Friday, November 14, 2008

I'll make it. One obstacle at a time, I'll make it.

So, remember the guy who told me I was fat, my life goals were a joke and then stuck his hand in my crotch and his tongue down my throat and begged me for sex? Also known as the direct result of me being in therapy?

Well, I told him to leave me alone back in September. Unfortunately, I have to see him on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which is when we have classes. I have done my best to ignore him, but he has made it as difficult as he possible can.

For several reasons I have wanted to confront him, but at the same time, I did not want to give him any reason to talk to me. Hard to do. Well, the other day he sent an email asking if I was still mad at him. This was my opportunity to end all contact and to say (once again) exactly how I felt.

I'm not a huge fan of emails or IM's being shared. However, just to show you what I am dealing with on a weekly basis, here you go.

My email to him:

As I stated at T's in September, that night at L, you hurt and offended me deeply. What you said and did to me is unforgivable. Your actions that night, were, and still are, deeply troubling. I have not, I will not, forgive you.

That night at the L, your actions were that of an assailant. You assaulted me, BJ. To refresh your memory: hand in my crotch, tongue shoved down my throat, begging me for sex. None of which were wanted. There is no other way to say what your actions were that night. I was attacked not only verbally, but physically; unforgivable. Deeply troubling. Why would I want anything to do with you? I don't.

Your comments that night were hurtful and not something that a "friend" would say to me. Just to refresh your memory: I am fat, and my life goals are a waste of time and unattainable.

To be clear: I want nothing to do with you. I do not want to talk to you, I do not want you to talk to me. I do not want to be around you.

In regards to us as a group: you are still throwing back-handed comments around and you are still making comments which are hurtful to all of us. Both of which shows me that you have not changed at all. Nor do you care to change. You need help, BJ. I suggest you get some.

Again, to be clear: I want nothing to do with you. Nothing at all.

Do not respond to this email.


Direct, to the point, crystal clear.

His response to me:

I understand that I have hurt you and that you are angry. I have apologized for my boorish behavior and I accept that you are committed to never forgive me. I understand that. On those evenings I crossed a line that can never be uncrossed. However, I was drunk; whats your excuse? In the time I have known you, you have proven to me that you are self centered, short sighted, narrow visioned, hyper sensitive to any form of critique or questioning, irrational, and incapable of compassion or forgiveness. Before you point fingers as to who needs help, it would take a good long look in the mirror and consider how you deal with others. It amazes me that someone who is 34 years old can behave this way; much the same as one would expect of a Junior High School student. The reply that you sent to my email, just proves to me that you are not worthy of knowing. If I were a better person, maybe I would care to repair this, but the fact of the matter is I don't believe that anyone has the emotional energy to try and deal with you. As far as I am concerned, what happened is over and done, and you are out of my life as you have made overwhelmingly evident that I am out of yours. I am sorry that it took me so long to realize who you are. Get help. I considered this bridge burned and I hope that beyond whatever obligations I have left concerning school that I never see you again, or have the displeasure to share company with anyone as remotely as boorish as yourself. Good luck in your future endeavors, and I am truly sorry that I was ever duped into considering you a friend. You obviously only use that word when its convenient for you.

I consider this issue dead. Continue to hate, if that is what makes you happy.


Nice, huh?

My initial response, I laughed and I do not believe a word of it. The comments to my character, laughable and completely false. The day before he was still trying to be my friend. Given a day to simmer over the email I sent along with some liquid courage, this is what I got. The fact that he blames everything on being drunk, wow, troubling. Given that he is either drunk or hung-over, he has a lot of excuses.

Anyway.

There are many reasons why his actions that night sent me back to a time when I was a very lost teenager and sent me into therapy.

One, the comment on my weight. As every female does, I ebb and I flow. However, after each rape I very consciously gained weight to keep the men away. It was deliberate and I am and was well aware of what I was doing.
I then lost the weight after a few years. However, one night, when I was around 19, I was out at my favorite bar and a man walked past me and deliberately stuck his hand between my legs as I walking through the crowd. I cannot describe what that did to me emotionally. Psychologically, I thought "I need to gain more weight..." and I did. Between 18-20 I gained about 45 pounds. At 21 I lost all of it and then some.

After the rape at 23, I slowly, but steadily gained more weight, all in the name of not wanting any unwanted male attention. I gained around 100 pounds between 23-29. I've lost most of the weight which was gained, but still struggle with my weight and the attention that losing and gaining can bring. I also struggle with the same 20 pounds over and over again. I know the reasons why and it is one of the things I am working on. However, the number on the scale never has, and never will, determine my self-worth. For whatever reason, I have always had high self-esteem. I know, it is an oxymoron and does not make a lick of sense, just trust me on this one.

