His Retaliation When I Rejected His Advances

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With a lot of discussion on the Stanford rape case, and of sexual violence, I thought it’s time to share some things most of you don’t know about my life, in a series of blog posts on assault, domestic violence and abuse; NOT only physical but mental abuse, in which I have been a witness of and even escaped from. 

I was actually going to start writing weeks ago, and indirectly apologize by pointing out that “I understand this is such a taboo, depressing/dramatic topic for some folks.”  BUT there’s nothing to apologize about.  No one should feel ashamedfor bringing this up.  This much discussion happening now in social media, was long overdue ages ago.    I could see why many are silenced & afraid to bring up the topic. The fear of minimization, judgement, and blame.

I felt ashamed, and been scrutinized by those I thought I could trust, when I had brought up my private situations.

For those who likes to weigh the validity of a situation, on who has it worst, or the fact that so-and-so doesn’t know what suffering is in a 1st world country.  By no means am I comparing my situation or anyone else’s situation better or worse.  Suffering is suffering, period. Violence IS violence, period. By questioning someone’s validity of experience with violence or suffering, is to minimize their situation.

Once upon a time, in my late teens, someone I trusted, introduced me to a relative to her boyfriend.. and we became AIM buddies.  Let’s call him Buddy.  Life got busy in college, tragedies happened, and we lost touch.  Fast forward, years later, I was at a public event, when that same someone I trusted, invited Buddy to join us. She had mentioned that he has a girlfriend with a newborn baby about 3 weeks old.

When Buddy and his friends arrived, we all hugged.  I felt, something wasn’t right, so I kept as much distance as I could.  But he kept grasping my waist, arms around me, talking close, saying that I look good and such.  He wanted to do a couple of shots with me.  But he seemed upset the whole time and started interrogating, me asking why I haven’t kept in touch with him all these years. He insinuated, asking if I, college educated, was too good to talk to people like him without a University education. I clarified, that it was not at all anything to do with that.  He kept accusing me of his various suspicions, wondering if I had a boyfriend or what went wrong.. “I thought we were friends.”  Then under pressure, I mentioned some personal challenges that made it difficult to talk to people, not just him, and that there were some things that was hard to remember.

Buddy then seemed sympathetic and stopped questioning and implicating me so much.  I kept trying to pull away feeling uncomfortable, and wasn’t sure if he realized how uncomfortable I was and looked, or if he noticed I was pulling against him being so close, but he had a good grasp on my waist.  He then proceeded to tell me his “sad” story of his relationship situation. He went on to say that the mom of his baby, was just the “baby mama,” and not his girlfriend anymore. He mentioned some details of why it wasn’t working out and that he helps out his ex so much.

I still sensed something was wrong and still was pulling away every time he grabbed my waist. Then finally I think he realized it after an hour or two and then he suddenly had to leave. He said his goodbyes to everyone, and left with his friends.  I sensed that he was not happy at all, despite the goodbyes.

Perhaps I maybe should’ve said something upfront but I thought my body language was really obvious, especially if I’m not grabbing/hugging back or reciprocating.  More like standing there pretty stiff with arms straight down.  I definitely understand I was not a good at confronting unwanted advances and I, like many folks, try to rationalize within ourselves to the point of self blame.   Like, “What did I do wrong?  What could I do better to tell him without hurting his feelings or getting him upset?  He must have made such advances because I somehow acted in a way that made him interpreted that I wanted it too.

But the truth is, that it’s not our fault. We didn’t do anything wrong. We did not give one ounce of flirtation or reciprocation for anyone to believe that we were jumping all over the individuals who are making unwanted advances. We don’t need to find the “right” words all the time to say or show that we. Think about it– if we weren’t able to speak, either by birth, injury, or against our will, using different ways of saying “No” does not make it invalid, or justify someone being allowed to touch you unwillingly.

After the whole ordeal, I found out that they actually were going to get married and get a house together, so the sad story apparently was all false, for whatever motive he had.

This all went from awkward to really bad– retaliation.  Apparently after this whole “incident,” Buddy, who by the way was a little bit older than me in his 20s,  was so frustrated that I was not reciprocating to advances, that he decided to team up with his friend in his 40s for revenge.

They decided before a wedding that we were all going to attend, including my traditional relatives, to spread false rumors to everyone around them, that I was highly promiscuous, sleep with many men, and that I even slept with his 40 year old friend.  In reality, when I was still in college and the 40 year old in his late 30s, he had begged me several times to go on a date with him, offering to pay for everything, which I politely declined.  He was not happy about it, so this probably explains why he decided to team up with Buddy, on their mutual vengeance.

It’s not only sick butsad that not only is the promiscuous thing incredibly far from the truth, but that they would sadly try to “slut shame” women for rejecting them, regardless of the validity of sexual history.  This seems to be on the top of the vengeance list of passive aggressive, or perhaps abusive or even violent people.   They were willing to humiliate me in any way, and even risk that such rumor could spread to my relatives at the wedding, who if they were to wonder, I would then be a great dishonor or laughing stock to the family.

I know I or anyone could say “Who cares what people think!” But please understand, American culture is highly different than growing up in a strict culturally traditional setting that cannot be easily changed by 1st generation here.  Buddy and the 40 year old, who are also Asians, and born in Asia, would fully understand the horrible impact of such false rumors. So it was as if they intentionally chose something that would most hurt and humiliate a young Asian lady– the “slut shame.”  That is enough for many girls to be “disowned.”  Luckily my parents wouldn’t “disown” their daughters, but it would give great grief and embarrassment.

It’s never OK, a) to touch someone after any “No” gesture b) or to retaliate & seek vengeance on an individual for no reciprocate.  It’s aggression, it’s violence, damaging to both parties and it’s hurtful  We, those who are attacked, also shouldn’t feel responsible anymore because there is no justification for other people’s actions. Just like the Stanford rape case, just because we didn’t say out loud “No,” it doesn’t give someone full rights to violate us in anyway.  It also sickens me that the legal system fails us, the lawyers defend predators and use any means of victimizing victims by questioning their actions and sexual history.  It is never OK.  It made me upset, angry, distrustful, humiliated, question my self worth.  The damage is done, and we have to live with it for the rest of our lives.

I will be posting more on this topic with different stories I’ve gone through or witness, in hopes this will help those who experienced something similar, or even for the “perpetrators” who may not realize their own damaging actions.

Graphic by cgillis73 @ openclipart.org

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