So they went somewhere else, he didn't tell me, and he picked up a random illiterate 19-year-old (don't know how far that went - he said nowhere, but I don't automatically believe him anymore) and was uncommunicative and lied about when he'd be home. Said he "forgot" I'd asked to be informed of a change of venue. But in context, yeah, he was keeping me from meeting these people so he could fuck his way through them with me unawares; his main entry point to that group pimped him out to at least three women while I was at Wiscon.
He knew when I got back that there was no way of coming back from that. Because I found out, of course. And also re: the woman he had unprotected sex with who has high-risk HPV, who refused to divulge test results, whose results he lied about - he knew that I'd have to make a call about whether I could ever have sex with him again, and with a solid week of cheating on me under his belt, maybe he felt like he had nothing left to lose.
I don't know why he thought I wouldn't report the rape. I don't know why he was surprised when I called the cops after he beat me up.
But yeah. This was all very deliberate and premeditated on his part.
I had a hard time at parts of the Beginning of Summer party.
My experience this year was different than it's been at the last few parties. I'm used to having days-long arguments about parties, and then being sometimes literally stuck in the corner so he can run off and Be the Prettiest and sparkle at women and get hit on and dry-humped. Which I got used to. Have folding chair, will hold court.
I circulated more at this one. At the last party, I wore navy blue; at this one, I wore white and bright green and was visible. I got to talk to people. I didn't have to keep track of him and keep limiting myself to keep the spotlight on him. That felt good.
But I had to keep my phone on me at all times and keep scanning the perimeter in case he showed up. No one in his situation in their right mind would. But he's clearly not in his right mind. So I had to keep watch, had to have a constant tension level and readiness for response.
And it's not fair that he raped and beat me and I have to be going through that. I want the science-fiction future where we can accelerate my healing and put the fear and shame on the person who inflicted it.
The part that was actively hard was the fire-spinning. Judah spins staff, and has been fire marshal the last few parties. He used to fly out here just to spin at these parties. So I went from circulating and having fun like not-usual to sitting down to watch firespinning - like usual. Every year, twice a year, I would sit right there and watch him, and admire him.
And this year he was not there, where he always is. Because he raped me and beat me up.
Tears came, and I stepped away and called michaeldthomas, then pulled mangosteen aside to cry it out and probably get mascara all over his shirt. I was devastated. Because I have so many things going on in my head simultaneously.
Because he was my future, my forever.
And yet the minute he hit me, that future was impossible.
The person I went on a date with Tuesday described the moment he knew he and his wife were getting a divorce. A future where the continued to be married was suddenly impossible. And in that moment, everything became remote. Just - could not see them with each other anymore.
And there's that. It's been less than a month. But, especially because the Judah I talked myself into believing in never existed, because now I see the long pattern of gaslighting and abuse - it is remote. There is no future that includes him even as a friend, and everything feels so very remote.
But I did believe in him. For so long. To part of my brain, that Judah was real and I loved him. And that doesn't instantly vanish. My Judah would never/my Judah was a mask/my Judah never existed. Cycles.
I am a control freak. I have my reasons. I am a control freak who is not in control at this time. I am a catlike person in that I do not like to show my pain, and yet here I am. The very act of speaking out to protect my community means that my pain is on public display. Line up and poke Shira's wounds. This is hard. This makes me angry. And so I swing through anger, fear, distress, loss, all in the same day sometimes.
And I understand why people walk away sometimes, why they don't prosecute, why they try to pretend it didn't happen. Because this is hard. It is incredibly hard. Even for someone who knows their resources. It is an emotionally wrenching and grinding thing to have to go through.
But this is Judah Sher's true face. This is a nine-year pattern of emotional abuse and domestic violence - oh, I have put together a lot of history there.
And if I shut up and shut him out and walk away like nothing happened?
He'll do it again.
I never blame anyone who doesn't want to press charges. See above about THIS IS FUCKING HARD. You have to take care of yourself first. If that means you can't do this, you can't do this.
But I have family and partner and community support in a way that not enough survivors of rape and domestic violence have.
And I will stay the course, so he will not be able to do this to anyone else.