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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Blackmail??

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Author Topic: Blackmail??
orca
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So I've been breaking up and getting back together with the unstable boyfriend. Everytime we break up, he keeps pulling me back in, promising change or playing on my emotions by telling me I'll be alone. I thought I'd finally ended it on Tuesday. Then on Thursday I went out to this show and had a ton of fun, the first time in ages. I met this guy and made plans with him for today.

Well, this morning the supposed ex calls and I (half-asleep) answer. He apparently doesn't think we broke up. The fight on Tuesday had been about my need for privacy when he asked for my e-mail password. I told him "no," he got mad, and we had a fight. I hung up and he sent a text saying it's over.

So this morning he says that he won't mention it anymore but this one time, that it's stupid for me to complain about privacy with my e-mail when he has all those naked pictures of me. He then went on about how easy it would be to set up a website and to e-mail everyone at my college those pictures and get me kicked out. He played it off as a hypothetical or a joke, but he said that he'd only do it if we ever broke up and it was for good.

So now I can't leave him, but I'm really unhappy with him. He drags me down so much. I've been feeling so good about myself since we broke up and now I feel horrible. And what do I do about the guy that I made plans with?

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Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.--Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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SFgrrrl
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Dude, a threat like that is abusive behavior. You /do not/ want to stay in a relationship with a guy like that. He clearly doesn't respect you.

I understand you're very afraid about him going through with the threat of posting your pictures online. Maybe someone else will post with a better suggestion, but I might suggest starting by talking with any one you trust who might also have some influence on this guy's thoughts and behaviors: any mutual friends, faculty at the school you'd trust, or if you ever had some sort of positive relationship with a member of his family, even that person. (I would imagine most parents would be very upset at their son if they knew he was threatening a girl like that)

There's a good chance that if he went through with his threat and you had explained the whole thing to an authority figure at your school, he would be punished and possibly suspended, and you would not (similar cases have happened before, of guys posting inappropriate things about girls online and getting in formal trouble with the school for it).

So I would suggest definitely /don't/ let this guy bully you into staying with him. Go to an authority for some advice on how you can hold /him/ accountable for any action he might try and take to hurt you.

And as for the other guy you like, you don't have to ditch him -tell him you might like to hang out some other time, but definitely take care of yourself and your own situation first.

[ 11-04-2007, 12:56 AM: Message edited by: SFgrrrl ]

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-Jill
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Oh Orca that's just beyond manipulative. I'm very sorry you're still dealing with this jerk.

How old where you when those pictures where taken? If you weren't 18 it's illegal for him to possess them in the first place -- at least in the US.

If there's some sort of legal aid hotline you can call I think it would be worthwhile to do so. They can give you a better idea of what your options are than we can.

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“I would have girls regard themselves not as adjectives but as nouns.” --Elizabeth Cady Stanton

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orca
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I was over 18 at the time the pictures were taken, so it's legal. He doesn't go to the same college as me either, but he knows how to access the e-mail addresses for my college (they're all listed online so it's really not that hard). I can't tell my family about it because I'm terrified what they will say or think. I know they'll think I'm an idiot for giving him those pictures in the first place.

I can't talk to anyone at my college about it either because I really don't want to be thought of that way and it's a Jesuit college so they're probably going to think a bit harshly about it. Sure, there are probably a couple of professors that would be really understanding about it, but I don't want them to think of me that way. I mean, imagine having to sit in class with a professor who knows there are naked pictures of you out there. Awkward, right?

I ended up going out with the other guy and things went well, but I didn't tell him about my ex problems. It wasn't an official date, but one of those things were you get to know the person so I didn't think it was necessary to bring it up yet. I mean, it was pretty much just two people who kind of know each other getting coffee and talking. Does this make me a bad person?

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Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.--Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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SFgrrrl
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"I can't talk to anyone at my college about it either because I really don't want to be thought of that way and it's a Jesuit college so they're probably going to think a bit harshly about it."

Yeah, I understand why that would put you in a tough position.

"Sure, there are probably a couple of professors that would be really understanding about it, but I don't want them to think of me that way. I mean, imagine having to sit in class with a professor who knows there are naked pictures of you out there. Awkward, right?"

Actually, as someone who art models (i.e. gets naked in front of art students and professors so they can practice their work) I can tell you that it's not nearly as awkward or scary as you might imagine ahead of time. The fact is, we were all born naked, and there's probably a good chance that your professors or their friends might have experimented with this sort of thing (making naked pictures for a significant other) at some point or another in their lives. It's not even like these professors are going to see you naked, there's really not much harm in them knowing that naked pictures exist. (I mean they all know that their students get naked occasionally and half sex lives, and vice versa, it's just sort of part of life). Having some support/allies at your school might at least make you less worried about getting in trouble yourself (as then you'd have credible sources (i.e. professors) to speak up for you if your ex did go through w/ his threat).

I would use Jill's advice, of trying to call a legal hotline for some advice. I would also seriously consider trying to contact an authority figure at your "boyfriend"'s college, just to see if they can do anything, and if he could get in trouble for his actions (e.g., maybe they would look at him posting pictures of you similarly to him trying to run a porn site or something, most schools wouldn't like that). If there's some sort of women's resource center, that might be a place to start, where you wouldn't feel so intimidated and you'd be likely to find support. Is your boyfriend's college also a religiously conservative college?

"I ended up going out with the other guy and things went well, but I didn't tell him about my ex problems... Does this make me a bad person?"

Umm... no. Your ex is being abusive, sweetie. That's not your fault, and you don't bear responsibility for his controlling behavior. And as you say, it wasn't a clearly defined date anyway. I personally would hold off on telling the new guy about this naked picture situation until you manage to reach some kind of resolution that is more satisfactory to you.

