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Every “Me Too” is a Hero

When her “me too” turned into a “just you” I never felt so alone…

I was a single mom back then. A mom that rode her bike to ISU with her little two-year old boy strapped to the child seat behind her. It was fun, just the two of us, going to and from, doing life together. He was my sweet boy and I had something much greater than myself to keep me pressing forward. Looking for a job, that year I would be hired by an insurance agency.

The gentleman {cough, cough} that hired me was a pillar in the community. A church going and family man, complete with a beautiful wife and children. The first week went really well, I made a fast new friend named Julie who had worked there for five years. “I’m going to like this job” or so I thought.

A few weeks in my boss, who I will call Bob, offered to give me a ride home after work. It was getting dark so I said yes. We were having normal conversation when he pulled up to my apartment. Before I knew what was happening he slid over on the bench seat of his truck, grabbed my breast, while attempting to put his tongue in my mouth.

I was caught off guard as it took me by surprise. My fist swung and hit him so hard in the gut that my hand throbbed with pain. Without saying a word I got out of his truck and ran inside. In a panic I searched my purse for Julie’s number. With my fingers shaking time elapsed in slow motion, giving the sensation that I was not dialing quick enough.

Julie answered, and full of emotion, I related what had happened.

Me too” she exclaimed and went on to tell how he had taken advantage of her over an over again the past several years.

The two of us spoke and connected on a deep level of understanding. She needed her job, but agreed his behavior had to stop. I’ve always been a feisty one and came up with a plan. This was not okay and together we could bring this guy down.

The next day after class I did not go to work. Instead I called and spoke directly to Bob. I told him how disgusting he was and that his behavior was unacceptable. I told him that I knew what he had done to Julie. I told him that we were going to take a stand against this injustice. That him taking advantage of women was over. The phone call ended with him rambling on with denials and that he would hire an attorney and sue me for slander.

About an hour later, my phone rang, and it was Julie. She began retracting what she had admitted the night before. I listened to her in silence. When her “me too” turned into a “just you” I never felt so alone. You see, this had happened before when I was a young girl. Back then the “me too’s” had also disappeared.

Irregardless I understood Julie’s reasons. I knew what my friend, a true survivor, was going through and I loved her just the same.

Twenty-five years have gone by since that incident. I’d like to think that perhaps I placed enough fear in Bob’s heart that he never laid his filthy hands on another woman. That he would have the tenacity to use his position and power in the community for good instead of evil. I may never know.

One thing that I do know is that us feisty women, God made us this way for a reason. But we can’t do it alone. We need the “me too’s” to join with us.

As we join hands and stand up to the Bob’s and Harvey Weinstein’s it gives me hope. One of the best feelings in the world is watching things fall into place after painfully watching them fall apart for so long. Today we have the power to change not only our story, but the script for our beautiful daughters and grand-daughters. And that fact alone makes every single “me too” out there a hero.

 

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