The Kavanaugh hearings, and especially the testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, have shaken me to the core. I’m not alone. That is evident by the reports of 100’s if not 1,000’s of women and men reporting their stories.
I have a story. It happened in the 1970’s. It came to mind as I sat and listened to Dr. Ford. I had basically forgotten this memory all these years. I recall recognizing that as I watched and listened to Christine, my face was contorted into the same grip of fear and sadness that looked back at me from the TV screen. I felt my blood pressure rise and the anxiety in my heart grow stronger, to a point where I had to force myself from the chair and walk around the house and do some intentional slow breathing to calm myself down.
That’s called “being triggered”. I would guess that millions have been triggered by the events of late. My story was “tame” compared to others and so for me, perhaps it’s easier to share it. A co-worker pinned me up against the filing cabinets in a mail room and tried to grope me. When I tried to move he just stood there, me unable to move, and gestured with his index finger to his mouth that I should not make a sound. That’s it. That’s the story. I yelled at him and pushed as hard as I could and he laughed and let me go. I reported what happened, to no avail. My only recourse was to quit that job, which I did, because I was frightened. I believe I was very lucky.
I have known for a long time that for most women (and men, too), these stories go untold. There are lots of reasons for that: fear of reprisal, repressed memory, job security, embarrassment and on some level, shame. I’m not a therapist and suspect there are lots of other reasons. But finally, we have a hero in our midst. Dr. Ford took it upon herself to find the courage to tell her story to the entire world because she knew that this man was not qualified to sit on the Supreme Court. And she also knew that if appointed, he would be sitting on that bench for years and years to come.
Dr. Ford, thank you. You have sacrificed much to come forward. I am confident when I say that every victim out there that listened to you held you in their heart with compassion and gratefulness. That said, I also know that most of them had to relive their own story and now, must reignite their courage and self-will so that they can continue their healing process.
I know a man who walked this earth long, long ago. He believed in the testimony of women. So do I. My prayer: that brave healers out there who have “found their voice” will speak for those who can’t. That they will use their platforms as a safe place to discuss this very difficult subject and share paths to healing that are lined with hope and love.