Take Your ‘#MeToo’ and Shove It

The day I was raped was the first time I wore a jean skirt. OMG, I was so excited. Was that the case with you too?

It was up against my green Firebird, just after eight o’clock. It was beginning to get dark. He pushed me against the car, whispered in my ear, and looked behind him to make sure he had an audience. I swear I saw my head go through the window. Was that the case with you too?

And when he was done, I’m not sure how I got home. But I remember his smile. I said “I’m okay” for two days. I tried to scrub him off my skin in scolding hot showers. Was that the case with you too?

For nine years, I couldn’t even say the word “rape.” He took away every success I would ever achieve. He destroyed me. He still owns my legs! Is. that. the. case. with. you. too?!

Screw your #MeToo! I am ashamed.  I am enraged, watching the world minimize my rape as if it is just a number; as if I am just another name on a page. As if every rape is exactly the same.

Do you think the numbers aren’t out there? Do you think men and women don’t know rape is almost like a handshake these days? Here we are posting #MeToo because it’s the next viral tag stamped on our pain. And the alleged victims who indirectly inspired this tag, can you tell me their names? Don’t you dare go to Google! Are you listening?

Can you say “#MeToo” yet? Am I making you angry? What does my rapist look like? Did you forget?! Did you forget how it felt when you told your best friend, mother, or sister? Maybe you wrote a poem or a blog and shared it online, did you forget?

Did you forget how it felt when all you were trying to do is find your way back to yourself and when you needed support, when you needed to be heard, the world shouted, “Me too!” And shared every detail of their rapes with you as if somehow that pain would keep your head above water? Did you forget?

Because I still have nights I can’t close my eyes and I would risk my own life to avoid seeing his face in my dreams. I have days I can’t take the weight of every way I’ve been violated. I violate my self just to cover the scars! And you don’t get to say, “Me too.” You don’t get to make me feel reduced…

Unless you can name where they are.

When topics like this start trending on social media, it can be overwhelming for survivors. If you’ve been a victim of sexual assault and you are struggling, please reach out to the National Sexual Assault Hotline, 1-800-656-4673.

Your rape did not happen to the rest of the world. It happened to you.

Here’s What A Tone-Deaf Christian Taught Me

I love to hear people sing. I love to hear voices blended together, no matter how perfect or imperfect they are.

I grew up singing in church. Many members of my family serve as ministers in the community. My grandmother’s late husband was one of them. We were just getting to know him when we visited his small church in Denison Texas.

I was barely a teenager when I realized the power behind a broken, tone-deaf voice, not afraid to stand in front of a crowd and belt it. The recognition came from another person, but I don’t know her name.

She was skinny and frail with short red hair and probably in her late 40s. She definitely wasn’t dressed for church the way my family would’ve expected. We wore dresses in the church as a sign of respect. She was dressed in rugged jeans and a T-shirt.

Before his sermon, Reverend Logan Harper asked the congregation to share their testimonies. He asked people to raise their hands and speak. I sat there, like any regular kid, bored to death and counting down the minutes until lunchtime offered religious relief.

The crowd was small and the church was pretty quiet. She was two rows in front of me. I saw her raise her hand once and put it down. After someone else spoke, she raised it back up. The pastor called on her, and she stood.

She didn’t look around like most people did. She held her head down and didn’t say much. After a few seconds of silence, she started to sing…

All to Jesus I surrender.
All to Him I freely give.
I will ever learn to trust Him,
In His presence daily live.

She definitely wasn’t a singer at all. And back then, I wasn’t a very good Christian. I knew how to walk with the poor and broken a lot better than I knew how to walk with Jesus. But her testimony captured my heart. It touched me.

Looking back now, I understand that emotional rising was because I was looking at the whole picture. I was looking at all of the things I just described. I wasn’t listening to the imperfection in her voice. I was listening to the story she wrote out with her life. I saw her that day. I’m not sure many people can say the same.

She left a mark on my soul and it wasn’t because of the Holy Spirit. It was because she sang. The truth is, if she had just stood up and spoken, I wouldn’t have listened. Eventually, every “praise God” sounds the same. Not that day. That day, I learned love has a language all of its own, mixed with blood and sweat and tears.

As the congregation sing with her, I swear, my age advanced beyond my years. Because it wasn’t about Jesus. It was about survival and acceptance. It was the way she held herself, the way she doubted herself… but she was brave enough to stand up anyway. She was on a mission to inspire someone else that day. She reached out for a purpose.

I never got to tell her she attained it. And I never really got to say thanks. But I think of her often. Usually, in the middle of sinners and beer and midnight karaoke that I have to sleep off the next day. And I’m okay with that.

Because she reminds me that rags might be torn, loads might be heavy, love might be lost, mistakes might be made, but we all deserve grace.


In loving memory of Reverend Logan Harper.

Let’s Talk About Worth

Let’s talk about worth.

Like when life goes from hard to worse and you find yourself down in the dirt like you were born to crawl.

I find myself slammed against brick walls, and the world acts like they can’t see the outlines of the bodies on the ground beneath.

Sorry, you’ve got blood on your shoes, you don’t know what it’s like to have nothing lose. Say another prayer, tell me that I matter, as you step on broken hands and walk on.

Another gold star for you!

Let’s talk about worth.

Like when life goes from hard to worse because the people you need bleed green and blue.

Hope? That’s the real joke. Sorry, I can’t afford justice like you. Poverty since birth, just a kid with a job, I know hard work.

Sleeping in school, waving goodbye to my youth as I skipped the next class because adult bills were due. And you?

Cheerleader, captain of the football team, your daddy was a millionaire, so your laziness got you into Harvard! Let’s talk about worth.

Not allowed to eat out because you’re gay or you’re black with a plastic spoon in your mouth. ‘No transgender allowed!’ Only silver.

Let’s talk about worth!

Like when life goes from hard, then it goes to worse, and you find yourself down on the ground, like you were born to crawl in the dirt! Let’s talk about worth!

I see your real value now.

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Need help? The Trevor Project, 1-866-488-7386. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). Crisis Text Line, 741-741.