Picking up from last time –
Anyway, so after the second assault occurred (and getting away from sexual assault for a second and focusing on my BMI life outside of sexual assault guy) –
A few weeks after my comedy song that was a complete and total mess – I met with a person who sort of, kind of, became my my mentor (ish) (someone who knows a ton about BMI and is someone I really trust). He gave me a super inspiring talk. And part of that inspiring talk was him, very gently and wonderfully, giving me fantastic ideas on how to try to make my BMI comeback (if I wanted to) – how to really give it one last huge push.
And I did try for a hot millisecond. But it was impossible to do it without crossing paths way too often with sexual assault dude. (You know? …I tried to throw a party for some BMI people and had a super weird exchange with sexual assault dude… And then that whole party kind of fell apart and didn’t happen – in large part because I ultimately decided I’d quit BMI before the party would’ve happened.)
And maybe I didn’t even have to throw my own shindig! I could’ve gone to other stuff… But it was stuff where I knew that guy would be. One thing available to go to, he was even helping to organize… So, could I go to that, or not? If I had taken a break from BMI stuff before (which I had) and now I started going (after this guy wrote an email saying he didn’t want to talk to me), was that going to look bad – like I was purposefully trying to get closer to him and ignore his wishes?
But also, should he be allowed to make me feel like I need to slink away from my own school activities because I said something on social media (that didn’t even mention him) that made him feel bad? Like, yes. That was wrong and I feel bad. And I hate comparing wrongs and being like “but what I did wasn’t as bad!” That leads to ridiculous fights and to not taking responsibility for things… But. Objectively… He assaulted me – twice. And I reached out to friends online when someone hurt my feelings. And I’m the one who has to feel pushed out?
(Also, I know he didn’t actually say, “Don’t come to BMI stuff.” But I also know that he was incredibly angry with me, and the less he could see me the better… And some BMI things are big, but many are small. So, we would’ve been in close quarters. And I was so freaking worried about his comfort and his timetable and all of that….)
Ugh. Anyway, back to the comeback speech I just wanted to roll with those ideas. And had it not been for sexual assault guy, and the “optics” of whether I was “trying to be around him,” (ugh) and had I not had my super worry that maybe just by being around I’d make him uncomfortable – I potentially could’ve tried harder.
I don’t know if you’re yelling at me – but I am.
Even writing this now, I’m thinking, “Aurora. Are you kidding me? A man physically assaults you not once, but twice(!)… And then you write a very innocuous (and very anonymous) social media post that happens to be about him, in which you’re partially asking for opinions of whether you’re overreacting to having your feelings hurt by something he did (when I don’t even mention sex in the post), and I even try to partially give his point of view (and why I might be overreacting)…
And then I think that what I did was wrong enough that now I need to just let him be king of BMI? I have to just hand it to him? He physically assaults me twice and now I have to stay away from him to make him more comfortable?”
It seems ludicrous when I’m reading it.
And I don’t really know what to say to that…. I mean, I know I never want to make anyone feel uncomfortable. So, while I did have my own education to worry about, I wanted to kind of try to give him the space he wanted. I realize he did the “worse” thing, I guess… But that doesn’t mean I felt good about doing a bad thing – about making him feel like his privacy was violated (no matter anonymous my post on social media was)… And I didn’t think the silence would last 30 days… I kept thinking maybe if we work this out, things will return to normal… Focus on the problem at hand, then worry about BMI. I think that was kind of sort of part of my mindset back then as I somehow try to explain not just to you – but to me – why I’d so easily fall away.
I do also understand at the time that I was under a tremendous amount of stress and just trying to get through. It was hard to imagining thriving when I just had an eye on surviving, basically.
I know that when talking to him is making me physically ill to the point of vomiting that that’s not gonna make me excited to go to places where he is. I know that when getting flashbacks, or even taking a shower (because of how he touched me in the shower), is causing me to having panic attacks for the first time in my life that I’m not gonna be excited to see his face… When nightmares of him wake me in a sweat with a racing heart… Is seeing his face in person gonna seem fun in any way? Or potentially even palatable?I get why – even if I wasn’t thinking about him or his comfort level – even if I was only thinking about me and mine – why I wouldn’t want to go to a place where he was.
Would I have made a play for my big giant comeback had it not been for him? I like to believe I would’ve. Again, I cannot 100% know for sure. Because that’s not how it happened.
And had I made a play for that comeback, would it have worked?
I do not know. It is possible I was too far gone from connecting with the group about BMI at that time… But will I ever have the opportunity to know with certainty that regardless of being assaulted those results would’ve been the same? No. I can’t know that. And that hurts a lot.
And I have one more post in this series tomorrow.