What is consent?

Growth & Resilience
11 min readNov 6, 2023

Consent is the free and active agreement, given by both partners, to engage in a specific sexual activity. You cannot give consent if:

You are incapacitated by alcohol or drugs;

You feel threatened, intimidated, coerced;

You have been physically forced to comply;

You have a disability or mental impairment that prevents you from making an informed choice;

The person you are engaging with is in a position of authority over you.

You give consent when you say yes and willfully participate in every sexual activity, every single time.

I wanted to include an entry on this particular topic because when it comes to consent in general, we don’t know how to act most of the time. I occasionally post on X the following:

Inebriation is not consent. Consent is reversible.

This very line right here needs to put out there. I had someone comment under this post and they asked me if drunk sex counts as consensual sex. I understand that this may be confusing to others because maybe the intoxicated person consented due to the way that he or she acted. In essence, being inebriated under any substance is not consensual and I used to think it was.

Today, I woke up and I was so sick and suffering from covid fatigue. I still have excruciating body aches, a lingering cough that makes me dehydrated, and congestion. I can barely breathe so I’m waiting for the day that I can smell again. I tried to speak in a space many times today with little luck. I’m not too sure where I got covid from and it could have been either on public transporation, my workplace, or the hospital (from October 17th).

I started my morning with a tea but I could barely get the tea down because I cannot really stomach anything. I did also cry for a bit this morning and then I had to wipe away those tears. When 9:00 hit, I had to turn on my laptop and enter into this online court thing in which I saw the person who hurt me sitting in the court room. To think about everything that I have done for this person and to even hear him speak brings butterflies to my stomach and it makes me want to check in somewhere. I wrote previous entries about this individual and some good, some bad. He’s someone that I used to think who cared for and loved me but was that even real love? Yes, I asked the police about this and many other officers who are very aware of this situation. We don’t talk about filling empty voids as often as we should. I barely speak about my own abandonment and attachment wounds because there’s that shame and stigma upon disclosing these topics. I had drafted entries which are titled attachment wounds and I keep adding to those entries but they are not necessarily ready to be published yet. I’m still on that journey of healing with a ton of figuring out to do.

Upon signing into the online courts, I’m asked to give my name and so I do that. I’m asked to give the name of the person that is involved for why I am pursuing a peace bond order even though I’m now aware that the peace bond order has been the wrong route. Reason being, I should have gone forward with the charges of sexual assault first and then, maybe, done the peace bond order. I found myself heavily triggered when I saw Michael Adam’s sitting in the court room. His very presence and the unawareness of just how much harm he has imposed speaks volumes. I may not say a lot but I am experiencing a lot. On my bad days and especially when I am triggered, I disengage. When I’m triggered, not doing well mentally, and when I’m sick with a high fever, I disengage a lot because my wellbeing needs to come first. These days, seeing certain people that I used to trust, respect, and think that they used to love and care about me — It hurts to see them because the damage has been done and these people refuse to take accountability for what they’ve done and said to and about me online. I wrote an entry on cyberbullying previously which relates to disclosing a potential rape/sexual assault and being outcasted, stigmatized, and bullied for that.

As I signed into the online courts this morning, a friend I’ve known for years signed in herself too which took me off guard and I don’t think she knew I was there. I had stopped debriefing about the court process and everything about my abuser for a while with her. I never sent her the Zoom link invitation as this matter is personal and private. As I sat there, I not only noticed my friends name but other observer’s. This is the very first online court thing that I got and it was a different but new experience to say the least. The justice of the peace person pulled me aside into another break out room and asked me about that person joining.

I responded, “I did not give her a link. I do not know why she is here and I do find this awkward.”

The justice of the peace then asked me what I wanted and how to best go about this. I simply responded, “I am waiting to be accompanied by (this and this organization) to make a statement to the police for sexual assault. I am ready to do this but I need support in doing so.”

The justice of the peace also pulled me into the break out room because my friend, upon joining, had introduced herself and responded with, “I’m here to mediate amongst two friends and I want to know more about what has happened especially since my name was provided in the statement/detailed summary of what happened.”

Don’t get me wrong, I was very hesitant at first when I was making the report to the officers in the hospital. I still am because making these reports and talking about what happened is a lot, re-triggering, and re-traumatizing but it needs to be done. I spoke about this briefly to two reporting officers when I was in the hospital last on Tuesday, October 17th. I did blog about this too. I’m not too sure how these processes do work in its entirety. I was also extremely suicidal and out of it that night, and I not only reported what happened to those officers but I was looking for other resources and supports within the community too.

It’s a matter of telling my story repeatedly to find my voice again — For months, my voice was shattered as I was silenced and excluded from communities and other spaces; I’m still being excluded to this day and I disengage now because, at the end of the day, my wellbeing comes first. One of my friends in real life advised me to disengage from anything that does not serve a purpose and so I do that.

To speak on my wellbeing, I used to watch my abusers online profile to see what type of slander, defamation, and horrible things he was saying about me. I used to be and I’m still bullied to this day, and I don’t react well to bullying at all; that’s why I was in the hospital on October 17th, and why I used to watch his profile and someone else I used to talk to. For privacy and confidentiality purposes, I will not disclose her username or name because that is not me. I only disclosed my abusers name for added awareness and people need to know so it does not happen to them.

