Hashtags are the internet’s fastest way to get your point across. They identify your message topic and make it easy to search for common interests. Social media has become the world’s platform for getting your message heard, and the current trending hashtag, #Metoo, has so much to say to so many people, both men and women.
In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault accusations, people are coming forward by the thousands to acknowledge the fact that they too were assaulted or harassed sexually. They are using the internet as a platform to stand in virtual solidarity. The magnitude of these two words and how they have recently flooded my social media pages has given me an alarming wake-up call to show how every single day this is a problem, and it is growing.
I was really hesitant about putting this as a status due to fear of the backlash. Even all these years later, the incidents leading up to my “me too” moment were not something I was ever comfortable sharing with the world. I have written about some very personal facets of my life in the last five years of my column, but my me too moment has always been left out.
Even as a voice of solidarity or a way to say “you’re not alone,” I didn’t want the follow-up questions from those out there just looking for a story. I didn’t want to relive my me too. I thought about the fact that this fear over something that happened over a decade ago could still be there. I thought I was past the feelings of shame. I thought I was over wanting it all to just be a bad dream. I am not.
The realization that this still bothers me so much when I had decided to myself that I was over it makes me angry beyond words. I am mad at the man who forever changed my life in the worst way possible. I am mad at myself for getting into a situation that I lost control of. I am mad that 16 years ago still feels like yesterday. I am mad at the fact that so many others have had to endure their own “me too” moments.
I am not, nor do I think I will ever go into the details of that night. I will say this though: I am a survivor. I am a fighter, and I have accepted the fact that it isn’t my fault. I will never be the same, but I refuse to let it break me. My me too does not define me, and to anyone else who has encountered this terrible situation, just know, you’re not alone.
Girl Talk began in 2012 as a telltale horror story of the city’s most epic dating disasters and has evolved into a column about love, life experiences and growing up. Melissa also has a weekly Girl Talk TV segment on PA Live and WBRE.