So, BJ's actions that night took me back 17 years, half a lifetime ago. The comment about my weight, if only he knew why I struggle and the connection between weight and wanting to keep men like him away.
He doesn't know what he did and he never will. Am I blaming him for 17 years of issues, no. Absolutely not. He's an ass. I've known he was an ass, I've always thought he was an ass. Had I been back in home city, I never would have had anything to do with him. However, new city, no friends, I was trying to make connections. Lesson learned.
Am I calling him a rapist, no. He attacked me, verbally and physically in a way that was not wanted, his actions took me back to being raped, but he did not rape me. Attacked, yes.

So, twice a week for several hours a night I am forced to be in a room with my attacker. I am forced to be in a room with someone who would send that kind of hateful and rage filled email to. Merely one of the things I am dealing with while also trying to make it out of bed and into work and class each day in order to graduate and fulfill my life goals. Because they are not pointless and they are attainable. I'll succeed, I know I will. Obstacles are just placed there to be jumped over and to prove that I can make it over them. I just need to remember this.

8 comments:

Jay said...

Oooh! Very purple.

I had written a comment earlier to post here, except that I accidentally closed the window before publishing the comment. So, I will try again.

I'm breaking my comment to you, lovely PG, into two parts:

Part 1: Guys named BJ leave a bad taste in my mouth. ;-P

This is a situation that you need to take control of swiftly and without mercy. You had said, specifically, that you did not want him to respond to your email and he did anyway. That is a sign of disrespect and needs to be tended to. He is attempting to have the last word. Because of the fact that you have to deal with him twice a week and perceive him as a nuisance , do not let him have it. You may not want him to like you, but he damn well better RESPECT you. I would answer his email with a simple response: "I'm glad we can agree that the issue is dead and we can both move on. Thank you. Sincerely, Party Girl." If I'm right, he will respond to this one as well. Regardless of what he says in that email, do not respond to anything he says in the email, but simply ridicule him for responding to an email that clearly didn't require one. Make that your last email to him. Cut him off. Put him in his place. He's no longer part of your life. If he then confronts you in person, take him to task for doing so. No one makes decisions about who you choose to spend your time with other than you. If he can't respect your space, fuck him! (Not in the literal sense, of course.) Confrontation is uncomfortable, but then again, he's making you feel uncomfortable by his mere presence. Don't let him have that power over you.

Which brings us to...

Part 2: Victims... aren't we all.

I want to preface this with a disclaimer: though I have been reading your blog for more than two years now and have had conversations with you via email and telephone, I don't know you. I don't know the full extent of your situation. Everything I say from this point on is a generalization based upon my own experiences and thoughts. I may hit the nail on the head with some of what I say. I may be completely off base. But in no way am I belittling you or any of your experiences. Just sayin'...

More than half of my female friends have been raped at some point in their lives, one of whom was raped last year.(The rarest kind: beaten and raped by a stranger. He was tied to 3 other rapes. The fucker is currently serving 30 years.) Most of them have moved on and are strong, confident women. They have their moments. But then, don't we all. A few have not been able to push past the pain of their experiences and, unfortunately, are prime candidates to be victimized again, either because they lack the self-confidence to defend themselves in aggressive social situations, or because of something more subtle. It's body-language and a certain level of submissiveness that a potential victimizer can pick up on and interpret as a sign of your "willingness" as a victim. I especially see this in women who have been raped multiple times and end up in and out of bad relationships. The common traits I see in women who have overcome this obstacle are twofold: having confidence in themselves, thus being able to say no and mean it, and finding a balance between being able to open up their feelings to potential lovers while being critical of their choices of said lovers. Engaging in self-destructive habits like gaining weight to make yourself unattractive is, in my opinion, allowing those who would hurt you the chance to do so with you doing all the work for them.

I think I've said all that I could say here. Deep down, we all have the confidence and strength to handle just about anything that life can throw at you. Find yours and run with it.

Until then...

*big Jay-hug*

Party Girl said...

Jay:

Yeah, I thought the blog needed an update to go with my new feelings and look at life.

I appreciate your comment.

BJ is an ass. I've known this for over a year. Again, new town, glad to have someone to hang with. Shame on me. I will not ever let that happent again.

Although I think your suggested email response is a good one, I do not plan to email him. I do not want the tit-for-tat back and forth. I do not want to see his name in my email in box, I just don't. I said all that needs to be said. His response has no base, no truth in it at all. To blame his actions on being drunk just shows me that he is not taking responsibility for his actions, never will, and does not fully understand the situation.
I called him an attacker and yet, he did not respond to that claim. I think that says enough.

Also, I do not think he is worth my energy. To respond would simply be taking more energy, he is not worthy of it.

I do understand your point, but hopefully you can see my reasoning.

In classes, I do not look at him. On Thursday he moved his seat to be across from me when normally he is a few seats behind me. Why? Who knows. I simply have not, will not look at him or address him in class. When he speaks my head does not turn in his direction. If he is out somewhere, I do not go, I will not attend the gathering.
I am taking control of the situation and of my power.

