people i love are still close with someone who has been abusive to me.
even though they witnessed the fallout. even though, in some cases, they witnessed it themselves. even though this person is in the process of being called out for being a sexual assaulter. they are still friends with him.
lately i have been writing them letters in my head. these letters all say, “how many people does he have to abuse before people stop standing with him?”
and today, that mind-letter got added to with a realization that i had, one so harsh, so sharp, that it had me doubled over on my bed, hyperventilating sobbing:
“why wasn’t i enough?”
why does there have to be another one for you to take me seriously? why have there been multiple people and still, by your friendship, you are giving your tacit seal of approval. why, when you saw what he was doing to me, when you saw the way he completely and utterly destroyed me for his own whims and convenience–why wasn’t that enough to cut ties?
why wasn’t i enough?
it’s so painful. it’s so painful, thinking about how i would like to include his name in this, so when people google him they know the full truth of him, not the nice guy persona that he projects, but the realization that, even if i did that, it’s highly unlikely that nobody would care. he’s got a “nice guy” persona and we are weird, we are radical, and no matter what we say he will not be sorry that he did things that have affected our entire lives. he will do them again. he will realize that he can abuse and still have friends and a community, because you all stand by him.
so how many, how many, how many people need to be abused. how many of us need to be sobbing till we can’t breathe, even years later, even in a whole new life. even though my life is notably better now, even though i have emerged from the tunnel and am making my dreams come true, this still has to weigh on me.
and no matter how much i live fierce and free and strong, the world will still reward him. that’s how the world works. the world is run by wifebeaters and abusers and rapists and sociopaths. the people who speak out wind up in institutions and the street and deep poverty. the victims get shunned. even in radical communities. even with good intentions. this doesn’t happen 100% of the time, of course, but it’s way too often.
i don’t know what i need now. i need to be enough.