Poorly groomed, he appeared to be houseless. Life spent in streets and parks can get degrading, no? People treat you like you’re subhuman.
He may have had alcoholism, or drug addiction. He was likely drunk, high, or both when he acted inappropriately. His self-discipline had gone out the window.
He probably grew up with bad examples of how men treat women.
He probably lacked training in sexual consent.
He probably wasn’t in any fulfilling relationship. He obviously couldn’t watch porn in the privacy of an apartment.
Maybe sneaking up and grabbing someone was the only solution he could see to alleviate his frustrated sexuality.
I’m sure you could count plentiful sad points in his life history. Times he got treated poorly. Ways life was harsh.
Even if this behavior is innate, I can’t fault him for that either. I’m prone to be sensitive and absentminded. I struggle to embrace all things practical. I didn’t choose my weaknesses. I bet he didn’t choose his either.
I believe in unconditional self-compassion and other-compassion.
I’m not making excuses for him. I’m understanding him, to the best of my ability. It helps me.
Self-compassion came first. I realized that what happened didn’t mean I was stupid, or that I was asking for it.
It wasn’t my mistake. I don’t have to relive it anymore. That’s why I didn’t bother describing exact events for this article. We’ve heard enough. Past humiliation doesn’t remove our ability to love proudly, joyfully, and consensually in the future.
Since I’ve dissolved any anger towards myself, I can forgive the other person more easily.
When I contemplate what possibly went wrong with that man’s actions, I find opportunities for my self-improvement.
I, too, have struggled with self-control. I was seriously addicted to online games. It kept me at a low percentage of my potential.
I’ve struggled with discipline around eating, focus, sleep habits, so many things. Including sexuality. I’ve never groped anyone at a park, but I’ve jilled off in my room for hours when I had tons of homework. I’ve masturbated to people’s social media photos without their consent.
I’ve felt terrible for a million small misdeeds in my life. I try to forgive myself for all of it.
The person who assaulted me is living my own self-discipline struggles x10. I’d guess that wasn’t the first time he offended. He might face imprisonment, and continued inner struggle.
I have nothing but compassion for his situation. I hope he heals. I hope he lives happy and free, interacting respectfully.
Without knowing who he is or where he is now, I hope things get better.
I would wish the same for anyone who has ever been violated, who has violated somebody else, or both. Only the best, please.
I won’t drink poison. Forgiveness and compassion make a much better smoothie.
Resentment is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies.
I can still hear Lisa Nichols’ voice saying this. Her book, No Matter What, remains one of my favorites. She told of how she strengthened her muscles of character through life’s setbacks.
Lisa had to reckon with having been molested as a girl. It was then that she discovered her forgiveness muscle.
Later, she had to escape a physically abusive domestic partner. She leaned on her determination muscle. She and her son got away and survived.
When Lisa described the people who hurt her, she didn’t make them sound inhuman or malevolent. She described what happened, and how she felt.
Her worldview reflects compassion for everyone, including those who have messed up.
Her example confirmed I don’t have to be angry about sexual misconduct. All my hurt feelings can be welcomed, expressed, and understood. I don’t need to hold on to them though.
Instead, I seek to empathize in ways I was previously incapable of empathizing. When I find a new level of compassion, that’s usually when healing happens for me.
Thanks for listening to my story. I hope it helps.
Thanks to Chris Sowers.
Previously published on “Equality Includes You”, a Medium publication.
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