Crossing the line

This story happened over a period of more than 10 years, and the incidents were spread out over this period, with the last one occuring this past December.

Thee first three incidents are very similar and took place in the backseat of another friend's car. We were all riding somewhere together, a restaurant or a concert. On all three occations, he was sitting in the middle with his wife on one side and me on the other. It was evening in the winter, so it was very dark and we were traveling a long way. At first he put his hand on my knee. I didn't think anything of that. A little while later, when I was nearly asleep (I have a tendancy to sleep during long car rides, and I had a bad cold), he reached his hand under my sweater and rubbed my belly. I didn't know what to say or think-I didn't want to make a scene, so I leaned away and pretended to be asleep, pretended I didn't feel his hand touching me. For months I tried to tell myself that I imagined it, that he wouldn't have touched me like that. When it happened the second and third time, I really didn't know what to think or what to do. His hand roamed even further up inside of my sweater. I still didn't say anything, didn't make a scene, pretended to be asleep. Eventually rationalised it away, thinking that since they lived far away and I didn't see them much that nothing else would happen.

Eventually, they moved closer. They had a party where he got me drunk by doubling the vodka in the drinks I was drinking (he admitted that years later). He took me home, and made a pass at me. He said he loved me and wished he had met me before he met his wife. I told him that what he wanted was wrong, that I didn't and couldn't love him. The same incident was repeated a year later. During the time in between, I still said nothing to anyone and still tried to rationalise his actions. A couple of times I even wondered if having an affair would be so bad. I allowed myself to be put into the position to go places alone with him, but I always told him no, and always told him I didn't love him.

He would show up at my house, or at my job once in awhile. I rationalised myself into believing that he was harmless, even though I was afraid of him, afraid of what he wanted from me. Every encounter would leave me frightened and distraught. Though I'd talk myself into believing he was harmless, I was always afraid that he would push me into something I didn't really want.

After the end of a relationship with someone else (who I will talk about in the next section), I was so afraid of men after what had happened to me, I tried everything to avoid contact with this person. I didn't want to deal with his attentions anymore, yet I still didn't want to have to explain anything to his wife, nor create any type of scene. I couldn't avoid some situations in spite of any excuse I could come up with. I did make sure that I gave up drinking at parties completely. If I wasn't drunk, then he'd leave me alone, right? When he tried something, though, I still didn't make a scene.

When I met my current boyfriend, I told him all about this. After that I had a dose of bold, and the next time he tried anything, I made a minor scene. Then I told my boyfriend word for word, action for action, what had happened with the guy in the same room as me (my boyfriend was on the phone). He hasn't tried anything with me since, and if he did at this point, I would make a scene.

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