Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.
My heart simultaneously swells with pride and shatters into a million pieces for her.
Her poise and grace testifying to a panel of white men who seemed so disinterested in her truth. Her courage and bravery amidst death threats and personal attacks from the president himself. Her willingness to out herself as a survivor, to open herself up to criticism, retaliation, and harassment because she knew it was her civic duty to try and stop an attempted rapist from sitting on our nations highest court. Her ability to turn her trauma into something more and pursue a career that would help her understand her own response to an attempted assault. Her ability to educate the nation on how the brain sears trauma into the minds of survivors.
Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is a hero.
After Chuck* raped me, I took all the steps we tell survivors to take: I reported to my school and the police. I told my friends and family. I even went to therapy. And still, even though he admitted to raping me, he never saw any form of punishment.
My friends and I have often talked about the day that will inevitably come 20 years from now. When I’ve established myself in a career, when I potentially have a husband and children of my own, when my world is perfect and I get a phone call that stops my world. Someone on the other end will ask if I knew Chuck* in college; that they’d heard I accused him of rape; that there are a multitude of other women with similar claims; that he’s about to take a job that puts him in a high position of power and it’s our civic duty to not allow a serial rapist and abuser such status.
Dr. Christine Blasey Ford has said she knew Kavanaugh would likely be nominated when Trump became president. She wanted to flee the country. In the decades since the attempted rape, she likely never imagined herself testifying in front of congress and in front of America, about what he did to her. And yet there she found herself. With grace and poise and courage and bravery.
In her, I saw my future self. I saw how no matter how much time passes, what Chuck* did to me will never leave me. What he did is seared into my brain because of the way our brains are wired to remember moments of trauma. I saw a life where no matter what I accomplish, it will always come back to the fact that Chuck* raped me. And, if we make as little progress as we’ve made between Anita Hill and today, what he did (which he admitted he did) won’t be enough to disqualify him from a position of power.
And I cry. I cry because we live in a society where men in power do not see how severe an issue violence against women is. How it doesn’t matter in what ways the violence impacted our lives because it can’t impact the lives of those who perpetrated the violence. It doesn’t matter if you come forward immediately, because what about his future. It doesn’t matter if you wait because then it was in the past. And there survivors find themselves- with no value of their own, with no regard to how their lives were shaped by the violence perpetrated against them.
I hope our country changes. I hope everyone realizes the blame is on the perpetrator. That being held accountable for ones actions isn’t a witch hunt. That survivors don’t have to continuously put their trauma on display in the hopes that it’ll help someone “get it.”