I was very proud of myself for participating at the first "Nevertheless, She Persisted" event (see below video). Not only was I sharing personal traumatic experiences, but I was speaking out; public speaking is challenging for tons of people, especially me.
My pride dissolved instantly when I was told that someone said my story had “no point”.
I only had a few minutes to talk because there were other speakers who had to share their piece for this event.
Of course I had wished that there was more of a “theme” to my stories, more of a “conclusion” to tie all of my experiences together, but there wasn’t enough time for that. Out of all the “wow”, “you’re so brave”, and “you’re so strong” comments I had received, that “your story has no point” overpowered them.
I don’t usually post anything political, or even close to, but in light of the recent Kavanaugh hearings, in light of the #MeToo and #WhyIDidntReport movements, I realized that in those several minutes of speaking I did have a point.
To bring awareness.
Unfortunately, we live in a society where being a victim is seen as more of a crime than the offense that caused the trauma.
At the end of my speech, I said that I wanted to teach my daughter that regardless of my experiences, nevertheless I persisted.
They still haunt me.
I go to therapy.
I have PTSD.
I have anxiety.
I battle with depression.
But, you know, my story had “no point”.
That is the shit right there that prevents victims, male and female, from coming forward with anything. The sad truth is that almost every woman in my life has been assaulted or sexually harassed.
That’s A LOT of women.
A LOT of offenses.
A LOT of unreported events.
A LOT of silent voices.
I have the challenging task of trying to protect my daughter from EVER going through what I’ve been through, but I won’t always be around to do that and it scares the shit out of me. I have to teach her that her body is hers and something as simple as not wanting to hug a relative is OKAY because that’s her choice.
I’m currently pregnant with my first, and possibly only, son.
I have to teach him that no means no, that a person is allowed to choose what they want to happen to and with their own body, that he can’t force anything upon anyone…and that it’s okay to be a little black boy in America, but that’s another story.
The truth is that…I’m scared.
There are those who have been blessed to never experience an assault of any kind who frown upon those “who waited” to report….or tell you that your story has no point.
This is why I write.
The pages in my journal, or the keys on my keyboard, are non-judgmental. They allow me to express myself freely without fear of repercussions or minimizing whatever it is I’m writing about. My written word allows me to escape from this fucked up society while learning more about myself or exploring the tons of creative ideas that swim around in my head.
Writing is my savior.
Writing is one of the reasons why I wake up in the morning.
Being able to share my experiences in order to help others, or to let others know that they are not alone, is why I write.
It brings me joy.
So, what’s the point of this piece?
There are people who choose to be blind to the darkness of this world, but don’t let them steal your light.
Speak because you want to.
Write because you want to.
Live because you want to.
You have something to share with the world.
Just know that not everyone is against you. There are people out there who will see your point.
You are not alone!
For those who have missed it, here is my first time speaking about some of my experiences.
*please note that the hostess was mistaken; I was 27 at the time of this speaking (June 2017)*