It’s an unfortunate thing to have simple actions sexualized: especially when it’s those close to you who are doing it.
Now I understand teasing among friends, but there comes a point when it’s a little…much. In my instance, it started when I made a comment how one of my bros wanted me to teach him to swim.
The fact that we agreed to this in December was just poor planning on both of our parts.
Well this somehow became ‘interesting’ since I was going to be in a bathing suit, it was going to be cold; and there was even comment on how he was probably looking for a way to stay warm.
At first I was thrown off, but then just said there was nothing ‘interesting’ going on. I met the guy this semester and we formed a study group to get through a challenging class. He’d asked if I’d teach him to swim earlier in the semester when he found out I had a pool and I’d said, “Sure”. He’d even planned for another member to join, but they had to take their grandparents to the airport, so they couldn’t come.
Now after the comment was made about ‘staying warm’, I said I was going to go since they were making it awkward and I really wasn’t going for that angle with this guy. They tried to keep the conversation going a bit, but after they said I’d ‘spoiled their fun’ I just changed the topic entirely. And things were fine.
It wasn’t until later that it really began to sink in for me. I’d been straightforward about nothing going on in the beginning and yet they’d kept at it. In the past I don’t think this would’ve bothered me as much, but after everything I’ve been through in the past two years…I think I’m just over it.
It’s like I can’t even have male friends without there being some sort of ‘angle’ where I’m either trying to get with them or they’re trying to get with me. And honestly, it’s mainly my girl friends who do it. My guy friends are pretty lax and get we’re just bros. What probably hit me the hardest was how she’s a victim of assault just like I am, so I guess I thought given the knowledge of my second attack over the summer…she wouldn’t have continued down that route after I’d made it clear the first time?
I used to have a complex when I was younger about how I was constantly praised for my body and therefore must not be the ‘pretty’ or ‘beautiful’ type- just the ‘sexy’ type. After my first assault it seemed the prophecy was right and I fell down a bit of a rabbit hole. I thought I’d found my way back again and then had another incident- this time far worse than the first. It’s been about six months since and I’m happy to say I’ve made some pretty good headway. I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t view myself as a sexual object anymore, I’m opening up to friendships, and I’ve put work into myself. This progress has led me to a point where I guess I’m just not about getting typecast into old tropes anymore.
Learning to let go of old standards we hold for a person can be a hard thing to do; I know I’m guilty of it for sure, but I’m definitely going to reevaluate how I view people as opposed to the person they’re becoming. We all change as we age- no one stays the same forever and it’s something we have to accept just like we accept it in ourselves. This is especially true for the people we care about because if we really care then we’d try to help them become their best self.
This has gone beyond off topic, so I’m going to end it here. If you made it this far though, then congrats because you did it! You made it!
For follow up I’ll just add I did not end up teaching him to swim today because it’s DECEMBER and the water is unacceptable. So, we decided to reschedule for when it’s warm again.
And while the conversation I had may not of had anything to do with old standards…that’s what it ultimately reminded me of and where this cluster of a post went.
I’ll try to keep it more together next time, guys.
O.P 14 December 2017