Hey, everyone. I hope you're all doing well in your own journeys. I am very thankful to anyone who takes the time to connect with me here, and offer some comfort.
I'm here because my PTSD has been triggered by recent sexual harassment. I'm a young man, and a middle-aged woman made sexual comments towards me in a digital setting. (She is probably 20 years older than me.) She was very judgemental when I expressed discomfort, and ultimately deleted her on social media. I have taken practical steps to separate from her, and have informed a relevant community organiser, who will be speaking with her about boundaries, etc.
Practical safety aside, I'm feeling hollow inside, and scared. This is bringing up some negative stuff.
When I was in year 8, an older girl emotionally manipulated me, and sexually harassed me into having a relationship with her. She performed sex acts in front of me, with her older boyfriend. When I was in year 10, two adult women sexually harassed myself and a friend, and instructed us to kiss in the backseat of a car, telling me afterwards not to inform my mum about what happened. It made me feel dirty and shameful, as though I had done something wrong, when I was simply the victim of adult inappropriateness.
Those feelings are returning now, even though I logically know I am not at fault. My childhood experiences conditioned me to think "how could I have avoided this" and "how am I responsible for what happened", and even though I deliberately try to resist these nonsense impulses, they still creep up on me.
I am happy about one thing. I told this woman that I was uncomfortable, I sought accountability, and I removed myself from the situation. So, this is a victory.
Because in the past, I didn't resist. I was too afraid to stand up for myself. I would be unable to sleep, sick with terror, stomach in knots. Throughout all these experiences, I was never attracted to women (I am a gay man), so that made their perverted sexual advances even more frightening. At a young age, I knew I only liked boys, but I tried to convince myself I liked girls just to appease female predators.
I think this is a fresh start. I will never allow another woman's inappropriateness to go unaddressed.
I feel empowered, but I also feel disgusted. I feel angry. I want women to stop doing this to me, to just leave me alone. I want justice for the sexual harassment that occurred when I was young, but I don't know if I'll ever get it.
Thank you for reading.