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Author Topic: I miss him
bookwormfairy
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Right now my current boyfriend is on vacation and he won't be back until February. Everytime I think about him I start to cry, I have to keep myself busy so that I won't think about him. The place where he is at has no phone or internet service so I can't contact him. [Frown]

When he and I are together, it is usually for an hour because we meet when school is over and he has to leave before my parents come home. On days when I don't have school he and I go out. We see each other at most two times a week.

Our relationship is a secret. There are many reasons as to why this is so. He is very kind, he took me to Planned Parenthood when I had a UTI. I was cutting myself for a while and went into a relapse recently. I told him and he says he worries about me. He tells me that he wants to be there for me and that he will always be there even if we are not together in the future.

My parents know about him but not the part about us being in a relationship.He is sort of related to me but not really. They think he is a bad influence because of his past history with drugs and other things.

[ 01-03-2010, 10:00 PM: Message edited by: bookwormhottie ]

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~Lillian

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Ecofem
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Hey liliamber,

I think it's very brave and smart of you to admit in the thread about New Year's resolutions how guys and your self-esteem are linked. It's a hard path but admitting is a big step.

I'm in a long-distance relationship and understand how being physically far away from a partner can be really hard at times. Fortunately, there are many other aspects of my life that are positive so I can lean on those activities and people when things are especially tough.

Being in a secret relationship is extremely hard; I know that from personal experience as well along it's not something I'd ever want to go through again! Can you tell me how old you are and more about why your relationship is secret?

Could you tell me more about your life? What grade are you in, what do you like and dislike about school, how are you friends, what about hobbies? [Smile]

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bookwormfairy
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I edited my original post, by the way. I am 16 and in tenth grade. I like school in general.

My parents are very strict about relationships, as in that I am not allowed to date until I graduate. They also say that I am not allowed to have sex until I am married or 24, I don't see how that part is logical.

He was my first and I have done everything with him. I have told him about my insecurities. Basically I have told him everything, he knows more about me than anyone else.

I am not that outgoing. I have friends but they are not close friends. Some of the closer friends though know some things about my relationship.

I don't really have any hobbies, I used to like to read but not anymore.

One thing our relationship has to be a secret is our age differance. It is an 11 yrs differance.

A few months ago my parents found out that I was texting him and they freaked out. I am not allowed to text him anymore, directly at least. I found a third party that I could send texts to him through. My parents basically forbid me to not talk to him at all.

Another reason is that he has a child. This is not really a reason but I think it's important. What I am about to say is kind of harsh I think. The mother of his child has four other children.She told him she was on birth control pills when she wasn't. She lied and tricked him in order to have his child. I think she is a manipulater and wanted to have his child just to keep him with her.

[ 01-03-2010, 09:59 PM: Message edited by: bookwormhottie ]

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~Lillian

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Ecofem
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Hey there, liliamber. [Smile]

I have to admit that this is a really tricky situation for a number of reasons.

quote:
Originally posted by bookwormhottie:
I edited my original post, by the way. I am 16 and in tenth grade. I like school in general.

Thanks for sharing this, and I'm glad to hear you like school in general. One thing you could do while your boyfriend is gone is put a little extra effort into school now that winter break is over, like spending an extra hour or two on a project or checking out an after-school club, like a reading group, since you say you like/d reading. [Smile]

quote:
My parents are very strict about relationships, as in that I am not allowed to date until I graduate. They also say that I am not allowed to have sex until I am married or 24, I don't see how that part is logical.
Yes, this is extremely strict and make it hard for you to have any sort of relationship (make that impossible!) At 18, you have the right to do what you'd like with your life; it may mean having to move out to do so, but they cannot determine what you're "allowed" to do or not do anymore. Sure, you may have to follow their rules while under their roof but you are legally independent. What stuff do your parents support?

quote:
He was my first and I have done everything with him. I have told him about my insecurities. Basically I have told him everything, he knows more about me than anyone else.
It's certainly nice and special to have someone you can share so much with, especially when it's hard stuff you can't easily share with others.

quote:
I am not that outgoing. I have friends but they are not close friends. Some of the closer friends though know some things about my relationship.
I think working on friendships, like on having closer friendships, can help us feel a lot less lonely. For some, it may be meeting new people; for others, it may be getting to know current friends better. What do your friends say about your relationship?

quote:
I don't really have any hobbies, I used to like to read but not anymore.
Hobbies are really the spice of life, I think, so if you can work on rediscovering old stuff like reading or checking out new stuff, that's a huge thing that will help enrich your life and make it more exciting, too. Do you have a current library card and have you been to a library recently? What are some other things you might be interested in exploring?

quote:
One thing our relationship has to be a secret is our age differance. It is an 11 yrs differance.
That is pretty big, especially when you're still in high school and he's 10 years out of it. He's even a year older than I am! I'm not criticizing you for dating him nor saying he's inherently a bad person but that is a pretty big red flag right there. It's also a legal issue because while the age of consent in PA is 16, even consensual intercourse between a minor 16 or older could make it a criminal act. And from the sound of his past, like if he has any convictions, as well as your parents' reaction, having a relationship with you puts him at a HUGE legal risk. I'm sure you're special and a great girlfriend but his being willing to risk it is not totally a good thing because getting caught could mean the end of your relationship at the least and prosecution at the worst. Plus, his being related to you, even indirectly, can make things worse in a legal light.

