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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Abuse & Assault » Denial.

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Author Topic: Denial.
fille_francaise
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Let me just say that I understand rape & abuse, but not the extent of it. I only understand it in a major issue. Like, getting brutally beaten, or rape to a violent extent. But now that I am in a healthier relationship, I've come to the realization that I may have been raped by my ex-boyfriend many times in the past & up until now, I've been in denial about it.

There were several times where we would engage in sexual acts & I would tell him that I didn't want to have intercourse, yet, even though I would be telling him no, he would insist upon me letting him "finish real quick" forcing himself upon me. I would let him finish, but I would cry during the duration. There were also times where I didn't want to give him head, & he would make my life miserable until I did; ie. he would pout & become really rude with me, telling me that I was being selfish in our intimacy together. He would give me such a hard time about it to where I would give in, but cry while I was giving him a handjob, or a blowjob. He never seemed to notice I was upset until AFTER he was finished coming. Then of course, he would be all over me, saying "Baby, are you okay? I'm so sorry. Don't cry. I'm such a jerk." He would turn into this totally different person & would promise to never do it again.

I was young & stupidly in love with him, so I let this treatment last throughout our relationship. I didn't know any better then. I knew something wasn't right, but in my head I thought that maybe I WAS being selfish; I believed him. Never in my mind did I think that it was rape; I would just endure it. Also, he was sexually abused when he was younger, so giving into him was me feeling sorry for him in a way. I felt that I should pleasure him since he had such a terrible past, as if it were the least I could do. I was just trying to be a good girlfriend, I suppose.

I hadn't given all of this much thought because I figured that with sex, there sometimes comes sensitivity to certain treatment, especially when you're so young & you don't know what sex is supposed to be like. We started having sex when I was 15, he was 16 & up until I was 18 this continued; we were together for almost 3 years. It's been brought to my attention much more these days because I am in a much healthier relationship, where I feel no pressure in sexual acts. & I talked to my current boyfriend about the treatment my ex-boyfriend gave me & he instantly told me that I was raped. It made me very upset. I can understand how he sees it this way, but I don't know if I can admit that I was raped. It's such a harsh word to use. I feel that admitting to that would make me a victim. It has taken a real toll on my emotions, partly because I don't know what word to use about the "treatment" I was given by my ex-boyfriend since the word "rape" or "abuse" makes me cringe. Also, my current sexual relationship suffers a great deal because I feel such a heavy burden when it comes to sex; like I must pleasure my partner the way he wants to or else he will be upset with me. Of course, my boyfriend is not AT ALL like this, but it's so engraved in my mind that making love doesn't come easily for me. I have flashbacks most of the time & I can never be completely comfortable. I just don't know what to do & how to get past this. It happened over a year ago. Maybe 2 years ago.


I suppose I'm just wondering to what degree does sexual discomfort [not just physically, but emotionally] have to be in order to constitute as rape? I ask because some of you are experts, & most of you have [maybe, unfortunately] been in the same situation. I don't think I'm being silly by asking this, but I do think that deep down inside I may know the answer. I just don't like to look at it this way.

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"...Our memories depend on a faulty camera in our minds."

-- death cab for cutie.

Posts: 138 | From: Southern California, USA | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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From what I can gather from this post, your boyfriend coerced you into having sex with him, and he did so routinely, setting up patterns of this.

Certainly, this isn't forcible rape, and from a legal perspective, it's one of those things that is murky per whether or not it'd be classed as rape, but it certainly IS a form of sexual and emotional abuse, and it is NOT what consensual sex is. I think it is sage to say that you are a sruvivor of both emotional and sexual abuses. (And personally, I'm of the mind that per practical, rather than legal definitions, situations like this ARE rape: you declined, clearly and repeatedly, and your partner refused to take no for an answer, employing any number of means to get what he wanted sexually with no care for your wishes. Even if he learned that behaviour in part from being abused himself, it's his responsibility to heal and take stock of abuse effects, as well as be aware of if he's able to have a healthy sexual relationship with someone else. Plus, abuse victims do not necessarily automatically become abusers or replicate behaviours taught to them by their abusers, not is getting everything they want sexually no matter the cost something we need or which heals us.)

And your sexual behaviour since then is also pretty symptomatic of surviving sexual and emotional abuse.

You're also in no way silly to ask these questions. (Nor for not knowing if something was abuse or not: not only does our culture okay or enable a lot of abuse, when you're being abused, it's such a complete mind%@#$ -- that's part of what keeps those being abused staying -- that it can really mess up your perspective.) In fact, I'd suggest to you that you've done a really smart thing here -- and bless your current partner for shedding that light on it, however hard it was for you to have to look into it -- that will probably really help you in the short and long-term, as might looking into some counseling to work through what those patterns of abuse have obviously done.

You don't have to be a victim: you have the option to be a survivor. That sounds cheesy as hell in a way, I know, but there really is a very distinct difference, and you're far more a victim when you're in denial of abuses than you are in recognizing them.

[ 01-15-2007, 10:33 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

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
logic_grrl
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Just to add to what Heather said:

even though I would be telling him no, he would insist upon me letting him "finish real quick" forcing himself upon me.

If he had intercourse with you after you had said "no" and without you consenting in any way, that would certainly count as rape in legal terms.

With emotional coercion, it does get more murky. But it seems very clear that the whole context was abusive.

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"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it." - the Talmud

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fille_francaise
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I appreciate you taking the time to listen to me. & now I feel like I can now comprehend the situation a little better after admitting to it, especially to my current boyfriend, who is very supportive. The biggest thing about this was not knowing what to call it; that resulted in a lot of confusion for me. Of course, I would never go so far as to report this because I don't feel it's vital. The guy has obviously moved on with his life, to another country, literally. I don't think, though, that he ever thought about what he was doing, so he would also be in denial. Actually, I haven't told anyone about the abuse, rape [what have you] that I received for so long. Just my current boyfriend.

I suppose the biggest concern I have is that this will always hang over my head. I'll always have guilt about what happened & look at sex as if it's a burden. I want to have a healthy sex life, without having flashbacks & having trust issues. & I hate that I put my boyfriend through so much emotional stress because of my experience.

But, time heals all wounds, they say. So I suppose I should just give it time. Counseling may be an option in the near future, but for now, I just want to continue to seek comfort & understanding in loved ones. & also, try to cope with this on my own; just admitting to it alone made me feel better.


Thanks again. :]

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"...Our memories depend on a faulty camera in our minds."

-- death cab for cutie.

Posts: 138 | From: Southern California, USA | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Of course.

If counseling doesn't feel like the right thing just yet, you might also find it helpful to grab a couple books that might be of use to you?

I'd suggest Staci haines "The Survivors Guide To Sex," which in many ways, is geared to childhood sexual abuse survivors, but it's relevant in most ways to survivors of any kind of sexual abuse. You may also want to have a look at "The Sexual Healing Journey: A Guide for Survivors of Sexual Abuse" by Wendy Maltz, "I Never Called It Rape: The Ms. Report on Recognizing, Fighting, and Surviving Date and Acquaintance Rape" by Robin Warshaw and your partner may benefit from "Outgrowing the Pain Together" by Eliana Gil.

quote:
I hate that I put my boyfriend through so much emotional stress because of my experience.
Don't forget: YOU didn't put him through anything. It's your ex responsible for this, NOT you.

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