#MeToo ~ Chapter 3: The ‘Artist’

(Beginning Comment: This is a long post, one of my longest in a while.  It tells a story that I’ve told no one but my mother, grandmother, two high school/university boyfriends, and my partner.  Even they don’t know the entire story.  I’ve never publicly talked about this before.  It’s dark matter; please proceed with caution.)

(Trigger/Content Warnings: sexual predation, including nonconsensual touching, fear, and strong suggestive conversation that gets graphic.)

It’s a peculiar feeling to be writing something like this on All Saints Day.  Although I’ve long since left Catholicism, I was raised (somewhat) in that faith, and old roots have ways of lingering that occasionally prove to be inconvenient.  An alternative term is All Souls Day, and since the perpetrator in this story is no “saint” but has probably passed away, the latter term is more appropriate.

Yes, this means he was an old man already at the time.  But as many of us already know, advancing age does not always confer advancing wisdom, nor does it exempt one from being a perpetrator.  Predators can come in all varieties, of course.

It helps to know that going in.

I didn’t.

He appeared in our living room one day, alongside my maternal grandmother, who had met him at an elderly singles group at their nondenominational church a few weeks prior.

I was 18, about to graduate from high school in a few months.  He was in his 70s, I’m sure, because my grandmother had brought him by for us to meet him, and vice versa.  Given this, it never crossed my mind what he would become (already was, unbeknownst to everyone but himself).

The casual first-encounter chatter between my mom, my grandmother, and my grandmother’s new beau went smoothly enough.  The conversation drifted, as it often does per social rules, toward interests and hobbies.  The beau, Kurt (I think his last name was Anderson), was an artist.  He sketched with charcoal, and apparently, my grandmother beamed, he was quite talented.

He mentioned that his work was usually based on the female form–the nude female form.  But my mother and her mother are fairly open-minded, and this tidbit did not faze them much.

He casually let it slip that he was currently looking for a model, someone to sketch.  He paid US$20 per hour, cash, off the record, and a typical session lasted about three hours.  Not a bad gig in the mid-1990s for an 18-year-old weeks away from a high school diploma.  Hell, that’s not a bad gig now, 20+ years later.

I was getting ready to move away from my childhood home and out on my own for the first time.  I was in hoarding mode, saving up whatever items and money I possibly could.  I was working my tail off at school, earning excellent grades, completing my extracurricular graduation requirements, and I was also working two other part-time jobs already.  Nonetheless, I could certainly use this one.

It would be sporadic, possibly one session per week, and US$60 cash in my pocket at the end of the session.  And all I had to do was lie comfortably on a couch, in an art studio in his home.  Naked, but otherwise comfortable.  Not exactly backbreaking work.

I haven’t yet mentioned that I was in the living room with them, because I voluntarily sidelined myself from the conversation, letting the older adults do the talking, while I smiled and nodded along.  Thus far, about me, there hasn’t been much to say.

Kurt was eager to start working with me, though.  I fit the bill.  I possessed the youth and the figure he preferred.  He promised my grandmother, mother, and me that the arrangement would be strictly professional, guaranteeing that there was absolutely no sexual aspect to the work.  Art only.

At first, he held true to his word.  There was nothing to fear.  My grandmother would accompany me to his house, remaining in a different room, reading a book until the session was finished.

No harm, no foul.

Life swirled around me at that time, rendering my brain so busy that accurate recall is difficult.  Sure, various snapshots of events thumb-tacked themselves to my memory bulletin board, but to give accurate detail forced me to review my handwritten journal entries from that time period.

Up came memories I had long and mercifully forgotten, no longer vaulted, and no longer merciful.

The arrangement began innocently enough.  My grandmother did indeed drive me, she did indeed rest in a nearby room out of sight, and she did indeed occupy herself in a novel.  Kurt played the gentlemanly role as a professional artist and treated me with respect and dignity, handing me three $20s at the end of the session.

It was the best money in the shortest time period that I’d ever made, and I reveled in it.  Beat that, older adult generation!  I just got paid $60, without taxes, for sitting on a couch for three hours.

My then-boyfriend at the time, a very nice and protective guy, accompanied me to my second session.  Here, again, no problem.  He met Kurt and then did what my grandmother had done, and when Kurt and I were finished, my boyfriend and I left.