quote:
A few months ago my parents found out that I was texting him and they freaked out. I am not allowed to text him anymore, directly at least. I found a third party that I could send texts to him through. My parents basically forbid me to not talk to him at all.
Gee, this really sucks. I mean, your parents dating rules seem really and unnecessarily restrictive but going to the lengths of third party texting is huge. Being in a relationship with that level of secrecy is going to put a huge strain on anyone's life and emotional well-being, so it's tough.

quote:
Another reason is that he has a child. This is not really a reason but I think it's important. What I am about to say is kind of harsh I think. The mother of his child has four other children.She told him she was on birth control pills when she wasn't. She lied and tricked him in order to have his child. I think she is a manipulater and wanted to have his child just to keep him with her.
Well, I know that men can be manipulated in this way but it was also his choice to have unprotected sex with her knowing her history as well as not really trusting her. In this way, irresponsible guys may be able to escape responsibility but they don't have much choice as to what their sexual partner chooses to do once pregnant. I do not consider having a child is a negative thing but I would consider it telling if he pays child support, spends time with his child, and treats his ex with respect, even if he dislikes her.

I will admit that I can't say, "Yeah, this is a great relationship!" but I also know it's your choice. Being so much older is one thing because one worries about the older partner's intentions even if it's not illegal (at least at this point); even when you're a neat person, you have to ask why he's not with someone older and why he choose to date you now when you're still working through your insecurities. (Hey, nothing wrong with having them and it's really cool that you can admit them to yourself and others, it's just that one wonders if or why he "targeted" you for this reason, you know?)

However, having it be a secret relationship is really problematic for various reasons. On one hand, you get a partner whom you feel a special connection to; on the other, you always have to worry about getting caught and the secrecy can make you feel even lonelier or stuck in life.

It's a really tough spot to be in, for sure. I can link you to some more articles on the subjects if you're interested, btw.

Do you want to talk more about appearance-based insecurities because I think that's something we could work on that could yield some positive results? [Smile]

[ 01-04-2010, 12:48 AM: Message edited by: Ecofem ]

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Heather
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I also want to add something:

quote:
What I am about to say is kind of harsh I think. The mother of his child has four other children.She told him she was on birth control pills when she wasn't. She lied and tricked him in order to have his child.
This is also sometimes a line. In other words, this is the kind of thing someone like this will say sometimes to someone they don't think will recognize it as a cliche, and will make that person be more inclined to get involved with them if they perhaps would not otherwise.

I know it's not fun to consider it might be, but I think it's important to know that's a possibility, especially with something that is so cliche.

You say he is sort of related to you: what do you mean by that?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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

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bookwormfairy
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quote:
He was my first and I have done everything with him.
I was going to edit that last night to clarify what I meant,until I say that you already responded. I was going to have it say that he was my first sexual partner, penetration wise, lol.

I had one boyfriend before him (who was my age)near the end of the school yr. last yr. but I broke up with him because he kept trying to force me to have sex with him when we were making out after school in the school. After I broke up with my ex he harrassed me with phone calls, followed me in school and kept touching my *** when he was behind me in the halls. I finally got him to stop when I threatened to press harrassment charges against him; he had one sexual harrassment charge against him when he was in middle school.

My boyfriend allows me to go out with other guys. During my relationship with him, I have dated one guy. That guy and I had a mutual breakup but he was the one that brought up the idea. What I thought was rude is that he brought it up a few days before my 16th birthday party and just a week after I had sex with him for the first time(I was his first).He didn't even show up to my party and he said that he would be there. He was 17 and I was 15.

So far, I had 3 official boyfriends including the one I am with now and 5 guys that I just made out with, (doing oral for them.)

Anyway, back to this topic. I'll answer Heather's question first. By related I mean that he is my aunt's(who is not blood related) sisters son, so he is related through marraige. I guess you might somewhat call him my cousin.

As for the part about his child, he told me about what his ex did one day after we had protected sex and he wanted to have sex with me again that day but we didn't have anymore condoms besides the one we just used. On that day, he told me that he doesn't know what he would do if I got pregnant and asked when I last got my period. It was three weeks since I last got my period so he was reassured that there was a low chance that I got pregnant that day.

Now to Lena, I join a club at the beginning of the school year every year but I drop out of them after a few weeks or months beacuse there is no one to pick me up right away when it is done. There wouldn't be a problem with this but I sort of freak out when I don't have enough time to do projects and essays, even though it is not due for another few days or weeks.

My parents just want me to get all A's in school so that I can get a scholarship. I don't really know other things that they support. We don't talk to each other much. The last time that we had a real talk with each other was when they found out that I went to the movies with my 17 year old ex boyfriend. That was my first date and I told my parents that I was going to the movies with friends.

My mom had noticed that I have changed lately and once in a while she accuses me of doing drugs. She says that if she finds something wrong, she is going to make me take a drug test. The first time she did this was when I was taking medication for the UTI and the meds. caused me to be sort of out of it. I don't do drugs I have tried some but they mess you up and interfere with things.

I told my friends each a different age for my boyfriend. Some think he is younger than he is and others know his actual age, but the minimun age I told was 21.The friends that I have told are ok with it. Most of them have gone out with older guys between 19 and 23. We all agree that older men treat us better and are more mature.

I do have a library card but right now I'm just using it to check out books when I have to do research for projects. I have a whole 8 shelves that are filled with unread books in my room because I used to go to the book sells where you can get a bagful of books for like $7. I used to read 4 books in a week but when I started going out with my boyfriend I am not interested anymore.

