Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is known for her transparency online, so when the government official opened up about her traumatic experience on the day of the insurrection-fans and supporters were all ears.
On Monday (Feb 1), the Bronx-bred official gave onlookers a true glimpse beyond politics as a choked up AOC recalled the day she suffered PTSD, before revealing to fans that she was a survivor of sexual assault in an attempt to give those tuned in a true look at what she has been experiencing.
The Congresswoman revealed what it’s like to experience the cumulative effect of multiple traumas … and how it gets more difficult to recover after each event. She was clearly referring to the events of Jan. 6 as a trigger for her PTSD.
“I’m a survivor of sexual assault, and I haven’t told many people that in my life,” a tearful AOC said. “And I haven’t told many people that in my life. But when we go through trauma, trauma compounds on each other.”
In the video, the congresswoman also detailed how she felt the orchestrated event could have been worse once insurrectionists broke into her office, one Ocasio-Cortez recalled was a police officer.
“I thought I was going to die,” she said. “I have never been quieter in my entire life. When he came in, it didn’t feel right because he was looking at me with a tremendous amount of anger and hostility — and things weren’t adding up. There was no partner there and no one was yelling, he wasn’t yelling like, ‘this is Capitol police, this is Capitol police.'”
Shedding light onto her own experience, AOC couldn’t help but shine the spotlight on the mistrust of police by communities of color, noting that while he displayed himself as an officer, legit or not that didn’t ease her sense of fear.
“We couldn’t read if this was a good situation or a bad situation,” AOC continued. “Like so many other communities in this country, just that presence doesn’t necessarily give you a signal if you’re safe or not.”
While many championed the congresswoman for her bravery and courage, White Twitter attempted to condemn the representative pointing out that her office isn’t located in the Capitol building, but instead the Canon building-which supporters point out is where the representatives were told to evacuate after pipe bombs were found in the vicinity during the attempted coup.
Despite the information confirming supporters’ claims being available to the public, on Wednesday, AOC faced a microwave of backlash from people like Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., who tweeted that insurrectionists never stormed the hallway that she shares with Ocasio-Cortez. The hashtag #AlexandriaOcasioSmollet also trended, an apparent comparison to actor Jussie Smollett, who falsely claimed to be the victim of a hate crime.
Although the futile attempt gained hardly any steam, AOC took to Twitter to dispel the notion that she made up the story for attention with a tweet pointing out the dangers of disinformation.
“The sad thing about disinformation is that once the truth comes out, the damage has already been done,” AOC wrote. “People have already been misled, radicalized & believe lies to a point where their hatred has brewed to violence. That’s what led to the 6th, and it’s happening right now.”
In addition to the full-on support of Ocasio-Cortez’s bravery, many support groups point out that her story proves that trauma affects everyone differently, adding that trying to pretend there is one “right way” to deal with it is just another way to delegitimize the experiences of trauma survivors we don’t like.
Watch the full live below.