Michael Adam’s preys on vulnerable, autistic, and suicidal people yet claims to be an apparent empath and a good person when he has harmed a lot of people.

How is that okay? He also refuses to help himself which, understandably, I get that the mental health system is not the greatest. Sometimes we have to reach out for help anyway and utilize those supports. I mean, I had to and I did not have the choice because it was either lose a friend and myself or suffer in silence and keep repeating the same mistakes. In lamens, I chose to get help for myself and it has been the best decision made. The individual that I refuse to name and whom I used to be friends with and trust quite dearly — I still protect and care about her but I do not condone the behavior of the person or the words used towards me; I do forgive though for my own healing and I will pray that she gets the support that she needs. Furthermore, everyone deserves a safe outlet to utilize when they need and I strongly support that.

To be a survivor from sexual violence, we will have our bad and our good days. This year, I’ve had more bad days if anything. My bad days do not define who I am as a person. This year, I’ve had many shut downs where I found it incredibly challenging to figure out who I was especially given the extent of my own trauma and what I have been through. This year, I’ve found and I’m still figuring out what the word recovery means in which I believe I still need to blog about. Healing looks differently on everyone — We all recover and cope differently too. One last final reminder is that “progress is not linear.”

The online courts this morning was a lot in terms of sensory overload and, on top of being sick, I’m happy I did not have to have my camera on because my appearance did not look the greatest. I had my hair in the messiest bun, my love sweater because that’s my mood, the same leggings from days ago and I’m not even kidding; and a solemn expression on my face. I also kept coughing every few minutes so I’ve been drinking a lot of water!

When the defendant spoke in the court, the butterflies fluttered about in my stomach and then as he continued to speak even when asked not too — Those butterflies took its toll throughout my body. His voice is triggering and, even through our interactions from earlier this year and from listening to him in spaces, I was always triggered and I don’t know what it is. His voice is very demandey and I can’t explain it. It’s not only demanding but it gives me anxiety and gives a reminder of my father and the abuse I had to endure from him.

The defendant got up to the stand and stated his name, “Michael Adam’s.” He wore a black/brown tuxedo which was hard to see on the camera.

Everything went so fast that it was hard to keep up. All I heard was the judge say, “the court has been adjourned until January 15th of 2024.” I’ve been trying to go a different route that is not the peace bond as I strongly feel it was not the wisest one. I’m only listening to my gut and advocating for myself as needed.

The defendant waved some paper in his hands before speaking, “your honor. How long is this going to go on for? I am at a loss of words.” The defendant paused briefly, turned around, and then went back to the stand.

“Is there something that is going on that I need to know about? I don’t have any legal counsel and I’m representing myself.” The defendant appeared adamant as he waited for a response.

The defendant continued to speak just before the judge was about to say something, “all I receive are papers to appear on these particular dates and then I show up and nothing happens so I’m curious about all of this. I want to ask again; why are there delays and what is going on?”

The defendant also goes on a tangent about needing to know the specifics. I don’t think he’s in the right to know the specifics other than the fact — I am not okay and I have been struggling to process all of this through various unsuccessful suicide attempts. I am still processing what happened to me. Writing about this experience on the many encounters helps in a way and it has been healing which has given me a voice as I never had that before.

Given everything that has happened, he’s not in the place to know about particular specifics especially when a lot of damage has been done to my life and I’ve been trying to keep myself alive since. I may not disclose a lot about my personal life these days but don’t assume I’m carrying myself well because I’m hanging on by that little bit of hope. I’m just grateful for the following —

  • Community. Community means a lot to me and I will always say this because, without community, I would not be where I’m at right now. I’ve learned from a lot of you guys and I hope to learn and grow even more. I’m not a perfect person. I have my flaws as all of us do and I have been reaching out to these professional supports a lot more than I used to. Reaching out is a sign of strength and is not a weakness.
  • Anonymous outlet. I’m putting this one out there because my outlet has given me a voice and the opportunity to connect with others that have been through similar experiences. I used to have my name as tragic disaster and that name has slowly evolved over time as I begun to figure out my own self especially in regards to being neurodivergent/autistic. By connecting with others, you learn about who you are too.
  • Friends online & in real life. Every morning I wake up to really sweet messages and reminders about where I need to be and who I am. In essence, these reminders remind me of the girl I used to be. I’ve been lost for a while and I’ve been and I am still trying to figure out where I belong. If you look up Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, I can best resonate with the love and belonging and safety stages; I’m in-between both of these stages.
  • My place. Yes, places are very expensive but as one of my friends in real life reminds me — I have a roof over my head. It could be better. I may stress over my financial situation. At the end of the day, I have a roof over my head and that’s what matters. Some people out there have literally nothing and it’s heartbreaking to say the least.
  • My job. It’s very challenging to find a full time job anywhere, yet alone a part time job especially in today’s society.
  • To be alive. I need to always emphasize this point here as it has been a tough go lately. I like to say, “another day lived is a gift” because so many people do not have the opportunity to be alive.

With that being said, I’d like to close off with a few images on consent and I hope to spread some type of awareness about this topic and I do hope that my voice can impact others who are scared or hesitant to voice their own story.

From one survivor to the next, we are fighters and more resilient than ever. There’s no point in giving up and, if someone says to, keep showing up anyway.

-Mystic

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Growth & Resilience

If life were easy, we would not be living life correctly. Life is about constant growth & overcoming challenges and obstacles along the way.