Realizations and Concerns
It has almost been three years since my assault. I’ve spoken up, had my R charged and [recently] have been informed he has be imprisoned. I have also taken the necessary steps in getting the help I need to cope with the ordeal. I feel as though I have made a ton of progress but I still have major concerns. I have been holding back on a lot of things from my friends, family and therapist such as relationships I have been in the past three years and my personal feelings. I’m not sure what to do anymore besides getting in touch with myself through writing. I want to try to announce some truths when it comes to my past relationships which were not healthy and voice some concerns about my current relationship.
After I was assaulted, I spiraled out of control. (I believe that other issues such as my past molestations for example added to this too.) I started going out and looking for any [sexual] attention I could get. I quickly found out that I was not comfortable with that type of activity. I then started to get close to people who weren’t good for me because of the lack of support from family and friends. I got close to this guy, Paul, who happened to be in my Capoeira (martial arts) group. Deep down I knew he was not genuine or even sane. The first couple of times we hung out, he would say some really off the wall things, but I just ignored it. I was just happy about the attention I was getting, that someone was actually there. Although our ‘relationship’ was what I will call a friends with benefits (FWB) thing, it was unhealthy. He wasn’t hesitant to be seen with me or introduce me to his friends but we would just have ‘arrangements’ to meet up basically. These arrangements were on my terms which gave me a sense of power so I was okay with doing the FWB thing.
Things were okay for a little bit even though I ignored a lot of his rude or crazy remarks. I just continued to accept that this type of relationship was going to be my normal. The ‘intimate moments’ were great for a while, but then he started to get a little rougher than I liked. He would like to choke but I put a stop to that very quickly. He also liked to bite a lot. Not like a normal nibble, he made me bleed a couple of times! I tried to voice my concerns but he wouldn’t listen. He wanted to try something new one night but I just wasn’t having it. Soon after, he started ignoring my texts and he altogether disappeared which pissed me off (He did come back to Capoeira class one time and he wanted to spar me…needless to say I made sure he lost badly lol). I feel so ashamed to have lied to myself, and others, about this particular relationship because I knew it was not healthy. I feel bad for always going back and even getting mad when he stopped talking to me even though it was for the best.
I started hanging around my friends in college a little more after Paul was out of the picture. I often stayed around my best friend and a guy who I thought was a good friend, J.P. I had known both of these people for like a year or so. We all went to the same college and did Capoeira. JP was in the theater department and was graduating that particular semester and we had somewhat the same schedule so we would meet up often. He was also a parking officer so it was easy to come into contact with him. He was considerably older (like probably 15 years my senior) but I felt comfortable around him. We got to the point where we were really buddy-buddy with each other and spoke more freely with one another. One day mid semester, I told him I was uncomfortable with guys approaching me so much when I went out on the town. I told him about how I was just tired of the dating scene and how I just like being single having fun. Very jokingly, I told JP we should hang out at a sports bar and he could be my body guard so that guys wouldn’t bother me. I blatantly laughed in his face so he knew I was joking. (Don’t think he got the hint).
A few weeks later something very odd happened. I met up with JP outside of his class one day. He was with a group of his theater friends. He introduced me and we all laughed a little bit and he went to walk to Capoeira with me. One of his theater classmates said “be careful of this guy” as we were walking away. I giggled cause I thought she was joking and the she said, “no….seriously”. I turned around and continued to walk with JP to our destination. He just explained how the girl was a friend and she plays around a lot, etc. I should have known something was strange right then and there. At the end of the semester on one of my finals days, I wanted to kill time at his apt and play video games between tests (I usually do that with my guy friends). I had like 6 hours to kill so he let me drop off my console. I took the test and then things went south after that.
JP and I joked and talked for a while as I set up my system. He sat down next to me and started getting touchy while he was joking around. I shrugged it off because he stopped when I gave no reaction. Trying to give JP the hint I just wanted to be friends with him, I told JP about this guy that liked me and how he was 13 years older and I wasn’t interested in somebody that much older (the guy was texting me like crazy). He didn’t really respond to that. So he sat down and played a bit, and we watched a documentary then I went back to class. After I get back, he suggested we hang out because he hadn’t seen the Las Vegas Strip in a while. So I said we could hang out and he offered to pay for gas. We went to the Cosmopolitan pool area. JP was admiring the view and then he said something along the lines of, “Man, this is beautiful. It would be great to take a really nice girl here and just chill out and relax. We really have to do this again sometime”. I was weirded out by that remark. I told JP it was getting late and I had to get back home. I needed to eat first because I was feeling faint. So I got some food to go and we ended up going to the store before heading back to JP's place. I packed up my console and games and ate my food while I watched him play his PS3.
