I am in recovery from addiction. I attend regular recovery meetings. I routinely wear large, baggy clothing to draw as little attention to myself and my body as possible when at these meetings. I am probabaly the youngest person in the room, at 20 yrs old. Today I went to a meeting. I was enjoying myself, laughing, smiling, hugging friends. At the end of the meeting a newcomer, someone new in recovery, who I’ve seen at other meetings, came up to me. He knew my name and has hit on me before, which I was very uncomfortable with. Today this dude called me “mama.” This isn’t uncommon in these meetings. Men will refer to me as their “baby”, “honey”, “girl”. I don’t even identify as a woman, I’m gender queer. It’s just infuriating because I have been coming to these meetings for over two years, and it has not gotten any better. I’m considering talking to other about it, speaking up. I might share and be angry. I’m so sick of feeling unsafe in public spaces. I’m so sick of feeling like I owe a man a smile, hug, or laugh when I don’t want to. It’s exhausting and a waste of my time. I am sick of prioritizing others’ comfort over my own safety. On top of it all, I need these meetings. I can’t just not go. But I do have a choice here:to speak up or stay silent. I’m starting to get sick of choosing the latter.


I was raped and half of the trauma of the rape has been its aftermath. It’s the stuff you don’t expect that’s the worst….my feminist roommate moving out a week later because she couldn’t deal with my trauma, my secret fear that people are tired of my need to talk about it or emote…how in reality I’m expected to have recovered already (just a year later). Ppl just want me to “get over it.”