MO Day 10

Trigger warning – sexual assault? (I can’t even believe I’m writing that).

I don’t even know.

I’m tired. Woke up this morning feeling hopeful. Things were ending. Had a decent morning… but last night was weird. Our ‘family’ from overseas was staying with us last night and at midnight it was me and the 37 year old male ‘cousin’ (we are not actually biologically related) up. And Europeans of his heritage are pretty affectionate by nature but he was all over me on the couch – while my fiancé was at home and his girlfriend was sleeping downstairs. He had his hand on my thigh and lower back and was massaging my neck and kissing it – had me pinned to the cushions – and he reached down my pants and into me – and I somehow managed to extract myself – and I went to go upstairs – and all I can say was “I’m going to bed” – but then he went to hug goodnight and he had his hand under my shirt on my chest and on my ass and I am like… I don’t know – it was unwanted but I didn’t say anything and there is so many thoughts swirling around. I think I’ve shut it out and shut down the part of me even willing to consider it as something but he was all over me and I don’t know how to feel but it felt so uncomfortable and anyways… I feel like I’m making a big deal out of nothing. I don’t even know how to identify the experience – it doesn’t feel ‘big enough’ to warrant the reaction I’m having.

I woke up and had breakfast with them. He held me too long to say goodbye even when I struggled to be let go. 

Then I went to my best friend/maid of honours house for a while and thank god cause I was so overwhelmed from this thing with A and with the cousin and packing and my family and her house is always my escape so it felt good. She actually helped a lot. 

Then I packed and went to a wedding of good friends which was fun-ish but not cause I was sober and there was not a DJ but they were happy I was there and they were cute and I danced.

I am all over the place. Do I get to go home yet? 


24 thoughts on “MO Day 10

  1. Pingback: Does She Even Believe Me? | Paper Doll Therapy Blog

  2. I had a similar thing happen to me at a party. I froze too. I couldn’t move. And I felt too ashamed to say anything even though my friends were all around me. I was paralyzed with fear and shame. The fact that I didn’t defend myself of course made me feel even worse about myself. I couldn’t stop beating myself over the incident.

    I just want you to know that an assault is an assault, regardless of how mild the assault was. No one deserves being sexually assaulted. And even the simplest thing like putting his hand on you counts as sexual assault if it made you uncomfortable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s honestly the most unsettling feeling – and I still don’t know how I feel. I bounce between a lot of shame and discomfort and anger and upset but it’s half towards myself and half toward him.

      There are other circumstances affecting how I feel about this that I don’t know if I can share. I feel so ashamed about them. But they’re definitely not helping me frame this in a way that is healthy for me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know how you feel. It’s definitely very very hard to face. I still feel the same as you and for me, it’s been 6 years since that had happened.

        Also, I am influenced as well by the sexual abuse I suffered through as a child. For the longest time, S and I never broached the subject but one day, I brought it up again. And that was when we both knew I was ready to face it and process it. S made sure that it was a deliberate session – scheduling it in advance so as to give me time to know when we were going to work on this horrible issue. It worked well enough. I feel less ashamed and less afraid. Perhaps, you can bring your issue up to A and see what she says? In your own time of course.

        I hope that helps. Don’t feel bad that you don’t know how to feel as well. I sometimes still didn’t. *hugs*

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I get why you would freeze, or not feel like you can set boundaries, especially if someone is pushing them. It is one thing to set boundaries when they aren’t being pushed, another when you are in that moment. A lot of trauma gets triggered and it is hard, in that moment. So I get it, it might seem like “why couldn’t I do that?” but it really makes sense to me. You have a history of not being able to express your needs, or even recognize your needs. Of course you wouldn’t validate your needs over his, here. Which is such a horrible place to be in, and then later judge yourself for. But it is so typical DV/sexual assault dynamics, and it just makes sense I am so sorry that happened to you. His behavior was wrong. Very wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Backwards and very telling of your upbringing. Just like you aren’t telling A how her scheduling isn’t working for you; why not? You could have said no originally, and not allowed it to go to 8 AM Tuesday, then 8 AM Monday, then 4:30 Monday again. You know? There is something that prevents you from taking care of yourself.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Right? I could have. And she would have understood. I think now that I’m back on home ground with my fiancé – I have realized two things.