I have asked my boyfriend questions as to why he chose me and what was it that got him attracted to me. He told me that when he saw me everyday at work(we haven't seen each other for a few years at the time because of distance and he was imprisoned.)it would make him smile. Also, when I saw him for the first time again, I started to wear more revealing clothes and slightly seducing him.

His son and ex live with him and his ex babysits when he is at work. On some Saturdays, he brings his son and ex to work and I help watch him. This is a little off topic but I wanted to say that mine, his and his son's birthdays are in December and are about 2 weeks apart. Also the majority of my family doubted that his ex was having his child because the estamated date that she conceived conflicted with the time that he was imprisoned but when his son was born, you could tell by just looking at him that he was my boyfriends son.

I would be interested in reading some of the articles and I would like to say that I have been running the idea of posting about my relationship for a while and now that I actually am talking about it, I feel better. Yes, we can also talk about my insecurities.

[ 01-04-2010, 11:05 PM: Message edited by: bookwormhottie ]

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~Lillian

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Heather
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I'm heading out, but I want to ask a few things here:

quote:
We all agree that older men treat us better and are more mature.
By what basis? In other words, I hear you saying everyone you have dated before has treated you poorly, and that right now you are with someone who -- I'm going to be honest -- if they do know your history, and if they really were more mature, would recognize that a secret sexual relationship with a teenaged cousin (including unprotected sex sometimes, no less) who he also sometimes uses as a sitter is about as far from treating someone well or acting with maturity as it gets. Same goes for having any part of putting you in this situation on his part when he knows you have a self-injury issue, which is bound to be triggered by a relationship like this.

See, this doesn't look like treating you better to me just because it doesn't include physically forced sex. And this VERY much does NOT look like anything resembling maturity on his part to me.

So, I wonder if, on top of talking about all this other stuff some more, you could perhaps talk a bit about how "older guys" including this one, are actually equaling better treatment and more maturity for you, because I'm not seeing that at all.

What was this man in prison for? And are you saying he expressed first having romantic/sexual feelings for you when you were years younger than you are now?

Can I ask if you have any adults (not this guy) who you trust at all: other extended family, perhaps? A teacher? A mentor?

I also want to be honest with you, and not hide my feelings: all of this is not only sounding like exceptionally bad news to me, and someone likely being very predatory, but it is to the point that it is putting knots in my stomach. We can keep talking to you about this, for sure, but based just on what you have said so far, I would strongly advise you NOT continue this relationship and DO tell some adult in your life (even if it's not your parents) about this.

[ 01-04-2010, 05:47 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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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

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bookwormfairy
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quote:
one day after we had protected sex and he wanted to have sex with me again that day but we didn't have anymore condoms besides the one we just used.
Oh, haha, the part you are referring to was that we had protected sex that day but he wanted to have sex with me again. But but we didn't want me to get pregnant,so we didnt have sex the second time since we didn't have any condoms left.

We never have unprotected sex.

His ex and I are friends and she wants a job so she and I talked about it and I told her that I would be happy to watch their child. I now watch his child alone on Sat.sometimes when he is at work but his ex usually comes along on Sat.

By older guys being better is that they ask us if we are ok with what they are doing with us and don't force us to do things we don't want to do.

He got into a fight and he brought out a gun right as the cops came.

He got feelings for me when we saw each other again recently last year. We will be together for 6 months in February.

I don't trust other adult.I am not that close to anyone else.

[ 01-04-2010, 11:10 PM: Message edited by: bookwormhottie ]

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~Lillian

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Heather
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I understand. At least there's that, then.

Are you up to looking at the rest of my comments and answering my other questions?

--------------------
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

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bookwormfairy
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I just edited it.

Oh, he also told me that at anytime I can break off our relationship and be friends.

[ 01-04-2010, 06:06 PM: Message edited by: bookwormhottie ]

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~Lillian

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hugoschwyzer
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As an older man myself (42), a father, a teacher, sex educator, gender studies prof and so forth, I've thought and written a lot about older men/younger women relationships. And liliamber, the first thing I want to say is that it's very, very hard when you're in the middle of a relationship like this to see what other people around you see. Heather and I (and others) see a lot of red flags that are of real concern to us, and those go beyond the age difference alone.

When you're 16, the guys your age seem incredibly immature. Many of them are. And when you're bright (I take you at your word that you're a bookworm -- or were) and curious, an older guy seems like the express lane to adulthood. Being sexual with him seems -- seems -- to make you equals. His wanting you feels really good. I get that. We all get that.

But with respect, liliamber, one thing that most girls in your situation tell themselves is that they are different (at least from most other girls and boys their age.) Many young women say things like "age is just a number", and insist that they are full equals (or have some control in the relationship) even when they know, deep down, that they don't. Age isn't just a number, not between 27 and 16. And a 27 year-old man who finds love with 16 year-olds has a reason he isn't finding it with women his own age. And most of the time (and you may claim he's different), the older guy dating a teen knows that the lines he uses on younger women won't work on his female peers.

I've written a lot of posts at my blog about this topic, and you're welcome to read some of them: http://hugoschwyzer.net/category/older-men/

All the best.

Hugo

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http://hugoschwyzer.net

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Heather
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One last thing from me today, amber: since you only recently turned sixteen, and looking at a history of your posts here, were you in a sexual relationship with this man before your 16th birthday?

