough to think that there are typical survivors of sexual assault.)

I am however very hopeful and proud that we’re speaking up. I’m particularly excited to my trans allies speaking up too. What I haven’t seen are any male survivors talking about the horrors of sexual aggression and gross misuses of power. I was hesitant to write this because I am not trying to distract from the importance of women speaking up against sexual aggression. I just wanted to say in complete solidarity “Me Too”

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9 thoughts on “Me Too

  1. Thank you for sharing your story. Practitioners should hide in shame for not helping you. I agree about President Trump. He brings abusive behavior to the highest office in the land. We should accept this challenge, and lock arms in solidarity against sexual abuse. Let this situation light our fires!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so Much, Sue for your support. And of course I agree with everything you have to say about the president. This is a time for solidarity and action. We cannot allow this to continue!

      Also, I was lucky enough to be raised by a feminist woman but it is time for men to do a radical inventory of themselves and their behaviors. Would an article on that be something you’d be interested in? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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      1. I think it is important for men to share their ideas and feelings about abuse and power. I have encountered sexual harassment in every corner of my life. No venue is sacred, not even churches. The abuse comes from men in all stations in life. I would appreciate some insights on addressing abuse that seems to be tightly woven into our society. My county has the most appalling data of any state, highest for child abuse, domestic violence; and I believe, murder against women by a male in relationship. It is not safe here, so thank you for suggesting an article.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sue, I apologize for how long it has taken for me to get back to you. I have been severely sick but thank you, I will write about every topic you have suggested, you have my word. I know the life long trauma from a male perspective, but I dream of a day in which we all treat each other as humans, where women don’t have to live in fear of men, people of color don’t have to fear law enforcement etc. I think that we need to drop all of our shit and just relate to each other as human beings. But as a guy and a survivor I have a unique privilege of speaking to many people. Thank you so much for your words!

        Mostly, I hope you are doing well and I encourage you and anyone who reads my blog to contact me at any time only if you wish! Connection is what makes the world go round 🙂

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      3. Hi Ammanuel! I am relieved to hear you are feeling better. I wish you strength and health. I look forward to your message, and teachings. I am seeing the start of a movement against sexual abuse in the workplace which is encouraging. And I just heard about MoveToImpeach.com by a very well-spoken man on CNN channel. We need civility and humanity in our government, and like you said, treat each other as the precious beings we are and not objects. May you have power in your words.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Thank you so much! I just wrote another peace, this time on the every day violence towards women and how it needs to end! I want power in my words, thank you so much. My feelings about these things are very strong. I’ll check out that site. But please, how are you?!

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  2. wow – I just want to say how Brave you are. I hope your life is full of pure happiness from now on. I agree that ‘Metoo’ is for all genders. you are the first male blogger ive come across and your stroy is just…well i cried just thinking about it. I truly hope your well now in your own mind. much love. x

    Liked by 1 person

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