Sexual Assault Is this assault?

Strangelongtrip

MyPTSD Pro
Hi all. I need some outside advice from someone who doesn't know me for what to do, and if I was in the wrong or right. I think I'm sort of in the wrong, but also so is the other person.

A few weeks ago, my roommate and I went out to a gay bar to go dancing and drinking. I was the DD so I had maybe 3-4 drinks over 4-5 hours (which I still realize is too much as a DD, ever since I met them I've been making stupid decisions like this and I'm stopping now I'm aware). My roommate was drinking all day (they have an alcohol problem but won't admit it), and drank maybe 6? Drinks.

A woman and I made out at some point in the night after dancing, and I went and talked to my roommate again and told her. She was like "hey, *I* want to kiss you!!!" over and over again. I told her no about 6-7 times, sometimes by saying she sorta had a bf, sometimes saying it would be weird as roommates, sometimes this. She would not let up for about 10 minutes as she followed me around the club. We finally went to the bathroom and a few people witnessed her coercing me in this way. I finally after ten times or so said ok you can peck me if you stop asking me. So I did, and she said she wanted a real kiss, and I was like no that was enough.

About ten minutes later we were sitting at the bar talking. She seemed totally fine, maybe a little tipsy, but kept hitting on me and trying to hold my hand. I'm not used to knowing when people are really drunk, but she's been getting sick when she drinks and she ended up getting sick and passing out at the bar. I had to get help from strangers to load her up in my car, and then alone had to get her into the apartment.

The next day she said she remembered some things (and me making out with someone, I think), and so I just assumed she remembered kissing me and didn't want to talk about it. I talked to my therapist later about how she kept pressuring me, just saying it wasn't a big deal and you know it's fine, and they said that was assault and very wrong. I didn't want to talk about it with my roommate because like, it was incredibly awkward to me and I thought well if she doesn't bring it up, then we can just move on and I can get to the end of the lease or whenever we both move states (her to CO me to CA). I feel bad I didn't say anything sooner but I've also started to have panic attacks when I'm out with her alone because I'm scared it'll happen again.

She went to visit CO and was just really embarrassed and having a bad time (it was the third time in 3 months she'd gotten sick from drinking) so I didn't say anything bc "you assaulted me" just seemed like it would be bad for her mental health (yeah, I am reading that back).

I finally brought it up two days ago, and at first she apologized and then she was like "well I didn't remember it so I couldn't have really consented." And I was like ok but you asked me like 7 times and pressured me so I finally did it. I didn't know she was black out, she was walking, talking and acting normally, even taking non blurry non shaky photos and videos of us. We talked about it, it seemed okay, we were supposed to go to an event that night.

We both do therapy, and suddenly she won't even talk to me. She ignores me. She doesn't tell me she's cancelling our plans and goes and sees her mom without telling me (her mom is an awful abuser, but they have a relationship). She doesn't talk to me the next day, either, and passive aggressively slams things loudly while cleaning. I finally text her this morning, asking her if she can please just tell me what's up and why she's ignoring me (she knows my abusive ex did this to me--KNOWS it's a trigger). And her response is "I really don't want to talk." I just said okay, I'll give you space, but could you tell me what the h*ll is wrong? No response. She unfollowed me and made me unfollow her on instagram, won't talk to me, let me follow her back??? and then said all of two words to me "talk to you later". when she left, she's been gone for days.

I understand being upset about not knowing something happened and she deserves time to process this, but she knows me well enough to know I wouldn't assault someone, so I wonder if she's embarrassed? But this behavior is just absolutely not okay to me. I also have a dog that she used to be nice to but now ignores and doesn't even look at because she's mad at me.

We had a fine relationship and friendship before this, although her drinking and drug use often became an issue. She doesn't have any other friends here and hasn't tried to make them, but has family here (I do too).

This is really long so thank you for reading, TLDR; think my roommate coerced assaulted me but she doesn't remember it and I waited to tell her, was this assault, and how do I deal with the silent treatment?
 

joeylittle

Administrator
IMO, that wasn't assault. It was frustrating and annoying, but not assault.
I finally brought it up two days ago, and at first she apologized and then she was like "well I didn't remember it so I couldn't have really consented." And I was like ok but you asked me like 7 times and pressured me so I finally did it.
I read this as, you are blaming her for your decision.

To be clear - I don't think either of you were making good choices. It was a bad situation from top to bottom. But, if we start from the premise that you two are friends - and you were the designated sober person - then your friend was relying on you to keep your head on straight. That doesn't mean she can do whatever she wants...but there was no real physical pressure, there were no threats, I don't see coercion, just her being a pain in the ass.
I understand being upset about not knowing something happened and she deserves time to process this, but she knows me well enough to know I wouldn't assault someone, so I wonder if she's embarrassed?
If she knows you well enough to know you wouldn't assault someone...then wouldn't the same be true in reverse? That you'd know her well enough to know that she's got a real drinking problem, and that she was acting extremely out of character? As the designated driver, your responsibility is to intervene when things have gone far enough, and get everyone home safely.

