I Didn’t Think #MeToo Included Me
I grew up believing that “inappropriate” clothes meant that you were asking for it and if you were taken advantage of while drunk, you deserved it. You know what I mean—the girl is to always blame—boys will be boys, after all. My opinions and beliefs have changed, yet sometimes the old thinking takes over—if only out of habit.
As the movement started, I watched as women declared #MeToo and found strength in each other. Even though I related to their stories, I felt left out. I wanted to draw from their strength but #MeToo made me uncomfortable. My burden weighed heavily. I wanted the freedom that those two words—five simple letters—represented.
I cried as it happened. My slurred noes may have sounded like permission, but it didn’t make it OK. After years of reminding myself that no one believes the drunk girl, I’m letting go. I have learned that it doesn’t matter if they believe me.
With my new found freedom, this Sober Girl is finally saying #MeToo.
Emboldened by watching my sisters break their silence—I am dropping my pain and losing my shame. The pain is no longer mine to carry. I am not the one to blame. I was taken advantage of and treated like an object—as if his desires outweighed my soul. He called me a whore to clear his conscience. I know that now.
The #MeToo movement is more than rape—it’s about sexual assault of all forms. It’s women declaring enough is enough. You do not get to make a remark about my outfit, or creepily comment on my choice of ice cream. You do not get to insert yourself into my world, uninvited—like I owe you something. You don’t get to touch me because you’re your boss. Even if you’re my significant other, you do not own my body.
More importantly: you do not have the right to take advantage of me simply because I drank too much.
Slipping into that dress didn’t make me fair game. When drinking alcohol I was conceding to a hangover, possibly a loss of memory. I was not surrendering myself to you.
The #MeToo movement isn’t calling into question our drinking habits or our clothing choices—it’s calling into question the decisions someone else made for us. The decision he made to keep going through the tears and ignoring the noes. The decision that he deserved it even though you were unable to form a sentence.
For those of you still uncomfortable with #MeToo, know this: I believe you. What you drank, what you took, what you wore; you were not asking for it, and you did not deserve it. No one does.
Melissa is a 29-year-old student and stay at home mom to her two boys; 3-year-old Watson and her newborn, Emerson. She is married to a wonderful sober man and they have created a blessed life in Southern California.
Melissa has been sober since 11.6.13 and is active in 12 step fellowships. She understands there are no sober blueprints, and different things work for different people. Along with addiction, Melissa struggles with mental health issues, addiction to self-harm, and has a habit of self-loathing. Through recovery, she has begun to overcome those obstacles.