I made myself do the right thing and once again regretted it immediately. 

Guess who overcame all of the excuses and went to the gym on a Sunday morning! 

I was so close to not even going, I nearly talked myself out of it like six times in the few minutes it took to pack and rip a cone, and then I was like fuck, stop talking to yourself and just brush your hair and go, and I fucking did! It was awkward as fuck since the only other person in the whole gym (which is the size of Harry’s cupboard under the stairs) was my cousin, Dayle, who I do not get along with. Despite that totally valid reason to just leave and call it a bust, I stayed and did a full 30 min cardio session and stretched afterwards. 

Oh! And I put laundry on before I left! I’m such an accomplished adult! 

Conversations with friends reveal more than expected.

Reclaiming My Bragging Rights

I just read this article and it was like someone explaining my entire life in a way I didn’t even realise it needed to be said. It seems I’m currently being bombarded with these kinds of “women’s issues” in every aspect of my life, and with Donald Trump and whoever else bragging about their sexual assaults on women I’ve decided fuck it, I’m going to “brag” about the sexual assaults against myself, because if anyone has the right to discuss these events it’s the women who survive them. And really, why shouldn’t we brag about what we’ve survived? A person can brag about surviving a shark attack and display their injuries with dignity and yes, even pride – why should it be any different a person surviving assault? I’ll be damned if I’m going to live by the double standard that people can laugh and joke about something so heinous as assaulting another person with complete ease but to casually or socially discuss being assaulted as a victim makes people uncomfortable or isn’t appropriate or is seeking attention or sympathy. So here I’ve compiled my list of “bragging points”, just the few that stand out in my memory. 

When I was about three or four my mother took me to the doctor after I had complained of a sore vagina. After a physical examination the doctor reported to my parents that I had sustained bruising in and around my vagina conducive with attempted penetration by a penis that was too large to achieve full penetration of my infantile hole. I was questioned as to the identity of my abuser, but was apparently too afraid of punishment to say who it had been. My family speculated and investigated but had little evidence to go by and without my cooperation the whole event was eventually forgotten. I didn’t even find out about it (having no memory of what transpired myself) until I was about 12-13 and it happened to come up in conversation with my mother while watching an episode of Law and Order: SVU. 

When I was about five or six I was at a friend’s house and we were being babysat by her older brother and his friend, boys around the age of ten or eleven. There was nobody else home so the boys decided to sneak and watch some of the father’s porn videos, however, not wanting to leave us unattended, they decided to lock us in the bedroom with them, despite our protests. While watching the movie the boys compared penis sizes. I sat with my eyes covered for the most part, opening them only long enough to see a shot of a several men holding a woman’s butthole open while trying to retrieve a bright pink dildo. After a short time the boys decided they wanted to try out what they’d seen and took my friend into another room. After a few minutes they came back and my friend’s brother boasted to me that he had fucked his little sister in the ass. When I told him I didn’t believe him he instructed his sister to show me how she did it, but she refused saying that she didn’t want to pull her pants down again. At this point the brother’s friend told me that it was our turn, and I of course refused and attempted to leave. He threatened me with a rubber band gun, but I said that I didn’t care, he could shoot me if he wanted, there was no way I was doing that and I was going straight home. My friend’s brother told his friend to leave me be and said they could share his sister. I don’t remember anything past this point. 

On another occasion at the same friend’s house and within the same timeframe we were awake late at night with a different friend of her older brother and he spent an amount of time laying between the two of us, under the brother’s bed while the brother was a sleep, rolling back and forth between us, taking it in turns to make out with us. 

When I was 14 I was drunk at a house party with a bunch of other kids from school. At one point I was in a very intoxicated state and somehow found myself way down the back, in the dark, away from everyone else, with three guys I’d gone to school with since preschool, and one of them was trying to convince the other two to help hold me down so they could take turns in raping me since I was too drunk to remember it anyway. The other two turned down his offer saying that the risk wasn’t worth it if I did remember.

At another party, this time in the middle of the bush, again when I was 14, I had been making out with a guy I’d only met the weekend before (at a similar event). I was wearing a pair of satin boxers and knickers and an open jacket but no shirt or bra as people had been telling me to get my tits out all night. The guy was 19, but other than that I didn’t know much about him, and he couldn’t even remember my name and called me “Sexy Ass” when he wanted my attention. At one point he was in his tent and told my friend to convince me to go inside it and talk to him. When I got inside he proceeded to undress me and I was too afraid to resist and figured I had already got my tits out, I couldn’t say no to taking off my pants as well. But then he just pushed me down and started eating my pussy and when I told him to stop he pulled me up and made me suck his dick and when I pulled away from that he started kissing me and laid on top of me and started fucking me and I said no, and I said stop, and when I called out in pain he put his hand over my mouth and told me to shut up because he didn’t want people knowing what we were doing and I tried pushing him off me and he asked if I wanted to go on top and I said no, I just want to get dressed and he let me get dressed and I went to find my friend and I had uncontrollable tears spewing out of my face despite feeling an almost serene empty nothingness. And the guy came out of the tent and made us walk away from the rest of the party and sat me down and told me he really cared about me and he couldn’t have just done that if he didn’t care about me but it was really important that I not tell anybody what had just happened because he could go to prison even though it wasn’t rape, just because of how young I was. I told my mum anyway, and then my dad, and my dad went to his house and yelled at him for not using a condom and told him he’d be paying for it if I got pregnant but I didn’t get pregnant and we all just moved on. 

