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Author Topic: Even if you only say 'no' once
renyoj
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It's still rape, right, they can't say or prove otherwise?
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Heather
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Are you asking about legal cases, or about rape as a general definition?

That matters because how rape is treated in the law can oftentimes be very problematic, and you need to bear in mind that with the law, things are not so clear cut. For instance, someone could murder someone else, plead not guilty, and be acquitted if their lawyer convinces a jury of their innocence, even if they did do that crime.

Can I also ask why you're asking? is this about you?

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renyoj
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Well I was asking as in a legal case but it doesn't matter anymore. He dumped me and I'll never have to see him again, it wouldn't have gone anywhere conclusive anyways. And yes it's about me, I should've listened to you and everyone else. At least it's over.
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atm1
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Renyoj, I'm very sorry this happened to you.

Did this just happen? If so, you can still go to the hospital to have a rape kit (sometimes called evidence collection kit) done. It's a long, difficult process, but if you do decide to pursue legal action, it can be tremendously helpful.

If you give us a zip code, we can try to connect you with a local rape crisis center, and you can find them in the phone book as well. It's likely that they would send a trained advocate anyways if you went to the hospital, even without contacting them (the hospital would).

You might also want to consider going to a crisis center to arrange counseling as well, and you are certainly free to talk about how you are feeling here.

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orca
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(Actually, getting a rape kit done shouldn't be that long a process if the area where you live has an organized rape crisis center. Mostly it comes down to what the rape crisis center in your area is like, whether or not RNs can perform rape kits in your area, how many other people are there at the same time, and whether or not there are other injuries needing treatment. They will talk with you when you get there about the process, your options, how you are feeling, and get your statement, which could take time, but the kit/exam itself really shouldn't take that long. The best way to ensure you don't have to wait around a long time to be seen is to call your local rape crisis center and they should be able to take care of everything and help you through the process.)

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renyoj
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Thanks, but it's alright. He's leaving me alone and no one has to know about it except me and him. Even if I did go do a kit, whatever's there is long gone and showered away. I'm fine, I just don't want him around me.
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renyoj
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I asked because I was going to try and get something worked out but it's not worth going through without a result and I won't get one.
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atm1
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Even though it might be difficult to get a conviction, you can still file a police report and get a restraining order so that he legally has to stay away from you. The main benefit of filing a police report is that if he gets arrested for anything, the police will have a record that includes what you've told them. A restraining order can be done separately, too.
(As an aside, you mentioned in your other thread that he was older. How old are you, because if this happened in Texas, you're under 17 and he is more than three years older than you, he is guilty of rape no matter what. All you would have to prove is that sex took place, consent is a non-issue)


I do strongly encourage you keep the option of going to counseling, or connecting to a rape crisis center open. Rape brings up a whole lot of emotions, but at the time and potentially for years down the road. If you ever want us to help you find counseling options, just let us know.

And please do remember that none of this was your fault. He raped you because he *chose* to rape. Period.

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renyoj
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But why do that, he dumped me he's not coming around me anymore. And if I did that, then everything else gets out. He's only just turned 19, and I am 17 1/2, so it's not statuatory.

Again, if I did something like that everything would get out. I'm looking forward to having a clean slate with my parents in the next six months I don't want something like this to mess that up for me. And besides, what happened is always what happened, it's just the only time I couldn't deal with it and said no. Plus the friends I've asked have said the same thing, just deal with the sex stuff it doesn't go away. Guys are twats like that, basically.

So me starting anything up, starts a whole bunch of crap up. And I've already been told nothing could happen to him, he'd walk or whatever.

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atm1
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If you do not feel threatened by him, then you're right that there isn't a huge point to a restraining order. A police report is mainly useful if someone else files a similar one against him, and that might prompt the police to take action.

I want to talk about something you said:
quote:
Guys are twats like that, basically.
You know, a lot of guys aren't. You deserve a partner who respects you and your needs and emotions, and there are guys like that out there. You should NEVER have to feel like rape is a simply consequence of being in a relationship or with a man. NEVER. It is not just "the way things are." You deserve to have only the sex you want in a relationship, and any sex you're engaging in should be something that you really enjoy.

A lot of the women I know (myself included) have been raped by men they were dating or by male friends. A whole lot. But I hold the men around me to as high of a standard as I can. I don't talk to men who I know are rapists (I've lost a couple of friendships this way). I have a partner who makes sure that sex is always something *I* want, not just something he wants. A lot, if not most, of the women I know who have been through the same stuff, have found a similar partner. It can be done. There are guys out there who are not rapists and who would never rape. And you deserve to be with one of them, not some as*hole who will rape you if you ever say no.

