[I thought this was already posted? I’m sorry if you’re getting an email notification on this one. I’m not 100% sure what’s going on here..]
That’s a weird way to start a post, right?
But one of the things that I’m finding odd about dealing with sexual assault (because mine was all intertwined with a relationship aspect) is that of course sex is hard sometimes (and I will talk about that in a post at some point)… I feel like that’s logical and expected. But even just like flirting, or having a good time with a guy can *sometimes* feel exceptionally hard.
Sometimes, it feels like, “Cool. Life is back to normal. And this is normal. And things will be normal again.” And that feels great.
But other times, it’s like… It’s a bunch of things.
- I don’t feel as present anymore in life… So, it’s hard to truly be in the moment, enjoying the flirting and everything. And that sucks.
- I am almost afraid of being put on a pedestal again… I can’t even begin to explain how much this guy propped me up at the beginning. And so, the fall from 5000 feet in the air (atop my pedestal) was so much more crippling than it would’ve been from ground level.
(Nothing against pedestals by the way, I love being put on a pedestal when somebody actually loves me and such. But this felt more like a game – build me up to tear me down. And I hated that.)
- This, I think, is the most unfair one to other people (and maybe even to myself). But there seemed to come a time with him where almost no matter what I did, I was “selfish” and “disingenuous,” and just, basically like a complete piece of trash in his life.
And I think because this person knew me so well, and because he was so so so so so so so so so so wildly sweet in the beginning – with very very specific compliments as to why he thought I was a “good” person, or kind, sweet, etc. (making me think he really did pay attention and care)… That for some reason, all those digs and hurtful things started to feel like the truth.
And I know I’m not perfect. And I know sometimes I can be selfish. Sometimes I can fall short and such… But to feel like that’s who I am – that I’m some bad person or someone not worthy of a basic amount of respect… It’s very hurtful. And there’s a part of me that grew to believe that stuff.
(And I know that’s really vulnerable, and I feel crazy even saying this.) But it’s almost like all that stuff feeling potentially true started to seep in, so now I wonder when another man gives the same kinds of compliments I used to get in the beginning for this guy… “Why would you tell me how much you like me, or how adorable I am, or that I’m sweet? …Don’t you understand I’m this terrible person?”And I’m not trying to play the victim. And I don’t actually totally think I’m a terrible person… But when you’re told something over and over by someone you think you care about, I think it can be hard to shake.So, I don’t know. There’s like this *hyper* insecure part of me that lives now…I’ve always been a little insecure. But there is this part now, that’s like, “But don’t you realize I’m awful? I wasn’t enough somehow…. How could you possibly like me or want to be nice to me? That’s insane.
- Second to lastly, there’s a part of me that’s like, “Nothing about this is special anymore… This used to be fun. But now because it was all just a game, this is not special. Period.” And that sucks, because I miss only feeling butterflies and excitement without a shadow over it.
- Lastly, there is a part that’s almost afraid. It’s like, “I know how this ended up before. I know that there was this romantic whirlwind that ended with the biggest nightmare of my life. So, I am almost (almost – not completely, but almost) afraid to even let anybody be cute or adorable.Because, I just feel like this was a huge betrayal of my trust. You know, of course as a person in this world, I’ve been lied to before and all that jazz. And it sucks and it’s painful and it maybe takes a while to get over. (And I am not trying to minimize anyone else’s pain for anything they’ve been through. I don’t wanna be like, “Oh, it’s only lying, so it’s not big deal” or whatever.)But for me, personally, this was just like a whole entire other level of betrayal for someone I truly believed cared about me (and I don’t mean that in a “run away with me, be with me forever” way – I just mean legitimately cared about me as a human person)…. To just treat me like I am legitimately a piece of trash… It was beyond painful.
And I refuse for that to make it so I never have fun or flirt with boys again… But there is certainly a part of my brain… Even though I have (of course) in my life had fun that never led to assault, so so many times in my lifetime… So, I have a whole body of work to prove that silliness and fun and flirtiness does not always (in fact, almost never, for me) ends in assault…
But because it is a recent experience, there’s just his weird part of my brain that’s like, “Oh no. Nope. Don’t have a boy touch you, or talk to you. Just stay away from them, in fact.”
And I know I don’t want to do that… And I know I’ve been amaaaaaazed at the patience and lovliness and kindness of people I’ve been with this year. I know boys are great…. but I’ve just never felt so unsafe before – even with people I have literally every reason to believe would never hurt me.