Wow. That was my reaction to your “Open Letter“… and as I sit here writing this post, my stomach is still turning.
First of all, I applaud you for your courage first as a little girl to speak up about what happened to you and now again as an adult, as the entire world is watching.
I spent some time reading the reactions and comments that followed your letter. One in particular struck a nerve, which is why I am writing this post today. “She was 7 years old. How could she possibly remember everything that happened?”
From how sunny of an afternoon it was, to the dark room I was taken to, I can even describe to you what my abuser’s breath smelled like. I was 5 years old when it happened to me. So yeah, I remember.
How dare anyone question the memories of a child robbed of their innocence?
How dare anyone be so quick to conclude that you’re mentally unstable for speaking up?
This is exactly why it takes victims years to speak up about their abuse.
I understand it is uncomfortable and quite frankly not the kind of chat you’d like to have with anyone over coffee. But guess what Dylan? You’ve woken people up to a reality that is very real to 1 in 6 women in this country alone.
It took me 12 years to speak up about my abuse and today at 35, I am still healing from its repercussions: I too developed eating disorders, I struggled with my self image and confidence… in my 5 year old mind, I believed that the abuse was my fault. I carried that shame and guilt with me for years, putting myself through horrendous self destructive behaviors until I too found my heroes. The #1 being God.
For the adults who question your memories…I encourage them to do some research before formulating an opinion. And not just the facts about your very public case, but that trying to make this go away doesn’t serve anyone. Not you, not your alleged abuser, not the victims who’ve yet to mend their lives.
As Marianne Williamson wrote, “…as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Thank you for shining your light on this topic more common than we care to admit. So disturbing that many have turned a blind eye.
Thank you for not being silent. Thank you for giving me the courage to speak up again.
I stand with you as a survivor not a victim. And while your letter circles the WWW and many don’t know what to think or believe, please kniw that it matters to someone like me.
I believe you Dylan Farrow.