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renyoj
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I do, but I am by anybody that I know is more powerful than me. And he is, plain and simple. He could accidentally just trip and land on me, nearly dislocate my shoulder. Honestly, that's happened before, not on purpose mind you.

And I know they aren't all, but any of them that I've been around, dating or not, are to me. And when we first started dating, he wasn't anything like that and never had been. Whatever I did set him off I guess.

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Stephanie_1
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Hey renyoj: I'm really sorry to hear about what happened - but I want to point out as atm1 has that A - this was not your fault and B - you deserve better than that.

Something that is well know about abusive relationships is that the abuser seems like they would never do anything to hurt us. And when you think about it - if you knew that the person you were dating was abusive and/or would rape you, it's safe to say you wouldn't have gone out with them in the first place. But it's not about him having been "set off" in any way. You have the right to say *no* at any time, and it's a partner's responsability to listen to and respect that. We can't control how others will react to something we say, and you had no control over his actions. *He was wrong* not you. He chose not to listen to your no, he raped you, and he is 100% responsible for his own actions. And honestly, it doesn't matter if you say no a million times, or only once - no means NO.

As well, it should never matter who is stronger or more powerful - because in a relationship it's about both partners listening to and respecting one another. Being with a partner that is stronger does not in any way give them the right to overpower you for any reason. And if you're finding that your male friends are acting this way, then it sounds like it's time to look at what type of friends you're making. A good friend wouldn't treat you badly. Have you ever tried talking to your friends about how they act and how it makes you feel? Because honestly, there are plenty of men that would never treat a partner this way, and plenty of friends that know how to be a true friend.

I know how difficult it can be to really place the blame where it belongs, but it's also a huge part of healing. You have to help yourself understand that he was wrong forwhat he did, it was his fault, and that it's not fair to blame yourself.

[ 08-20-2009, 06:53 PM: Message edited by: Stephanie_1 ]

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Heather
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renyoj: I'm just briefly checking the boards before I go poof, as I work elsewhere Thursdays and need the night off afterwards.

However, I just wanted to let you know I'm so sorry this has happened. I can add more tomorrow, but for now, I wanted to make sure we got one thing unpacked, because I'd hate to have you sitting with it in your head.

quote:
I should've listened to you and everyone else.
While by all means, I think our advice to consider this person to be unsafe was sound, you choosing not to follow our advice does not, in any way, make you at fault for being raped or somehow "deserving" of rape.

When we ask someone for advice, we usually ask to then consider what they have said with our own thoughts and feelings. We're not obligated to do what someone else advises, and getting an unwanted or bad result from not following that advice doesn't mean that result "should" have happened to you. Just like anyone should, ideally, always be safe from being stabbed in the gut, especially by people they trust, so should anyone and everyone always be safe from rape and sexual abuse.

That's not the world we live in, unfortunately, as there are people in it who do rape, and who simply do not care about our investment of trust in them or other people's well-being. But I just wanted to be sure that you knew that because you made your own choices when it came to seeing this guy again privately, still doesn't mean there was anything acceptable, okay or right about your having been raped.

Again, I'll be back tomorrow, but wanted to leave you with that for tonight.

(Oh, and I also wanted you to know that being abused in any way isn't about anything YOU or anyone else who gets abused did to "set off" an abuser. Someone putting a sock in the wrong drawer can be a reason someone abusive abuses, for crying out loud. If everyone could easily control abusers just by doing the right things when it came to them, we'd have a lot less abuse in the world than we do. But we can't. This isn't about what you did: it's about what HE did and what he willingly, knowingly, chose to do, probably mostly just because he could.)

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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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renyoj
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I don't get how he's the only one responsible. I still let him come over, I could've lied or something. I'm the one that dressed up provactively, and got undressed. I did stuff to him, he didn't just tie me up, rip everything off and do it I just wound up helping him in the long run. If none of that would've happened, I wouldn't be in that situation.

And that's what I mean by I should've listened but I didn't.

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Heather
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I don't know all of what happened, obviously. However, let's put it this way: if I invite a friend over, and I sit with them on the couch and take my scarf off, if they pull out a knife and slit my throat, am I responsible for them assaulting me that way because a) I let them in and b) I effectively made my throat more accessible to them?

Unless you invite someone over for the express purpose of having them rape you -- you call up or they come in and you say, "Hey, would you push or force sex on me I don't want tonight?" -- it simply is not sensible to suggest that when someone rapes, if that is what happened, it is anything but their responsibility.

