During an Instagram Live chat on Monday night, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shared how she’s feeling nearly a month after the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6. During the live stream, Ocasio-Cortez shared her experience as armed rioters entered the building while Congress was in session. While recounting, she revealed that she took refuge in Rep. Katie Porter's office while insurrections yelled, "Where is she?" And in those moments, Ocasio-Cortez said she was truly scared she was going to die.
"I start ripping through Katie's office like a madwoman. Poor Katie, I'm opening every closet, I'm opening every nook, I'm opening every cranny looking for where I'm going to hide when they get into this office,” she said. “I mean, I thought I was going to die.”
Ocasio-Cortez was able to hide in Porter's office where she was reassured they were safe inside. In another interview on Monday, Porter corroborated AOC's story that the New York congresswoman expressed anguish that she might die before getting to have kids.
"I was saying: 'Well, don't worry, I'm a mom, I'm calm, I've got everything here we need — we could live for like a month in this office.' And she said, 'I just hope I get to be a mom — I hope I don't die today,’” Porter described of her conversation with Ocasio-Cortez during the siege in an interview. Clearly, one of the most excruciating parts of this for the young Congress member was the prospect of dying without getting the chance to have her own children — an especially traumatizing realization for a young woman with hopes of starting a family like Ocasio-Cortez.
But this wasn’t the only trauma that Ocasio-Cortez shared in her Instagram Live: “I am a survivor of sexual assault, and I haven’t told many people that in my life. These folks who tell us to move on, that it’s not a big deal, that we should forget what’s happened or even telling us to apologize,” she said, referencing both politicians and broader public that have scrutinized her trauma. The Congresswoman was vulnerable about how being trapped in the Capitol during the insurrection triggered those memories and similar feelings, and what they have to do with each other.
“These people are just trying to tell us, ‘It’s not a big deal.’ And they’re trying to say, ‘You’re making too big a deal over it.’ Whether you are a survivor of abuse, whether you experience any sort of trauma in your life, small to large — these episodes can compound on one another."
In tweets following the Instagram Live, Ocasio-Cortez said that this “isn't the only story, nor is it the central story" of what happened on Jan 6. "It is just one story of many of those whose lives were endangered at the Capitol by the lies, threats, and violence fanned by the cowardice of people who chose personal gain above democracy," she stated.
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