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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Abuse & Assault » What was it and what now?

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Author Topic: What was it and what now?
Lintubiiirdy
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I apologize in advance for the long and possibly confusing post...

I was in a relationship with a guy for two years. Now that I'm out of it, I'm questioning what exactly it was...

He was my first boyfriend, first kiss, first everything. About three weeks after we started dating, his friend committed suicide, kind of cementing our relationship in a way that I don't think I was ready for. I was just barely 15 and he was talking about marriage and together forever stuff... I let him keep talking because I was afraid of hurting him. He was in a delicate place after his friend's death and I was scared. I had just lost a friend to suicide too...

After our first kiss, our relationship had basically become all about sexual things. There wasn't really much going out and doing stuff together or anything. A month later, he first pressured me for sex. One night, we were making out and he started to pull off my pants. I said no, but he kept trying to convince me. I started crying and he stopped...

He didn't give up his crusade though. He kept pressuring me until I gave in three months in to our relationship. Things weren't awful. He cared whether I was enjoying myself or not, but I couldn't say no. I'm asthmatic, so sometimes I just felt awful because it was pollen season or it was cold out, and breathing is really nice when doing anything, especially something as strenuous as sex. If I said no, he said I needed "three good reasons." The problem was, no reason I ever gave was good enough for him. If I didn't capitulate he would get all angry and stop talking to me.

During this time, he also had a growing problem with possessiveness. I couldn't hang out with my guy-friends without him getting REALLY angry. If I spoke of another guy positively he would become touchy.

Then I went to band camp. I made friends with three Swedish boys, two Singaporian boys, a Canadian girl, and a North Dakotan girl. For once I felt like I fit in with a group, like people understood me for once. (I don't have many friends at home) The whole time I was there, my boyfriend was furious with me. He said I was cheating on him with the Swedes - boys that I would more probably never see again. I wasn't. When I got back, I missed my friends and he was furious at me for that. I couldn't take it anymore, so I broke up with him.

A month later, he came to me saying he was suicidal because he missed me so much. I was so scared of being the reason he would kill himself, so I took him back. He promised he was going to be better... He wasn't.

Clothes that I have worn for years were suddenly too low cut. My breasts were HIS he said, his property! I couldn't go showing his property to everyone. Once I got the shirts high enough, they were too tight.

He said that in order for us to fully "trust" each other, I had to text him whenever I left my house. If I didn't text him the second I walked out the door - even if I was just driving three blocks to pick up my sister from dance - he would be so angry.

I couldn't even talk to my guy-friends. He would be in a rage.

I couldn't say no to sex without him freaking out. If sex didn't last long enough, he was angry. If I did too "good" he would accuse me of sleeping with other people - even my 50-60 year old bass teacher!

He broke up with me before Christmas. I was so happy... He tried to get back together with me since but I said no. I couldn't do that again.

Now there's another boy interested in me. He know's that what happened between my ex and I wasn't good, but it haunts me. I can't even put a name to it. What happened?

Posts: 26 | From: somewhere in lalaland | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
September
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I am so glad to hear you are out of this relationship, Lintubiiirdy.

Your gut feeling on this is right on: your ex-boyfriend was manipulative, unhealthy and abusive towards you. It sounds like you were in an abusive relationship, one that also included sexual abuse from very early on.

How are you doing with all of this now? Do you have any support in dealing with what happened to you? Any friends, relatives or mentors you can talk to?

What can we do to help you?

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Johanna
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"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

Posts: 9192 | From: Cologne, Germany | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lintubiiirdy
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I was doing pretty well. I never really thought of any of it as abusive, just not what I personally wanted in a relationship so I pushed it out of my mind. I've talked to my parents about it, but never in much detail.

Then recently another boy started showing interest in me. I know he's a good person (I've known him for years) and he's not pressuring me into a relationship, but just the possibility of another relationship made me kind of nervous and brought back some of what my ex did to me. I'm still pretty much fine, but telling this boy just a bit about it made me rethink what exactly happened and realize how bad it was... I just don't know where to go from here.