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ErinK
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I am a professor (at a religious college that's a close cousin to the Jesuits). Trust me, as much as we don't want to know about our students' sex lives and we don't want our students to know about ours (for reasons that just have to do with privacy and mutual respect), we're not going to pin a scarlet letter on your chest. Our reaction would probably "Jeez Louise, she's got a crazy ex" and not "for shame, brazen hussy!"

Plus, if he's using school resources for any of this, including being on a campus network with his own computer, he can get into a large heap of trouble for violating acceptable use policies. He can also probably get investigated for sexual harrassment over a campus computing network as well.

It would probably be a good idea to investigate your legal options, but there are also plenty of things that can be done to prosecute him if he does carry through with this threat.

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orca
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I'm not really sure how to find out about any sort of legal aid in my area. I'm still not sure I want my family to know about this. I'm also still hoping I can end things with him peaceably, but I'm just not sure how.

I went out with the other guy a second time and I really seem to be getting along well with him. Unfortunately, I keep wanting to touch him (not in a sexual manner, but...well I don't know how to explain it) or maybe even kiss him and I think that's waaaaay too early. I mean I don't even know him yet. And I'm really determined to take things really slow this time and not jump into anything. Fortunately he seems to be of the same mind. Any suggestions on how to control these thoughts though?

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Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.--Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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-Jill
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Google is always a fine place to start. Just something like a hotline where you can ask questions would give you an idea of where you stand. Also, if your school has law department they might be able to help or at least point you in the right direction. If you're willing to post your location here we can try to find something for you.

For the second question, thoughts are pretty hard to control but actions aren't. If you're both on the same page about how you want your relationship to proceed you shouldn't have too much trouble, action-wise.

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“I would have girls regard themselves not as adjectives but as nouns.” --Elizabeth Cady Stanton

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anotherone
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This may have already been said, but is it illegal for him to post pictures like that, of you, without your consent? Just putting my 2¢ in.
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Jakgirl
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Like Jill said, your school probably has a law department or an office where students can go for legal advice. If that's not an option, or readily available, you can also try your school's counselors for advice, or, if there's a women's center on campus, they probably have resources for this as well.

Another idea, regarding copyright and his legal rights to the pictures, would be to tell him in an email or text message (something you keep a copy of that has a timestamp) that you do not agree to those pictures being made public. Maybe mention his threat to publicize them, as well. It's important for that to be in writing, so that just in case you need to get law enforcement or the courts involved there's more to work with than just he said/she said.

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orca
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My college is pretty small and there's no law department or women's center. I'm pretty sure there's no legal office either, at least I've never seen one.

I spoke to my sister and told her everything about it. She said she'd talk to a friend of hers that's a high school guidance counselor about it and what I can do about it. I hope she'll get back in touch with me soon. I'd tried to look online for legal help, but it confused me a good bit. If I could e-mail my location privately to someone for advice on getting legal assistance, that would be great.

In the mean time, since I'm technically still with him, I don't want to do anything just yet to piss him off in case he makes good of his threat, which includes not mentioning it to him. Right now my mom and my other sister are convinced I'm a horrible person who's just playing two different guys. I can't even explain to them what's going on because I know my other sister is just going to throw insults and my mother has been stressed lately so she's not even herself.

And I'm sorry if I sound whiny. I'm just really tired of this. I really want to move on with my life, but each time he pulls me back and this time I just don't know what to do about it.

[ 11-06-2007, 04:22 PM: Message edited by: orca ]

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Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.--Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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orca
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So I told my sister everything now: about the blackmail, the threats he made back in summer about killing my family, everything. She was upset that I hadn't told her at the time because she'd been here when it happened, but I think she was more upset at herself for some reason. She thinks I should have told sooner, but I told her I was scared. Now she thinks I should get a restraining order and I had her talk to my mother about it and my mom seems hesitant. I found out that apparently she's worried about my boyfriend, that he might try to hurt himself or do something stupid. So right now things are at a standstill.

Should I get a restraining order? It feels so weird to. I mean, granted I think he definitely has some mental problems, but I don't want to ruin his life by getting him arrested or anything. And for some insane reason I wish I could still be friends with him somehow. Is that totally ridiculous? Am I just overreacting and he was just joking? But he did scare me a lot when he said those things. Help?

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Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.--Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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Andromache
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For what it's worth: at my school last year a sophomore woman had her laptop stolen out of her room, and whoever stole it took pictures that had been taken of her naked and posted them all around campus as flyers, and also sent facebook messages.

The reaction of my college was furiously in her support. People knew that whoever was doing this wasn't being "funny", that it wasn't a "joke" - but rather that it was cruel, criminal behavior intended to hurt this girl. The administration rallied behind her, and the police became involved in the search for her stolen computer.

So, while I know how awful, awful, awful it would be to have your pictures posted, it wouldn't be the end of the world, and I'll bet you anything it would be better than being stuck in an abusive relationship.

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Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?

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-Jill
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I do think a restraining order is a good idea. Between death threats and blackmail this guy is only going to go on hurting you until something forces him to stop. Hopefully a restraining order is enough to send a message.

As far as his mental health is concerned, that is not an excuse for the way he's treated you. Really, truly it is not. They are also not your responsibility. By that I mean you should not stay in a relationship with him because you're afraid leaving will negatively affect him. That is his responsibility and if it does become a problem he is the one who will need to manage it. And obviously, staying in this relationship is definitely having a negative impact on you.

As far as wanting to be friends with him that's not ridiculous at all. He's someone you cared about (and it sounds like you still do) and you don't want to hurt him. There's nothing wrong with that. However, you have to take care of yourself first. A restraining order isn't going to ruin his life but it might greatly improve yours.

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“I would have girls regard themselves not as adjectives but as nouns.” --Elizabeth Cady Stanton

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