Earlier this week, social media outlets exploded with the use of #MeToo.
Normally, I just share things like this with as many people in my network as will listen because sexual violence is something I fight very hard against, especially in this current culture. This time, I chose to voice my own experience and enter my name into the unfortunate pool of men and women affected by this. I want to talk about what this social media campaign meant to me because I have only ever shared my experience with one person and then I shoved it out like it didn’t happen. It was as if I had removed a cork from my thoughts and once it was released it was gone but that is not how this works.
It was senior year of high school – I had been working at my public library. One day, a guy was hanging out in the mystery books section and he asked my opinion about what he should read next. Of course, my interest was peaked because someone was talking to me about books. We talked for a little while and he made his selections, and then asked how often I worked there. I said, “Only Tuesdays”. He asked for my number and we texted for a little while. He came back the following Tuesday and once again, I helped him select a book to take out that week. We had been texting on and off during the week. I didn’t know his name or if he was in school or even how old he was. I just knew he had dark hair, really blue eyes, a penchant for mint gum, and seemed to like mystery novels.
The third Tuesday in April, he comes in, asks me for a book suggestion and this time we are talking for a while longer. I am re-shelving books and he is walking with me and we someone how end up cornered by the audiobooks. He backed me up against the shelf, grabbed my hand and started kissing me. I still did not know his name or his age. I do know that I never asked to kiss him and as soon as I could I told him to leave and that I didn’t want to see him in the library ever again…and I never did. Not even now when I return as a patron. To this day, I cannot chew mint gum because it takes me back.
I never felt the desire to share my experience with anyone – my therapist included.