Posts: 26 | From: somewhere in lalaland | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
September
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I am glad that you recognized that the relationship was not healthy for you, and that you left it behind.

Where to go from here depends on where you want to go. Would you like us to give you some information on abusive relationships so you can better understand what happened? Would you like to talk through some of what happened? Would you like us to help you find some resources in your area so you can get some counseling around this? Do you want to talk about how to handle the advances from this new boy? Whatever you need, we are happy to provide it.

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Johanna
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"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

Posts: 9192 | From: Cologne, Germany | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lintubiiirdy
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Can you give me some links? And any advice on what to do about this new boy would be much appreciated.

As for what happened... This is going to be long.

It was less isolated, memorable incidents (though there were a few of those) and more constant and always just below the surface. He never let me say no, even if I gave the three reasons he wanted he would never, ever say they were good enough. And when I said yes, even if I didn't want sex, he expected me to act into it. If I didn't he would get mad. He never laid a hand on me and he never called me any names, but he would be mean, insisting that he had every right to have me. Sometimes, when it was time for him to leave and his friends were at the door, he would bring me back to my room and have me do things to him to "say goodbye" almost as if he was just flaunting me and his control of me in front of his friends.

One time, we had planned to hang out at his house after I got done with a doctor's appointment. At the doctor, they told me I had to get caught up on my vaccines. I needed 5 shots. My arms were to skinny so they had to give me the shots in the thigh. The thing is, I have a phobia of needles. I've gotten to the point where I can take one, but five was too much. Afterwards, I was freaking out and my legs hurt so bad I could barely move them. The vaccines were starting to get to me, making me icky and slightly feverish. I wanted to go home and lay down, but when I suggested that to him, he got angry, so I sucked it up and went to his house. I got there and just cried. The needles had just terrified me and I hurt and I didn't feel well. When I stopped crying, he got on top of me and started kissing me. I was not going to have sex. I felt so sick and painful. I was actually at the point of trying to physically push him off me (me: 130 lbs him: 230 lbs) when he realized I did not want it. He got all huffy and angry, but he didn't try anything more. I eventually went home when I felt fevered and dizzy.

If I didn't preform up to his standards during sex - if it wasn't long enough or if I wasn't into it enough - he would be angry with me. If I preformed well, he would start asking if I was lying about being a virgin when we started dating and he would start accusing me of sleeping around with the most ridiculous people. (my bass teacher, any of my male teachers at school, guy-friends that are like brothers to me)

He hated it when I hung out with my friends. When I had sleepovers with them, he would throw a fit and insist that I text him every hour while I was there and tell him everything they said during our talky-times. He thought that all they did was talk about him and how I should dump him. He talked bad about them all the time. Even now after being apart from him for several months, my relationship with my friends is distant.

For the first year and a half, he didn't care about my clothes. But then after I dumped him once, he suddenly cared. Suddenly, clothes that I had owned since before we ever dated were unacceptable. They were too low-cut he said. Whenever he saw me in a shirt he didn't like, he grabbed it at the collar and pulled it up even if we were in the middle of the school hallway. If I rolled my eyes or re-adjusted it to where I thought it was comfortable he would get really angry at me. One time when I asked him why it was that I had to cover up he said, "Because your body is mine, and no one else's. I'm the only one that gets to see what you have to offer." I went to class crying that day. I started wearing scarves and big hoodies to cover up my chest. Once I finally got the neckline to where he thought appropriate, he started saying that everything I wore was "too tight". I may not wear the big, 80's style fly-away shirts that are popular now, but I dont' wear stuff that looks painted on either. It took me years to stop dressing in boy's clothes to hide my figure. I was just becoming comfortable in my own skin when he started to do that. Right before he broke up with me, I was trying on dresses for our school's winter formal. I was going - without him - to celebrate a friend leaving her abuseive house and going to her first dance. I tried on a slinky, stripy red and black dress just to have fun. I'd never wear it in real life. I sent him a picture with a joking little comment and a disclaimer that I wasn't getting it. He was so angry. Absolutely raging. He said I looked like a "street-walker" and that I better take it off right away.

