I have never been one to consider myself “attractive” or “eye-catching”. And I have never considered myself someone who has been harassed by others. But what exactly does being harassed mean? Most woman who have came forward have said that they were raped or beaten, but I have been hurt like that. I think back to 6th grade, when I was barely 12 and a kid in my grade hugged me and said that my breasts felt nice on his chest. And I think back to when him and his friend said they would like to f*** me. That boy later dated one of my closet friends.
And I think back to 8th grade when I was barely 14 when a close guy friend would always grab me, calling me his girlfriend. He would demand hugs, and I had to do it because I was his friend. I had to smile and laugh and go along, even though I dreaded seeing him. I dreaded the way he would always put me into a headlock and how he would brag about all the girls he dated and kissed and when he confessed that he liked me and how I was expected to like him back.
And now I think back to last Wednesday. When I was with my friends at our art studio for school watching people present their art and my friend slide a note over to me. The note was asking me to do something for him, but it didn’t explicitly say. I was shocked and disgusted but more confused. He ripped it out of my hand before I could reread it and started getting closer to me. I can remember his face coming closer to mine and I couldn’t breathe. He moved away, and I was alone and scared. I felt so sick, my heart was racing, it’s racing as I type this. The teacher I confessed too was helpful, but she just blamed it on his mind. I see him every day and when I do, my heart beings to race and I’m terrified if he will grab me, try to hug me or yell at me. Why am I the one who must live in fear and uncomfortableness? Why do I have to be afraid? Why can’t we teach others that friends are just friends, nothing more?
After what happened that Wednesday, I had a dream that night. I kept seeing his face coming closer to mine, him yelling at me, hurting me. I woke up at 3 a. m. and couldn’t get back to sleep. Thursday night on my way home I broke down and cried to my mom for the first time in half a year.
I am sick of being afraid of going to school, coming home and going to sleep. I’m sick of having to be cautious around others I meet in case they may try to do something to me. I want to live a teenage life where I won’t be shamed because of my body. I want to be a young girl again.
So, I will say it. I am a #MeToo.