I am not shy about the fact that after I was sexually assaulted (for the second(!) time, by that guy), I went into overdrive trying to “make things work.”
I am embarrassed to high heavens about it. But I have to own that that’s what happened…
(We’re about to talk at length in a pretty detailed story about all the ups and downs when it comes to that. So, I’m just getting this (valid) question (with an answer I’m still a little unsure of) out of the way right now.)
As soon as a tiny bit of time went by (like an hour or two?) after the assault, my thoughts went from just being wildly furious to this almost clarity of just, “I need to sleep with him again as soon as humanly possible.” (Spoiler alert: we never did have sex again.)
That may sound counter-intuitive that someone assaults you and you wanna run right back… But I think my brain just kind of thought about it almost as like a “getting back on the horse” type of deal…
[Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know that sounds dirty when we’re talking about sex. But I’m talking about the metaphor part, not meaning it in a dirty way.]
I thought I knew this person. I thought I liked this person. I thought I trusted this person.
I thought it was all one big misunderstanding, and that as soon as we could just pile new memories on top of it, things would be better… I kind of treated it like I would any misunderstanding (or fight).
I had already subjected myself to a lot of mental abuse (and even a couple instances of sexual abuse) at that point. (And I ended up subjecting myself to months more of mental abuse after this instance…)
And I think the question that’s easiest to scream at me is, “then why in the world did you keep going back?! Why did you keep working so hard to keep him in your life and make him so happy?!”
The shortest answer I can think of is that he took a piece of me, and I expected him to the be the one to give that piece back…
But I don’t think that’s how this works. (Or at least, that wasn’t how this instance worked.)
There were also all these other levels too. I kept hoping that maybe, just maybe, we could leave things in a nice place instead of a furious one… I’m gonna have to see this dude around. The musical theater community in NY is tiny. The hope was that I could run into him and not feel physically ill.
I’ve been reading all these articles about why women go back to abusive relationships, because I feel crazy for having such a strong desire to do it. I thought this article was very interesting (even if it seems to come from a silly-looking morning show :-)).
And I read another article where the woman was giving her 1st person perspective and was basically saying something along the lines of how weird it felt to one moment be dying to see someone and really missing him, but then also having this side of you that practically hyperventilates at the thought of ever seeing his face again – like it’s the last thing you’d ever want to do. And I identified with that SO much.
…Because just as you have two really strong reactions, I think it might be partly ’cause it’s almost like there are two different people you’re dealing with (even if there’s actually only one – you have his perfect side, and the side that tears you down).
And this is where I’ll pick up tomorrow.