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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

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Ecofem
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Hey Liliamber,

I have to admit I'm in full agreement with Heather and Hugo here: I have to be honest, and say that while I tried to come to this with an open mind as possible, this guy sounds like such bad news and I'm sad and worried for you for so, so many reasons. I really encourage you to reconsider the relationship. I can't talk more tonight and have to admit that I don't feel so comfortable discussing the relationship more as something to continue in when the stakes are so high: I think your parents are wrong to have their dating rules but I also understand their concerns. I care about you but it just makes me so sad to hear about. I had been hesitating to share this with you because I didn't want to scare you off or jump to conclusions but I do recommend you check it out. Why I Deeply Dislike Your Older Boyfriend

In the future, however, I would be open to talk about strategies for feeling better about your own life. [Smile] In the meantime, I recommend this article if you haven't seen it yet: To Be... AWESOME or Just Be –– Tips on Making the Most of Your Life Right Now!

Much love to you, seriously! I know we don't really know each other but I'm seeing so many challenges in your life right now and want to give you a virtual hug because I know it must be really, really hard.

[ 01-04-2010, 06:32 PM: Message edited by: Ecofem ]

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orca
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Hi liliamber. I hope you don't mind me jumping in here to add a bit. We're all quite worried about you that this relationship may not be the best thing for you. While everything you've said so far has been very troubling, for me the most worrisome part is the part about why he was arrested:
quote:
He got into a fight and he brought out a gun right as the cops came.
That is a very serious crime. This wasn't some traffic violation or anything like that; this is a violent crime. Someone who uses guns, carries guns, and pulls out a gun because they cannot control their anger is simply NOT a safe person to be around. Period. Everything else is already really creepy, but that is a HUGE issue of safety. If he pulls out a gun in a fight in public KNOWING that he could be arrested, what is there to stop him from doing the same in an argument with you that takes place in private? What is there to stop him from pulling the trigger on that gun?

Something I want to suggest based on what you've said here about this boyfriend and your past boyfriends: if a guy has any kind of unsavory history, whether he was arrested for it or just charged with it in middle school, reconsider dating him. There are plenty of guys who don't have histories and who are good men. These guys don't appear to be some of them. You deserve a guy who doesn't have charges against him, someone who has led a decent life that does not involve harming others. Believe me, there are a lot of good guys like that out there. Violent offenders are often repeat offenders, meaning the people who commit violent crimes often go on to commit more violent crimes. Sometimes it also escalates so they become more violent over time and injure or even kill. I don't say this to scare you, but I am very concerned for your safety. Please, do reconsider all of this and think about what's most important, your safety and wellbeing or continuing a relationship with this 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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bookwormfairy
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The jail thing, that was what I have heard from family members. I don't really care about that and that is his own private matter so I don't want to invade his privacy asking him questions about it.

Yes, I was having a sexual relationship with him when I was 15, we have been together since the past August. I know this would possibly and quite likely be considered statutory rape and/or other things since eventhough I gave consent, I was under the legal age of consent.

I just like to say that I was the one that initiated the relationship. Like I have said in my previous post, I started wearing more revealing clothes when I was around him. It took me two months to get him to notice and kiss me. I picked all the days that we are together and what I wanted to do, basically I control everything.

When we first had sex and he was the one that took my virginity, before he penetrated me,he asked me, if I was sure that I wanted him to do it.

I think our relationship will be forced to end towards the end of this summer though because my brother is going to transfer to the school I am going to. This will make it hard for us to see each other.

[ 01-04-2010, 11:15 PM: Message edited by: bookwormhottie ]

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~Lillian

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Heather
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amber, I really need to head offline for the day, and also need some more time to think more on this, but I want to say a little bit tonight for you to think about, okay?

By all means, what he did with you when you were 15 was absolutely criminal. Obviously what he went to jail for was, too, and it should not be something you can't ask him about. You're not invading someone's privacy when asking about something they did that is on the public record, as any crime is. In other words, that's hardly his own private matter: he committed a crime, so it's a public matter on records even someone who didn't know him like me, but just knew his last name, could see. If a stranger is entitled to that information, why wouldn't or shouldn't a lover be?

By almost anyone's standards, what he did then and has done since has also been highly unethical. Even if you two were the same age, getting sexually involved with a relative is a very iffy thing, especially if it is being kept secret from other relatives: it potentially creates big rifts in families, and isolates people from their family members. In your case, when you already feel so isolated, that's a double-whammy, and he should know that and be helping you bridge that, not separate you even more.

I have to be clear that there is no such thing as one person controlling a whole relationship. I understand that you have the idea this has all been in your control, and that you have driven this whole thing, but that simply can't be so. As well, if you have all the control here, and you call all the shots, that stands in conflict with your saying how mature he is. Mature people don't have relationships like that. Mature people also make way, WAY better judgment calls than he has here, especially with people who they know to be particularly vulnerable. You say he knows all about you, including things like your self injury and your feeling you need to validate yourself with sex: if someone who cared about you knew all that, why would they choose to get involved in something like this with you which enabled those things or may make them tougher for you?

Dressing a certain way doesn't control anyone, either. I know sometimes we'd all love to have the idea that our sexual prowess or bodies are so hot that with an open button here or some leg there we could bring someone to their knees and they'd do all kinds of things they wouldn't do otherwise. But that's a fantasy and a vanity: real life just doesn't work that way. He's had choices here, he's made them (really poorly, and very much not like a grownup), and unless you're suggesting he is not fully functioning mentally, I can assure you that he has not done what he has because he was under your magical thrall.

If he has presented it that way, or let you believe that, that is a manipulation on his part.

Again, is he more mature or not? Because if he's more mature, he controls this at least as much as you. And in the real world, in this kind of scenario, he has more control and power here than you do, no matter what you'd like to believe or what he'd say about that.

