Sigh. I don’t even know where to start.
I think it’s basically impossible to pinpoint what the saddest casualty in my life was after being sexually assaulted by someone I trusted…
There were a whoooole lot of things I felt weird about – being around people, being alone, watching or hearing about sex on the internet or podcasts, and on and on and on and on.
Almost every time I talk about a new part of that, I feel like starting it with, “the saddest part…” but they can’t all be the saddest. Suffice it to say, they’re all devastating to me though.
And one of the most devastating losses for me was the loss of a couple of my friendships.
I haven’t spoken to my best friend in months – like, many months. I talked to her at least once a week for a decade (since back when I was just starting high school). And now… I haven’t talked to her in like probably over half a year… I mean, we might send very very short texts if an important event comes up. “Oh, happy birthday.” “Thanks.” And that’s it. Not even a “how are you?!” And not a phone call. Just tiny texts – if we’re lucky.
She is probably the most supportive person in the universe. She’s been with me during the ups and downs in my life. She was one of the few I consistently talked to while I was in the hospital with open-heart surgery. She was one of the most special/important people in my life.
And now we don’t speak.
She’d come to New York when I was really in the thick of the badness. I was still having a bunch of nightmares and not doing great, and I was also trying to decide if I was still talking to this guy or not. And as I’d mentioned in the long story, he was working on this show that a friend of mine from high school was in. And when I told my best friend, she was like, “Look, I know we love our friend from high school a lot, but I’m not gonna support a rapist. I’m not going to do it. I don’t care. I see [our high school friend] in stuff all the time. I’ll see her in a lot. But I don’t want one single cent of my money going to a man who sexually assaulted my best friend.”
And that was the correct response!
Like, you couldn’t ask for a better friend (or a better feminist or a better person) than that. She had my back! Of course she did. She’s the greatest person in the universe.
And I was all, “No, we have to go. I’m not gonna stop living my life to avoid this person. We would go to this if he hadn’t done that. And we should go to this now. I feel like I’m already hiding from the world. I’m not gonna not go to our friend’s show.”
And she understood that point of view. But she didn’t really understand why on earth I’d talk to him afterward – why we’d go out to dinner with a group that included him. I was of the mindset that I just wanted things to feel “resolved,” that he and I could be friends again – and that, that ultimately would make me feel better. But she didn’t get that at all. (And I don’t blame her… It was almost certainly an unhealthy way for me to feel about it.) But she then kind of took the line of, “well, maybe it wasn’t really assault if you’re so willing to try to forgive him.”
And it’s like, I have a hard enough time labeling it myself, and I’m having a hard enough time in therapy that to feel that one of the top people in my life had my back so fiercely and was walking away… it hurt a lot. Even though I completely understand where she’s coming from… If I was questioning the seriousness of it all, why wouldn’t she?
And she said some other things too that made me feel not great… She saw how much time I spent journaling, as I was just trying to figure everything out. And she frustratedly said, “If you spent as much time writing a new musical as you did journaling about this guy, you’d be done with a new one by now!” Also, when I told her the reason I’d left BMI and was deferring a year was because I couldn’t bear to be around him, she said it was the wrong decision. And she said this wasn’t the Aurora she knew at all.
And she was right. It wasn’t the Aurora I knew either. I was also questioning all my decisions. I was also frustrated with myself.
I don’t fault her for feeling the way she felt. But I think we were just so frustrated with each other – me wishing she could somehow understand even something I didn’t understand (and still maybe don’t quite fully), and her wishing I could be “normal” Aurora, and not understanding why some guy was affecting me so much.
And we just kind of fractured and now we don’t talk…
I had this framed picture of us I used to love to keep up, because I loved seeing her. And alas, now it sits face down in the bottom of a drawer. I can’t bear to throw it away, but I also am not ready to look at her day in and day out.
A person has come to clean my home a few times since I’ve been here, and a few times that picture has ended up on a mantle with some other pictures when she’s done. And I always put it back in the drawer.
I still go to call my best friend sometimes. I pick up the phone like I want to share some good news with her, or I want to check in on her, or I want to congratulate her when I hear through the grapevine she’s doing something cool. And I just can’t do it.
And I don’t know what will happen from here – if she’ll be in my life or not.
But I do know that I find it devastatingly sad that things are the way they are right now. And I find it so deeply unfair that the person who’s best to me in my life is the one who was cut out – the one who originally was supporting me with this better than I was supporting myself is the one who falls to the wayside.
I know I technically have some power to change this situation. But alas, it kind of is what it is right now and it really really hurts and it feels wildly unfair and very sad.
But it’s not just my closest friends, oh no. It’s more. And we’ll get into that tomorrow.