On the way home, something was bothering my boyfriend.  I asked him what was wrong, and he responded with the disclosure that he didn’t like Kurt.  He felt that Kurt was too enthusiastic, too energetic.  And this is coming from a high school kid with boundless energy and youth.  He probably hadn’t chosen the right words, but the message was clear: my boyfriend had an uneasy feeling about Kurt.

Two weeks later, I did another session at Kurt’s house.  Three hours allows for plenty of conversation, and when two people are working together in such intimate (even if professionally intimate) settings, care must be taken, caution that I never knew was necessary.

Those of you who know manipulators, know that they start in with compliments early on.  They make you feel intelligent, beautiful, valuable.  They make you feel good about yourself by telling you how significant you are, and if you’re young, how far you’ll go in life.  They’ll make you think you’re going to be a rock star.

Some of these manipulators will also attempt to impress you with stories that accentuate their maturity, their rebelliousness, their worldliness.

Kurt’s modus operandi was to describe experiences of his younger days of times in which he’d been intoxicated, places he’s been, and recommendations of different drinks, along with a verbal recipe.

I was astute enough to know that the situation was escalating to levels that were uncomfortable and potentially dangerous, but I kept this from everyone else.  The financial aspect was a draw, and surprisingly, even though I sensed that I was being manipulated and potentially groomed for victimization, there was a part of me that lapped up the attention like a thirsty deer coming across a fresh, clean stream.  Kurt himself was anything but fresh and clean, but I was a thirsty deer just the same, and I drank the mirage.

Because everyone else in my life was none the wiser, during this time, my grandmother began to develop romantic feelings for Kurt.

Manipulators will also make you feel inferior.  Perhaps not overtly at first, but on a subtle plane.  Kurt’s method was to describe how American women make a big mistake compared to European women.  Our mistake is that we don’t take much time to learn about men and how to satisfy them sexually and make an encounter especially meaningful.

He went on to explain how in Europe, females about my age will go off alone with an older male (usually old enough to be her father), who fills the role of a “teacher”.  He was quick to say that they don’t actually have penetrating sex, but that the female does come away from the experience with the basic idea of how to treat a man.  And according to Kurt, by the end of this journey, the females are fairly knowledgable; they have this Satisfying Your Man thing down pat.

For those of you paying attention, that was the setup.

Now comes the sucker-punch.  Kurt then asked me if I would like to learn.

I was half-taken-aback, and half-expecting it.  Looking back now, it was more than predictable.  Still, I didn’t know how to answer, but didn’t want to appear slow on the draw.  To buy myself some cognitive processing time (spot the undiagnosed Asperger’s/autistic female in this picture), I asked him, “to learn about what?”

The dreaded words came pelting in, one by one.  “About a male’s sex organs.”

I paused and then, to my credit, I diplomatically but point-blank said, “no.”  Score one for Aspie/autistic “bluntness”.  (If only I could’ve maintained that.)

Kurt looked disappointed to say the least, but, looking away, he said, “OK”, and dropped the subject.

I won’t give him karmic credit for the apology that followed five to ten minutes later, because I’m sure he was doing that only to save face so that I wouldn’t run for the hills and never come back.

Manipulators always attempt to ensure a Next Time.

They only strike after they’ve gained your trust.  I’d had some experiences with being deceived and screwed over, but I still wanted to believe the best, and I still tended to take statements made by others literally.

Then I made a horrible mistake.

Kurt had a book that had various questions in it.  To pass the time, say, while he was sketching my feet (and thus leaving my arms free to move without disturbing his artwork), we read each other questions from this book.

It devolved into a twisted informal game of “Truth or Dare” without the “Dare”.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I was not trying to seduce this man.  Some men would call me a “tease” for what I did then, and people of all genders might fight the urge to violently crucify me for it.  I promise Your Honor, that what I was doing was not intended to confuse or hurt anyone.

In fact, with hindsight at my disposal, the conversation that would take place then makes perfect sense.

Consider someone with a history of sexual or intimate harassment or other mistreatment.  My massage therapy instructors gently and compassionately advised us that some of the massage therapy clients we would serve–both male and female–who have been survivors of some kind of abuse or trauma in the past, can tend to “push” the boundaries of a massage therapist.

