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Author Topic: the surprise...
appleorchard
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so this is basically the entire reason i joined scarleteen, but i can't half-bake this story for honest opinions, so here is what happened...

i am 15 years old, i have a boyfriend who's 18. this isn't the issue, however, because our parents are fine, lawfully we are fine but, we met when i was 14, and he, 17. we both have a large interest in body modification, oddly, me more than him. when i met him he had gauges and his lip pierced, so this interest was to no surprise to me, and no dis-taste.
we talked about tattoos fairly breifly, before dating, and did express my desire to come with, purely because my interest, at the time i had none in him.
we started dating on january 9th, and he turned 18 on february 11th. at that point we had already gone through a lot with his mother angered about the relationship, though we didn't love each other yet. soon after his birthday he did express that he loved me, but i didn't return the same feelings. it wasn't till maybe the beginning of march after passionate kissing i told him that i did love him. everything was perfect. we could be together, and we loved each other. and that was really all we needed.
so of course, he was 18 now, and apparently wanted a tattoo. he didn't express this to me, until one day over spring break we were texting, as always. he was taking a lot longer between responses though, and i was curious why, so i asked. he said he was at the tattoo shop with his mum and thinking about getting one. i said no, don't. regardless of if you have or haven't thought about it, now you will, and it will always remind you of our relationship.(which was a bullshit, shocked, answer on my part) he said nah, i have gifts from other girlfriends still. i said, its not the same you can throw those away, hide them, this is on you forever.
(i wasn't paying for the tattoo, i wasn't there, but i really did want to be there, but at the time i couldn't really express that, even to myself, i also had no idea what he wanted tattooed)
about 2 hours, i get a text "i got it"
i reaspond, "are you kidding?!!?!!?!"
he said, "no, ill send you a picture when i get home"
i don't reaspond, instead i break down crying on my floor, the hardest i believe i have ever cried. He doesn't like his mum, which i now realize could be a reason it made me feel so terrible. it takes a lot for me to love someone, and i do have trust issues, and i trusted him very much, and i felt so betrayed and hurt. like he did it just to upset me.
he then texted back and said, "your mum probably wont be too happy will she?"
i reasponded with a series of "what the f*** do you think? and don't bother sending me a f*** picture i dont want to see it"
he sent me a picture.
its a creepy eye tattoo sinking into his shoulder.
i hate it.
i hate everything about it!
i sit in class, or my room, or anywhere and start thinking about it and i can cry. instantly...
even after 6 months,
and 8 months of a relationship with him.
he feels bad, its a major issue with our relationship now.
i abuse him emotionally with it, because i bring it up randomly, because it hurts me, about 3 times a month
i cry about it at least 2-5 times a week.
he's talked about lazering it, or wrecking balm, but he doesn't have a lot of money.
i've caused him to regret it.
onetime we were watching tv together and i lifted his shirt sleeve and leaned into it, and just began sobbing.
and he did too.
and we just held each other and cried.

i don't know what to do.
i thought it would go away.
is is because im immature? maybe i feel left out because of my age?
im still to this day not allowed at his mothers,
from the time we started dating. ive been there maybe 5 times.
sorry if its so long, but im sure i probably left something out

HELP!
im in limbo, for 6 months.

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-Lauren-
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What about the tattoo makes you feel so uncomfortable? Do you not like tattoos? Is it a trigger of sorts (bad experience with someone who had one)? Do you disagree with the meaning behind it?

Regardless of the reason, you really, really have to wrap your head around the fact that it is his body, and he has the right to do with it what he sees fit. You wouldn't like it if he forbade you from wearing certain clothes, getting your hair cut/styled a way he doesn't like, and then throwing it at you in arguments, especially if it's not something you could change instantly.

So, what's really at play here? It can't be just because of the tattoo, because you were aware body mod is something he's into, and a change in a partner's appearance shouldn't make you hysterically upset.

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appleorchard
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i feel because he didn't see it was important for me to be there, and he'd share that expirience with someone he feverently dislikes, that im not important. no i do like tattoos, im actually looking into apprenticing for a tattoo shop when able. just whenever he has his shirt off i feel like its -staring- at me, i do ask his opinions on what i wear, and such, his opinion does matter a certain degree to me, and i always concider it. he does the same with me on shirts and things. but nothing of this tattoo was ever discussed with me. his meaning was "its like im watching over myself, because i used to be a big *******"
thats exactly what he says, which i find halarious because its exactly -why- he's an *******. i also feel because of my age, it was a stupid choice, in a way furthering ourselves.
im round-about hurt by it.
had i had a heads up, i wouldn't have minded. had my opinion mattered, i think i'd have felt better.
i got my lip pierced without him, but i let him know all the while, and we had previously discussed it in length before. it wasn't "surprise- im back, and look what i got~!"
and even if he didn't like it, its not permanent.

