#MeTooTheatreWomen read tweets, monologues and scenes about sexual assault or sexual misconduct within the theatre industry with talk back and action steps. Free and open to the public. Saturday, March 18th from 2 – 5pm @NationalAction, 106 West 145th Street and Lenox Ave, NYC.
Thanks to the actors who will be sharing my story…
When I was seventeen, my voice teacher started molesting me after promising to be my mentor, my godfather, and a man I could always trust. I just remember leaving my body and becoming very numb, not really undetstanding or taking in what happened. The more I tried to block it out, the harder it got to breathe and just function normally, until it really felt like I was running from an invisible demon that I couldn’t identify. In the meantime, I was still going back for lessons, not able to put the pieces together, that this mentor was molesting me. I learned that was the freeze response, which to the outside world, might have very well seemed like a 17 year old girl sleeping with her voice teacher – who also happened to be 60.
I didn’t realize I was abused until flipping open the Book, The Courage to Heal – by accident. When I could identify what I was feeling with the typical symptoms listed, I eventually found the words to tell my mom. Two weeks later, this blood clot formed, causing my intestines to become gangrene, a coma, and 28 surgeries inducted me into a new world of medical Trauma.
When I finally started sharing my story, it only felt “okay” to talk about what had happened to me medically. It was only with time that I felt it was acceptable to start unraveling the sexual abuse prior to my coma. The idea if linkjng the medical affects as a result of my emotional trauma with my voice teacher seemed ridiculous, until I did more research on the physical affects of PTSD, especially gastrointestinal problems among women who were assaulted. The more I created about this connection – art, writing, music, theatre, the clearer this connection became.
It’s more important than ever to tell these stories. At 17, with my space cadet reaction, this may have appeared as consent. I couldn’t help but feel the shame of still thinking this was all “my fault.” My numbness started to alarm my friends and family, to whom I insisted that nothing was wrong at all. I kept this secret hidden inside, burning in my gut, hidden from those I loved.
I wish someone would have told me,as a teen, that thisceas not my fault – That being abused by anyone in a position of authority is just wrong, no matter what the other circumstances are.
I’m so happy that now it’s become okay to proudly share these stories. We have to speak up, so we can let young girls and women everywhere know, that these things happen, they can freeze us, but if we speak up and come together as a community, we can fight back and heal.
Thanks to a great cast sharing my story through theatre theatre this afternoon!
Here is the link:
Check it out, and help bring these untold stories to light!
Thanks to the cast!