I understand why you found the whole thing upsetting. I can see her side of it as well.
 

Strangelongtrip

MyPTSD Pro
I read this as, you are blaming her for your decision.

To be clear - I don't think either of you were making good choices. It was a bad situation from top to bottom. But, if we start from the premise that you two are friends - and you were the designated sober person - then your friend was relying on you to keep your head on straight. That doesn't mean she can do whatever she wants...but there was no real physical pressure, there were no threats, I don't see coercion, just her being a pain in the ass.
If she knows you well enough to know you wouldn't assault someone...then wouldn't the same be true in reverse? That you'd know her well enough to know that she's got a real drinking problem, and that she was acting extremely out of character? As the designated driver, your responsibility is to intervene when things have gone far enough, and get everyone home safely.

I understand why you found the whole thing upsetting. I can see her side of it as well.
She was the one who ended up kissing me, she was touchy and weird, and we both weren't sober. I can get her side of it, I do, but asking someone over and over until you wear them down absolutely is coercion, or at least what I've been taught in therapy. I'm not used to being the DD for people who are like this and didn't know what to do, usually everyone just has 2-3 drinks, I don't drink and we go home.

But seeing this I can see why she can be upset, and she's valid in it. I just really don't want to even be around her, I started having panic attacks whenever I was alone with her.
Are you asking if she assaulted you by asking over and over and over to be kissed? Or if you assaulted her by kissing her?
Either of us? She kissed me, and it's not out of character for her to ask to kiss me either, she makes fun of it all the time and flirts with me all the time. I just said ok and she pecked me. I don't think I explained it well but I get what you're both saying, and I just think maybe at this point I need to move out or something idek.
 

Strangelongtrip

MyPTSD Pro
And I guess it made her feel that way too, but I don't know what to do about that if she doesn't want to talk to me, so I'll give it time I guess. I think maybe we bring out the worst of each other and are better as just roommates and not friends.
 

Friday

Moderator
it still made me feel the way assaults do,
You might want to unpack that a bit… because it’s likely to be VERY useful to you. In a few different ways

Because things like
- Doesn’t care what I want, only cares what she wants
- Just keeps on doing whatever it is she wants, no matter how often you tell her no, and to stop.
- Doesn't care who sees / everyone sees but does nothing
- Denies anything ever happened, then gets mad at you for what she did,
- AND A WHOLE LOTTA other possible facets, some that infuriate/sicken, others that nonplus.

The assault-links will be glaringly obvious. And will give you a lot to work on / work with, trauma-wise & life-wise… (because those things happen in non-trauma normal life near constantly, it’s part of how trauma f*cks up normal life so hard) …because this highlighted what those aspects are, and how hard they hit you. IE This just created a guided map.


BUT? One better???

Replace “kiss” with “pony”

I wanna pony! Give me a pony! Just a little pony! C’mon! Who would be better with a pony than me?!? Pony pony pony pony pony! I WANNA PONY! Give me a pony??? Pleeeeeeease??? Pony!!! 🤬 Give me a f*cking PONY! 😭Waaaaaaaah. I’m ugly, and I’ll neeeeeever haaaaaaave a pony. And you don’t reeeeeeeally like me, cause even YOU won’t give me a pony! With their clippyncloppy feet, and their flickery ears. and I would be the BEST pony person every! I promise! 🥰 Please please please please pony pony pony pony! 🐎

^^^ All of a sudden? It loses the “coercive” aspect, right? And just becomes an obnoxious drunk person who won’t STFU.

But wait! There’s more! (For only $19.99) I can all but guarantee that

- the result of the pony-pony-pony wouldn’t be that you get her a pony

- that sexual requests aren’t the only thing you would feel obligated to present someone with, should they trip the right trauma tripwires/triggers/stressors (the first bit, where it FELT like assault)

… and figuring out what those are? Are going to be a SHAZAAM! moment of cascading wonderfulness lighting up your life. Because all of a sudden? (Cough, after a f*ckton of work). Stupid “easy” boundaries just snap into place. Because the connection BREAKS between trauma (do this or die) and whatever inane request/demand someone is making (Pony!).

***

So… like I said above a million a years ago? SUPER USEFUL to actually parse out everything from that night & after that feels like assault. In the cascading wonderfulness that happens when those links break.

Totally worth losing a drunk dipshit of a pseudofriend, for.
 

