Enough people told me I changed after the sexual assault by a Jesuit, so I did not have to rely on my own recognition of it. In case it helps anyone else, the part that was most difficult for me was how did I ever let myself not see this danger coming? What did I miss? And just to be clear, the other thing was how the hell do I tell my parents.
Years later I noticed one of the ways I changed. When I went into a room, especially when I sat down and stayed, I always checked where the doors are. Sometimes in counseling, I actually watched the door and guessed how long it would take me to get out.
I have to thank my friends in law enforcement for confirming this. I was at lunch with a cop sometime after I was sexually assaulted by a Jesuit. After we sat down he said, “I’m sorry. This is stupid, but I have to SEE THE DOOR. Can we switch sides?” After we switched, I said “I am the same way. After being sexually assaulted, I had to know where the doors are.” He said over and over that he could switch again with me, and I said “Just listen for a minute. If you are willing to do it, I don’t have to.”
So, I was at the place to meet the Department of Public Safety (about the harassment at the Vigil at Holy Cross) when TWO members came to meet me. I didn’t know why TWO had to come — what a risk I am! Then we went inside and I was told to sit in the brown chair and that was okay. I forgot why, but one member had to leave temporarily for some reason and started to close the door behind him. The lieutenant told him to leave the door open. Is he afraid of me, I wondered. Then I shut down that thinking, because I don’t do doors anymore. I changed again. For a long time recently, I ignored doors and just sat down.
P.S. But just not to be pollyanish or stupid, I am pretty sure the reason there were TWO officers not one, and an open door, was the Lt. wanted a witness, his other officer, to what happened. (The college lawyer is TRYING to get around his lies by saying I don’t get things right, and probably shared that internally.) Or maybe the Lt. always does that.