Someone just asking us if they can do something first isn't special treatment: do you understand that? That's ground zero common courtesy. I understand you haven't gotten that in the past, and in fact, I think you may not be seeing the possible exploitations here because on your grading curve, this seems so much better than your other relationships. The trouble with that view is that it doesn't consider that people can exploit us, or be in something unhealthy with us in a much more covert way that doesn't involve physical force.

I am deeply, deeply concerned (like to the point that I keep promising I'll be done with work today, but am having a tough time getting this out of my head because it's so troubling) about you and about this, especially if the only adult you are close to and are disclosing this to is an adult who is having sex with you, and who had created an even bigger wedge between you and your parents than there was before.

I want to be clear: a relationship we just do not feel we can tell ANYONE about but friends is one we can know is not healthy. I think it would be wise for you to think about WHY you would not want to tell another adult, because I think you'll recognize a big part of why is that unlike your friends, many adults would easily recognize this as really unhealthy, unwise and probably unsafe for you. I can't stress enough how important I think it is that you find some other adult to tell about this. If it really is all okay, then it shouldn't be a problem, and you'll just have someone who can support you. If it's really not, you'll have someone who can help and care for you who doesn't get into your pants.

How about a teacher? What about your doctor? Or a friend's parent you like?

I also want to add one more honesty that I know won't be easy to consider, and please understand I don't say it to be hurtful. I find this guy going on vaca for a month and having no way to contact you sounds highly fishy to me. If he got out of jail even somewhat recently, for starters, he is probably on parole, which limits both his travel, and his right to be out of touch like that. If he supports four children at his age, I'm not even sure how he's affording a month-long vacation. Now, perhaps I'm wrong, and I very well could be, but it's just one more thing in a long line of red flags, here.

Just to check in: can you see why we're all so concerned, especially given how you also have expressed you have been feeling? can you see why we're having a hard time with some of the things you're saying, like that you have all the control when you clearly don't, and that he's so mature when he's not been acting that way at all?

[ 01-04-2010, 08:05 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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bookwormfairy
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You can respond to this tomorrow, I have to go to bed soon anyway.

He has one child and that is his son, the others are from his ex's other relationships, so he is only supporting his son. He was let out 2 years ago and his parole ended early. He is halfway around the world visiting his parents. I have his parents house number, (he is staying there during his vacation) but it would be suspicious if I called and asked for him. His son and ex are with him. He just wanted to take his soon but the law requires you to file paperwork if you intend to take a child out of the country so he took his ex with him because it would be less of a hassle.

I can totally see your guys point of view on this.

I edited my previous post,I added something onto it.

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Heather
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If you get up before I do tomorrow (likely, since I'm on the west coast), can you do me a favor?

Can you make a new post where you make clear things you weren't initially really honest about, so we can really have a good sense of what is what? Just check what you have written so far and make sure it's all really accurate?

For instance, in your first post you said there was no phone where he was: now you're saying there is a phone, you just don't want to call it (and for some odd reason, he also isn't calling you).

While I get that you're very in the mode of being dishonest about this, we're going to base our ideas and words on what you tell us, so if you're not completely honest with us about even seemingly small things like that, it's really hard for us to get a real sense of the whole picture here, and respond to the reality of the situation as well as we can. Okay?

As well, if you get here before me, can you please at least think about one or two adults you do or could trust and who you feel care for you and would care about your safety and well-being?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Love-Life
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Hi liliamber,

I just want to share my experience with you. It's not the exact same, but I had a much older boyfriend (10 years difference) when I had just turned 17. Now, I completely understand how you are feeling about all this. My relationship wasn't a secret from my family, or from anyone, and everyone was very accepting. Looking back on it, two years later, I wish they hadn't been. I wish they had told me what Heather and everyone is telling you now because no matter what I thought, no matter how mature I was, HE was always in control. And it really is much easier to see from the outside, because I felt in control but I know now that I wasn't. In fact, when I broke up with him, I really understood how little control I had. At 27 this man had been a drug addict, had an ex-girlfriend who he still "loved," and you know what? I put up with it because he made me feel special, while at the same time he made sure I felt just un-special enough that I would stay with him and think that no one would love me but him. And you know, I didn't break up with him for any of that, I broke up with him because he wasn't spending enough time with me, and you know what? I'm glad I did what I did when I did because if I hadn't I might still be there being used by a man who couldn't find a woman his age. In my experience, older men don't date teenagers because there is a magical connection or some honour. They do it because they aren't mature enough or responsible enough to date anyone their own age.

This is just my personal experience and if I could just give you one piece of advice because your story really hit home with me. Take this time that he is away and try to see the things that everyone has mentioned. Try to be as objective as you can and just think about the things he has done to make you cry, or the things that make you feel just a little bad about yourself. They don't have to be monumental events, he doesn't have to call you names or anything. Because every little thing adds up and makes you feel more and more like he's the only one who loves you and will ever love you. Little, seemingly off-handed comments can leave both you feeling shitty and him feeling in control.

I don't mean to assume that you are in the same situation as I was in, and if I'm way off I apologize. But I just want you to be happy, healthy, and safe. I hope it at least helps to know that you aren't the only girl going through this, and that there are good guys out there who are closer to your age and more mature than your current boyfriend. My thoughts are with you.

