Hey, Well since the last time i posted on the board I have been trying to get better and deal with what happened to me (being raped). I went to therapy for a few weeks, but i really didnt like it, it scared me and i didnt really know how to just talk about stuff. Well then things started to look up for a little while, so i started dating a guy who had asked me out a long time ago but i had a bf then, he is alot older than me, like over 13 years older. Well we have been together for a little while now, but he said that he doesnt wanna tell anyone that we are because of living in a small town, and people may think the age diff is a bit wierd, so all i can do is go over to his place at night, which gets boring and i am kinda uncomfortable with it (and have told him this). Well now he wants me to sleep with him and I thought that I would want to and I have been trying to get used to taking it slow and we have fooled around (but not actually had sex) but i still feel sick and i panic like i used to when i was with my other bf's. I dont understand! I waited a long time to get back into a relationship and i thought it would be ok by now? whats wrong with me?? Is this supposed to happen????? will i be like this forever? I dont understand. And he thinks its cause i dont like him and i do, but he wants me to sleep with him and i dont fee like i can! He wouldnt hurt me, i knw that. But whenever he touches me in a sexual way i get really scared and i dont know what to say cause he always thinks its cause i dont like him and then he wont talk to me. I have been through this before but i thought it was all supposed to be better now! I feel like a freak. Thanks for your help. I really appreciate it.
Posts: 657 | From: NZ | Registered: Jul 2004
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Okay, first of all a relationship that makes you feel like a dirty secret is NOT going to be therapeutic for you right now. That sort of situation makes most people who are NOT grappling with a rape feel crappy: this isn't a good thing for you right now, babe.
Same goes for a partner you cannot feel comfortable enough with to inform you are dealing with recovering from rape. Also sounds like he's moving faster than you want to. You're in high school or barely graduated, and he's what -- 30 or close to it? -- that isn't real surprising, but it also doesn't speak so well of him, especially if it's not even legal for him to be sexually active with you.
It's normal after a sexual assault for our sexual judgment to be off for a while, and sometimes that's years, especially if we don't stay very mindful of it. Based just on what you've posted here, your radar for a sound partner right now is probably pretty off: this guy is sending off all sorts of danger signals you're not seeing or paying attention to. (As well as the fact that -- maybe your therapist talked about triggers to you -- his age alone is likely to be triggering for you since he's an older man like your rapist was.)
per how long it takes to get back to "normal?" The hard truth is you're never quite the same, But when you're coping (which hopefully includes finding a counselor or support group that does work for you soon), when you let time pass, when you make sure that you're with partners who you can be honest with, who can deal with a survivor as a partner, it gets WAY better. But it is a lifelong process, essentially, and expecting to be getting back on your feet to a decent degree for a few years isn't unusual at all.
But I'd suggest you get yourself out of this relationship: it's not going to help you at all, and may well be a serious roadblock to your getting yourself back together.
Thanks for replying Miz Scarlet! I spoke to him tonight, about how I felt when he makes me do stuff with him, and he listened to me but he wasnt very happy about it. He didnt yell or anything he just told me that he didnt think i was being reasonable, which is fair enough. But at least he knows now i guess. I was thinking maybe i should see how that goes now that he knows? and I will have to keep it the way we were in terms of when i get to see him, because he doesnt wanna start seeing me other than when i go around there. But i was thinking i could just see how things are now that i have spoken to him? what do you think? I didnt tell him i was raped and stuff, I culdnt find the right words to say, its so hard its hard to get the words out of my mouth because i guess in a way it seems unreal if i dont say it, and i prefer it that way. He is in his 30's, at first i thought he was 31 but then he told me he was older, so im not sure lol, and im 19 now. Thank you for your advice Miz Scarlet, i dont really have anyone i can talk to who understands me at home, and noone else i know understands so i really appreciate being able to talk here. I just wish i would be able to be better already cause i know its hard on the people i love because im not normal like them. Anyway, thanks very much for your help. Posts: 657 | From: NZ | Registered: Jul 2004
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I'm going to repeat back to you some of the things I heard you say. You're dealing with the fall out of rape. Your boyfriend is much older than you are (you don't know how old he is), and because of this, he wants you two to sneak around. You told him you don't really liked this idea. You told him that you were having problems with sex and he told you you were being unreasonable.
After assult, it's really easy to want to fall into the arms of the next person who makes you feel okay. But it doesn't mean that you need to compromise your ideals. I think that you need to have a talk with this guy; there's some very basic stuff you are missing out on. You tried to tell him that a sexual relationship is a little hard for you right now, but he wasn't really listening. You tried to tell him that it'd be neat not to have to sneak around, but you two still sneak around.
You need to decide if this is the relationship you really want to be in, and if it is a good one for you to be in right now.
