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Violence

Compared to rape it was nothing. I guess ...

I told Michael I thought the handyman (and his drinking buddy) was getting a little too familiar. Michael chose to ignore it. When he brought home his drinking buddy, who came into our bedroom where I was sleeping, and touched my hair and ran his hands up and down my arm, and told me how wonderful I was, and how beautiful I was, and how I should be treated much better; and if I were with him HE wouldn't go drinking, but would stay home with me, I FELT raped.

HE never understood. So 1.5 years later, I let Gary make his apologies.

The three of us were together, and Gary was drunk again. As soon as my Michael went to the men's room, Gary was touching my arm and trying to get me in his lap, and trying to hold my hand. He said he didn't remember the other incident, but if he did it, he was proud of himself, and would like to do it again so he could remember. Michael and I left. I will have NOTHING to do with Gary. I've been fine, as long as I don't see him, and he stays away from me.

Michael and I worked together. This summer, Gary left flowers (from someone's garden) on the seat of my car on about 4 occasions. He walked in the office one day (just happened to be the day when Michael's car was in the shop), and delivered a big bag of fresh fruit (and just happened to be all my favorites, which had been a topic of conversation several years previous). I said I was going to take some books to the book swap. Michael said he was taking some of his to Gary. And then wondered why I was upset.

A few weeks ago I was working very late (8 p.m.). A man called the office, and asked for my boyfriend. (gone) He asked if he was coming back. (no). He then identified himself as Gary, said he didn't think Mike was there, as he had just walked by the office, and didn't see his car. He THEN said he had some fresh meat and wanted to know if he could come to the office to give it to me for me and Michael. I told him that I couldn't talk, and to call my friend at our home. And then freaked.

I felt like I was being stalked. I was scared. And MICHAEL told me to stop my sniveling.

Incidentally, Gary didn't call that night -- he was probably too drunk. The next day, 10 minutes after Michael had left for an appointment, leaving me alone in the office, Gary called him again, and asked to have Michael call. Michael went over and got some meat from Gary. He then said that Gary didn't say much about the previous day, other than to say he thought Michael's car WAS there. (opposite of what Gary said to me.). Michael thought it was nothing and put the meat in the refrigerator.

It wasn't much, but it still made me feel BAD. I needed Michael's support, and HE wasn't there. For all I know, the meat could still be there, rotten by now. I don't know. I'm not there anymore.

I wish there was a site out there for ME. Thanks for listening. - Bonnie


Thanks for your note to FEMINIST.COM--and I hope in some ways that we can be the site for you--that is a site that hears your concerns and offers some support. Your note actually arrived to be a few days after I was having a conversation with "experts" in the field of rape about what is the legal definition of rape. Interestingly, there is no legal definition, as the legal definition of we think of as rape is actually sexual assault. This was changed in part because of the reasons you have a problem describing your situation.

For instance, rape in many ways is a feeling. One feels raped, but doesn't necessarily have the physical signs to "prove it." The use of sexual assault implies physical violation rather than a feeling. I say that all as a way of saying that you should go with your instincts--rape or not, you have been violated.

I think that you have to protect yourself--Gary sounds controlling, unaware of boundaries, and like he isn't going to stop until he gets what he wants--you. And Michael doesn't seem to realize the seriousness of the situation. I recommend a great book to you--The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence by Gavin De Becker. I haven't read it, but two friends have--one was stalked by an ex-boyfriend and the other counsels battered womn. Both have said that this book changed their lives, because it confirmed feelings that they knew they should have gone with--instinct. It sounds like you are having those feelings. I suggest you get it--and in the interim--make it clear to Gary that he can't call you any more and to Michael that you don't want to be around Gary.

I hope that helps--I hope I heard you.


Amy

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