General Question

LeavesNoTrace's avatar

"Friends" who denied and minimized my sexual assaults are bummed about Drumpf's stance on women and I'm not sure how to process it.

Asked by LeavesNoTrace (5674points) January 20th, 2017
13 responses
“Great Question” (7points)

So on two occasions, I was aggressively groped in a bar in front of friends. And on both occasions, the friends who witnessed it tried to deny or minimize what happened to me and have both attempted to gaslight me and discredit experiences in the past several months.

The first instance was years ago but still fresh in my memory. A guy was buying drinks for all of my friends. Usually I don’t accept drinks from men (especially not anymore), but in this case, I thought he was “safe” since he was buying drinks for all the girls. I was wrong. He ended up pinning me against the bar and shoving his hands down my pants while everybody looked on and did nothing. Total Kitty Genovese/bystander effect stuff in action. To this day, my “friend” who was right there when it happened denies seeing it and tells me that my “mind plays tricks” on me and that I must be exaggerating/making it up.

The second incident happened earlier in 2016 and caused a big falling-out with another friend. We went to a bar. She got super drunk. A creepy guy was creeping on all of the women and offering drugs—which she wanted. He decided to stick his hand up my skirt. I told him to fuck off, and my friend got bitchy with me and told me that I needed to “lighten up and go with the flow.”

When I tried to confront her about it, she still denies it ever happened and says I’m making it up.

So now fast forward to the election and inauguration of Drumpf, and both of these women are just OUTRAGED that we have a known pussy-grabber in the oval office. Posting all kinds of stuff on FB about their apparently newfound feminism and how bad they think sexual assault is.

I cannot even describe how it makes me feel. These women I’ve known most of my life only care about sexual assault when it’s in the abstract, but anything else is probably too “messy” for them to touch. The fact that can witness it happen right in front of their eyes to a childhood friend (“best friend”) of 15+ years and try to minimize or even flat-out deny what happened is sickening. Why am I’m supposed to shut up and take it?

This whole experience underscores my feelings of trauma and betrayal, and I’m not sure how to process their hypocrisy or what to say when one of them tries to engage me in a discussion on the general topic of sexual assault.

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jonsblond's avatar

I’m so sorry. I truly feel your pain.

I was raped when I was 15 by two male friends. Our mutual friends (my best friends) ignored my cries for help. 30 years later I still have two friends who won’t address the issue. One friend apologized a few years ago. He told me he was scared and didn’t know what to do. One of the rapists was his cousin.

You need to be vocal and address your feelings. Your friends will be quiet until you do so. It’s as awkward for them as it is for you. If they won’t acknowledge your feelings it’s time to reassess your relationship.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

Like @jonsblond, I was raped when I was younger. I told a friend about it and she said “oh get over it. That happens to everyone”. You have three choices, accept your friends don’t want to talk about it and don’t want to acknowledge what happened to you and don’t look to them for support, or find new friends who will support you, or find support from other sources. You have stop looking for external acknowledgement and healing from others. Mostly, you have to find a way to heal yourself (or to get real help that will allow you to put those experiences behind you). Other people can’t provide what you need – it has to come from inside.

imrainmaker's avatar

This is hypocrisy at its best.. shame on them for behaving the way they behaved with you. World is full of such hypocrites. Cut all ties with them if possible and make new ones.

Sneki95's avatar

As said above me, ditch the c*nts.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Get better friends. Go to different bars. If the bar has security /bouncers, tell them you are having problems with someone. That’s their job. Maybe don’t go to bars without bouncers.

Being groped,or sexually assaulted in a bar is common. But it doesn’t mean it’s ok.

JLeslie's avatar

They aren’t being very good friends. I can understand why their outrage with Trump for his “pussy grabbing” feels hypocritical to you and triggers all these feelings. All over fluther I’ve been writing how disgusted I am by the hypocrisy of late. So many liberals (I’m a liberal) outraged by Trump’s behavior, but were fine when Bill Clinton seemingly used his power for what most would call at minimum sexual harassment. Give me a break.

In small defense of your friends, they may very well remember the events you describe differently. It doesn’t change that they should be supportive of you and believe you, especially for something like this. Most people have a hard time watching people suffer, so they try to play things down.

Right now I guess you have to decide whether this lack of support from them is enough for you to say they aren’t your friends anymore.

Memory is a tricky thing. You can decide to forgive them, and maybe by deciding that they simply remember it differently can help you do that. I’m not saying you should or shouldn’t. It’s just a suggestion if you want to forgive them.

Ask them not to bring up Trump with you, since that’s very upsetting. My own gut feeling is I would distance myself from them at least for a while. They are being dismissive of your feelings and what you went through.