I know you didn't ask for all that. So here's something closer to what you asked for: it sounds lame, but it might help you to write down what you want to say. If the word "raped" is too hard for you, use "assulted" or "hurt". Think about what you will need or expect from him if you decide to be more sexual. It might be something like "if I say 'no' or 'stop', you need to stop right then", "if you start to feel like I am not really present anymore, talk to me", "if I start to panic, stop". Sit him down and read off your paper: "What I am going to say to you is very difficult for me, so I had to write it down. I was assulted, and because of this, sex is hard for me right now. I need for you to understand a few things..."
It's natural that things are scary. They do get better, but for right now it might make you feel better if you know that you do have a voice in your sexual choices.
What I think is that this guy is bad news: if you don't even know the real age of someone you're intimately involved with and they will not give you a straight answer?
They aren't trustworthy, and I'd say that regardless of your rape. Him being "not happy about" your limits and boundaries? Another big red flag. One doesn't tell someone their limits are "unreasonable." Especially someone who is actually invested in you in any way emotionally, and not just interested in getting off. Someone might, for instance, say a partners limits don't work for them, and thus say they want to change the relationship to a friendship so they can puruse a relationship with someone else whose needs and wants ARE more compatible -- that IS sound -- but questioning your limits? That actually is NOT fair. Not is it a good harbinger.
What hwyl said above has a lot of merit, but flatly, I wouldn't advise investing any more time and energy with this guy, luv. I just don't see this as giving you anything other than a HARDER time working through what you are, and that's the last thing you need -- and for what benefit? A partner who won't even tell you something as simple and basic as their date of birth, who sees sexual limits as unreasonable, who insists on big secrecy isn't someone who has any intimacy to offer you.
(I am out of town at the moment with my partner, but I'll be in and out a little today, and back online Monday morning, just FYI.)
(And just in case I didn't make it clear the first post, the additional information only solidifies what I said more: someone you know you can't trust -- and you can't trust someone who needs you to be a scret, who won't even tell you their real age -- is GOING to be triggering when it comes to dealing with rape. In all honestly, you stay in this, you're setting yourself up, sugar.)
Posts: 65647 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000
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hey, thanks for all of your advice! I think that I will go and see him and break it off tonight. I didnt realise how bad the whole situation was untill i saw it written down. I know I have let things go too far again as I always seem to do with my boyfriends, and ended up having sex with him last night. I dont want to do it again with him, ever. He was scary and I know I shouldnt have done it but I was over at his place and he really wanted me too and I had already told him how I didnt want to and everything and I just felt that I couldnt say no anymore because I felt selfish about it, So I just did it. He didnt use any protection but I have endometriosis and stuff anyway so I dont think its even possible for me to become pregnant at the moment. I dont really wanna see him tonight so maybe I could call him instead just in case he gets mad? I know calling someone to break up seems a bit mean though so what do you think? when I read your posts this morning I realised how strange he is acting, especially about his age, so im definatly going to break up with him, and today, just not sure how yet Thanks for your advice.
Posts: 657 | From: NZ | Registered: Jul 2004
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I think YOUR safety -- physical and emotional -- is much more important than his feelings are right now, especially with something so small as a disconnect via phone rather than in person.
I also think your instincts are very valuable and worthy of your trust: so, trust them. You don't feel safe seeing him alone in person now, so don't.
Endometriosis doesn't often create fertility problems, by the way, especially in younger women, so I'd also suggest you obtain emergency contraception today if you do not wish to become pregnant.
For the record? There is nothing selfish about not having sex with someone when you don't want to: he's in his thirties. he has two hands. In other words, he's gotten along just fine without you before now and is fully capable of taking care of himself: you are not responsible for anyone else's pleasure, especially at the price of your comfort and safety: and this person helped put you in an unsafe place: he exposed you to pregnancy and STI risks (you'll also want STI screenings a month from now), he pressured you into something you said clearly you did not want to do, he ignored your limits and your boundaries.
Nixie, I'm so worried about you, I'm sitting here over coffee almost 1700 miles away from my home office and this is the first thing I thought to do this morning. I don;'t even know you, and I'm invested: I'd really, really love you to be far more invested and caring for yourself than that, okay?
Do you have a friend who can be with you when you call -- or can you simply take a day or two for yourself without worrying about calling at all? Call in your support network, eh?
For the record, you have some power here: he wanted this kept a secret very badly: so if he gets pushy with you on the phone, you have leverage per making clear you are not obliged to KEEP that secret.
