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Author Topic: How Do I Cope With Losing My Virginty?
RozenxthexWulf
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Sorry if it's a little long but...here goes:

I am currently 20 years old in college. I lost my virginity to the first boyfriend that I've ever had. We'd been dating for a few months when I was 19 after I'd been friends with him for over a year. A few days afterwards, I broke up with him. The main reason I broke up with him was because I felt he was too irresponsible when it came to adult life, never had an opinion about ANYTHING which drove me up the wall, and didn't show me enough affection. The only thing I felt he had going for him was that he was nice but just being nice isn't enough to make someone happy. Besides those, there were so many variables that led to the break-up but me, still believing that he was the one, gave my virginity to him. Even though he said it felt special to him it didn't feel special to me.

Ever since then, this has drastically affected my life in a negative way. I just feel dirty, like a whore, for not losing it to someone who I was married to like I'd originally always dreamed for. The worst part is that I feel that it wouldn't have even affected me if I'd lost it to someone I married and then maybe later on he divorced me or something. Not that I'm hoping for a divorce but just in general.

I've been depressed lately and there is a guy I like that I won't even pursue because I feel no guy would ever want me because I'm tainted which further lowers my self esteem. It's like being a virgin gave me confidence and I was proud to be one but once I lost my virginity, I lost all of my confidence with it. It doesn't help that the guy is interested in me as well since he told me that he liked me once despite being a bit shy. He's also religious and has told me that he's never been in a relationship before. For now, we're just friends and haven't attempted to pursue anything.

At first when I broke up with my ex I hated him but my mom came in with her annoying self-righteousness and said we should be friends because that's what we were originally. I didn't want to be his friend. I hated him and wished only the worst for him but in the end we ended up making up a little. Even though he still considers me a friend, I don't consider him a friend but somehow I manage to tolerate him. I still have his number in my phone somewhere but I never talk to him or text him.

I just wish that he'd disappear from my life forever and it'd be like he never existed. My mom doesn't understand why I hate him so much but I can't tell her that I lost my virginity to him because I just feel so dirty and ashamed. I can't talk to my friends either because of my shame of not losing it to someone I marry. They think I'm so innocent and see me as the innocent one of our group but they'll never know what I did.

Despite not talking to my ex, I still continued to have sex with him on occasions. I don't know why. I hate him but I still did it. I mean, I'd did it once with him, why not continue doing it with someone I was familiar with. However, it just made me feel worse despite the fact that I was using sex with him as a sort of way to deal with my conflict. It was just sex to me. It held no meaning and all I know was that it took away, if only for a moment, the grief I felt by replacing it with something else to focus on.

I just feel like I can't ever connect to another boy or date anyone. I definitely don't want to have sex with anyone. Just the thought repulses me to the point of hating men altogether. I've since stopped having sex with my ex. I don't know where to start to heal from this or pick up the broken pieces. I can't tell my mom or friends because I'm too ashamed and I've honestly thought of suicide. I just feel so isolated like a mouse with nowhere to turn so I turn here now and hope that someone can sympathize or at least offer me some advice on how to cope.

So if you're still reading this and haven't fallen asleep by now then sincerely thank you for taking the time to listen to me because it's like a breath of fresh air to get this off of my chest.

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Robin Lee
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Hi RozenxthexWulf and welcome to Scarleteen,

I'm so sorry to hear that you're hurting so much right now and am concerned that you're feeling depressed to the point of being self-destructive.

Suicidal thoughts aren't something we can work with you on as that is not our area of expertise. If you are feeling like you'll hurt yourself, a counselor or healthcare provider would be the best person for you to talk to.

However, we can talk with you and help you figure out where all this hurt is coming from, and what to do to hopefully alleviate it for yourself.

I have a few questions that I hope will help us help you figure out how to feel better about all of this:


When you say you're ashamed to talk to your Mom and your friends about this, I'm wondering what you're afraid would happen if you do talk to them? Sometimes, keeping something secret gives it a lot more power to hurt and eat away at this. I'm glad you've come here to talk, and think it's important to find you more people to talk and share with.

Where did these beliefs about virginity come from? From your family? From your religious community? From your own beliefs that you developed on your own? Somewhere else?

