a bad night

This happened a few days ago, but…I don’t want to write about this. I don’t want to, but I will because of that idiot little voice in my head that says it’ll help.

I’m taking a class once a week in a subject that is tangential to my work. It’s not a for-credit class. It’s taught by someone who was a teacher of mine is a for-credit class. Over the years, he’s slowly put together a class of his best students, and we all work on improving our abilities in this particular ability.

The teacher is a super-cool guy, and it’s a tradition to go to the bar for a few hours after class. This week, when my coworker who I take the class with left, I was going to leave. But…I had the next day off randomly, so I thought “fuck it, I’ll stay longer”. So it was me, teacher, and another classmate.

Teacher, classmate and I were having a really great discussion about chronic pain, and pain management, and the shitty way that the US government handles opiate use and how it doesn’t distinguish people people who are in terrible pain, and use opiates to be functional, and people who are addicted to opiates and use them to get high (I don’t think either set of people should be jailed, but whereas I think opiate addicts need treatment, support, and help, people using opiates for chronic, incurable, severe pain should be allowed to do so under the direction of their doctor). Classmate when to leave, I decided to stay for one more drink.

You kinda know where this is going, don’t you? It wasn’t a rape, I’ll tell you that now, and save you some worry.

I went to the bathroom at one point, and when I came back, teacher asked if I’d sit on his side of the booth, and said he really felt good about the conversation we were having because he used to have severe chronic pain, and people who haven’t had that generally don’t understand how debilitating it is.

So we hugged.

Then he kissed me and started fondling my breasts and telling me that he’s always been attracted to me.

And I froze like a fucking deer in the headlights. I kissed him back, and tried to demure, and tell him he was a great guy. And he kept kissing me.

And I sat there frozen, brain gone into overload, thinking “Has he said I do well in class because he wants to get into my pants? If I say no, will he kick me out of class? Am I actually any good at the thing we’re working on?”

Yup, while a man is kissing me and fondling me, I’m working through whether or not my work in class was actually as good as he said it was and what that means for me, in regards to my class, and what I’ve been learning and how I’ve been doing.

This path of thinking also helped me avoid the whole thing where I’m a naive fucking idiot, and I assumed that because he was my teacher, and hadn’t made a pass at me in nearly ten years, and he was my teacher, that he wouldn’t start kissing me and fondling me in a bar. Because teachers don’t do that. Teachers are safe. I mean, even though we’re both adults, in my mind, I still have this box for teachers. Teachers want to bring out the best in their students. Teachers want to help students grow. Teachers don’t start kissing and fondling students late at night in bars.

It’s funny in a sad, sick way that one of my teachers in high school raped me. I’ll write about that some day. Not today.

But despite that happening, well…none of my other teachers ever came on to me, or did anything appropriate, so I didn’t think it would happen.

Maybe he was drunk as fuck and felt embarrassed as shit the next day. Or didn’t remember.

Do I go back to class?

Should I email him and tell him that I’m flattered, but not interested?

Do I assume it was him being drunk that was the problem?

Do I assume that he’s actually a predator, and took this time when we were alone for the first time to make a creepy-ass move.

Because really, he could have just said he’d always been attracted to me and ASKED me how I felt. When I was sitting on the other side of the booth. And could actually stop and think about it.

I took a cab home that night and I couldn’t find my keys, so I kicked our front door until Jon (all the way upstairs in the back bedroom asleep) heard me kicking it and let me in (I’m really lucky I didn’t reactive my injury with what that kicking did to my legs and lower back). Then I screamed and cried and threw up a lot. Then I asked Jon to please kiss me and fondle my breasts until I couldn’t remember my teacher doing it anymore. Then I cried and screamed and threw up some more.

And I don’t know if I’m overreacting. I don’t know why I didn’t move back from him when he started kissing me and say “Hey, cut that out”.

Stop.

No.

I don’t know. I hate myself a little bit for not protecting me better. I wonder if the lesson is just be alone with a man that I don’t know really well. I wonder if there’s something seriously wrong with me for not being able to just say “no” and leave.

I’m going to just press publish without editing this, because if I start editing, I probably won’t post it.

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Published by

lizeden

polyamorist, cat-lover, hopeless optimist when I'm not being a firm realist.

3 thoughts on “a bad night”

  1. *huggggggs* I know the feelings you’re describing so well. There’s nothing wrong with you and you’re not overreacting. So many of us have that exact same experience, of being frozen in the moment and just trying as hard as you can to keep things “pleasant” … and then wondering why you didn’t stop it, afterward. So many of us don’t even realize we were traumatized until hours, weeks, or years later.

    (For me, I knew I’d been traumatized, but it took me years to admit to myself that it was THAT incident that did it. At the time, I accepted his breezy apology and cuddled with him.)

    Your teacher was wrong. He took advantage of the lateness, of the drinks you’d been having, of the closeness that your conversation had brought, and of your trust in him because he was your teacher. He didn’t ask first because he didn’t care about your consent. Your feelings are completely valid and justified.

    I’m so sorry he did that. Take care of yourself and know that whatever you’re feeling is okay.

    Like

  2. Thank you so much, both of you.

    Concurrently with this happening, I’ve had some serious Burning Man dramas, which has given me something to focus on. That’s nice, in a way, but…

    I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what I should say to him. At first I thought, you know, I could send him and email and say something like “While it’s flattering to know you think so highly of me, leaching on to me at 2am after we’d both been drinking and first buttering me up by asking for a hug was really not OK”

    But I don’t feel flattered. I feel angry. And disgusted. And grossed out. And weird.

    Weird because there’s probably something like a 50 year age gap here. He’s in his 80s. Not that men in their 80s aren’t attracted to women, or younger women. It was just…weird as fuck. And beyond the making out and fondling, he went on this sort of monologue about how he’s always been attracted to me from the moment he saw me, and even though he has…I don’t know if it’s a wife or domestic partner or girlfriend, but they have an “understanding” (to which my first thought was “don’t believe that unless s/he confirms it”).

    He sent an email today, about a change in class. I didn’t actually feel horrible getting it, but I felt weird, seeing his name and I’m not sure how to feel about the fact that he didn’t contact me. I honestly don’t even know if he remembers or if he was in a drunken stupor. I wasn’t paying attention to how much he was drinking, though I sort of absently noted at one point that he was drinking hard alcohol (instead of wine or beer) and getting as many drinks as everybody else. But it’s supposedly a class legend that he’s a pretty hardcore drinker, so…I don’t know?

    I did that thing though, the thing where at this point, I’ve been sexually assaulted (or at least had unwanted or asked-for sexual contact) enough that the first thing I do is compare to all the other ones, so I can try to get a timeline for how long I’m going to feel shitty, miserable, have tactile flashbacks, etc. It’s definitely worse that being groped on the bus, but better than when I was raped.

    Let’s just take a moment with that concept. Actually, I think it’s worth a post of its own, because it sure as shit is worth talking about. So I’ll start with that.

    Like

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