#WhyIDidntReport is trending on Twitter.

It is sexual assault awareness month.

The thing is, I did report. Twice. It didn’t make a difference, either time.

Drunken teenage boys are just kids. I shouldn’t have been at the party, and I shouldn’t have been drunk.

State troopers are, well, state troopers. I shouldn’t have been in the bar, and I shouldn’t have talked back.

Sixteen years later, and what I have learned is that speaking your truth doesn’t always get you justice. It was my experience that it brought me shame. Disappointment. More pain than the initial assault.

While I am eternally grateful that we have been given a much louder voice in recent years, I do wish that I would have had the same megaphone back then.  I wish I would have been stronger. Smarter. Quicker.

I’m an idealist. I thought that if I did the right thing, the truth would see the light of day.

It may not have been illuminated back then, but today, today I can at least shine what little light I have to try to make it a bit easier for the next person to speak up.

Shut Down

I shut this site down for a few weeks out of fear.

Fear of being out here, being seen.

That went against everything I stand for. Or, at least everything I’m trying to stand for. I fully believe that the only way to bring things into the light is to drag them there, sometimes kicking and screaming.

No, it’s not always easy to click the “publish” button after I have written something, but it is necessary. For me to release and for others to feel free to be 100% authentic in their own rite.

Yes, some of the things I write about are intense. And yes, I get scared of what people will think or say about me. Nevertheless, I’d rather have the truth out here, loud and proud, than some fake veil for you to see me through.

While this was hidden, I felt hidden. Today I am choosing to live my life in the light, and to do so I cannot hide.

Almost everything I have written about has reached someone, somewhere that needed to read it. They can feel seen just as I do, simply by knowing they are not alone.

For that I will risk the embarrassment, the open wounds and the brutal honesty.

I can’t tell you that I am with you, that I see you, if I won’t allow myself to be seen as well.

Do You Know Who You’re Sitting Next To?

I can put up with a lot of things.

As a woman who is Gay, Bipolar, and a victim of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment, I have sat at many an uncomfortable table in my day.

I’ve had to listen to my friends and acquaintances throw around words like “crazy”, “ugh, I wanna slit my wrists” and my favorite, “so-and-so belongs in a mental hospital”.  Ignorance must be bliss.

Many times, especially lately, with current events as they are, I’ve sat through parties, lunches and dinners where they are callously and ignorantly tossing out hate speech about “the gays” and “trannies”.  Both abhorrent.

What I can’t do, is sit at a table and listen to people blame a woman for being raped, assaulted or harassed. Let alone these people blaming little girls for the same.

This has happened to me twice in the past week. Honestly, I didn’t realize that I was associating with people, women even, that find a way to blame a woman’s short skirt, or online dating for her being a victim of assault.

I can’t hear that. I can barely read it on my news feed, let alone hear the sentiments uttered aloud.

Fourteen years and an exorbitant amount of therapy later, I still blame myself.

Listen, I’m smart. I know logically, factually that I didn’t cause my assault, but in my heart and soul I blame myself.

If only I wasn’t drinking.

If only I was wearing something else.

If only I had done this or done that.

Screw you, I didn’t ask for this.

If a man can’t control himself around a drunk girl at a party, maybe he isn’t quite ready to dorm at college anyway?

If a man can’t control himself around my 19-year-old self’s jean skirt, maybe he has not business being a cop?

Let’s all do the world a favor, and stop talking about things we know nothing about, eh?

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