Think about it.  The perpetrator in their lives might have come off as charming, caring, protective, exciting, flattering, maybe even nurturing–eliciting all sorts of glorious emotions…only to drop the axe later, coming in with a punch from the side that the victim never saw coming because it never should have been there.

Now put that survivor in a room, lying unclothed under a sheet and blanket, lying on their stomachs and unable to see anything, with a massage therapist they just met.  This therapist, too, is caring, nurturing, and personable.  But the survivor doesn’t know that; they’ve been duped before.  What makes this therapist any different?  What’s to stop them from pulling the same bait-and-switch?  Why should the survivor be any less cautious of one person than another?  The ultimate goal, after all, is for the traumatic event to never repeat itself.

In situations like that, our massage therapy instructor explained, there is a subset of survivors who may try to push your boundaries.  They may try to come on to you (you = the massage therapist).  Subconsciously, the survivor figures that if you don’t respond to their advances, and instead you say, “no, that’s not appropriate”, the survivor will feel safe with them.  They now know that the boundary is firm.

If you think about it, I was subconsciously doing the same thing.  I had already had a few unpleasant encounters with certain males involving my femaleness.  These situations happened to me because I am female and because I was around these particular males.

And, I was only 18.  The higher decision-making centers of my brain would not yet be completely developed for seven more years.

With all of this in mind, it might be easier to understand the question I chose from Kurt’s book: “if you knew that your next sexual encounter would be your last, when, where, and with whom would it be?”

I wasn’t prepared for his answer.  It was a question posed back to me: “would she be willing/ready?”

(—!)

As nonchalantly as possible, I replied, “yeah, she’d have to be.”

I wasn’t prepared for his next answer, either: “well, it would be with you, then.”

Immediate regret, on my part.  Some might say I “asked for it”.  Maybe even in the literal sense, because I literally asked the question.

God(dess) only knows why.  I suspect the aforementioned background information given above.

People of the jury, I also committed another no-no: I actually showed him some of the poetry I’d recently written in those days.

I can only imagine that fueled his explanation of his choice of me as his theoretical final partner: “There’s a lot of power–in your writing, and in everything you say and do.  Imagine what your drive would be like if and when unleashed!  You’d be a real powerhouse.”

After that day, Your Honor, I did indeed disclose everything that had transpired to my mother, my grandmother, and my then-boyfriend.  I stated that I would do another session (I know, I know), justifying it with the assumption that Kurt was probably safe, the situation is merely questionable right now, and given that nothing had happened yet, I would agree to another session on the condition that my grandmother would go with me again.

I should have known that he was bullshitting me when I asked the next question during our Twisted Truth without the Dare, “if you could have anyone’s mind, whose would it be?”, and he said, “yours–it’s a wealth of information and energy.”

Those more seasoned and astute would see through the flimsy gilding.  The flattery job wasn’t even all that well done.

Of course, I only know all this now.  I had to learn it somehow.  For some, like me, the hard way is the route the learning process takes.

I began to realize just how manipulative he actually was, several sessions later (he had cooled down somewhat in between, only to ramp up again).  He was subtle (in my perception) until the last minute, and then he pounced.

He had an idea for a new sketch.  He suggested I pretend I was in a bikini or like a three-year-old–either way, carefree.  Then he suggested some “wilder” poses.  He wanted to see what I had always held dear to myself.  He became quite explicit, words I won’t print here.  He kept tweaking my position (“just a little to the right.  OK.  And your knee…” and so on).  What I didn’t realize is that he was positioning me such that he now had a visual of exactly what I held near and dear to me.

This time, when we took our usual mid-session break that escalated into the twisted Truth “game”, Kurt gave a veiled suggestion: a variant on the “game” – “would you ever take a Dare?”

You can guess what nature the Dares would take.  Hell, at that point, even I could guess.

Line crossed.  I just smiled and said, “nope.”

“What about an ‘easy’ dare?”

I shouldn’t have answered with, “depends.  What’s your version of ‘easy’?”

“Well, ‘hard’ would be like asking you to have intercourse.”

“Oh,” I said.  “So define ‘easy’.”

I was challenging him, but what I didn’t realize is that he was also challenging me.

“Well, let me kiss your breasts.”

