[I’m just trying to push through back posts immediately accessible on my phone. Don’t mind me.]
So very avoidable.
And I *know* one of the biggest hurdles you try to get over in therapy is not to blame yourself and not think that way and such. So, if you don’t wanna join in on my pity party, I don’t make any giant revelations in this post…
If you wanna just come along on one of my mind roller coasters with me, feel free to buckle on in.
Think of all the little things…
I remember very soon before we started sleeping together, we both were at this party. And I’d left at the time I was comfortable leaving the party.
And he texted me like, ‘where are you?’ And I’d told him I’d left and he was all, ‘no, I really wanted to talk to you.’
And this is not one of the times where I felt forced or backed into a corner or even exceptionally pressured. This time he was just being mostly a nice man trying to flirt with me and get me back to a party.
And *I* made the bad decision of going back. I was really happy at the time I’d left! And nothing at all bad happened when I went back.
He lifted me up in the air and I was all “oh, you’re so strong!” And if you’re picturing that I said it like one of those cartoonishly (partially since they’re literally cartoons) airhead-y girls girls complimenting Gaston when he picks them up, I was totally being exactly like that.
And he kept asking me to be around him throughout the night. When we all moved to the living room, he asked me to sit by him, and he did that non-chalant thing where it’s like “oh, I’m just getting comfortable and stretching, and look! My arms around you!”
And I was done with the party. I was sleepy. I was done. But I stayed because I was trying to be nice, and also I was trying to put out those, “yeah, your flirtation is working. I am responding. If you want to sleep with me, I’m into it” vibes.
And I think sometimes if I hadn’t gone back to that party… would things have moved slower, or not at all? Was that the crux of it?
Then the first weekend I spent at his apartment – I was thinking about going to California that weekend. And I didn’t. And just think if I’d done that! If this snowball got out of control down a hill, the snowball either wouldn’t have existed or would’ve been SO much smaller if I just hadn’t spent that first intense weekend with him.
I was *definitely* going to go to California on a weekend we got into a fight that led to fighting the whole week that led to him making me wildly uncomfortable in bed that led to him assaulting me. What if we wouldn’t have had that fight? We *almost* certainly wouldn’t have been having it had I been in California! I mean, maybe! Maybe maybe. It might’ve happened in another way at another time, but it seems safer if I would’ve gone… But one of my friends got to come to NY for work at the last minute and wanted to hang out and she lives so far away. And I wanted to see her. So I stayed in town. And the collateral damage of that was that I saw him during her work thing (since I was around, which obv I wasn’t originally supposed to be). And a text convo about meeting up got way out of hand and was a big part of the uncontrollable snowball.
So, what if I hadn’t have been texting about meeting him? We might not have been texting that night at all.
And another huge gigantic one, what if I hadn’t stayed the night into the morning he assaulted me? What if?!
We even had a little conversation that night where one of us mentioned how hard it was for me to be so comfortable spending the night so early. And he was like, “well, what can I do to help with that?” (Whoa! How sweet to ask, right?!”) And I was like, “I know this is a little silly. But if you could just ask every time I’m over, like ‘would you stay tonight,’ or whatever, it would be really helpful to me. It would make me feel good and more comfortable to just have that extra reassurance – if you really want me to stay.”
And he said, “Well, I know I asked the first time, but that’s only ’cause I knew you’d leave if I didn’t, but I haven’t been asking since then because I want you to feel really welcomed here – like you don’t need me to wait for you to ask. Anytime I have you over, I’d love if you’d stay the night.”
And I was all, “I really appreciate that. That explanation makes sense. And it’s such a sweet idea behind it, and thank you. But for me, it would be more helpful, I would like a verbal ask every time you want me to stay, if that’s okay.”
And he was all, “that’s simple enough. I can do that.”
This discussion was *not* all that long before we went to bed. So, he shouldn’t have completely forgotten it.
And yet, he fell asleep and did not ask. Granted, he just immediately passed out right after sex. (He wasn’t even facing the right way in the bed. That’s how tired he was, and how much he fell asleep immediately. (He was just like a light switch, bam, asleep.))
So, I was torn. “Man, oh man, I wanna go so badly. I feel so uncomfortable. He basically never listens to me and this is just another example of that…
Or is it?
Was he actually so prepared to ask me and going to ask me, but then he just fell asleep so early he forgot?
If I don’t stay, how angry will he be that I didn’t? How much of a lecture will I have to hear about how I need to settle down and spending the night just “isn’t a big deal”? How much penance will I have to do for inevitably “hurting his feelings” son much by not staying after sex? What kind of punishment will I get and how long will it last and is it easier to just stay here than to suffer the punishment of not doing that?
And ultimately, I decided it was.
Though he has not earned it in any way, I gave him the complete benefit of the doubt.
“Oh, I’m totally sure he was going to ask. I’m *sure* he would’ve followed through with like the one thing I asked of him – after he straight up *offered* to do something, if only he hadn’t *accidentally* fallen asleep. For sure.”
And I stayed.
I stayed and had the worst morning of my life.
And I could’ve left. And whatever the “punishment” was for leaving, if he’d yelled at me, or if he’d given me the silent treatment, or if he’d guilted me, or if he’d said she didn’t want to have sex with me again, or whatever, I can’t imagine any of them being worse as everything that came after.
Of course, how was I to know that at the time? I couldn’t. But goodness gracious I feel stupid about it now!
So those are some of the main things (or at least they are the main things today… there are a whole host of other things that feel like the “main” things other days – like how I was supposed to have plans the Saturday I came to his house, but the guy I was meeting was SO late that I got sexual assault guy’s call and blew off other guy. I was like, “Tonight is cancelled. If you actually want to hang out with me sometime, don’t be well over an hour late.” But what if that guy hadn’t been late?! What if I’d been out with him and my phone was on silent and sexual assault guy hadn’t been able to get ahold of me, and I hadn’t gone over there? And on and on and on and on and on….
I feel I could’ve done so so much differently. There are a million thousand billion tiny things and the worst of all of them is they all seem *so* avoidable. They seem so small in comparison to what actually happened.
And I don’t have much to say about this except it is heartbreaking to go down this rabbit hole… It just feels so very avoidable.