Can you tell us a bit more about where this hatred for your ex, and of men, is coming from? Several times you've voiced here that you view your experience of first-time sex as you giving your virginity to your ex--in other words, as a decision you made--so I'm wondering what you think is behind this hatred for him.

With this new guy you're interested in, do you know how he feels about people who've engaged in sexual activities who aren't married? Unless you and he have talked about this, you don't actually know what he thinks and feels. I'd certainly say though that you feeling as bad as you are about yourself right now isn't an ideal space in which to start any new relationship, so you're wise to bide your time with this.

What do you think it would be most helpful for you to talk about here?

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Robin

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RozenxthexWulf
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Robin, thanks for replying back.

Well...I think the reason why I don't want to tell my mom is because (Even though she told me that I can talk to her about these things and she wouldn't judge me but would be happy that I told her) I feel like I'd be disappointing her and betraying her trust.

My mom has always supported me in everything while being a strong presence in my life. She is not a religious person, nor am I, but has always had her own forms of morals, one of which involved saving yourself for the person you chose to marry. Even though I don't agree with everything my mom says and does, I have also adopted that same moral. My mom told me that she didn't save herself for marriage but she hoped that I would. Even so, she has told me that she knows I am human and she wouldn't be mad at me or judge me for it if I didn't wait because she loves me.

My mom also continuously tells me how proud she is of me for choosing to wait (She has no idea that I royally screwed up) and also how proud she is of me being in college and trying to achieve a higher education in life. Even though now that I'm older and me and my mom don't see eye to eye, she always tells me stories about her friend's kids, one of whom is 16 and has been pregnant before and gotten an abortion. Not sure if that has any significance but I thought it might be important to say. Also, even though my dad was only in life at the beginning and now that I'm in my 20s he's somewhat in there, I always had an amazing step-dad who I continue to talk to.

Now my friends, most of them aren't virgins anymore except my best girlfriend now since I lost my virginity. I know that I can talk to them about everything. I always do and I even asked them for advice when I was with my ex. But this, to me, I just can't tell them this. I know they'll try to cheer me up but I don't want to feel better about losing my virginity to a guy I wasn't married to. And a loser at that.

I feel ashamed because of the circumstances of how I lost my virginity. It wasn't under marriage. It didn't even feel special before or after I lost it. It just felt like nothing. I wanted my first time to be special, romantic. I think that's a reasonable enough request. I didn't even get that.

I think my main source of hatred comes from the fact that he didn't really give me a choice as I saw it. My ex has a massive problem with voicing his true feelings. I always used to tell him that he can tell me anything, that if I do anything he didn't like to just tell me. But no, my mom had to basically pull his teeth out to get him to say anything prior to us breaking up but only when she was trying to get us to be friends again because she felt guilty that she might have added to our break-up. Like she wasn't the cause but another factor in the break-up. (She pushed me to be controlling of the relationship but not too controlling. I am not a person like that and because I was acting in a way I don't normally act it spiraled out of control)

My ex and I talked it out one day and I told him the reason I gave myself to him was because I still thought he was the one after all this and I felt our relationship was salvageable. He said he thought we'd still be together as well but I remembered him telling me, during our talk with my mom, that he began to stop caring because of the way I was acting. He told me that he never stopped loving me or having feelings for me but I felt like, if I was doing something that he didn't like which decreased his feelings for me or his amount of caring or something (I'm not sure if I'm explaining this right. It's hard to really explain but I guess when someone keeps doing something you don't like, like rejecting your advances or whatever, I'm not sure how to put it into words) then why would he allow me to give him my virginity and mess up my life? Why? And he couldn't even give me a straight answer. He told me he didn't know. How did he not know? He never knows anything!!!!!!

Now lastly, with the new guy, I'm not sure how he feels about people who have had sex without marriage. Maybe he's like every stereotypical Christian out there, maybe not. But I'm too embarrassed and afraid to bring it up because then he might want to know why or if I've ever done anything.

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Robin Lee
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HI There,

It sounds like the circumstances around your first time having sex with someone were really disappointing. That, added to what you wanted for yourself, can certainly make anyone feel sad and yucky about themselves.