Try again, buster.  “What’s another example?”

“Let me rub my p—s against your cheek.”

I think I looked at him funny.  “That’s what you call ‘easy’??  No.”

“Well, let me touch your cr-tch.”

I should’ve just said “hell no” and bolted for the door, but although I still said no, I took the weak-willed cop-out: “I can’t do anything like that.  I’m involved.”  I was hoping that would put an end to any more Dare suggestions.

Some manipulators have a way of working you slowly, figuring out exactly where you’ll draw the line by determining what you’ll say “yes” to today, in order to push that line a little further next time, and turn more “no”s into “yes”s.

I continued to do a few more sessions.  I can hear you hollering and wanting to punch your screen.  Or me.  Or both.  Hell, the Adult Me wants to go back and grab 18-Year-Old Me and shake her by the shoulders and yell “what are you thinking??  Get the hell out of there.”

But no, the banter escalated further to his touching me, softly but quickly in my sacred regions, without my consent.  Every time, I jumped.

Somehow he managed to get his hands on my chest and behind.  He complimented both.  How nice.

Of course, I was naked, laying on my stomach, with him sitting beside me.  And I was saving for university.  I didn’t feel I could just get up and leave, despite the sheer violation and subsequent seething resentment I felt.

I did begin to send frostier, more business-like signals, though.  I was here for the art in exchange for the cash, and that was it.  I didn’t tell him as much, but he’s not entirely stupid; he sensed it and caught on.

In turn, he treated me more coolly, too.  Manipulators use that tactic as well.  When you don’t give them what they want, they turn on you, either trying to make you feel sorry for them, or think small of yourself.  They stop propping you up.  They fall flat, fast.  They try to spin you around, back into their invisible web.

“You’re not as playful as you used to be.  That’s disappointing.”

He made noises, then, about arm wrestling, but I put the kibosh on that, too.  I could see where that could lead: a demonstration of strength and power that one day escalates to him pinning me down.  And/or an evaluation on his part of my strength, so he would know exactly how strong I was and what it would take to overpower me.  Either way, losing battle.  No, thanks.

I did make it out of there safe, by the graces of forces wiser and more intelligent than I was then.  Knowing what I know now, reading those journals drains the blood from my face.  How devastating the story ending could have been.

I was young, and a brown belt in karate by then.  But despite his age, he was a large, muscular guy, and a master manipulator who knew just how to pluck 18-year-old strings.

I didn’t return his phone calls for several months.  I moved out of the area and began university.  I think one day I finally did pick up the phone when he called, informing him that I couldn’t “work” for him anymore.

I came away from the experience believing that sexual desires and activity are primitive and animalistic.  I knew then that sexual relationships were not for me.  Whatever intimacy I could have really enjoyed was suffocated before it could really begin.  I was still a virgin, but I was already tired of the idea of sex, being touched against my will, and the surges of male hormones.  Everything is OK, until it isn’t.

And thus, the Machine part of me, or the desire to be as such, was born.

(Thank you for reading my story.  It’s one of the most painful secrets I carried.)

***

(Image Credit: Cyril Rolando)

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77 Comments

  1. Again, I can’t touch the ‘like’ on this post. This is just a horrible act from a horrible person preying on you.

    Taking advantage of someone by that sort of manipulation is despicable.

    I really feel for you. I was inappropriately touched by a school counsellor. He killed himself after he was outed by boys who suffered more than a touch.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Omg my dear friend, I’m so sorry 💔💔. People in positions like these are especially despicable, because their whole job involves children, and children are vulnerable every day without their parents, as required by law to attend school between certain ages, and in exchange for the requirement to release their children to school where they’ll be in the hands (and at the mercy) of people not known to the parents (or the kids, at first), there’s a certain amount of trust placed in the hands of these people. For them to abuse that by abusing those children…there’s a special place in hell for people like that 😡😡💔

      I’m so glad that he was outed, though! At least that step was taken.

