Smash, Non Smash and Boundaries: My Experiences
Holy shit, where do I start
Smash Experience - CW Unwanted Advances
Non Smash Experiences - CW Sexual Abuse
I think I want to start by saying that, by all these brave victims coming out, it has opened up opportunities for other to come forward with their stories and I'm incredibly proud that we, as a community, are ousting these people who thought it was acceptable to sexually assault people (women, men, minors, etc). Pedophilia, rape and sexual abuse is disgusting and I'm sad to read what I have.
So let me break this down for the people who don't want to read everything. I'll go into my Smash experiences. By all means, my stories are not as harrowing, nor am I trying to have people banned necessarily. I'm more hoping that by saying this out loud, that the people who did these things will realise it was just not acceptable at the time, nor is it acceptable now and I hope that with all of these allegations coming to light, you'll understand why. I'll go into my actual personal experiences outside of Smash too. But first of all, I'd like to clear up something that clearly has been a massive factor: The lack of boundaries that people seem to have. Now I'm not talking about the people who outright abused these people. But I want to go into boundaries before I talk about my experiences. I hope this helps people in the future.
Yesterday on stream, I was talking about the concept of boundaries and why they're important. People come to the response of: "Well, I wont flirt with anyone ever again" or "how are we supposed to let a woman know if we're interested if we can't show any sexual interest?"
First of all, fuck off.
Second of all, heres why. Let me put into a non sexual idea so that your teeny pea brains can get it. If youre homies come up to you, insulting you in a fun and friendly way, cussing or whatever, it's totally cool, because thats your homie and you've established that relationship with them? Right? I have friends who greet me, calling me names or hugging me from behind, putting their hands on my eyes, whatever, and I would respond as such because we have an established relationship. However, if someone I was not familiar with approached me in the same manner, it would obviously be weird and probably very uncomfortable. They've blown out the boundaries because we don't know them. They don't know us 'like that' and therefore it is unacceptable.
Here's how it translates into a sexual concept. If you don't know em, don't touch em. If, however, you are a friend developing feelings for your friend, the correct thing to do is maybe bring it up verbally and see if it's reciprocated. THE THING YOU DO NOT DO, is start to just... touch them inappropriately. That is going well past the boundaries of friendship, whether you know them or not. That boundary is reserved for people in relationships or people who have explicity said otherwise that it is okay. DO NOT DO THIS SHIT. I cannot believe I have to write a paragraph to explain to the pea-brains of twitter that this is not acceptable. "Just move your hand" or "just say no" shouldnt even have to be said. Stop fucking touching people. Just stop. Your life will change for the better. So will theirs.
Lets move onto Smash experience
The reason I brought up boundaries is because I have had them broken and it was very uncomfortable. I do not have proof but I do have witnesses who can vouch that boundaries were overstepped and I would just like to talk about them
The first was at a Beast event. The scenario was that, a bunch of people were hanging out in the lobby and I had been lucky enough to nab a chair while everyone else had stood around. I eventually got off the chair and Setchi had stolen it and I was making a big deal about it jokingly. Someone who had decided to pull up a chair right next to me, was IrregularJinny. When he realised my chair was snatched, he decided to start grabbing my hand and was saying: "It's okay, you can just come and sit on my lap" and I'd expressed my "nah, im good" but the hand tugging continued and he continued to say "Ohh, come on, it's not a big deal" or something to that effect. It was pretty uncomfortable. I didnt know him THAT well and I didnt really want to be around in that situation. Sure enough, one of my friends had noticed this interaction and asked me if I wanted to go upstairs and dip, to which we did (S/O to Tet). Many of our friends had asked in DMs where we had gone and we invited them up one by one to not make it obvious where I was. To which my phone started absolutely blowing up. It was Jinny telling me it was 'messed up that I'd left him and hadn't told him where I'd gone', "youre a bad friend for just leaving me here", 'I'd abandoned him' and the messages did not stop. I was in the room hanging out with Tet, Diabound, Jeapie, Rebaz and The Moon and I'm sure that they might remember. It got to the point where these friends took my phone away from me because the constant messages were stressing me tf out and it was like a weird guilt that I had for leaving a situation that I was definitely uncomfortable in. I'm thankful for everyone who took me away from that.
