Every time I see someone on social media write the words #metoo, I wonder how long it took them to push "post". I've been struggling with it for days. 

I no longer hold on to the hurt and pain from the incident that makes me a member of that group...but that one incident has changed my life profoundly...there is no denying that. 

I was 9. He was in high school. I just wanted to forget it happened. Too scared to tell my parents, I buried it down deep and repressed it until I was 17 years old. In the years between those 2 days, I developed a deep fear of strangers. I made sure every door in our home was locked every night and every window shade drawn.(some nights I double and triple checked) I had a fear/hatred of anyone who bore that boy's name but I didn't know why. I had boys that tried to hold my hand and I would instantly panic.

I was in youth group the night I remembered...everything came flooding back. To this DAY I can still tell you every detail from that day when I was that petrified little girl.  I told my parents. They alerted the church we used to attend states away. I wasn't his first victim. I wasn't his last...but I finally spoke out.  

Since that day, I have used my story to connect with others that have gone through the same thing...I didn't want other girls to feel alone. I wanted them to know that you can move forward...that there IS hope. I remember telling my story for the first time to a young girl who had been abused for years and years and thought she was the only one. We sat in the back of an old church and cried together...she wasn't alone and that made all the difference. It doesn't take away all the pain, but sometimes it makes it more bearable. 

When my boys were old enough, I sat them down and told them everything. I wanted them to feel safe to tell me if anything ever happens to them...and I wanted to remind them that respecting women isn't an option...it's a responsibility. My daughter is only 5...but she and I have had lots of talks and will continue to have many more as she ages. I worry something will happen to my kids...but I cant 100% control that (oh how I wish I could!) I can only speak up and speak out and love them fiercely. 

Why am I telling you this? Why am I typing "me too" into my posts today? Maybe because it's a little bit freeing...that some of the unnecessary shame floats away the minute I post this thing. Maybe I'm telling you because seeing other people type the same thing makes my heart break when I realize how prevalent this problem is in our society and I feel a sisterhood with the women brave enough to say...enough. Mostly I'm telling you because if it has happened to you...and somedays you feel frustrated b/c years later you still have effects...I get it. If it has happened to you and you want to forgive and try to move on but it's hard...I understand. I'm here for you if you ever need help/prayer/advice...I'm here.    #metoo. 

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