(This may jump around some, so bare with me)
Today is World Mental Health Day and last week was Mental Illness Awareness Week. (#MIAW for those on twitter). I was a little on edge about participating for many reasons, but mostly because I honestly didn’t think that what I was dealing with was really worthy of putting out there. I followed the hashtag, liked and retweeted a few things, but mostly I was just lurking behind the scenes learning from others as they shared…
What I didn’t realize is that the week really stirred things up inside of me. Emotions that were closer to the surface, maybe, than I’d realized.
Then Friday happened.
I said I wouldn’t talk politics here (or at least really try not to), but there’s linkage here, I promise. The comments made were shocking at first – to hear and see things that were so blatant me, and they cut deep. Why? I haven’t been physically sexually assaulted I kept saying to myself. And then I realized – I really had. Former bosses kissing/biting me on the cheek in front of other colleagues. Hugs from colleagues that lingered just a little too long. Comments made in front of me – the same sort of banter that was excused as ‘locker room talk’. That we women have been conditioned to tolerate, smile and move on.
And then I got MAD. Not just mad, but PISSED OFF, angry beyond reason…and I took to FB and wrote about just how angry I was. (In summary, I wrote “Unfriend me if you’re voting for DT – we have nothing in common and I do not want you in my life”)
And I angered people and I lost long time “friends” as a result. I’ve been called out by a few people both publicly and privately. Received support from many more – not surprisingly by women, but by men too. Some surprised that I could make such a statement when we have “history” and that I wasn’t being open minded – they took this as a political statement, but for me this transcends and supersedes politics.
Today, I feel lots of other emotions, some I cannot verbalize. But one I can identify is that I am ashamed that I let my emotions get the best of me. I’m not sure how much my words (and actions) are related to the emotions that came to the surface. I have to believe there’s a thread there.