Last August, I made reference to a threat that had been made against me in high school in a blog post titled “X69 (“50 SHADES OF GREY” VS. “THE CLAIMING OF SLEEPING BEAUTY”)“. I’ll be honest, I was nervous about posting that. And I’m nervous about posting it again. But given the recent shooting at University of California, Santa Barbara and the “#YesAllWomen” hashtag that’s appeared, I feel that this is both relevant and necessary to share:
Without getting into too much detail about my own personal experiences, I will say that I recall talking to a person I was in a relationship with in the school library. I’m not sure how this came up in conversation, but this person told me that should they ever want to “do anything” to me (their words), they would be able to and I wouldn’t be able to fight back – this person made it clear that they could handle a fight with someone who was physically larger or stronger than they were, so I would be an easy target. When I stated that, should this person do something to me, I would scream, they responded by saying “I know how to disable your vocal chords so you wouldn’t be able to scream.” In retrospect, I probably should have ended the relationship right then and there or told an adult about the conversation, but these types of quips were common from this person so although I was frightened and didn’t trust them, I remained in the relationship.
What I didn’t share then, and will share now, is that this person was notorious for carrying concealed weapons on their person in school. Never guns, but usually things like knives, staffs, and I believe pepper spray. They were never caught, since neither I nor any of the people this person spent time with ever told an administrator or teacher. I remember pretty clearly this person bringing in a magazine filled with weapons to the school, and telling people to pick out what they wanted and this person would obtain the weapons for them. So, in addition to this person making a threat against me, they had the resources to get a hold of both legal and illegal weapons and, depending on the size of the weapons, sneak them into school.
I’m shaking just thinking about it.
While I wouldn’t call this relationship abusive per sey, it was certainly unhealthy, particularly from an emotional standpoint. This person had a grandiose sense of entitlement, and felt that they deserved certain things from me. Things like conversations resulting in phone sex (which I stated multiple times I was uncomfortable with) and nude photographs (which I stated multiple times I was uncomfortable with). This person used manipulative tactics to obtain these things from me. They would tell me that, because they loved and cared for me, they were deserving of these things, no matter how uncomfortable I was with providing them. The only things I knew at the time were that hitting your partner was abuse, and that since I was a good little Catholic girl, I shouldn’t be in sexual relationships anyway and therefore anything that went south with a sexual relationship was “my fault”. Since nobody was hitting me and since my activities ventured outside the moral acceptability of my parents’ faith, I kept all this to myself. On some level I think I even assumed that what was going on was normal. My mother was notorious for her fear of men and I, like many young women, was raised thinking that men couldn’t be trusted around women. So the fact that I didn’t trust this person (regardless of their gender) didn’t phase me.
I am #YesAllWomen. This has happened to me. It shouldn’t have, but it did. I was afraid to say anything because I was afraid something worse would happen. There is something very wrong with that picture.