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Heather
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I really think that you have to accept that a partner's body is sovereign, and that it's not reasonable or healthy to expect our partners (nor for they to expect it of us) to get approval with us or even inform us before they get a tat, a haircut, wear something new, what have you.

You're expressing an emotionally abusive dynamic in your relationship, and wanting to or trying to exert control over a partner's body or appearance is part of an abuse dynamic. And that is something to be very concerned with and to seek to change. And a WAY bigger problem than a tat you don't like on someone else's body could be.

[ 09-20-2008, 01:09 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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appleorchard
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but what can i do?
if i feel a certain way..how will i ever change that if not by beginning a new relationship with someone else and trying to change?

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Heather
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How you feel when it comes to wanting control over someone or being abusive isn't something that is about them. It's about you.

And it's also not likely to change just by dating someone else. You have to change your behavior, not the scenery.

So, what can you do?

Well, for starters, if you know you can't be in a relationship yet without being abusive, you stop dating until you've spent some time and energy working on these dynamics and feelings yourself and/or with the help of a therapist, support group, some books, what have you.

Do you feel like your existing relationship is one where you are going to be able to work on this WITHOUT continuing to try and control or to be emotionally abusive in any way?

--------------------
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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appleorchard
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i don't really know.
i was thinking about it today, and i realized my mother had gotten a tattoo when i was around 10, and very very against drinking, smoking, tattoos, you know, all of it. and she did it in a fashion of surprise, where she just came home after a night of partying with a friend and got this tattoo. and i remember being very hurt by it. but i forgot my emotions toward it.
as for whether my "abusive" ways will go away in this, or any other relationship is my uncertainty.
i mean, to a certain degree i understand its abusiveness. but as far as me understanding it as being unjust in a certain degree, which i know im breaking by throwing it in his face.
its like i try my best to surpress my feelings. ill tell him i dont want to talk right now. but when i get really upset i do vent on him, and thats very wrong. but somethings he says, like he'll bring up him shaving his arm in prep or something. and i just grind my teeth till i have to say something.

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Heather
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You've said in this post that you have behaved in an emotionally abusive way.

That generally isn't something that occurs because of whatever event a person is responding to abusively. In other words, his tattoo, your mother's tattoo are not likely causes of your behavior, nor sound rationalizations for it.

And suppressing your feelings is only so helpful. If you have anger management problems, if you are inclined to be emotionally abusive, what you need to do is to learn new ways of behaving and managing your feelings which are healthy and which are not abusive. You'll also clearly need some help in better understanding that there is nothing "unjust" in a person doing what they want to their own physical appearance without your permission or when it's not something you like or approve. You have to be active in that: you can't expect your behavior to just change by itself.

And a lot of that is going to hinge on if you take the steps to really work on this, rather than to try and find ways to justify it.

--------------------
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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Heather
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Have you looked at this yet: Blinders Off:Getting a Good Look at Abuse and Assault?

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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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appleorchard
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i do understand what you are saying about it being abusive. actually, since i've posted i've re-evaluated everything. i realized that it -is- his body, not mine, and even though i don't like it, it obviously isn't enough to stop me from loving him, as a person, which is what really matters. Now i have become a lot less upset and angry about it. I do feel a bit changed, infact, last night i took his shirt off and felt no hatred towards him, or it. We also discussed how it is possible I might have manic depression, because i do have extreme highs and lows, which is an evident point in this.
After seeing what you and Lauren said, it made me realize just how obvious i was abusing him, and that's not fair to him nor i..
I was pretty curious if you had any diagnosis however, as to -why- i might have done/be doing this? Is it just ingrained from childhood?

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Heather
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I'm not a psychoanalyst or a therapist,and even if I were, I'd need far more than this little bit of detail and lone issue, and this small bit of conversation to have any clues as to a) what behaviors we're even talking about (you said you have been abusive, but have not said more than that) and b) where you have learned these behaviors.

What I do know is that if you ARE abusive, it's not likely something you're just going to stop being based on this thread, and it's not likely about being bipolar, either. But if you do think you may be bipolar, that is something to see a therapist or other healthcare provider about, and if you do want to work on changing your behavior for keeps and want to also seek out some root causes/influences, you will need to speak to someone who can see you, over time and in-depth, in-person.

However, even if, say, you figure out that you learned some abusive behaviors in your life, as a child or elsewhere, knowing where you learned them still is not likely to change your behavior. That takes your own work, ideally with some in-person help.

--------------------
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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appleorchard
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got it,
thank you very much for all your input and help ^-^

Posts: 69 | From: USA | Registered: Sep 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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