**Triggers for sexual assault**
I thought I knew what I was going to talk to my therapist about this week. That is, until around 12:40 today. I had a note from my landlord stuck in my door last night informing me that the maintenance guy would be by tomorrow to clean the filters of the air conditioners. Fine by me, I work all day.
I hadn’t planned on going home during my lunch hour, but I did because I needed to grab something. As soon as I start walking to my door, the maintenance guy, who I’ve waved to a time or two, came up to me and said that he didn’t have a key and wanted to know if I would let him into my place so he could clean the filters. That’s fine, too…we went through the same thing in the spring.
So I let him in and he starts chattering away in Spanglish. Not much time had passed before he starts talking about specific parts of the female body and sex in general. I was going to my bedroom to get what I needed and then leave, but he followed me in and kept talking. He was “demonstrating” something and closed the door nearly all the way. I broke out in a cold sweat and started to shake at this point. I kept trying to find a way to bow out of the conversation which took maybe 10 more minutes. Then I just told him I needed to get back to work and I left.
I saw T this afternoon, 3 hours after this occurred, and I was still shaking. I felt stupid because I kept (keep) thinking that I’m overreacting. T said I wasn’t and that I should report him. She tried so hard to validate the way I was feeling, but a persecuting part of me couldn’t let it in. As I described to her, it feels like this is just a reminder that this is how it will always be for me. This is what I deserve and always will deserve.
I couldn’t talk for most of the session, and I barely looked at her the whole time. She asked me who the persecuting part is, and I told her that it’s someone who is aligned with my father. That it seems like it’s him reminding me of my worth. She said that it’s not possible for him to determine my destiny – we can only do that for ourselves. This didn’t get through to me at all. T wanted to know if she could speak to a different part but it wasn’t happening. I deserve this, and I deserve what may have happened if I stayed.
T asked if it would be okay if she played the role of an ideal parent and told me what she would have done when I was little if I were her child. I nodded, so she sat in another chair, closer to me, and told me things that caused me to completely break down. Kind things, protective things, validating things. That she would have made it her business to know what was going on with me and stop him from hurting me again. That she would have taken action against him and gotten help for me. That I was a helpless child who needed a parent who would do those things for me. All the things that, had they been done, maybe would have prevented such a negative reaction from the incident today.
But it didn’t happen that way. And here I am. Being shown my worth.
I feel broken. And I feel so stupid, because nothing even happened. But I feel like I’ve been crushed into small pieces. T offered to meet again tomorrow. At first I said that I thought I was fine, but I knew I wasn’t. So I relented and asked for the session. She told me to take my time driving home. I told her I would and gave a pathetic smile before I left. I stood in the stairwell outside her office suite and leaned against the wall for a couple minutes before I left. I could’ve stayed there forever…I didn’t want to move. I wanted to forget my name and who I am. I want to get out of my mind and my body.
I don’t know if I have the guts to report him. And I feel horrible, because T said that if I can’t do it for me, I should do it for other women. I’m scared that if I tell my landlord, he’ll tell the guy and he’ll know it was me. I don’t know what to do.
In the meantime, I’m going to cuddle up with my dog and watch some Friends and just try to make it through one minute at a time.