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Author Topic: Regrets
JeanGenie700
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Member # 48669

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Hi there, I've got a long story to tell...

In 2010 I was with my first-ever boyfriend, who at the time I was too naive to realize was actually a horrible person.

There are many things I wish I knew better about at the time, but there's one thing that's really bothering me lately.

He was my first ever sexual partner, but at first I wasn't interested in any kind of sex. He kept insisting on trying it at least, and eventually I agreed. At the time I considered it a kind of positive peer pressure - the same way I'd tell a friend "we should watch this movie together, I bet you'll love it".

But in retrospect, I don't think he ever had MY concerns at heart. He had an ideal of how womens' sexualities worked, and when I didn't conform to it, he treated it like something was wrong with me. And when I caved in to his pressure, he took a smug attitude of "I told you so", since he thinks he knows my sexuality better than I do.

Carrying on the movie analogy, it's like if I insisted to someone "your favourite movie is The Princess Bride." And if they were to decide, yeah they liked this movie, I'd have a smug "I win" response.

The most frustrating thing now is that there's nothing I can do. I think I would feel better about it if I had an apology but I refuse to speak to him these days because he bullied me a lot after we broke up. And he wouldn't apologize anyway because he's too arrogant to concede that he's wrong.

I don't know how to overcome this regret. And "you learned something" doesn't offer much help - I really would rather I learnt how exploitation works without having to be at the end of it myself. I don't know how to forgive my past self or to stop being so angry that he got away with it. I can't "just get over it".

Thank you for reading. I appreciate any advice you have to offer.

Posts: 16 | From: Australia | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
eryn_smiles
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Member # 35643

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I'm so sorry to hear your boyfriend treated you this way! It sounds like he really coerced you into sexual activity without any regard for your happiness or consent. You have every right to be angry. When you talk about forgiving your past self, what do you feel you need to forgive yourself for? Do you think you did anything wrong?

Some people find that therapy can help in dealing with anger, healing and moving forward. Some areas also offer support groups for people who have experienced abusive relationships and a counsellor could point you towards those.

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"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

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JeanGenie700
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Member # 48669

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I feel like I need to forgive myself for being too naive. For being a doormat, for not realizing what a toxic person he really was.

Even though it was really him who should not have been abusive, rather than me who should have been on guard.

I'll look into getting pointed in the direction of such a group, but it will be difficult to say the least because of current circumstances (I'm moving and about to start university study).

Posts: 16 | From: Australia | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
eryn_smiles
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It might be helpful for you to read this article about abuse and rape. Particularly the parts entitled "The Blame Game" and "Can’t Happen to You?" Also see links at bottom of page:
http://www.scarleteen.com/article/crisis/blinders_off_getting_a_good_look_at_abuse_and_assault

Although often an abusive person can make you feel that you are to blame for their behaviour, the fault is still entirely theirs. As well, unfortunately any kind of person can be abused at any time, not only people who might be more passive or naive. I hope you are soon able to forgive yourself, and place the blame squarely where it belongs, on your abuser. You talk about feeling frustrated that there is "nothing you can do". In my opinion, when you live a happy healthy life as a survivor, that's one of the best things you can do.

Often universities offer a free health and counselling service for students- that could be good for you to look into.

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"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

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Sans
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I second Eryn. Firstly, there is nothing wrong with being angry because someone has done harm to you. Your anger is a natural response to something that is not right. Secondly, you have nothing to blame yourself for.

To elaborate, I was also in a sexually abusive situation that lasted for about 7 years and ended about 3 years ago. The situation was quite a bit different from what you described above, but, after undergoing regular counseling, I think that you may be able to relate to some of what I had come to realize.

Abusers often use subtle psychological tactics, playing on one's sense of shame, guilt, desire for acceptance, and sense of responsibility in order to get what they want. I'm not entirely sure what happened in your case, but you had mentioned that you feel angry with yourself for not recognizing it earlier, am I correct? You were not naive. You were not at fault. He was the one who used corecion, which is a form of manipulation, to get you to do something that you didn't want to do.

So please, don't blame yourself any longer. Recovery is not something that one can just "get over with" in one night, so don't push yourself. Take it step by step. And, as Eryn says, living a happy, healthy life is the best thing you can do for yourself. [Smile]

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"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

Posts: 537 | From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
JeanGenie700
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I found that article and your advice very helpful, thank you.

I think I'll still need some help in learning not to regret it. Even though I understand what you're saying, I still feel doubts about how I should have done this or that at some point.

I'll see what my university has to offer in terms of counselling. I'm not sure what I'll do if that falls though, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Thank you again.

Posts: 16 | From: Australia | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
eryn_smiles
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Member # 35643

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You're welcome, I'm glad it helped. Another good source of assistance is "Headspace" (the Aus National Youth Mental Health Foundation)- they are awesome to talk to and can also direct you towards outside counselling options.
http://www.headspace.org.au/about-headspace/about-us/what-we-do

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"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

Posts: 1326 | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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