#metoo

I’ve used this blog to be open about my anxiety in the hope it somehow helps others.

Time to be open about something else too. In the light of recent allegation cases, of some not wanting to believe the scale, not understanding the magnitude, there is a #metoo meme going round facebook.

So me too. But not just once. Many times. In different ways. As I sadly, heartbreakingly, furiously angrily suspect is true for far far too many of us.

Edits to add – more come back to me as my day passes…. as they do, I am including them.

Aged 8 I was walking the dog across nearby fields. A man approached me, he also had a dog, we chatted, I was precocious and confident, this wasn’t unusual. He said his dog had had puppies, would I like to see them. I recognised the phrase from a talk a nice policeman had given at my school. I made my excuses and left to go home.

Fetching icecream in Turkey, age 13, the seller spoke to me in Turkish. Having no isea what he was saying, I nodded and smiled. He then reached over and grabbed my breast.

Same holiday, I walked with someone on the beach. He passionately kissed and fondled me. I blamed myself because I’d been flirting with him. I was 13, he was 33.

Working a summer job near the pier my boss would walk behind us and put his hands on our hips as he did so. We weren’t that tight for space. He only had female employees. He did this to all of us.

A house party after a Rocky Horror theme night at a pub, when things wind down and my friend and I go to leave, they locked the door…. we climb out the window and down the fire escape. We were 16.

Being so drunk at 17 I could barely stand upright in the nightclub, being intimately fondled in front of whoever else was in that room. I was sore the next day.

I refused to go in a back room for a drink with one of the bouncers in a different nightclub. The next week I went there to discover I’d been banned. No one talked about what happened in that room. Everyone knew to refuse.

Over the years numerous catcalls, shouts out of vehicle windows. Commonplace as to be almost expected – oh it’s just a thing that happens…

Messages received on dating apps only this year – yet I know what’s been sent to me is nothing compared to other screenshots I’ve seen.

And…. I’ve counted myself lucky because…. it could have been worse. I haven’t been raped, there’s never been violence …. I count myself lucky?!

We are all together in this. Every single one of us deserves the openess and support for our experience, no matter what it is, no matter when it was. Also, no matter the genders involved.

Silent no longer.

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