This isn’t an overall update – it’s just how I feel right now.
I was watching a movie with my family, and it was about this woman who was groped on a bus. After that, she wanted to find her assailant to beat him up. The people around her kept telling her to “let it go,” and that “these things just happen,” but she didn’t want to let it go. She wanted to prove a point – that his behavior wasn’t okay. At the end of the movie, another person (not the woman’s assailant) groped a different girl, and this woman beat him up. After beating him up, the girl slapped him.
My parents seemed supportive of the point the woman was trying to make. Based on this and past history, It seems like they’re supportive of people who were assaulted, which is great. My mom understood that groping without consent is assault.
However, I’m upset. I’m not sure how far their support goes. I don’t know how supportive they are about healing from assault.
When the woman was groped, it was very similar to how my assailant groped me. I was very uncomfortable, but I didn’t express my discomfort.
The other thing is, sometimes I wonder why that support doesn’t apply to me. It almost feels selfish to say that – to say “what about me?” – when they’re being supportive of other people. The last time I talked about my assailant, I said that I felt it was hypocritical of him to help the priest. My mom told me not to spend a second thinking about that. She said that we can’t control what he does (which contradicts a time when she said “we control how people perceive us”). She implied that i was being overly sensitive, which is similar to how they’ve responded in the past.
When my parents first found out about my assailant, they asked me how I could get married. At 15 years old, I took that to heart. I know now that I can get married if I choose to. I know that with effort, communication, respect, and love (on both sides), I can have a wonderful marriage if I choose to. I also know that my virginity – or how far I’ve gone with someone – doesn’t determine my worth or ability to get married, whether it’s consensual or nonconsensual. I know these things now, but it was incredibly painful when I didn’t know these things.
A while after that, they stopped fully blaming me for what happened. They said that him groping me wasn’t my fault, but they told me I shouldn’t have been in that room. I know now that none of this was my fault. I know that he manipulated me. He suggested the meeting in that room and tried to start a relationship in an attempt to get what he wanted. He knew i was naive.
My mom is more open when it comes to talking about sexual assault in general. I can see that they’re making progress.
Yet they still minimize what happened to me. They’re still making me see him – due to coronavirus, we don’t have church services in person anymore (so it’s been a while since I’ve seen him in person). Once we go back – whenever that is – I’ll be seeing him more often again. It’s great that they’re empathizing with other people and their feelings. Yet when it comes to my sister and me, it’s not the same. It feels like they want me to pretend it never happened and get over it. It’s why I don’t bring it up anymore.
I know I can be better for myself and the people around me, and I have an incredible support system. I think I understand where my parents are coming from. Yet in moments like these, it hurts a lot because they don’t seem to be doing the same for me. I felt angry at first, but now I feel disappointed.