Strangelongtrip

MyPTSD Pro
You might want to unpack that a bit… because it’s likely to be VERY useful to you. In a few different ways
This whole [email protected], can I buy you a coffee? Or pay for this therapy session? This makes so, so much sense to me. I definitely had to use to give into people who genuinely coerced me because I was going to be assaulted in other ways or it was just going to happen. I'm gonna bring this whole thread up in my therapy next week!!! Thank you so so much.
that sexual requests aren’t the only thing you would feel obligated to present someone with, should they trip the right trauma tripwires/triggers/stressors (the first bit, where it FELT like assault)

… and figuring out what those are? Are going to be a SHAZAAM! moment of cascading wonderfulness lighting up your life. Because all of a sudden? (Cough, after a f*ckton of work). Stupid “easy” boundaries just snap into place. Because the connection BREAKS between trauma (do this or die) and whatever inane request/demand someone is making (Pony!).
That's so true. I also feel obligated to give people money a lot when I can't afford it. I tend to give things I'm not comfortable with. I need to work on my boundaries completely. Thank you again.
So… like I said above a million a years ago? SUPER USEFUL to actually parse out everything from that night & after that feels like assault. In the cascading wonderfulness that happens when those links break.

Totally worth losing a drunk dipshit of a pseudofriend, for.
Thank you so much. Yeah, I'm looking into getting a place by myself. Cheap enough to do in this state. I'm going to give it til Monday and then tell them I'll just leave (have to technically give my landlord 30 days, but I'm allowed to break my lease).
 
I believe that her pattern of behavior is very dangerous. Sure it was just a pressure for a kiss, but if she hadn't gotten upset with you,next time she went out for drinks it could've ended with her pressuring you for way more. If you look online, many agree that her coercing you to kiss would be considered assault. Many times people take only the context of "well you both were drinking", but many people drink and do not pressure their friends into sexual acts they wouldn't like to do. If she had constantly asked you to perform other sexual acts and you finally gave in, people would consider that assault. If you did not want to kiss her, but felt it was the only way to get her to stop harrassing you, that is considered assault.
 

Strangelongtrip

MyPTSD Pro
Thank you @lifeinthematrix I agree with that and so does my therapist (I didn’t at first). It’s not the first time she’s pressured me to do stuff either (stay out later, drink more than normal, pushing other boundaries). I’m glad she’s moving far away.

Also as a weird update, she finally texted me something really rude, then talked to me in person about how much she loved me and that’s why she couldn’t look at me, and now is back to talking to me like we used to??? She never ever apologized for assaulting me. Still believes it was my fault (but conveniently remembers everything before and after).

I do not understand at all. Like if I wasn’t just realizing it’s just happening around me and has nothing to do with me, I would be getting whiplash from her behavior. It’s good we’re talking I guess? Less stress.

I most likely will have an apartment ready for me at the end of the month so that’s good!! Not long now.
 

Sideways

Moderator
I finally brought it up two days ago, and at first she apologized
And yet...
She never ever apologized for assaulting me.
So...she did apologise. She just did a shit job of it.

Have you apologised? Nah, so, there's issues here for both of you to deal with in your own ways with your own Ts. But...
asked me like 7 times and pressured me so I finally did it.
If this amounts to coercion and assault? Your T is setting you up to have a really hard time with intimate relationships and close friendships.

Learning boundaries and effective communication skills? Super helpful.

Making things so black and white that annoying=coercion seems like setting you up for failure, and pretty unrealistic.
 

Strangelongtrip

MyPTSD Pro
So...she did apologise. She just did a shit job of it.

Have you apologised? Nah, so, there's issues here for both of you to deal with in your own ways with your own Ts. But...
I did apologize originally when we both awkwardly apologize, but yeah we definitely both handled it roughly. I appreciate the call-in. I guess I'm just frustrated rn mainly bc she never told me any of the issues she was having and then when I asked her and talked to her in person, so nicely, she apologized again bc she said she was just projecting onto me constantly and felt like she couldn't ask me bc of family trauma. I asked over and over and over again when I felt something was off, and she just would say it's fine, but it's okay. I think living alone is better for both of us. Maybe it'll be easier to work through stuff that way.
If this amounts to coercion and assault? Your T is setting you up to have a really hard time with intimate relationships and close friendships.

Learning boundaries and effective communication skills? Super helpful.

Making things so black and white that annoying=coercion seems like setting you up for failure, and pretty unrealistic.
I really do disagree with this, but that's fine! None of my friends would ever do anything like this to me, and haven't over combined decades of friendship (and getting really drunk together). I have a lot of incredible intimate friendships, and while I haven't had luck dating in a long long time I don't really have issues getting close with people anymore (that DEFINITELY wasn't always the case tho). It may also be because she has a crush on me, but I don't know for sure and don't really want to know either.

I don't think it was just annoying, because she's pushed very clear boundaries I have before and have communicated before, and she doesn't have boundaries for herself either. I wouldn't want to be friends with or intimate with anyone who pushed me in this way or is an active addict like this. I don't feel safe around her and haven't for a long time.

Like for example, going out with her drinking she would push me to stay out later than I wanted by guilt tripping me into staying out bc it was "the only place she was happy", and I couldn't leave her because she was messy and I didn't know if she would make it home safe. In contrast my friend M checks in with me throughout the night, we each handle ourselves and if either of us wants to leave we make sure we both get home safe.

Either way, it made me incredibly, incredibly uncomfortable and will definitely not be around her drinking anymore. Thank you though for the call in on the apology!! And definitely making notes for my therapist to go over!!

So thank you all!!
 
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