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Book Review and My Story: #Me Too: Essays About How and Why This Happened

I want to thank NetGalley and Riverdale Avenue Books for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review. I appreciate this opportunity.

#MeToo: Essays About How and Why This Happened,

What It Means and How To Make Sure It Never Happens Again

More than 16 million people had posted their #MeToo story and support against sexual harassment by mid-October as a reaction to Rose McGowan’s brave admission that she had allegedly been raped by Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. A groundswell of reaction to and exposure of this sexual predation was unleashed that has spread throughout Europe and beyond. New revelations of unacceptable behavior in every industry break every day as people come forward in response to the viral #MeToo posts. Protests are scheduled such as the “Take back the Workplace” Hollywood march in November of 2017, and legislation is being drafted in New York and California to finally change the way things have been for far too long.

This is the turning point. Things are going to change.

This is a historic moment and it needs to be memorialized, passed around and passed on. Although social media is a fantastic means of igniting a fire, it needs to keep burning, like a torch.

So Riverdale Avenue Books, a woman-owned leading hybrid publisher, is putting its money, words and power, behind this and publishing this collection of 26 essays from people who understand want to make this change, and we, as a society, have got to figure out a way to drive that change forward.

So pass this book around. Share it with your sons, brothers, fathers, your daughters, sisters and mothers, your co-workers and friends. Read passages to them, if they won’t read it for themselves. Leave it on the desk of someone who should know better.

Help us make this movement more than a hashtag.

Review: I give this book 5 out of 5 stars! Just wow! This book was empowering, important and heartbreaking. I have just learned about the #MeToo movement a couple of weeks ago and was so glad I picked up this book from NetGalley!

We have to tell our stories, point the finger, shame this behavior and make it stop.

So many brave women have come forward to share their stories to spread awareness and take a stand!

Knowledge is power, and there is strength in numbers: #MeToo has shown us that. We have to tell the stories.

This book is going to be available for free electronically to get the word out there. Print copies will only be charged for the cost for the printing. I think this book was so deep and these ladies’ stories really hit home. As for the quoted text from the book above, I am going to briefly share my #MeToo story in hopes that there is strength in numbers and that there is hope for others.

This is going to be quite difficult for me and if you might be triggered about sexual abuse you might want to leave this post.

I did not have what one would call a normal childhood filled with imagination, hopes and dreams. On my 6th birthday I experienced one of the most difficult experiences of my life. I was raped by my stepfather. I was scared, confused, and in complete pain but most of all I lost an important part of me, the ability to really enjoy life without fear. My abuse was very extensive and faced things that no child should ever even know about. I eventually would come on to my step father because I was scared of him emotionally, physically and sexually abusing my siblings as well. I kept up with appearances and didn’t let it be known that I was hurting myself at such a young age as well. At age 6, I also met my first childhood love Alex. She was my escape from my stepfather and I spent every moment I could with her. Unfortunately being around her so much had its drawbacks, my abuser hurt her really bad too. One incident was very scary and we were put under water in bath water to remind us to never say a word.

When I was 9 I moved away but the long term damage already effected me severely. I was in and out of hospitals and facilities. At age 14 I found out my love Alex commited suicide. I felt horrible and broken. I blamed myself because I never told anyone. After this I finally broke my silence and told the police, only to be told the statue of limitations ran out. All they could do was knock on his door and let him know. This gave me zero faith in our justice system and broke me inside.

I will tell of one more #MeToo situation and will be done.

When I was 19 I went to a party with some friends. I had one drink and the rest was blacked out. The next morning I came to and was dropped off by my “friend” and told “you better be on birth control”. Later I found out I was given the date rape drug.

Three weeks later, I got really sick and thought it was the flu. I went to the hospital because I was so weak and found out I was pregnant. I was confused because I haven’t had sex recently but knew how bad I felt after the party with “friends”. The doctor told me the conception date and it was the date of the party.

They gave me an ultrasound and my heart strings pulled. I went to a clinic to get rid of the baby but just couldn’t do it when I saw it again with their mandatory ultrasound. I was a broken and messed up person at this time but seeing the baby something changed in me. 9 months later I gave birth to the most beautiful little girl. She saved my life and changed me forever. I named her Zoey because it means life and she saved mine. She helped me grow and helped me see the beauty in my ashes.

