This is a post I never wanted to make. But I feel compelled to, to bring out some good out of the situation.
Recently I was subjected to a blatant sexual harassment online. As the result I am now processing / recovering from a trauma. I’ll spare you the details, but despite all the boundaries I had in place, this “friend” ran straight through them in a way that was both sudden and (previously) unimaginable. Yes I was naive to think that sexual violence wouldn’t apply to a middle-aged man. But really, I was not at fault, there is nothing wrong with how I conducted myself. I blocked and reported this individual, and otherwise I intend to conduct myself just the same.
It took a while for the full impact to set in. But when it did, there was overwhelming disgust, shame, and self loathing. I understand that my being randomly subjected to this person’s sick impulse has nothing to do with me. I read accounts of victims and understood that such reactions were expected. In spite of all that, I feel like I got transformed into this grotesque, repugnant slime. It’s as if this person injected his sickness into me, so now I hate myself, probably like he does himself. Forgive the pan, but it is dawning on me that this may be a way to infect someone with self hate. I have experience with traumas, but it is different when sexuality is involved.
In my head I see this as an illogical reaction. Sure I am shocked and upset, but why feel disgusted with myself? But talking sense to how you feel (or shouldn’t feel) is no use. I can’t help but accept that this must be how our emotional body is wired.
I hope this will never happen to you or to someone near you. But if you come across such a person, know that their self hate and shame may seem irrational and unfounded; nevertheless they are very real, and there is no talking out of it.
You can counter hate with love, ugliness with beauty, hard feelings with acknowledgment. I asked my support system to point out the beauty in me, because my ability to see that got temporarily knocked out. They rallied wonderfully and I feel uplifted. I will be OK.