#MeToo Victims Weren’t Only Adults: My Apology To 7 Year Old Me

victims

With the victims of sexual abuse and harassment coming forward against Harvey Weinstein, social media has been set ablaze with the hashtag #MeToo.

This hashtag brought out confessions from victims all over Twitter and Facebook. Even my own.

For the first time, I shared my story yesterday. And I cried.  The tears weren’t for having been assaulted. They were for all the girls and boys who weren’t protected.

When I told my grandmother what happened, I saw fire in her eyes and my grandmother was small in stature. Five feet to be exact. But she looked at me with my orange and white track shorts still twisted  around my waist and she was a giant. I remember the faint scent of Oil of Olay as her cheek touched mine while she whispered, “It’s ok, baby. We are not staying here!” 

She told my sister and I to stay in the kitchen and we held hands. I don’t think my baby sister understood the gravity of what had just happened. Hell, I didn’t understand it.

She called for us to come to her and as I passed Billy, he was looking at the ground. My grandmother never took her eyes from him. If looks could kill, he would’ve surely died on the spot. She gathered our things and we left.

We left what happened that summer in Sycamore.

I had never really given what happened to me any conscious thought after I returned home. But I’m sure that it affected me in some way. There was no distrust, guilty feelings or destructive behaviors which followed my assault of which I could think. I didn’t hate anyone. I still felt protected and loved.

There’s no explanation for why I didn’t tell my parents. I figured that grandmother had handled it and my parents weren’t needed. She didn’t mention it either when they came to pick us up.

I want to apologize to 7-year-old Keka because last night, I realized that she had been impacted. She was a victim among many victims. I apologize for placing her pain on the back shelf of my mind because I didn’t think it was worth mentioning because I hadn’t been physically hurt. I managed to fight my way out of his grasp and subsequently, escaped “harm”.

Having a daughter of my own made me subconsciously revisit that day in Willie Pearl’s living room in Sycamore. I was neurotic when it came to checking my baby’s diaper for blood or examining her for swelling. And it’s not like I left her with different people. It was my Mami, sister, and Daddy and her own Dad.

Without fail, when we went to family functions;  I was uber vigilant as she played with her uncles, aunts and cousins. I watched her laugh and smile as they picked her up or gave her hugs. Let me rephrase that. I stood guard as my daughter effervesced in innocence and wonder. As she got older and could talk, I flat-out asked her if anyone had ever touched her and she always said no. (Thank God)

My daughter attributed my hyper-vigilance to being a strict mother. It wasn’t until this very moment that I realized it was because I’m preparing myself to fight every “Billy” we come across so she doesn’t have to.

It’s also the reason I’ve always kept her close to me. I don’t want her to ever be subjected to having to fight for herself although she knows how to. I feel the need to preëmpt any malicia versus reacting to it.

Today will be the day that I tell her what happened to me so that she may finally understand that her protection isn’t just about her….

It’s about #MeToo

 

 

K. Araújo, a native Detroiter, is a cross between Claire Huxtable, Rosie Pérez and Millie Jackson. Widow, professional dragger of filth and Mami to the dopest Ethiopian EVER, she is the Editor in Chief of “Negra With Tumbao” and a Staff Writer for “The Urban Twist”. Keka has been known to shake what her mama gave her, is the hell and high water, an expert salsera and cussologist with a penchant for the finer things in life and is and forever shall be- unapologetically black.

  • I wasn’t aware of the hashtag until a few hours ago when my assistant brought it up. He and I started talking about how we probably couldn’t fathom the amount of women that we personally knew who have lived some form of sexual based horror and how many truly never feel safe.

    I’m truly sorry that this keeps happening. Men need to check each other on this sh*t.

    • Thank you, love! My situation, fortunately, didn’t cause me physical harm but the mental and emotional trauma had gone unchecked for decades until now. We have to stop turning a blind eye to this.. and we need to BELIEVE OUR BABIES WHEN THEY SAY THEY’VE BEEN HURT.

      • Love Heals

        I’m sorry this happened to you, Sis. Please address this as well via therapy. Divine blessings upon your grandma. I send Love and Hugs to both your 7 year old and present selves.

        • Thank you!! My therapist is gonna be over me..lol My grandma was a tremendous woman! I mean that in the most reverent way possible. My Mami got it from her mama!

  • Rewind4ThatBehind

    Darlin…you are magic.

    I’m sorry your light was stolen at such a young age, but so grateful nothing could contain it regardless.

    Your grandmother sounds like the heavyweight champion of the world right here.

    • <3 I love you, man! Nobody could ever steal my light, babe!! I know I tried to steal that mfers eyeball though.

      My grandma had the coldest gold tooth and was super petite but SHE didn't fucking play… even up until she passed in August. I will post some pictures on my FB… she was a class act.

      • Rewind4ThatBehind

        Love you too darlin. I know you will always shine regardless.

        Yea your grandmother definitely sounds like an OG. I love it. I bet that look alone meant you never heard nary a peep from that gross cousin or his family again about anything.

  • Lady LaLa

    THIS is one of the main reasons we have to do away with the “STOP SNITCHING” MENtality in our communities. We have to stop admonishing our kids for “telling too damn much” or being more concerned with what others will think if they find out instead of the victims.
    This attitude about “snitching” being bad (which only protects the offenders) teaches them early on to be silent, speaking up is bad and that their voices don’t count, they must suffer in silence and the perpetrator has more rights then them the victims. How can you get mad for folks not speaking up until adulthood, when throughout childhood you put fear in their hearts and shame for telling?

    Slavemasters beat our women into silence as they raped us…embedding that telling aka “snitching” into society and our girls minds is why there are so many #metoo. It has to stop!