Yes, I do think I knew these things on some level -- but I didn't FEEL them at all. Intellectually, I think I knew, but then there was another side of me fighting myself and convincing myself I was culpable, and that side usually won, because it makes more sense to me.
But now I feel it some.
I called Linda this morning and told her what I thought/felt last night, and she was pretty encouraged, it seemed.
I think we discussed this way back when we first were chatting, and I think maybe since: that accepting responsibility also makes me feel like I had some control, and if I didn't have control, then what does that mean? It means I can't avoid it happening again (I do recognize that statistically, this is extremely unlikely) and there are other things that could happen to me or those I love that I can't control or prevent. I am kind of a control freak. I like to direct what happens in my life. That is one reason why the past 6 months, with emotions I can't control, these years of dreams I can't control, etc. have been very disturbing to me. So it's scary to give up that control (or the illusion of it, I guess).
And I do think it makes sense that I automatically felt like it was my fault, considering how things were growing up. I didn't think about it consciously until recently -- whether it was or was not my fault - I just instinctively knew I was to blame and culpable for my actions and words. Also, I wasn't sure I had room to complain, since I had had sex years before.
How did these guys get to be that way? I don't worry so much about the other one --- I don't think he would have done any of it by himself -- I think he was trying to impress or earn the respect of his friend. But the mean one, he thought of some pretty bad stuff. And he must be pretty smart --- if he knew that by telling me to do and say things I would feel more ashamed and bad. I wonder if they have any clue how much damage they did.
But why, of all things, was a broken bottle there? Of all the trash that could have just been laying on the ground, why that? They didn't bring it with them, He just found it there. Even a stick might have been better. Why was anything there?
I have looked into reporting it, but all they will do is take a statement. I have looked through that city and county's arrest records, and in newspapers for any similar things, but I have found nothing. Legally, I know there is nothing I can do as far as them being punished for what they did that night. But you're right that they could use my story, perhaps, to show a "pattern of behavior" if they did something similar to mine. But it would be hard to get admitted, because generally, you can't admit evidence of prior bad acts, especially if not convicted, but there are a few exceptions. I will think about that. I don't think I am ready to do anything yet, and considering the unlikelihood of it preventing anything at this point, I feel okay about waiting to think it through. And just the telling of it to an officer -- I don't know if I can handle that right now.
I am still confused, but I feel like I got unstuck a little and I'm on the right track.
I have to work this weekend, since I am going back to Ohio next Saturday and will be gone all week from work. But maybe I can fit in something fun. Linda's husband is a songwriter and is performing some of his stuff at a Christian coffee house tomorrow evening, and she asked if I would come, so I think I will go for a while, with a few friends. And I have a banjo lesson Saturday morning, and of course church on Sunday, so I will have plenty of breaks from work.
I am a little nervous about going home next week, since my feelings about family are kinda twisted up right now, but I can't wait to see my nieces and nephews. I'm really excited about that. And I am seriously looking forward to driving back. I think a long road trip is exactly what I need and what P needs, too. I may feel differently about it after being in the car for a while and knowing we have so much further to go, but I think it will be a good thing. :)
Thank you so much, Kate. I feel a lot of relief emotion-wise, but also, physically, I can sense a relief. Like my heart is not as tight or something. Does that make sense?