[This is another back post about sexual assault. Sorry that there are so many, but also I am excited to feel I can finally breathe and get these out of my draft box! So, back to the post: “You Would Think I’d Never Flown Before”]
I have another post tomorrow getting more into the idea that you would think I’d never done anything before him! (We’ll get into it.) But today, the big giant blinding-light example is flying.
I. Fly. All. The. Time.
Think of how much I flew back and forth when I was kinda moving-ish from LA to NY (all the time!).
And of course in my life before that, I’d flown kind of a ton. (Even my first job in TV was to go around the country and help at different auditions… for two seasons!)
And yet, when I fly now – which is a thing I love… I loooove to fly, and I love airport, but now – I feel this weird anxiety as though I’m gonna be with him again.
And I don’t want to make it sound like the flight was *all* bad. I’ve referred to it before as probably the best most hopeful time I had with him after being assaulted. He was all over me, being quite sexual, seeming super duper into me. And that one specific part felt like, “okay, everything is maybe back to normal, or at least getting there. I’ll be back in that spot on his bed and in the shower before you know it, and that will help ’cause I’ll have new memories there. Things will go back to the status quo. It’s all gonna be fine. So fine.”
But aside from hope and sexual words/behavior, there were all the other things – really annoying, semi-upsetting things. Most of them were very small, but when you’re already drowning, and you reach up and your hands feel air (instead of water), if somebody covers your fingers with a cup of water – that’s a small amount of water in general, but it’s taking away the only air/hope you could feel….
(I don’t think that’s my best analogy ever. Feel free to give yours if you want. But I think you get the gist. Small things when you’re already hurting SO much don’t feel quite as small anymore.)
And it’s hard to explain because it kind of *sounds* silly when I try to explain it, because it’s like “well, what’s the problem if someone helped you with your bag?” And the best answer I can give – that I hope makes sense – is that I don’t mind when any of my friends (or people I’ve been “involved” with on any level) male or female help me with a bag or do something normal and kind and polite. We’re just being humans. It’s all good.
But basically every interaction I’ve ever had with sexual assault guy led me to believe that, for instance, he didn’t go find a place for my duffel bag in an overhead compartment (kinda far back on the plane, because the ones above us were full) because he had the aisle seat, so he just happened to be closer… He did it because he’s the “man,” and that’s what “men” do. They take care of the bags.
He would want to carry my bags, but it would be preposterous to him when I offered to help him. He was allowed to stand on the train, but I got yelled at for “being too stubborn” to sit – like I need to be a proper girl, relaxing, being “taken care of” – as though in the eyes of strangers, he also had to be showing he is a “good man,” “taking care of the woman he’s with.” It doesn’t matter what the woman he’s with wants. The appearance of how we look to strangers is what matters. It’s not if he’s being a good man, it’s if he’s appearing as one.
And this is where we’ll pick up tomorrow (because, I’m sorry, I just have too much to say on this to fit into one post – eep!).