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atm1
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No matter what you do, you ALWAYS have a right to say no and have that be respected. That includes starting to have sex and changing your mind. A partner is responsible for stopping *at any point* if someone says no. You always have the right to revoke consent, and it is entirely his fault for continuing with any sexual activity AT ALL after you said that word.

He is responsible for his actions, not you. He chose to rape you. And, you know what, if he wasn't this situation, it would be another. Someone who rapes will rape someone regardless of what they're wearing (or not wearing for that matter) or what they were doing.

You have a right to be safe, no matter what. Yes, there are always those things that *could* have been done, but let's look at another situation. A couple years ago, one of my friends was in a car at night and was hit and killed by a drunk driver. Sure, he could have thought that he was on a dangerous part of road, late on a Saturday when there are likely to be drunk drivers out. He could have simply avoided that road or going out that night, and he'd still be alive today. But that absolutely does not make his death his fault. It's the fault of the drunk driver (who, thankfully has been sentenced to several years in jail).

It's the same deal here. There are things you could have done to avoid the situation, such as not letting him come over, yes. BUT that does not make it your fault any more than my friend's choice to go out on a Saturday night makes his death is fault. Just like the drunk driver was to blame, this guy is to blame here. My friend didn't know he'd die that night, and couldn't have really known, just as you didn't know you'd be raped and couldn't have known. (and, even though volunteers and staff here were wary of this guy, NONE of us could have known, either). Does that make sense?

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renyoj
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As of now it seems like the people on here are the only ones who think so, even my friend thinks it's mine, plus the ex and me. The fact that I was acting like a ho, and that I've said it happened before but backed out, no one would believe that it's not my fault. It was last time, according to everyone, it's not going to be different just because I want it to be now. No one would believe otherwise anyway, rape kit or not.
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Heather
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I also want to touch on something else with you, the ideas your friends shared that this is just stuff you "have to deal with" and that "guys are just like this."

Statements like that concern me for a couple of reasons. One is because we know, absolutely, that while most rapists are men, most men do NOT rape. Given the statistics we have on rape, we're talking about one in every five or six men, at a maximum. It may be even less than that because for, say, a given ten women who have been raped, five may have been raped by the same person, especially since many people who rape do not do so once or to only one person.

But it also bothers me because it kind of sets all of you up to figure that this IS just something you will have to accept if you're heterosexual and/or dating men. That expectation, especially if it's firmly believed, could do a few negative things, including having any of you simply stop paying attention to things like signals of someone unsafe or abusive: because why pay attention if all men are like that, right? Men are simply not "like this," women are not helpless in this regard: while rape is not always avoidable, there are some things any of us can do to at least try and stay clear of rapists or rape, or to attempt to defend ourselves if and when it starts to occur. I would hate to see you or anyone just accept that you may be or have to be abused, both because that's just not true and because it's just not a good setup to a healthy life or healthy relationships.

I feel like I should mention, too, that we will see more rape and abuse in certain areas, communities or social circles than others, and one big things that tends to make that more likely is when a blind eye is turned to abuse, when it's treated as normal, and when no one does anything to help stop it, but just accepts it. Another thing that can make it more likely for abuses to be more prevalent in any given group is when people simply let abusers take cover in a community: in other words, when no one ever reports, no one ever breaks silence, no one ever says "This person rapes/abuses, and people are not going to be safe if he/she's around."

No one is helping anyone by suggesting it's just something inevitable one has to deal with: rape and other kinds of abuse are behaviour people doing those abuses CHOOSE to do, not just "how people are."

[ 08-21-2009, 09:20 AM: 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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renyoj
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Yes it makes sense, but I still feel like it could've been avoided. The only reason I still invited him over was because I couldn't get something out of my head, and usually he cheers me up. I knew we would wind up having sex, and I knew what happened the last time we did and I knew that I didn't want it to happen again. But I still did, and of course it happened. So I mean, I didn't know for sure no, but I know something similar happened last time because of me and would happen again.
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renyoj
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I know that it's not true that all guys are like that, they aren't it just seems like the ones around me tend to be that way. And I know why, I completely get it, because I'm 'beneath' whatever other choice he could possibly have. Low self esteem and all that crap.

