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DSC_0019Let me be blunt and completely honest for once…this blog may be a bit intense so proceed with caution.
I recently started talking to someone I used to know some many years back. He felt as though we could just pick up where we left off, but I tried to explain after 10 plus years we don’t know each-other anymore. I can say for certain that I have changed beyond words in just the last 10 years alone. So after hanging out a few times, this “friend” tried to kiss me, which I declined as nicely as possible. After an awkward silence this “friend” tried to touch me in a very inappropriate manner.
My response was this (this is not verbatim and a combination of what I said to the “friend” and a few others that I talked to about the situation, “I am tired of people treating me like a piece of meat, some sexual object to fulfill their desires, without my permission. I am a person with thoughts and feelings. I am tired of being disrespected.” Apparently this friend had since made comments about how he didn’t know me anymore.
Let me explain some things here. When I was a very young girl I was sexually abused for quite sometime by my babysitter’s husband. This man’s name was Kenneth Bradley. Yes, I am posting his name and hopefully that bastard is still in jail. This coupled with many other horrific events led to my eventual diagnosis of Chronic PTSD.
Ten plus years ago I was a bit too flirtatious, a bit too promiscuous in some ways. I was a girl who was lost and trapped inside of a world of trauma. I had taught myself that I was worth nothing other than the body parts given to me by God, which were apparently made for the use of the males around me. They served me no real purpose in my eyes, so that had to be it. I started on a road of healing for myself because I was tired of not being in control of my own sexual desires, or my body.
I needed to get away from those who would use me and at times I still relented because I fell back into that, “Well, you can say no, but what is to stop them.” It was trying to be in control of my sex life while dealing with an underlying fear. I am not saying that I am completely healed from any of the things that have happened in my life, hence why I have chronic PTSD, but as long as I am of sound mind I know that while I may be broken and damaged I am not worthless or hopeless. I will continue to strive for better for myself and gaining more sense of my own worth.
I will not allow people to randomly use me at their will. This is my life and my body. If you cannot love and respect me for my mind and appreciate and respect any hand of friendship I offer, then please leave my life. What I need are not negative, hateful, abusive people that do not understand what I have been through, where I have been, and where I am going. Some people have opinions on how I live my life, what I do or do not do, etc. Let me say to those people, I am proud of how far I have come and what I have accomplished. Life is hard for me as it is for many people, no doubt, but you do not know me or my struggles. You cast judgement upon me when you have no clue what it is like. I do have hope that things will improve in many ways and I push forward despite the naysayers. I cannot change those things that have been done to me or the way it affected me, but I can continue to grow and try and see a brighter future and push toward better things.
To that friend, though I have forgiven your transgression, does not mean that I accept a repeat of that behavior nor will I forget it. I will proceed with caution anytime we cross paths. You should have known better, but by showing me so little respect you show that you do not even respect yourself. I suggest that you work on that.
To anyone that has been a victim of sexual abuse; male or female, it’s not your fault. Do not blame yourself for all the things that you could have done differently. Even though I was seven years old when my abuser decided to target me, I still told myself how stupid I was for not being more brave, for not telling someone sooner, for letting it continue. These are things that I have to continually reassure myself of now and to stop being a victim. I want to be a survivor of trauma, not a victim of it for the rest of my life.
Lastly, to those who say, “It happened years ago, just get over it.” How dare you tell people how to cope. Yes in your eyes it is a logical assessment that we can say that we are alive and thus can move forward, but let me tell you that though I am breathing I wasn’t alive for a long time, and sometimes I am not still. It is a daily struggle and not the only issue that I have to deal with. You can’t assume to know the mind of others or how someone will deal with something. Not everybody is the same and we all cope in different ways.
My life is a journey through some really dark paths and some lighter ones. I do the best I can do to finish it until the journey is complete. I don’t know how long it will be, but I am always reassessing my situation and trying to find ways to improve, to get better, and live my life to the fullest. I am grateful for so many things and to so many people and I do recognize the good in life, but that doesn’t keep those horrible things from being ever present in my mind. People need to understand that you don’t always know someone, whether you haven’t seen them in years or you have seen them everyday in years. We all have things that we are dealing with internally that we may not tell you about. Plus, people change…some for the better and others not so much. We sometimes come together and we sometimes drift apart. However, it is best to not make assumptions and if you truly care about someone, listen to them, get to know them to the best of your ability. If you can’t do that then it isn’t a relationship worth nurturing.

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5 thoughts on “Strangers, Not Friends

  1. Hello, although I have never written to you except as a response to one of your articles or to your comment on one of my poems tonight I am doing so. I am a male single parent who raised his daughters. From the time they were babies I taught them no one could pick them up hold them or do anything that related to them without their permission. I just wanted add my voice here to say to you: congratulations, I admire your strength and clarity, and I hope you encounter somebody wise enough to appreciate you as a person and who’s only reason for desiring sexual intimacy is the overflowing of their love for you and who You are.

    Alexander

    • Thank you, Alexander! This is an issue I have struggled deeply with for years and I think that vulnerability has made me an easy target at times. It is something that I am and have been learning to fight and draw strength from. I am very over-protective of my children and have taught them to the best of my ability to stay safe and to feel comfortable coming to me with concerns…I wish you and your family all of the best, always.

  2. Hi, I just came across your blog through a review of Lucy movie and thought to go through your blog when this article got my attention. I don’t know if you like hearing it but i do want to say how sorry I am to hear what happened to you when you were just a little innocent kid who had no idea about sex. It shocks me how inhuman people can get and use kids for their sexual satisfaction. It made me feel so good to know how you did not decide to let what happened to you then rule your life and instead you fought it. I go through depression and I know there are days when you don’t see the light at the other end and some days its always easy to let the numbness take over you and just stay in bed for days. But to fight it off, now that takes real strength and courage. So glad to see you don’t blame yourself which is the right thing. You cannot be blamed for what that a-hole did. Stay strong love and one day someone who respect you as a human will come along. This post might help someone somewhere. It did help me.
    Take care 🙂 xx

    • Thank you so much, and I do have a man in my life..one that I am married to so that made this “friends” actions all the worse. I appreciate your words, and if it helped one person that is what really matters! Much Love-Liz

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