Memories of long-ago assault revived by #MeToo movement
DEAR ABBY: Years ago, my husband and I hosted a St. Patrick’s Day party in our apartment for friends. There was a lot of drinking going on. I had to be at work early the next morning, so I went to bed while the party went on. I awoke a short while later to one of the men attempting to rape me. He stopped and attempted an apology by saying, “But you are just so pretty.”
My husband and I graduated from high school with this person, and he is/was part of the same circle of friends. I have not told many people, but the few who do know have maintained a friendship with him, including my husband.
Because of the #MeToo campaign, all the emotions have come to a head for me now. I think about this assault daily. The worst thing for me is that even though he knows about it, my husband has chosen to remain friends with him for 35 years.
How can I get past this?
CAN’T FORGET IN VIRGINIA
DEAR CAN’T FORGET: I can only imagine how traumatic the assault was, and for that you have my sympathy. The friends you confided in may feel that because your attacker was drunk, what he did was somehow excusable. That your husband would be so forgiving is, frankly, shocking.
It may take the help of a licensed mental health professional to put this behind you, if that’s possible.
I sincerely hope you will reach out to a therapist who treats post-traumatic stress as well as victims of sexual assault, and include your husband in some of the sessions.
DEAR ABBY: I’m a 55-year-old gay man with a problem. My 22-year-old son doesn’t know I’m gay. It was after my divorce that I started seeing men again.
I married my life partner of 13 years last year. My husband thinks I should sit my son down and tell him. I want to tell my son and be honest with him about my relationship with my husband, but my son is very religious and I’m afraid this will drive a wedge between us. Plus, I’m afraid of what ideas my ex would fill his head with about me.
CONFUSED IN THE SOUTH
DEAR CONFUSED: You say your son is 22 and you have been with your now-husband for 13 years. Haven’t you had regular visitation with your son all this time? Doesn’t he like your husband? If the answers to those questions are yes, then what makes you think he isn’t already aware of your sexual orientation? On the other hand, if the answers to my questions are no, then I doubt that telling your son what’s what will drive him any further away from you than he already is.
DEAR ABBY: What would you say about a man who still keeps a photo of himself with his late wife as his computer background picture two years after he remarried?
SECOND-FIDDLE SECOND WIFE
DEAR WIFE: I’d say he may be too lazy or computer-inept to update it. If it were me, I’d “volunteer” to help him change it.
Good advice for everyone — teens to seniors — is in “The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It.” To order, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447.