I feel like writing about him tonight. This is probably an R-rated post. I’m feeling vulnerable but this has all got to get out somehow. I’ll dub him November Man.
I really don’t even know why I loved him once upon a time. He was never really nice to me. He was older, he was smart, he had the drive to be successful. He was a law student. I was attracted to those qualities. I was young and I was uneducated. I was looking to be rescued from a manipulative relationship, looking to be swept off my feet. Rescued, hardly…
We spent a lot of time together from 1998 to 2000. Unfortunately, he was the one who was called to check on me when I was manic in November of 1998. A man 14 years older in a dorm room alone with a manic freshman is a dangerous, dangerous thing for the girl. The sad part of it is that it took me another 14 years to figure out what he did was really, really wrong. But that incident latched my psyche onto him for a really long time…sex does not love make.
Later this year, I will turn 32. That’s how old he was when we met. He told me he was 26, though, and what did I know? I believed him. I was 19 and I’d never been around people his age before. I’d heard about people lying about their age, but what was to be gained from it? Well, now I know. 19 year olds in their right mind do not have sex with 32 year olds. Unfortunately for me, I was definitely not in my right mind when that happened.
We watched parts of a lot of movies at his place…only parts of movies because he always kicked me out in favor of sleep around 10 pm. I asked questions about what he did during the day, about his family, about his past…trying to piece together what I knew to make sense of this person I was desperately trying to get to know. It took me two years to figure out his real age. I’d known he was lying for a while because he’d slip (He couldn’t remember how old he’d said he was), and I was really, really angry. I called him a child molester, which made him really, really angry.
He did try to be nice to me later. He’s repeatedly called me his “rock” during law school and he took me with him when he was officially admitted to the Bar. We visited several times through the years and the last time, he said he really wanted to get to know J and that he wanted to be friends with my family. The years seemed to have softened him.
It wasn’t until 2010 that all contact ceased. Prior to that, my J had said repeatedly to me before that it sure sounded like he took advantage of me in 1998, but when I was manic in early 2010 I had a sudden epiphany in the hospital that it really was rape in November of 1998. November 12…his birthday. I’d torn my dorm room apart that day and the campus police had been called to check on me and I’d refused when they wanted to take me to a local psych ward. I wouldn’t go so they requested a number of someone they could call to check on me later on in the day. He did come check on me, but, well, sex happened and I was not in my right mind at all. He was aware that I was in a vulnerable state. My ability to consent was definitely compromised.
It all came to me during a journaling time in the middle of the night in the Local Friendly Mental Ward. I was in the middle of making a list of wants-to-do when I was released from the hospital, as I was already nearly a week into my stay. Thankfully, I was the only one up and the nurses were watching me.
So, the journaling went verbatim like this, because I’ve still got the green journal, written in brown and purple marker because markers are all they’ll let you have in the Local Friendly Mental Ward… “>>>>Him’s Name<<<< yes, rape. I was MANIC. Vulnerable. Silence, please. REALLY scared. Confusing time. Advocacy questionable. Ask J, can confirm. Caroline’s real name? Never to be uttered by him AGAIN. Will think about forgiveness terms. I was over 18, but mentally ill. withdrew from Fall 1998 semester. Mixed manic state.” I talked it out with a doctor in the middle of the night on a Friday night. I described what had happened and she said he should have known better. It was a realization that hit me like a brick wall moving at a thousand miles an hour and it’s a really, really good thing I was hospitalized at the time. It sent me into two days of heavy sedation and out-of-my-mind jabbering. I vaguely remember them having a hard time getting me to take my meds during those couple of days.
I came out of the hospital angrier at him than I’ve ever been angry in my whole life. I wrote a series of e-mails to him requesting an in-person apology for his behavior toward me in November of 1998. That’s an apology I never expect to get, of course, because he’s too smart to apologize for something that could get him into criminal trouble. The sad thing is that it’s my word against his, and my mental faculties would make any testimony from me completely useless, so there’s no chance of trouble for him. However, it’s always easiest to do nothing, so rather than do anything, he’s never responded at all to my request for apology. So, for the best, we are no longer in each other’s lives. I work on healing in my own slow time. Forgiveness comes in waves and spurts. Mostly, I am working right now on forgiving my own limitations back then.
Last I heard from him he’d bought himself a fancy sports car. In this particular case, I know for certain that the man is compensating for a serious lack elsewhere.