But I've been in an abusive relationship, I have, and I've seen a very good friend of mine be in abusive relationships all his life, and kill himself because of it. I know how bad it can be, and the one that I was in was NOT that bad. When he did stuff like that, it was come and go and not very often. I would choose him, now, before I chose my friends exs, or my last ex. I wasn't constantly black, blue and yellow, cut up or bulging because of him. He did stupid stuff, and it wasn't right or fair but he's not that bad.

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Heather
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I'll be honest: again, this person sounded unsafe, so yes, it possibly could have been avoided. However, that still does not make his raping you your fault or responsibility, just like it doesn't make my father's family choosing to take a long drive and getting killed by a driver who chose to drive drunk their fault. Okay?

This did not happen "because of you," even though you could have made a different choice that probably would have kept you more safe. And I'll be frank and say I'm not going to go in circles with you or anyone about how any rape is a victim's fault: that's victim-blaming, we don't do it here, and it only enables a culture of rape, rather than doing all we can to knock it down. I don't want to live in a world where people get raped and abused, so I'm not going to engage in any behaviors I think or know may support that. It's very common, when rape first happens, for victims to self-blame, and I both understand that and know how it goes myself all too well. But staying there, or trying to support that, both isn't how victims heal nor how our world does.

So, do you want to start talking again about people who are safe and who are not, about what kinds of things in relationships are and are not healthy so that moving forward, you can perhaps do more to hopefully avoid abusive or violent people? Or, would you like to talk more about your choices in managing what just happened right now?

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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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atm1
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But he was a rapist . That makes him pretty bad in just about anyone's book.

I strongly suggest you investigate counseling, or give us more information about what part of Texas you're in so we can help you find some. Counseling can be a great way to build up your self esteem, so that you don't feel like you have to put up with this kind of stuff from men. Counseling can also help you learn how to find healthy, supportive relationships.

If you've found yourself in a pattern of dating abusers and or rapists, I also strongly suggest that you take a big step away from all dating for a while.

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Heather
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Are some relationships more abusive than others? Absolutely. And are all the kinds of abuse different? Yes. Physical abuse leaves visible wounds: the results of it and other kinds of abuses leave wounds that aren't so easy to see.

But based just on what you have posted about this guy in these two threads sounded potentially abusive or like abuse was growing and starting to escalate (a few months from now, you well could have also started to get physically abused by this guy: again, abuse nearly always escalates), as I mentioned in your other post. That's important to recognize in relationships, because obviously what we do not want to do when we see red flags is stay in a relationship as it gets more abusive: we want to ideally get out when we see and experience those signals BEFORE abuse actually happens. That's not always doable, nor are those signals something everyone will always see or always know how to see, but when they ARE recognized, by us or someone else, we don't want to compare them to previous escalated abuse and blow them off. Not if we want to do what we can to keep ourselves safe.

But one other thing I'm not going to do is talk about how someone you have told us raped you "isn't that bad." This is that bad, this is an abuse, this person is not safe, and things like rape, hair-pulling to silence someone, etc. are not markers of a healthy relationship, but of one that is abusive and/or unhealthy.

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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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renyoj
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Ok, how do you avoid abusive/violent people if the way they get to people is by manipulation that you can't or don't want to suspect, persuasion acting and all that? I don't have any self respect or self esteem, and I'm not going to magically gain it after all these years so I'm a walking target.

As for choices I don't see any, and I already tried looking at the campus Sex Violence center, and it's part of the work study. So I can't go in there, otherwise I get to walk right into more crap from the people here.

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Heather
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quote:
I don't have any self respect or self esteem, and I'm not going to magically gain it after all these years so I'm a walking target.
Well, you've just very clearly identified something you know is a big issue for you and probably a big part of why you walk into these relationships either not seeing these signals or discounting them.

As well, did you read that longer piece on abuse I gave you the other day? It seemed like you posted back very fast about the poll I linked you too, but I wasn't sure if you'd read that piece, or done so when not in a defensive space so you could really absorb it. If you did, or do now, we can talk more about the kinds of red flags any of us can learn to notice and what to do when we notice them (that's the more simple part when someone is new to you: you get away ASAP, you don't stick around to see if things get worse).

So, as atm1 said, it seems clear one important first step is to start working on your self-esteem. No one would suggest anyone "magically" develops better self-esteem: it's something we put time, energy and effort into and actively work on. Too? You say " all these years" but you are so young. Seriously. There are people who are 50 and have crappy self-esteem and manage to make improvements.

