Tuesday, September 22, 2015

This is a normal workplace conversation

Actual conversation I had at work recently while discussing the various criminal sexual conduct statutes...

In order to fully get this, you should first know that the law defines "sexual penetration" as intercourse, oral sex, & penetration by fingers/hands & it defines "sexual contact" as touching of the sexual body parts. For a woman, this would mean touching of the outer parts of her genitals w/o penetration. You are welcome for that graphic explanation.

Co-worker: Is it possible to have sexual penetration on a woman w/o having sexual contact?

(Pause while I think about that)

Me: Technically, yes, I think so, but it would depend what position she's in.

What do YOU talk about w/ your co-workers?

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Trial again

Back in trial again this week. So, as usual, I'm extremely exhausted.

More later. Right now, I need to sleep.

Saturday, September 05, 2015

The more things change, the more they stay the same

I saw Guy on Thursday night. First time since we broke up. He had some things of mine I wanted so he came to my place to bring them to me & to have dinner. At first it was a bit strained bc we hadn't talked in a long time & neither of us really knew how the other would be. But it was decent dinner conversation & afterwards, he suggested we watch a stand-up comedy, since we both enjoy that. So we fired up Tom Segura (who is very funny btw) & had a nice time watching that. During the show, I shifted around to stretch out my back since it was stuff from weight lifting the night before. As I was doing that, Guy reached over & started scratching my back. Then he draped his arm around my waist & we cuddled while watching the rest of the show, with his head on my shoulder. He told me a number of times how good it was to see me.

After the show was over, we kept sitting on the couch, cuddled together & chatting about inconsequential things. Then he said out of nowhere, "It's so easy to just pick right back up with you. We always just get along so well when we're together." He was quiet for a bit & then said that he has always felt so drawn to me, that there was this sort of gravity to me that pulls him to me. I agreed & he said that we just have this connection that keeps bringing us together.

He kissed me & after a minute, I said that it was probably a terrible idea for us to be doing that & he said that was probably true. He told me that when he's with me, he doesn't know what he wants to do bc he really needs to have time to be on his own to figure out who he is when he's on his own, but he also loves being with me so much. He said being with me confuses him & makes him uncertain of what he wants to do. He told me that he didn't know how long it would take him before he felt ready to be in a relationship again & that he didn't want me to put my life on hold for him. I explained that I wasn't putting my life on hold for him at all & pointed out all the things I've been doing & the plans I've been making for my future & I said that none of those things have changed. I made it clear that as much as I care about him, I wasn't putting my life on hold for him. He said that was good & that all he wants for me is to be happy, with or without him. He said he wanted to see me again bc he was having a really nice evening (and bc he wasn't able to find one of the things I needed back from him so he's still got to return that to me) but didn't know what we were or how things would work btwn us. I suggested that we date on a casual basis, not as a serious relationship. He said he hadn't considered that before & would have to give it some thought. I pointed out that we haven't ever been able to just be friends when we're together, that we always end up acting like a couple, & that it wasn't likely that that would ever change. He agreed with that & said that it might work to date on a more casual basis & that he'd give it some thought. He said he thinks I'm so unbelievably cool about everything & I'm always so easy to talk to & to feel comfortable with.

We ended the evening with him telling me again how nice it was to see me again & how much he'd enjoyed our time together. We talked about how he was going on an 8-day fishing trip next week & that the week he would be back, that I'm starting a serious crim sex trial so we'd both be pretty busy for the next couple weeks, but that he'd like to get together again after that. He gave me another kiss before he left & said we'd get together again soon. He texted me when he got home to let me know he'd gotten home safely & thanked me again for a nice night.

I'm smart enough to realize how problematic this situation is w/ him & how easily I could end up hurt again. My brain is screaming at me to sever all ties with him so I can't get hurt by him again. My heart, however, is not listening to my brain. Right or wrong, there is some connection there, that neither time nor distance nor prior hurt can seem to erase. I don't know what, if anything, will ultimately happen btwn us. Maybe we'll finally get the timing right & things will work out btwn us & maybe we will end up going our separate ways & never see each other again. That's not something I can worry about right now. For the time being, seeing him doesn't change anything I'm doing or any plans I have for my future. It was nice to see him again but I did mean what I said when I told him I wasn't going to put my life on hold. I never have in all the time we've known each other & I don't intend to now.

