There’s something that happened to me, when I was younger that I live with to this day. And will for the rest of my life. This actually is the first time I’ve ever admitted it in a public forum. I was sexually molested by a (now) ex-boyfriend. I’ve never talked to a counselor about it because until recently I didn’t consider it “true” sexual assault. I wasn’t penetrated with anything, I wasn’t raped. I was molested. I was touched in a sexual manner (albeit externally) against my will against my very verbal demands to stop, around my physically fighting back while my boyfriend grabbed at my breasts and tweaked my nipples. His best friend was there and he did nothing to stop it. In fact, he sat back laughing during the entire incident.
They didn’t understand why I was upset; it was my fault. I wasn’t wearing a bra. To them, me wearing a tank top and no bra was indication that my breasts and nipples were fair game. I was quite upset about it, and all they would say was “well, you should have worn a bra then!” It was summer, hot and humid. I didn’t want that extra layer holding heat and sweat against my body!
That incident ended up getting filed away in the back of mind with the rest of the unwanted garbage that gets filtered there for many years. It was a couple years until I had a steady relationship again that would ultimately lead to my unsuccessful marriage. My ex-husband was a “boob man.” He LOVED boobs. Though for him it was the bigger; the better. Now, my bust is not insubstantial. For some they could be too big, but for those who like BIG boobs, they’re too small. For the ex, they were too small and he would never let me forget it.
It didn’t take long for the snide comments to affect me and I started having flashbacks while he’d play with my breasts. It got to the point where I could barely wash my boobs in the shower and I’d flashback. I made sure to communicate all this to my ex. I could handle touching there, but only after I was really, really worked up. The ex-didn’t like it. He’d get mad at me. Yell at me for telling him over and over again what happened; why I need to be “warmed up” before I could handle touches there. I’d end up in tears and he didn’t care. Though I suppose this is one of many reasons why he is “the ex.”
Could blame be put on me for the experience? Perhaps a little bit, for drawing attention to my breasts. I however didn’t grab his hands and force them onto me. I batted them away, several time. I said “no!” I moved away and batted his hands and said no again. Several times. His friend sat there laughing all the while witnessing my discomfort, my unhappiness, my anger.
In the end I perhaps blame them both the same. My boyfriend for continuing something I obviously was not okay with, and his friend for sitting back and laughing at my expense. Clothing choices are so often used as an “excuse” for unacceptable behavior. There needs to be so much more education for sexual assault prevention.
To this day however I still find it difficult to say “I was molested.” When you hear and read about it in the news it’s about rape, child sexual abuse things of that nature; things that involve penetration. I’ve never been penetrated against my will. Saying that I was molested yet not raped makes me feel … fake perhaps. As if I want sympathy and/or attention for it. Like I’m making a big deal out of something that wasn’t a big deal in the first place. In the end though, I am a sexual assault statistic.
I honestly had no intention of writing a post like this. Something I read on another post sort of triggered something in my mind and it just all came out. My boyfriend was someone I loved, someone I trusted. And that trust was violated in a most severe way.
I think though, that it’s important for people to realize and remember that you can be molested, sexually assaulted without being raped. It doesn’t take penetration to be violated. Perhaps the most damaging part of it all was his friend sitting back and laughing, appearing to enjoy what was happening to me. My breasts being grabbed, my nipples being squeezed has faded. The laughing has not.
It doesn’t take penetration to be sexually violated.