      I really feel for you, too 💐💗💞

      Thank you so much for sharing your story 💜💙💜

      Liked by 3 people

    2. I agree with you, Gary! Though I love Laina’s blog post and her way of expressing herself through her writing, I cannot hit the “Like” button on this one. I am truly sorry for what you experienced. These sickening events change us forever.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, my pretty 😘😘. Your support means so much ❤️. Yep, you got it – I think that’s why this one ended up being so long; I wanted to explain in detail, since I could this time (I had journal entries with quotes for this one) 💚💙. My goal is prevention, for others–or, if it’s already happened, to help people know they’re not alone and maybe someone will want to compare notes (with me or internally with themselves) or something 🌷💓🌷

      Liked by 3 people

        1. Amen, luv! 👏🏼👏🏼. I’m so glad you’ve not been abused 💙. The situations (abuse and being scammed), although different, have quite a few similarities in that the elicit similar emotions/vibes–distrust, cynicism, skepticism, sometimes less self-confidence, etc. Everyone can become a suspect. The deception can be very similar, as can the manipulation tactics and such 🌺. I hope this helps people, too 🌷💞🌷

          Liked by 2 people

          1. True, in some ways it can help us not to be as naive as we can be, although these people sniff our vulnerability in us. If we can wise up without it shattering a basis of trust that is okay but such abuse can act in just the ways you mentioned which is devestating for the sufferers.

            Liked by 2 people

  2. I have been reading all your posts on this subject, although I haven’t commented so far. Huge respect to you for telling your stories. I have no #MeToo story to tell, but from reading yours I can see how easily it could have happened to me. It just never did. Yes, I can think of a couple of inappropriate moments, but they were one-offs, brief moments, never repeated and never with the same person.
    By the way, you’ve probably sussed this, but as a European I can tell you that his story about girls and their older “teachers” is complete bull.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you luv 😘😘❤️❤️

      I’m so relieved that you *don’t* have such a story to tell 🙏🏼👍🏼💓. I’m sorry you’ve had even those brief moments, though. Even that should never happen to anyone 💙💙.

      Thank you for the clarification about dispelling the European girl “custom” BS. I believed it at the time (no google lol), but began to suspect it might be BS later (a long time later). Thank you for officially setting the record straight! 👏🏼😘💜💗💜

      Liked by 3 people

  3. That’s an awful experience and I am so sorry you had to go through that. There is no excuse for his actions or people who act as disgusting as him. Did he ever get outed do you know? By like other women etc? It seems for a man who acts like that should not have been allowed to do such art work.

    I have an awful experience myself, happened in my mid 20’s. However I have only shared it with my parents and my now husband. It’s not that I don’t like talking about it or what have you, but it’s too personal for me to post publicly online. I have some boundaries with my blogs. 😛 This experience is not nearly as bad as some of the horror stories that have happened to other women, girls, boys etc. But I can relate and I can most definitely relate wanting to go back and pull yourself out of the situation or wishing you could have done more. Although I did get the situation to stop right away, the way it was dealt with made me feel uncomfortable and not protected by longer than I liked too. So yes I wish I could go back and done more for myself.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you very much for your support, girl 😘😘. Yep, he has pursued other women, I think. I only know of one other–my grandmother saw him at another singles meeting, chatting up a guy once he found out that the guy had a young female relative. The guy got miffed at him 😂. Nope, he never got outed 👎🏼. And I think it’s a pattern, too, because he was so skilled at the manipulation 😡🌺

      I totally understand the personal nature of these situations, and I totally respect your decision to keep it to yourself 💗💗

      It’s amazing what hindsight brings, eh? I’d love to go back and have some conversations with my younger self 💚💙💚

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I thank you for having the courage to share this with us, Laina. It was horrifying.. Your description of his manipulation techniques remind me of someone I once knew… Nice and gentlemanly at first but then it all changes… Like we’re part of their master plan.. Sending gentle hugs ❤

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Yes, it’s empowering to share our stories but also heartbreaking, as you say.. But know you are helping many people with this blog – from the #MeToo series to the poems – and that many of us look forward to your posts ❤

        Liked by 2 people

        1. You’re absolutely right! It’s such a sad fact that something like this is so widespread, especially in a society that considers itself so “advanced” and “civilized”. I guess it’s not so much so after all 😔. But the good news is that we’re sharing our stories and supporting each other 👍🏼💗. Thank you so much for your caring and encouraging words 💚💙💚

