This story references having PTSD and being a survivor of child sex abuse
Your girl won The Moth StorySLAM!
On November 17 I competed in, and won The Moth StorySLAM competition at Howard Theatre in Washington, DC. The Moth is a dope storytelling competition, podcast, and radio hour through NPR. The theme of the night was “9-5 Work”, with the only requirements being that the story relates to the theme, is true, and under 5 minutes in length.
I spoke about my experience fleeing one narcissistic misogynistic man in power, but how now, a year later, I am ready to stay and fight the one that’s about to be in the ultimate position of power.
Please watch the story below and share with anyone who you think may enjoy, it feels particularly timely with inauguration this Friday. I will be out in the streets getting my protest on, if you’re in DC let me know!
The transcript of the story is below (though I highly recommend watching instead, that way you get to hear my delightful voice):
This story is about a white, misogynistic narcissistic man in power. But no, this story is not Ivanka’s dad.
It was a year ago that I was sitting in the conference room watching my supervisor tell me through tears that if she and I did not tell our CEO the very personal reason why I hadn’t been so cheerly lately that he said he would take it as a sign that I didn’t really want to be there, and that he would demote me.
This CEO, again not Ivanka’s father, but rather another white, misogynistic narcissistic man in power, he and I had traveled the world together, from Colombia to Kenya, fighting for…and I cannot make this up, fighting .for reproductive rights and a woman’s right to privacy.
There I was at this bizzare crossroads and I was genuinely so confused. I was confused because while employment lawyer will tell you, the situation he put me in was completely ilegal and complicaly hypocritical. But I was so confused that I wasn’t getting away with hiding my pain from him.
I’ve a literal lifetime worth of experience hiding my pain, and being really really good at it. As an adult survivor of child sexual abuse at the hands of my father, another white, misogynistic narcissistic man in power, I have, for decades, pushed through my trauma to put a smile on my face. And for over 20 years I liked hiding. I liked knowing that I could wake up crying and within 30 minutes be at my office and be making jokes about last night’s episode of Game of Thrones, and then sit at my desk and kill it at my job.
But the past couple months hiding had gotten so much harder for me. My PTSD had returned with a fiery rage as my abusive father tried to reenter my life. On the hard days I’d come from work and I would look back on the day and try to think of all of the times that maybe I could have inserted a smile or some bubbly cheery comment at the CEO like some sexist office Mad Libs that only a woman could be forced to play. But I didn’t have anything left inside of me.
So there I was staring at this ultimatium and I had a choice. I could stay and I could fight and I could sue this man and remove this man from the position of power that he’s held for over 15 years, and I could use my power to make sure that no other woman would ever have to be treated this way by him again.
Or I could leave like a ghost in the night and get the hell out of there, and exercise my financial privileges that I have, and star the very very hard work of healing from two decades of hiding my trauma. I chose to get the hell out of there.
Here I am, a year later, a year after my conference room ultimatium. And I am staring at another white, misogynistic, narcissist man about to be in the greatest position of power. I have changed nearly everything about my life in this past year. I’ve done the work. I changed my last name, dropping my abuser’s last name, I changed my job a couple times, and I’ve changed the way that I hide, in that as you can see from me being up here, I don’t do it anymore.
So this time is different. I am different. I am not going to use that privilege to run away and leave other people behind. I am strong and I am ready. This time I am not hiding. This time I stay. This time I fight.