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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Abuse & Assault » possible sexual abuse, getting over it, everything?

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Author Topic: possible sexual abuse, getting over it, everything?
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Neophyte
Member # 46667

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When I was fourteen, my first boyfriend was eighteen. He pressured me a lot and would occasionally force me to do things - like literally holding me down and doing things to me, or he would just nag me and keep trying until I kicked him out of the house. He never raped me or anything, and he never did anything really awful or whatever, so I kind of hesitate to call it abuse because there are so many other women who have gone through such such worse things. Mainly, every time we started kissing/making out, he would demand a hj/bj/sex, or else I was being a "tease". If I said no, he'd try to get it from me until I made him leave, and then he'd call me and be really really sorry. I broke up with him after only a few weeks and just kind of put it out of my mind as him being a dumb guy, and that there was nothing really wrong with it. I followed him by another real keeper, who, while never forced me to do anything, pressured me non-stop, kind of enforcing the "you must put out to be loved" sort of idea.

A few months after that I met my current boyfriend, who is my best friend and completely amazing, who I've now been dating for over two years. I did lose my virginity to him, and have spent a lot of the sex in our relationship making up for things or rewarding him. I've always kind of felt like sex is a token or something. I don't know if that makes sense. Anyway, we've always fought about sex since we started, because it always hurts me, and I say it doesn't until afterward, and then he feels bad. Then he'd say he wants to stop having sex ever, and I'd get in the mood and convince him to again. Or, I'd make out with him and then feel bad for not having sex with him, and so then put out.

About two weeks ago, I was chatting with some friends and we were discussing foreplay, and I mentioned that I don't like having my chest messed with because ex #1 once held me down and played with them. They were both like "... that's screwed up." and I was like "wow... I guess it is." so I thought about it a lot, and then told my boyfriend later. He said that it explains a lot and was really good about it, and we talked for a long time and I brought up a lot of things I'd just forgotten about that happened. He said that it makes perfect sense as to why our sex life is so strange.

I guess we're trying to move on from that right now? He's been really really good about not pressuring me, in fact every time he touches me he pointedly tells me he doesn't want sex. Even though I know this, I still freak out sometimes. Like, we'll be making out blah blah, and I'll be turned on and all and then it will be like "...he wants sex. you're being a tease. but you can't turn back now. you have to give him sex. but it'll hurt. too bad, shouldn't be a tease." and then he might move a little bit forward physically and I'll have a mini panic attack sort of thing, and start crying/hyperventilating/going totally stiff. And then we stop for the day, even though I'm in the mood and I do want to at least kiss him.

Anyway. I guess my questions are, is that abuse? Or am I just being a pansy or something? How do I help myself get over it? How do I help him understand me? We talk about it some but he doesn't really know how to help. Why did it take me nearly three years to even register that what he (ex #1) did was messed up?

Posts: 8 | From: USA | Registered: Apr 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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I'm so sorry you're having such a tough time.

I always like to remind people that comparing trauma, or trying to, is rarely helpful. And as a survivor of more than one kind of rape, including violent assault, I also like to personally remind people that many of us who have gone through things others would see as "worse" than their traumas isn't the way we see it.

The impact of trauma is very individual, and in my book, rape is rape is rape. As well, the idea that because some stranger didn't have a gun or knife out, rape is less traumatic is often flawed. Again, trauma is individual, but as well, rape and other sexual abuses that come from people we know and trust is no small thing: it's a double whammy of betrayal, ultimately.

If you didn't want something sexual, and someone else forced or pressured you into doing it, that's not sex, that's rape, abuse and/or assault.

Your first boyfriend holding you down and pressuring you to control you sexually was certainly traumatic and also certainly a sexual abuse.

"Pansy," FYI, is a homophobic slur, so I can't speak to that. But it sounds to me like you had some serious trauma you're feeling the reprecussions of, and also perhaps dove too soon into other sexual relationships before you even had a chance to process what happened to you before. It also sounds like you still haven't had the chance to do so: have you had any counseling yet or at least looked into that?

Why people don't realize abuse is abuse is complicated and varied. Sometimes that happens because our families or other relationships have been abusive, so we don't see abuse as anything but normal. Often the way people systematically abuse others in ongoing relationships involves convincing the abused person it's not abuse. There are a lot of factors.

But it sounds like you certainly realize this now, and also realize it's something you need to deal with, which is great. Is it possible that while you get started on doing that -- and we can talk about some options with that tomorrow, if you like, including counseling -- sex can just be put off the table with your current boyfriend? It sounds like on his end that he's had the clear sense all along it probably should have been, but I think i you could make an agreement about it for the time being you BOTH intended to hold to while you get a foothold on doing some work towards healing and dealing, it'd be a big help.

[ 04-13-2010, 11:12 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
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Neophyte
Member # 46667

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I didn't know pansy was homophobic, so sorry about that.

I'm not sure if I want to do counseling. I've done it in the past for depression and never really saw any results, and it was a big huge deal with my parents and I don't want to say I want to go back (and switch to a female) because of this, because it would require an explanation.

We both have agreed to put sex off the table for now. I saw one of the topics on here was like "Learning how to say YES!" or something. I can definitely say YES!, what I can't say is no without feeling terrible guilty. I guess that's kinda one of the things I want to be able to say.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Getting results in therapy tends to rely heavily on two things: one, clicking well with your therapist and two, putting a lot of effort into your therapy. If neither or only one of those things are going on, you're rarely going to get much out of it.

I don't know where you are, but sometimes you can get therapy without parents knowing or paying for it.

If you can't say no without feeling guilty, that also means your yesses are probably...well, we can only put so much stock in them, you know? The only way we can earnestly say yes is if we can also earnestly say no.

Do you think you can just take sex off the table for a little while while you start to work this out?

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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
   

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