To the people who posted #MeToo: From the depth of my soul, I am sorry. There are no words I can muster, pen or type to erase your pain, struggle, grief and whatever other feelings you feel. To assume I could even attempt to make sense, understand, or grapple with what you have gone through would give myself way too much credit. Instead, I promise to sit in silence.
My silence is not an attempt to ignore what you went through or to pass it off as your fault. My silence is not apathy or rejection. My silence is here to listen to your story and walk with you in your pain. My silence is here because I cannot speak for you or assume that I can. I cannot tell your story. I sit in silence because when silence happens the truth can start to come forth and your story is told and heard. If I am not silent, I will fill the void with incompetence and your story is too valuable for that. I promise to sit in silence to listen and be present.
My silence doesn’t mean I won’t speak up. I will speak up as I raise my son. I promise I will raise him to understand and to respect the word “NO!” I promise to raise him to recognize someone else’s body is his/her own. I will teach him to ask permission not ask for forgiveness. My silence doesn’t mean I won’t tell others to be quiet when they assume they understand your story and want to speak for you, instead of you, over you, or behind you.
I’m silent out of respect, grief, and in awe. I’m in awe of your bravery, your fight, your courage and your story. I am honored you are willing to share your story with me. It is out of awe, honor, and respect I am silent. I am silent so I can listen.