You know, I keep hearing you talk about your virginity like it's a thing. Virginity isn't an actual physical thing, but a belief. It is clearly a very strong belief for you, so I certainly do get how you feel like you went against something that was so important to you. However, you are still you. You're still whole. You didn't give anything away. Even your first time having sex, no matter how you see it, is still yours, not something that you give to anyone else so that it isn't yours anymore.

This doesn't make it any less important to you that this happened. It doesn't mean your beliefs aren't important, only that it's worth, I think, starting to look at this a little differently.

I also hear that you wanted your first time to be romantic and are disappointed that it wasn't. First times, for anything, aren't always how we think they're going to turn out. Sex, like anything else, is something that we learn to do over time. It's not something we automatically know how to do (including that it's not something we automatically know who we want to do it with). Having a first-time with sex (or, again, with anything) not turn out the way you wanted to is, while disappointing, not at all unusual. The stories, depictions in movies, and so on, which tell us that first-time sex is romantic and perfect aren't telling everyone's truth.

Add to this that it sounds like you and your ex weren't the greatest fit for each other, and it's not surprising that your first time engaging in intercourse with him wasn't what you hoped it would be.


As tough as it may be, too, I think that taking a certain amount of responsibility for this--not blame, but responsibility--might help. your ex didn't "let" you do anything. Engaging in sex with him was something that you--I hope--chose to do. if it's not something you actively chose, let me know and we can talk about that part too.

There's really no way to know whether we're going to be with someone our whole livs. As you said above, divorcing someone you marry (and by marrying, I presume, figure you'll spend your whole life with) is something that could happen. Can you maybe say a bit about why yu think having engaged in intercourse with someone you were married to and later divorced would have been different for you?

It sounds like you have a really close and loving relationship with your Mom. How do you think it would be to talk to her about this, telling her that you were afraid to talk to her before because you didn't want to disappoint her? I really think that keeping this inside so long has allowed it to fester; in other words, it might be worse keeping it inside than it would be to have a conversation that is initially uncomfortable. See what I mean?

I want to go back for a minute to the idea that virginity is a belief, rather than a thing. What do you think hearing that?

I'm going to give you some articles to read about virginity, to maybe give you a different perspective on all of this.

20 Questions About Virginity: Scarleteen Interviews Hanne Blank

Magical Cups & Bloody Brides: Virginity in Context

[ 11-10-2013, 11:07 AM: Message edited by: Robin Lee ]

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Robin

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Robin Lee
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Hi RozenxthexWulf,

I just wanted to let you know that I'm taking a short work-day today, so if you come back after I've left for the day, know that I'll respond when I come in tomorrow. [Smile]

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Robin

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Robin Lee
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Hi RozenxthexWulf,

I just wanted to check in to see how you're doing, and see if you had anything more you wanted to discuss from our conversation yesterday. [Smile]

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Robin

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RozenxthexWulf
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Hi Robin,

I've been reading the articles that you posted and it helps a little. I've also been thinking about what you've said so far and talking about it helps a lot.

The reason why I blamed my ex was because if he had simply told me that my behavior was causing him to feel like he didn't care anymore or however my behavior made him feel, then I would never have slept with him. I guess you could say our relationship was on it's last leg. I didn't find out until my mom, who is VERY aggressive, drilled him about it and he finally revealed how he really felt. I mean he could have told me all this himself, he could have stopped me and said, "Look, your behavior has been making me feel...blah, blah, whatever."

I also hate that he gets away scotch free. He himself isn't in the best situation but I hate that he isn't suffering emotionally the way I am. I remember that in a fit of rage, I cut the tail off a stuffed animal that his mom brought him when he was 12. I remember him saying that he really cared for it and I just wanted to do something, anything, to make him hurt as much I am. It's kinda silly really.

Anyway, I feel like I'm starting to feel a little better. I'm beginning to talk more to the guy that I like and I've been trying to occupy myself with other things to take my mind off of the pain. However, it still feels weird having a sexual history. I don't know how to feel about that. I also feel like other people will look at me differently and treat me differently knowing that I've had sex before.

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Heather
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It sounds like there's some pretty unhealthy stuff going on here -- like purposefully doing harm to something you knew this person cared a great deal about, and like you seeming to voice from the start that you didn't actually have any real care or like for this guy from the get-go -- Rozen, and also like some of the ways you are thinking about this also might not really be serving you.

