It’s been 1.5 month and still silence on the other hand….
So Steve still has been silent and ignoring me, not replying to messages and emails for him to acknowledge and resolve this situation with me…He has taken down pictures from his FB page, removed identifying information from his work website (ZamyGo) and taken other steps to protect his identity and more to save himself, it seems like, than anything else. He has not even made an attempt — not in the slightest — to apologize to me. It’s been 1.5 month since the realization dropped that two guys from my alma mater violated me without my consent and these past few weeks have been the most difficult months of my Life!
You can’t really get past sexual assault, I realized..but you can choose to take steps to heal and process and to become stronger each day. I’m seeing glimpses of myself again, fortunately — I’ve taken up ballet and yoga and have been trying to invest more in self-care and self-Love, which has been good for me as well! But at the end of the day, usually right before I fall asleep, I’m gripped by this sense of anger and injustice that is hard to articulate…(See previous essay on “The Feeling of Injustice”) It’s the gooey feeling in the back of my throat I can’t quite let go…
If I could articulate how a helpful conversation would go, it would go like this:
Me: hi Steve
Me: How could you NOT reply to me these last 10 years? How could you NOT even say hI? How could you do this (the sexual misconduct) to me?!
Me: but at least you responded…that’s a start..
But I doubt I’ll get even this…his silence is insulting, to be honest. It is NOT only insulting to me, but it is insulting to women everywhere because it reminds me of the silence of all the perpetrators of sexual assault we have been reading in the news about the last 2 years or so, especially — Harvey Weinstein, Jeffrey Epstein, the Stanford swimmer, the Canadian fashion designer Peter Nygaard, etc..the list goes on. So in a way, his response doesn’t surprise me — perhaps this is the typical response of a perpetrator or the typical male response in this patriarchal world we live in — silence as an admission to their guilt! But sorry, the world doesn’t revolve around guys in this way…
If my body could talk to articulate what it is feeling or going through, it would be like this:
Me: how are you feeling today?
Body: Hmm..it could be better
Me: how come?
Body: it has gone through some horrible things lately…let’s just call it trench warfare :(
Me: Well, is there anything I can do to remedy this situation for you?
Body: You can hold me, caress me, soothe me and take care of me :) That would make me feel better…
Me: I’ll try to do that…what are you feeling right now?
Body: I feel injustice..and anger..and rage! I feel violated and wronged…I WANT JUSTICE! :)
Body: This is VERY SERIOUS! I am aching and groaning for justice and accountability and for restoration and healing…
Me: Okay (sigh)
Now comes the hard part of healing and processing and holding the perpetrators accountable in the midst of this nebulous situation and the unresolved feelings. I’m seeing glimpses of myself and I’ve taken up ballet dancing and yoga again. This past week, Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez (AOC), the junior Congresswoman from Queens, shared her own story of sexual assault, inspiring other readers and feminist allies. For now, I will use writing as a platform to share my story and to help others who may be going through difficult situations like this. Furthermore, I’ve invested more time into self-care and self-love which is a good thing for me! I am sure there will be days when I will feel angry again and feel insulted by the lack of a response or acknowledgment or apology from Steve — it makes resolution that much more difficult. In this way, Steve doesn’t really seem to care about my well-being or how I am doing or resolving this situation in an ethical way. It is more about him, evidently.