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bookwormfairy
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It's really late here and I have to wake up for school in a little bit over 6 hrs but I am waiting to see if my friend would go online on one of the chat networks. The reason that I said in my first post that there was no internet or phone service is that to me it feels like it since I can't call him and he can't contact me for fear of getting found out. Plus they charge a lot of money to make a call from where he is to the US. It is cheaper for me to call him but I don't want someone to pick up and I would ask for him, they would start to wonder why I am calling him. I have been honest for the most part with what I have written so far, but I'm going to edit those posts so you can get the full picture, I censored some things. Like I don't want to make him sound like a bad person. But you guys know more information about my relationship than other people.

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orca
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Why does he feel it's so important to keep the relationship a secret? Has he told any of his friends or family? Does his ex know that the two of you are together?

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bookwormfairy
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Well for one he could go to jail. Even before I got in a relationship with him, I knew I had to keep it a secret, all my relationships were kept a secrect. He has told no one, we promised each other that our relationship would be kept a secret until the day we die. His ex doesn't know but has been supspicious of us lately. She first started getting supspicious when she was looking through his e mails and found pictures of me in a bikini that I sent him.

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Love-Life
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I just have a couple of questions for you, if it's okay for me to ask. If this relationship was created under the assumption that it is going to be a secret forever, where do you see it going? At some point it will no longer be a secret because, as you said, his ex is getting suspicious. Other people are bound to find out eventually. Are you prepared to deal with the consequences of people finding out?

[ 01-04-2010, 11:50 PM: Message edited by: Love-Life ]

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There is an upside to everything, sometimes you just have to turn it upside down to find it.

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Heather
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amber, I can't help but wonder if one of the reasons his ex has been suspicious -- since, why would she care if she was an ex? -- isn't because he is possibly still sleeping with her, too.

The story about needing to bring her on this trip to get clearance to take his kid is certainly plausible, however, at the same time, it sounds just as likely he's taking her and she's suspicious because he is also still sexually involved with her. That'd hardly be the first time someone did something like that, after all.

I want to reiterate that someone who wants to have a healthy relationship with you, and who is acting with any kind of maturity, simply would not enter into something they knew would have to always be kept a secret. All the more so if that secret-keeping was put on a young person they knew to be unstable: that's simply a cruelty. An adult who does that with a young person is an adult who is treating a young person poorly, especially someone they know is already so isolated.

This is simply not a position someone who earnestly cared about you would put you in.

I understand that based on your history, it seems like this person is treating you with care, but I want to be really clear that this just isn't what care, love or a healthy relationship looks like.

To give you an analogy, I may have eaten poisoned food once. And the next time I eat, food may be offered to me which isn't poisoned, but it's kind of rotten. It probably won't kill me, but it isn't good for me, either. Neither of those situations are healthy food, it's just that the poisoned stuff is worse than the rotten stuff: but they're both not things I should be eating. See what I mean?

That all said...

I thought about this situation and you a lot last night. And what I struggled with was feeling like it was something I should report.

However, since at the current time, no one is doing anything illegal (totally unethical, yes; illegal, no), and because it's really important to me to treat young people with respect, here's what I'd like to put out there for you.

Would you like me to report this? In other words, if this is something you want to think about, and you decide you do want an adult who does earnestly want to treat you with respect and care to do something, I can do that.

Even if you say no now, I want you to know that that is something I would be okay to do for you at any time. I will not take any steps to report this unless you tell me, here on the board or in email, that's what you want me to do, but if you do tell me that's something you want, know all you need to do is ask.

I also want to make sure you know your rights. Regardless of the fact that *now* this is legal (in so many other states it would not be at all, for the record, but in PA, it seems to be), it very much was not when it first started. It was a pretty serious crime, especially for someone who already has a record.

So, if at any time, you recognize that what went on here, and continues to, in my estimation, is exploitive of you, you have the right to press charges. Because you were both a minor and under the age of consent when this started, there is no statute of limitations on that. Even if you reported this yourself when you were 25, in other words, you would still have a case and charges could still be filed.

Lastly, I also want you to be aware of what your responsibilities are. YOU are not responsible for keeping him out of jail: he is. He's the super-mature grownup here, remember? If he doesn't want to be changed with a crime, he needs to make the choice not to commit one. If he doesn't want to be held responsible -- be it by the law, or by your family -- for certain things he does, he needs to grow a pair, stop thinking with his penis, and not do those things. You're not his Mommy, and you're not responsible for his choices or protecting him from his choices. Taking responsibility for our choices is part of being an adult, which he is. Okay?

[ 01-05-2010, 12:57 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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

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bookwormfairy
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Well, I know for a fact that he is still sleeping with his ex. He didn't tell me directly but when his ex is around, they talk about it while I am with them and when he and I talk to each other, he says things that indicate that they are still involved.

This relationship will probably lead to nowhere but for now we are together and in the future,I don't really know about that. I do know that I want to find a man that I can be with forever and it is not him.

I don't know how I would be able to deal if someone found out. Some of my relatives are getting suspicious also.

No, I don't want this to be reported.

Oh, geeze I just remembered that I invited my 17 year old ex to come over today, wish I hadn't. Ugh, I did stuff that I shouldn't have. I have a pack of cigarettes, I have never smoked before, tempted to and I have other things that I shouldn't have.

Today I had health class and the teacher was telling us what our next unit is about and some of the things she talked about reflected some of the things that are happening now and things that happened in the past to me.

[ 01-05-2010, 03:02 PM: Message edited by: bookwormhottie ]

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~Lillian

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Heather
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I do think you have to recognize that it is very, very likely someone is going to find out eventually. And I think that's something important to think about when you make your choices with this. If that outcome seems really unbearable to you, that'd be one of MANY reasons to seriously consider getting away from this relationship.

