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As the shocking allegations against Harvey Weinstein emerged, many actors and actresses have spoken up about their own experiences with sexual harassment in Hollywood. But this has also opened up a larger discussion regarding sexual abuse in general. After actress Alyssa Milano urged survivors of abuse to use the hashtag #metoo to bring light to the issue, THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL’s Linsey Godfrey (Caroline) used her Instagram account to finally open up about the abuse she had kept quiet about for so long. “In light of what’s happening in the news over the past few days with Harvey Weinstein,” she wrote, “as I learn more about the victims and their accounts, listening to him brush it off in recorded tapes, I suddenly felt a weight in my chest, a knot in my stomach, and my lungs felt as if they were no longer able to expand anymore. I couldn’t breathe. I was fighting constant tears as I went about my day running errands and picking my daughter up from school. I found myself in my doctor’s office in a full-blown anxiety attack. I was sobbing, unable to speak without a stutter.
“I started to realize why these stories coming to light hit me so hard,” she continued. “It’s something I’ve never really said out loud before. I am a sexual abuse survivor. My stepfather, who I called ‘Dad’ molested me from the age of 7 until 14 years old.” Godfrey described how the incidents began small, but eventually grew to the point where she had no choice but to say something. “I jumped up screaming and ran to my mom,” she recalled. “I screamed what had happened and then ran to my room locking the door and locking myself in my closet. I slept there that night. I never spoke of it again. He became my Voldemort. The irony that his middle name was Damon and he was born on Friday the 13th was never lost on me.”
Godfrey then related another incident that happened a few months later when she was visiting her sister and met an older boy who seemed nice. “I needed to numb the pain,” she explained. “He got me really drunk one night and took me back to his house. He laid me in his bed and we talked. We began to kiss but I was so drunk and so unable to realize what this could turn into. Next thing I knew he was on top of me and forcing himself inside me. I stopped him, told him ‘no” and that I didn’t want to. He persisted. I pushed him off me and begged him to drive me home. I sobbed. I felt disgusting. I felt like it was all my fault. How could I let this happen again? I never spoke of it again.”
But as more and more people are coming forward with their own stories, Godfrey has decided that it is time to add her voice to the chorus. “I silenced myself because I was afraid of ruining other people’s lives,” she confided. “Now, at 29, I think about how ridiculous of a thought that is. How could I ever worry about them? They never worried what their actions might do to me!
“I suffer from extreme Generalized Anxiety Disorder,” Godfrey added. “I have body dysmorphia. I have struggled with healthy weights and not torturing myself over the way I look. I have punished myself for nearly 15 years for things that other people did to me. I never spoke about it, scared people would judge me for being the victim. No more. Today I share my story in the hopes that other women will share theirs, too. Please, I implore you, don’t be silent. Speak out against your attacker, even if it is as simple as responding to this post.”
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