Would I? Could I?

After 23 years, things don't feel the same. You are strong. You are resilient. You are a survivor. You look at 18 year old self with compassion, but pity, and you don't necessarily feel that you are HER anymore. You were changed from day 1, but at day number 8,405, you are way stronger and wiser. You are a bitch to contend with and NO ONE is going to make you feel helpless again. No one is going to make you a victim again.

But this week, more than any other week, day, hour, minute, second- has made me realize that I am still HER. Dr. Christine Blasey Ford has been named as the (BRAVE) accuser of the contender for Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh. Our President today has said that if her accusations were true, then she would have gone to law enforcement. We would KNOW it's true because well, a crime is committed, we tell the police right? 

Why wouldn't someone go to the police? WHY NOT?

23 years ago this month, new freshman at college, I went to a "party." A party that ended up being my friend, her boyfriend, and a friend of the boyfriend. He was a Marine. I was on a military base. I was drunk. I liked him well enough to kiss him. I did not like him well enough to let him in my pants. I did not like him well enough to let him have sex with me. It was late. I was in the middle of a city I didn't know well. I was on base. I stayed because I was afraid of what situation I might face at 1am in the middle of a city. He raped me twice that night. He placed his knees firmly on my legs so I couldn't move and he held me down and raped me. Twice. I didn't scream. I said no over and over again until it was clear he must not be able to hear me and I cried softly and waited for it to be over. And an hour later he raped me again.
The next morning I drove home. 

I didn't call the police. I was on base. I was 18. I was drunk. He was a Marine. And had I gone to the police he would have been subject to military court and the last thing in the world I wanted to do was face other Marines for my fate. Not his fate. Because I knew how that would go. I didn't have justice. I didn't have my day. All I had was constant prayer and pleading with the universe that he wouldn't do this to someone else. 

This week has led to so much soul searching. What would I do if I found out he was in the running for a government office. Or as a Supreme Court Justice. Would I step forward? COULD I step forward? Would I have the courage to put myself through that? And I have to believe it would be a yes. And that's how I know it's truth. Because she is me, and I could be her. And she has EVERYTHING to lose and nothing to gain. And I hope that I would and I could.

In the year of #metoo, why must we also have #WhyIDidntReport? Why do women have to bear the burden of proving that they are not lying? Why do we have to explain our actions following the most horrific experience of our lives??? Because we still don't get it. -Anonymous (Virginia)