“‘Til it happens to you, you won’t know. It won’t be real. No it won’t be real. Won’t know how it feels”

All around social media these days is “women’s rights” posts, and stories from different women on how their rights have been violated and how we are going back fifty years in this country. I am a total pro-choicer. I also never believed in blaming the victim. I know I’ve put myself into some precarious situations in my time, and I have been lucky so far. But it’s amazing to me how a lot of old school society has the mentality of “if she doesn’t want THAT kind of attention she shouldn’t wear that that” or “she knew she was a slut when she spread her legs.”   I just experienced that mentality. And at the hands of another woman.

I love Annie. She’s a no holds barred kinda gal in her fifties. She gives no nonsense advice and tough love as a former corrections officer and now bartender. We’ve been close.   She also warns me that I shouldn’t say things to “set KJ off” since he’s going through recovery and I should learn to zip it when it comes to talking back to him. I can handle that.  At our bar two weeks ago, she had another friend come out and get me to bring me inside because I was outside alone talking to two male regulars on the patio, whom I’ve known for awhile now. I told her “what? they’re my friends” to which Annie replied “No Ellie. They just want to fuck you. That isn’t going to look good to KJ.” (On a side note, I told my boyfriend about the situation-minus they want to fuck me part- and he just shook his head and said “Babe, I trust you a 100 percent and I know them. It’s okay.”) Annie always tells me “Girl, you got a sexy motherfucker and you need to make sure you do whatever you need to do to keep him, and that includes only talking to females.”

A few days ago, we were in a group after closing time at our bar congregated outside. TY (previous post from long ago–I hooked up with him before KJ and I were official because I was mad at KJ. It was childish and I’m not proud),  decided to hang around with us. I didn’t speak to TY all night, but he decided to hug me and grab my ass in front of Annie and my young, guy friend and manager PJ. I told TY, no, that was unacceptable.  He followed me to my car in the shadows where he pressed me against the back and forced a kiss. I got my head away and yelled “Get the fuck off me!”  TY stuck his hands under my shirt and I managed to squirm away and use the remote to unlock my door. He blocked me from getting in my car and said “you’re not leaving before we have a little fun” , while trying to force his tongue in my mouth and groping me between the legs. I managed to elbow him out the way and get in my car, where he tried again until I was able to finally use my knee and push him out.  I was yelling the whole time.

After this five or six minute ordeal, I was shaken. I pulled up where PJ and Annie were. They didn’t see what happened but PJ made the comment that he was coming over there if I would’ve yelled one more time.  I responded ” You should’ve come over there after I yelled the first time”.  PJ told me that I should know better and I should be leaving before last call with a guy from our group walking me out.   Annie proceeded to lecture me. She said “Ellie, this is what I’ve been trying to tell you. This shit happens when you talk to men. You hugged him so you let him believe that this was okay. You’ve given up to him before so he figured it was okay to just take it because you’re easy. ” I was stunned. How the fuck is almost getting assaulted my fault?  And both of you heard the whole thing and let it go on because maybe I ‘deserved’ it for acting easy?  Annie goes on to say “What if KJ finds out?” I answered “what if he does? I did nothing wrong. I’m not telling him because I don’t want him to go ballistic on TY, not because I’m guilty of anything.” Annie says “Why would you want to put him or us in this situation? Of having to protect you because you didn’t listen and you want to talk to all these men.”   Tears filled my eyes and I walked off.

You see, I was sexually abused by my mom’s boyfriend from the ages of 6-10. Most of my childhood is one big blackout where I’ve repressed most of it. When I finally told my mom at age ten, I told her it had only just happened twice recently to protect her. I’ve never told her the truth through this day.  He got pled down because I didn’t confess the amount of years I endured. And because my hymen was still intact because everywhere he touched me was external and there was never penetration.  And his family was affluent. And no one would listen when I tried to tell them the abuse was mostly because he made me do things to him. My first road head experience was at aged 8 for example.  And no fucking jail time. Community service and required counseling. I just had the same punishment for a goddamn traffic ticket. But that’s as in detail as I’ll get about any of that kind of trauma.

So me getting blamed for having my ass and vagina and boobs grabbed without my consent brought back the feelings of ten year old me. For some reason it was my fault and I’d asked for it because I gave out free hugs.  And for two days I’ve been holding all these emotions in with no one to express them to.  No one in my new life knows any of this, I left all that back home when I left my home state.  But now it’s all on the surface again.

It’s not my fault, it’s not my fault, it’s not my fault. I have had to replay that as a mantra to talk to my ten year old self and the me in my 40’s. I left home so I wouldn’t have to face my abuser again. Now, it looks like I’m going to have to avoid my bar.  Why do they fucking win?

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