Whatever you do, today, take care of YOU. Look into getting that EC as soon as possible -- dealing with an unplanned pregnancy on top of everything else you're grappling with is likely to be way more than you can handle right now. Connect with a good friend if you can. Regroup, center yourself, maybe even today make a list of what your limits and boundaries are, what you need for yourself; a note reminding you that your judgment right now is pretty seriously off and what you need at the moment isn't a boyfriend or a lover, it's yourself and care FOR yourself, without situations where you feel any pressure to do otherwise.
Okay? hang in there, collect yourself, nurture yourself.
(I'm away for the rest of the weekend, but I'll check in here late Sunday evening -- and other moderators are around should you need more help. If you feel in any actual physical danger, if he comes around your house, and so forth, be proactive, okay? Call authorities or friends if you feel in ANY danger.)
Hey, Right now I'm just so afraid, he called earlier and wanted to know why i didnt turn up there yesterday, and I wasnt prepared so I just said that I was really busy and couldnt talk at that moment, and I havnt spoken to him since. Im gunna take your advice and not call today, I dont think I can face it today. I cant ask a friend to be with me cause I dont wanna tell anyone what happened, Im afraid he wil be really mad about it. I will go and get the emergency contraception today too. I never even wanted to sleep with him and Im not sure why I did I wish hadnt so much, and now he just wants me to all the time, he sends messages to my cell (which i dont reply to) and asks when i'll come around so we can, and i dont want to.Im just so anxious and i wish it would all just go away. I dont know what to say to him, when ever i hear his voice it makes me feel discusting, and i dont know why because its not like he raped me, but i feel about him a bit like the way i feel about the guy who did. Im not sure whether I can talk to him, Im afraid, and whenever i tell him something about the way i feel or whatever he doesnt listen and he kinda makes me feel like i shouldnt be saying anything, and im afraid if he does that when i call i will be back to where i was to start with. Ugh i just feel so dirty right now. I cant sleep and I cant eat, and it just seems so stupid of me. Im really glad that I can talk here cause im going out of my mind! I dont know what to do Im so scared. I know that if he came around i woud be ok to call the police or whatever, so i think i would be ok if that happened, but i dont even wanna think about it right now. Posts: 657 | From: NZ | Registered: Jul 2004
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Hi there ... I'm Smurf (or Hollie, whichever you prefer), and i'm one of the other advocates here. I'm an assault survivor as well, so hopefully i'll be able to help you out a bit.
As much as you don't think you can ask for help right now, that is the FIRST thing you need to do. For one, Miz S talked about your judgement being a bit off right now; this is another example. You don't really need to tell a friend WHY you need them, just that you need them ... And any true friend will be there for you w/o asking any questions that you're not prepared to answer. Even renting a few movies and chatting over a bowl of popcorn is better than being alone right now. And why do you care whether he's (the soon to be ex?) mad? He's not the one you need to be concerned about right now. He's really really not. He's a big boy, he'll get over it.
I think you do know why you slept w/ him. I think it's probably a number of reasons. He pressured you. You said you felt selfish for not doing it. And he probably, at first, made you feel safe and wanted ... I understand that you regret it. There's a lesson to be learned from everything though, and this just backs up Miz S's claim that you're probably not in the right space right now for a relationship. You set boundaries and w/ a little pressure from the opposite side, you caved. Not at all unexpected from someone dealing w/ as many things as you are right now, which is why you need to avoid putting yourself in those situations. You need to focus on healing yourself, rather than pleasing other people.
If it bothers you to hear his voice, then don't. Don't call him, and don't answer his calls. Maybe he'll get the message (that maybe you just don't want to talk to him). While this guy may not have raped you, per se, he certainly showed the same lack of caring that a rapist may show. You set out boundaries for this guy and he really didn't give a crap. Even w/o knowing the whole story (which is really none of his business, if you don't feel like sharing it), your boundaries shouldn't have ever been up for discussion. They are what they are, and if he can't handle that, he needs to take a hike.
As i said above, i wouldn't advise talking to him. If you can't find the strength to break it off w/ him now, don't pick up that phone. You know talking to him now would put you back to where you were 'to start w/', so just don't do it. This is also where having a friend w/ you would be helpful ... Give them the phone, and say that under no circumstances are you to answer that phone.
If you are the one always going to him, what are you the chances of him coming to you right now? Do you live w/ anyone else right now? I'm glad that you'd be okay to call the police if you had to. That's important.
