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Friendships

It’s not that I don’t care about this blog. I do. This blog has healed me in a way that nothing else has. But I haven’t had much to say on this front. So I haven’t been saying anything. I don’t believe in blogging for the sake of blogging.

 

But something happened and I just want to get it out of me. Potential Trigger Warning:

 

A few weeks ago, at work, a “friend” sexually assaulted me. I only use friend in quotes because up until that moment I had thought he was my friend. We have known each other for almost two years.

 

We were close enough that he knew some things about my past that I talk about on this blog. He knows, for example, about one of the times that I was raped. He knows about my abusive childhood and some of my abusive previous relationships.

 

For a short time he and I had a physical relationship. Which he ended. And I was more than fine with that. He is seeing someone now.

 

So he came by to hang out with me at my at work. I was alone with him in my office building. I did not feel unsafe. He comes to visit me regularly. We’re friends.

 

Until he made a joke about being allowed to touch me wherever he wanted to due to our previous ‘relationship.’ To which I very adamantly told him, NO.

 

He does not have permission to touch me anywhere. Not even as friends. I particularly did not feel like being touched that day. It happens.

 

I asked him to please not touch me. And he laughed a little. And that was the end of  it. Or so I thought.

 

We went to the break room to get sodas. As we were leaving he reached out and grabbed my ass. This is sexual assault. I did not want to be touched. I specifically TOLD him to not touch me. And he grabbed my ass anyway.

 

In the past I might have pretended to laugh it off and then gone home and cried about it. But I have come too far to let someone off that easily.

 

I yelled at him as I never have before. I told him he had no right to touch me. I told him that I had specifically asked him to not touch me.

 

He told me he had only been joking.

 

I got angry. Access to my body is not a joke. I have a right to not be touched. And I know he knew I hadn’t been joking when I had asked him to respect that right.

 

He did not apologize. I tried to compare my body to his young daughter’s body. How would he feel to have a man touch her after she said no? But to him, it was different, after all she was a child.

 

Apparently children have more right to body autonomy than an adult woman.

 

Besides, he told me, we’d had a relationship in the past. Again, I compared my body to his daughter’s. Would all of her ex boyfriends have a right to her body throughout the rest of her life? Even after they broke up? Even after she asked them not to? Would he be fine with them still touching her wherever and whenever they wanted?

 

Again, he told me it was different with us. See, he can’t be told no. He has to test boundaries.

 

I fail to see the difference.

 

He then asked me if I was still seeing my therapist. Because my reaction proved that I needed to be. I told him his inability to hear my ‘no’ told me that he still needed to be seeing his.

 

And then he told me he could tell how unhappy I was and he hoped I would find happiness someday. And I told him I was unhappy because one of my alleged friends had just sexually assaulted me.

 

He left. I did not report him. I still have not reported him. He never apologized in any way.

 

But none of that is the worst part.

 

Last week, another “friend” asked me how things were between me and the man that assaulted me. I gave him a very brief rundown of what happened.

 

This second alleged friend told me it was my own fault for still being friends with him. That I should know better by now that he would do that to me (though I am not sure how). That he hoped I would stop being his friend and had finally learned my lesson.

 

I don’t know if I have. The only lesson I am learning is that I still have terrible taste in relationships and friendships.  And I truly don’t know if I still see a value in either one anymore.

I hate to end on that note. But I feel it is a logical conclusion. A very small percentage of men are rapists or abusive or sexual predators. And yet, despite no longer being in relationships, I continue to find myself in friendships with them.

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Postcards

I know I thought I was done with it, but I have been thinking about suicide a lot lately. I have been feeling pretty depressed. I don’t know if it is the time of year, or the book I have been reading about suicide.

I just keep thinking about how awful my year was last year. And how alone I am. Not just alone for the holidays that have passed, but alone in general.

I’m single. And I’d be okay with being single if I had a family that was close, or reliable, or just not bad people. But I don’t have that.

And I’d be okay with being single and having an awful family, if I had really good, reliable friends. But I don’t have that either.

Most of my friends are good people. But they also have their own problems. And they don’t really have much time for me.

I keep wishing I could just throw my depression and feelings back into that locked room in my head. And I can. But that’s not what this past year has been about. All this stuff was so much easier to deal with when I wasn’t dealing with it.

I know this suicide stuff is just my brain malfunctioning again. I feel so detached from it sometimes now. The suicidal ideation comes and I know it isn’t me that wants that. And I think “Here are my thoughts of suicide, but I already know I want to be alive.”

And then I tell myself that my brain is lying to me again. And eventually I start feeling better. As intense as my suicidal ideation is sometimes, I also feel like it is happening somewhere far away.

Like my brain is sending me postcards from Europe. Usually they are happy and upbeat. Sometimes they are deep and philosophical. Other times they are amusing or interesting. And, a few, times a year, they are depressed and suicidal.

But those postcards don’t compel me to act in any way. I can just read them. Think about them. And then continue on with my life. Thinking of it that way is really helpful.

Making a point

Today was suddenly more than I can handle. I feel like I am barely in control. Like I want to go ahead and have a nervous breakdown, but I won’t let myself.

I feel like attempting to deal with my emotional problems is making it much harder to handle my normal daily issues. I was a totally energetic, responsible adult. I was getting shit done in my life.

I was cleaning, exercising, cooking, making art, writing, going to work, hanging out with my friends, dating. Now, I’m not even bathing every day let alone doing those other things.

Maybe this is what depression feels like. Apathy, insomnia, and inability to handle mundane shit going on in my life. I feel like I was doing better when I wasn’t dealing with things. It was easier in many ways. And I was more productive.

In some ways I was even more satisfied because I felt I had more to show for my life. But I didn’t have the things that really matters. Emotions, friendship, love, a sense of purpose or fulfillment. I still don’t have the love. But the rest are starting to come along.

Is it more important than creativity, motivation, fitness? I don’t know. I feel like I should be able to have all of that at the same time. I guess I’m just not there yet.

I suppose I expected it to be more of an uphill battle but that I would make progress every week. And that isn’t happening.

I have been working on my problems. I’m trying to get through this. Things just feel so bleak right now. It’s like I’m waiting for a breakthrough that isn’t coming. And I’m starting to wonder what the point is…