This is a post that’s been sitting in my drafts for a long time, and there was just always something else coming first to talk about, I guess. And since I think this post is sort of relevant to the post about wondering what to disclose, and if you name people and all that, I as well post it now!
One thing I’ve been thinking about lately is that I still think about sexual assault guy’s feelings. (I do it less now than when I drafted this. But I still do sometimes…)
It’s easy to think about the feelings of other people. Aren’t we always doing that? Heck, I think about Donald Trump’s feelings. And he’s not a “good guy.”
[Note: I generally feel icky about terms like “good person” or “bad person” because I think it’s nearly impossible to paint people with a broad brush like that. People are nuanced and have “good” and “bad.”
I’ve been surprised by some “bad” qualities “good” people have had and vice versa. So, while I mainly think those aren’t good labels in general, I think in some cases (specifically, Donald Trump, for one), you can just basically say he’s a bad person, and that pretty much covers it.]
Anyway, even though I think Donald Trump is a bad person, I still think about his feelings. “What is going on there? What kind of issues does he have? Could they be fixed with medications, or therapy, or surgery, or exercises/behavioral stuff, or just like any known fixes to any host of illnesses? Are we making things worse? Does he need to feel some freaking love and empathy to change? (I mean, maybe not. He’s probably just a dangerous man who needs to leave power. But I still wonder sometimes how he got that way and if there’s any way to heal it.)
So, it’s easy to think about sexual assault guy’s feelings.
I have no idea if he reads my blog anymore. But I think about how I would feel if I came across someone’s blog and it was about me, and it talked about me like this.
Probably not good is that answer. To think I affected someone so deeply they talked for a year about me and how their life changed because of me? That would feel awful.
But I’m also a different person than sexual assault guy. So, I have to stop thinking “how would I feel in that situation?” Because he doesn’t seem to operate in a way that I do, or even really in a way that I’ve know most anyone else to operate. So, for one thing I’ve got to stop imagining myself in his shoes. Those hypothetical shoes don’t fit me.
But still, I really try to be empathetic and sensitive to piling on people. So, throughout the last year, it has indeed been a concern in my mind – am I being a jerk making so much public (especially so many intimate details of personal conversations we had and such)?
But it’s not like he did something small and I never let it go. Sexual assault and domestic abuse is in a whole different league than any of the normal relationship problems people have (which are things some people talk about publicly and sometimes for a long time anyway… I don’t *think* I personally would talk this in depth about stuff like that, but life is long, so who knows… but the main point is, this isn’t that anyway…).
I said toward the beginning that I would try to focus the posts on the abusive behaviors and the assaults, and not just like small normal things, or personal insults (e.g. about looks or things like that) that had nothing to do with being abusive. And I’ve tried to stand by that (I’ve always kept it in mind) as I’ve done these posts. And hopefully I did a good job of that?
Here’s the thing. He sexually assaulted me. Twice. He gaslighted me. He was very emotionally and sexually abusive. (And I thank the universe I’m no longer hanging out with him, because by all the signs and his incredible anger problem, he was very potentially just one night away from being physically abusive too.)
I gave him a billion chances to apologize. I explained what I was upset about in 1,000 different ways. [Edited to add: This was a brilliant twitter thread I saw that really felt so super close to home about him.]
I told him I’d been crying myself to sleep for a month after he assaulted me, and he laughed at me (not like a chuckle, but a full-on thinking my pain was hilarious belly laugh). I told him he crossed a line and he said, “I knew you didn’t want to, but you needed to.”
He assaulted me, and laughed at me about it, and bragged to me about it.
So, it’s not my job to worry about his privacy or about protecting any private stories or moments or whatever.
I believe in redemption. I believe in benefit of the doubt. I believe (but who knows) that had he come to me and been like, “Oh my god. I’m so sorry. I’m so, so sorry. I don’t know what came over me. I’m getting help,” or something like that… Had basically any of the details about it been different, I don’t think I would’ve talked about him here – or at least not in this depth. I think I might have been affected less, as well. I think a lot would’ve been different. But that’s not how it happened.
He assaulted me.
Then laughed at me about it.
And later bragged to me about it.
So, how could I talk about someone like this for a year? Have we not talked about Donald Trump like this for a year (or more)? This is my own more personal Donald Trump.
And it’s really affected my life, and there’s been a lot to talk about. And I’m gonna try not to feel bad about it, because, come on, right?