I was abused by long-term (ex)boyfriend a little over a decade ago.
I did what all of the upper middle-class white protagonists in every single Lifetime movie do: I pressed charges, I got a restraining order, I used my righteous anger as impetus to become someone I would think moderately admirable.
The one thing I never got around to, however, was the actual trauma. My space was violated. My personhood and dignity were violated. My expectations of that relationship as it was, as it had been (which I had clearly misread) and how it was going to be were in that instant changed. I would never look at this person, myself, or anyone else the same. I no longer trusted my intuition or my judgments of people. I no longer looked people in the eye when talking to them (I still do not) and feel most comfortable with more distance, both physical and emotional, as opposed to less.
Why in the world am I telling you all of this horribly depressing stuff? Because I have been fooling myself into thinking it was done with years ago. It happened and I’m over it. He sucks and I don’t care. While I may not want anything to do with him I am affected by his actions and, unfortunately, my work and my personal life are not going to flourish until I do the hard work of really addressing what happened and how it continues to make me interact (or not) with people.
Today I was taking an extremely intoxicated man to the crisis intake center. I was so glad he was finally willing to get some help. At one point in our journey he grabbed my hand far too forcefully and when I protested refused to let it go. How was he to know this was a trigger?
I am glad my friend is going to get the help he needs and is going to work towards his recovery. I am glad I am willing to do the same for myself as well.
It was awful.
I didn’t deserve it.
I really don’t deserve to continue to live like this when there is help available and when it is not neccessary and most of all I am wanting to have something other than distance for the first time in a long time.