#MeToo – Because It’s Okay to Talk About It

#MeToo - Because It's Okay to Talk About It

#MeToo - Because It's Okay to Talk About It

Trigger warning: this post contains discussion related to sexual abuse and harassment.  Please read with caution.

Life isn’t a fairytale, as much as we’d like to make it one sometimes.  As a little girl, I assumed that all love stories were filled with unicorns, rainbows, and sunshine, but didn’t realize that poisonous relationships could be disguised as the sweetest of beginnings.  I’m grateful to say at this point in my life, I’m engaged to an incredible man who treats me like the real-life princess I always wanted to be, and respects me like crazy.  That’s not how my previous experience played out, however.

As I’m writing this up, I can feel my mouth getting dry and my palms sweating, because it’s something I’ve refused to share with the blogging world, or even much in my social circle, for over two years.  However, when Alyssa Milano asked the world to begin tweeting #MeToo if they had experienced sexual assault or harassment, I read hundreds of stories in the span of a week.  Even more, the hashtag was tweeted over 1.7 million times as of October 24.  I knew I had to take the time to share my own story – and it would take more than 140 characters to do so.  So here you are, dear reader friends: this is why I will stand and say #MeToo.

I thought he loved me.  He said he loved me.  Every once in a while he even made me feel like he loved me.  The problem was, he didn’t love me.  Not even a little bit.  Not even enough to respect me.  I was with him for a year.  I thought I was alright, but I wasn’t.  I have acquaintances to this day who tell me, “I was worried about you, but wasn’t sure what to do.”  I didn’t like myself, and I wasn’t even close to loving myself, so how should I know when someone else was taking advantage of me?  I was twenty years old, and on the first day of us being together, on the floor of his brother’s house, he had his way with me.  He refused to use protection, and he never listened when I said it hurt.  It was like I was watching from outside of myself, feeling the pain, the shame, and the frustration that I would learn to endure for a year straight with this … boy (I refuse to call him a man).

It became a near-daily activity for him to force himself on me, even when I was tired – even when I was discovering that I had a stomach disease and was spending hours or days at a time curled up on the bathroom floor, vomiting until there was nothing left.  He didn’t care about my pain, he only cared about his own satisfaction.  I would celebrate the arrival of my “time of the month,” because those were the only weeks I was spared of his harsh touch, and I was only forced to please him in other ways that didn’t cause my body as much pain.

I had no say in this relationship.  No ground to stand on.  He spent a year degrading me and I was too scared to stop him.  If only I had seen sooner the strength I had in me, the strength God gave me, to make him leave.  Sometimes I cry, I ache over what he took from me, the innocence that was ripped away, the gift I should have had the opportunity to give readily to my future husband – the man I love more dearly than anything in this world.  I also cry because I know I am not the only one who has suffered.  I know too many women personally who used the #MeToo hashtag over the past few weeks.  I saw too many women sharing painful stories with the world, like mine.

While I’m grateful for this hashtag, bringing us together as sisters, knowing we aren’t alone and finding that it’s okay to talk about it, I’m also wrecked by the numbers.  These numbers are increasing on a daily basis, and it’s up to us to bring it to an end.  We are worth being treated with respect.  Our sexuality is not to be used for exploitation or entertainment.  We are ravishing, breathtaking, awesome creatures created with a divine purpose to bring beauty and life to the universe and spread love and joy.  Teach your sons, talk to your husbands, text your brothers, reach out to your friends – tell them that we are God’s perfect creations, given the opportunity to experience life to the fullest, and we shouldn’t need to fear touch or intimacy or relationships.

Women who relate to my #MeToo story: do not feel obligated to speak on yours.  Your story is your own, and should only be shared if and when you feel comfortable doing so.  Never give in to a trend if it means sacrificing your sanity.  Also know that you’re not alone.  You’re never alone.  Even if I didn’t have this story to tell, I would still be standing beside you, holding your hand and showing you love.  You’re worth more than you’ll ever know, and I can only hope that you experience healing in your heart and your mind as time passes.

I say #MeToo because I’ve been there, and I never want anyone else to be there again.

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37 Comments

  • Reply
    Heather
    October 25, 2017 at 9:24 AM

    You.
    Just you.
    You are so brave and strong and speaking for millions who can say MeToo but who don’t want to, who actually can’t.
    I’m sorry you went through it. I’m grateful you chose to speak on it, to destigmatize it. I love you and am forever proud of you.
    Go hero!

  • Reply
    Morgan of Traveling Trendy
    October 25, 2017 at 9:50 AM

    I am so so sorry you had to go through this and deal with this. You are so incredibly strong and brave for speaking out. It’s so tough to be in a relationship where there is no respect and lines are blurred. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

  • Reply
    Ashley Zeal
    October 25, 2017 at 9:55 AM

    You are so brave!

