[Trigger warning: Details of sexual assault are mentioned here.]
After he said, “It’s time.” It was almost like I sort of brain-blacked out while wide awake, completely retreating to asking a million questions in my head (if that makes sense).
“What is happening right now?”
“Why is he not listening to me?”
“Am I being completely unreasonable?”
“Is he right?”
“Does he somehow get to be the person who decides when “it’s time”? I mean, he already entered me. Soooooo, I guess the time has passed. And he did decide it for me.”
“Does he somehow know something I don’t, even though it’s my bed and my body and my boundaries and such? Is he actually being sweet somehow? He’s acting like this is really sweet, but this feels terrible… But he seems so confident that this is sweet… I’ve said so many times I’m uncomfortable with this/not okay with this… I don’t know what else to say…”
I ran through in my mind the different possibilities of what I could do. Do I try to be nonchalant and say “oh you think ‘it’s time’?” with a little laugh? No. That seems maybe not serious enough. I know it’s maybe a good idea sometimes to bring levity to situations to try to diffuse them, but in this case, it might make it worse, as he’ll sort of often yell at me if I try to make a joke or be playful… And I’m already afraid. So, I don’t want to anger him anymore…
What if I get really serious, maybe scream, “get off me!” But he already seemed so angry when he was yelling at me for the ‘ridiculousness’ of not wanting to have sex in my own bed. I just didn’t find it safe to chance making him any angrier (and all things were possibly going to make him angry)…
I didn’t know what to do. It felt like no options were viable, and there I was just stuck – stuck in my head, stuck in place, stuck underneath him. It felt like there was just no right at that point.
And while I try to block out a lot of the actual sex part (after he first entered me and started thrusting until he orgasmed in me), I do remember bits and pieces of things that really stick out after that.
For one thing, when it was over, I just rolled over and faced away from him kind of in a daze. And he told me this story about how this other girl had “accused” him of sexual assault. I was barely listening, because I was just in a daze… And he kind of snapped me out of that, saying, “Aurora! Why aren’t you saying anything?! I need to know that you would know I would never do something like that…. Hello? I need you to tell me – to say it loud – that you know I could never do that.”
I didn’t realize he was looking for validation from that story ’til he said that – that I was supposed to jump in, in this wildly uncomfortable situation and tell him what a great guy he was, and that I thought he’d never sexually assault a woman…
I don’t want to sound insane here, but it almost felt as though he was sort of priming me – he does this really bad thing to me, but then tells me what a great guy he is, and tells me how dramatic and crazy and terrible this woman was, and how he’s completely cut her out of his life.
Soooo, you know… I better always stay perfect… After all, since he’s “so wonderful,” and would “never disrespect a woman,” I shouldn’t have any complaints, right? ‘Cause if I do, I’m a “dramatic, crazy” woman… And I will potentially face consequences.
And the musical theater scene is kinda small – as was our friend group. And he’s charming and well-liked. So, being hated and totally cut out scared me (as did many things with him).
And he had an anger problem. So, he scared me (physically, emotionally, in every way).
It was all just weird.
And at first I was still silent as he begged for specific validation that I “knew he could never do that.” This felt like a crazy thing to ask me. Why is he so intent that I say the words out loud that I know he could never sexually assault anyone (when we both know he could…and he just did). I ended up half-heartedly reassuring him, saying the things he asked me to say in the most exhausted and confused way someone could. And he acted sooooo relieved, even though at the time, I was just this confused, distracted, a-bit-empty-seeming, almost-parrot just repeating back what he told me he needed to hear…
Of course I desperately wanted him to leave that night, but when I even started gently hinting at that, and we began to have a conversation about it, he got partially on top of me again, and leaned in very close to my face.
Then in a very condescending (and kinda scary) way, he was like, “Auroooooora, I could leave if that’s what you reaaaaally wanted. But I know you don’t want that.” (Yet again, telling me what I want – even though it’s the opposite of what I actually want.)
He didn’t even give me a chance to say I wanted that – no space, no breath between those two thoughts – he almost cut off his own 1st thought, they were so fused together “Yeah, I could leaveButAlsoITotallyKnowYouDefinitelyDon’TWantThat.
And he laid it on so thick about how I wanted him there, and we really had “something special” (even though that seemed a little much… I still had no idea what we were doing – as we hadn’t talked it out, being that it was all new still… And there was certainly nothing special about the violation I experienced that night. And most importantly, I reaaaaaaaally didn’t want him there!). It all just seemed like so much!
And I know you might be saying in your head, “So kick him out!” And I should have. But not only was I afraid of things mentioned above. Weirdly, I was also afraid of hurting his feelings. I know that we could argue that at this point in the night, after what he’s done, I don’t have to concern myself with his feelings… And yet…
I care about him as a person. And it seemed like it was really gonna hurt his feelings if I kicked him out.
And at a base survival level, I was worried about my safety, and it felt more safe to always try to avoid angering him.
And I know how this story goes. If I do anything “wrong,” if I ask him to leave, then I’m gonna be in “trouble.” And aaaaaaaall the light will be shone on that specific thing. We’ll never get to talk about what he did, because I’ll be busy apologizing for the next couple of weeks, and suffering the consequences. I could just feel that future so deeply in that moment. So, I thought the best thing to do for the biggest chance of safety in every way was to just “behave,” be a “good girl,” and just lay there.
After all, I’d already said I was uncomfortable having him in my bed. I already said I wanted to go anywhere else. I already started the conversation of him leaving. And none of that seemed acceptable. I didn’t know what to do. So, I went back to facing away from him and barely slept the whole night.
And I’ll pick up with the morning tomorrow.