Who knows how much this guy is suffering, or how much he has been, or how he feels, right? Given the dynamics between the two of you, I'm not sure I see an environment where it might even feel safe for him to voice his feelings to you, or really be vulnerable, to be honest with you. And even if you did know, and let's say he's the unhappiest dude in the world right now and you're feeling how you are, that would doubtfully change how you are feeling or make you feel better. Other people suffering when we also are rarely magically makes our suffering decrease or feel better.

Most people have a sexual history by the time they are in their late teens or twenties, if it's helpful to bear that in mind. When you say you are concerned about how other people will look at you or treat you differently, what do you mean by that? What are your concerns there?

[ 11-11-2013, 04:44 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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RozenxthexWulf
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Hi Heather,

I'm sorry that I haven't had time to talk right now but I've been busy with school and work. The reason why I think everyone will treat me differently is because I just feel like guys will group me in the same category as the girls nowadays who are being loose. I mean none of my guy friends have done that to their girlfriends from what I see but it's a fear that I've always had.

I felt that being a virgin showed that I was serious about wanting to get married and would weed out all the guys who wanted anything other then that. I don't know, it's just what I thought. I mean there's nothing wrong with casual dating but if a guy is wanting to date me just to get in my pants, then he can stop right there because I'm waiting until marriage and it's not happening.

Nowadays though, I've been craving sex now that I know what it feels like. When I was a virgin I never had sexual cravings. It's just so awful for me that I want to cry because I can't do anything to make the feelings go away or satisfy them. I don't want to touch myself, I'll NEVER have a one night stand because not only do I think it's immoral but I feel like I'll catch a disease even if I do use protection, and I just overall don't know who I could do it with or if I even want to engage in sex with anyone after a bad first experience.

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Robin Lee
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I'm hearing here a lot of assumptions about what other people think. Not all guys think the same thing. Not all people of any identity think the same thing.

If you were to start casually dating, and the person you were dating wanted different things than you did sexually, you'd absolutely have the right to say that you didn't want that to happen. Then, whomever you were dating could decide that either this wasn't going to work for him or that he liked dating you and that sex wasn't something that *had* to happen. Likewise, if you started dating someone and you wanted something he didn't want, he'd tell you and the two of you would go ahead and make the same kinds of conditions about whether the dating was going to work or whether what you both wanted and needed made you incompatible as dating partners.

It's really as simple as that.

You had a belief about virginity, that your choice to abstain from intercourse would send a particular message to other people. The thing is: The concept of virginity doesn't mean the same thing to everyone. People define that term differently. The level of importance people put on virginity, however they define it, also varies.

So, I think a good place to start here might be for you to own your beliefs as yours, not beliefs that anyone else necessarily does have. Really, yours are the only beliefs you can know about. What other people think is truly unknowable unless we ask each individual what their thoughts and beliefs are.

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Robin

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RozenxthexWulf
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I finally told the guy that I like everything about my relationship with my ex-boyfriend, including that I lost my virginity to him. I felt that I owed him that because if he was going to pursue a relationship with me, I wanted to be truthful and let him know exactly what he was getting himself into. And he stopped pursuing me. The last thing he told me, was, "Do you want to hang out one last time." I was crushed. I don't know how to feel anymore. But I can't blame him for not wanting to get involved with me and the baggage and drama I'm going through with this right now. After all, he's doing what I should have done. I accepted all my ex-boyfriend's flaws and decided to date him because I believe in accepting people's flaws and problems. Needles to say, accepting people for who they are got me depressed and mentally screwed up. I feel like I can't be with anyone now. I'm doomed to a lonely existence and it's all my ex's fault. I don't have money to go see a professional or someone who can sit down and talk to me about my problems. Just when it looks like there might be a bright side, things always go wrong.
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September
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Rozen, I am sorry that this has been such a negative experience for you. Did this guy tell you at all why he was no longer interested?

While it sucks that this guy left and confirmed your fears, I do want to echo what Robin and Heather have mentioned above, which is that the older we get, the harder it is to find someone who has absolutely no sexual history. And while some people may certainly have the expectation to find a partner with absolutely no history, that is by no means the norm.

