The #metoo campaign has affected me deeply and I have pushed back hard against adding my voice to this overwhelming tide of hurt. Some of it has been shame, a lot of it has been fear – fear that I will be seen as a victim, fear that my family will be furious, fear that I will be SEEN.

But fear is meant to inspire us, not keep us quiet.

I want something better for our world than this.
I want ALL people to know love, to know safety, to be seen, to be acknowledged, to be healed. Not just the women this affects, but the men and women who love them and the men who caused these hurts.

Because hurt people hurt people.

So I am standing up for something better
I stand for love
I stand for healing
I stand for a way forward
I stand for forgiveness

Only love and forgiveness can lead to any kind of change.

So….

To the man who taught my 4 year old self that sexual compliance gave me physical safety…

To all the men who plundered my 17 year old drug addled body, and called it entertainment…

To the man who took his “revenge” at gunpoint, for my 24 year old infidelity….

To the man who called me “whore”, “slut” and “cunt” and threatened my safety, because I chose to leave…

I forgive you.
Not because you deserve it. Not because you have earned it.

But because I will not let you hurt any more than you already have.

I will not poison my body with anger
I will not live in fear
I will not be compliant
I will not hate men
I will not hate myself
I will not shut my body down to pleasure
I will not close my heart to love

I will take the damage you have done and I will transform it into something bigger than you will ever know how to be.

The damage fuels the spark in my eye, the swagger in my hips, the volume of my voice.
The damage makes me walk a path that will touch lives, grow love, light a fire.
The damage is a gift you never intended to give me.

And I am taking it.
Because this life?
It’s mine and I am going to live it – unashamed, safe, seen.