My sexual assault #MeToo story--well, some of them
Cases of sexual assault, harassment, and rape happen in so many different ways, occur in so many different situations, and are processed, and handled differently by each and every one of the victims -- male or female.
The number of women blindly defending, supporting, and even championing Brett Kavanaugh, and dismissing Dr. Christine Ford as a liar and an opportunist is truly sickening and infuriating to me.
They attack her credibility for not immediately reporting it at the time, they attack her credibility for not remembering every detail of what happened, they attack her credibility for not recalling something as seemingly simple as the address of the house where the attack took place, or the exact date.
Well, here’s a lesson in real life for you all. People process and remember and deal with trauma in wildly differing ways. Just because a victim didn’t react in the exact same way as you, or how you expect them to, doesn’t mean they’re lying, it just means they didn’t react the same way as you, period.
Here’s my sexual assault MeToo story, detailing three incidents that happened to me, which I’m sharing publicly for the first time ever, in no particular order, in an attempt to try and help people better understand.
The first, was really just some creepy and unpleasant groping–something nobody paid the slightest bit of attention to back in the 80s when it happened–it was just “boys being boys.”
It occurred when I was 17-years old and learning to drive. At the end of my driving lesson as I pulled over to discuss how it went, the instructor, a married man in his mid to late fifties (who was actually married to an employee of my father’s at the time) starting stroking my thigh as he talked to me. I was wearing jeans, thankfully, but still, his hand went right up to my crotch which he started to rub, aggressively.
I wasn’t your average 17-year-old by any means, yet, I still felt paralyzed and unsure of how to respond–for fear of appearing “rude” perhaps, or because (I now know to be utterly ludicrous) I thought maybe I was just reading the situation wrong and didn’t want to “over-react.”
I did have the sense to extricate myself from the car immediately though and tell my dad I no longer wanted driving lessons from this man. I gave a sanitized version of what had happened to my father, who, of course, I love dearly, but who didn’t want to make a “fuss” because the man’s wife was his employee.
Today, I am totally unable to remember the man’s name or the exact date it occurred. I’ve never spoken about it since.
The second incident occurred when I was around 21 and I went to the doctor to get a cervical cap, as at the time I was advised not to use contraceptive pills due to having had blood clots in my lungs. The doctor, a qualified GP I had seen several times before, explained to me that he had to “fit me” for the cap as they come in different sizes.
The way to do this was to insert his fingers up inside me several times to ascertain what size was required. Once he had finished doing this, he first commented on the “tightness” of my vagina in what was supposedly meant to be a compliment I guess, then he gave me a cervical cap and told me he had to demonstrate how to insert it correctly. Which he did, four times.
He then asked me to insert it into myself while he watched, he then put his fingers inside me yet again to “check” I had done it correctly. He asked me to repeat this procedure a total of five times, each time inserting his fingers inside me to check I had done it correctly.
It was literally ten years later that I learned this is NOT what happens, AT ALL. And I am absolutely humiliated and embarrassed at my utter naivety and stupidity. I only found out it was wrong during a discussion with a gynecologist that I went out on a date with.
He informed me that, in fact, I had been sexually assaulted. I had absolutely no clue. I thought that was just the way things were done.
To this day I can not remember the date it happened, where the surgery was, or even the doctor’s name.
The third event occurred after I accepted a ride from a truck driver, who was probably in his mid to late 60s when I was hitchhiking as a 13-year-old. Yep, stupid, idiotic, insane–I know…but whatever.
Anyway, on the way to the pub where I thought he was going to drop me off, he pulled over, and with considerable force, shoved my head down into his lap and forced me to perform oral sex on him. Then he opened the passenger door and pushed me out on to the side of the road like a piece of trash.
To this day, I can not remember the date this occurred, anything about what the man looked like, and I have never told a single person about what happened, from a mixture of shame, embarrassment, humiliation, and self-blame for being stupid enough to put myself in that situation.
A short time after the incident I attempted suicide by swallowing a ton of pills. I had to have my stomach pumped, and undergo (utterly useless to me at the time) psychiatric counseling.
Am I traumatized by any of these events today? No, not in the slightest, at least, not that I’m aware of consciously. But, I am really fucking angry about them, annoyed at my stupidity and ignorance, and pissed at myself for not reporting the incidents to the police to prevent the same thing from happening to other women/men/girls or boys.
But, it is what it is.
These are just three incidents that happened to me, they are my sexual assault MeToo story, there are others–two were way more traumatic and emotionally damaging, but I’m not discussing them right now.
So yeah, I’m fucking angry at all the people attacking Ford for not acting in the way they believe she should have at the time she was assaulted by Kavanaugh. I love her to pieces, and I applaud her bravery, for being strong enough to come forward now in order to try and prevent a sexual predator from becoming a supreme court judge.
And, I encourage other women (and men), if they feel able, to go public with their own stories, to educate people on how commonplace sexual assault and harassment is.
If you bothered to read all the way to the end, thank you. I appreciate it.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
We can NOT, and WILL not, be silent or ashamed any longer.
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