I hope that my story helps along with all the other women who have taken a stand. I hope everyone has a good day.

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108 thoughts on “Book Review and My Story: #Me Too: Essays About How and Why This Happened

  1. Well Dani this only confirmed what I wrote about you today on my Favorite Blog Posts of the Month. I already wrote that you are courageous, vulnerable, true and strong. I’m familiar with abuse not me personally but a member of my family was abused when he was a kid. Yes rape does not happen to women only but concerns kids whatever their gender. Often the victim forgets everything about the rape. It’s our mind’s way to cope. Until one day everything comes back. Then begins the long way to healing…I’ve heard every sordid detail of that kid now adult story. It was really hard as a mom to listen to it. Buy if he had to endure the rape the least I could do was listen. Victims often end stronger but after many sufferings an years of therapy. So hail to your courage Dani!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much for this reply. I was so scared to share this! I will have to check out your posts again! You are so AWESOME!💖 I agree that it doesn’t only effect women. I have known men close to me that have been effected by abuse. I totally agree with you about the blocking it out. I have lived with dissiciation since a young age to block out what I could if what happened to me. I tried my best not to go into the horrific details. Thanks so much for your support!🤗😗💯

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I just realized I forgot that when I had no memory after the drink I took that I found out later I was given the date rape drug. I didn’t proofread this post because it was to hard to re-read but I added that part real quick. Thanks so much again for your kind words and I definitely know men are also affected by this. I have some very close to me that have suffered. I loved your blog post. I went to comment but forgot you only have the like ability on your posts. Lots of hugs and love sent your way!😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh God Dani. I don’t know what to say except I’m completely broken-hearted over what happened to you. I knew from our previous conversations that you had a traumatic past, but this, this is just devastating. I usually don’t have a violent bone in my body, but right now I’d love to hunt down the bastards who hurt you an make them suffer!🤬

    Thank goodness something good came from the last assault in the form of your precious little girl, Zoey. She’s absolutely beautiful and definitely takes after her mom.😊

    Telling you that I have the deepest admiration for you and your strength and courage, doesn’t quite do it justice. You are a truly remarkable woman Dani, and I feel blessed to have met you even if it’s online. Maybe someday we can actually meet in person. 🤗

    I would love to reblog this, but only if you’re comfortable with that. If not, I completely understand. 😙

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much for your love and support Kim!!! Your words teuly touched me and helped make this post completely worth it! I am so glad we have met online and hopefully one day we could meet in person!🤗😗 I have no problem whatsoever with you reblogging this post. I made a stand to share some of my story because of all the other brave women who have come forward. I didn’t proofread this post because I was too emotional so sorry for any errors but am so thankful for you. You are such an AMAZING lady and friend! You are the BEST Kim and you always know how to brighten my day!🤗😗💯😁 Thank you so much for sharing and spreading the word!🤗

      Liked by 2 people

  3. In all the years I have lived, and all the women I have known, so few have not had a story of some abuse to confide in me, eventually. In this instance, you have bared your soul, spoke of your love for your wonderful daughter, and made us all feel that much closer to you.
    That is not just courage, but something more inherently important. Trust.
    Well, you can trust me. With both your story, and your friendship. I guarantee I would never let you down.
    Your friend, Pete. XX

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lovely Dani… you are so courageous and strong. I’m so sorry the justice system let you down so badly as well as so many of the people in your life. I’m happy to see you smiling in the pictures with you lovely girl. She’s lucky to have a strong mama that will keep her safe and help her through life. Thank you for sharing your story. Sending you so many hugs 🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for your story, I know it was hard for you to tell. I think most of us women have a story to tell. What’s said is those that don’t realize that these things are common among women whether it’s molestation, rape by a family member, drugged at a party. Your daughter is gorgeous & so are you! Keep fighting the good fight!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I feel sad whenever I come across such past recollections that wrench my heart, because it’s the truth and a truth that shouldn’t be common but is very much common. Then again, I feel happy to see such strong women, such strong humans, who won’t let anything get them down and carry the strength to make things right and see the light. Your daughter is so beautiful and am sure she carries a soul as beautiful as yours, Dani. Telling such traumatic stories is a brave step and the world loves you for that ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. “I was raped by my stepfather. I was scared, confused, and in complete pain but most of all I lost an important part of me, the ability to really enjoy life without fear.” I felt goosebumps. What a sad part it is.
    Your pictures are too cute with your doll.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. OMG DANII ❤️❤️ Its so brave of you to share these stories and what happened to you !! Thats why you’re my ultimate blogger babee 😘 You are a radiant sunshine for everyone around you and you coped with these situations, have beautiful kids, and every conversation I have with you brings me even more closer to you and your amazingness ❤️❤️ !! LOVE THE REVIEWS TOO 👏👏 And as always, YALL LOOK ABSOLUTELY ADORABLEE 😘