I don't know what the deal is with inviting your ex over, but we can always cancel on an invitation with someone. If you don't feel good about seeing this person, or they haven't been kind to you, I'd suggest you do that.

Suffice it to say, especially as someone who started smoking young and has struggled with a nicotene addiction all her life because of that, I'd encourage you to take that pack of smokes, run it under water (so you can't smoke'em) and throw them away. How many new problems do you need in your life, gal?

This health teacher: might THIS be an adult you can trust and talk to?

Per the reporting: okay. Just know it's a standing offer, so if you change your mind, all you need to do is ask. [Smile]

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bookwormfairy
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I'll keep that in mind about the reporting

The cigarettes belong to my friend who for her new years resolution was to quit smoking but last night caved and had a smoke so I made her hand over her pack.She also does cocaine and I think to quit doing that should have been her resolution(she is having frequent nose bleeds now because of it) but in any case trying to get rid of an addiction is good. I promised myself a long time ago that I would never smoke a cigarette.

Although I do admit that I have done other things, such as,gotten drunk(a lot of times), smoked marijuana and taken vicodin and valium to try and make myself feel better. What I learned from my experiencee with those were that eventhough I felt better with it, when the effects wore off, it doesn't improve anything. This leads me to why I had invited my ex over, he had valium and I wanted some. I called and cancelled the invite.

I could talk to my health teacher, I'm still thinking it over. She has probably seen my cuts because unlike most people I don't like to cover them up at all, even when they are brand new.

The older boyfriend article, I read that at the beginning of the relationship but I reread it. While I was on the page with all the articles listed, I found the self injury and relationship article. I found it helpful. At the dinner table once, my dad mentioned my cutting and my brother asked if I wanted to be emo. A few of my friends think I am only doing it for attention but the majority are or were cutters and they support me since they know how hard it is to stop. I tell my boyfriend when I have new cuts, I text him after I have stopped the bleeding from the cuts. I tell him how many cuts there are and where they were made; when I see him at work I show them to him. He does the things that are written in the article to hlp me cope.

I might add that I plan to breakup with him at the end of summer.

[ 01-05-2010, 06:36 PM: Message edited by: bookwormhottie ]

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~Lillian

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Ecofem
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[Hey Liliamber, just dropping by for a second. I'm glad you found the articles, especially the one on self-injury. It's really hard for your dad to not only not take you seriously but even mock you about them. I can tell that your parents surely mean well but are not providing you with the love and support you deserve to have.

I think it's very wise for you to recognize that doing the things you listed aren't long-term fixes. I would agree that substance abuse not only doesn't help things long-term but even makes things harder or complicates things in various ways.

I know you're not into reading books much these days, although it sounds like you're doing a lot of reading up online. [Smile] What are some things that DO make you feel better? Something like listening to music, making a yummy breakfast, walking your dog if you have one-- they don't have to be big to be great!

Does your school have a late or activity bus? That might make attending after-school clubs easier.

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bookwormfairy
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There isn't any late or activity buses at my school.

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~Lillian

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Heather
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Well, in terms of what you would WANT to do, how about feeling out if there are others already do them who have their own transportation and then asking them abut ride-sharing?

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bookwormfairy
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No, not really, as you know I am not that sociable, so I don't like to talk to people I don't know that well.

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Heather
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I know, but at the same time, it's really not helpful to you to be so isolated, and to only communicate with an older adult who is having sex with you.

Even if that relationship was really kosher, everyone needs a bigger support network than that. If you want to be a healthy person with more support, and who really lives her life, you're going to need to take some steps to branch out socially, even if they're small steps.

So, in terms of what activities you would want to do, can you not connect with even one person already participating in them to ask about this? Or, ask whatever teacher is organizing to help you find a rideshare?

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bookwormfairy
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I've been doing a lot of thinking lately, I went through previous conversations that I have had with my boyfriend and I am starting to really see what you guys are saying.

For example, one of our first conversations with each other, when our realationship started was how he was attracted to me. He mentioned that when he saw me in certain clothes, he thought how great my breasts or derrier looked in it and asked me if I noticed that he was looking at me when he started working there. He also said that he wondered what I knew about sex and the things I have done and that was why he asked me the very personal questions. At first I was reluctant to answer them because he is a family member and I didn't want him to tell my parents. Right after I told him everything I have done, he said he wanted to kiss me and I let him. Later that night I was talking to him online and he said that he always thought it was a taboo to have a relationship with a relative and he sorta joked that it was one of his life goals to do just that.

We were playing around for a while in the beginning( touching, kissing)until he said we should have private time togehter. Whenever he did something he has never done before, ex: touching my breast,he ask if I enjoyed it, I would usually respond that I wasn't sure. My mom wanted me to review school subjects before school started, so I used that reason to not go to work. Conversions with him before our first alone time was me telling to remember to bring condoms for when we met. I planned to loose my virginity between the ages of 15 and around 16 so I might have chosen any guy that offered. In a way I am glad that I chose him to be my first.

I think that him being on vacation is a good thing. For instance I have midterms in about two weeks, I would be able to concentrate on studying for them instead of trying to coordinate the days when he can come visit me.

