Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The Past Matters (a Facebook comment)

I have been thinking a lot lately about this relationship I had at 17. She was from a very religious, very wait until marriage type family. We never had PIV, but we certainly went further sexually than she was comfortable with. Our sexual activity was always consensual, but it was convinced consent not enthusiastic consent. She consented only because she believed our relationship was headed toward marrying each other.

About 8-10 years ago I reached out to her brother via Facebook looking for contact information to apologize to her. Her brother responded about a week later with a very formal, “She appreciates your apology but is not interested in communicating with you.”

I live every day knowing that I am possibly someone’s #metoo story. If someday she came forward and accused me of manipulation and therefore assault I would not deny it because THAT is what it means to be good. I was not intending to be manipulative, but that does not change how my words and my pressure affected and damaged her.

The past matters; especially when the past is not even admitted to.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Concealer (a Facebook comment)

Every woman close enough to share our confidences has revealed she wakes each morning having to apply a foundation of strength, her concealer over the scars of her sexual assault. Absolutely every woman I know intimately is living with the scars of sexual assault. Saying "Every single one" is not an exaggeration. It is an objective truth easily heard if you are listening. When you shame, dismiss, and invalidate the victim you become another piece of that trauma.