Moving Forward

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about the subject of my last post. I have spent an inordinate amount of time and energy thinking and worrying about this issue and how it directly relates to myself. And what do I think and worry about?

Mostly, I feel sad. While I think of myself as a strong person (and I think others would agree), I have spent a lot of time crying. It is hard for me to feel happy– in fact, I am sort of numb. I guess you could say that I just don’t really feel like myself, like part of me is gone.

I also feel incredibly angry. It angers me to see him praised everywhere he goes. It angers me that what should have been a great experience was ruined for me. It angers me that things would have been completely different if I were a guy. It angers me that I have lost all respect for someone that I really looked up to and admired. It angers me that I am reminded of what happened every time I pick up my trombone.

I am not just a sad and angry person now, though. I have handled myself in an extremely honest and upfront manner. I have become more assertive. I have learned that I can handle anything with the love and support of my family and friends (thank you). I know that I will be a more understanding and empathetic trombone professor one day. As much as it hurts, I have discovered a deeper passion for what it means to be a female brass musician and an appreciation for all of the women that have paved the way for me.

I am not writing this to expose anyone or reveal anything. I write this because I want anyone who might be going through the same thing to know that they aren’t alone. I have shared these things with my advocate, and she always says the same things:

1. It wasn’t your fault.
2. What you are feeling is completely normal.
3. You reacted in a way that you felt would best protect you.

All of the sadness and anger has taken a toll on me. I am emotionally and physically exhausted from this semester. I don’t know what will truly make me feel better. I think it is a matter of time. What I do know is that more than anything, I want to truly be able to forgive.

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