Day 1 (17th Nov). Sutton story breaks. Cue triggering and wanting to speak out, not having time to coherently put thoughts together and a sneaking suspicion that posting at this point would be unhelpful. Much victim-blaming going on, inevitably having to actively Not Think about my own experience of sexual harassment.
Day 2. (18th Nov) Determined to write up and post my own experience. Just need to find the time.
Day 3. (19th Nov) Still no time, but I am so going to write this up.
Day 4. (20th Nov) Thinking about how people I knew at that time in my life might feel if they read what happened to me. All the worms that might escape cans, all the difficult conversations to have. Hmmmm.
Day 5 (21st Nov) I don't want to give precise details of what happened. Not least because I deliberately don't remember it all. But at the same time if I don't give details no one will believe me, it'll all be hugs and jokes like Sutton was protrayed.
Day 6 (22nd Nov) Too hard, it's just too hard. Lots of other people have written really good stuff about Sutton and the broader issue. What I have to say won't add anything.
Day 7 (23rd Nov) Maybe I could write it in a different way that means I don't have to explain the awful triggering details. Maybe that's actually quite a useful and powerful point to make, in itself.
Day 8 (24th Nov) TOO HARD! DON'T WANT TO THINK ABOUT IT!!
Day 9 (25th Nov) Okay maybe I could write about how I didn't feel I could write about this because of all these reasons. Maybe. Maybe not.
Day 10 (26th Nov) Creeping feeling that bringing this up will be bad for me. Remembering the response I got at the time, at school, when the sexual harassment was raised; "you wish" from other students, "it will happen again" from teachers. Feel sick.
Day 11 (27th Nov) Not Thinking About This At All.
Day 12 (28th Nov) Still Not Think About This At All.
Day 13 (29th Nov) Maybe I should do this. Perhaps I could write it in a manner that shows the uncertainty, the second-guessing, the triggering, the ambivalence. Maybe.
Day 14 (30th Nov) Yes I think I can do that. I can always not publish it if it's too hard.
Day 15 (Today) I think I should. I'm just going to do it. Just start writing and see how it comes out.
When I was in 6th Form I was sexually harassed for a period of some months by some fellow students at school. There is a lot more I could say about that. Maybe I will. But for now I just want you to know how it feels, 20 years later, to still feel blame, still feel shame, and still want to stay silent and bury it all.