Wednesday, May 22, 2013

30 days to removal TW: sexual assault

I’d broken up with a guy. I’d broken his heart. Two months later I met someone else and after not too long I was in love. Big love this time rather than the warm companionate love I’d had for the boy before. He was in Australia only temporarily. I pushed this fact from my mind mostly and we didn’t talk about commitment or plans because we were both too scared, I think. I just pressed it flat and left it deep in my chest, at the back of my throat. After 6 months he went on a trip around Australia with some friends from his home country. I was going to be alone in Brisbane for 6 weeks until he returned for another few weeks before his departure.

I went out with friends. I ran into my ex. He’d met someone new but he was on his own. We were both drunk. I had a tearful conversation with him in the bar where I told him how glad I was that he had met someone and how sorry I was that I had hurt him. I don’t remember what happened to the friends I had been with.

I got an sms from a boy I had dated in high school. As adults we had been friends. Or friendly acquaintances. The same group of friends, the same parties. He had dated one of my friends for a short time but they were done and dusted by that point.

What was I doing? I’m ready to go home. Did I want to share a cab? Sure, you can sleep on my couch and I’ll drive you home in the morning.

I met him on the street and he could see I was upset. He held my hand in the cab as I cried and debriefed.

At my house I was still talking and crying when he pulled me to him and put his mouth on mine. I caught my breath and pulled away. I changed into pyjamas and got into bed. He followed me and climbed under the covers but that didn’t alarm me because I had always been that kind of tomboy in our circle and sharing a bed with a friend was common rather than unusual.

His hands and mouth were on me next and I was heavy head drunken and there was no magic, no special because I don't want him. I dragged myself away and sat on the side of the bed and my head was in my hands while I apologised and told him that things would be different if I wasn’t in love. I’m sorry but I’m thinking of him. When I thought he understood I lay down again to sleep and his hands and mouth were on me again and his hand was over mine pushing it down onto him.

We played the same thing out three times. I sit, I try to explain and apologise, I try not to make him feel rejected by me because he was a person I cared about.

After the third round he didn’t touch me but he tossed and turned and groaned quietly. Blue balls? ‘Yes’, he said. So I halfheartedly pull my shirt up and try to rub against him a little. He turns me over and sits on my chest and rubs himself against me. He jerks himself off and as his cum hits my chest and under my chin my stomach turns. He is off me and I am on my feet and I am walking away.

In the bathroom I run as hot a bath as I can stand and I cry.

I go downstairs and sleep on a couch in my garage.

In the morning he has gone – he has work at the uni bookstore.

I didn't really say anything to start with. I just stop going to parties and I let my friendships fall away largely and I build on the ones I have elsewhere. He leaves Brisbane and I’m glad.

I’m strong. Things are complicated. There’s a line in the sand – before you reach it you are being presumptuous and he’s just being friendly and why would he even be interested in you? Once you are past that line you were leading him on and what did you think was going on and you just can’t fucking win and you’re fucking tired.

I told only a few people - I felt like I had cheated on the boy I loved. No one reframed it for me as a sexual assault and in retrospect that is just so sad to me. So sad. Don’t get me wrong, the people I confided in weren’t bad people but their inability to be horrified for me speaks, I think, to the need for us to continue to build a culture of consent. 

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