He saw me at a party during Jterm, and gave me a hug before I realized what was happening. When I saw who it was, I asked how he was doing. He was a former spring fling that fizzled out in the summer. One of those situations where everyone considers you both “together and basically dating,” even when you explain that’s not the case. We remained on good terms in that acquaintances with shallow party conversations way so I didn’t think this night would be any different. I saw his eyes were bloodshot, but I knew there were other nights he drank a lot so I didn’t think much of it.
He opened his mouth, and out came one self-deprecating statement after another. “Nobody likes me. I have no real friends. I’m a terrible person…” I smiled and told him not to be too hard on himself. A few minutes later, he announced he wanted to go home with me. The party was in his friend’s suite so I told him to stay and sleep there because he was clearly very drunk. He said he’d prefer to stay with me. I suggested if he wanted a hook up he should find another girl because I wasn’t interested. I was sick and wanted to go to bed. He replied that I was the only girl he wanted to be with that night, even if nothing happened.
The conversation continued in a circle with me telling him to stay or find someone else, and him insisting on leaving with me. Eventually I got fed up and walked away. I went next door to my friend’s suite to get my jacket. He followed me there and tried pulling me towards her bed. I grabbed his wrist and dragged him back to the party. He apologized and said he missed me. I replied he was drunk and the conversation was over. Inside I saw a friend who asked if everything was ok. I thought I had the situation under control so I said it was fine and I was going home.
I left the party and got about 200ft before I heard him calling my name and saw him running after me without a jacket. I told him to go back to the party, but he refused. After more arguing, I broke down. I wanted to go home and was concerned about leaving him alone when he was that drunk and making disturbingly negative remarks about himself. I said he could come back with me, but I was just putting him to bed. No hooking up whatsoever. He agreed.
I brought him back to my suite, sat him down on my couch, and got him some water. When he finished drinking I told him he needed to sleep, but he insisted that we have sex. I told him no and he could leave if he didn’t like my answer. He wanted to stay, and promised he wouldn’t bring it up anymore. But then he went in to kiss me and started tugging at my clothes. I told him to stop and that he needed to go. The next hour turned into a long wavering argument. There were periods of calm disrupted by his emotional outbursts that got progressively worse as I repeatedly shut him down.
Finally, he announced, “well if we’re not going to mess around I’m leaving.” When I saw he was dragging his feet I called him out on it, telling him to hurry up and get the fuck out. His behavior quickly turned for the worse again. All his underlying insecurities rushed to the surface as he fiercely articulated his self-loathing with more self-disparaging remarks. Then he began projecting that self-hatred onto me, making degrading comments, insulting me, and cursing me out. He approached me in an aggressive manner, got in my face, and started shaking my shoulders at one point. Though he was lashing out at me, I could see he hated himself, and I felt bad for him.
In that moment though, I emotionally shut down. I remained detached and took nothing personally. I called him out on the disrespect. I told him to check his entitled attitude, and that just because we hooked up in the past, he did not have right to assume he could fuck me whenever he pleased. I also addressed his refusal to listen to me when I said no multiple times before and after I left the party. The argument went nowhere and he finally left when he realized he wasn’t getting his way.
Two nights later I saw him out again drinking. He ran over to me, telling me he was sorry. He remembered us arguing, but had no clue what the argument was about. I angrily gave him a brief summary. He kept apologizing and asked if he put his hands on me, which scared the shit out of me. That question alone showed me how out of control he was, and how bad the situation could have been. Reaching the same conclusion, he said, “Oh my god. You could’ve called the cops.” He continued apologizing, and said he was lonely and missed me. He then explained, “That’s not me. You know me, and that’s not how I am.” I started getting upset so I walked away.
He sent me a text with another apology the following day. The message basically said, I’m sorry, you know that’s not me, hope we can be cool because I care about you. What bothered me was he did not take responsibility for his actions. The “that’s not me” was an attempt to dissociate himself from the incident. In addition, his wording sought not forgiveness, but absolution that would free him from any guilt or consequences.
I arranged to meet with his friend the next day, explaining how I felt this guy’s outburst was a cry for help, and that though he did not sexually assault me, he did harass me. I expressed my concern that the harassment could have escalated into physical or sexual violence, and that I was afraid of this guy putting another girl in a similar or more dangerous situation. I told the friend I thought this guy was in denial of a drinking problem. He appeared to be in a tremendous amount of emotional pain that he attempted to cope with by numbing himself with alcohol. I also said that this courtesy meeting was the best thing I could think to do. I knew he wouldn’t listen to me, but he would listen to his friend. His friend was very receptive to what I was saying and offered to speak to him without me having to ask. From what I’ve heard the talk went well, and other friends stepped in to help.
The shared sentiment one of his friends expressed to me was that, though unfortunate, he was lucky it was me. Lucky that I knew him. Lucky that I didn’t report this incident. Lucky that I felt comfortable going to one of his friends. Lucky that now his friends had ammunition to open up a dialogue about his drinking. And we’re all lucky that the situation didn’t turn out any worse. But how fucked up is that for me to say, “he’s lucky he harassed me?” Or “he’s lucky that he doesn’t remember what happened.” I remember, and I’m the one who had to process it. This was the first time I encountered any type of situation where I was so blatantly disrespected, and it was unfortunate it came from someone I once really cared about. I’m sure there are plenty of things I could have done that night to avoid the situation, but I can’t changed the past. That’s why I went to his friend. Because I hope in the future he will not treat anyone like that again.