        1) I have every right to be frustrated with A

        But also

        2) I played a role in the scheduling mishap too – and also may be projecting a LOT (or even all) of my emotions and anger about this trip onto her as well.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I definitely don’t think it all was projection – she changed a time, changed it again. That is frustrating. Would you have been AS frustrated if you had stuck to YOUR boundaries at the start (“my work schedule permits this time, due to my boss having given special permission, etc. I really don’t feel comfortable changing my work schedule again. Something like that, which was your boundary and would have caused less stress and not the back and forth with the boss)
        So if you had expressed YOUR needs, yes, you wouldn’t have been as angry because you would have been meeting oyur needs. And instead, likely would have felt perhaps the deeper-lying emotions; fear (what if I can’t see her?), sadness or disappointment (if she couldn’t stick to original time or accommodate you). But anger, probably not. I find I am angry, most often when some need of mine is being infringed upon and I haven’t validated and expressed that to appropriate parties (sometimes that is just me). Hope this makes sense. Also reiterating the anger and annoyance at her – yes, annoying! Also, that she didn’t acknowledge her impact on you – annoying! That has nothing to do with your family or MO, her communication style. You know?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes. You’re right. These are excellent points. I would have felt better if I had said “that isn’t going to work for me. I created this time for us in an agreement with my boss and around work and that can’t change. Please let me know if it becomes available again” and just been like that.

        It wasn’t all projection but some of it was. I may just borrow part of your comment for my letter to her – you seem to be expressing it better than me.

        “I find that I am most angry when a need of mine is being infringed upon and I haven’t validated or expressed that to appropriate parties”

        Liked by 1 person

      • Definitely agree that some of the emotional magnitude was larger because of transference/the past stuff getting activated. I think the needs underneath the anger are valid, and yes they might be somewhat misplaced here, but that doesn’t matter in my opinion. That is kind of what therapy is and for, I think. For us to have these emotional responses and have them attended to very differently than our parents did. So yes, the intensity of anger over scheduling – was it ALL about scheduling? No, of course not. Especially given you were directly in that original triggering environment. But I wouldn’t lose sight of the pain being triggered because that is what is important to express so it can be attended to, and healed in the process. So it isn’t about “scheduling” but the rupture over scheduling has the potential to heal your past. Does that make sense?

        Liked by 1 person

  4. PD, this man was violating your boundaries in a really serious way. My question right away was – how come you allowed this? As soon as he touched you, even if it was just a pat on the arm, you needed to speak up and say I’m not comfortable with your touching me, and move away. It doesn’t have to be ‘sexual assault’ for you to put up a boundary. His girlfriend status really has nothing much to do with this – he could be single, you could have been on a date – you always have the right and the responsibility to set a physical boundary.

    Of course I get why you froze. Your family does seem to be all about lack of boundaries, and so you didn’t naturally respond in a healthy self-protective way when your boundaries are trampled.

    But the questions after, like ‘am I making too big a deal’ – are not necessary. It was a big deal, obviously no need to call police, but it was a boundary issue and damaging.

    You always have the right to say no. Hope you can practice somehow so next time this happens, you’ll be ready – no. I am not comfortable. Please do not touch me.


    Liked by 1 person

    • My first instinct was to answer you with “well if I knew that, I wouldn’t have froze would I.”

      But I think your question deserves some serious thought and exploration. My first instinct is that I didn’t want to wake anybody. Thank you for your question… and yes I immediately doubt my instincts, and self, still am, right after

      Liked by 2 people

    • Ellen,

      After today’s session with A I re-read your comment and it makes such total sense. I know I didn’t speak up for so many reasons… But most definitely the lack of boundaries and inability to defend them.

      “It was a big deal” — “stop dismissing yourself” — I didn’t realize I was doing it so much. Thank you, again, for your comment

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m really sorry that happened to you. As staystrong mentioned, if it feels wrong to you, then it was wrong. In my opinion, it WAS wrong, and you have every right to feel the way you do. Sending you a hug. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow, I am so sorry. That shouldn’t have happened. Don’t worry about whether or not your reaction is of an appropriate level, it’s your reaction and you get to have it/feel it. If it feels like it was wrong to you, then it was wrong. You get to describe the experience and no one else.
    I’m glad you had time with your best friend plus the wedding.
    Be gentle with yourself. You’re doing the best you can, in a place with so many triggers, and now this experience. There’s a lot there, just show yourself some compassion, it’ll make dealing with this easier.

    Liked by 1 person

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