So if you are thinking that you are doomed to a lonely existence because you have a sexual history, then I can reassure you: you are not doomed. Not by a long shot.

I also do not think it is sound to say that accepting someone for who they are will inevitably "screw you up". Sometimes we meet people who have habits/behaviors/histories that we are uncomfortable with, and then we have a choice to make. We can either decide that it is a dealbreaker and that we would rather not deal with that, or we can decide that we are willing to accept these things. And sometimes it happens that we chose the latter and then wind up finding out that we overestimated ourselves. That sucks when it happens, but it does not mean that accepting people is bad per se. It just means that you found a boundary or preference that you have that you did not know about before, and you can take that into account next time when faced with a similar decision.

If you are looking for someone to talk to further about this, you can start with your college's counseling center.

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Johanna
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RozenxthexWulf
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It's been so long since I've been on but I've been busy and a few personal issues have arisen. My great grandmother died and my dog who is my best friend has been diagnosed with Inflammatory Mammary Carcinoma. I still haven't healed emotionally from losing my virginity and I haven't been able to talk to a counselor because right now, money is tighter then before and I can't afford any unnecessary expenses.

I know that everyone has been trying their best to help me but it's not working. I try to look at things in a different perspective but I always go back to my default mindset. That's just my personal opinion on the matter and I'm sticking to it. But I do feel if the circumstances of how I lost my virginity were different, that if it had felt special or if I felt as though I truly loved the guy I lost it to, then I doubt I would have been emotionally damaged right now.

My ex was a loser and I hate him for the kind of person he is. He's stupid and naive which is a bad combination in itself and he's irresponsible. For example, he was supposed to be saving up for an apartment while in basic because his mom's boyfriend was kicking him out as soon as he got back but the idiot went and brought a PS3 and other stuff. He lacks priorities and I genuinely feel sorry for whatever girl who has the misfortune of knowing him and being asked out by him. I know, why would I ever give myself to a guy like that but I myself was stupid and naive I guess. I guess that maybe I wanted so badly to find a guy that I was in love with that because I felt lonely and jealous of my best friend's seemingly happy relationship that I forced myself to believe a lie and hurt myself in the end.

Also, the guy that I liked confessed to me that after he found out that I wasn't a virgin, it bothered him but then after a while he wanted to talk to me and missed me because he said that he genuinely liked me and didn't want to hurt me like I'd been hurt in my previous relationship after hearing my story. Then afterwards, he confessed that he'd been having sexual urges towards me. I was disgusted but I continued being his friend. After a while, I asked him if me not being a virgin bothered him and he told me a little.

I've learned from my mistakes though and I told him that if it bothers him, if even a little, I don't want it to become a problem if we become a couple so therefore I don't want to be in a relationship with him.

I've thought about it and I just want to go back to how I was before, not worrying about boys and relationships and not even interested in them. I feel like men don't deserve my time of day so I feel like I'll be happy to be alone like I was before I met my first boyfriend.

There has been one other guy to ask me out. I didn't like him and I wasn't going to give him a chance either so I put an end to that, unfortunately rather cruelly because I was still a bit bitter but I don't need to be in a relationship now or ever. It won't make me feel good about myself so for now I'm going to be alone.

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Edith_*
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Hello there, RozenxthexWulf!

I'm sorry to hear you are having such a hard time. I can totally understand the stress of losing a loved one and having an ill pet. [Frown]

You know, there are some low-scale places that can help with counseling. If you need any help finding one near you, just let us know and we'll sure try our best to find something.

You said you haven't healed from losing your virginity. If you don't mind me asking: what do you think you need to do -- or to happen -- to do so? I hear you saying you think it was a mistake to have sex with this person, but you know what? Mistakes are part of the process of learning of *any* human being. Mistakes -- if you really want to label it like this -- are not bad. We are only human. The good thing about mistakes is that we can learn about them. So, you found out that having sex with someone you didn't like that much was not an okay thing to do for you. What do you want to do next? Or, where do you want to go from here?

I hear a lot of anger in your words, and I think you have the right to feel the way you do. There are not "right" feelings when we are coping with something that hurts us. But, even when this space if for you -- and anyone who needs it -- I don't think talking the way you do about your ex is going to serve *you* well.

