The other night I had a bad time, and it was after a good time, and followed up with weirdness, being triggered, being scared, trying to ground, finding my body again, and other things in a spectrum of great to awful. I wrote this yesterday about it, and then did not post it because I received an apology message from the party who wronged me.
Still, it’s affecting me. I’m struggling, and my friends should know that it’s happening, and why, so that I can get the support they always freely offer. I’m back home in NOLA and finding myself hidden away, debating canceling plans because I feel unhappy for all these old-trauma-bullshit reasons. Dislike.
I’ve violated consent before. I had a friend tell me in college that if I was really her friend, I wouldn’t pressure her after she said no to me. And she was so very correct. I needed that sharp reality check thrown in my face to wake me up, to make me see that forcing my will, just because I think it will be fun, or good, or helpful, is not ok. It’s not ok for me to do, it’s not ok for anyone to do. And I get to have a voice about it, and talk to my support system.
Consent violations are common, and correctable. We need to be talking about it. We need to talk about why we feel we are entitled, why we feel we can push, how it feels when we are pushed, and what we can do to repair things afterwards. In those discussions, I think there can be a place for vocalizations and explanations of feels. That’s what I’m trying to do. And I need to get over the nonsense, because Jared’s bday is tomorrow and I don’t want to cry for the whole damn trip.
I am strong, and safe, and very ok. I am emotionally beaten down a bit, but that’s mostly due to a bad trigger by someone who was not thinking clearly. Was it ok? No. Will I survive? Fuck yes. I’ll be fine. The behavior was not fine, but the people involved are not bad, unable to learn, or unwilling to try.
Another reason to post this: too many girlfriends of mine are relating to this experience. Why do we all know what it’s like to have these things happen? What the fuck are we doing as a culture to let this be normal? And can we stop, please?
Here’s what I wrote. I would love some positive words of encouragement, if you feel so led. Or just respectful silence as I try to regain my balance. Thanks in advance.
Yesterday was the seven year anniversary of my college rape. I hadn’t noticed for most of the day. I thought about it around sunrise. I had a difficult time getting to sleep.
As a kinky, poly, and sexual woman, I engaged in a threesome with my committed partner and one of his partners last night. It was fun. As a person with a sexually abusive past, I forewarned all parties about my PTSD. I explained that I might go to another room or be done if I was feeling triggered at all. There came a point in the sexy times where I felt a little distant, and excused myself. Later, the boys came to check on me and snuggles were offered. I accepted and started to feel better.
I opened up my laptop and started on work tasks. The man I don’t know well started to touch me again. I made expressive looks to my partner, hoping he would read my face and say something to this guy. However, that is not our dynamic, and I doubt my partner noticed me in any form of distress. Knowing that my boy expected me to be able to self-advocate, I did. I turned and said that I was done, and wouldn’t be in for more tonight. I did not mean to stop their fun, though. I even volunteered to take pictures. So, I participated in a hands-off manner that fit the context.
Later, things ebbed again. My partner fell asleep. We’d all planned to sleep in the bed together. I made sure to grab an end, and put my boy in the middle. The man I don’t know well made comments about touching my partner. He seemed to be trying to bait me into more sex. I did not reply, and hoped he would think I was drifting to sleep. He talked to me, incessantly. He did not take my silence, or occasional one-word responses as disinterest. He told me to turn my phone off, in a light manner. I felt patronized and angry. Who was this guy telling me what to do with my phone? I told him I was reading my book , which I was trying to do. He kept talking to me. I ignored him unless he repeated himself. All the while, my partner slept between us on the pull-out couch.
This continued for at least 15 minutes. Finally I stood up, and said I was gonna sleep in the other room, where it was less crowded. I kissed my partner, who was in that dreamy state between consciousness and heavy sleep. Other guy says, “No smooch for me?” I rolled my eyes and kissed him, too. He pushed his face forward again after I pulled away. He leaned with me as I tried to retreat, and suddenly his hands were on either side of my head, holding me in place as his lips, swollen from sucking my boy’s cock, forcing themselves against mine. I pulled away with force, and said, “No. I said no more tonight.” He moaned, like a child being denied a candy bar in the grocery store. I actually had to say to this man-child, “I said no twice already. No means no.” I gathered my belongings, and shut and locked the door behind me.
I am ashamed of the men in this country. I am ashamed that my partner dates someone who feels it was fine to act in such a manner, and that this guy a “nice guy” by today’s standards. I am ashamed that even now, I write off this man’s behavior as ‘vanilla’, as if being outside of a consent-based community excuses these violations. I am ashamed that I was afraid to go out into the kitchen eat this morning, lest he still be looming. I am ashamed that I asked my boy not to make me talk about it with the man this morning. I am ashamed that when we did all sit down to talk, all I said was, “I like my own space. Sometimes I share it, and then when I’m done sharing, I want my own space back.”
I wish I didn’t feel ashamed. I wish I felt justified in standing up for my own limits and communicating well. I acted assertively, passively, and then assertively again, and I was safe all night. I did nothing wrong.
It may be the previous trauma I survived, or the fact that I’m away from home and all the comforts therein, but I feel I cannot get clean. Not like I’m covered in shower scum, but that grungy feeling, like you have after pawing through clothes at Goodwill, or you’ve eaten something and wiped the remains off on your jeans, leaving that filmy residue leftover. There’s a light layer of separation, numbing me out from the world. It’s likely to be permeable, and I will wear it away with all my ninja healing skills. Although it’s fucking bullshit that I even have to deal with this nonsense.
I guess this just confirms that I can’t move back to New Orleans until they legalize pot. Drinking away fears is counter-productive.
Tomorrow I will be a person. Today, I will be a word: restorative. I will spend my hours today grounding, and breathing, eating, and drinking water. I will create the feeling that I am safe. Because I am. I know that I can keep myself safe.