A Room with a View

Trigger warning. If you don’t like disturbing and degrading things do not proceed.

My cat got me up at 2:30 and now I’m pondering life’s important questions.

Like, first and foremost, why does it stink in here? I’ll scoop the litter and keep you posted.

Secondly, why in the world did I think that 5 p.m. cup of coffee was a good idea?

I’m not manic anymore, though I came pretty close. The root of all my darkest obsessions seems to involve some ambiguity. Especially moral ambiguity. Like a true musician, I like things to be on the page in black and white.

This Kavanaugh thing’s got me tripping. I’m upset with myself for never admitting to my assault except in strange situations. Like when I’m going a bit mad.

My first bout of suicidal ideation was when I was in college the year after it happened. But my obsession was that I was a bad person. I hadn’t behaved well in a social situation (or with any form of dignity) and it troubled me. I was also all messed up after being in a sexually abusive relationship.

The second bout of suicidal obsession, about the issue in question, came up what, ten years after the fact? I struggled because I gave up instead of fighting. Instead of continuing to say no I succumbed. And I thought that made me in some way complicit in my own tragedy.

I remember being warned about him by my first roommate in college. With all my pious virginity and naivete. It was a warning that meant nothing to me at the time. “Don’t let him…make you do anything you don’t want to do.” Not heeding or understanding the warnings, he and I did eventually become intimate. From then on the nature of our relationship changed. And when my second roommate walked in on the assault it cemented my humiliation. Because she was disgusted with me she did not believe my side of the story.

So what is my side of the story? I was sick that day. I had stayed home from class. Wrong place, wrong time. Had I been feeling well I would have never been in my dorm room when he came back from his bike ride. I was wearing a plaid short set from Victoria’s Secret. It wasn’t sexy, I didn’t feel sexy, and when he told me how sexy I was, I told him no.

I continued to tell him no. He put his hands on me, I took them off. I moved across the room to get away from him. I continued to tell him no. When it became clear that no was not an acceptable answer, I relented. At the time and in the subsequent obsession I told myself I was just a slut. That maybe if I’d said no again, maybe if I’d resisted more, things would have been different.

My roommate walked in on us and promptly walked out. I asked again if we could stop. The answer, interestingly enough, was no.

I remember being so confused at the time. No meant no, no matter who was saying it. Why hadn’t “no” worked for me?

Was it forcible? Not physically. Was it traumatic? Absolutely. And there are also so many things an OCD sufferer would not do willingly. I did that and more during the course of our relationship because I learned that day that “no” was not an acceptable answer.

And I passed a cryptic warning on to the next girl he was with. How I wish now that I had been brutally specific. She deserved to know what she was getting into.

My conclusion? We should be kinder to those with which we share a room.

You know when they raped Lavinia in Titus Andronicus they cut out her tongue. And they cut off her arms so she couldn’t write and thereby name her rapists.

She wrote anyway.

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