Public Accountability Statement
Content warning/disclaimer: The following is a description of my year-long accountability process. This statement is rooted in my own experience, and I recognize that may require some folks to pause, put this down, or simply walk away. I invite you to do whatever is best for you.
In February 2022, I was asked to participate in an accountability process in which I learned that I caused harm to Titania, a prior partner of mine, one evening during our relationship when we were both in a mind-altered state. I agreed to be a part of that process despite knowing that the container for the accountability process was not being held by a neutral party.
In July 2020, Titania and I went out of town together. During the day, we had been arguing, and later that night we both took mind-altering substances. While both under the influence, Titania and I started having sex. Titania said out loud, "so now you're going to fuck me?" and I replied, "yes". After that brief exchange, there were no further words spoken until the following morning. The next morning, we both acknowledged that the sex felt uncomfortable and shouldn't have happened.
I took a lack of a clear “no” as consent. Anything but an emphatic yes is not consent. I was impaired and thus I did not check in further. I misread Titania’s interest and I did not make enough effort to be aware that she did not want to have sex. I understand that I caused Titania immense harm, take complete responsibility, and deeply apologize. Our relationship ended in August 2021.
In February 2022, I was asked to meet: [Titania's List of Demands]. In March 2022, I agreed to the following demands: I will disclose to future romantic partners that I have caused harm in previous relationships; I will avoid the Lakeshore side of Lake Merritt (between Trader Joes and Safeway); I will not attend any event where I know Titania is going to be and I will leave if Titania and I are in the same community space; I will disclose within platonic friendships, work relationships and students I work closely with. In addition to making these agreements, I sought out and actively began discussing this accountability process with my accountability pod and have disclosed what happened with the people I work with as well as the people I am close to.
After posters were plastered by people in the middle of the night at the front gate of my workplace in October 2022, stating that I was an abuser and should not be leading Trauma-Informed Yoga Teacher Trainings, I learned Titania wants me to leave Oakland completely.
After months of consistently meeting the other demands and in discussions with my community, accountability coaches, therapists, and spiritual mentors, I do not plan to leave Oakland. Oakland is my home and I believe I am more than my worst actions. I am extremely sorry for the harm and pain I caused Titania throughout our relationship together.
I learned of two other people who felt harmed by my actions, I have not been made aware of the details of these events. At the point I am able to understand the harm I caused, I would like to make an effort to repair and make amends to them as well.
In the last year, I’ve done and will continue to do the following in order to address my harmful behavior patterns:
I have been in weekly therapy for the last 6 years. Since the beginning of this process I met weekly with my somatic therapist. In May, I began regular EMDR sessions with a second therapist. I will continue to meet with my Somatic Therapist as needed and I continue to meet regularly for EMDR sessions.
I met for 10 weeks with my accountability coach.
I attended a 10-week workshop called Healing Cycles of Harm,
I attend weekly CODA meetings and I am committed to continue working the steps of Codependents Anonymous with my sponsor
As a part of my accountability process I will continue making amends to those I have harmed in the past
I have been substance free for 9 months and will continue to be conscious of how substances (alcohol, drugs etc) impact my ability to be fully aware of my actions. I will check in with my accountability pod if I plan to use substances.
I was celibate and chose to stop dating for 6 months. Upon dating again I realized I needed more time before being ready to build healthy romantic relationships. I will be in discussion with my spiritual mentors and sponsor when I decide to start dating to be sure it is the right time and for the right reasons.
I continue to disclose to co-workers, friends, employers, and potential dates of the harm I have caused. I continue to practice sobriety, attend regular coda meetings, and meet regularly with my spiritual mentor and therapists.
I understand that the number of workshops I attend, therapy sessions I join, or healing groups I am a part of will never undo or heal the harm I caused Titania. I took these actions because I want to transform, learn, grow, and evolve as a person with the intent of becoming a safer person to share space with.
I also share this information to provide clarity into a messy, painful situation that has led to a large division within the community and has become a matter of public discourse.
I understand the perspective of the people who have walked away from relationship with me. I also understand the need and desire to excommunicate those who cause harm. At the same time, I believe accountability, healing, and transformation can only occur with the willingness to collaborate to stop cycles of harm. I have been able to do the work I have thus far, because of the people who have had the desire to see me transform for the better and not be disappeared.
I have and will continue to interrogate, investigate, and pursue accountability in all future romantic and sexual relationships. I hope I am a part of a community that can hold the nuance of transformation--making space for a survivor while also being committed to accountability without punitive actions.
Ultimately, I am grateful these behaviors and patterns have been brought to my attention. I am grateful to those who have committed their life, work and emotional labor to supporting survivors, those who cause harm and the processes of transformative and restorative justice that we seek as alternatives to the destructive and deadly justice system within this country.
I am open to furthering an accountability process that maintains the humanity and dignity of everyone involved. In the meantime I look forward to continuing my own process of healing and repair, with the help of my support systems. The process of rebuilding trust with community members who are open to re-connecting will be a careful, step by step process.
With care and sincerity,