It is the first of September, Labor day, the official end of summer. Most pools will be closing. Shorts, and sundresses and swimsuits will be packed away for another year. Sweaters and hoodies will find their way back to the tops of drawers and frequent trips to the washer.Everyone is back at school. Fall Festivals will begin. There is pumpkin everything everywhere. I’m not complaining. I love pumpkin everything! But it is time to put the summer to rest. Hold on to the memories, embrace the changes that have occurred and reflect upon the lessons of the past three months.
Almost at the exact midpoint of the summer, I was a witness to some very inappropriate behavior. Being new to the scene and still unsure of protocols and procedures involving such things, I turned to two of my most trusted companions for clarification and to vent. These women are experienced and knowledgeable and very respected within our community. They are also just freaking awesome and I am honored to call them my friends. Over the next few days, I was bombarded with questions and constant inquiries from the offending person, not to mention the victim’s constant texts and phone calls stating she wanted to move passed it but never talking of anything else. The perpetrator asked that I speak with the party host. I think it was his attempt to clear his name. I spoke the truth and only the truth as I have all along. Through that conversation, my respect for the hosts grew and I was reassured that what I had witnessed was indeed inappropriate.
I wish I could say that that was the end of my personal experience involving the incident. But, sadly it isn’t. The event, and words that were said while I was in that room, triggered my PTSD. Over the next few weeks, I began to have nightmares, was on edge all the time and just wanted it all to be over and to move on. Yet, I was not given a break from the constant reminders of what had occurred. I chose to distance myself from the offender, stating in no uncertain terms that I could not overlook his behavior and that he was not the sort of person I wanted in my life. I turned to those closest to me for support regarding the lingering effects the nightmares, speaking more of my past and why all of this was causing so much stress.
I continued my stance of not making any public statement about the event or even my personal experience or reflections. I have kept this event private. When asked by others to speak of it to persons not involved, I have refused. I truly believe that in time everyone shows their true colors. We all know the saying about giving someone enough rope.
The rest of my summer was lovely and full of time spent with friends and laughter and finding myself in love with the most amazing young lady. Yes, summer can be a time of unexpected and surprising delights and plot twists and turns and adventures found when you think you have lost your way. It can be a time to feel reborn and alive. It can be absolutely amazing. So why did I mention the bad stuff? Because while I have been living my life, falling in love and building stronger relationships and seeing the good in my life and my world, others have not been and have decided to blame me for their unhappiness and the consequences of their actions. I have been accused of all sorts of things that quite honestly, I just don’t have the time or energy for. Until I was publically mentioned in a post by the offender, I had not even discussed what had happened with my girlfriend. All I had ever said to her was that from my experience, he isn’t who he appears to be and I have chosen to not have him in my life. At a recent munch, I was whispering and giggling with my sister, something we always do. But apparently, someone took that personally and was offended.