LeavesNoTrace's avatar

Thank you, everyone, for responding and for sharing your experiences. I’m sorry for those amongst you who have had similar experiences.

The girl who I had the falling-out with in early 2016 is no longer on speaking terms with me after 15 years of friendship. When I tried to talk to her about it, she denied that my account is accurate and accused me of “spreading lies” about her. She said she never saw the grope happen and never said: “go with the flow,” which she most decidedly did. Another friend who was with us that night agrees with my account, but unfortunately, this person cannot be reasoned with since apparently being called out on her shitty behavior caused her some kind of narcisstic injury to her fragile snowflake ego.

Now she has the other friend, who saw me get groped in 2010-ish, on her side through playing the victim and I’ve had to deal with this other person gaslighting me about the whole thing. I must be honest; I’m more conventionally attractive than they are (working commercial print and size 10–12 “plus” model) and have a loving relationship with a handsome and successful man. I think this causes jealousy with them because while they are not “ugly,” they are not head-turners by any stretch of the imagination and have always been weird about the fact that I attract male attention without working for it. They think that any male attention is “good” attention and if I’m getting it without wanting it, I must be doing something wrong.

Anyway, I’ve been dealing with the trauma of this whole experience for a while now. I’ve tried talking to a counselor about it, but they don’t offer me any help. This whole election cycle with Drumpf’s “grab them by the p*ssy” and myriad other scandals has been just awful. And to see them try to present themselves as outraged feminists on social media, after how they have treated me, feels like another kick in the teeth.

marinelife's avatar

Dear @LeavesNoTrace,

You know the truth about what happened to you. That has to be enough. To be validated, you don’t need others. Just sit with your own truth. Don’t try to convince others.

However, you have picked a couple of bad friends. Drop then both immediately. They don’t hear you, and they don’t support you. What kind of friends are those? They are the kind you do not need in your life.

Love and support yourself and your own truth. Take action based on it. You know what happened, now cut these so-called friends out of your life.

Zaku's avatar

I would take that as an indication of where they’re dysfunctional and unwilling to stay in reality for your safety over their discomfort and/or denial. Personally, I would evaluate what I stand to lose by calling them out on it, blatantly, loudly, and frequently, and be as clear and outspoken as it seemed prudent. I’d also be careful not to over-estimate them as reliable friends. Unfortunately, I’ve seen that many people are so uncomfortable with confrontation or the horrible behavior of people (especially aggressive/abusive men) that they will normalize/accept/ignore/deny behavior that shouldn’t be tolerated, and that should be called out as much as possible without causing problems for victims. Trump is one of the most blatant examples of that. No one should stop calling him out for all his shit. Every time someone mentions Trump without using the words “pussy grabber” or some other call-out-of-his-shit, is enabling that pussy-grabbing evil clown.

Oh, and if I thought I could find that groper with the drugs again, I’d head over to my local vice squad office and offer information and suggest it should be really easy to net him.

jca's avatar

I agree with @Earthbound_Misfit. Stop looking for others to validate your feelings.

You know what happened. Do what you like but if I were you, I’d deal with it on my own and not look to anyone or expect anyone to feel the same way you do. You said you’re seeing a counselor. Try to be open to what she says.

jca (36062points)“Great Answer” (1points)
chyna's avatar

If your counselor isn’t offering you help, get a new one. You may have to try a few before you find one that works for you.

LeavesNoTrace's avatar

Thanks, guys. I go between desperately wishing that I could reconcile these friendships so things could be the way they used to be. But also being so angry that I wish sexual assault and even death upon them for how they’ve treated me and seemingly banded together as horrible people. (Not my proudest moments for sure, but that’s how I sometimes feel when I see them yucking it up on FB, etc. together.)

The girl who doesn’t speak to me anymore has a history of psychiatric problems. Her father committed suicide when we were teens in H.S., and it’s caused her many challenges in her relationships with men. She’s dramatically lashed out at me in jealousy for having a good relationship and finding love when she’s slept with everyone and their father and can’t seem to find someone to put up with her bullshit. Everyone feels sorry for her all the time, and she’s very attention-seeking on social media, etc.

Example: I was held at gunpoint and robbed in my home four years ago while living abroad, nobody gave a shit. She gets mugged for her cell phone in DC and splashes it allllllll over social media looking for sympathy and attention, which she got in droves. And now it’s “Oh, poor Suzie, she’s a perpetual victim. How could you be angry at her???”

chyna's avatar

You are so angry at these 2 women, that the only way to get over this is to purge them out of your life. Delete them from your facebook, block their calls and texts.

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