He also had this thing where I had to text him constantly. All day, every day. I had to respond quickly or else he would grow paranoid. I started taking hour-long baths just to have an excuse to get away from the damn phone long enough to read. Plus, he said that in order to "build trust" between us, I should always tell him if I was leaving my house at all. One day I went to go get groceries with my mother and I didn't tell him right away. I waited until we were at the store. He flipped out. He started accusing me of cheating and all sorts of ridiculousness.

Anyway... That's the gist of it.

Posts: 26 | From: somewhere in lalaland | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
September
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Here are some links to articles that we have on this topic:
Blinders Off:Getting a Good Look at Abuse and Assault
He's my boyfriend, so how could it have been rape?
Why Did I Wind up in Dating Abuse?

That is a lot of reading, and a lot of heavy stuff. If you have any additional questions on any of this, or would like to discuss any points further, we are happy to help.

Would you like any feedback on any particular part of what you have shared with us?

As for your questions regarding the new boy in your life, my best suggestion would be to take it very slowly. It is usually a good idea to take some time after a relationship to really put it behind you and make sure you have moved on. This is especially true for an abusive relationship: you will want to make sure that you have truly processed what has happened, and you are ready to open yourself up to someone new.

In your case, it sounds like it would be beneficial for you to spend some time focusing on yourself and doing some self-care. For example, I would encourage you to reach out to your friends and build up those friendships again. Another thing you might do is get better acquainted with what a healthy relationship looks like, so you can notice warning signs earlier (I will add some links for that at the end of this post). You might also want to look into getting some counseling, as well, to help with all of this.

If you do want to also start dating this boy in the meantime, you will want to make sure to listen to yourself. Be honest with this guy on what you've been through, and give yourself the time and space that you need.

Hello, Sailor! How to Build, Board and Navigate a Healthy Relationship
Driver's Ed for the Sexual Superhighway: Navigating Consent

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Johanna
Scarleteen Volunteer

"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

Posts: 9192 | From: Cologne, Germany | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lintubiiirdy
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Member # 48466

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Thanks for the links.

I wouldn't mind hearing what other people have to say about what happened. I haven't had anyone else's opinion on what happened, so it might be good to hear.

Posts: 26 | From: somewhere in lalaland | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Redskies
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Hi, Lintubiiirdy.

The bottom line is, as the person that this happened to, it's you who gets to define what this was, what happened, and what it means to you.

Sometimes it can be helpful to have other people's opinions as a way of exploring and finding out what we think. As you're asking, here's my opinion.

What you describe above is, to me, absolutely someone being psychologically and sexually abusive toward you. Many things you write about his behaviour shout very loudly "controlling and manipulative" at me. I could detail many things you write that give me those opinions, but I didn't want to overwhelm you if that wasn't what you needed right now.

I'm so glad that you're away from that relationship. I also agree with everything September's said.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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qubit
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Hey. I'm very glad that initial relationship ended.
I think you're very strong for saying no when he wanted to get back together. Kudos to you! It's hard to distance yourself sometimes, even from things you know are bad.

Now, as for this new boy. Take things at a pace you're comfortable with, and don't feel obligated to rush into anything, even if he wants to. It might be helpful for him to understand what you went through, if you're comfortable talking.

I understand what you mean when you said you didn't leave your ex initially because you were afraid of hurting him. It's certainly bad to hurt people needlessly, but you need to look after yourself first. Don't sacrifice your own happiness ! Relationships are work, and aren't roses and kittens all the time, but they shouldn't make you miserable.

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