It has come to my attention, in the past few days, that my ex appears to feel that I have made false allegations against him, and that I am not only a liar… but also an abuser myself.
(Yes, before anybody asks, I have read it. The comments, too. No, I will not tell you who was responsible for bringing it to my attention, only that I sincerely thank them.)
For a long time, I’ve avoided this topic in detail except with my closest people. I still don’t particularly want to hash it out in public space and I am not writing this in order to demand that anyone picks a side, but I feel that I must defend myself. This is not a counter-attack, but a defence against the things I feel I have been accused of.
I will not be quiet.
I’ve told enough anecdotes over the almost-year of writing this blog that I think you guys should have a pretty clear picture of what things were like from my perspective.
I was, and still am, willing to let some things slide as mistakes of youth, the result of growing up in such a fucked up culture without any positive role-models to learn from. Where is the line between emotional abuse, and just two people far too young to have an adult relationship saying nasty things to each other? The line is where you know the other person’s weaknesses, and deliberately exploit them… even admitting to doing so. Mistakes were made on both sides, and I absolutely acknowledge and regret the times when my own behaviour was less than perfect. Which was often. However, I felt on many occasions as though I was being systematically emotionally abused and manipulated deliberately.
Yes, I lost my temper and screamed at him when I found out he cheated on me for six months. I did not then, and have never in my life, raised a hand to somebody in anger. I am not a violent person and I was deeply shocked and surprised to learn that he was apparently afraid of my lashing out, when my memory of that particular situation involves me very quickly going into overwhelmed silence and leaving because I could not string a sentence together.
I speak the absolute truth when I say that I was repeatedly pushed, coerced or forced into sexual activity which I did not want, and to which I was not freely and enthusiastically consenting. I remember one particular occasion of being fucked while I was crying, after being told I
was unloved and unlovable. Another, I was thrown out of the house for refusing sex. Yes, we were in a relationship. Yes, we had had consensual sex on many occasions. We can argue semantics about whether situations like this are really rape-rape or not , but that is how it is in my experience. I believe, I know, deep down in my heart and my body and my soul, that I was raped. That is the trauma that I must live with.
I am deeply afraid to speak this aloud (at least in written form.) I am afraid that he will bring legal action against me, I am afraid that I am going to lose a good chunk of my friends and a community that has meant a lot to me over the years. I am even afraid that no-one will ever want to date me again, in case I accuse them of horrible things after we break up. I understand, okay? I understand that nobody wants to take a side in this.
He’s given you his side, and from the comments, I can tell that a good amount of people believe it absolutely. Perhaps he truly believes he did nothing wrong; but the scars I bear are evidence of how deeply traumatised that entire experience left me. He’s given you his side, and now I give you mine.
Do with this information what you will; even if that is “nothing.” Even if that is unfollowing my blog, and unfriending me whether virtually or in real life.
I ask for nothing. Only to be heard.
I am many things, but I am not a liar.
I have a mental health issue, but I am not crazy.
I am sometimes irrational, but I am not delusional.
My experience was my experience, and nobody can take that away from me – much as I might wish somebody would just make it all go away.
Look, I never wanted any of the fucked up bullshit to happen, and I wish that it would go away now. But I am finding myself feeling silenced and I must speak up.
I will not be bringing legal action into this, I have no interest in ‘revenge,’ and I will not be contacting him directly in any way (including face-to-face at OpenCon this weekend.) From here on out, my aims are to find happiness in healthy and fulfilling relationships, and I do not wish to lose friends over this, nor is my intention to force anybody to respond in a particular way.
I am afraid. More afraid than I can tell you. But I am speaking out in defence of myself, because I cannot let it be known on the record that I made it all up, because I did not.