For many of us who have been in abusive relationships, it's hard to learn how to assert our boundaries and say no to partners.
What I personally found even more challenging, though, was learning how to say "Yes!" to sex again. Not "Okay." not "alright" and not even "yes," but an enthusiastic, excited "Yes! Please!" and really and truly mean it.
It took me a long time to learn that sex could, and should be initiated by me. I was used to having my sexuality controlled by someone else, not me. And while I think this is a common experience among survivors, I know other people can feel the same way.
So, whether you've been abused, or simply told over and over again that you don't have a right to say it, how have you learned to say "yes!" in your life?
In my own case, I have a fantastic partner who demanded an enthusiastic yes from me, and simply put off sex until I could offer it. It was one of the best things he could have done early in our relationship.
Posts: 2262 | From: in transition | Registered: Apr 2008
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I was skimming through and noticed this topic had no replies! So here I am, in an effort to make it less lonely, and because I happen to really like the question you posed
In a way I'm still sorting out my feelings about my most recently ended relationship. I've only recently acknowledged it had some definite abusive qualities, and am trying to keep myself from getting involved in any aspects of it again. It ended really painfully though, and I was worried negative feelings from it would interfere with my current relationship. I hadn't planned on getting back in a committed relationship so soon after the painful breakup and almost felt guilty for doing so since, again, I worried that I was not "healed" per say at that point.
However, my current boyfriend and I have been really open and communicative about everything and I am really, really happy to have gotten to the point where I can tell myself that it's ok, yes I can have another relationship, yes I can trust this person, yes I can have a healthy sexual relationship with someone, yes, i can be strong enough to push out of my mind prior experiences that were hindering me, and yes! life can continue and be awesome.
Aside from relationship, some of those apply to my academics as well, since ending the unsavory relationship took a pretty decent toll on my grades and messed with my schedule and scholarship awards. As they say, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, so I've made it my goal (yes I can redeem my GPA!) to excel in my classes and move forward despite a rough start. I have just rejected anything less than excellence in my work, health, and happiness at this point.
Posts: 117 | From: U.S. | Registered: Jul 2008
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I have never been in a physically abusive relationship but I was in an emotionally abusive one a couple of years ago. He would always get mad and yell at me for saying no to him, how I would never pleasure him but he always would me. I can say no to any kind of sexual activity, but I always seemed sort of guilt-ed into letting him do something. For seven months I never did anything for him and finally he left our unestablished relationship.
Now, I've happily been with my boyfriend of 18 months and yes, for 18 months I said no to sex. I found it easier to do things with him, I felt pleasure myself in pleasuring him, knowing I made him feel good, made me feel good and I believe that's how it should be. And just recently have we become sexually active, and I wanted it, I WANTED IT! I just wanted to want him, and he's patiently waited for me until I was sure that I would have no second guesses about my decision. And I am happy to say I have not. I could say I have never been happier, but simply being with someone who wants me and will wait for me patiently makes me as happy as can be.
In a relationship I think it should be to want and be wanted in return. To have that comfort with that someone and really be able to talk. My relationship those couple of years ago ended horribly also, I never thought I'd be truly happy after that, and boy was I proved wrong. My grades have also dramatically risen, unlike how they were in my old relationship. Instead of C's D's and F's I bring home all A's and B's and only one C because math is not my strongest subject
It's so refreshing to hear about other people's success stories about getting out of abusive relationships of any aspect of abuse and overcoming it and being able to finally say "YES!"
-------------------- 9.27.08<3 Give me the grace of heart to see, the difference between duty and his love for me. [Proud girlfriend of a USMC soldier] Posts: 12 | From: ATL. | Registered: Dec 2008
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In a word, in my case, strangely enough, I think it was my assaults and abuse that made getting to sex that only happened when there was a BIG yes on my part -- and with my usually initiating it, so it wasn't even usually so much a yes since I was more typically the one asking the question. For me, I think having been sexually assaulted, especially so young, left me with a very clear understanding of what sex was and what rape was, and the lines, in my mind, were exceptionally clear. I felt very, very motivated to be as sure as I possibly could that nothing ever happened to me again when I said no so long as I could help it.
So, for me, any sexual relationships I chose were ALWAYS big-yesses. I'm not sure why I was so quick on that learning curve when it's clearly much harder to get there for many people, though: I figure I got very lucky.
-------------------- 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: 63428 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000
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