Beyond #MeToo

We’ve all had our kumbaya moment.  We’ve admitted that we were victimized by sexual predators and that these fiends ruin lives.  But did we achieve anything?  Did we make the world realize it is more common than everyone thinks?  Did we make people realize that many of us hold this trauma inside us until we can’t anymore?

I lean towards no, it did nothing, but make us feel a little better having gotten this out in the open.  As I type this, the US is divided once again, it happens so often anymore, that it it is hardly noteworthy.  Two women have accused Brett Kavanaugh, the nominee for the Supreme Court of sexual assault and President Trump is cluttering social media and the news with statements about how the accusations are suspect because the women haven’t come forward before now.

This accusation infuriates me, President Trump’s accusation that is, because it’s proof that the conditions of sexual assault, rape, abuse, molestation, are still not understood, possibly because people want to be obtuse or willfully ignorant.  I didn’t tell my parents I had been molested by my step sister until I was in my mid twenties.  I’m not even sure I ever told my best friend, who has been my best friend for most of my life because she is also my cousin.  I was ashamed.  I was embarrassed.  I didn’t want to admit that I was a victim.

I told my psychiatrist though.  More than a decade after the abuse, when we were trying to sort out some of my anger and anxiety issues, he asked if I was sexually abused by as a child, because he said I had symptoms of it, and the confession tumbled from my lips, releasing a weight I hadn’t realized I had been carrying.  I cried about it and hurled curses at Shannon who was no longer even in my life, but it took another decade or so before I told either of my parents, and I am very close to my mother.

I always think of Corey Feldman and Corey Haim when someone accuses a victim of lying.  I grew up in the 1980s.  The Coreys were a part of it.  And The Lost Boys is still one of my favorite vampire movies of all times.  Comic book nerds who turn to vampire hunting on the boadwalk?  Yep, great movie.

Haim died in 2010 after years of drug addiction, depression, and a slew of other mental health problems.  And it would take Haim’s death for Corey Feldman to admit that the Coreys were sexually abused and molested as child stars in Hollywood by men that held power over them.  It took 20 years and a tragedy for Feldman to admit to the sexual abuse and lots of people booed him for it, that wouldn’t have happened they said.

But I believe Feldman because Haim could be the poster child for the disaster that life turns into for a child that is sexually abused.  Many molested, abused, and sexually assaulted children suffer from drug addiction, mental health issues, low impulse control, mood swings, rage, hyper-sexuality, and withdrawal from society.  Feldman fared better, but if you ever read his book Coreyography, then you’ll read that Haim was the favorite target for sexual abuse, not Feldman.  And you’ll also find out that many child stars suffered like the Coreys did, which is why many of them go through a period where they seem unhinged.  I have often wondered if the complete reversal of personality experienced by stars like Miley Cyrus and Lindsey Lohan wasn’t also related to sexual abuse.

And I can relate, because it took me 20 years and a tragedy before I admitted being sexually abused to someone not bound by doctor/patient confidentiality.  The President believes if these things had happened, they would have come forward with the allegations years ago, proving he’s never been sexually victimized.  In my opinion, the confirmation of Kavanaugh constitutes a crisis and most victims require a crisis before they step forward with their stories of abuse… Because we automatically assume that everyone will treat us like they did Corey Feldman, “boo hiss, this didn’t happen, you’re lying to get attention.”

With each new boo hiss, whether it’s from the President of the United States or the general public of your hometown, more damage is done to people who have already been victimized.  Victimizing the victims all over again.  The most painful thing my father has ever said to me was “well, it was just kids being kids,” my step sister was in her mid teens and I was in single digits, maybe 6 or 7.  It was definitely not kids being kids.  In his mind, it was like 2 kids playing doctor and in my mind, it was anything but that.  And in that moment, when those words left his mouth, I wished with every ounce of my being that I could take back that confession, keep it inside for the rest of my life, and never ever think about it again.

I don’t know if it’s true in other countries, but in the US, most people believe the victimizer over the victimized.  It’s like they want video proof it didn’t happen and even then, some would still not be convinced.  This thinking is why it takes fucking decades and a crisis for victims to step forward.  Here’s the deal, over the next week or two, these women are going to have their lives shredded.  The press and political cronies will dig through every bit of their personal and professional lives trying to prove they are liars.

At the end of it, most people still won’t be convinced and they will have lost more than they would have gained by stepping forward and contrary to popular opinion, no amount of money makes this type of investigation worth it… Ask Anita Hill if her life was improved by the investigation that followed her accusation of Clarence Thomas.  What saddens me most is even if someone finds that there is evidence to support the sexual assaults, Brett Kavanaugh will still be appointed to the Supreme Court, he will not receive any blow back from it, but the women who made the accusations will be left with tattered lives.

And there will be irrefutable proof that our #MeToo statements will have had zero impact on society.

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