If you want an anonymous place to start with counseling regarding the rape, the RAINN hotline, either online or by phone is a great place to start. That's: 1-80-656-HOPE or http://apps.rainn.org/ohl-bridge/

[ 08-21-2009, 09:48 AM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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renyoj
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Maybe he was potentially abusive, I don't know and I'm not going to. And I guess I don't really doubt it, seeing as isn't it a statistic that if you grow up in or have abusive relationships your more likely to be abusive yourself? Something like that? But again, even if this stuff happened how would you know how bad it really was or if you should leave if say in a cycle of sixty days it only happened once. Like a slip up of some kind, if you didn't know any better, I mean do you automatically leave if say they verbally called you a ho or something once?

Does that make sense at all? I mean how would you know it's serious and that you should leave?

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Heather
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If you grow up in abuse, it absolutely can be more likely to wind up in abusive relationships later (or be abusive oneself). The why of that is because when that happens, you can tend to learn that abusive dynamics are normal and okay, rather than knowing they're not okay and not healthy or normal. But that doesn't mean no one can learn otherwise: people can and do.

I want to make clear that you have said this person raped you: so you DO know he was abusive, even if you had no other behaviors of his to observe. Firmly, you know. Rape is one form of abuse. This person was/is abusive.

That piece? Did you read it yet? If so, then we can be on the same page more to talk about the warning signs or actual incidences of all kinds of abuse to talk more about what to do when they're present or seem like they are going to be.

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renyoj
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I just know that that's how it starts off, not to say that abusers 'prey' on it or whatever but they do. It's just easy to get to someone when you're everything they want. And at first I didn't read it all the way but I've read it twice since then all the way through.

And I know I'm not old, but it has been at least twelve years, since I started Kindergarden. I can tell you straight up that I don't care what happens and that's why it seems like I'm a b*tch. Honestly I'm glad he dumped me before it got to that point because I still wouldn't care. I mean if he's the only one that cares about me, and he's raping me or whatever else then what's that say about me?

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renyoj
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Then that's the reason he was like that, he took crap when he was a kid and he took crap in his relationships.

The thing I don't get is even if you do grow up or are in that situation, you don't always wind up like that.

My friend, the one that commited suicide? His parents got him on drugs at an early age, his dad was every kind of abusive towards him and he never moved out more than a few months at a time between seventeen and the time he died. He wouldn't hurt a gerbil, cringed at any kind of violence real or on TV, got sick by it unless it was happening to him. Even when he got stabbed and the jerk went to jail, brought him bail money, what have you, would've never hurt him back.

So how does that work for some people and not others, ending up abusive?

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Heather
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Someone who rapes you doesn't care about you. In fact, that particular behavior is one of the surest ways someone can demonstrate to us that not only do they not care about us, but that they don't even see us as fully human.

I know that's not a nice thing to hear. It hurts like hell. (For the record, I'm a survivor of more than one rape myself.) But it is the painful, real truth.

I don't know your life, so I can't speak to who is in it who may care for you. But I also know that if there are times where literally, no one in our life cares, we have the ability to seek out those who do care. Obviously, you have to start, though, by caring about yourself, and that's also the way -- cheesy as it can sound -- we can always be sure at least one person cares for us.

I get growing up in abusive situations, but I also know we do have the power to change. You came here, so clearly you're not as apathetic about yourself and your life as you're suggesting. That tells me that not only do you want to change things, but that you have the capacity to take positive steps to do that.

I want to say something else before we talk more than I hope you can hear in the spirit intended. You have been REALLY defensive in the couple of days you have posted here. I know these most certainly are not fun or easy conversations, and they can be really upsetting. But myself or other volunteers come into these conversations with an openness and a willingness to be real, and take down defensive walls that, if we're going to keep talking, and really get anywhere that's helpful to you, I need to ask you to try and do, too. Okay? This is a safe space, I assure you. No one is going to do you harm here, belittle you in any way, any of that.

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Heather
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quote:
Then that's the reason he was like that, he took crap when he was a kid and he took crap in his relationships.

The thing I don't get is even if you do grow up or are in that situation, you don't always wind up like that.

My friend, the one that commited suicide? His parents got him on drugs at an early age, his dad was every kind of abusive towards him and he never moved out more than a few months at a time between seventeen and the time he died. He wouldn't hurt a gerbil, cringed at any kind of violence real or on TV, got sick by it unless it was happening to him. Even when he got stabbed and the jerk went to jail, brought him bail money, what have you, would've never hurt him back.

So how does that work for some people and not others, ending up abusive?