Rape is about power and control. Both are taken from you. It is a process and a long journey to regain both. I am doing my best to do so.

In terms of my control. I shut-down very easily. Meaning, my gaurd can up with one word, one sentence from another person. I shut-down and the person is done; meaning out of my life.

I did not realize how quickly this happened until London told me he was leaving. (He will always mean the world to me, for several reasons which I will not go into here. But he was/is a very special person to me.) I also did not realize how exhausting it is/was to be so gaurded.

I am slowly trying to change this. I am also slowly trying to change my extreme need for privacy.

I knew that the need for privacy/autonomy started after the second rape. I couldn't even stand for my best friend to ask me what I was doing when he called, however, I did not realize all of the aspects of my life it transcended into. And also, how exhausting it is/was.

I am a very private person, I do not talk about myself very much outside of this blog. Here's the thing, given the world we live in, very few people notice this, pick-up on it. If they have, no one has ever said anything to me about it. People are happy to talk about themselves, I let them. However, in doing so, the world is missing out on me. I am changing this.

In terms of gaining weight. Again, it's a control issue. I have control over what I am eating, just as an aneroxia has control over what they are not eating. I did not want to be looked at, touched, asked out. When I did go out on dates, they were one time only dates, and don't try to kiss me/touch me afterwards. Not very condusive to healing, so I stopped dating for awhile.

Now, I date, but I am picky. I see nothing wrong with that. I would not settle in other areas of my life, I certainly am not going to settle in my relationships. So, even though I date a lot, or go on a lot of dates, there are multiple reasons for it not working out...and yes, more often than not, I am the one who ends it. I am sure that is another control issue. Or, perhaps I just know what I want, so why waste time.

I'm sure this is something else for me to work on.

I am very sorry to hear about your friend and her situation. Luckily they caught the perpetrator and he will (hopefully) serve all of the 30 years and then some...or better yet, get his karma in jail.
I truly hope she is on the road to recovery. It is a long road, an emotional road, as I am finding out, but worth the journey.

XO

Jay said...

The friend of mine is doing well, under the circumstances. She has a great support mechanism around,(hey, she has me!) and a three year old to keep her occupied. I am quite familiar with the prison system here in Wisconsin and Illinois,(I was a criminal justice major during my first stab at college.) There is a social order in prison and rapists and pedophiles are at the bottom of that order. The law of probability states that Mr. Rapist fuckhead will leave prison with a size 12 asshole. Karma, indeed.

I do understand your reasoning for not wanting to deal with BJ any further. As for him picking a spot to sit by you within your line of sight? That's passive-aggressive behavior. Regardless of how you choose to deal with that, NEVER let him know it bothers you. The power is yours. I probably handle passive-aggressiveness a wee bit more aggressively than most. Number 1: I can. I'm 6'2 and 265 lbs. I force the issue. I make them choose. Either you get aggressive with me or you shut the fuck up. Either way, I win. Number 2: it is a button pushing issue. I hate passive-aggressiveness. I consider it a trait of a weak character. Deal with life and that which is going on around you or go away.

One final note: I had a friend of mine complain not too long ago about how, after a lifetime shyness, low self-esteem and few friends, she willed herself to be more open and social and that now she found it SO tiring and difficult to keep up with it all. I asked her, "Is it any more difficult than constantly building walls and keeping everyone out of your life?"

She still hasn't gotten back to me on that one. :-)

Be well, my dear. And to one-up you....

XOXO ;-P

Party Girl said...

Passive agressiveness is cheap and for the weak. I don't do it, I don't deal with, he will never know it bothers me. I came into class laughing, I was my usual intelligent, laughing, quick with a joke self during class, and I left the class laughing. Fuck him, he needs to go away.

...and yes, I agree completely with your comment to your friend and her shyness. To change is exhausting, but so is staying the same.

ptg said...

Well, I have not much to add to Jay's comments.

BJ - suffice to say, is an asshole. But this is not new information to anyone reading this blog.

I am glad you are doing okay, and have realized he is not worth the effort and time it takes to respond to such a savage and passive-aggressive email.

Ass.

Em said...

I think he just wanted to use the word "boorish" as much as he could to make himself look smart. I hate people like that.

On a serious note. Thank you for sharing these very deep emotional moments with us. it's not easy, I know that (i have trouble being honest with my therapist most times, let alone the internet)believe it or not, these posts do have things that many, MANY people can relate to I reckon, at least I know I do.

p.s. I love your new color scheme:)

Party Girl said...

ptg: well said.

em: I've been told my ability to be honest is one of my most refreshing features.
Honest to myself. Being honest with yourself is hard. But, if I cannot be honest with myself, then there is no moving forward.

On the therapy front: I think she is flabergasted with me. One: in my ability to be honest with me and with her. Two: that I am actually doing a lot of work outside of our sessions. Meaning, I am really trying to get better.

Thanks for all of your comments.

..and em, love the new blog.

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