Tuesday, March 13, 2012

What they didn't tell you

I see that #ididnotreport has gained momentum. And while I am saddened that it is needed, I am also glad that it is around.

For those of you who don't live glued to your Twitter feeds (or read in a distant future), #ididnotreport is about various experiences of sexual abuse that for various reasons did not get reported. That just happened, and didn't get the social/legal/personal response it deserved. That went under the radar, and more often than not has been a private burden rather than a public issue.

Until now.

Suddenly, people who have lived with the shame of being sexually abused discover that - hey, I'm not alone in this! We are many, oh so many! And we have a right to feel angry about it!

Discovering that one is not alone is one of the most powerful feelings there is. It transforms the issue: it's no longer about just one person and their failings, but a widespread social failure to respect sexual boundaries. It's not our individual faults, and we don't have to carry the burden all alone.

The weight of the world is heavy enough as it is.

It saddens me that this is needed. But I'm glad that it's around. Every person who finds out that it's not they who are wrong, but that they have been wronged - takes a step in the right direction. In the direction of becoming less a prisoner of shame, and more an actor on the human stage.

Overcoming individual shame is a powerful thing. Sharing that shame and hearing that it's okay - that you are okay - is even more powerful. But the most powerful thing in your life is you.

Don't waste your time on feeling guilty about what some asshole did in the past. It's not your place to feel ashamed for that - it's theirs.

You are powerful. But you are not alone.

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