The one thing that made me happy to hear was that he also felt this connection, this draw, that we have. After we broke up this time, I wondered if I had imagined that btwn us, saw something that wasn't really there. I felt like I was crazy & I was upset that I had been wrong about things btwn us. I hadn't ever really talked w/ him in any detail about how I felt like we had a unique connection that kept bringing us back to each other, so the fact that he described feeling drawn to me & having an enduring connection w/ me made me feel like I wasn't crazy. It made me feel better to know I hadn't been imagining things. Even if we were to never see each other again, at least I know that the things I felt were real. After YKW left, I was so upset that everything I thought we had btwn us had been completely false. That was one of the hardest things to cope with was wondering if any part of the relationship had been real or not. So, regardless of the end result btwn me & Guy, at least I know that the things I felt btwn us were really there & the connection I felt was real.

I know all the problems this can cause me. But for the time being, I'm not going to stress about it. I don't have the energy to do that. I will keep doing the things I have been doing & he'll do what he needs to do & we'll likely keep coming back into each other's lives bc we can't stay away. I'm not going to chase after him, but I know I won't be able to ignore him when he calls. Whatever we have btwn us, it's intense & I don't know that I'm strong enough to resist. I never have been.

Friday, August 21, 2015

I'm my own support person

My efforts to focus on myself to help me through this breakup has been paying off for me. While I'm still pretty emotional on some days (albeit significantly fewer than at first), I have been able to channel my unhappy feelings into exercise to help me feel better. It's not only a good way for me to boost my mood & feel less like crying, it's also had the added benefit of shaving off 30 pounds. So, it helps me emotionally & mentally, plus it has been great for me physically as well. Losing weight was a process I'd started before the breakup, but now that I have more time for myself post-breakup, I've really been able to dedicate myself to it. Since getting dumped has a tendency to make a person feel bad about themselves, the weight loss has been a good way to combat that. I know I look better than I have in a long time & that helps me feel better about myself overall. Not to mention, it felt GREAT when I had to take in my suit pants by 3.5 inches last week bc they were falling off me.

After he sent me that text about how he always wants to hear what I really have to say & that true friends are open & honest w/ each other, I took some time & on Friday last week sent a response. I said I had several thoughts about what he'd said but it wasn't really a conversation that should be done via text. I said that at least part of why I didn't feel like I could really talk to him anymore was because half the time, when I have talked to him, I get no response back, which makes me feel like I'm being ignored. And feeling ignored doesn't lead to a lot of real open & honest discussion. I said I didn't have any idea what he wanted since he was saying one thing & doing the other, so if he really wants to talk to me he knows how to get ahold of me. But I would not be contacting him anymore & I has taken his info out of my phone. That was last Friday. I haven't heard a single thing from him since. But I'm not surprised. Discussing things is not exactly his strong suit, so I doubt he wanted to have a conversation w/ me about that. He wanted to just say, "you can always talk to me" and leave it at that w/o any further discussion. But that's not realistic & I wasn't going to pretend that it was. I also wasn't going to force him to talk to me about it either, bc there's no point.

So, I haven't spoken to him in a week now. It can be hard at times, bc we used to talk every day. But things change. And I know that eventually I won't still miss talking to him. I missed YKW desperately for a very long time but I hardly ever think about him anymore. And I know logically I'll get to that w/ Guy. It sucks for now, but I've done it before so I know what to expect & I have experience weathering the storm.

Most people think he'll eventually contact me again. I have my doubts about that, but most people seem to think he'll eventually want to start talking again. If that happens, I suppose my reaction will depend a lot on where I'm at in my life. If I don't hear from him for another 10 years like last time, I doubt I'll have any real desire to talk to him. People keep asking me what I'll do if he contacts me but I don't know. In part because I don't think it will happen & in part because it will depend.

But, regardless of what he does, I'm moving forward. I'm focusing on myself & what makes me happy. Because at the end of the day, the only person I can really, truly count on is myself.

Friday, August 14, 2015

The Reality

Guy informed me that I can always tell him important things & that the breakup didn't change that he knows me better than most people & that true friends talk honestly & openly & that he will always want to hear what I really have to say about things. I wish that were true, but of course it's not.

I can't tell him what I really think about things now. He's demonstrated he's not a safe person for me to confide in. I've opened my heart to him twice now, something that I've never done for anyone else, and twice I've been rejected. Twice after I've laid my heart out to him I've been told, in one way or another, that I'm not enough for him, I'm not what he wants. The more I open up to him, the less he wants me around. How could I ever think I can still talk to him after that? And when he broke up with me this time, he told me he felt "shackled" by being with me & that there were things about me that he despises. Again, how could I feel comfortable sharing things with him when the more I've opened up to him, the less he thinks of me? No one would open up to someone under those circumstances. And let's not forget that even after I'd poured my heart out to him about how much it had hurt me when YKW cheated on me & then left me, Guy still went ahead & did the exact same thing, which almost seems like he was trying to hurt me in the worst possible way he knew how, using what I'd shared w/ him against me.