Fir st of all, I don't know anything about you ex's previous relationships, and I don't know that you can either. It'd actually be pretty unusual for someone to be abused in all their other chosen -- not family or childhood -- relationships, then suddenly start abusing someone else. What's very common, too, as I explained yesterday, is for abusers to blame the people they abused and say it was about all of THEM being abusive. Abusive people don't like to take responsibility.

I also don't like the idea that we get abused, so if we abuse, that's why. That may be some of where we learn those behaviors, but choosing to abuse is still always a choice. And stating somehow that it isn't not only discounts the efforts of all of us who have been abused but who have chosen to heal and NOT abuse, it also is, in a lot of ways, making excuses for abusers. Abusers choose their behaviours, even if they learned lessons about how to behave that way.

So, how do we not always wind up abusive if we have been abused? It depends. Some people just don't, it's just not a way of behaving that feels like their nature. But most simply make a very concerted effort NOT to be abusive. How we behave, once more with feeling, is about making active choices.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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renyoj
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Yeah I guess so, but he did before he did that anyway. More than anyone else had. And I don't mean for it sound like my parents don't, they do in their own way. I just don't have any attachment to my parents, so for me it doesn't make any difference what they say so I just exclude them altogether. Does that make sense?

So I mean, besides my ex, I had a dog and a friend that I never got to hear from. Well both of those have been gone in this last week, for good, and because of this stuff happening I don't have anyone physically here to talk to or just be around anymore. Which is pretty much the reason I came here just because I know the people are reliable I've used this site lots of times for the articles and everything. I figured if I can't understand what's going on maybe someone else here could, it wasn't going to hurt to try anyway.

But yeah you're right, I don't like hating myself it's not a good thing for anybody to feel like. At the same time though, I have no idea how to change that. I used to go to therapy and it never wound up helping for whatever reasons so I gave up on changing.

And about the last part, I know I was defensive before about him... But how else have I been? Honestly, I haven't tried to be.

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Heather
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My sense is just that -- and again, this is understandable -- you'd rather we were saying all of this was okay and fine, and that there's little any of us can do about it, and that's where I'm reading the defensiveness. It's just that it's mighty hard to help someone who you feel like (of course, my feelings are my own perceptions, and online can be easy to miscommunicate in) is kind of angry at you for trying to help despite them asking for help.

But I'm down with continuing to try: I just said what I did thinking if you could bear that in mind, we might do best for you, okay?

I'm afraid that I just don't buy someone cared once, then stopped caring so much they raped you. What seems more likely is that you interpreted certain words of his or behaviors of his as care that may not have been, or when it may have actually been part of the abuse cycle, which almost always involves being sickly-sweet at the start of things.

I also get having a rough relationship with your folks. In another post, it sounds like you may be suggesting there's abuse at your home: is that the case?

When you had therapy before, was it with the same therapist? Did you like that therapist and feel like you really connected with them, and they with you? I ask, because weird as it may sound, finding the right therapist is a lot like dating: we often have to spend time with more than one to find a good fit for us. It's pretty rare to light on a great match with the very first one we see.

Do you also want to talk about ways to expand your social circle so you have more people in it, more friends, and those who are caring and supportive? If so, glad to talk about that, too.

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renyoj
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quote:
Originally posted by Heather:
First of all, I don't know anything about you ex's previous relationships, and I don't know that you can either. It'd actually be pretty unusual for someone to be abused in all their other chosen -- not family or childhood -- relationships, then suddenly start abusing someone else. What's very common, too, as I explained yesterday, is for abusers to blame the people they abused and say it was about all of THEM being abusive. Abusive people don't like to take responsibility.

I also don't like the idea that we get abused, so if we abuse, that's why. That may be some of where we learn those behaviors, but choosing to abuse is still always a choice. And stating somehow that it isn't not only discounts the efforts of all of us who have been abused but who have chosen to heal and NOT abuse, it also is, in a lot of ways, making excuses for abusers. Abusers choose their behaviours, even if they learned lessons about how to behave that way.

So, how do we not always wind up abusive if we have been abused? It depends. Some people just don't, it's just not a way of behaving that feels like their nature. But most simply make a very concerted effort NOT to be abusive. How we behave, once more with feeling, is about making active choices.

Ok, that makes a lot of sense I just hadn't fully got that before. I just know that's what I always heard before so I thought it was right, you know what I mean? Like don't question what your parents say, because they know more than you kind of thing.

And it makes sense on Caden's part, I know he always hated being like his dad so I guess that's why maybe he never turned out like that.

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Heather
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I very much know what you mean. Like I said, abusers refusing to take personal responsibility for their actions tends to be a very big part of abusive behaviors.

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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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