So today I actually completely spaced out until my fifth mod class where I remembered that my teacher had arranged for me to be teaching the cast and crew of the high school winter play about how sensitive of a topic sexual abuse is (since the play is about sexual assault). So not only did I have to share it with my Lit. Comp. class for the “It Takes Just One” project but now I’m sharing it with the entire cast and crew of the winter play.
I was quite nervous let me tell you. But these people… they were some how more compassionate and understanding. They were there by choice, the people in my Lit. Comp. class were there because they had to be. I think that was one of the big reasons I really was not looking forward to presenting the first time. But this time was so different. I was scared shitless, yes, but this time I felt they were actually listening to every word I was saying and taking in everything into consideration.
I worked with my teacher and with Reach Counseling in order to make these kids see that this is a very serious topic they were about to put out on stage and 1 out of 3 women in that audience will have been sexually assaulted in some way, shape, or form, so it’s a topic that needs to be portrayed with respect. I think, if I were them and had never experienced anything like what I’d gone through, I wouldn’t make a joke of it per-say but I wouldn’t think of it as such a big deal. Sure, we see adults who have successful jobs and careers and kids talk about that kind of stuff, but I feel like I really got through to them because I was THEIR age. I was in some classes with some of them. Some of them have known me for years. Some I just saw working yesterday. I had that personal, down-to-Earth connection with these people and I think that’s what really made them listen. It wasn’t just some adult speaker there, it was a friend, a respected friend who (before) seemed completely normal and fit into society very well and then to figure out my story was probably an eye-opener for them all.
Not to mention, thank the heavens, my fiancé Brandon was there with me. He is so supportive and I love him to death. I can’t even tell you how much hit meant to me that a big military man who doesn’t like to do anything touchy feel-y actually came to this cast and crew meeting just to be by my side in case I needed him. In fact!!!! He even got some questions and thank you’s after I was done presenting. One guy, an actor whom I assume from his question had a girlfriend that went through similar ordeals as I, had asked Brandon what he did when I told him my story. Then another guy asked Brandon what he should do because he also had a girlfriend in the same boat.
I feel so accomplished. Especially that even my hard-headed, loving, caring, fiancee was able to get to these guys and make it so that this was a real deal. It wasn’t some commercial on TV where you need life alert or something. This was happening IN YOUR SCHOOL. To the person who you sat right next to just yesterday. To someone you alway saw in the hall but never really gave the time to say hi. This was real, and I think that will make for a GREAT play this winter at my high school.
P.S. I got offered a spot on Reach Counseling’s panel! Which is where I tell my story again and then I answer questions. Pretty much what I did today! And the kicker!? Brandon was offered a spot on the panel as well! Because he was the support role for me and people who are support roles need to know how to handle that kind of stuff and for Brandon only being 17 and hearing something of this magnitude, well… it’s quite astonishing how understanding and compassionate he was when I first told him. But yeah so I’ll keep you updated and informed on my role in play and with Reach Counseling (hopefully that goes far).