I tweeted “me too”, not even close to the allowable character limit, my sentence vague and just a hint of reference to my past.
Others have declared loudly and clearly their memories of being ravaged, manipulated, tried and terrorized.
I tweeted how it’s with me still, how I’ll never not be bothered by the battering.
It’s the fabric of me, woven and sewn into my story, I use it to try and strengthen others on days I’m strong.#MeToo
I saw her yesterday, her jeans too big, I wanted to ask why. Her walk the same, determined and continuing forward, still just her. It has been lately.
She walks alone now.
I saw her the first time this year in early Spring. She walked looking down mostly, her face towards the sidewalk. There was the empty space of two or three people blank between her and a man.
The air was cool still, requiring a jacket or sweater and hers hung over her shoulders. Her body reminding me of a wire hanger and she’d not lined up the garment’s seams.
Her jeans were off kilter, they hung askew and I thought she must be bothered by being unable to keep them up; but, decided she’d learned to make the best of hard things, pants not fitting, the least of concerns. Her shoes barely showing from the drag of hem, their flat soles like a piece of old cardboard. I imagined the sound of denim touching concrete, seemed similar too a lull.
Yet, she walked on. I wondered where she goes. I saw her face only slightly in my mirror glance as I passed by on my way towards my day.
Her long hair, unattempted uncontrolled, I longed to approach her, to know her well enough to gently tuck the long strands of dark hair behind her ears. I longed to know her in a way that she’d welcome my gesture. I created a story in which I could tell her my story, one that would include “me too” as I’ve seen her now unaccompanied by the man.
But, I’d be wrong to assume, wrong to demand conversation, wrong to open a wound she may have begun to heal.
Because, I’ve been drawn in to the stories of others who said “Me too”. I was pulled in, applauded braveries and became both captivated and courageously angry over others like me.
I thought of Hagar, the maid forced to give a barren woman a child. Hagar, manipulated and groomed for something someone else felt was their right. She was used for sex then shamed for giving in, for complying with the demands of those who hoarded over.
She did what they wanted and was quickly discarded.
But, God saw her. He met her and told her good will come from this, good towards you and from these abusive and harmful actions by one who used their control.
Good will come. Hagar believed God and it changed her course. Changed the course of mankind.
“So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.”
Genesis 16:13 ESV
I hope to see her again, the woman who walks every morning. But, I’ll not invite conversation or long to know I’m wrong or right about my assumptions.
I’d welcome the chance to know; but, I’d no longer force my way in, beg her to tell.
Last night, I woke my husband. I screamed out “No…..!” in my sleep. I was dreaming. I was in a room. I saw the shadow of ominous shoulders, so large and overpowering outside my window. I waited. I knew he’d be coming inside. I cowered into the corner. He raised both arms and pushed me hard into a corner.
I moaned, “No…..”
It scared him, my husband said, has said before.
He woke me, gently pulling me free,
Lisa, Lisa, Lisa.
I shifted under the covers.
Placed my hand on my chest and said no more me too, no more, and slept soundly and languished long, woke deciding I’ll not go back there, to the place of being damaged by men who made me a “Me Too”.
I’ll trust the God who has brought me through and my story will be as strong as God has promised, has made good on His promise.
But, it won’t be sorrowful and it will scare me no more.
I pray if my story is to be told it won’t cause remembrances that bring forth fear, fear from those places healed; that I’ll not cause the opening of old wounds.
I’ll keep walking forward in the way that brought healing.
I’ll walk like the woman I long to know, determined in her way, her shoulders more level, her face steadily more uplifted each morning I pass.
I’ll keep looking ahead and remember the wisdom of someone more than half my age, it doesn’t help to hold onto the bad things that happened before. They happened, move on.
Walking forward, never backward, lest I allow myself to be tripped again by fear.
“…you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you. And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.”
Isaiah 30:19-21 ESV
I’m linking up with other writers to Tell His Story here: