Cul­tural di­vide a po­ten­tial prob­lem

The Daily Courier - - LIFE & ARTS - TESHER EL­LIE

DEAR EL­LIE: My girl­friend of three years and I are in our 30s.

She has a dis­or­der, which is treated via med­i­ca­tion.

I’ve re­al­ized that there could be a cul­tural di­vide (dif­fer­ent back­grounds) in our fu­ture and also that her dis­or­der could some­day be an is­sue in our re­la­tion­ship.

How­ever, it’s been great. She takes part in my cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties, and I do the same for hers. We also get along re­ally well with each other’s fam­i­lies.

Last month, she and her mom went out with her mom’s friend and a male vis­i­tor who said he wanted to wit­ness the city’s ightlife.

The older two were too tired to go out, so my girl­friend was sent to the night club to meet with this guy, hav­ing been as­sured that he’d send her home in a cab at night.

They were in the club, drank a lot, and then went to his ho­tel.

My girl­friend woke up at 4 a.m., took a cab home, and puked the rest of the day.

Her mom took her to the hos­pi­tal to get a rape-kit test per­formed. Police were con­tacted and came to the hos­pi­tal.

My girl­friend said she blacked out and didn’t re­mem­ber danc­ing at the club, or the sex. The police re­port in­cludes that she was hal­lu­ci­nat­ing dur­ing sex, be­liev­ing she was be­ing gang-raped. They stated there wasn’t enough ev­i­dence to charge the guy.

She, with her mom and I, re­viewed the police video ev­i­dence.

When they en­tered his ho­tel, she was stum­bling, clearly ine­bri­ated (he had to hold her up).

I be­lieve that she didn’t want to sleep with him and wouldn’t have claimed sex­ual as­sault if it didn’t hap­pen.

My is­sue is that she didn’t call or text me through­out that night.

It’s dif­fi­cult to com­pre­hend why she’d go out with a guy she just met, without me.

It’s hard to ques­tion her due to the post­trau­matic stress that later oc­curred (I know it’s real).

I love her, but find her not con­tact­ing me weird, and wrong. I don’t trust her go­ing out with any­one I don’t know any more.

The sce­nario plays in my mind daily. Why didn’t she in­vite me out, why didn’t she call? I was plan­ning to pro­pose.

Can you shed some light? — Not So Sure Any­more

AN­SWER: Facts: You rightly be­lieve that she was sex­u­ally as­saulted while ine­bri­ated, and you love her.

She was sud­denly en­cour­aged to go out with this guy, sanc­tioned by her mother.

Maybe she thought you’d dis­ap­prove but felt she couldn’t can­cel. Al­co­hol clouded her judg­ment (and med­i­ca­tion can de­crease al­co­hol tol­er­ance) when it came to con­tact­ing you.

You’re nat­u­rally rocked by the ugly in­ci­dent. She suf­fered a vi­o­lent at­tack, and your love for her makes it painful to ac­cept.

Rape hurts more than its di­rect vic­tim but she, most of all, needs trust and sup­port now. You feel insult to your own pride, and be­lieve that you could’ve pre­vented this if only she’d con­tacted you.

But she didn’t/couldn’t reach out, for rea­sons con­sis­tent with her be­ing too drunk to know what was re­ally hap­pen­ing.

She’ll need coun­selling. You’d also ben­e­fit from talk­ing to a ther­a­pist (not just friends or fam­ily) to bet­ter un­der­stand your own re­ac­tion.

Give time for both of you to heal — her from phys­i­cal/emo­tional abuse trauma, you from shock.

Then put faith in the love you have for each other and get cou­ples’ coun­selling to move for­ward again.

TIP OF THE DAY Don’t rush to judg­ment or ques­tion­ing trust for a trau­ma­tized vic­tim of sex­ual as­sault.

El­lie Tesher is a na­tion­ally syn­di­cated ad­vice colum­nist based in Toronto.

Fol­low @el­liead­vice.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.