Because one, we never forgot it happened. and just because we couldn’t find it in ourselves to let it out then, we feel the world could now be more gentle in hearing our stories.
Two, if we wanted to ruin lives, we could have done so at that exact time, when we had plenty of proof because it had just happened, our story could have been corroborated and the perpetrator would eventually get punishment.
I will share my story today. I am unable to tell my own family about my abuse because it happened when I was very little. I still remember it. I don’t know why. Things trigger the memory I tried suppressing, believe me I did but they come back.
I have grown with the fear of mustaches because if memory serves right (because it happened 20 year ago, I was 7 or 8) he had one. He was a electrician, he came to fix my grandfather’s cable. I was with our cook’s daughter that day playing on the rooftop. He was there and he asked us to help him. Being children we didn’t know better so we went.
He asked me to hold him. He never exposed himself because we were in a public place, hidden yes, but still any one could have walked in. My own brother and his friend were playing just a few steps away, barred by a wall. He asked me to touch it. The cook’s daughter ran away. I guess she had better training than me. I didn’t at first. I remember holding it over his shalwar. And then I ran too. because that very instant I remember this is wrong. This is a monster. I didn’t want to be alone. I was scared.
I told my mother, she told me to wash my hands and never tell anyone about this ever. And so I did. I remember washing my hands yet still somehow feeling dirty. That feeling has not left me years later.
In my worst times and even during my happiest, I am transported back to those unfateful seconds. No matter how much I try, what I do.
I have not let this ruin my life. But I never had the courage to step forward and speak to my family about it. So when these women stand up and tell you that a man or a woman took advantage of them, asserted their power, I believe them 100%. It’s not even a question of the perpetrator defending himself because I know as a victim myself, it is so hard to speak up. I am 29, I have a lot of friends and a supporting family. But I cannot imagine causing them hurt and pain like this. This is why I don’t speak up.
But I can speak up here. For everyone. You are not alone. I believe you. What happened to me, I can’t do anything about it. except wish for his painful death. even that I dont do because I know his crimes may get unaccounted for in their world, but not there.
If I knew that my story would only bring closure to me, or save another innocent I would gladly and in a heartbeat share in publicly. So I BELIEVE THESE WOMEN.
I BELIEVE IN DR. FORD. I BELIEVE IN MEESHA SHAFI. I BELIEVE IN DYLAN FARROW. I BELIEVE IN ALL THE COURAGEOUS WOMEN WHO STOOD UP.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE. #METOO