Last week, I spoke publicly about the abuse that I suffered from 2008 to 2011. In an Instagram Post, I laid out the abusive relationship I lived through during college with my ex-girlfriend, Erin*.
Erin was not famous, she was not a film mogul or titan of industry, but in her own way, she was powerful. For the past 10 years, she has held power over me. I’ve wanted to protect her, more than I have wanted to heal my own deep trauma. I’ve also been afraid of her, and that fear has stopped me from speaking out.
“Have you ever been triggered by a Facebook memory?” I ask my roommate while we drink coffee on our front porch.
“Yeah,” she replies, “all the time.”
It’s something most millennials are familiar with. You look at your Facebook memories and there it is, the photo of you with your abusive ex or some post you wrote right before a traumatic night in college.
For me, it was a picture from August 2013, when I was at the very deepest, darkest depths of my eating disorder.
The picture is a little out of focus. I am on a hike, and…
Six months ago, I was working as a strategist at a marketing agency. I told myself that it was a good job, that it was preparing me for something better. But in reality, I often had to leave my desk in the middle of the day to cry in my car.
I longed for a career that gave me a sense of purpose, that was mission-focused, and most importantly, based in the outdoors. I’d scroll job boards during the workday and fantasize about leaving everything behind to count bird species in North Dakota or work as a ski lift operator…