TW: Abusive relationships, emotional/psychological abuse
When I was 13 I met twatface. Things happened. Eventually I took him to court, along with other victims and he was given a 6 year sentence for 4 counts of sexual assault, one count against each of us. All years ago. I’m over it.
And then 50 Shades of Grey came out and it was pretty depressing.
And then the film was made, due to be released on Valentines day, and I am furious. And so I started organising against it, planning to leaflet outside cinemas to outline the differences between Christian’s behaviour and an actually healthy relationship, to try to stop people being quite so enamoured with his abuse.
The internet was pretty sparse with resources we could just print and give out, so I’m making this leaflet myself, which means reading a lot into the details of how Christian is abusive, how Ana feels, etc. And a lot of it hits pretty damn close to home. This post especially: http://theramblingcurl.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/fifty-abusive-moments-in-fifty-shades.html?m=1 (all the trigger warnings of this post, plus physical/sexual violence) reminded me of specific things he did that made me feel like he was my only option, and I need to put them down somewhere.
He lead a youth group I attended, and we had a routine that he would walk me home afterwards so I could stay out later. At this point in my life he was the only person who really seemed interested in me. It was the only time I felt like I was special to someone, and yes it helped that he was older and in a position of authority, “If someone that high up is interested in me, thats a big deal!”, type thoughts. He made me feel valued in a way nobody else really did. And of course he used that. Once, our routine was broken because a girl who he considered much more special than me was coming, so he had to walk her home instead. Which made me feel pretty shit. So, they walked me home together and instead of coming in he left with her. After this he didn’t talk to me for THREE DAYS because I had been sad. And because the other girl had noticed that I’d been sad, and they’d had a small argument about it. The indication I’d given that I’d been sad? I didn’t meet their eyes as I went in, and I went in pretty quickly. Things that I did because I didn’t want them to realise how upset I was, because it was embarrassing for me. Literally, I hadn’t been good enough at hiding that I was upset, so he didn’t talk to me for 3 days. And when he did talk to me, it was to blame me for the argument they’d had, and tell me that he was only getting back on speaking terms with me so that it wouldn’t make things difficult with another club he ran. I learnt pretty quickly from that “you are not allowed your emotions unless they are convenient for twatface”.
What I hate most about 50 Shades of Grey is that I have to counter it. That it dares to exist and tell people that this kind of emotional manipulation is the keystone of a sexy relationship. That people dare to defend it as though it doesn’t shape the way people feel about relationships, as though it doesn’t tell every rape victim that their experiences are the sexiest fucking thing since sex. That in order to counter it I have to go back through things I thought I was over, and realise I am not nearly as past it as I thought I was.