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Laina, Thank you for writing in such an achingly honest way about your experience. I am thinking of the many young girls (and boys perhaps) that fall prey today to photographers and artists, feeling flattered, being paid. I wish that they could read your step by step analysis. How telling that your boyfriend sensed something was wrong. How right was his intuition. I hope that all that that everything that the predator stole from you has been restored and returned, that you no longer feel safer as a machine. You are beautiful in your complex humanity. With sincere love and thanks.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Omg wow, thank you so much for your encouraging words and support, dear one! 💙💜. I think you’re right on the money, on all counts! You’re absolutely correct; my then-boyfriend couldn’t explain further, but he sensed something was Up, and I should have listened to that 😉💜. I wrote it off at the time because he was prone to being a little overprotective (in a genuine and innocent way), so I thought he might be overreacting. (I didn’t disrespect him or fight with him about it; I actually admired him for it and appreciated his concern; I just didn’t take it as seriously as I should have.). Hindsight and all that 😉💚💙. Thank you again, so much! What you said means so very much to me 💓💓💓

      Liked by 2 people

  6. What a sick f****! You did nothing wrong. Ever. He was a master manipulator. They know what they are doing. At 18 or any age you wouldn’t know you are being manipulated by someone like this.
    Thank you for sharing this part of your life. I’m so sorry it happened to you.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so very much for your support, my lovely! I can’t express how much I appreciate that. You are absolutely right! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼. It took me a long time to realize what happened, and a long time to let myself off the hook. Part of me thought that I was to blame for part of this, but then I realized how gradually it started and how vulnerable and unknowing I had been, and that seems to set the record straight in my mind. Sometimes my brain needs another reminder that I’m not at fault 😘. Thank you so much for that ❤️❤️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It is sade that you were near to be a victim for sexual abuse. He must had been disappointed when hej not managed to fool you. But you managed to get into university and get away from him unscathed. And you be praised for that. Did it take place on a November back then? What was it that made you remember him?

    PS. All Saints Day is celebrated on 4 november in Sweden (when it is Saturday).

    MVH djanne1

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi! 🙂 It actually took place in March through July of 1996, but I was reminded of it now with the “#MeToo” campaign circulating around social media and various blogs here on WordPress 🙂 I thought I’d add my voice to the chorus, to stand with my fellow siblings to whom this has happened ❤

      That's so cool that you celebrate All Saint's Day on 4 November! I think I might do the same this year 😀 Gives me a fresh chance to do it 😉 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m sorry you had to go through that experience. The only upside about that story is that you now can write it down and spread the knowledge of manipulating techniques. No one should be forced to go through what you did. But by spreading information about how this kind of creeps works you contribute to increase the knowledge that can stop this things from happening to others. The like button is for your braveness and wiseness 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you for sharing such difficult stories to write. You do it very well. I will do more drawings on the subject when I get time to do it. I have some ideas I want to try.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank goodness you left when you did. I shudder to even think about about it…
    I dearly hope stories like yours enables others avoid getting into any similar situations as much as I’m sure it brought back some rather horrible feelings. m totally not cradling some “sharp implement” right now. Honest.
    oh, and how many other people are sharing their stories? how do you find them?
    Maybe I should share something too?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much for your warm words, dear one 😘❤️. I hope exactly the same thing – that it helps others either heal or avoid those situations/people altogether. Wolves in semi-sheep’s clothing 💜

      I’m finding a lot of stories through the “Me Too” tag (alternatively “MeToo” or “#MeToo”), both on WordPress and sometimes on Twitter (some people will link to their blog posts) 🌺🌺. Some are also blogs I’m already following 😊

      Sure! – if you have a story that you feel comfortable sharing, and it doesn’t do more harm than good to bring it up to share it, then by all means, please do 💜💜. I figure the more stories we read, the less alone we feel and the more we can learn from to prevent these things from happening again 👍🏼👍🏼. Do consider it carefully, though 💞. It’s been hard going back through journals and memories and bringing it all back up to the surface again in order to talk about it 💚💙. I don’t regret doing so at all, but it took more energy and altered my headspace more than I expected, in ways that lingered for longer than I expected. Of course, everyone is different, so what I experienced may well not be the same for you, but I wanted to give you a heads up about my experience so that you know the possibilities 💜💜. But yes, whatever you feel comfortable sharing, please feel free to add your voice 🌺🌷🌺

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your caring words, my lovely 😘🌺. Time has had its way of healing me from this and helping me put it largely behind me, at least that I can tell 💙. I’m only glad it didn’t go further than it did 😘💜💜

      Like

  10. Thanks so much for sharing, it must have been extremely exhausting to write it all up.

    But I’ve never seen as good a description as this of exactly how a manipulator breaks boundaries with that technique of gradually escalating to the limits, then backing right off when they’re caught, until it’s almost “forgotten” in the pursuit of acting normal, and then they attack again with a very different approach to the one you protected against earlier.