I really want you to know that when someone says is bothered by us -- or something that has to do with us -- is *really* not about us. Let's put it this way: I don't like chocolate! (I know, crazy as it sounds!). But me not liking chocolate doesn't make chocolate a bad thing, right? Lots of people like chocolate! I am just not one of them. Do you catch my drift? There is going to be a lot of people who are not going to like us for any given reason, and is never going to be about us. And you know what else? We have the right to just walk away from that people too. [Smile]

So, I hear you when you say that you don't want to have to do anything with boys, and it's okay, that's absolutely a right you have. I'd just be careful with generalization. Almost never is a sound thing to do.

[ 01-19-2014, 06:40 PM: Message edited by: Edith_* ]

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"Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it's very important that you do it " (...'cause no one else will) -Gandhi-

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RozenxthexWulf
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The thing is, I'm not sure what I need to do or what needs to happen in order for me to heal from this. I was hoping to find that out by joining this community and hopefully sharing my story with others who are in the same situation as me and have or have had the same thoughts and opinions as I do. But for now, I would rather just focus on myself. Like I said, I don't want any type of intimate relationship with any man, not now or ever. I will never let a mistake like this happen again. I was being weak but after having a bad experience like that, I know that I don't need to be in a relationship to be happy. I have friends and I can make myself happy. But right now I do think that I need to work on my self-esteem. That might be a good starting point. My self-esteem wasn't the best but I still had respect for myself. After what happened, it got worse to the point of self-hatred. I hate myself for making such a fatal mistake. If you could recommend a counselor that I could talk to that doesn't charge I would be grateful. As I said, I can't spare any extra money right now, not even on myself for something like this as every penny I have goes toward my dog's expensive medication and chemotherapy, bills and school.
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Robin Lee
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Hi Rozen,

I'm wondering how you feel about having put an end to that other guy's interest in a cruel way. What do you feel when you think about that?


So, how is it working for you to be on your own, and taking the idea of having relationships completely off the table? Are you happier now that you've made that decision?

I ask this because I hear you saying that's what you want to do, but am unclear on whether you've then taken the step of just resolving to do that. Yes, it's difficult to make a change, but the first step to doing that is resolving to make the change, and taking responsibility for it. Since you're now on your own, do you feel like that helps you let go of the past and just do what you need to do for yourself for the present and for the future?

We cannot change the past, and at some point, no matter how lousy we feel in all other respects, we just have to, I think, work on accepting that we cannot change what happened, only what happens now. You've said that you want to go back to how things used to be; unfortunately, you can't undo anything that's happened, but you certainly do get to go back to the mindset you had around relationships and the way you choose to live your life. [Smile] All of our life's experiences, the good and the bad, are going to affect us; that can't be undone, but we still do get to choose to move on.

We can say that we want something, but wanting it isn't the same as actively resolving to do it. When we actively resolve to do something, we are, as I said above, resolving to take responsibility for it. Therefore, anything that anyone else has done to us in the past isn't part of what we're choosing to do now. Yes, we may need to resolve some feelings around the past, but the people we've interacted with before don't influence the decisions we presently make. We take responsibility for our own healing, without dwelling on or blaming the other person. I think what I'm trying to say is that I hear a lot of anger and negativity towards the people in your life, and while it's good to be able to let that out, it's equally as important to spend time thinking about what *you* are going to do. Maybe you're not there yet, emotionally; I just don't know. It does seem to me though that for change to start happening, you may need to start actively shifting how important these past events are in your life. Ultimately, we're all just responsible for ourselves, and get to choose how we handle things regardless of what anyone else has done or said in the past.

I hear what you're saying about having low self-esteem. It sounds like that's been going on for a long while, long before any of these things have come up for you. Have you ever done anything, read any books, or anything like that to work on self-esteem?