Another time when I was 14 I was at a high school disco and as I walked by a group of boys sitting in a circle one of them slipped his hand up my dress and grabbed my vagina. I spun around but couldn’t tell who it had been, so I just left it and quickly tried to catch up with my friend’s in the crowd and told them about it. 

After it became public knowledge that I’d lost my virginity there was a guy in my social circle who would call me a slut or make degrading comments whenever I contributed to the conversation. He thought it was hilarious, especially if he could tell that it had upset or angered me. Even before losing my virginity this guy singled me out in all of his jokes and bullying attacks. Once he repeatedly flicked a lighter flame at me (a once great fear of mine) and I screamed at him to stop. A friend asked why I’d screamed and this guy showed him what he’d been doing by again flicking the flame at me and I panic-reacted and stabbed him in the leg with a fork. He was wearing jeans so I didn’t break the skin but he still called me a psycho. 

From the time I was about 13-17 my mum and sister played this game when we went out in public where they would count the number of men who openly ogled me as we walked by. 

When I was 15 a friend and I went to a party in the bush with a bunch of guys. We had to meet at the bank of a massive dried out river and then the guys doubled us on the quad to get to the actual party site. The following morning the guys bailed and left us to walk kilometres back to the road to be picked up by our family. And one of them accidentally emptied my wallet into the sand and couldn’t be bothered picking it all up losing like $18 in coins. And they threw my shoes in the fire. It wasn’t a sexual assault but still a cunt thing to do to a couple chicks. 

When I was 16 I had several male friends nag me to give one of my friend’s a blowjob. I was told I had to do it because it was his birthday. I kept trying to refuse but was eventually guilted into saying yes. He wasn’t able to cum from me sucking his dick so we ended up having to have sex so he could orgasm. As I was getting dressed and he was leaving the room he made sure to confirm that I’d get an abortion if I ended up pregnant. 

From the ages of 16-18 I was in an on-again/off-again relationship with a girl who was abusive in every sense of the word. She controlled every aspect of my life including what medications I took, how much contact I had with friend’s and family, whether I went to school. She physically restrained and beat me on several occasions, and was emotionally manipulative. She almost drove me to a psych ward. It was textbook domestic abuse. 

When I was 19 my ex-boyfriend at the time beat and strangled me during a fight we were having because he was angry that he’d seen me kissing and dancing with someone else. This was the first of many more instances of him smacking me around and physically abusing me over a two year period. 

When I was 19 I had casual sex for the first time with a close friend who I’d had a very sexually tense relationship with for many years. We briefly dated early on in high school but it ended quickly and we stayed best friends who flirted (and sent nude photos) for the rest of school life until this one day when we finally got together and had sex. A week or two later I had sex with another longtime friend after having recently struck up a flirtatious relationship, also including the sharing of nude photos. When the first guy found out about the second guy (small friend circle & boys gossip) he stopped treating me with any shred of kindness and instead spoke over the top of me, yelled slut when I tried to speak, and went out of his way to be as degrading and humiliating as possible. 

When I was 20 I was at a party and a friend kept forcing me to sit on his lap, and he would keep pulling me closer when I tried to get away. He started trying to kiss me and I said no and tried to pull away and he grabbed me and said he wouldn’t let go unless I gave him a kiss, just one quick kiss. So I kissed him and he tried pulling me in closer again and I pulled away and he relented and let me go. 

When I was 22 I was trying to leave a very crowded bar when a group of large men circled me. One of them grabbed me and pulled me close to him and invited me back to his place. I explained that I was just trying to go home with my boyfriend and friends who had been ahead of me in the crowd, but he refused to let me go and said he thought he might have to make me come home with him, then all his friends laughed and he let me go. I didn’t tell my boyfriend when I caught up with him because I knew he’d go back and try to fight them and I didn’t want the drama or hassle. 

When I was 22 I became friends with one of my very close friend’s ex-boyfriend. I was living alone in a bad area and he lived close by so we hung out a fair bit and he helped me out when I needed it. Throughout the course of our friendship he asked if I’d like to engage in a sexual relationship and I declined the offer and we remained just friends. Then I lost my job and house in the same week and was homeless with a dog and no savings and nothing. I stayed with some friends while I tried to make alternate arrangements but I needed a large sum of money to make it work and I had no way of getting it. This guy messaged me one night asking if I was still in desperate need of financial assistance and what I was willing to do to get the help I needed. He then proposed an ongoing sexual arrangement in return for the money I needed, since I had already turned down his previous offers I guess he figured this would be one that I just couldn’t refuse. 

And on Wednesday 12th November 2016 (the day after International Day of the Girl) my ex-boyfriend beat me up. But that’s a story for another time.