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The 'falling off a pole' icon is appropriate for this entry. - Suffering From Elation
A Survivor's Tale
The 'falling off a pole' icon is appropriate for this entry.
I'm going to tell you something I haven't told you before.

Last night after work I saw the therapist, Wade, for the last time. In our previous session he'd said he felt I didn't need to come anymore, but that I could continue on in a Life Coaching capacity if I wished, so that's what this one was - but towards the end of the session he told me simply that I didn't need to be there, that he felt I had my life and my relationships as well thought through as any human being could hope for, and that further sessions would be unnecessary and possibly do harm rather than good (in other words, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it.")

My main regret from the past six months is what happened in Melbourne. I never wrote about it before but it marked the point where I slipped from reasonable grief at the end of a relationship, to depression. Elizabeth says it was sexual assault. I disagree. I think I was taken advantage of, sure - I was a visible wreck and he knew it; he was also at that time in a position of power over me as I depended on him for accommodation - but I never said no.

Then again, I never said no because at that point, on that night, I was far beyond caring what happened to me. I was so far beyond caring that I crept out much later, when I was sure he was asleep, ran down to the ocean and contemplated swimming out until I'd gone too far to come back. I wish I could say that was hyperbole.

But the hardest part came even later, when I realised that I did indeed care, that it was too late to change it, and that laughing it off - which I attempted to do with some people - wasn't going to cut it.

Hmm... when I said above that I never said 'no', that's not entirely accurate. I said 'no' the three (count 'em) times that evening he tried to force me to do it without a condom. And he continued with unwanted touches and crap the whole remainder of the time I was in Melbourne. Uncharacteristically, instead of damn well standing up for myself, I just passively let it happen, I cared that little. Or maybe I felt on some level that I deserved it. Eh - what an asshole he was, and how short-sighted and stupid I was, short-sighted because I thought I would feel that broken forever, and stupid because I should have known better than that.

I take responsibility for what happened, but by the same token, I don't blame myself... or anyone. We were all just people doing what we thought was best for ourselves with the information we had at the time... even him. Don't get me wrong, it still affects me. I tear up when I think about it or talk about it; I'm tearing up a little now. But one thing Wade-the-therapist told me is that feeling sad when something bad happens is perfectly normal and, though it's not a pleasant emotion, it's necessary and it shouldn't be avoided. It should just be understood for what it is. It should be put in it's place. Feeling like the world has ended doesn't actually mean it HAS, and that needs to be kept in mind, always, no matter how untrue that logic feels.

I think I've put what happened in the right place in my head. I learned so much from all this and I don't think I've been happier and more stable at any point in my adult life, so the incident in Melbourne, however humiliating and saddening to look back on, was worth it... and so were the months of backlash that followed, when I did things that now make me kind of blink and think, "ye GODS, what the hell was I thinking?? UGH!!" Talk about impaired judgment. I can't change the choices I made but I can sure as heck never make those particular ones again.

Today was a public holiday for ANZAC Day. Hammond, Kelly and I went out for breakfast at the Gunshop Cafe, opened our new Killer Bunny decks and heard the jet fly over; later Joe and I played a few rounds, then we all played one massive round with Me, Kelly, Joey, Hammond and Adders. And that's pretty much all we did all day, so basically, it was a perfect day.

In other news, Chris and Jess are moving out next Saturday to their new couple-plus-baby sized flat; I'll be helping them move. Then Joe moves into their room. I've already bought a table-and-chairs set on Ebay to replace the one they'll be taking when they leave, and I'm going to get a TV and some kind of pantry and reorganise the living areas of the house on Sunday. I'm really looking forward to it, there's nothing like indulging the ol' nesting instinct.
9 have fought ~ fight the power!
alby_lion From: alby_lion Date: April 25th, 2008 12:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
1. Was he a stranger, or somebody you've known for a while?

2. "...feeling sad when something bad happens is perfectly normal and, though it's not a pleasant emotion, it's necessary and it shouldn't be avoided...." Same deal with anger or guilt. While they're not pleasant, they're very useful emotions because they tell us that something is wrong. That doesn't mean that we're justified to do anything because we feel them, but it is important to take them on board and entertain what they mean. Cheating yourself out of sadness, anger, or confusion is cheating yourself out of life. The highs become much higher for the contract.

3. Could you please explain to me Anzac Day? While this is probably a question for Mr. Google, I'd like to hear it from an Aussie.
raphstar From: raphstar Date: April 25th, 2008 01:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Congratulations on the courage to tell your story. You should be proud. *hugs* Have fun with your nesting!
aibo From: aibo Date: April 25th, 2008 03:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh yes, I remember that entry from Melbourne, "sneaked out and washed myself clean in the ocean". Always wondered what happened back then, thanks for your courage for telling now. It is really a matter of being vulnerable and weak, just letting things happen as your mind is so worn out from all the sad thoughts. You should not feel regrets though, responsibility - yes, as you are not somebody blaming everything to others. But you did everything possible, and somebody took bad advantage of your situation, obviously well knowing about your state back then.

So yeah, consider it as an experience, something that has happened and now won't happen again, as you have learned.

Again, thanks for sharing:-)

jesskat From: jesskat Date: April 25th, 2008 04:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't know if I tell you this often enough, but it never ceases to amaze me how sensibly and maturely you're able to look at your life and emotions and keep things in perspective. If something like this had happened to me, I'm sure I'd still be down and beating myself up over it. You seem to have a healthy attitude about the whole thing. You admit you were vulnerable at the time and not thinking clearly, but you also know your own strengths and know you're capable of moving on, even if the memory still hurts.

I don't know how to make this sound non-cliché, so I'll just go with the obvious: no matter what mistakes you've made in the past, I'm still damn proud of you.
stokerbramwell From: stokerbramwell Date: April 26th, 2008 12:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, let me say that I am exceptionally glad you didn't take that swim either.
quillblade From: quillblade Date: April 27th, 2008 11:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad that the therapy has had such a profound effect on your life and you're feeling happier and more in control again :) If you ever feel like just having a cup of tea/coffee now and then around lunchtime (either at Indro or Taringa), let me know <3
tania From: tania Date: April 27th, 2008 11:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
I keep meaning to! It's better for me to meet at Taringa because though we're able to take longer than half an hour if we need to, we have to make it up elsewhere if we do - and the walk to Indro and then back again adds up to the whole half an hour. What days do you tend to be free to get to Taringa around midday? I know a nice little coffee shop and a bigger coffee shop that does good meals (coffees there untested at this point)
quillblade From: quillblade Date: April 27th, 2008 11:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
My current hours go kinda like...
Monday, Tuesday and Friday: 7.30-1pm
Wednesday and Thursday: 11.30am-5pm

Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays are best for obvious reasons, and I can leave a little later if necessary :)

(Today is booked though; I have shopping with Peta and need to drop some things off at Eleanor's place this afternoon.)
tania From: tania Date: April 27th, 2008 11:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Today wouldn't have worked anyway, I'm at home sick. Was Pukey McGee around 4am. ;P The cats hung out with me and were, frankly, astonished.

I'm thinking maybe next Tuesday, May 6th? It's been a while since we've seen each other and I'll have exciting tales of moving Chris and Jess on out to tell you by that point. Actually, I hope they're not exciting tales... excitement during a move usually denotes something going wrong. ;)
9 have fought ~ fight the power!