  • Reply
    Zumreta
    October 25, 2017 at 9:56 AM

    So proud of you for being so brave! It’s so bizarre how many us can say #metoo but how so many of suffer alone. Sending you so much love ❤️

  • Reply
    Naomi Trevino
    October 25, 2017 at 10:05 AM

    So proud of you for standing up but that’s what you felt in your heart to do. You’re right that not everyone is in that place or wants to share and that’s ok. I’m thankful you were able to get out. Unfortunately so many women feel trapped or wind up dead. It’s a horrible world we live in. We as women have to look out for each other.

  • Reply
    Taylor Aube
    October 25, 2017 at 10:24 AM

    I’m so sorry this happened to you and I am glad you got out of such a destructive relationship. I’ll be damned if a woman has never felt like a victim or has never been made uncomfortable by the advances of men – seriously EVERY girl has and #metoo is ALL WOMEN. You are brave you share your story. Wishing you the best <3
    http://stopdropandvogue.com

  • Reply
    Lacey
    October 25, 2017 at 11:10 AM

    Girl so many virtual hugs coming your way! So proud of you for speaking your truth to help inspire others. Sometimes it helps to just get it out there!

    xx,

    Lacey
    The Glitter Gospel

  • Reply
    Lauren
    October 25, 2017 at 11:25 AM

    I’m so sorry that you had to go through this, Stephanie. Thank you for being honest and sharing your story! Always here for you <3

    Xx,

    Lauren

  • Reply
    Megan
    October 25, 2017 at 1:17 PM

    thank you for being so brave, Stephanie! I know it’s hard to share these things with our followers and we’re all better when we do. Sending you love and light.

  • Reply
    Lily
    October 25, 2017 at 1:28 PM

    Oh Stephanie, I can’t even begin to imagine the pain, the suffering you had to go through. I am SO glad you were able to get out of that relationship and found a real man who knows your worth.
    You are so brave to open up and share this, I know it wasn’t easy, but like you mentioned, this can help so many out there. Thinking of you!
    xo, Lily

  • Reply
    Lauren
    October 25, 2017 at 1:40 PM

    This made me cry because it was someone you were in a relationship with who was supposed to protect you and he ended up being the one hurting you. You are beautiful and I’m so happy that you were able to get out of that toxic relationship.

    #MeToo. My story is a bit different. but I’ve been sexually assaulted before as well. I never want anyone to go through that.

    Praying for you!
    xx
    Lauren

  • Reply
    Whit
    October 25, 2017 at 1:57 PM

    wow I am so sorry! Thank you for sharing your story and I am so glad you were able to get out of that relationship. Its so important we talk about these things. Sending good vibes your way hun!

    Britt+Whit

  • Reply
    Michelle Sun
    October 25, 2017 at 4:02 PM

    Thank you for sharing this girl! You are brave and strong to do so. I was about to write about a similar topic that I experienced, and you’ve encouraged me to do so. Thank you so much for creating such a welcoming community where we can express our thoughts comfortably. I’m sorry that happened to you and I’m glad that you found the love of your life who would treat you so much better than that disrespectful boy ever had.

  • Reply
    Kimmie
    October 25, 2017 at 5:34 PM

    Wow. Thank you for sharing your story on this platform! You are brave to do this and your words are going to help many women! THANK YOU <3 xoxo

  • Reply
    JoJo
    October 25, 2017 at 5:55 PM

    It so breaks my heart to hear your story, but how beautiful to hear that you know that in Christ you are a new creation. You have the freedom that comes in knowing that He is restoring and working in you. You can live loved because you ARE loved. Prayers for you sweet lady.

  • Reply
    Meach Zavodny
    October 26, 2017 at 9:08 AM

    You and I have a very similar story. Thank you for sharing. <3

  • Reply
    Annette Dattilo
    October 26, 2017 at 10:06 AM

    I am so sorry you had to go through that. It is heart breaking that this goes on in our world and even more so to learn how much it goes on. I’m so happy to hear you are happy and with someone that provides you love, support and respect. Thank you for sharing your story. xo

  • Reply
    Ashley Houston
    October 26, 2017 at 10:50 AM

    I just teared up reading this. My heart hurts for you that you went through this. It also resonates strongly with me and a previous relationship. The only good I took from it is knowing how I REFUSE to be treated. You have inspired me and many others to tell my story. Too often we feel ashamed or embarrassed to talk about the bad things that have happened to us but they can help others experiencing these situations so much. Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply
    Shelby Back
    October 26, 2017 at 12:47 PM

    Reading this broke my heart. I am so sorry you had to go through such pain. You are so brave for sharing your story.

    xo!
    Shelby Back
    http://www.glitterandgingham.com

  • Reply
    Helena Marz
    October 26, 2017 at 8:04 PM

    Oh my goodness girl, I am very sorry to hear what you have went through in your past relationship and no woman deserves to be abused like this. It broke my heart reading this and I am very happy that you found a good man who loves you and treats you like a princess! You are a good inspiration❤️ xo

  • Reply
    Tuyet
    October 26, 2017 at 8:29 PM

    So sorry that you had to go through this and very brave of you to share.

