First time poster, relatively new lurker.
My reason for posting tonight is to learn from the experiences of other survivors of sexual assault / misconduct.
Fifteen years ago, I moved to San Francisco, CA. Part of my motivation was to work in IT as a Web Developer and the other reason was to figure out my sexuality and my sense of self.
At the time, I was uncertain about my sexual orientation and preference and thought by moving to a city where sexuality across the spectrum was embraced I could have a more certain understanding of my sexuality.
A few weeks after moving to the city, I met a man who was older than I was, significantly - he was in his late 40's - early 50's and I was 23. When we met, I wasn't certain if he was gay or just had alot of energy. I exchanged phone numbers, mostly wanting to have a platonic friend since I was new to the city.
About a month later, I asked him if he wouldn't mind if I brought dinner over. I hadn't been in a dating / romantic relationship before at the time and I thought bringing dinner over was a mature, decent thing to do amongst friends.
I arrived at his apartment and we have dinner. A little while afterwards, he asks me to sit down next to him near his dinner table. I started to feel uncomfortable, as if I sensed he was viewing our friendship as a sign of sexual chemistry.
I thought to say 'No', but I didn't. I was afraid I would offend him. I sat down next to him and he began to rub my thigh. (I'm starting to have flashbacks.)
He rubbed it more deeply as time went on, with the massage stopping after about a minute.
I can be genuine, but I can also be naive and while I sensed his intent for his affection was sexual, I wanted to believe that he wanted to show a sense of friendship. Like I said, he was from another country (Peru) and I had an impression that physical contact was the norm.
Then he looked in my eye and touched my genitals without my consent. I immediately pulled back and sat there in a state of shock.
I wasn't quite sure what to make of the situation. I felt taken advantage of and betrayed because I tried to accept his attention as friendship despite its discomfort. Also, he only touched me the one time, which is good, but I started to think, 'Well, he only touched me. People experience worse.'
I did grow unexpectedly angry right after. I normally don't take advantage of people, usually its quite the opposite. I let others overstep my boundaries to the point that I grow resentful and then apathetic and powerless in the relationship.
But I decided to smoke marijuana with him and let myself feel angry and let him think he was taken advantage of. But I knew at the time that I was angry at him and ultimately was venting my anger and rage at myself.
I left his apartment and never called or spoke to him again, even though he did call once afterwards.
I started to become irritable and angry at work, not thinking that the assault was significant and would affect me. My relationships became more and more tortured and toxic, my behavior became impulsive and self-destructive - drug use, poor judgement, bad assessment of the trustworthiness of others.
I ran into other men who would approach me to have sex with them, because I appeared able to meet their need. One man, actually touched me on my genitals after telling him about my incident.
Thankfully, after I lost my job, my parents flew out to see about me and I sobered up enough to begin psychiatric treatment and start to rebuild my life.
I am working out the issues with a therapist and with a support group, discussing the effects of the incident. I struggle talking about the incident, mostly because it doesn't seem violent or because it seems that is how sex happens - someone pushes the boundaries. How sad is that...
I have come to terms with the man who touched me without my consent. (I still have trouble labeling it as assault, although my therapist believes that is an accurate definition.) I don't hate him, I hate what he did and the forces that likely led to his expression of his sexuality in that manner - desperation, likely unable to express his sexuality 'normally' as a child, etc. But I still hold onto a sense of rage and anger that seems inappropriate to my current day-to-day life.
At times, I experience flashbacks and panic attacks anytime I see anyone who is Hispanic. I hate having them, I hate feeling out of control and in some ways feeling that people sense my defensiveness is a sign of racism.
Also, my sense of my sexuality is even more confusing now than it ever has been. I haven't had a sexual experience since that moment. For a while, I felt oversexualized, especially towards women and blondes particularly. So much so that I've had to kind of kill my sex drive out of a fear of acting out from that sense of predatory behavior.
If any fellow survivors have had similar experiences or have any council or advice to offer, I am more than willing to read your response.
Thank you for your time.
Edited by healingsoul (07/01/14 08:22 AM)
Edit Reason: more information