Everyone deals with the pain and trauma these past few weeks news has caused differently. One survivor explains why they have stepped away from the news and the protests.
Jacqueline T Lin designed the symbol used in the cover art for this article. It was originally made for and dedicated to survivors.
This is a difficult time for all of us, especially for survivors. Thank you for raising your voice. It is heartwarming and, honestly, surprising. There has been an incredible outpouring of love and support that Dr. Ford (and all of us) have received over the last couple of weeks. I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you my thoughts and a couple of requests on the matter.
If you don’t see me screaming at the top of my lungs against Brett Kavanaugh, don’t judge. If I shy away from conversations on the topic, don’t push me. If I get nervous when you ask if “I have been following the news” please, don’t insist. If I don’t wear black, don’t sit at the fishbowl, don’t walk up and down the Low Library stairs, or don’t rally in front of Trump’s Building, respect my choice.
It is not that “I don’t understand what is at stake.” Nobody understands it as I do. It’s not that “I don’t feel solidarity.” Trust me, I do. I wish nobody ever experiences what I had to endure. It’s not that “I don’t believe in taking a stance or in being political.” It's just that I don’t have the strength... And yes, maybe you are right when you say that “I only care about myself.” I have learned, living with this pain, that nothing is more important than my mental health and well-being.
Survivors are not all the same. Not all of us have come to terms with what happened or why. Not all of us have reconciled with the justice system (or lack there off). Not all of us are willing to accept that these events are part of “our identity” or “our truth,” and that is ok. Because that is our choice, and it is our life.
As we are not all the same, I know that not all allies are the same. However, I do want to ask for a favor from those of you who felt that some of the phrases in quotation marks resonated: please, be careful and think twice before addressing your fellow Seeple. You don’t really know what the people you encounter have gone through.
Please refrain from alienating others when people don’t answer WhatsApp/iMessage/WeChat when people don't show up to your events or sign/support your letters because when you do, you act just like those who didn’t believe us or who took advantage of our fear and our pain.
Most of all please, and this is an ask to all, channel that beautiful and amazing energy towards being inclusive and respectful of other people’s opinions and livelihoods. Only by coming together will we be able to change the public discourse and hopefully then, we can create a safe environment for all where abuse, in all of its forms, is not fostered.
If you really see me, hear me, and believe me, then please, respect me and don’t force me into participating/engaging when it doesn’t make me feel comfortable.
I know you mean well. Thank you for all you currently do and, hopefully, will continue to do.
-A Fellow Seeple and a Survivor