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far from sorry,


TW: sexual assault

Dear journal,

How do we move on from violation? From betrayal? How do we dance with grief before it becomes tolerable or poetic? Sometimes it seems like being okay with such heavy grief is like asking a flower to be okay with its own uproot. Even if for a moment, it still must confer with death, and then what?

Lately, I’ve been asking and avoiding these questions, afraid that my answer to them will require me to, in some way, die. Or to forgive, which sometimes feels like dying. I’m realizing how difficult it is, how much of a genuine skill it is, to just let go. To make peace with ruin. It’s the hardest, most daunting task I’ve ever been asked to complete. I’m embarrassed to say that some days I’d rather carry a 10-ton boulder on my back and stew in sorrow than let go. It makes the pain feel valid.

I guess I’d better give the girls an update. This past summer, I experienced a level of betrayal whose pain I still can’t even put into words. To make a long mf story short, I got sexually assaulted. Plotted on. Preyed on. Set up. To make it worse, it was by my friend and her partner. There are so many sick and messy details that I will spare you the misfortune of knowing, but in a nutshell, I had a very uncomfortable sexual experience with my friend's girlfriend that led me to later find out that it was all planned. My friend gave her girlfriend permission to flirt with me so that I would feel comfortable having sex with her and thus the both of them. Months before anything happened, they had agreed to pursue me together. And you can guess who wasn’t in the room when these plans and decisions were being made. :)

Needless to say, I’ve been in an unimaginable amount of shock and pain. I’ve been at a genuine loss for words for months. What has been most fucked up, other than the sick pursuit itself, was the amount of tone policing and minimizing and manipulation I experienced from them in being vocal about what I went through. I wasn’t allowed genuine anger. Every response that I had to their choices was downplayed or shamed because of how it made them feel. They felt “too erased” if I removed myself from them, or “not enough grace” when I wasn’t willing to ignore the severity of what had happened. I was “too emotionally intelligent” to be dealing with my trauma the way that I was. (these are direct quotes too, btw) I wish y’all could see how many nasty and shady things have been said to me with a soft voice and a smile. Everything for them was about the absolvement of their own guilt, shame, and ‘anxiety.’

But I was erased from conversations. Conversations that would’ve respected and afforded me agency, that would’ve affirmed me as the consent-holder for my own body. My feelings, my character, and my personhood were all erased as they vied for victimhood in a situation where they were and are vulturous, disgusting ass predators. It’s easy to deem someone ‘too much’ of everything when you’re trying to save your dirty ass. There was only but a corner of space left in all the “too much” and “not enough” of me for them to actually sit with the harm they caused. I had to realize really fucking quickly that the only space I was gonna get was the space I made for myself.

I had to affirm so many times how valid my feelings were and how final my boundaries were, no matter how passive-aggressively they tried to make me feel otherwise, all the while asking myself, how the hell is this even happening? How can someone call you their friend and still disrespect you so violently? I felt like I was watching myself live out a horror movie. Every sinister plot twist has been more disturbing than the last.

But anyways, I’m here to discuss my dance with grief. I hate it. One of us has two left feet and I can’t tell who, but either way I’m the one who keeps faceplanting, no matter how hard I hold on for dear life. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. I’ve fought my way through denial (barely) and on most days, I’m doing the tango with anger and bargaining ferociously with the universe. Praying for wicked resolutions and wishing that there was any way for me not to feel so violently silenced and stuck. On the bright side, I’m technically two steps from acceptance in this little dance I’ve been doing. But it still feels like miles– that just so happen to span all the way across seas. And as we know, ain’t many of us that can walk on water.

It’s been really hard to reckon with such genuine and rigid hatred, and yet, the soft weeping that is betrayal. Hatred feels so void of emotional connection, and betrayal is steeped in it. Vulnerability for me some days feels like a crime. How dare I feel remorse or sorrow or anything other than blinding fury and a thirst for revenge? How dare I even want to cry when I could become the literal embodiment of destruction and vengeance? When I’m not hell-bent, my days are shrouded in very delicate, tear-stained, and shaky, “how could you’s?” A burning question that presents itself as flashbacks and scenarios that never stop playing even when my lids are shut.

I have been wishing to rewrite the whole thing. Reckoning with who I thought they were, pissed that neither I nor the Universe could save me from ever experiencing something like this. Blaming myself, forlorn, and somehow humored at the irony of witnessing who they have painted themselves to be as the weight of their choices exposed otherwise. To see the panic as their façades dissolve and not even their best lines, deflections, and tears can hide the mess they’ve made of themselves. It’s like peeking into a closet of demons and having a very unwarranted chat. None of it fun.

The part that will always hurt the most is watching a friend make one very clear statement: it’s simply not that deep to them. And I realized this statement was made over time, through (lack of) action and word choice. But in all of the fluff of being told that I wasn’t giving them grace or I wasn’t open to having “real” conversation and that I was “talking around” my feelings, I realized not only was this just shoddy deflecting, but they simply thought I was overreacting. Or at least wanted me to feel that way. It wasn’t the fact that they wanted me to feel bad though… because I didn’t and still don’t. It’s the fact that them wanting me to feel like I had misstepped or like every response I had was somehow “too much” was clearly more important than giving a fuck about how much I was holding and losing at once because of them. If you’ve ever been sexually assaulted or betrayed in any way by people close to you, you know what I’m talking about. It’s like your brain goes into overdrive trying to make sense of what’s going on and why the person who is now staring back at you looks so violently different.

