This is going to be an angry post. I wish my first foray of the year back into the blogosphere wasn’t so vitriolic and raw, but you can’t always control how things play out.
I’m a survivor of sexual assault several times over. The most horrific assault occurred on July 4, 2012. Since then, I had gone on one date and made out with one person who proceeded to call me a slut. So much for that. I gave up on men for the remainder of my college years.
In medical school, I found that I had more needs and desires than I’d ever had before. I felt more confident and I also ached for male companionship that was more than platonic in nature. I met someone at a bar and we were supposed to go on a date but he cancelled and then we never talked much after. I ventured into the strange territory of a Tinder. While it was an ego boost for a while, I did have some awkward experiences where people seemed very interested for a while and then just suddenly stopped talking to me. I was beginning to think that I was doomed. Who needed men anyway? I’d gone home with another student in my professional school over Halloween weekend and it was pleasant and safe and fun. I’d feared that after being assaulted, I’d never trust anyone enough to hook up or be sexual again, yet this guy made me feel alright. It ended on a less than ideal note, but that’s because of my questionable decisions the night before. That story can be saved for another time. Anyway, I figured one night stands weren’t my style. As lonely as I was, I convinced myself I was happy being single and a celibate virgin.
Well…my hormones begged to differ. I had deleted Tinder for a while, but then I got it again over thanksgiving break. I think I can be forgiven because it was right before my period and I’m always very lustful at that time. I talked to one guy who was incredibly raunchy and kind of scared me away. I talked to another who made it clear that while he wanted me physically, he also was sensitive and musical and thoughtful. Let’s call him K from now on for convenience sake.
K gave me his number and told me to text him when I felt ready to hook up. I wasn’t going to initially, but on a whim, I texted him the Sunday I was heading back to campus. We agreed to meet for coffee that Monday after I got out of clinic. We met for coffee and we hit it off right away. I hadn’t eaten dinner so we went to a restaurant across the street. He kissed me before we went in and sparks flew. He also paid for me, which was quite sweet, even though I’m a modern feminist. We ended up going back to his place and after some false starts, he made me feel safe enough that I lost my virginity to him. It was a little painful, yes, and somewhat awkward, but he knew what he was doing and was very gentle.
He asked me to hang out that Friday and we ended up having a movie night at my place. I was on my period and grouchy and he dealt with it well. The next Saturday, I was really stressed because it was close to finals, but he insisted on having me over and making me dinner. I yelled at him and felt horrible but he forgave me eventually. I felt spoiled – breakfast in the mornings, delicious dinner, kisses, copious amounts of cuddling, flowers, eggless cookies, serenades and duets, bragging to his family about how awesome I was, and mind blowing sex. What more could I have asked for?
I had intended on not seeing him until January due to the pressure of finals and anatomy (ugh!!). But after our last final, I got drunk, as per usual. I went to the bar where our class was having our end of semester party but I was tired and bored. I ended up taking an uber to his place and showing up unannounced. As he bussed me back the next morning, I asked him to define what we were doing even though he’d said he didn’t like definitions. Well, that was my first mistake…I realize that now. He said he thought we were dating. We made it official that day.
Then I went home the same day for winter break. I was out of town in Texas for about a week around christmastime, and then I spent the rest of the holidays at home with my family. K called me and texted me often. He seemed to be going through withdrawals of a sort…from me! Who would’ve thought it was possible? I’m incredibly insecure, so I couldn’t believe that I’d enraptured him both in terms of attractiveness (which, by the way, is something I struggle with myself on) as well as my awkward and messy and oftentimes difficult personality. I thought that I had him for sure. That was my second mistake.
He brought up some fears over break and was careful to give me space, since I have a tendency to run and had told him so early on. He seemed to have strong emotions for me and that frightened me a little. The commitment phobe in me was flattered, but she also wanted to turn heel and run for her life. Maybe I should’ve heeded that.
We were supposed to see each other the week I got back after a nearly 3 week long absence, but winter weather and strep throat prevented that from happening. When we did finally see each other, we couldn’t keep our hands off each other and we didn’t want to separate. He called me that night while I was watching the national championship game to tell me that he already missed me. Tell me…would any of you have had any doubts in this situation? Because I didn’t. It was easy to talk to him, to tell him when something he did scared me or was upsetting, to be honest about how I felt about him and how I was nervous. I thought I was being afforded the same courtesy and that I could take him at his word…that he didn’t play games. That was my third mistake.
Friday was our one month anniversary of being in an official relationship. I wasn’t supposed to see him until Sunday, but he persuaded me to come over. The lovemaking was worth it. I can say that now even as tears have been pouring down my cheeks for the past 3 hours and I physically ache because I’m hurt and seething and broken. He insisted that he was happy to celebrate one month with me and flattered me. He made me feel special, told me I was sweet and wonderful and the best sex he’d ever had. That he lost his head around me and didn’t want to let me go. Well, my head was spinning and I was convinced that I was starting to love him. I was going to buy him flowers Sunday and write him a note and tell him that he meant a lot to me.
