It was something and it mattered. I wish someone had said that to me back then in fall of 2015. Don't let anybody including yourself tell you it doesn't matter and that your experience should not be heard, because it does and it should. I was in psychotherapy at the time, but while it helped me unfreeze from the stasis and lack of verbal expression I had been enduring during my youth and young adulthood, sadly it did not prevent this abuse nor help me know what to do about it and how to react to it. Other events of non-consensual restraining of me, touching of me, wolfish glances and comments occurred. But this was maybe the most memorable one. From throughout my teenage years all the way to well into adulthood, there were events and encounters that unsettled me, often with people I did not or barely knew. The first time I was sexually harassed I was a child, maybe 8 to 9 years old, then a young teenager, between 14 and 16 years old. At both ages the perpetrators were men older than me. A young man from my neighbourhood once when I was a child. I did not think anything of it back then and it was more him giving me attention in a physical way than it was sexual, but as an adult I now know it was wrong. A complete stranger passing me by on a busy city street in broad daylight maybe 5 to 10 years older than me when I was a young teen walking alone, to whom I did not feel any attraction or hold sexual thoughts about because of the age difference. Looking back I feel that man robbed me of my teenage innocence with his wolfish reaction to seeing me by making me see adult men as sexual beings who would show misplaced interest in me and by making this seem acceptable and normal. Then also as a teen a restaurant owner at least twice or thrice my age whom I was a customer to and I did not know, despite my being in the company of a male friend of mine also several years older than me, who frankly did quite the same, with the difference of knowing me personally. This older friend even started making jokes about strangers who were undressing me with their eyes in the city streets or supermarkets during the day, he was drawing my attention to something I started to notice at this time and was trying to ignore whenever I could, proof that it was not conceived as a problem by my friend, and that I did not speak up for myself against these intruders including my friend. Maybe what our children should be taught is this: How do I react and make it clear to my surrounding that I am being approached in a way that makes me uncomfortable? What do I do when someone transgresses my physical integrity and autonomy? Fast forward. I was in a verbal fight late in the evening, had been in it repeatedly over the past months. The relationship was a bad one. I was angry, I kicked an empty plastic trash can against him. He was big, heavy. And he was a lot older than me. He was my boyfriend, or so I called him. But really the relationship was poison. My already bad confidence had deteriorated to a level I wouldn't have thought possible beforehand. I saw something break in him, something in his facial expression that snapped. Then he was on top of me. I got pushed down heavily against the kitchen wall and floor, a heavy weight on top of my shoulders and chest. My neck was choked by two massive hands. He was heavy. I was shocked. I thought he had finally snapped and this was finally the end. I thought I would die. I remember screaming as loud as I could because I hoped the neighbours would hear me scream, but I didn't think they would. They were too far away. This choking and pushing down lasted for what seemed an eternity. Somehow he let me go or lost his grip on me, I got up and ran away. He grabbed me to hold me back, my head got slammed against the edge of a hallway door frame in doing so. My metal glasses frame bent. He looked at me in shock because my shirt was full of blood. My blood. This was my opportunity to run upstairs to the safety of the lockable bedroom and lock the door behind me. I was alive. My mind was occupied both with my safety and perversely also with him not being prosecuted. I made sure he wasn't. I was too enmeshed with him, too emotionally dependant, to call the police, but also too confused to talk about what had happened to the police. I was scared, isolated, alone and unconfident and I wanted it to go back to the way it was before this incident. And so it did. There were the same amount of fights as before, just not physical ones, we made sure of that. For a few months, until we finally broke up. Later I became aware he was an undiagnosed narcissist. I struggled for years after this.