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww TRANG!!!! YOU ALWAYS KNOW HOW TO MAKE ME SMILE! You are such an amazing person with a beautiful spirit! Thanks so much for all your kind words and support. I was terrified to post this but I am glad I did! I am thankful for all the kind words and hope in numbers all the people that have come forth with make a difference!🤗😗 You are the BEST Trang! I hope you are having a great weekend!🤗😗💖💯💃📚😁

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This post honestly moved me to tears. I admire your courage to speak out on not only a topic of this much importance, but also something so painful. That took a lot of strength and bravery. ❤
    I love the photos of you and your daughter. You can really see the bond between the two of you and I think the meaning behind her name is just as beautiful as you two are. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no!😓 I didn’t want you to have tears but I have to admit after I wrote this I was a mess! I couldn’t even go back and proofread. Thanks so much for your kind words they mean the world to me!😊 Zoey is my Angel and my everything! I have 3 children and I don’t play favorites but in a way Zoey and me have the closest bond because we grew up together and she saved me. I wanted to share the pictures because I wanted to share the hope and the positive that came out of my abuse. Thanks again for your support!🤗😊

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you for speaking up! It is a hard thing to do, even as years go by, but it’s also rather cathartic and so helpful to others who have suffered similarly. Your daughter is adorable. Take care of yourself. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I don’t even know what to say other than I am really sorry that you have to endure this pain. Your story brought tears to my eyes and broke my heart. Sharing your story takes a lot of courage. You are one courageous and strong woman. I admire and congratulate you for your courage.

    Like

  12. An absolutely stunning and courageous thing you’ve done here Dani. I am truly sorry that you have went through all these traumatic events, but am truly glad that Zoey ended up being a source of hope and life for you. Your presence out in the blogosphere has been growing incredibly and your impact on everyone’s life is amazing! Keep on being awesome, Dani.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OMGAWD!THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR KIND WORDS! You are so sweet and awesome! I was terrified to post this but all the support I have received from this has been amazing! When I read the stories from the women whom had come forward and took a stand, I felt I should do the same. The book encourages us to stand united and make a difference with our voices. You are right about Zoey she was my miracle and she saved my life. She is my constant reminder that somethi ng incredibly beautiful can come out of something so horrific. Your words really mean so much to me Lashaan! Thank you so much!🤗😗

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Dear Dani, I was incredibly moved to read your post. I am so glad for you that you have your little girl and seem to have found your place in the sun. I think that most women have had some sort of bad experience with sexual harassment and abuse, although usually not on the huge scale that you experienced. We do need to stand together on this vital issue for the sake of our own futures and those of our daughters.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Robbie for your comment! You are so kind and I definitely found some beauty out of it with my amazing little girl! She really saved me and is incredible!😍 No matter what kind of harassment or trauma we go through it still all counts the same and we should all stand up United because of this! Thanks again for your comment!😊

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Oh Dani, I hope you don’t think this sounds patronising but I really think you’re so brave for sharing what happened to you. I don’t even know how you’ve managed to build a life after a childhood like that. Well done for sharing, I hope it helps someone to come to terms with their own past. And congratulations on your lovely family, it looks like you have a very special bond with Zoey. Big love xxx ❤️💚💜💛💙

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words Lucinda! They mean the world to me!😊 You don’t sound patronizing at all! I was so scared to write this post especially when I realized some family might see this as well but felt I needed to take a stand after reading this book. At one point, I didn’t think I was going to make it past my childhood honestly. I still suffer mentally from it and I have to take it one day at a time. I really appreciate your kind words. My daughter means the world to me along with my other two babies!😍 But my daughter truly saved my life!💝

