I am obviously not happy with how I handled everything around being sexually assaulted and all the events that followed…
In fact, I’m embarrassed (as I think I’ve said before).
And there will be people (and there have been people) who say things like, “You’re only crying out rape because you’re upset that the relationship is over!”
And that’s not true.
But I can’t argue that I didn’t try to make the relationship work, because I did.
I can’t argue that I never flirted with him again, or quite honestly had overtly sexual exchanges (in text, person, or email). Because we did.
And that sucks, because I feel like it does kind of dilute my case.
I mean, it seems unimaginable to me to claim someone sexually assaulted me just because a relationship ended, or because I’m mad or something…
One small example – Some years ago a man who said he loved me (whom I’d been with for kind of a while), abruptly left me for another woman (in not the nicest way).
(We are friends again now, and we were only in kind of a bad place for probably about a month after that happened. But anyway, at the time…)
I was indeed upset that that relationship ended, and I was upset about the way in which it ended… And still, I never once told a soul on this planet that that man sexually assaulted me – because he didn’t!
Relationships end. Sometimes people are mad. But this idea that anyone would lie about being sexually assaulted because they’re mad seems unfathomable to me…
Because why? What on earth would that possibly accomplish?
Do you think I cry in the middle of sex – interrupting something fun and enjoyable with someone I care about – because I’m lying? Do I gain anything from embarrassing myself in bed, and throwing a wrench in the mood?
Do you think I wake up crying from nightmares, alone, where it doesn’t affect anyone but me – doesn’t waste anybody’s time but my own, nor get me any “attention” or whatever it is some people think I’m seeking… because I’m mad at some dude, and I’m somehow trying to “get back” at him?
This has never been a blog that’s been about sex and relationships, and I never wanted it to be. And then this happened, and now we’re talking about all this…
That anyone would think that I’d be getting any more or better attention for sexual assault than I would for running marathons, or being on game shows, or volunteering a bunch, or working in the TV industry, or any of the other stuff I talk about on my blog… It just seems so silly to me!
Because do you know what happens to women who talk about sexual assault? We’re called sluts. We’re called liars. We’re asked to defend every single second of the interaction (when people don’t ask victims of other crimes to do that). It’s not fun. Nothing about this is “fun.”
Some of this has been comforting, I guess… My friends have been incredible through all this. (Thank you all.) So, I have seen this beautiful human spirit of empathy. And that’s maybe been comforting or inspiring.
Some of this has been, I don’t even want to say interesting, because I don’t think that’s the right word, but I suppose eye-opening… It’s really made me learn so much more about what’s happening for so many other women (and I’m sure men too). So, this has been a few different things – but fun is not one of them.
None of this has gotten me ahead in life. In fact, my life has been deterred/deferred in many ways because of this …
So, I just wonder how people think this benefits me in any possible way… Heck, even if someone thinks I’m somehow “getting back at him,” I’m not even going on a vendetta against this specific man. (I’m talking about a broad important concept, rooted in something that happened to me – which I’m trying to make not about him (as much as I can).)
I’ve worked to keep him anonymous in these posts – sometimes to the point of omitting details that would help to explain why this story is even worse and more painful than it already seems… But some of those details get too close to revealing who it is, and I’m choosing to make his anonymity a priority.)
Facts are great – and so important. I made a living working on a show that tried to present important facts to the world. I argued vehemently for Hillary Clinton to be our president based on facts. And it sucks that some of the facts in this story don’t look wonderful for me…
And all that I can really do is ask you to trust me – which I know is a lot to ask. And I’m thankful that so many people have. Because I’m telling the truth. But in an un-provable situation like this, I feel helpless.
But I just think the narrative that it would be so common or normal to boldface lie about sexual assault for some sort of gain (when I literally cannot understand what anyone would possibly be gaining from this)… it’s just very odd to me.
And part of the reason I’m sharing is because a LOT of women’s (and I’m sure men’s) stories are not “perfect.” That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t share. You should not have to be “perfect” to be heard, or believed, or respected.
I’m not perfect. I didn’t handle situation perfectly. (But it’s a false equivalence to say that me not reacting perfectly makes sexual assault okay. It doesn’t.)
I’m working to let go of my guilt for “not being perfect.” And if you’re worried about “not being perfect,” I am loud and clearly (and very embarrassingly) admitting that I’m not perfect either! You have some company, friend.