The second one was at Genesis 4. This was around the time that I started hanging out with the posse of people that I do now and was around the time that Chillin and I started talking so we spent a lot of time together. There was an incident in which we stayed in a Taj's room on one of the nights.Taj kept having this thing where he kept trying to tickle my feet. I eventually kept saying like 'hey, please stop' but it continued. I didn't think much of it and carried on with our day the next morning. A party happened in that room the next night so we decided to go back and hang out in that room with all of these people there and it was a cool little party. Taj continued trying to tickle my feet and touch the bottoms of my legs while Chillin and I were talking and led on the bed relaxing together. I had told him to stop touching me and it didnt stop for a while but it took Chillin to tell him to stop before he actually did. That was that but he was clearly trying to like, stop Chillin having all the attention but he eventually stopped and started talking to other people. Maybe 20 minutes later, I ended up being pretty drunk and lying back on the bed and fell asleep. I was woken up by Chillin maybe an hour or two later and the party was totally cleared out, it was like early hours of the morning. I remember Taj saying something to Chillin, I can't remember the exact words as it was years ago now but I remember it being cryptic and I didn't understand what was being implied but moments later, Chillin left. It was very uncomfortable, it was like he was implying to Chillin that he must leave. It was just me and Taj alone in the room so I decided to go to the bathroom to just freshen up my face with some water to wake myself up. I didnt close the door as I'd be leaving pretty much straight away. Seconds later, Taj walked in and began to stumble over his words, trying to ask me something. Around the words of: "Hey, can I ask you something?...." and a lot of 'ummmming' and 'ahhh'ing and I just stood there, feeling a little weirded out that he'd followed me in the bathroom and like, was kinda keeping me there by stalling. It was around a minute before he eventually came to the conclusion and said: "Do you find me attractive? Am I attractive to you?". I didn't really know what to say but I made it clear that I wasn't interested and pretty much left straight away but the insinutation I got from the situation was that he'd kicked Chillin out in an 'attempt' at me. I left promptly and noticed Chillin was pretty much on his way back to the room to come and get me, realising that leaving was a shit idea. We spoke about it recently. Chillin had revealed to me back then that the night previously, he had tried to get Chillin to make me to agree to a threesome. I realised that the cryptic shit that he had said to Chillin that made him leave was along the lines of: "We do what I proposed or you can just leave" but saying it in a way that I wasn't to know what he had proposed to Chillin the night previously.
There have been other incidents within Smash with other people that I've had but I'm not sure I'm ready to bring them up now or ever but time will tell. I wasn't going to bring up the Jinny/Taj incident but I had heard that there were other people who had heard/experienced similar issues with both of them but of course, I cannot confirm. I figured if anyone had felt uncomfortable about these particular people then it was right to bring it to light.
I'm not writing this to ban people. Both of these situations can be brought to their attention and they can absolutely learn from it. These are not irrevocable issues and I believe in the growth of people. I hope that if they see this that they can realise why these situations were not good or comfortable for me and to move forward from here. In reality, I could have contacted both of these people and brought these issues up back then but it's only been recently that I realised that this behaviour is not okay. Issues do not have to be violent for them to be 'not cool'.
I'd like to note that if you have ever found yourself in a position where you think you have broken someones boundaries or trust, to apologise and move forward and unlearn that behaviour. (This is not aimed at pedophiles and sexual abusers, yall can go fuck urselfs, you can't come back from that shit). In the same vein, if I have ever overstepped the mark with anyone, hugged you or have been too over friendly with you, I sincerely apologise. I say this as I did, once, hug someone and immediately realised they were not comfortable with it. Boundaries aren't just sexually related, it's related to just personal space and emotional space too. Learn from your mistakes.
This is where it's a little heavy so apologies but here goes:
CW:// Sexual Abuse
I'll keep some of this brief because I'll be here for ages.
My first bad sexual incident happened when I was around 9-10 years old. I used to hang out with friends in my street and we used to play a game called Mob. Essentially a hide and seek game but with 'tag' kinda involved too. All the kids used to hide in this one garden that was just full of bushes. There was always this one boy who was much older than me (pretty sure he was 16 at the time) who would insist that I go in the bushes with him and I agreed. I didn't really understand what was going on but he would insist that we touch each other every time we went into the bushes. This went on for months because I didnt know. I didnt get it. Until one day, I almost brought it up to our friends and he told me I had to keep it to myself. That's when I realised in my gut that it wasn't right. I never went back out to play in the street anymore. I realised years later how bad it was.
The second time which was much worse was my former step father.