    And also that bit where the verbal softening up and probing of the boundaries happens by talking about 3rd parties and seeing how you react and how easy it is to normalise it. Especially as it sounds as if he did that pre-emptive excuse, oh no, of course it’s nothing sexual.

    Obviously from the past 2 paragraphs, I’ve been in a situation like this, and it was pretty awful, especially as I was older, and could see lots of things coming, but of course my protests were outsmarted by processing delays.

    Thanks again.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you so much for opening up and sharing this part of your life. No one should have to go through anything like that.
    It is deeply moving, making my blood boil. Yes, I would like to jump into the pages and knock his lights out too.
    I only pressed “like” simply because of well you have articulated to us this story, taking us all into that time of your life.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, my lovely 😘❤️. You’re very, very right 👏🏼👏🏼. I love how you put that: “I would like to jump into the pages and knock his lights out, too.” – bravo! 👏🏼👏🏼😁😁💗💗

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Just wanted to say hello and love this art. Not able to read the content at the moment. I think for myself Kevin Spacey all over the news and what he was accused of is bringing a lot of issues for me. God bless

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I totally understand, at least in my own way 💗💗. It’s so disheartening all the shizz that’s been happening for eons; I’m not surprised by everything that’s been coming out, nor am I surprised by the various responses and emotions that have also surfaced 💚💙. Thank you so much for reaching out and saying hello! It’s really nice to know you 💓🌷💓

      Like

  13. It is hard to comment on this. I want to list reasons of hate and disgust at all of it. In all honesty, I don’t know what to say. I myself have a story to share someday. Or not… I don’t think I am as brave as some of you guys that I have followed and read about lately. Your bravery, The Bipolar Writer (https://jamesedgarskye.com/). It takes so much. Thank you for sharing… I know you don’t know me, but for what its worth, I’m sorry these things happened.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for commenting, my dear friend! I know how tough it can be 💐💐. Yes, I think you’re every bit as brave! Thank you very much for your caring and for your encouraging words 😘😘.

      My philosophy is that a “stranger” (especially in a forum such as this!) is likely simply a friend we haven’t yet met 💚💙💜🌺

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Humbling, astonishing, gutsy, troubling, gripping, fiercely thoughtful and thought provoking. My “thought furnace” is cooking!

    Very, very sorry you (and so many others) had (have, will have) to endure this sort of thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. What a profound story! It is very disturbing that the world is proliferated by sexual predators like this asshole! Your struggle is evident in your writing. Let me assure you, you are not to blame. The innocent cannot begin to imagine what goes through the mind of the predator. We find ourselves in horrible situations without realizing what is behind the proverbial curtain until it is, often, too late. I have had some horrific experiences similar to this. Too many, in fact. To the point where I began to wonder if I was, in some way, asking for it. Today, I know better. I just don’t expect people to act this way. I’d like to see the return of the frontal lobe lobotomy for people who are like this!

    Like

  16. I am so sorry, and that you kept at it knowing what you would experience saddens me, that he didn’t keep it professional saddens me more. I know you wouldn’t chance this again, and that you learned the hard way, but it’s difficult to read and feel the shock and anguish of this. I just want to rush in, wrap you up, carry you out with a punch on the nose for Kurt, and take you to safety, telling you everything is okay now, but Kurt isn’t.
    I felt protective.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww! Your words comfort me so! You nailed it, with every word 👏🏼👏🏼😊. I’d never chance this again. Yeah I think what ended up happening was his ultimate goal from the git-go. If I would’ve known that… But I guess I needed to learn the hard way. Not saying I had it coming, just that there’s a lesson in all things, if I know where to look 😘. Thank you very kindly for reading and offering your encouraging words! 🙌🌺🌷

      Like

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