real life

'I lost one of my best friends because I wouldn't have sex with her.'

This post deals with sexual assault and might be triggering for some readers.

It all started with an argument about the man I was dating.

My close friend — who had been one of my best friends during some of the most formative years of my life — was angry with me. Her hazel eyes were blazing with fury and her black hair was sticking to her wet cheeks from crying.

She had always been opinionated over the men that I chose to date and it was no secret to those who knew her that she herself was only into dating women.

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She was several years older than me and had taken me under her wing. We would go out dancing together, go out to eat together, do our makeup together, sleep in the same bed together, and life was just one big, intense party.

But something was different on this day. She was particularly passionate about how much she hated the man I had just started dating. She was verging on hysterical.

I was confused. This was obviously about more than just her disapproval over my choices in men.

She started yelling at me from the stairs of the house we shared until she finally said it. The words I now realised she had been holding inside for our entire friendship.

'I love you, Michelle. I’m in love with you! Don’t you get it?' She breathed, exasperated and producing more tears.

I was stunned.

It took minutes to sink in.

All this time my dear friend had been just that — my friend. She had supported me, hung out with me, helped me, and ultimately allowed me to move in with her.

It was in this dramatic moment that I started to understand. I hadn’t taken the hints, and they had been all around me.

During my friend’s meltdown, she said that if I were to be her partner/girlfriend, she would take care of me better than any man ever would — that she would be loyal and faithful to me no matter what.

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She said that I could be her queen.

It was quite an offer. I’ll admit that I did think about it.

But there was one massive problem.

Sex.

I had never had sex with a woman before and I expressed this to her on this fateful day.

I had kissed a couple of girls in the past just experimenting but I didn’t even know where to start with the idea of having sex with a woman — nor was I sure I could even go through with it if I even tried.

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Apparently, my dear friend had a plan for that issue. An aggressive one.

She grabbed my hand and led me to the bed where she firmly pushed me down. Then, she started kissing me — fairly forcefully. I was frozen in shock at what was happening.

I really wasn’t into it and barely responded so she began to push my skirt up and pull my panties down.

That’s when all the alarm bells really went off and I burst into action.

I jumped off the bed and out of her grasp. She tried to grab hold of me again and push me back down saying, 'You don’t have to do anything — just lie there.'

No, I didn’t need to just lie there! What kind of experience would that be?

Needless to say, my friend had really frightened me that day. She had a sexual desire for me that wasn’t mutual and apparently she was going to do whatever it took to convince me to sleep with her — even if it meant trying to physically overpower me to get what she wanted.

I ran out of the house that day, furious and confused. I moved out a day or two after that.

We didn’t speak for years after that incident. I went on with my life and from all accounts, she became more and more bitter about me and about relationships in general. She spoke to others about how I had betrayed and abandoned her.

And maybe I did abandon her to some degree. Perhaps I could have tried to make peace at some point. But I didn't. I became involved with that man she didn’t want me to date. He turned out to be abusive. I later married and then divorced him.

Unfortunately, my dear friend hadn’t displayed the greatest behavior towards me either.

I ultimately knew the problem wasn’t me. I knew my friend had issues that went way back. Reasons why she only wanted to be with women. Reasons why she was terrified by men. Trauma, sexual abuse — and much more.

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However, what she did that day wasn’t okay. It wouldn’t be okay if a man did it and it wasn’t okay when she did it.

I have rarely spoken or written about this incident. It was so bizarre and it happened so long ago that it still seems surreal to me.

But it did happen.

Thinking about this incident reminds me that there are those out there who will recycle their own trauma into justifying damaging acts towards others.

The fact that we were both females doesn’t change the aggressive nature of having someone try to force themselves on you.

I never saw it coming. I would never think that my 'friend' would have done that.

Now that I’m older I realise that my naivety and innocence led me into that situation. The writing and warning had been on the wall but I didn’t have the experience to read it properly.

I do sometimes wonder what a gentle and nurturing sexual experience might have been like with another woman. Would I have enjoyed sex with a woman under different circumstances? Maybe — maybe not.

The ultimate lesson from this is that it doesn’t matter if someone is the same gender as you. If they are trying to force themselves on you in any way — it’s not okay.

That not how you 'love' someone. That’s not friendship.

If it’s not something you want and the other person doesn’t respect your boundaries — it’s wrong. Period.

I still feel nostalgic for my friend and who we used to be together before that unfortunate day.

Such is life, love, and loss.

Michelle is a writer, partner, lover, mother, & stepmother living in California. You can find her blogs on parenting,
stepparenting, life & relationships, at
 theponderingnook.com, her blended family podcast, and more of her articles at medium.com/@MichelleBrown_

If this post brings up any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. It doesn’t matter where you live, they will take your call and, if need be, refer you to a service closer to home. 

You can also call safe steps 24/7 Family Violence Response Line on 1800 015 188 or visit www.safesteps.org.au for further information.

Feature Image: Getty. The feature image used is a stock image.