It may be close to fifty (50) years after I last dealt with a young man who helped shaped my impression of men and boys, but his effect on me was the gift that keeps on giving.
Carelessly abusive just because he (and they) could be.
So, last night (since I’m already frustrated and ticked off anyway with legal b.s.), I finally gathered the courage to send him a message challenging his abuse of me. Abuse just because no one stepped in to protect me. Abuse just because his personality was aggressive, and my personalty was more cautious.
After being attacked, repeatedly, the drama didn’t stop until I got violent back. I got in trouble, but it was worth it. Because they never once got in trouble for touching me. Bothering me. Hitting me. Abusing me.
Let me just say, reciprocal violence is not the answer. It should never HAVE to come to that. Even if it works to end the abuse.
In a tit-for-tat exchange of violence, men and boys will likely win 90% of the time simply because of their personality and stronger abilities. A smart woman realizes that and acts appropriately and with caution.
While women aren’t without defenses, I am glad that society has evolved enough in the last 40-50 years to enable me to speak up and be heard vs. just leaving the matter at an exchange of violence. I am glad that I had a kind of ability to face my accuser down, even if it’s only through the safety of the internet and facebook.
He hasn’t responded, and he may never do so.
He may share this as hot gossip with the members of our class that he still speaks to.
Frankly, I don’t care. He was a violent jerk in high school, and he’s likely still a jerk.
But, I got it off my chest. Even if he doesn’t remember me, and/or never acknowledges that what he did was wrong, I’ve finally stood up for myself in demanding an answer vs. just leaving it as a violent episode in my past.
If I get an answer, should he remember those times and choose to respond, I will use that as a learning opportunity as not knowing that answer has always bothered me.
Getting an answer from him doesn’t mean it was my fault. It also doesn’t mean that it will be a truthful answer.
But, getting an answer is the start of healing. Just like demanding an answer was also part of my overall healing.