I was in a relationship with a boy for five months three years ago. We were still sexually active for several months after that. At the time, I had dangerously low self-esteem, an eating disorder, and self-harming behaviours. My partner was aware of all of this.
In the past few months I have given consideration to that relationship and I don't know if my experiences were serious enough for me to say it was abusive. I said no a lot, but my partner pushed and nagged until I gave in. He tacitly created a system where sexual favours resulted in comments that validated my body. I did so much I didn't want to do, but I was convinced that I owed it to him and I wouldn't be a worthy human being until I performed as he asked. My psychiatrist says it was abusive, but I don't know if she's just saying that to make me feel better.
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HI Lilac Shade and welcome to Scarleteen,
You know, it really is okay for you to let your psychiatrist know that you're feeling unsure. If you ask her if she's saying what she says just to make you feel better, she will, if she's worth her salt as a helping professional, tell you honestly why she says what she says. It might be helpful for you to unpack with her what abuse is.
Abusers very often pick up on the vulnerabilities of the people they abuse, and will exploit those vulnerabilities for their own purposes.
What I hear is that you're looking for validation. You might find this article to be helpful: Dealing With Rape
I really do encourage you to let your psychiatrist know that you're feeling unsure about all of this.
What do you think and how do you feel after reading that article?
-------------------- Robin Posts: 5882 | From: Washington DC suburbs | Registered: Dec 2011
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That article says pretty much exactly what I tell the kids I do consent workshops with, which is pretty staggering because you'd think I'd be able to practice what I preach. I guess it's just hard not to internalize all the common perceptions of what "counts" as abuse and rape. I'm seeing my psychiatrist in two days; I'll talk to her then, but after that article, maybe not so much about whether or not my relationship was abusive and more about un-internalizing victim-blaming.
Posts: 2 | Registered: Nov 2012
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