I left in the afternoon to go to a rehearsal for Vagina Monologues. We were texting back and forth about plans for tomorrow: to go to an art museum and to watch Amelie and to cuddle. I was thrilled and excited and I couldn’t wait. I kind of had a mini freak out moment and texted him to ask him about it when I returned from rehearsal, but then I thought better of it and retracted my earlier panic, saying that I was happy with him and that I was very fond of him.
I was exhausted and had fallen asleep. I awoke to a missed call from K, no voicemail. How odd, I thought…but it wasn’t super out of the ordinary, seeing as how maybe he was addressing my concern, or saying he missed me, or just saying hi, or making plans. Thinking the phone call was innocuous and ignoring my earlier fears as unfounded was my fourth and most fatal mistake. He broke up with me in the most cowardly way possible, telling me he was in love with another woman. Well, he’d never told me there was someone else, and I’d been completely honest with him! How was that fair? I felt like my nightmares were coming true. I cried. He gave me no explanations and hung up unceremoniously, saying that it was hard to say, that I’d done nothing wrong, that he didn’t want to do this but had to decide, that she stole him away. I was too hurt and sad to be angry at first.
I realized I still had his shirt that I’d borrowed because it smelled like him and a box of condoms that I’d bought for us and would now never use. I kind of hoped that it was just some sort of weird mistake, that it wasn’t real. How could my worst fears be realized in such a horrendous way? What had I done to deserve it? Was I inadequate? I felt ugly and small and hated myself. Absolutely hated myself. I wanted to crawl into a hole and die, and I hated myself even more for feeling that way as a strong, independent woman and a feminist.
I called my friend as I was driving over to return his stuff and I began to seethe. How dare he? Was everything he said and did a lie? Why was he looking when he already had me? Why didn’t he tell me there was anyone else when I asked him outright? How could he kiss me and make carefree plans for cooking dinner the next day and talk about regretting that we didn’t take a walk together, fantasize about our date, and then mere hours later steamroller me this way? I couldn’t believe he kept the presence of someone else from me and let himself be ‘stolen away’ from me. I couldn’t believe he couldn’t have told me he was trying to decide whether or not to stay with me when we were together. I couldn’t believe he was so cowardly and had the audacity to try and touch me when he opened the door so I could give him his stuff back. What kind of a complete jerk plays the game so horribly well that they fool my intuition and get me to let my guard down? How could K have the nerve to tell me he didn’t string me along the whole time? How dare he have that other woman there hours after I left? How could he flaunt her presence in front of me while I was yelling at him?
He’d claimed he was a good person….yeah fucking right. He was a jerk. I seem to have a magnet for people who can fool me and take advantage of me and break me. Who claim that they never liked definitions anyway, who claim that they hope I have good memories, who assert that I should find somebody who deserves me and go dancing, that I should keep the condoms and make love with some other guy.
Here’s the thing. Didn’t he understand the magnitude of the choices I’d made that led me to all of the things we did together? I made a choice to have sex with him because I felt safe and am incredibly sex positive. I made a choice to commit to him because I thought I was ready. He told me he loved seeing how responsive I was to him and even bought a vibrator for us to use. He said he had a goal to make me happy for as long as he could. He told me I was beautiful and that keeping me satisfied exhausted him and kept him too busy for another woman.
He used me. I wasn’t good enough. I was worthless to him. Just a good fuck. I made time for him out of my ruthless medical school schedule. I drove to him all the time. I made space for him in my priorities. I let him in and he broke my heart. I was planning to give him almost the entire weekend. I even told my parents about him, barring the sex, because I don’t like to keep secrets. Well, apparently I was the only honest one around these parts…the only one not playing games.
I should’ve seen it from his cockiness. I should’ve seen it from his immodesty. But his sister is really great and she genuinely likes me. Apparently he genuinely liked me too, but hey, someone so fickle and sexual can’t be satisfied with the likes of me.
Long story short. I’m furious with him. I’m more furious with myself for letting myself get into this mess. I thought it was easy and I was being so careful but I’m naive. I’m stupid. I’m gullible. I’m an absolute fucking fool. I sent him angry texts telling him not to talk to me again unless he finds out he has an STI. The girl he’s apparently in love with that just found out about me and is really pissed at him and trying to figure out whether to stay with him. He threw me out with the trash with very few regrets and just some cursory apologies. I don’t deserve that, even if I feel like shit. I hope the other girl ditches K. I hope his sister kills him. I hope he burns in hell.
I just want a male person to be trustworthy. I want someone to love me for me and to be real. I don’t want to live a lie. I wish I’d never met him. I hate all men. I hate everything. I’m reinforcing the walls and adding more bricks to shut people out. This pain is too much for someone who feels things as strongly as I do.