I'm not sure if self-esteem plays into this at all, but I was a little concerned to see you say that while you were disgusted by your friend's sexual interest in you, you continued being friends with him. When we feel negative feelings towards someone, it doesn't serve us, or them, to go on and pretend nothing is different. I think one of the ways you can help yourself is by working on making your actions match what you want. If you don't want to be friends with someone because you find their interest in you disgusting, you don't have to be friends with them. Not acting on your instincts ends up, I think, villainizing the other person in a way they don't deserve to be villainized. After all, in this specific case, he was just being honest with you, and did not try to act on his desires or otherwise harm you. You didn't like his feelings, but people are entitled to their feelings, and other people's feelings can't harm us, only their behaviours or our reactions to their words. You didn't like his feelings, which also entitles you to decide that you need to change the nature of your relationship with him, and even to stop talking to him altogether. Those decisions are yours to make. [Smile]


I wanted to also check in with you about what kind of support you're able to get from your friends. Are you able to talk about your feelings around this with them, and get support for the changes you want to make?


While we can't guarantee that you'll be able to find a therapist who doesn't charge *anything*, we'd be happy to help you find low-cost counseling resources in your area. What country are you in? What is the zip or postal code closest to you?

[ 01-19-2014, 09:52 PM: Message edited by: Robin Lee ]

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Robin

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RozenxthexWulf
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Being mean towards the guy didn't make me feel any type of way. Sure I was slightly sorry because he appeared to be nice but I'm not interested in pursuing a relationship and I let him know that immediately. I think being by myself will make me happy. I can focus on doing things that I like to do. With the career that I'm trying to pursue, I can travel around a lot and I can freely do that without worrying about dragging someone along with me. I can just focus on me and do things to make myself happy. Sure I have my lonely moments but again, that's what I have friends for. If I feel lonely, I'll just go to my best friend's house and spend one-on-one time with her.

I've always suffered from low self-esteem, especially in high school, but as I got older, I started to get a little better. Losing my virginity however just messed up every little bit of effort that went into building my self-esteem. Like I said before, I feel like a slut and I hate myself for not waiting for my husband like I'd always said I would. I waited nineteen years, I should have been strong enough to wait more. I feel like those nineteen years just went to waste.

Although I was disgusted by my friend's interest in me, I still continued to be his friend because I felt I owed it to him. He didn't judge me when I told him my story.

Again, I refuse to tell my friends any of this. I still feel ashamed and I don't want them to know what I did. That's just the way I want things to be. It'd be better for me if they didn't know. I live in the New Orleans area.

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Robin Lee
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Hi Rozen,

I certainly hear, again, how much you've disappointed yourself in doing something that you'd always promised yourself not to do. It's clear that waiting for marriage to have sexual intercourse meant a lot to you, and since it did, changing your mind would feel, and obviously does, like a giant disruption to the life you had planned for yourself.


Did you actually wait nineteen years? That is, was this something you were thinking about your entire life? I'm not at all trying to be cheeky here or mess with you, only wondering if perhaps being real about how long you actually were thinking about this might make it feel less big. I'm wondering if maybe looking at this as just one of the many plans and decisions you predicted for your life might put it into context a bit.

It might also be helpful to talk about how you feel the prior part of your life was wasted. Was the fact that you hadn't had vaginal intercourse the most important part of you? You talk here, for example, about travelling, starting a career, etc, all things that are clearly important to and exciting for you. Was doing the things to prepare yourself for this future you're creating less important than making sure you didn't have vaginal intercourse before marriage?


Knowing that you cannot change the past, what do you think you need in order to forgive yourself for that?

It sounds too like you fear judgment from your friends. do they hold the same beliefs about virginity that you do?

I asked about your friends because sometimes, for some people, keeping things inside the way you have been feeds the bad feelings, making it harder for us to let them become less intense.

I'll look around for counseling services later today. Know that any counselor worth their salt isn't going to have the answers for you, but will instead ask you hard questions, much as we have been doing. In other words, counseling won't be a magic bullet to make this all better.

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Robin

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Robin Lee
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Hi Rozen,

Here is a pretty comprehensive list of healthcare clinics (including mental health care) in New Orleans. Even if none of these meet your needs, any of them should be able to point you in the direction of services which can.

http://tmedweb.tulane.edu/mu/nolafreehc/

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Robin

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RozenxthexWulf
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Getting married has always been one of my dreams. Again, I am not a religious person so my morals are my own personal opinion of what I've gathered over the years. I just felt that instead of wasting myself with people who didn't deserve me, I would wait until marriage to have sex. To me, making someone wait to have sex with me would be a good test of whether or not they truly wanted to be with me, or if they wanted something other then that. Plus, I don't feel that I am obligated to have sex with anyone, boyfriend or whoever, except someone who is my husband and that's only if I consent. I mean if a guy is going to have sex with me, he might as well put a ring on my finger while he's at it. But I made a huge mistake and broke that vow that I made to myself.

