My Journey to Eyes Wide Open

Megan Farnsworth, Survivor

As I have heard so many Nassar Survivors say, I didn't believe what had happened to me was true. It took me over a year to acknowledge that I was sexually assaulted by him. Once I finally faced the truth, it took many months for me to acknowledge that I had been affected in my everyday life from these events and to ask for help.

I am a mother of two, a wife to a wonderful and supportive family. My children see me crying often, and they comfort me. My husband holds me until the anxiety attacks pass. These events have forever affected my life. I will never be the person I was prior to finding out I had been sexually assaulted.

I have been living a life of this holding pattern for months now, in many ways. There are endless news stories about Nassar and other political and famous figures who have been exposed. Endless stories and continuous fights against MSU and the Board of Trustees and what they ignored and allowed to happen, even beyond Nassar alone. Wonderful but still difficult stories of our Sister Survivors out there fighting. I cannot get away from it. It is in some ways very empowering and in others is continuously causing me to relieve my pain.

Through this journey I have entrusted in a therapist who has really allowed for me to go through my grief, process that grief and come out on the other side. She helps to keep me grounded and focused on myself and what is healthy for me. There has been a fine line that I am still trying to walk in terms of what I allow in from the outside and when to recognize that it is too unhealthy to keep letting it in.

Between her and my family support, I feel like I am finally healing. I have bad days or bad moments during that day. I find that I mainly am now struggling with how all of this has affected my everyday life, beyond focusing on the events of and surrounding the abuse. But I can see this new and evolved person peaking through.

No one should EVER have to experience what I and all of the other Survivors of sexual assault have experienced. But the fact is that it did happen to me. And I can see that through this life altering, suffocating event that occurred in my life, that I have become a better person. I am so much more aware of where I stand in terms of gender equality and women's rights. I feel a fight in me to stand for what's right now more than I ever have before. You can go through life living in your bubble, feeling sad or empathetic for others who are faced with human rights issues. But once you experience it is yourself, well for me anyway, it has opened my eyes. Maybe that took me too long or it's unfortunate it took something happening to me to see the bigger picture. But my eyes are now wide open. And I fight and educate for what is right and true. And that has been something that through the pain and disgust, I can take from becoming a Survivor.

Women are strong, women deserved to be heard and believed. And when we band together and fight, women change the world.

#metoo #BelieveSurvivors #WhyIDidntReport

The Army of Survivors