As if the last few weeks have not been difficult and confusing enough for me while I continue to question and contemplate every aspect of my life right down to my own self-worth and reasons to live to then suddenly and unexpectedly become the victim of a very unwelcomed, unsolicited and totally disturbing message of a sexual nature from someone I once considered a friend.
Upon first glance I thought I had been hacked until I re-read the content of the message a few more times and realized it was 100 percent real and I was in complete and utter shock. I was afraid and embarrassed to show it to my husband for fear of what he would do upon reading it, but after becoming so visibly shaken and totally upset it was difficult for me not to share it.
The definition of sexual harassment can encompass many things and included in that definition are “unwanted messages, or materials of a sexual nature, unwanted sexual teasing, jokes, remarks and questions about a person’s personal sex life, as well as sexual comments, sexual innuendos or stories and asking someone about their sexual fantasies, preferences or history”. These are only a glimpse into the many interpretations of what falls under the definition of sexual harassment but I chose to just share with you the ones that have affected me directly.
Since I began sharing my journey with you as openly and honestly as I can 2 years ago (yup time flies) it has been met with a lot of mixed emotions on my part. My hope from the very beginning was that in sharing my experiences with you I would be able to help others who may be struggling in silence (or at a whisper) to feel less alone, to feel that it’s okay to not be okay, to feel like someone is listening, to feel like someone understands them and to feel like they can start talking above that whisper. And as difficult as it has been for me to share many of my most intimate thoughts and feelings with you, I know that I have accomplished my mission by the outpouring of messages I receive each week. And I also know that together we are helping to end the stigma surrounding mental illness.
Writing has forced me to see and feel things I could have never imagined before I began blogging, much of which has been positive and some of which has not. Before I began blogging I would journal a lot for myself (which is a very therapeutic exercise) and I still do so today by keeping track of things that I feel I cannot share with others. However my intentions for writing my blog seem to have somehow been misconstrued by someone this week as their right to give me uninvited, hurtful, distasteful and disturbing “advice”.
I have now spent the last few days questioning everything I say, everything I feel and everything I write. Did my blogging somehow elicit this behaviour or did I somehow “ask” for “it” by the content I discuss? Maybe I’m being too sensitive? Maybe I deserved it? Why am I feeling so ashamed and embarrassed and guilty? Why can’t I just get over it and move on, as it’s over, it’s been dealt with and yet here I am writing about how maybe I shouldn’t write again for fear of being taken advantage of again or for fear that I am harming others or for fear that people are misreading, misinterpreting or misunderstanding my intentions? Why does everything always seem to hurt so badly?