Larissa Gomes, actress, mother, producer, writer, and Silence Breaker shared her experience on coming forward about her assault:
“How do you describe the way emotions get stuck within you? The way they play over and seem to alter all the hard work you’ve done to overcome trauma, they way they amplify or they turn the determined purpose of sharing your story with the world into the ‘maybe I shouldn’t have’, because feeling too exposed is alienating. When the trolls, disbelievers and misogynists try to make you feel violated all over again. Even if we are steadfast and courageous and we know we did this to connect and to help others, it is true that two things can exist at once and there are complexities.
There are the tangible ways it affected me negatively like stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, or friends pulling away or showing no interest in what was a huge deal in your life, work opportunities mysteriously slowing to a stop, etc. Often it felt like too much and I wanted to forget I even put myself out there in this very personal way. Our culture is not kind for the most part and doesn’t help us at all.
I had to ask myself, what is this feeling trying to teach me? On the one hand, I was at war with myself and I was tired of my thoughts and I just wanted to feel free of the aftermath… on the other I felt powerful in letting go and embracing all these parts of myself. Most of all, I knew I wasn’t alone.
I think this is what it all comes down to… it’s why we share, it’s why we risk. It’s why we continue to speak out, often the system doesn’t protect us, but we protect us.
Larissa was instrumental in igniting the #MeToo Movement when she came forward with with her assault by Harvey Weinstein. She is a champion for women and survivors.
Follow Larissa: Twitter