This man was always pretty physically abusive throughout my childhood. He also actively encouraged me while I was growing up to be racist and homophobic and was something he wanted me to do. I unlearned this behaviour long ago when I hit the age of 14 or so but, that's just an idea of the kind of way he raised me. Slurs were prevalent in the household from him. Physical abuse was normal. I was encouraged to act out of my anger, I was encouraged to lash out violently because 'thats the only way to get things done'. Again, I have unlearned this and realised that these values were wrong when I got to high school at around 14 but it's for context of what this literal monster was like.
HOWEVER, the sexual side of it has been with me for much longer. I remember when I was very young, around 12, he showed me multiple porn videos on his phone and would just let me have his phone to watch them. I was kinda a sheltered kid. I wasn't one of those kids who had the internet when they were young and somehow knew about all this shit really early. I was fascinated but I didn't really understand what these videos were. It was this really weird 'awakening' to 'what sex was'. The older I got, I understood more and I was horrified by the idea of sex because of these porn videos I'd been shown by my step dad. My mother was not aware of any of this. For the longest time, I became kinda horrified by the idea of sex and I hated talking about sex in my teenagehood. My high school friends made fun of me even, which was in good faith, that I was a prude. I hated the idea of it. I actively refused the idea unless it was a 'wholesome loss of my virginity to someone I was absolutely going to spend my life with'. When I was with my first boyfriend, I refused to allow him to do anything because I was just horrified with the idea for long time. S/O to my first real boyfriend ever. The most respectful lovely person on the planet.
In 2009, my stepdad had a stroke. This was a particularly hard time for me because the asshole guy that had done this physical and emotional abuse had lost his memory totally. He was now this scared fragile man who had no recollection of the past 20 years. He didnt know who any of my family were, etc. I had to get rid of all my prior feelings towards him in order to potentially create a new man who was not the person I'd known all these years. I felt sorry for him. But this didn't last long. He started treating my mother like a maid but I was treated as his wife. I had to hold his hand. I had to cuddle him. I wasn't allowed out in vest tops or shorts. It was uncomfortable but I figured that somehow, it was something he didnt understand yet. This went on for a few years. It got worse. I got a fake high school boyfriend, which happened to be the son of one of his friends. When he found out about this and that I had been hanging out with him all day, when I came home, he screamed up the stairs (while my two much younger sisters were in bed, it was around midnight) that I was a slut, a slag, a whore, a cunt, I was worthlesss, all sorts of stuff while I laid crying in bed. I literally had to break up with this boy for this abuse to stop. It still got worse.
Eventually, when I would go to bed, in around 2011/12, I would wake up in the middle of the night to just see my step fathers face peeking in and watching me sleep at night. I struggled to sleep for months as this was a regular occurence. Finally, this escalated him actually coming right up to my bed to sit next to my bed and watch me sleep. I started not being able to go to my first year of Uni because I couldnt fucking sleep. My grades plummeted. Then it escalated into him getting into bed with me and lying on top of me and fondling my top half. I can't believe I'll say the word but 'luckily', it never went lower but it's been pretty scarring. My mother DID know about this part however and I'm devastated that she didnt do anything. She still avoids the conversation to this day. I also found out that years later, that his friends that were coming to the house, ended up going to jail for sexual abuse/pedophilia so were also around people like that constantly.
I eventually lost my temper. I was 18. I came home from work one day when he started going into my room to read my diary to see if I 'had any boyfriends'. He'd already physically threatened my first boyfriend (as mentioned earler) and this was enough.I screamed at him, he physically attacked me, had his hand around my throat and took me down. He then tried to attack my mother when she tried to stop him. I ran to the kitchen to threaten him with a blunt object and told him to leave. He did and I have luckily never seen him since.
These experiences have made me afraid of people breaking my trust, people in doorways, people watching me through windows, people watching me in general, anyone who wants to touch me romantically. Manipulation has no place in my life anymore and I'm thankful for the people who have taken me out of those situations. I live my grandparents now and life is good. My relationship with my mother is for another time but it's strained.
I have no evidence, of course, but this is a message to believe victims and show some sympathy to those who have remained quiet. It's not an easy thing to out. It's not easy knowing I actually STILL have stories. I'm racking my brain to think if there's anything I've missed in case someone tries to out me for a slight thing thats slightly mis-dated or whatever
The points of these twitlongers are as follows:
1) listen to the stories of others, evidence is not always available
2) unlearn your shitty behaviour. I do believe that you can change the way you percieve boundaries and recognise that youre making someone uncomfortable. (This does not apply to pedophiles and sexual abusers, I mean like, trying to pull people to sit on your lap or telling people you want to fuck them or hugging people even)
3) fuck the abusers in our community
Thanks for listening
Stay strong, long live Melee