Today, I witnessed bravery like never before. Today, I witnessed a woman stand before the world and recount the deepest darkest night of her life. She was clear. She was poised. She was believable. Before a mob of media, angry protesters, and suspicious charlatans. She revealed her pain, her humanity, and her shame.
Sexual abuse is insidious. Not only does it rob you of your humanity, it leaves you mystified. The demon that rapes you has a way of making its home within you. You spend the remainder of your life laboring to exorcize this demon that is not you. Today, this demon was exorcised has Dr. Christine Blasey Ford sat before the world and uttered her truth.
Sexual abuse is insidious because both the victim and the monster must be believed. The victim, because not believing her is cruel. The monster, because belief in him validates his existence when no one but the victim wants to believe anything like him exists.
Today we all got to see the monster in full display. Before our very eyes his was transfigured from a polished, brilliant, patriot to a belligerent, bullying, blowhard. He broke ranks with all that we imagine to be pure and true and good, becoming our worse nightmare. It was shocking and sad and horrifying.
Amid the egos, the anger, and the suspense, was a deep pain. The monster was alive. Not just before the bench, but deep inside all of us who have survived his violation. Dr. Ford, surrounded by a great cloud of witnessing survivors, pointed out the monster.
I deeply believe that revealing her monster has set her free. I also believe that revealing her monster has set others free. When victims point out their monsters, we get a rare glimpse of the worst in us alongside the best in us. When victims tell the truth about sexual abuse, we get the chance to imagine our lives free of it. But when we refuse to believe the monster is real, we guarantee that we will never be free of it.
I believe Christine!