Over the years, the name Monica Lewinsky has become synonymous with sexual scandals.
In 1998, the world learned that the former White House intern was involved in a sexual relationship with then President of the United States, Bill Clinton, 27 years her senior.
As a result, the now-activist was thrown into a political sex scandal storm and resulted in Clinton's impeachment and eventual acquittal.
Now, on the 20th anniversary of Kenneth Starr's investigation into former President Clinton, the 44-year-old has reflected on her affair, exploring the 'trauma' of her past and how the revolutionary #MeToo Movement has helped her view her experience in a new light.
In the essay for Vanity Fair, Lewinsky writes: 'As I find myself reflecting on what happened, I've also come to understand how my trauma has been, in a way, a microcosm of a larger, national one.
'Both clinically and observationally, something fundamental changed in our society in 1998, and it is changing again as we enter the second year of the Trump presidency in a post-Cosby-Ailes-O'Reilly-Weinstein-Spacey-Whoever-Is-Next world.
Lewinsky goes on to explain that following Hollywood's recent sexual abuse scandal, she spoke with a woman leading the #MeToo movement who told her: 'I'm so sorry you were so alone.'
I've also come to understand how my trauma has been, in a way, a microcosm of a larger, national one.
In response, Lewinsky says: 'Those seven words undid me.
'Somehow, coming from her—a recognition of sorts on a deep, soulful level—they landed in a way that cracked me open and brought me to tears,' she later adds.
Discussing the power of the #MeToo movement, she says that just hearing a story from one woman instantly welcomes another into a 'tribe'.
'The democratising potential of the Internet to open up support networks and penetrate what used to be closed circles of power is something that was unavailable to me back then. Power, in that case, remained in the hands of the president and his minions, the Congress, the prosecutors, and the press,' she explains.
Lewinsky highlights that while some people don't believe her experience with Clinton has a place in the #MeToo movement - as what occurred was as a result of a gross abuse of power, not sexual assault - she reveals she's been asked about the movement repeatedly in recent months, regardless.
Power, in that case, remained in the hands of the president and his minions
'My response has been the same: I am in awe of the sheer courage of the women who have stood up and begun to confront entrenched beliefs and institutions,' she writes.
Opening up about the experience of being gaslit - to be manipulated by psychological means into doubting your own sanity - Lewinsky says she's long struggled with her own sense of 'agency versus victimhood'.
'Given my PTSD and my understanding of trauma, it's very likely that my thinking would not necessarily be changing at this time had it not been for the #MeToo movement—not only because of the new lens it has provided but also because of how it has offered new avenues toward the safety that comes from solidarity.'
Referring to what she calls the 'inappropriate abuse of authority' between her and Clinton, she also emphasises the complicated nature in defining the term 'consent'.
'I now see how problematic it was that the two of us even got to a place where there was a question of consent,' she writes.
It's very likely that my thinking would not necessarily be changing at this time had it not been for the #MeToo movement
'Instead, the road that led there was littered with inappropriate abuse of authority, station, and privilege.'
As a result of other women coming forward with their own stories of sexual abuse and harassment, Lewinsky says that the world has a 'huge debt of gratitude to the #MeToo and Time's Up heroines'.
'They are speaking volumes against the pernicious conspiracies of silence that have long protected powerful men when it comes to sexual assault, sexual harassment, and abuse of power,' she writes.
Lewinsky ends her essay with a call-to-action, highlighting that with every #MeToo story told sees another person reliving the trauma of their experience. As a result, she hopes to to see more resources, such as trauma therapy, become available for victims in order to aid their recovery.
'Through all of this, during the past several months, I have been repeatedly reminded of a powerful Mexican proverb: "They tried to bury us; they didn't know we were seeds",' she concludes her piece.
'Spring has finally sprung.'
Read Lewinsky's entire essay here.