I would like to give a little preface before jumping to Cristal’s story. For people who might not know what #MeToo is, it is a movement that exploded on social media that gave women who have been sexually assaulted and/or harassed a voice to say: “me too”, “you’re not the only one”, “I’ve experienced that also”. The goal was to show just how many women on a daily basis experience such atrocious behavior towards them. I, Corrie, have my own experiences but opted to ask Cristal to share hers. She is bold. She is brave. We love and appreciate all that she has shared here on KilaCorrie, but also all over social media. Thank you again, Cristal, for sharing, I know it wasn’t easy. *HUGS*
*Warning* If you are easily triggered due to PTSD or past experiences you might not want to continue reading. *Warning*
I know you asked me to write about #MeToo for the site but I just… I can’t do it. I’ve sat at my laptop no less than 5 times and attempted, but I just can’t do it. Yeah, I participated in the hashtag on Facebook, but notice I didn’t share any of my experiences. Every time I think about one or THEM, I get anxious, then tired, and take refuge in my bed.
I want to write about the courageous and awesome Tarana Burke who started the #MeToo movement 10 years ago. While Burke was a youth camp director, a young girl came to her about how she was being abused by her mother’s boyfriend. Sadly and with regret, Burke sent her to another counselor mainly because having been a survivor of sexual trauma herself- she didn’t know how to help the young girl. Burke was so triggered she was unable to even whisper “Me too”.
Fortunately, that conversation began the #MeToo movement. CNN has quoted Burke saying “I think the one responsibility we have as survivors — once we get to a place where we can — is to create an entry point to healing for other survivors. For years I couldn’t figure out what that would be for me and then ‘Me too’ became that thing.”*
I want to write about #MeToo but I’m just unable to do it. My pulse quickens, my heart beats so hard it feels like it’s going to explode out of my chest when I think about my experiences with being sexually violated.
When I was 13/14 a 35-year-old man, joking with his equally grown male friend, said I had “dick sucking lips” while I was passing out fliers in front of my mom’s hair salon. He was a barber at the salon owned by my mother. He worked for my mother and I NEVER told her. I knew she would murder him and I would lose HER.
At an artist meet-n-greet, ½ of a much beloved R&B group grabbed me by my head and kissed me. I thought it would be a peck but there was tongue. His grip was so tight on my head and chin, I could feel my neck strain when I tried to pull away. After they left, my male boss made a quip that I was “making out with the station’s guests” in front of OUR. WHOLE. STAFF. I quickly shot back “If that’s what you saw, I’m glad he didn’t rape me”. He shut up but…
That male boss was also the guy that screamed “YOU FUCK EVERYBODY EXCEPT ME” in our workplace when he found out I had hooked up with one of his friends. He was always hitting on me and I wasn’t attracted to him. He also had a girlfriend who I was very cool with. Why would I ever fuck him?
When I try to write this piece, I can’t because I can feel the VERY real fear that was coursing through my body when I had to fight my way from under a cast mate’s friend at an after show house party. We were flirting and went into one of the rooms to talk in quiet. I won’t front if I had felt comfortable we probably would have had sex. I didn’t though. AS SOON AS he walked into the room he locked the door. I immediately got up and unlocked it and cracked the door. He needed to know that if anything went down it would be on my terms. I sat on the bed (there was no chair and I was exhausted- it was post-show), he sat next to me, we talked and kissed- UPRIGHT. Until he straddled me and used his full body weight- a muscular 185 lbs. approximately- to push me back on the bed.
He kept kissing me and I kept turning my head and trying to free one of my arms so I could use both to push him off me. He put his arms on mine (imagine a starfish) so I couldn’t move them. He only lifted his arms off to try an undo my zipper. I managed to get my face free and say “so you think you’re gonna rape me?” This seemed to snap him into the reality that I was not enjoying this in the same way he was and he got up. I got up and left. Never mentioning it to my castmate or anyone else. The next day he apologized- an actual apology- and even asked me out for a proper date. While I appreciated his apology and offer I was still shaken.
One “nice guy” I dated, had a rape fetish. Not “rough sex” or “rape play” (as if that’s not sick enough in itself), his fantasy was to have sex with an unconscious woman. While he did not violate me, he did violate his girlfriend whom I had no knowledge of. She agreed to drink until she passed out and “let him” have sex with her. Note: “PRE-CONSENT” IS NOT A THING! Lucky for her, she got sick causing her to throw up and defecate all over herself. He didn’t rape her but he did take pictures of her naked covered in her own bile.
This guy was so “nice”, he would attempt gaslighting me and even tried to blame me for an ex-boyfriend hitting me.
“All the signs were there. I’m just saying…” he said.
“Go fuck yourself!” I replied.
Oh about the ex that hit me? I got the usual “What did YOU do?”, “Why didn’t YOU fight back?”, “Why didn’t you just leave?” – Because it was MY house and he was blocking the door ASSHOLE!
There are many more experiences I could detail, but out of those only ONE time has a man made me feel protected and did not victim blame. I’ll call him “Cap’N”. He had just moved to Houston and we met up for lunch. Friends since college, we hadn’t seen or spoken to each other in years except via social media. It was about 2 weeks after my break up and I was still tender and scared. I told him about the incident and how when dude left he stole my PlayStation and some money. Cap’N was pissed. Very calmly and with a mischievous smirk he asked: “Do you want it back?!”
The answer was in the question. I didn’t but if I did- he would happily retrieve it and BEAT. HIS. ASS.
Again, Corrie, I apologize. I just can’t write about #MeToo. It’s too triggering and I don’t think I can write 1200 words about it without reliving the fear and pain. While it may inspire other survivors to share their stories and help their healing- like the 5 Million people who have used the hashtag on social media this week– I feel the need to be selfish as self-care on this one. In time, I’ll be able to write about the subject but right now I just can’t.
I hope you understand,
*To read and watch CNN’s coverage on Tarana Burke check out: An Activist, A Little Girl, and the Heartbreaking Origin of ‘Me Too‘.
Do you have a #MeToo? We would love to hear from you. Feel free to tell us your story in the comments section below.