After I shared

Like a lot of survivors who have shared their stories, I had no idea what to expect afterwords.

I had drafted up my story in October, shortly after I was interviewed for an article by The Canadian Press.
My uncle, Colin Perkel, had encouraged me to speak with The Canadian Press, and helped me through that process. I asked him to help me out with some editing right around that time, and I just sat on my story for months and months. I can’t thank him enough for getting the ball rolling – look where I am now!
On February 3, I was a wreck thinking about Jian Ghomeshi’s next court date. So I decided that if I had to spend one more god damn sleepless night, EVERYONE was going to hear about it.
And they did.After I Shared

The response to my story is a little overwhelming to articulate, so this will be in point form.

  • Support. So much support. My story was seen by nearly 15,000 people all over the world. All of the comments were so positive and uplifting. I am glad I have those kind words to look back on when I lose motivation or wonder what I am doing here.
  • I had a couple of “what have I done???” moments, especially when people from work started commenting and ‘liking’ my story on Facebook. I was worried that I had damaged my career. Most of my co-workers haven’t mentioned this in real life, with the exception of a couple of hugs and “you’re so brave’s”. I’m glad to keep the professional distance, and just focus on my job while I am at work.  A senior manager checked in on me. While it was awkward, I was glad that he took the time and braved the uncomfortable.
  • I didn’t give myself the chance to give out warnings to friends and family. I was sitting on this for so long that if I didn’t post it while I had the nerve, it would have been another 6 months. I only had a couple of people who I wish I had told before posting, and I feel badly that they had to find out on Facebook. Luckily they were very understanding and I appreciate that.
  • A lot of moms (and even a dad!) that I used to babysit for reached out. I was so surprised, and glad to hear that they are using this as an opportunity to look out for their little ones that I spent so much time with as a teen.
  • I got a chance to speak with some other survivors, and we have been able to encourage each other. I would love to hear from more – I know they are out there and I don’t want anyone to suffer alone.
  • Most of the feedback I got focused on me being brave, or strong, and I appreciate that. I also hope that the story here is bigger than me, and that these people who felt inspired will take some action as well. Even little things – challenging rape jokes and victim blaming – will go a long way.
  • The biggest thing that sharing on Facebook did was give a face and a name to the ‘myth’ of sexual assault. I can’t believe the number of people who thought that this was just something that happens to a friend of a friend, or on college campuses on the East coast. Now you know – it happens to the girl next door too.
  • I spent some time obsessing over what people were thinking about me now. Did they think that I deserved this?  That I’m looking for attention? Or worse, do they pity me? I also worry when I think about how many people now know about the worst night of my life. But I have to live with those memories every day. People that read my story in passing aren’t tied to this knowledge in the same way as I am. They can read it with some emotional distance. A good friend reminded me that people are pretty self involved, and most of them have forgotten about this by now. That was very comforting.
  • Most of the men in my life encouraged me and thank me in person or via text. Most of my ex-boyfriends have also sent me messages. Thank you guys! That was great to see – men are a huge part of the solution.
  • A couple of people expressed rage and said they wanted to hurt this guy. I appreciate the sentiment but realize that it’s not worth my time, or theirs. I would love to see him in jail, and to protect the ‘next girl’, but I did everything I could, and nothing can un-do what has happened to me.
  • This blog! I am forever grateful to have this opportunity to write at When You’re Ready. Without taking that first step to share my story, I would not be writing this today!

Overall, sharing my story was an overwhelmingly positive experience. I may still encounter some negative backlash, but that would create an opportunity to reach out to people who may not share my views.

If you are interested in sharing your story (remember you can remain anonymous!) but still have questions about what to expect afterwards, you can contact me at and we can chat about it.

Keep talking, keep sharing




Hi! I'm Elizabeth, a blogger on When You're I spent 2 years struggling with PTSD and panic attacks following a violent attack. I want to use my experience and my voice to raise support for others. I desperately want to make the world a safer place for girls and women, especially my two little sisters. Keep talking, Keep sharing. When You're Ready, I'll be here.