Well I went and got Emergency contraception and i am feeling a bit wierd right now, but i guess that is to be expected. I went by myself because I know if i had asked a friend they would have demanded to know what was going on, cause as far as they know, i have no boyfriend. I am too scared to ask a friend to come around in case they suspect something and he really didnt want me to tell anybody cause he knows alot of people around here and it would make him really mad if i did. I live with my mum at the moment, I was supposed to move out at the end of last year because I started university this year, but my stepdad cheated on my mum with his ex wife and moved out at christmas, and well my mum kinda had a breakdown and cant really be living on her own at the moment, she is getting better but i still cant go just in case, if anything happened to her i would never forgive myself for leaving. And that is why i cant talk to her about this, she wont be able to handle it, she really wont. So most things i dont tell her because i dont want her to flip out or whatever. I did what you said Miz Scarlet and i wrote a list today, of my boundaries and what i want to do and stuff. He has called my cell a few times, I ignored it but then i answered it once because i thought i would be able to break it off, but i couldnt get the right words out again, he said he was wondering why i was acting strange and he said he really wanted to see me tonight just to talk it over and stuff, I dont really want to do that, it doesnt feel right. Its really hard pretending that im ok all the time, this sucks. And i know its my own fault for getting into a stupid situation in the first place, which just makes it suck so much more.
Are you sure you're not underestimating your friends?
You need to trust your instincts here, when it comes to this guy. If it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. If i were you, i would avoid seeing this guy at all costs. I mean, you're planning on ending it anyway ... What is seeing him now going to do?
This isn't your fault. None of this is your fault. You just need to make a plan and stick to it (ie, not answering his calls, not seeing him, seeking out the help you need to recover ...)
I really cant tell my friends, I dont think they will understand at all, they dont know much about what has happened to me in the past. I wanted to tell my best friend, but she doesnt really talk to me much now that she has her boyfriend, and i understand because she is really serious with him and she doesnt really mean to she is just crazy busy. But i know she would understand and she would be ok with it, i just dont know how to ask her and i dont want to ask much because she has alot of stress right now. I am supposed to be going there in a few minutes but i dont want to, he promised he would just talk to me and he wanted to know why i was upset, but i just dont want to see him. But then this is a chance to talk to him, and try to explain and then it will be over already, I guess i will just stay home for now. It is my fault because i was the one who got involved with him and let it go too far than i wanted and i am the one who cant make up my mind on what to do, i wish it would all go away. I feel sick about it, everytime i think about it my chest feels all tight and i feel like i cant breathe, but i cant stop thinking about it! I dont knwo how to make that go away either Im really sorry, I am just not coping with any of this very well at all. Thanks for all of your help, Im not sure what i would be doing without it. Posts: 657 | From: NZ | Registered: Jul 2004
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You don't need to see this guy for this to be over. Tell him over the phone. If your relationship w/ him is such a big secret that he needs to keep, he's not likely to come to you (right?). Please don't go see him. If you're serious about wanting/needing to end this relationship, you have no reason to see him.
'Sitting on the fence' really does suck. You need to make up your mind ... We've told you what we think you need to do to make this better (ie, dump the boyfriend), now it's up to you to decide what you're going to do and how you're going to do it.
Have you looked into finding support groups or counseling in your area? This would give you someone (in real life, that is) that can talk to you and help you weigh the pros and cons of each option and help you make a plan. They'd probably also be able to help you deal w/ all this anxiety (which is totally normal in a situation like this, but a pain nonetheless).
Things arent so good. I talked to him about it but it wasnt good, he was more mad than i thought. Im not entirly sure what to do now, I feel sick all the time, and i cant let my mum find out about the whole thing cause she wont be able to handle it.
Okay, well, maybe let's figure out how to make this manageable for you, okay?
First of all, you have much more pressing, important stuff to deal with without static from this guy. So, next time he calls, I'd really encourage you to ignore the calls, or better still, if you can just get up the gumption, to tell him simply, firmly and clearly that you do not want to see him or hear from him now, period, and should you change your mind, you will call HIM, but he's to stop contacting you. If he gets ugly during that, you hang up the phone. If he continues to harass you in any way, you block his calls or you make clear to him that next call, you're calling in for help from someone regarding his harassment.
And someone being mad at you for making clear that ignoring your limits and boundaries and coercing you into sex isn't okay with you? That's an unsafe, abusive person, and not someone you can reason with or someone WORTH reasoning with.
More importantly, you need some suppoprt: time to call your best friend. The cool thing about best friends is that they generally really will drop everything when you're in serious crisis, which you are. I'm sure your friend will be there for you if you ask her to be and fill you in. Having someone you CAN tell all to right now, in person, and ask to help care for yourself is going to be a huge help for you, and is something you need.
So, stop wasting your energy and time on this guy: do what you can as expediently as possible to just get him out of the picture right now so you can focus on caring for yourself. And take a step and ask for support, be it from your best friend or your mother -- any inconveniences or conflicts that presents are likely to be outweighed by the benefits. hey: you have been, for some reason, willing to have all this conflict with this guy for NO possible benefit to you, which has only created more trouble for you. Why not take far lesser risks with people safe and beneficial for you?
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