Greys Anatomy left me speechless and wrapped in a web weaved so tight with emotions my chest felt like it might burst open! As soon as the camera panned to the women lining the hallway I felt a break in my heart and the flood gates burst wide open.
The twelve year old little girl inside of me that carried her shame for 25 years leaped out of my soul. Her pain was felt. Her tears burned as they dropped from my face. I could hear her screaming.
As I watched this woman being wheeled down the hallway with women standing shoulder to shoulder never questioning why they had been summoned other then to be told “because a patient needs you” hit me so deep within I wasn’t sure how to stop crying.
To watch these strangers stand in solidarity and support this woman just because she needed them reminded me that I didn’t have that.
It made me reflect on the young women that I had just given a motivational speech too earlier in the day. Who lined their hallways? Who was making sure that they were supported. Who protected them when they were being subjected to being sold and raped?
Shonda Rhimes is a master with her pen. She writes stories that we feel. Stories we relate too and doesn’t shy away from the hard topics. As a victim of child sexual abuse I distinctly remember not wanting to be defined by what I did or what was done to me thus why I kept my story a secret for 25 years. As I watched the parallels unfold of the birth mother telling her daughter she was the product of rape I remembered being taken advantage of before I’d had my first period and being scared of becoming pregnant and not knowing because I didn’t yet understand what my cycle was.
I watched the daughter trying to find common ground with the woman that couldn’t raise her and sympathized with her broken heart. I thought about all the babies of rape victims that will never understand their mothers pain and suffering that created their lives. It made me sad for all the future children being born because our government has banned abortion after six weeks….
My face is still puffy even now. My eyes still swell with tears because I saw my life. I saw those brave young women I had spoken too earlier in the day. I saw my 12 year old self feeling ashamed and blamed herself.
More importantly I came to grips that this week is the one year anniversary of me confronting my abuser and revealing our secret to my family. It’s the one year anniversary of a shift that forever will rock my world. It’s the anniversary of the time in my life when the women I loved with my whole heart turned their backs on me and made me feel less than worthy of their respect and empathy.
I lived with a secret for twenty five years and I’ve spent the last year of my life experiencing public humiliation and shame because it’s easier to not talk about it.
Over the past year I’ve learned that conforming my feelings and behavior to appease other people’s uncomfortableness was not a trait I possessed any longer. I stand in my truth. While I didn’t have a hallway full of woman standing in solidarity with me, I wish I had. I wish I’d been protected a year ago just as much I needed to be protected 26 years ago.
Greys Anatomy took a very real situation and put on public display. I was warned it was triggering and that I shouldn’t watch it. But I knew deep down the more I allowed my feelings to sit within me the worse I would be. The tears that burned my face and the audible cries that escaped my body while watching were healing. They were confrontational and needed. I wish that we all could have a hallway scene at least once in our lives. We need it.