Far too often we allow the wrong moments in life to define us. This includes the lies we tell ourselves and others. I was working on chapter revisions of my book, That Damn Girl Stuff, when it triggered something in me. It brought me back to an instagram post I made. The picture post said, “Don’t allow a discouraging moment to turn into an hour, day, week…” In the post I shared about wallowing in my funky moods due to hurt feelings.
“I released myself to move beyond the moment. I don’t allow moments to dictate my path or my life. I don’t allow moments to define my being. It was just a moment. I relive the good ones and release the bad. Discouraging moments may visit but they were never meant to stay.”
It hit me how I could have allowed what some would term #MeToo moments of my life to negatively define the type of person I would become. I could have wallowed in the shame of what occurred. In the book I focus on my rape by an unknown attacker. I don’t share the experiences of those I trusted taking advantage because the ripple effect of harm it would cause is not worth it. It is a lie of omission.
The lie I did expose was the one surrounding my rape. For so long took comfort in a lie savingd me from judgement disguised as truth. One of my greatest pet peeves of the coming generation are the ones who blurt out the truth under headings like, “I’m just keeping it real.” I call bullshit. You are using the truth to hurt and humiliate another person. Even more shameful are people using the truth with hopes of making themselves look or feel better.
My lie was a product of a perceived truth. A truth that won't always say to your face. You were asking for it in some shape, form or fashion. My lie was a form of self-preservation. It shielded me from the passive aggressive comments of the truth tellers. I was already beating myself up. I didn’t need the truth to hammer it home. Telling a lie seemed a far better alternative than facing consequences of a perceived truth that I did something wrong.. I survived as long as I could with the lie. When I finally told the truth it was to the one person I never thought I would.
I have no plans of ever sharing the omitted truths unless it is to save another. I am not about saving the ones who assaulted me, but those around them. For those situations the lie by omission is easier. I will freely admit I share similar experiences with those who branded themselves with #MeToo. I just refuse to share in that branding. Telling the truth about my rape gave me strength. Telling the truth beyond that would be to do harm.
I refuse to give value to negative moments of my life. I don’t see myself as a victim or survivor. I only see moving forward. I see that you have to go through some things because you may have to be strong enough for the next person. You grow strong because you may have to pick up those who fall and think they don’t have the strength to rise again. I hope that strength flows so that others not wait to speak up.
I told the truth about my rape because the lie saved no one.