  • Reply
    Samantha Mariko
    October 26, 2017 at 8:57 PM

    I can’t believe such a sweet, sweet girl like you had to go through this horrible ordeal. And for a whole year… You are seriously so brave for coming forward with your story. I think I’m not the only one that feels really happy that you’ve found the man of your dreams. You only have good things to look forward to <3
    xo Samantha

  • Reply
    Sandy a la Mode
    October 26, 2017 at 10:12 PM

    You brought tears to my eyes with this post girl. I am so sorry for all that you’ve gone through, but I seriously applaud you for being so strong and sharing this. You are going to help so many people who have felt silenced or have suffered. So happy you’re happy now xoxo

  • Reply
    Megan
    October 27, 2017 at 1:05 AM

    Girl, I respect you so much for coming forward and talking about your story. You are such a strong woman and I love you so much!

    Megan | http://www.pipmegan.com

  • Reply
    Kristina
    October 27, 2017 at 7:31 AM

    Hate that you had to go through that and thank you for opening up and sharing your story. This happens all too frequently and is never talked about… until now. Glad you found a man who will love and respect you the way you deserve!

    xo, Kristina

  • Reply
    Anna English
    October 27, 2017 at 9:22 AM

    Such a beautiful post Stephanie, thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Danielle
    October 27, 2017 at 9:27 AM

    I’m sure it took more than A LOT to come forward and tell your story, and there are so many women out there who are identifying with and appreciating it. Cheers to brave, strong women like you babe!

    xx, Danielle | Pineapple & Prosecco

  • Reply
    Brittany Shinn
    October 27, 2017 at 11:10 AM

    Stephanie, I am sure that this took a lot of courage and many second guesses before you hit the “post” button. I am always inspired by your unfailing willingness to be honest, open, and vulnerable in an effort to build other women up. Your retelling of your experience (which I wish you never had to go through) has made other women feel that much less alone, and you’re leading by example of being the amazing woman you are now. Thank you for always being a one-of-a-kind role model. Thank you for having the courage to tell YOUR story – and for reminding us all that we can be strong after and experience like this, too.

  • Reply
    Amanda
    October 27, 2017 at 11:41 AM

    I can only imagine that this wasn’t an easy post to write, reliving those harsh memories. I think you are amazing for not just sharing this story with others but for having the strength to get out of a bad situation. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

  • Reply
    Maggie
    October 27, 2017 at 12:26 PM

    Thank you for sharing! I think a lot of people will look at #metoo as only from men we work with or don’t really know. I think a lot of women, including myself who has been in a similar situation, forget that the guys we date may also be the ones who are assaulting, degrading us. But we mask it because we “love them”. I hope girls who are in similar situations like this will know it is ok to speak out and to leave the relationship!

  • Reply
    Stephanie // A Sparkle Factor
    October 27, 2017 at 2:40 PM

    Steph, thank you so much for sharing this. My heart breaks to read this story and I am literally wiping tears away. The fact that is all too commonplace, that every woman I know has a ME TOO story, all ranging from verbal harassment to straight out physical assault is sickening. Thank you for your bravery to share this pain with us. You don’t owe us anything, but your strength will no doubt give others strength. xx

  • Reply
    Jessica
    October 29, 2017 at 3:59 PM

    I am so sorry that you experienced this. Thank you so much for sharing your story.
    xo Jessica
    http://www.whatsfordinneresq.com

  • Reply
    Nataly
    October 29, 2017 at 8:01 PM

    Thank you so much for sharing this story! I know it must have been so hard to type that out and have to go over it again! You are a strong and brave woman and don’t let anyone tell you any different!

  • Reply
    Alice
    October 30, 2017 at 9:14 AM

    My heart hurts for what you went through. You are so brave to speak out and tell your story!

    xo, Alice

  • Reply
    Samantha
    October 30, 2017 at 9:39 PM

    So sorry you went through this but thank you for sharing and using your story to create positive change!

  • Reply
    Jenn Hanft
    October 30, 2017 at 10:35 PM

    Words can’t even begin to describe what I want to say right now. I wish I can hug you through the computer screen. You are really so brave to go to the extent of deciding to voice your experience and share it with the world. I am so, so sorry that such a horrible thing happened to you and you had to endure it for so long. I am so happy that you finally have someone who loves you and cherishes you the way your fiance does. You and any being out there deserve so much more than that. It makes me so sad to see the numbers and the #MeToo’s out there. It’s bittersweet. Everyone who experience trauma finally have the voice to say something, to join together with a group who understands, to unite to bring awareness to the public, but at the same time it’s scary and so disheartening to visibly see and hear about all the occurrences that happen in the world…. and unfortunately that number is only growing. Thank you for sharing such a personal story with us. I love you and your strength! Hoping this campaign helps improve and prevent future stories.

    With love, Jenn
    https://jubilantdose.com

  • Reply
    Liz
    November 1, 2017 at 3:34 PM

    So heartbreaking! I’m so sorry this happened to you. No one should ever go through anything like that. You are so brave to speak up and encourage others to do the same <3

    Liz
    http://Www.lizzieinlace.com

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