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For the next 48 hours (that is, until 7am PST on Thursday, September 11), 40% of any sales from Light Gets In will go to WIN NYC, an organization that I trust and have donated to beforeWIN NYC supports breaking the cycle of homelessness for women and their children — homelessness being a significant issue for women facing domestic violence.

Listen to me read the following below:


 

Last night, amid the news about a leaked video of Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice beating his partner-now-wife, Janay Rice, and after reporters and sideline social media commentators wondered why on earth a person would stay with an abusive partner, my Twitter feed blew up with two new hashtags: #WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft.

I wrote and posted a #WhyIStayed update. Then, after scrolling through numerous other updates, including some from domestic abuse survivors who found the hashtag upsetting, I deleted it.

Roxane Gay, whose Twitter presence is significant, and whose book Bad Feminist is now a NYT bestseller, wrote:

@rgay: I feel guilty saying this but I am tired of terrible things. I am completely worn the fuck out.

@rgay: I just am so sick of having to write about the terrible shit that happens to women. I have reached my limit.

I was beginning to feel the same way.

Meanwhile, another woman, likely well-intentioned, posted something along the lines of, “If you’re not following #WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft, you’re missing the point of Twitter.”

Deep breath.

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Because this person, whoever she is, wants to spread awareness. The problem is that many of us are already terribly aware. The problem is that for some of us, including me, being inundated by stories of domestic abuse is not “eye-opening.” Instead, it lights panic like a flame catching on kindling.

I, for one, have been living with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) for four or five months now. A few days ago, I was frightened enough by something that I hid in a pitch-black closet for almost an hour, crying — not because I was actually in danger, but because I’ve been in danger. My friends have been in danger, have filed restraining orders, have been beaten by their partners in public.

I have the right to choose not to follow consciousness-raising hashtags. We have the right to not be guilted into doing things that are not of the highest good for ourselves — and sometimes that means not engaging with other people’s stories, leaving social media for the night, and having a breather.

If you would like to see some of the domestic violence stories shared yesterday, there’s a round-up here at Vox.

In the meantime, here’s what I’m doing instead. For the next 48 hours (that is, until 7am PST on Thursday, September 11), 40% of any sales from Light Gets In will go to WIN NYC, an organization that I trust and have donated to before. WIN NYC supports breaking the cycle of homelessness for women and their children — homelessness being a significant issue for women facing domestic violence.

Take care of yourselves.