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I feel scared
almost always

And no
I was not born
this way

I don’t remember
losing my virginity
because only
my body was there

I don’t go into
a room before a man
because he
took me from behind
and when I tried
to push him away
he pinned me to the wall
such that my feet
no longer
touched the floor
telling me to “shut my face
no one would believe me

I don’t like walking
alone in the dark
(even in “safe”
suburban neighborhoods)
because he
chased me
down a road lined by
white picket fences
yelling “you’ll be mine
you bitch
you cannot escape me”

I don’t go out dancing
like I used to
because he
reached under my skirt
and grabbed me
so hard
skin broke
because he
got his friends
to come up behind me
so that I was surrounded
and mounted
as he squeezed
my cheeks
saying “no one can hear
you scream, baby”

I panic in elevators
and stairwells
because he
and he and he
pressed into the wall
breathing heat
I’d be sorry
if I choose fighting

I hate having
my head touched
or hair played with
with him
hair petting
turned swiftly
into hair pulling
neck forcing
and face fucking

I feel terror
when I see cop cars
because one time
when they pulled me over
they searched me
instead of the car

I avoid eye contact
with most men
because more than once
I was told it meant
I invited it
“I saw the way you
were looking at me”

I don’t show cleavage
often wearing flattening bras
because he said
it was my fault
my breasts were distracting
so he couldn’t help
but grab, push
and press himself into me
even as I pleaded stop
he spit into my ear
“then don’t be such a tease
be a good girl
and cover those titties
before I cum on them
before I make you take care
of this”
he said ramming
his hips
and hardness
into me

And so it goes

There were never
or knives
no actual weapons
just broken glass
open palms
and fists

Just body weight
and spewed hate

And it changed me
and it often still
haunts me

I don’t walk around
feeling like
a victim

I also no longer
walk around feeling
like it’s my fault

I do wish I could
make this all stop
I wish I knew the ticket
to making sure
this stopped happening

I went back
and forth in sharing
I like to offer
or at the very least
with story
but I don’t
have that here

I am aware
that I could have shared more
I have more stories
which is confronting to remember
But what is most heartbreaking
is that there are millions
who have had so much
worse than me
and who haven’t
ever shared
till recently
with this eruption
of “me toos”

And that I think matters
that I think has impact
that in and of itself
can begin healing

So while I don’t have any
compelling solutions
or clever suggestions
I do want to say
I feel deeply moved
and more committed
than ever
to making a difference
where I can
with the people
I can

I imagine
if we all took
for the impact here
in our immediate communities
we could personally
prevent the continued
of many

At least that is my hope
my prayer
as I sit here
staring at the screen
reading the stories
of my friends

Feeling ill
Feeling angry
Feeling sad
Feeling confused
Feeling disturbed
Feeling what I didn’t let myself
feel before…

Emily Rosen


❤ Emily Joy Rosen

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Emily Rosen is the co-owner and CEO of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating where she oversees business development strategies, student affairs, marketing and public relations, and keeps a pulse on the fields of eating psychology and nutrition to ensure the Institute’s position as a leader worldwide. Emily makes things happen. Her passion for health and transformation has provided her the opportunity to speak and present internationally and be at the forefront of a new generation of women leaders committed to making a heartfelt difference in the world. Her tireless work and faithful commitment have touched the lives of millions of fans and followers worldwide.