After I finished eating I announced I was going to leave because it was like 11pm. JP asked if I wanted to stay but I told him I had to get back home to my Grandpa. JP walked me down to the car. As we were walking down the stairs, he noticed my tattoo between the top of my shoulder blades and he touched it expressing he didn’t know I had them. I sped up a bit and turned around making sure we had some distance at the bottom of the stairs and I told him I had two and didn’t know why he hadn’t noticed them before. I started stepping back through the archway towards the direction my car was in. JP touched my shoulder, turned me around and asked to see the other one. I showed him quickly (it is on my stomach) and I started towards my car again. He quickly grabbed my shirt and touched the tattoo before I could fully turn around and said some words of admiration about it. I laughed it off and went to my car (by this time we were in front of it). I started putting my things in the car and JP asked if I was sure I wanted to go. I said yes. He asked what I was doing the next day. I told JP I had to do my hair. He said okay and we gave what I thought was going to be a good bye hug. He then held onto me tighter and said, “You know if you stay, your hair will get messed up anyways”. Holding onto me, he started to try and back pedal to where the archway was to his apt complex. I told him no, that I had to go and I tried to turn away. JP just held on tighter and started to kiss my cheek and neck and touch me. I don’t know who was looking out for me that night, but as soon as things were going to get bad, a cop car rolled slowly past us. JP’s grip loosened. I bounded to the cop car with a smile so he wouldn’t suspect anything and got in my car and locked the doors. The cop continued to a main street. I said good bye to JP and I went home.
A couple of days later at school, I had a run in with JP again. He followed me to a parking lot without my knowledge. He was angry but nothing happened. I am grateful graduation was only a week away for JP. I haven’t seen him since. Although I never really showed it, I was pretty shaken from that incident because it was only a year after my assault. I trusted him because I had known him for a year and he was also mutual friends with my best friend. I never thought he’d turn out like that. I am mad at myself that I could trust a person like that. I should have been more aware of the warning signs. I’ve learned from that instance to keep my guard up even more. I ended up moving on from that situation pretty fast.
Towards the end of the following semester, I started seeing one of the players on the college basketball team. I wanted to just be friends but he wanted to do the FWB thing. I felt obligated to do it for some reason. This didn’t last long, but I did like him at first honestly. He had a lot to talk about but once I voiced my opinion on some things, he was so closed minded. It was strange. I was easily bored though, so I broke it off after a couple of meetings together. I am not sure why I often feel obligated to just go ahead and sleep with someone but I do. I have been trying to figure out what is normal when it comes to a relationship. It has been hard for me because everything I have experienced is far from normal.
Recently I have been talking to this guy, J. We met when he visited out here in Vegas. We have mutual friends and they mentioned us to each other. I decided to accompany him when he came out here. I feel we just clicked. We had a great time, like we did a lot of things for his 3 day visit. We have basically talked to each other every single day for 8 months since then. I flew out to see him 4 months ago and I had a lot of fun. He was showing me around town. Some of our outings were so cute, like a scene from a movie lol. He invited me back out to his place during his vacation (which is next week). I agreed to go. On Thanksgiving, he told me that his mom wants to meet me when I come visit which shocked the heck out of me. I didn’t even know he spoke to her about me. So I’m getting prepared for that lol. But I have this gut feeling things won’t work out. I’m really scared. I don’t want this to turn out like the previous events I stated. I like him and he knows this. He said that if we were in the same town he’d definitely date me but he is afraid to have a long distance relationship because his previous ones have ended VERY badly and he doesn’t want what we have to turn out the same way. He wants us to move in together after I graduate (this coming spring). Now, although he knows a lot about me and has broken down a lot of the walls I put up, I’m still on the fence. I am not sure if I should stick around or if these are all just false promises.
Ok sorry this was so long. I hope this made sense. I just had to get this much off my chest