If you’re uncomfortable with the f word, I highly suggest you do NOT read this post. If you proceed and find yourself incredibly offended, it’s your own fault.
It takes an awful lot to offend, embarrass, or absolutely disgust me. A friend of mine actually said it best when he said I have dude humor. It’s true. I can hold my own with the guys, and in fact I prefer hanging with the guys to dealing with the high maintenance, drama filled girl shit most of the time.
- I can’t believe I can talk to you like I talk to my guy friends.
- You really don’t have much of a filter between your brain and your mouth do you?
- I can’t believe you said that. (I get this one a LOT!)
- You are like the least girly girl I know.
I get variations of things like this said to me ALL the time. I actually like it. Being “one of the guys” is generally the easiest way to go about things. Honestly, I’d rather be able to talk about things that are “taboo” than bury my head in the sand and pretend they don’t exist. Like, I can hang out with my girl friends, but I can also carry my own when I’m around their husbands and boyfriends too, and in a situation where everyone is around, you’re more likely to find me shooting the shit with the guys than you are to find me gossiping with the girls.
Getting to my point, I owe one giant damn apology to EVERYONE who took any time at all during that week or so last month to post any variation of #metoo that was trending on social media. You see, privately of course because I would NEVER say something like this publicly, my opinion was that these women should have said something sooner. As I watched more and more women in Hollywood come out and tell their stories, all I could think was “WHY didn’t you say something sooner? Look how many other women you could have saved from this fate if you had just said something before you made yourself rich and famous first.” I know, I know…it’s victim shaming in the worst form, and I hate myself too, but I seriously thought “How selfish could you possibly be? You KNOW that this creep is this way, but you accepted it so you could make your millions, and now that you’ve done that, NOW you’ll speak out against them. How do you feel knowing you could have started this ball rolling YEARS ago? You could have stopped it from happening to all of these other people!”
I watched as #metoo took over social media and thought “There is no fucking way this is happening this often. There’s just no way.” How absolutely fucking naive of me.
I have ALWAYS prided myself on being able to take care of my own shit. I am independent as hell, and nobody is going to put me in a position where I am not in control of my own shit. Could I have possibly been more wrong?!
For better or worse, I seem to be someone who people feel comfortable talking to about anything. I’d blame it on being a Pisces, but I know some Pisceans who are complete uncaring assholes, so whatever. My point is people tell me shit. They tell me things that they wouldn’t say to other people because somehow they know I’m not going to tell anyone else, or judge them, and somehow they know I’m going to do everything I possibly can to help them get their shit together or feel better about their situation. Whether it needs to be done with actual advice, conversations that other people would deem “inappropriate”, a conversation that is nothing but memes sent back and forth, or just someone to listen and not say a thing, I’m generally your person.
A while back, someone I know reached out. They needed someone, and as it often goes, I was the someone. I listened, memed, made them feel better, and by the time the conversation was over, I was completely drained, but they were doing better so whatev…my job was done. I actually thought nothing more of it.
A few months ago this person sent me a text that was CLEARLY meant for someone else. I ignored it, deleted it, laughed it off, and went about my business. I’ve sent texts to the wrong person before; everyone has.
Cut to a time really not all that long ago. I got a message from this person who I haven’t heard from in months. No biggie. I often go great lengths of time between talking to some people. I figured they needed to talk, and by talk, I mean text/meme/anything that didn’t ACTUALLY involve speaking on the phone. What actually happened was the most vile string of messages I have EVER been sent from anyone ever.
Oh it started out innocently enough, telling me I was beautiful, telling me that they just don’t understand why I don’t have someone who cares for me. That’s not anything out of the ordinary. Lots of people say things like that to me. Actually, back up. Most people say a variation of “You’re fucking awesome and I just don’t understand how you’re not dating/married.” Most people don’t use the word beautiful. Most people lie and say hot or gorgeous. (I say they lie, because I just simply don’t see it. Maybe they just need their eyes examined.) Beautiful isn’t something that is used very often, and beautiful shakes me to my fucking core, so beautiful REALLY threw me off, but not for long. I responded with some variation of my usual “Between drama with my kid, 2 jobs and 2 different volunteer organizations, I simply don’t have time for the bullshit. When I find someone who WANTS to be part of my life, instead of someone who I have to beg to be part of my life, maybe then I’ll have someone who ‘cares’ about me.” Actually, I think my exact words this time were “I don’t have any patience for the bullshit.” Then I fell asleep thinking the conversation was over.
I woke up the next morning to the usual myriad of missed notifications on my phone. I checked them as I was walking to the bathroom, running late as usual. That’s when I opened the unread messages and saw that the innocent conversation that had started the night before had turned unacceptably sinister as I was sleeping. Messages hinting at things this person would like to do with me, followed by them questioning the appropriateness of the things they were sending, followed by additional messages that were even worse than the ones just barely sent.
These are messages that leave me with the realization that I will NEVER fucking be in a room anywhere with this person again, alone or otherwise. They are messages that will have me avoiding any function where I might run in to this person again like the damn plague, and that REALLY pisses me off, because this is a group of people I like to be around. They are messages that make me question my status as that bad ass who can take care of herself in any situation. They shake my already nearly non-existent trust in other people, and they make me despise the word beautiful. They make me insanely relieved that I can block numbers from calling or messaging my phone. They make me dread any time I am asked to come out of my office at work, because I never know who will be waiting to talk to me when I leave it.
Mostly though, these messages make me realize just what an asshole I was to even think that if these #metoo women had said something sooner, they could have prevented so many other #metoo stories, because calling these fucking predators out on their bullshit is not an easy task. Whether they waited 20 seconds or 20 years to say something, to do something about it, they deserve nothing less than our encouragement and full support.
I’m fortunate that my #metoo story didn’t involve anything physical. The old me would say this person is actually fortunate that it didn’t escalate to anything physical, because I would have caused some serious damage to them. Truthfully, I’m the lucky one though, because I probably would have frozen and shut down mentally in a physical confrontation just like I did reading about it. I thought I was strong. I thought I was a total bad ass. I thought I could handle anything life threw at me, but I was wrong. I was wrong because those stupid words on my phone fucked me up more than anything else life has ever thrown at me, and that’s a lot, because life has been a giant dick to me, and right this very second, I’m questioning whether or not I’ll ever recover from that.