It’s time I talk about it.
In my very last blog post, The Importance of Telling My Story written an entire year and a half ago, I talked about taking back my voice. In that year and a half, I failed myself. I wanted to speak. But I let so very much get in the way. Each time I thought about writing about what happened to me at Devils Backbone Brewing, I told myself it wasn’t the right time; I told myself I didn’t have time. And on the rare occasion, I told myself that maybe I would just stay quiet. But mostly, I convinced myself that a self-serving series of blog posts was unnecessary.
I was wrong.
In that year and a half of silence on my blog, I met lots of new people in the real world. I shared my voice there. I started a business. I introduced myself to a new city. I got involved in politics. I stood for shit I believed in. I was unafraid. I challenged myself. I took on giant challenges. I won. And I know there’s not a person who has met me in these past 18 months who thinks I’m a bitch without a voice. They know my voice.
I will say this on my blog one time, and I will say it in all caps, so the people in the back can hear it. YOUR GOOD EXPERIENCE DOESN’T MAKE MY BAD EXPERIENCE LESS VALID. This is MY story. This is MY STORY. THIS IS MY STORY.
If you choose to share your good story in conjunction with mine, you are choosing to minimalize the garbage that happened to me – the garbage that I went through – the hell I went through. If I worked with you at Devils Backbone, know that being considerate of your (potentially positive) feelings is what caused me to silence myself the most. I care about some of you who are still there. I know this might hurt you because your experience has been positive. For a year and a half, I’ve been silent because of it. Now, I won’t apologize. My experience is valid. My voice is important. The truth is important. Maybe it will even help some of you who are silently struggling to move on. Please, move on. Trust that there are more of us out here who were in that boat.
If you find my story to be ridiculous, consider that it’s the truth. Consider that just because people at that company have been good to you or great to you and have helped you doesn’t mean that they haven’t done horrible shit to me. Consider that it doesn’t mean that they haven’t fucked others and done horrendous shit to them. And consider that there’s shit I’m aware of that’s actually worse than what I’m writing here. Consider that it’s not my place to share what others have shared with me.
You don’t owe me anything. And after a year and a half, I’ve come to realize that I don’t owe anyone shit either.
I owe myself.
This shit is for me. And this shit is for anyone else who wants to listen. I’d like to formally introduce you to The Devil I Know.