I remember when Facebook had a campaign for women against violence, for the month of October, which is National domestic violence month. Now this has come up again with the prosecution of Bill Cobsy and now with R. Kelly.
Any woman that had been sexual harassed or had been abused sexually, physically, or mentally by a man, they wanted you to change your status to say "Me too"
As I changed my status, I have to tell you I was shocked about how many women put that on their status, women that I would have never dreamed that were abused, put that on their status.
This is why I speak about this all the time, as it is near and dear to my heart, being not only a women in a verbally abusive marriage but as a rape survivor as well.
It's because you never know who out there is being abused, it doesn't matter if they have a college degree, it doesn't matter if they come from a upper-middle-class family, it doesn't matter if they're Street Smart or savvy, any woman, anytime, anywhere, from any background, of any religion, of any color, can be abused.
You can be sexual harassed at work by your boss or coworker, but you need the job so you put up with their comments.
You can be sexual molested by family, by family friends or by people you looked up to and trusted. You can be raped by someone you know like I was or a stranger or like so many of the millions of women out there, you can be in a verbally or physically abusive relationship.
All of these are crimes against women and a lot of men out there think this kind of behavior is okay or acceptable. Well, hell it's obviously okay for our president to do it, so why not me, is their mentality!
In the case of verbal abusive, I have been asked over and over "You were a smart, independent women, how could this happen to you?"
The main reason that it happens is, that it doesn't present itself like what it truly is, in the beginning. This goes for any of the predators, from above, they know what they are doing and they are good at it.
No, see he is a charmer, he's sweet, maybe the most romantic man you ever met. It's when he gets you to trust him, to fall in love with him, when little by little he starts saying something, making little comments, then he will apologize, send flowers, he will swear he loves you more than anyone else has.
You will forgive him, until the next time, but trust me it doesn't happen overnight. He's waiting you out, making you more and more dependent on him. Then he will tell you he doesn't like your friends, that your family is too bossy or nosey, they don't know what you two have, so maybe you shouldn’t be hanging out with them so much. Your in love, your most likely a pleaser so you listen, you start cutting off the people you love.
See it goes on for as long as it does because a lot of us don't feel worthy, we may have started out feeling worthy in a relationship but somehow little by little the person that you're with breaks you down, one word at a time, one fight at a time, one comment at a time until you realize you don't even know who you are anymore and you're believing all that they say about you.
Yes, it's a slow tedious process but they're willing to wait it out, they know that once they do, they'll have you under total control. You'll believe anything they have to say, they will actually even get you to start agreeing with them.
They could start a fight with you and you'll end up saying you’re sorry, this is how much control they'll eventually get from you.
Why is this so shocking? Because you never know what happens in a person's life, you never know what they're hiding behind that smile. You’ll never know how their heart is breaking, every single day because they only show you what they want you to see.
You see the big house, the fancy lifestyle, the image they are portraying to the world. I can't tell you how many people said to me "Oh, you have the perfect family" when actually we were a dysfunctional mess.
This is the problem with us in this world today, we don't show emotions, because emotions are scary things. Everyone wants to be the strong one, everyone wants to show the world who they think they should be and not who they truly are, because the truth is, we are all broken, we all hurt, we have all been used and abused.
But the one thing about all of that is, that these things that happened to us aren't who we are, they don't define who we are unless you let them, they are just lessons that we learn.
Lessons that we teach the next generation, that we use to help to uplift others in the same situation, so that they know that know this isn't going to break them, that this is just a test for your testimony.
This is not going to be the end, this is just a start of a different beginning but you must know your worth, you must find the strength, turn to family, to friends, go get counseling, go to a church, pray, join a support group, call a hotline...there are so many outlets out there.
Talk to others, let's start the conversations, now that this has opened the door, reach out to others, let them know you know your in pain, maybe they are waiting to tell someone and this was the first step to opening up that door.
You might be the gift they are praying for, this might change our views on domestic violence, on sexual harassment, on sexual abuse against women everywhere, this might be our stance on stopping this.
You may be the next Rosa Parks, you have a voice, you have worth, you are smart, beautiful, caring, independent women, so speak up, tell someone, be the whistle blower, don't settle, don't stay when you see the warning signs, they will just get worst.
So today my friends, I am so glad for this campaign, to start this dialogue between us, to stand together, to lift each other up, to give love and support to those who say "Me too"
"Be the change you want to see"