I haven't posted on here for a bit, but mostly I just need to get this topic out. I've made some observations on how we use our power in relationship to others - some related to my rape, some not.
My ex (the perp) abused his power. He used it unethically to get his addict needs satisfied. He manipulated me, coerced me, call it what you will. He was emotionally abusive of me.
I also have personal power. I am trying to be intentional about how I use it, and to be ethical with others. The other day, I turned down an offer for a date with a guy (I think he just wanted to get laid). He was 24. I'm 41. I'm not interested in dating someone who was born the year I graduated from high school. My age and life experience and graduate degrees (and a host of other factors) give me more power than he has. I want to be ethical. And I want a relationship with a peer.
The way we and others use our personal power makes us vulnerable in our relationships and friendships. I appear to have inadvertently injured a friend (who was waiting for me to give an apology when I thought the incident had already been acknowledged). Making myself vulnerable to friends carries risks for both of us that one or the other won't live up to someone's expectations. Being vulnerable to a lover who then abuses that trust and love is scarring.
Sometimes, nearly four years later, I still find myself with moments of bitterness. Recently an acquaintance with whom I shared the brief mention of being a rape survivor, said about moving on that sometimes you just have to trust that the next person won't do the same thing.
Anyway, those are some of my opening thoughts on this emotionally confusing day.