November 24, 2008

I'm good.

So we had a "risk management" speaker tonight, which is usually a speaker about alcohol or stalking. We did have one once where we had the fire department come in and smoke out our house and we had to crawl through the living room. Tonight, though, this woman who was a Tri Delta talked about her daughter, an Alpha Chi Omega, who was raped and then committed suicide.

It was odd, because the woman was kind of funny. And you're hearing this terribly gory story and she reads this emotional poem her daughter wrote about rape, then she'd talk about something else, then she'd make a joke or something, and it was just incredibly unsettling. She was very good though, and I am glad I went.

Until the end, when she started talking about how about 40% of women who are raped have sex with their attacker again. And she asked, "Why might that be?" And there are a variety of answers, including, "Because a lot of times, rape occurs in a relationship." And I wanted to sink into my chair. I almost had a panic attack; I almost ran out of the auditorium, but I held it together as best I could. Which wasn't that well--I was visibly shaking but I'm not sure anyone noticed.

I guess it was appropriate, then, that I met Alex at Starbucks after (he also went to the speaker). He was the first person I ever told about my experiences in that relationship, and a large part of how I got over it. It's difficult to write about, knowing that my father (!) reads this, but it is what it is. I feel I have gone a long way to recover. If Tri Delta is the reason I got out of the situation, Alex is the reason I am still alive.

The speaker also talked about what it is that a friend in that situation should do, if someone tells them they've been sexually abused, and to a tee, he did that. I will always owe him that. And I cannot end a friendship that has already given me so much. So, while Kate makes an interesting point about the amount of effort I am putting in, and dad makes an interesting point about Cosmo magazine (?!?), I really am incapable of cutting this one out of my life.

Also, Alex texted me today (thank you, Patrick) about getting Brennen's (the local coffee shop, which ended up being closed). It was nice to see him. And talk to him, for real. It was also nice because he could tell the presentation we had both just come from shook me up a bit, and was willing to talk about it just enough to where I got it off my chest but I still avoided crying in public. You can't buy friends like that.

...even if you think that my sorority membership is "buying friends."

1 comment:

Patrick said...

FYI...I had no part in Alex texting you and inviting you to Brennan's. He did that of his own volition.