It’s been about a year now since I wrote about my personal experiences on a not-so-personal platform. The support I received sounds like a Reddit thread (“wow, i didn’t expect this to be seen by anyone!”) but still rings true; it started as a way to get everything off of my chest and ended with me finding women, men, people to stand in solidarity with. Honestly, I didn’t expect to write an update — but I never expected being a victim of abuse to lead to anything, much less the meaningful relationships and closure I’ve been able to have as a result. This update is designed to (hopefully) remind my pals that there’s something after the hardest year of your life, and that it really, truly, honestly gets better.
In the last year, we watched #MeToo grow from a hashtag to a movement. I couldn’t help but watch the Golden Globes with my eyes warm and wet, first to the sea of all black, to the jokes about men abusing their power making it to the opening monologue (we’re national conversation, yall!!), to that god damn, awe inspiring, fuck yes Oprah speech. Words might be words, but they still hold power. The more we talk about it, the further the dialogue travels. The further it travels, the less likely it is for someone in a similar position to tolerate the abuse we once had to.
As for me… I’ve finally been able to find resolution. After a year of court appearances, emails from “firstname.lastname@example.org”, tweets from Men’s Rights groups and multiple anonymous packages, I’m able to say that my court case is over. I have multiple orders of protection that are designed to protect me, and I finally feel like I can breathe easy when I go to work or venture around the city. One of the reasons I tolerated abuse for so long was because of the threats to my professional reputation, based on someone who worked in venture capital, who promised to meet every potential hiring manager in my industry and make sure I paid for speaking out. I’m hopeful for this movement because it means that women like me can rely on allies to question when our reputation is in turn being debated.
It’s important to remember that resolution does not mean apathy. Even thought I’m incredibly privileged to have found resolution for this one personal matter, very few have been afforded the same luxury. This is why we still have to fight for access to birth control, fight to hold men accountable for abusing their power, fight for an equal wage, fight for the number of issues facing the women we live side by side with.
It’s also important to remember to be grateful. Last year, I said thank you to the women who inspired me not to give up when I felt like the world was closing in politically and personally. This year, I have to say thank you to the people who have taught me support isn’t gendered and that activism isn’t determined by how you’re affected. You couldn’t mean more to me.