I want you to know that this is not meant as a call-out. I do not think of you as a monster and me as your victim. I am not accusing you of triggering me, nor of intending to do so. In fact, I love and respect you very much, as a fellow artist, as a fellow activist, as the bravest, strongest woman that I know.
But all that being said: there is no easy way to put this except to say that I do not want to go out with you tonight, do not want to put myself in a position where I might be drunk, I might be high, my inhibitions might be lowered, and I might let you take me home.
And I do not want to put myself in that situation because I am afraid that you will rape me.
I know that you would not. I trust you as much as I trust anyone. But I do not trust anyone much. I do not trust myself enough: I do not trust that the liberty I feel when high will not be replaced with the regret I feel when sober. I do not trust myself enough to not say yes to things I know I should say no too. And I do not trust you.
Yes, I am paranoid. Yes, I have trust issues. Yes, I am infuriating to deal with. I know, I know, I know. I post selfies on my Facebook page daring you to look straight down my growing cleavage, but flinch when your hand brushes mine. I bask in the adulation of women who live miles away, and squirm when one woman, sat across from me, tells me she likes my skin. I allow strangers on hook-up sites to tell me that I have nice tits, but cover mine when I am around you.
I am not being a tease.
I am not suggesting you are the kind of person who would tell me I’m a tease. I know the voice that tells me that I am, which whispers I know exactly what you’re doing, is not yours. But because I hear it, I have to refute it, have to tell you this is not a strategy, not in the way I fear you think. I am not feinting, hoping to make you attack. This is no sudden, strange surrender. I wish that it were. I wish that one day, one night, I could stop treating every interaction as a chess game, as a wrestling match, a duel. Or at least one where the stakes were not so high. To not always have to bob and weave as if my life were on the line. To yield. I want to do that: and if I were going to do it I can think of few women better than you to give in to. But I know that I will run, I know that I will try to fight you off and flee. This is my strategy: protection at all costs. This is my loss.
This is not you. This is on me.
And I am sorry.