I was having a conversation today about the latest celebrity to be accused of sexual harassment. I haven’t really stayed “in the know” about Hollywood gossip, but from what I understand someone has stated that Morgan Freeman done, said, did, etc. something to them about 40yrs ago. My friend made a statement that, even now, has me kind of taken aback, but something I hear more than I care to admit about the subject.
“Why did they wait so long?”
This is not going to be a blog post about my opinion on the guilt or innocence of anyone who has or hasn’t been accused of any kind of trauma to women. I, personally, neither can confirm nor deny events happened. What I am going to do is ask why anyone seems to fail to understand how difficult it is to come forward in any setting that you have been taken advantage of, let alone in a situation against someone who has any kind of power. Unless you experience it you truly will never know.
Over the years I have been quite vocal about my own history of abuse and sexual trauma, but do you think that I was always this way? No. A decade ago I was still battling my demons and a shell of the woman that I am today. Granted, I live with scars – both physical and mental – daily from my abuse, but I’ve learned to at least cope with them. No one understands the darkness that surrounds you. The guilt. The shame. The wondering if there was something you could have done different. The constant replaying it in your head. And that’s if you’re a “normal” people. If you’re unlucky like me you develop a condition called PTSD which manifests other symptoms such as borderline agoraphobia, anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, manic episodes, and so much more.
So why did they wait so long?
Because they needed to.
Because they needed time.
They needed to heal.
They needed to feel safe.
They needed to figure out what it was they wanted to do.
They needed to learn to relive.
They needed to make sure they wouldn’t be faced with retaliation.
I was 27yrs old when I started becoming vocal about my past. Twenty-seven years old. My abuse started at 5. I was five when I was penetrated by a family member. Five. Are you going to ask me “Why did you wait so long?”
I am flabbergasted by the standards put on women and how strong men really expect us to be. Yes, I may take a little bit of a hit from the feminism groups on this…but we are not built like men. We can take a substantial amount of physical pain, but the vast majority of us cannot handle mental and emotional pain. I don’t care who you are or how brave you think you’re being…deep down you know that it is true. We break down easily. But once we break down the rise like a Pheonix from the ashes.
Thats why some of us “Wait so long”.
It isn’t as easy as you think it is, and its time that men start realizing that their behavior is inappropriate no matter HOW LONG it takes a women to report it.
P.S. I really hope that the “voice of God” is innocent. I love Morgan Freeman.