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aww, you sound like you’ve got your own amazing little family, it’s so lovely to see people who really value and appreciate their children. This is your experience and if talking about it helps you (and others) then go for it, regardless of what anyone else has to say. It sounds like you’ve worked out a way to live with your experiences, i hope that continues and I wish all the good things for you in the future xxx

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks so much Lucinda for all the sweet words! I am blessed. My health is bad but I have 3 beautiful children. My daughter was my savior. I read about how all the brave women stood up and felt I should share especially since I was able to get a beautiful thing out of a disaster! Much love, Dani!😍

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Your story made me cry. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Thank you for having the courage to do it. Thank you for loving your daughter with all your heart. Thank you for encouraging other women to speak up. Thank you for being so supportive and wondeful and nice. Thank you for not allowing your horrid past destroy your future. I’m so sorry the legal system failed you so badly. I hope it gets better and that the horrible things that happened to you never happen to anyone (girl or boy, man or woman). You are a wonderful, amazing person and I hope you continue to be happy now and always😙❤❤❤❤

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Wow: just when I thought you could not impress me even more than you have already done, you write a post like this. I’m going to have to say that the respect I already had for you, had just increased by a thousand fold. It is so brave of you to come out and tell a story like this. It makes me angry and sad at the same time, that you had go through something as horrible as this. And to have it happen twice is even more heartbreaking. For you to have turned into such a loving, caring and wonderful person is a testimony to your incredible strength. You should be proud of yourself. You really are an amazing woman, and I think a story such as this will be an inspiration to every woman that reads this and has had a similar experience. Things will eventually get better: it will always remain a part of you, that is sadly true, but it also goes to show that you can overcome things like this. You have a beautiful daughter, who I’m sure will turn out every bit as awesome as her mother is. Keep the faith in yourself: and as I said be proud of yourself. I sure as hell am 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww Michel you always know how to get me all emotional and make me want to kidnap you with the cellophane!!!😍 It was very hard for me to post this but the book discusses all the brave women who have shared their stories and encouraged us to make a stand if any kind of harassment or assault has happened to us or a loved one. Once reading it I felt I had to share a small part. Unfortunately, things were way more harder than I could write and not enough times to count sadly.😟 But your words have touched my heart and you really have no idea how much I needed to hear this. After a night terror last night I felt like giving up but all the love and support has helped me immensely!😍 I don’t really have a supportive family or friends so you and other awesome people have really made a huge impact in my life. You are an amazing man Michel!😍 I feel so blessed to have the pleasure of getting to know you!😊 I can’t thank you enough for all you do by just being you! You totally ROCK!😍 🎸✌😎 XOXO😘

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well: never give up! That would mean they would win, and that so isn’t worth it. I seriously mean every word of it, you impress the hell out of me. It takes tremendous amounts of courage to share a story like this, and even more strength to find it within yourself to bring happyness and joy to other people as well after having had such experiences. I really can not even imagine your pain, nor would I ever even attempt to do so. But I do know that you are a terrific woman, that is just a joy to talk to every day. So please: don’t give up. Whenever you are feeling down feel free to contact me. I will try my best to cheer you up as much as I can.
        It saddens me to hear you don’t really have supporting friends or family. I’m blessed with great parents, but I don’t have a lot of friends either. So that’s why I am just very glad to have this blog. It let’s me meet people in a great way: but sometimes there are a few that are a bit more special. And you are certainly one of those. Keep being awesome Dani: you really are amazing 😊😊😊

        Liked by 1 person

      2. 💖💖💖 You have no idea how special your words are to me! You are such a great guy Michel and I can’t understand why you don’t have the ladies fighting over you!😘 You are also quite amazing! I am so glad to hear you were blessed with great parents. My blog means everything to me since I have been stuck at home! I never thought I could meet such amazing people online but I also agree there are a few that are extra close to my heart, like you!😍

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Haha, if I ever find out the answer to that question I will let you know lol 😂
        My blog certainly has become a huge part of my life as well, and I honestly can’t live without it anymore. That’s why I hated being sick the past week..Ugh 😢
        But yeah well…you just take could care of yourself, and never forget you are seriously amazing as well. As I said, my door is always open for you, so whenever you feel a need to talk always feel free to contact me. Here is my emailadress as well:mvanderweide28@gmail.com. 😊 Keep being awesome and really try to rest as much as you can 😊😊 Hope you will feel better soon 😊

        Like

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