Maybe I Shared The Wrong Story?

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

[Trigger warning: I re-describe a sexual assault somewhat in detail in a paragraph in this post.]

For one thing, I obviously have no idea what I’m doing. It’s been a tough year, and now I’m talking about sexual assault on my blog… Not because I want this to become the “sexual assault blog.” I don’t.

But I do think it’s an important conversation to have. And I do think I have things to say about it here… And I enjoy hearing from other people. So… I think it is good, to some extent, to talk about…

(Sexual assault has also been a humongous part of my life this year, and no matter how many safaris I go on, or whales I swim with, etc. I can’t escape that. So, why am I trying to escape it in the place where I talk aaaaaall about my life? (I mean, there are some legitimate answers to that question. But still… Anyway…))

There’s something I’m sort of kind of beginning to regret-ish about sharing that story from college

I’ve tried to make it clear (but I don’t know that I did a good job of it) that I was sexually assaulted this year – and because of all the circumstances that surrounded that (some of which I may feel comfortable getting into, some of which I may not), it was exceptionally tough on me (and kind of continues to be, to some extent).

But that was the one that was really tough (for me) – not the college one.

I tell the college story because it’s been long enough that I can handle talking about it more easily than I can with something the recent one (as I’m still kind of working through it such)…

And I tell the college story because I think it’s a fairly black and white situation that’s short and easy to digest.. I think it’s perhaps an interesting kind of base to the conversation… that as a woman, I don’t even realize at the time that what’s happening is assault? A man is completely ignoring every one of my (multiple) requests to stop (and pinning me down so I basically can not get away).. He’s shushing me, and being condescending to me – calling me baby at every turn… He will not stop thrusting himself into me (no matter how many times ask him to stop), to the point where I’m bleeding.. And then I apologize for bleeding on his bed?

And I just think of him as “kind of rude,” as opposed to thinking of that as any kind of sexual assault, or breach of autonomy, or what have you?

To me, that’s sort of an interesting weird story – and a point-of-view that to some degree, I’ve kept through this year. And I think it’s the wrong point of view, and a place to being talking about all this stuff…

But then I started getting some reactions to that story. Some people on twitter (or this blog) have been reacting mostly with empathy… (sometimes not, but mostly).

But there comes a time where I get almost weirdly upset about the empathy…

It’s almost as though I’m afraid when people start worrying too much that that night affected me that I want to scream out, “This specific example has not broken me! This did not affect my life in any way other than the fact that I got my IUD re-inserted (and ultimately went with a more permanent option) – and I don’t like to be called “baby.” That’s it.”

It didn’t make me afraid of men. It didn’t make me afraid of sex. It didn’t feel like anything was taken away from me.

I’m merely trying to put a base down for the conversation. I’m trying to talk about these subjects like consent, and assault, and what people (oftentimes women, but I don’t want to gender assault) expect and stand for – and what I expect and stand for… I don’t know if that makes sense…

And when people respond with love in their hearts, I’m always going to appreciate it. But I just wonder if I’ve mistakenly shared the wrong thing, or shared in the wrong order, ’cause I’m trying to have a generally larger conversation (which I also understand gets lost in smaller blog posts). But it’s hard when I feel like we’re all just focusing on one guy from 8 years ago, when I literally don’t even remember his name.

And I just don’t want to give that story (or that guy) so much power (as it/he seems to be getting).

(And I don’t want to feel weak, and something about the responses I’m getting sometimes make me feel that way…) Sigh. I don’t know. I don’t want people to be afraid to talk to me… I appreciate all of you who reach out. There’s just something I feel like I’m maybe miscommunicating in the way I’m telling that story… So, yet again, I’m just saying – I have no idea what I’m doing.

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