And even if that weren't the situation, it still wouldn't work. I can't tell him how I feel or what I think. I'd look crazy & desperate & pathetic. And he'd resent me after a bit. Like I'm supposed to tell him that I still miss him every day? That I still cry 4-5 days a week about him? That I wish so badly that he'd call me & say he made a huge mistake? When he starts dating someone else, I'm supposed to tell him how distraught that makes me? How it breaks my heart all over again? That I hope she makes him miserable & he leaves her soon? No, I can't tell him those things. Those are things I'd never be able to actually say to him now. Because things do change when people break up. YKW knew me better than anyone in the world for a long time, but now he doesn't know anything about me. A breakup means a severing of that emotional intimacy that comes from being in a couple. That's the point of a breakup, to stop having that type of relationship with the other person. So, things have changed, whether he realizes it or not.

And he doesn't know me as well as he apparently thinks he does. He had no confidence in my ability to make positive changes in my life when I said I was willing to work on things in our relationship. He said I could never do it. Anyone who knows me even a little bit knows that when I say I'm going to do something, I do it no matter how impossible it may seem. When I told my mom I was going to law school, she thought I was going to be disappointed when it wouldn't work out bc we couldn't afford that (she didn't tell me that at the time, only much later). But I made it happen anyway, despite some serious obstacles in my way initially. I have met every goal I have set for myself in my life & the fact that I'm tenacious & determined is something anyone who knows me even a little bit would know about me. But he didn't know that. He thought I was a lost cause, that it was impossible for me to make changes. In the last month since the breakup, I've made pretty significant changes in my life already, so he was obviously not right about me. Because he doesn't really know me.

We had only been dating for a year & a half. I'm an extremely private person (not that you'd know from this blog, but that's bc my name isn't attached to it so I feel more free in being honest on here) & I am very slow to open up to people. I take a long time to let my guard down & very few people ever REALLY get to see the entire person that I am. Very few people ever get to know my deep thoughts & fears & concerns. He wasn't there yet. Eventually he would have been, but he wasn't there yet. It takes a long time to get there. There are only one or two people on this earth who REALLY know me completely. Those people have known me for over a decade, who have walked with me through the happiest & saddest times in my life. He isn't one of those people. Maybe he could have been over time, but he wasn't yet.

The sentiment is nice, this idea that he's still there for me to share things with. He does know I don't let many people in & that I HATE losing people I've let in. So I'm guessing he is trying to communicate that he's still here for me. But, he's not, bc he can't be, bc that's not how things work. I can't be honest with him now. I have to pretend I'm fine, even when I'm not. I have to stay silent about the things I want to say. I have to keep secret the things I really feel.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

I'll keep on

I've been struggling hard to not let my depression take hold of me again. At least, not like it was in 2011-2012. But it is a struggle every day not to let the sadness consume me. It's a battle every day. Some days I win. Some days I lose. I keep trying every day bc what other choice do I have than to keep trying? But I'm tired. Trying all the time is exhausting. So far I've been able to keep going forward & trudging along. But I won't pretend I'm not tired. I'm so emotionally drained from one heartbreak after one tragedy after one hopeless situation after the next. And I'm finding it hard to accept anymore the notion that things will work out or whatever other platitudes people want to say. I'm 32 & life has consistently been struggle after struggle. I have periods of time where things are good but it never lasts. I've learned through experience that nothing lasts forever, no matter how much it seems like it will, & that includes happiness. At least for me.

I'm tired of being disposable to other people. I'm tired of being discarded when having me around isn't convenient anymore. I'm tired of loving people wholeheartedly only to find out they don't love me. I'm tired of being nothing to people who are everything to me. It's been that way since I was a little girl. I'm worn out now. I'm tired of my life being marked by loss.

I'm rational enough to know that the immediate sadness won't last forever. That will eventually fade. But like everything else, it will leave a scar on my heart & soul. I used to think that I'd meet someone who would help those scars to finally fade away forever, but I don't think that anymore. My greatest fear in life has always been that it's not possible for someone to be in love with me. I think that there is a very good chance that that is true.