There’s such a deep part of me that was unwilling to accept that my friend of several years would ever do some shit like that. In a myriad of ways, she proved me wrong. Not only did she do something like that, but she stood on it. And I still can’t get over that hump. The lengths that she went to guilt-trip and manipulate me because I cut ties with her shocked the fuck outta me. How can you say you care about someone “deeply” when you move like that? It has and always will be a mindfuck.

Somedays, in the midst of my rumination, I find little eurekas that remind me of myself and the unwavering realization that life still goes on. I hate to hear that sometimes. Most days. Because there’s a deep part of me that will always feel hollow and tainted… disgusted that the world didn’t open up and swallow them whole, that I was not avenged. That no matter what I did or said, I was shown in numerous ways that their comfort in being evasive and fake-nice was always going to remain a priority over the trauma that I am now carrying because of them. How dare life go on? How dare they not crumble? Who fucking knows if they will. But I think it's fucked up how people can violate you on so many levels, stalk your socials after you’ve told them multiple times they had no permission to speak to you or be around you, kick it all under the rug with their respectability politics and a raging victim complex, and not immediately and vehemently suffer.

But whether or not they do, you (I’m) still alive, right? And my life would be an unfortunate spectacle if I dedicated it to waiting on some literal or figurative justice. Whether or not I’m swallowed whole by my trauma is up to me. (boo, tomato, tomato, I’m throwing tomatoes. Honestly, y’all, I hate this shitty little paragraph about ‘overcoming’ because the reality is I might be in therapy for a long fucking time over this and yes, it’s cute to be like, ‘oh yeah, but we must keep swimming.’ on some Dory shit, but let’s be fr… I’d much rather stop swimming. However, I’m keeping this paragraph as a little beam of hope for myself. I’m more afraid that my thought of ‘not swimming’ will become more than just a pessimistic thought, if you get what I mean.)

No matter how hard a part of me wants to, I refuse to make people see me or themselves. I refuse to ease other people's guilt about their behavior towards me or prioritize anybody's feelings over my own. I’ve said it so much but the shit really hit different right now. My own validation is and has always been enough, and if nothing else, I’m thankful that I chose to stand on my own two instead of waiting for anybody else to do it with or for me. I’m thankful for the support of the few around me who made sure I remembered myself and that I was still so intentionally and profoundly loved, respected, and protected. I don’t have to be available or malleable or nice or seamless or selfless or reasonable or forgiving. Especially in the face of disrespect and harm. I’d much rather be the selfish bitch (to anybody who has the balls to call me that to my face) if it means that I won’t have friends who think it’s okay to treat me like prey or like less of a person.

This is such a hefty reminder of all of that, and a deep part of me is grateful that I found the courage to just say fuck it, but I think what’s been bothering me is that choosing myself feels absolutely horrible. I mean, yeah, I did the thing. The thing I’ve been preaching about. In real life. In the worst possible circumstances. I stood up for myself and chose myself when people around me who I genuinely trusted berated me for it and tried to manipulate me out of my own two feet. I still left. And there are no fucking fireworks.

Lmao. I know it sounds ridiculous and you can judge me if you want to, but somehow, I was hoping that showing up in that way and finding enough courage would open up the sky or something. Maybe God would come down and give me a trophy, and the angels would throw a parade in my honor. There would be hot wings and champagne floats and margaritas. Maybe Jesus ‘nem would grant me some new, elusive superpower like a cornbread-fed fat ass and a new wardrobe. Maybe it is happening exactly like that but I’m limited by the human condition. I just wish it felt like a parade right now. I wish I wasn't so akin to sorrow or loneliness. I wish I woke up feeling like a brand new, happy person--- a permanent residence on the greener side of the grass. I wish I wasn’t such a goddamned optimist. I guess the trauma of ex-communicating a friend for sexual predation doesn’t just magically disappear into the clouds. 0/10.

At least I’m not in denial no more though. It happened. I got sexually assaulted and set up by somebody I was friends with for over 4 years and shared classrooms with. Somebody I would’ve genuinely trusted with my life. I had to come to terms with the fact that the person who I wanted to believe was kind and considerate wore a really carefully tailored mask for her own validation and acceptance but really was just a manipulative and disgusting person with a spineless, mindless sidekick.

And it was in my top 3 worst experiences to date. So. With that being said.

I’m not sorry for anything. They deserve hellfire and the slow, deafening rot that accompanies it. I’ll never, ever forgive them, and I think that’s fine. Forgiveness is a privilege. Self-forgiveness, however, is absolutely necessary.

May all my enemies burn slowly in their guilt and sorrow. May their psyches disintegrate. May their shame be an anchor and a badge. Amen.

Alright, y’all.

P.S. – This may seem like a time to go asking questions about who what when and why. I’m asking that you don’t. It’s hard enough having been harassed via social media and beyond. Respect my house.

Thanks bye.

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