Donate Now
We've Moved! Check out our new boards.
  
my profile | directory login | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » LGBTQA Relationships » Girlfriend w/ abusive past

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Girlfriend w/ abusive past
maladict
Neophyte
Member # 42075

Icon 1 posted      Profile for maladict         Edit/Delete Post 
A girl who I am interested in and (almost) dating has told me that she was abused by her brother as a child. She said that she felt she should tell me because she is feeling hesitant about being physical, like dancing together, but didn't want me to think she was not interested. She also said she had problems in the past with a boyfriend because of it.

It was a hard conversation to have (and in a semi-public setting), and I'm not sure I said the right things. What I'm wondering is what should I be doing/saying now?

I'm thinking that I will continue to ask her to hang out, dinner etc., but let her make any moves physically when/if she is comfortable.

This is my first attempt at a relationship, and any advice is really appreciated.

Posts: 4 | From: Toronto | Registered: Jan 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
cool87
Activist
Member # 29292

Icon 1 posted      Profile for cool87         Edit/Delete Post 
I think that what you've decided, which is to give her time and let her initiate any move physically when she will be comfortable to, is a really good idea. I think it's important for her to not feel pressure to do/engage in something that she might not be ready for or totally comfortable doing yet.

Aside from that, what you could do is just being supportive. You might as well want to tell her, if that's indeed the case, that you are totally comfortable with how things are right now, that things are not physical at this point between the both of you and that there is just no rush, that she can take all the time she needs to get to that point and that you'll be waiting for her, that she simply could let you know when she's ready, if ever, to get physical.

You might also want to tell her that you do appreciate her being honest about her feelings and her past and the fact that she'd told you and trusted you with it and reassure her that this doesn't change the interest you have in her. And, if you feel comfortable to, you could also state to her that you're open to talk about it if this is ever something she wants to talk about.

I think it might also help for you to share and discuss your feelings about all that with her.

That's my own personal opinion though, that's just how I'd like a partner to react, were I in a similar situation as your girlfriend.

[ 01-31-2009, 05:16 PM: Message edited by: cool87 ]

--------------------
Sustain Scarleteen by donating
http://www.scarleteen.com/donate.html

Posts: 3598 | From: Canada | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I wanted to add that it tends to say a lot when someone is open with us about surviving abuse. I hear your concerns that you responded right, but if she disclosed to you, that tells me right there you've been doing things "right" and she feels she can trust you and is safe around you.

One thing cool didn't mention that I would is being sure that you are only making her abuse as much of an issue as she is. In other words, that's one part of who she is and what her life experience has been, not all. You can voice to her that she should let you know what her boundaries are and what feels right to her in regard to this, but you also don't have to treat her with kid gloves. Many of us who have survived abuses are very strong people, very resilient people. And knowing that others don't treat us like our abuse is all of who we are when we disclose can be a biggie.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
maladict
Neophyte
Member # 42075

Icon 1 posted      Profile for maladict         Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks very much for both of your replies, I really appreciate it.
Posts: 4 | From: Toronto | Registered: Jan 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
maladict
Neophyte
Member # 42075

Icon 1 posted      Profile for maladict         Edit/Delete Post 
I was just back on the site and was reminded of this post, so I thought I'd give a quick update.

Both of your replies were reassuring and very helpful. What Heather said really resonated with me. I realized that although she did express concerns at first, there was also a lot of my own worries reflected back at me. In other words, I was the one wanting to move at a slower pace.

We are still together and have moved into a more physical relationship that I am very happy in. I feel like we have been able to talk about anything together in part because of how open she was at the start.

So, once again, thank you both very much! [Smile]

Posts: 4 | From: Toronto | Registered: Jan 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I just love a happy ending. [Smile]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

   Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Get the Whole Story! Go Home to SCARLETEEN: Sex Ed for the Real World | Privacy Statement

Copyright 1998, 2014 Heather Corinna/Scarleteen
Scarleteen.com: Providing comprehensive sex education online to teens and young adults worldwide since 1998

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.

Powered by UBB.classic™ 6.7.3