I have friends, wonderful, amazing, caring, fantastic friends who I am so grateful for. They are what has helped me through the many hard times in life. But it seems that I can't be anyone's first priority in life. No one wants to share their life with me. On that front, it seems I'm destined to be an island forever.

Loss is an amputation. Eventually you learn to adapt w/o the thing you've lost, you learn you function again, but you're never the same. I've had many losses in life, many emotional amputations. I don't think there's anything left to remove anymore. I'm too tired & I have no heart left to give to anyone. Everyone I've lost has taken a piece of it with them & left me without.

The situational sadness I feel will eventually go away & that will be good. But I still won't have any heart left to give anyone. Everyone has taken a piece of it & gone, so I have nothing left for anyone else. I'll make it through the depression I'm having right now, but I'll still be tired. And I will still know that any period of happiness I have will not last & the good things I have in life will inevitably be gone.

It's the hope that kills. Hope is an evil thing bc unfulfilled hope is what hurts the most. I've learned not to hope.

In the end, I'll be ok. I always am. I'll be worse for the wear, more guarded, more cold, less likely to let people in, but I'll survive. Surviving is what I do. I'll put back on my "everything is fine!" face that I present to the world & keep on keeping on. Bc that's the only thing I know how to do. Even when I feel so desolate inside I can barely breathe, I just keep on keeping on.

After all, this boulder isn't going to push itself up that hill.

Monday, August 10, 2015

I'm running now

So I've started to run recently. I needed something to get me out of my own head & to help me cope w/ yet another breakup. Running doesn't get me out of my head at all but it does make me go from sad to angry, which is a better emotion for me, because I don't curl up into a ball & sob hysterically when I'm angry, nor do I eat a box of Oreos & sleep to avoid feeling so much pain. So it doesn't get me out of my head at all but it does help me cope, so that's something. I don't enjoy it. I hate it pretty much the whole time I'm doing it. But I want to do it, which is a good thing. And it's helping me to lose weight as well as to cope. I am not fast & I walk probably half the time or more & by run, I mean slow jog (slow for others, it's hard for me). But I'm doing it & it's mine & I'm proud of myself afterwards.  Even if I hate it while I'm doing it.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Punishing the "victim?"

In law school I worked on an interesting case as part of one of my classes. It was a real case, with a real defendant. And it involved a charge of 3rd degree criminal sexual conduct for engaging in sexual conduct with a mentally impaired person.

The alleged victim was not profoundly impaired or extremely mentally disabled. The alleged victim had been diagnosed with mental disabilities & had some difficulties in some areas, but for the most part seemed to function reasonably well.

In the case I worked on in law school, the alleged victim testified that she knew what sex was, she understood about STIs and about how pregnancy occurs, and that she hoped to have children of her own one day. She was not underage & she testified that she wanted to have sex with the defendant. Her parents testified that they had talked to her about sex & good touch & bad touch & assumed she'd eventually have a family of her own. When asked if he thought she was able to consent to sex, her father testified, "Well if she can't, then I can't because I've got the same mental disabilities that she does." The defendant was convicted.

Now, this particular charge requires that the State has to prove that the alleged victim's mental impairment prevents them from giving reasoned consent to sexual activity. The language of that implies that not all people with mental disabilities will be unable to give consent. Of course there are people who can't due to their mental disabilities, but not all. And in charging out this particular offense, I think it behooves the State to be cautious & really ensure that the alleged victim is actually a victim.

The problem with this particular charge is that it labels the alleged victim as permanently being unable to consent to sex, regardless of what they may want. If a defendant is convicted for having sex with an alleged victim & that alleged victim desires to have a partner or spouse one day and have children, they run the risk that their future partner or spouse will get charged with crim sex, bc the State has already decided that anyone who has sex with the alleged victim is taking advantage of a mentally disabled person. The State has already decided that the alleged victim is too mentally impaired to give reasoned consent to sexual activity. So, tough shit, alleged victim, but you don't ever get to have any kind of sexual contact for the rest of your life because the State has made the decision for you & you don't get to have that in your life.

Admittedly things gets murky in this area. People with mental disabilities are on a spectrum & some people are more or less functional than others with the same diagnoses. But just because it's murky doesn't mean it should be charged out. The result of this type of charge is that it can end up penalizing an alleged victim & taking away from that person the option to engage in one of the things other people get to enjoy. This type of charge is necessary to prevent people who are truly unable to consent due to their mental disabilities from being harmed. But when there is a person who is able to voice that they have wants & desires & understand the mechanics of sex & pregnancy & other aspects of being in a sexual relationship, does the State have the right to claim they can't give reasoned consent?