In April of this year, as many of you already know, I was raped by a co-worker. It took me a while to come to terms with what actually happened and that it was in no way my fault. Although, there are still some days where I have to keep reminding myself of that aspect.
Prior to the rape, I was sexually assaulted by the same individual. I told him what I was comfortable with and where my views were on sex and he completely disregarded it.
Since my assaults, I have been placed on birth control (mainly because I was already going to get on it for painful periods and slightly because of fear that it will happen again) and I have been seeing/speaking with a therapist regularly.
I have come to terms with the fact that I will forever be a victim of a sexual assault, but it doesn’t define who I am.
I have also come to terms with the fact that I did not cause my first two assaults, because I knew what I wanted and what I didn’t, but when someone is stronger than you are there really is little you can do.
However, I haven’t come to terms with the fact that I did not cause my rape. Parts of me still blames myself for even putting myself in that environment and in that situation. I have however forgiven him for what he did. But, and this is where the unpopular opinion comes in, I haven’t forgiven myself.
I know, I know, what you’re thinking, but this is my truth, for now, and I have to own it.
I was weak, I was new to the attention and the advances and I guess I cracked under it all. It’s sad that all it takes is for a guy to pay attention to you to lose a part of who you are. But, it was more than that, I know. He was aggressive from the beginning and I took that as flirting and him knowing what he wanted. I thought there was something about me that he was interested in. And there was, it just wasn’t my personality, but my private parts.
I realized too late that I was nothing but a body to him. When we flirted it was nothing more than surface stuff and he never really tried to get to know me, so that should have been a red flag from the beginning. He was just after one thing, and he basically got what he wanted.
So I forgive him for using me, I forgive him for assaulting me, and I forgive him for everything really. Because there’s nothing that I will gain by not doing so. But, I will gain peace and serenity from doing so.
Unfortunately, over the past week I realized something about myself that will get some getting used to and some fixing. I have come to realize and vocalize the fact that I am a certified people pleaser; I am constantly doing things for other people. Now listen, there is nothing wrong with that. But, when it hinders your ability to do for yourself, that’s when it becomes a problem.
I tend to put other people’s wants and needs before my own, whether they know it or not. I check in on people constantly, I make sure that, if they are going through a tough time, they are okay. I let my presence known that I am there for them and that they can reach out to me anytime. In short, I am a damn good friend.
However, as a result of my constant need to put others first, I tend to get hurt in the process. A lot of what happened between me and the co-worker I did not want to happen, but clearly his needs overcame mine. Don’t get me wrong now, I did ask/tell him to stop several times and I said I wasn’t ready and I didn’t want anything to happen, but he didn’t listen. But, I didn’t put myself first and fight harder. I was afraid of the repercussions, afraid of what he would think, feel, say or do. To say the least I was also paralyzed in fear.
As a result, I actually want to see him again. Not to confront him, or even tell him what he did was wrong, but to prove to myself that I can stand up to him if he tries to make advances at me. I want to prove that I am strong, well, stronger now than I was before.
In reality, I just want to prove that to myself. Actually, I need to prove it to myself. But most importantly, I need to start putting myself and my needs first.