A Literary Guide to Canberra | Biting my tongue
Last week was a BIG one in terms of writing and social media.
A Literary Guide to Canberra (my penultimate post for ACTWC) took off in a way I never expected and I reached over 100 followers on Twitter (@hellopollyanna). YAY!
It's been re-tweeted by the National Library of Australia, Libraries ACT, Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), Canberra Museum and Gallery, artsACT and even appeared in ALIA's weekly newsletter. THANK YOU to everyone who contributed to and shared the guide!
Feminartsy then published my piece on consent, Biting my tongue.
Clementine Ford touched upon the same issues on the SAME day. I tweeted her and she replied asking if she could read it and liked it!
What's more (!) a former teacher has said she'll use it as part of her text selection for her Year 11 class to teach about society's role in perpetuating violence against women.
Well-meaning friends and family have commented or messaged me to ask if I'm ok.
The short answer is yes but I want to ask: can I ever be ok?
It saddens and angers me to think that I've gotten off relatively lightly, that it's almost 'expected' that someone (likely male) will harass, abuse or assault us at some point in our lives.
Can you ever expect me to ever feel ok about that?
This is something I have to live with for the rest of my life. I refuse to let it define me but I can never pretend that it didn't happen. I can never erase it from my past. Remember that.
I've read a little about others writing about trauma but this is the first time I've written about something so dark and confronting. And like the writers I've read about, I don't feel courageous.
It was something I needed to write.
Forgiving myself, accepting that I wasn't to blame, was more difficult than writing.
Responding to the comments received, though overwhelmingly supportive, was an emotional experience. I shed more tears from reading emails than the writing process itself.
You are not alone.
It is not your fault. It never was.