Since our relationship started I have been secretly buying lingerie. When I go to the mall with my parents, I have to convince them to let me walk around by myself and after I purchase the items I hide them in my purse. I never wear them besides when I see him, so that I can keep his interest. I probably spent between a hundred and two hundred dollars on them and I only wear them once. I have also been loosing weight for him mostly(my mom had been harping about how my stomache was bigger than my breasts when I sit down). I used to weigh 118lbs,(the same weight as my mom, I am taller than her, she said that since I am younger thn her, I should be lighter)I went down to 103lbs in about two months by being somewhat anorexic. I ate like a cookie, a little bit of fruit or one thing in a very small proportion a day. Since, I have a bad body image of myself, I feel that men want to be with someone who is skinny. I am petite and I can still fit into clothes that I wore in fifth grade and sometimes I shop in the childrens section.(somewhat off topic but I guess it shows your view of him being preditory)

I have noticed that the friends I hang with have changed dramatically. In my opinion, I used to be friends with what would considered "average, normal" people but now I am friends with "outcasts". They smoke, do/sell drugs,etc. They also have the same issues as me, cutting and having a bad image of ourselves, we have our own little support group. All of us have made a pact to stop hurting ourself and when one of us think she is ugly, we reassure her that she is not. I still keep in contact with my old friends but not as much.

Vikki-I was rereading all the posts and I would like to say some things. My boyfriend isn't an addict but he is a user and dealer, in fact he was the one that gave me alcohol and marijuana when I asked. I got the pills from friends. He has only been angry at me once, this was when he drove me to Planned Parenthood. I asked him to drive me to the one that was an hour away from my house because I didn't want to bump into people that I knew but when we got there, it was closed, apparently they forgot to change their business hours online because it said they were open that day. I did get to a clinic that day though and it was the one closest to my house.Once in a while, when I plan to hang with him on days when I have off school, he refers to how bad I am bad at planning things because of that incident. On the other hand, I have seen him numerous times getting angry at his ex and I feel sorry for her because he is basically yelling at her. She told me once that even though he has a few bad qualitites, they are minor and they are many good things about him.

I became a member of this site a month after our relationship started and I read articles that I should have read before I started a relationship with him, such as the sex readiness checklist.

It is past 3 in the morning and I can't fall asleep, sorry if some of it doesn't make sense.

[ 01-09-2010, 02:54 AM: Message edited by: bookwormhottie ]

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~Lillian

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Heather
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That's a whole lot of tough truth-telling, amber. I'm glad you told us all of this: thank you.

I'm going to sit with this for a little bit this morning, but I'll get back to you, okay?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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

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Heather
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Okay, so I've sat.

I probably don't tell you that the more you tell us about this person and this relationship, the more certain we become that this is seriously bad news, and something that is very obviously not healthy for you, and which will likely keep making your life worse. I also want to reiterate that if you have an idea this is a good person of maturity treating you well, that idea simply doesn't mesh with the reality of all of this. This is not what maturity and care look like, this is not what being treated well look like. And the way you're feeling about it all isn't how we feel when we're in a healthy, loving relationship.

I'm wondering if it might be helpful for me to fill you in a little bit on what saved my butt during my own teen years. I wasn't in an abusive romantic relationship, rather, I had a very verbally and emotionally abusive stepparent. I also had survived a couple sexual assaults at 11 and 12. I was an outcast at my school at the time, and I had had more than one suicide attempt. I was intensely depressed and suicidal (I also self-injured daily), and I was seriously on the way out. I didn't have any adult I trusted to talk to, and my peers were of no help, though some of that is because I didn't tell my few friends the truth about everything that was going on with me and had been. Much like you, I felt like I was getting support from friends, but it obviously wasn't the kind of support that was useful, since I kept spiraling out.

Lucky for me, I got connected with a counselor, Barb, who was really wonderful. I was very reluctant to see her at first, but it became clear very soon she was really in my corner. I honesty do not know what would have become of me without her support, and then the support of my father. I can say with certainty that in all honesty, I probably would have wound up dead. She helped figure out what situations in my life were putting me and keeping me in crisis, and helped me be able to make changes (like getting out of the abusive household I was in, and reconnecting me with the good things about myself) so that I got stronger, felt a lot better, and learned how to both care for myself and to learn how to stay away from those who did not treat me with care.

A bit after I got connected with her, someone I loved very dearly (a boyfriend did treat me with love and care) suicided himself, and Barb literally stayed with me on the couch at me and my Dad's apartment for almost two days solid. Again, without that kind of support and care from trusted, caring adults, I don't know how I would have gotten through.

Here's the thing: your situation and what mine was are obviously different. But what I see looking at all of this is that you are a) already being done harm, already in crisis and already involved with someone who is not a good person and b) things are probably going to keep getting worse for you and with you if you don't seek out some help to really change things, including getting away from this relationship.

In other words, I am intensely worried about you, and both via my own personal experience, and working with young people for a long time now, I have a really good handle on what "in real trouble" looks like. This is it, gal. And when the you-know-what hits the fan in some way -- this guy becoming even more of a jerk than he already is or someone finding out about you two, for example -- and it always inevitably will, it seems very likely you are going to be very unlikely to handle it on your own, without good support. You're not handling all this now that way (and I don't know who could), so you doing so when things get even worse? Not likely.

So, I'll ask you straight out: is this what you want your life to always be like? Do you want to keep feeling the way you do now? Do you want your closest relationship to be with a creep who is crossing lines that don't respect you (and which no adult family member should), who isn't treating you with care and love, and which keep you feeling terrible about yourself?

[ 01-09-2010, 11:58 AM: Message edited by: Heather ]

--------------------
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
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