Someone I know* recently posted that dating straight men is like playing a game of Russian Roulette with one empty chamber, four rubber bullets, and one real bullet, and I can’t stop thinking about how true that is.

* I would credit them but it was on their private account
It’s the rubber bullets part that really gets me, because while most reasonable people would acknowledge that dating straight men is like Russian Roulette, so many assume that if you don’t wind up with one who violently abuses or rapes or murders you, you’re fine.

But... NOPE.
I keep returning to this essay I wrote in the summer of 2016, where I made the case that there’s a broad spectrum of “minor” violations that can be incredibly damaging to one’s sense of self, especially in aggregate.…
I keep returning to it because it is the most honest way I know to express what it feels like to be hit, again and again, by those rubber bullets — and to be told, again and again, that you’re overreacting and nothing is the matter because, you know, those bullets are just rubber
You know what breaks my heart? The fact that I’m almost thirty-seven and I expect men to react callously or indifferently when they cause me harm, to act as though *I* am the problem or tell me to suck it up.
I had an experience a few months ago where I got injured and I was so scared that if I told the person who injured me that he would be angry at me, and then I remembered that if that happened, I could cut him out of my life*.

* Yes it is sad that I forget that
And when I told him I was injured, he was a *NORMAL EMPATHETIC HUMAN BEING* and I think I cried again because his kindness was so unbelievably unexpected.

It is so tragic to be conditioned to expect cruelty and disdain.
I am glad that I am at a point in my life where I can recognize harmful behavior for what it is, where I don’t feel so desperate for affection that I automatically deprioritize my own well-being. But I am so sad for all the people who are still locked in that prison.
Also, under the right circumstances, rubber bullets can kill you.…
Just popping back here to note that I've been given permission to credit the brilliant @kriss_lowrance as the originator of the Russian Roulette with rubber bullets metaphor. They are great!
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