Why I Won't Shut Up

 I am so angered right now by some of the backlash I got for my #MeToo blog post, especially coming from fellow women who have been through some of the same instances. You want me to take this down because the men in the posts might find it? Because I shouldn't be throwing this around? Because I shouldn't talk about things like this? Because this is an "icky" topics? Oh my god are you dense?!
 I am not throwing this around- that whole post was extremely hard for me to write and to share. I made sure I didn't post it while I was at home incase any of the men still kept eyes on me and read it. I edited it a hundred times trying to make it seem less harsh for the men because I still felt an ounce of pity for them (stupidly). I am not writing that to just talk about the fact that I've been sexually assaulted and almost raped multiple times before. Why the fuck would I want to utter those words and make it even more true? I know this is an icky topic, it's an icky thing that people do but it happens- and that needs to stop, not the ones talking about it. I can't speak about these things on my own platform? My. Own. Platform. But the reason I am typing those words is because if I stay silent, it could continue to happen to other people. My sister, my friends, my future daughters. I am speaking out- about my traumas that I have gone to therapy for- so that it is out there. That these stories are out there for people to hear and take notice. So people realize and see how many stories are out there and take fucking action. So when someone searches online for something like this, they see the mass number of results that pop up and understand how much of a problem this is.
 Did you know we are so extremely backlogged on rape kits? Did you know the most effected ages are from 12-34 for sexual assault? Did you know your assaulters or rapists could be family members, friends, strangers, or someone you are in a relationship with? Did you know men get rapped too? Did you know that as of 1998 there was an estimated 17.7 million american women that has been raped or someone attempted to rape them. Did you know you could get PTSD, depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses from these assaults? Did you know North Carolina made a law that legally allows men to finish sex even if the woman revokes consent?

  The last man who assaulted me effected me the most because I was in a relationship with him. And because of him my PTSD has worsened. My anxiety got so bad I didn't leave my apartment for days on end because I was scared I would see him at Kroger. I went to a farther Kroger to get my groceries, I went to a Chipotle 20 minutes away when I wanted to eat out instead of the one across the street. I didn't leave my house unless I had friends with me that knew of my anxiety because I knew seeing him would trigger full blown panic attacks. I have gone to therapy because I am afraid to be in a relationship with another person now. My family members who know of what happened are afraid of me living too close to him now. Our mutual friends have promised me that if we ever cross paths with him I'll never be left alone with him. I take more precautions because of him. I have changed because of him now. The first person who assaulted me effected me the least because I thought it was a one time thing. I was anxious, of course, but I stayed quiet about it and pretended it never happened. I hid what had happened for a long time.

 Two people who knew two of the boys on my list actually messaged me, and it wasn't until the second person messaged me that I decided to write this.
 The first person knew the older friend- she had never known he had done things to me. She knew who I was talking about because he was her neighbor and still a super close friend of hers. She apologized immensely for ever leaving me alone with him, and she said she was blocking his number and if he ever came around her she'd probably be overcome with anger that she'd break his jaw. She was glad I spoke out about it and wish I had put his actual name in the post. She wished I had said something sooner so she could have done something or anything or gotten it to stop sooner. She apologized over and over again for never noticing when we were all together how I acted towards him. And she apologized for staying friends with him for the time after he first did anything. She understand that people have different masks that they show different people. That while he was showing one mask to her, of being kind and caring, he was showing another to me. A vicious vile mask.
 But the second person knows someone else on my list. I guess she read what he had done and considered it my own truth, and that I was trying to spin something. But I'm not, I'm not trying to spin anything. I'm speaking the hard honest truth and I hate that it is the truth, but sadly it is. Maybe for them this person talked them off a ledge, but for me that same person pushed me to one. I relapsed in cutting, I had panic attacks once a week, I cried every night and morning, I found myself wanting to die- thinking that cutting a little deeper would solve that problem of mine... I don't want to go further detail into this one because I don't want to offend the second person or make them uncomfortable in anyway- so I'm leaving it as vague as possible as to who the second guy was...
 For a moment I considered taking down the blog posts, so I asked a friend of mine his opinion and he said leave it up. Which I knew I would do anyways but I liked a second opinion just incase my emotions were getting in my way. I told him how I was so upset that people can defend bad people... His response was that she wasn't defending the bad things he did, she was defending him out of ignorance. She hadn't been exposed to the bad side of him (and dear god I truly hope she never is) so she doesn't know that side of him. He told me that I did my best to end her ignorance to this ugly side- and that it was her turn to accept it or continue to ignore it and eventually be exposed to it. He of course then reminded me I "can't save people, I can only love them" when I said how I hope she never sees that side of him. I asked my mother as well- because she calls me out on my shit whether I like to hear it or not. Her reply was as simple as "Why in the Hell would it effect him?" so I decided to stick to my gut and leave everything up.
 I never wrote this stuff to trash anyone honestly, though obviously people who assault people are trash- it was always for closure and help, because this is a form of my therapy. This whole blog is one of the main reasons I've decided to become a therapist. When I used to write these posts, before I turned comments on and had an email for these I felt so alone. I wrote these things so I could finally put words to my scrambled thoughts. Then people started emailing me showing me I wasn't alone. My social anxiety post was one of the big ones, I even had people coming up to me on campus telling me how they were so glad someone put these thoughts to words- people I had never met but recognized me. Then with my dad being an alcoholic, people were glad they weren't alone. It's my most read post around the world with thousands of reads daily. And now with my Me Too posts so many people have emailed me thanking me for speaking out about this topic. I even Skyped with a girl who wanted to talk to me more about that blog post because she needed someone to confide in. We spoke for two hours about everything and she told me at the end of it she's going to tell her mom what happened and get help.
 And it saddens me, honestly I cried while starting this post and the last one because it hurts, that other people will try to silence stuff like this. I speak out because others suffer in silence. I have suffered in silence before and it felt like I was drowning in the air I breathed. I felt alone, dead inside, and forever damaged. But when I spoke out, I found others like me, I felt a giant weight lift off my shoulders. I realized I was not alone, it was not my fault- I had watched Law and Order: SVU for years and always told myself "if this ever happens to me I know it's not my fault". But then every time it happened I blamed myself, I stayed quiet, and I cowered in fear. But now I know I am not alone- I stand with Sophia Bush, Jennifer Lawerence, Debra Messing, Rose McGowan, Angelina Jolie, Cara Delevinge, Heather Graham, Ashley Judd, Molly Ringwald, James Van Der Beek, Felicia Day, Viola Davis, and many- many more who are using their platform to tell people they aren't alone and this is happening.

 So to people who think like the second person- I hope you stop trying to silence people on things like this. The last thing people need to be when talking about sexual assault is silent. We need to speak out for the backlogs, for the fucked up laws, for our siblings and friends and family members who are being assaulted and for those we don't know. I used to be the quiet mousey girl who teared up when her boyfriend said she was being "really fucking annoying" for trying to hold his hand, now I am the girl who calls men out when they start cursing at me and getting in my face. I am the girl who knows some times it's all A Little Too Much, the girl who will have that inked on her skin in blue above the cuts on her arm to remind her the world is too much sometimes but I can still fight- I can still live- I can still thrive. I am the girl who will scream at protests demanding basic human rights. I am the girl who will use her corner, her platform, to speak up for those who can't. Because I was once the girl who couldn't speak for herself- and I know how badly that felt. So no I will not apologize for these posts, because I am not sorry. I am not sorry for no longer staying silent- I am not sorry for my assaulters. I am standing here, calling them out- I am roaring.

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