We have been talking about consent for sometime now. Being the optimistic type, I won’t deny there has been strides of improvement. But more has to be done until we don’t need consent classes anymore (if it will ever come to that ). Because yo, in 2019, the 21st century, there are still grown bearded or bald men and fully breasted women who still need to be taught about consent.
According to auntie google, Consent means; permission for something to happen or agreement to do something.
There is so much one can give consent for or to, but for now I‘m here to talk about sexual consent.
Allow me to tell you a short story. About three years ago I met a man and we clicked so quick and became very good friends. We met every so often and every meeting we had, we talked about anything and everything and we gradually realized how close we had become.
We became so to say, platonic friends. No physical or sexual desires whatsoever, at least so I thought. Our friendship was so beautiful I adored it. We hang out amongst mutual friends and lifted each other in our low moments. We enjoyed our highs together too. We ticked every box a healthy friendship is.
Fast forward to about a year and a half ago, I went out to a club with some other friends including this man-friend. I was very exhausted after a whole day of work. We all sat at this high table, next to me sat this man-friend and opposite to us sat our other friends.
Due to my exhaustion, and the exhaustion that was me, the glass of wine I had slowly been sipping was beginning to take over and every second that was ticking I was getting drowsier. ( Dad incase you read this, yes I take wine. Proudly. Well, I like to think it’s the water Jesus turned into wine. Only that people messed up the recipe a little tiny bit)
I remember I had worn a short skirt. The man-friend had his one arm around my neck, which I at that moment didn’t interpret to be boundaries crossed. By the way girls, if you have any man-friends ask them not to hold you in public. This reduces your highest chances of getting a boyfriend. I have figured most people automatically brand you a couple when they see you holding hands or so in public. Thank me later.
I was extremely tired by now and in my drowsy state I started feeling movement on my thighs. In this subconscious state I‘m thinking that I‘m dreaming. Music is loud, everyone is shouting at the top of their voice to be heard by the other. The club really isn’t a place to go sit and talk. You go there to partly steal the new millennials dance moves and shake it like you invented the moves.
Have you ever been overly exhausted and hungry and took an alcoholic drink? If no, don’t you dare. If you insist, rock your boat but know it will take charge of your senses faster than on a full stomach. There is a reason why Jesus first gave his disciples bread before wine.
My instinct is pushing me to realize I‘m being violated, but even in a semi-drunken state I can’t believe that the man-friend is violating me. No. He knows my history of sexual abuse and there is no way this can be happening and not even in a club leave alone in front of our other friends.
I realize I‘m not dreaming and I have never been drunk and lost my senses. But this I do right when the man-friend is about to reach my pantie. I stand up still confused, said I had to go home and the man-friend offers to see me home. I decline. He probably had done this before because he did it so subtly that my friends across the table didn’t notice. I sobered up on the way home, my mind a whirlwind going through the events of that night. I was more than angry.
I suffered major loss. Loss of trust. The loss of a friendship. A great one. Loss of dignity. It was all so surreal. I was unforgiving. It was painful and shameful. When I confronted the man-friend, he apparently wasn’t remorseful and just like most culprits, he put alcohol and the devil on the stand.
For me, that was the end of that friendship.
And from that experience, grown as I am, a victim of sexual abuse, I drew a bold line that it doesn’t matter who you are, but if you cross that line and want to have your way with this body, my body, without my consent, that’s just it! I’m not having it. It seriously won’t matter if you literally walked through fire for me.
I have been through years of hell battling the effects of sexual abuse as a child. And just when I found the light and I‘m thriving towards healing you come wanting to take me back there. Oh, come hell or high water, if there is one thing I have to protect, it is my sanity and my body is part of that sanity. And I’m not spending my next decades trying to heal what I have the power to stop now from happening. I have sole ownership of my body and I determine what to do with it, who touches it, when and where. Period.
It’s not even about forgiving. And even if you do forgive there are things you will never forget. And keeping someone who disrespects and violates you around is just torturing yourself. There are many out there who will respect the boundaries you’ve set. Don’t be scared or afraid to lose that one person. Your values will help attract what it is you want to attract.
So long as you are bold enough and have created those boundaries, you will be at peace with yourself because you will always know when to call out what is not your portion. Demarcate and highlight your boundaries. That way, it is easier for you to have it clear what it is you want to protect and arm yourself to the course.
Create your boundaries.