I don’t know who needs to hear this. But even if there is one person amongst you who is struggling with their identity post harassment/ assault/rape or any traumatic incident at any given point in your life, I write this for you. I write to tell you why your existence makes all the difference in the world that we are living in today.
During a discussion with a friend yesterday, she pointed out her criticism for the MeToo movement. ‘It didn’t do anything’, she said. ‘Nothing happened to them. Nothing is ever going to happen to them, they (the perpetrators) are living their best lives. So, what was the point of it all?’ Another one said, ‘What a waste’.
If you have heard such things too – in parties where you pretend to have a good time, when in reality you have floated outside your body, grappling to the one thing that can keep you grounded, distraction;
at workplace where lunch hours are dedicated to talking (down) politics and how hopeless speaking up really is;
at home, trying to cosy up with your partner or your parents and sibling as they lecture you on their rendezvous with the secret to happiness and you nod along, wondering if you will ever know what that feels like;
if you have been anywhere or everywhere, coping, dealing, exhausted, reviving, struggling yet moving in an attempt to deal with a past that refuses to leave the trenches in your mind – I want you to know that the movement was for you.
It doesn’t matter if you came out and said Me Too or not. If in the confines of your little room, infront of your little phone, you have dropped a tear and whispered the two most powerful words of our times, then this movement was for you. My friend was wrong. Utterly and completely wrong. It was anything but a waste.
To even remotely think that the movement was meant to shame the perpetrators is a grave misdirection from its real intent. Tarana Burke, the founder of the MeToo Movement says, ‘It was never about the perpetrators. It was always about the survivors.’
To be a survivor is hard work. Waking up everyday to the potential existence of something out there that can cause trigger, emotional harm and make you relive the trauma is hard fucking work. But you do it nevertheless. Even on the most hopeless days, when the heart and the mind is heavy, bleeding with pain, you choose a single ray of light, whatever that is (a book, a tv show, phone a friend, meditation, a walk, coffee), to simply move on with your life.
There are times when people try and make you feel lesser for being a victim. This often than not, includes your loved ones. They want you to speed up, catch up with the rest and if you don’t, they try to toss you around, saying ‘you are not enough’, ‘you are not worthy’, ‘you are nothing’. You listen, you fight, you resist, you exist. You, the survivor is a freaking warrior. Your battle is real. Your enemy is a society that refuses to acknowledge its evil, it refuses to see you more than what made you a victim, it refuses to accept that without you, it will collapse. Because you, the survivor is the mirror of who we truly are. They will want to silence you. They will want to tell you ‘Enough. Shush now. You have made enough noise.’ They will do so, because they are afraid of you. Your very existence is a threat to the status quo. Do you get it now?
You are the ammunition. You are what protects the borders from collapsing, you are what reminds us what it is to be human, because you persist.
So, if you are somewhere in this world, struggling to merely get up from the floor you spent the entire night weeping on, believing in the fairy tales that do not mention your existence – I want you to know that I see you. We all see you. You belong here. So, heal. Rest. Rise. Persist. We got this.