I don't plan on doing it again. Since losing my virginity, something precious I feel that I should have given my husband, the person who I'm supposed to be truly in love with, I really don't care whether or not I get married and that dream that was once worth something of value to me has lost value and went to the very bottom of my list of things I hope to accomplish or achieve in life. Being a virgin was never more important then me being successful in life but it was something that I valued.

I really did wait nineteen years but due to my mistake, everything I did to get up to that point is worthless. I wasted all that time doing something only to have my efforts go to waste because I was weak. If I knew that this was going to happen, I would have been like all the little loose girls and boys nowadays running around, having sex in high school because of peer pressure, the media, and everything else.

I don't think I'll ever forgive myself. The more I think about this possibly being my fault because my ex didn't "let" me do anything and I chose to give myself to him, a part of me that he didn't deserve to have, the more I hate myself and the more I wish I could have done things differently. I wish that I didn't have to have gone through such a fatal mistake to learn a lesson but due to my past experience, I'm happily staying abstinent and relationship-free.

Most of my friends aren't virgins and I know that they would accept me for who I am but I don't want them to know. To me, what I did is shameful and I'm not going to tell them nor plan on doing it. Besides, it won't make me feel better and I'll still feel the same way that I do now. They all think I'm so innocent and they praise me for my choice to stay a virgin (But I blew it) because some of my female friends have a lot of baggage with bad guys and my guy friends have a lot of respect for me for choosing to wait until marriage.

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Robin Lee
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Hi Rozen,

So, I hear you using the word fault a lot. Do you think there's a difference between thinking something is your fault and taking responsibility for it?


I need to ask you not to talk about people who choose to have sex (whether they feel pressured to or not) in high school as "loose" or with any other derogatory terms. This is a public forum, and it's really important that we not make negative statements about the entirety of *any* population. Plus, the population you're talking about make up a primary part of our usership and redership. So, in future, please keep any comments about sexual behaviours and choices to comments about your own. Thanks so much for helping us keep this place a safe and respectful environment for everyone.


Given that getting married has gone to the bottom of the list of things you want to accomplish, do you think you'd be able then to prioritize other things instead, and give this less importance? In other words, since you're giving it less importance in the structure of your life, can you also give it less emotional importance?

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Robin

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RozenxthexWulf
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I'm sorry about that. To me, taking responsibility for something is similar to admitting it was your fault to begin with and you are acknowledging it, thus taking responsibility. Right now, I think that I will be able to give the loss of my virginity less emotional importance. But I feel that I will only be able to do it as long as I am by myself.If I were to get into a relationship, it would inevitably come up again, I would further hate myself and the cycle would repeat itself again.
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Heather
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If I can pitch in a little something here, I would suggest reconsidering being honest with your friends.

For one, it sounds like some of them have been in a similar spot, and both they, and you, could likely use the solidarity.

There is also this thing where being held up in a pedestal tends to feel pretty crummy. It kind of keeps you from being able to be truly human with other people, and earnestly connect to them. But it also seems to me that a lot of your hard feelings here are about you feeling like you fell off that pedestal, including one you perhaps put yourself on. Going ahead and being real about stepping off of it would probably help you feel a whole lot better, and be able to start adjusting how you think of yourself, and how you are going to move forward from here more positively.

Some of what I hear you have been saying in all of this is that for you, virginity = integrity. While I do not myself agree with that, and think that framework presents a lot of problems, more than anything, I think that actually shortchanges what integrity really is and what it feels like to act from it. For instance, I would say being honest with your close friends demonstrates much more integrity than whether or not someone has or has not engaged in sex outside of marriage. I also think if you take a step like that, you are likely to really experience the feelings we get when we act with integrity, and that should okay another part in you starting to feel better and not staying stuck where you are.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Sam W
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Hi Rozen,

I also wanted to jump in and add that taking responsibility for your choices and actions is always a good first step in forgiving ourselves for things we view as missteps. I think you might find it helpful to try the approach of starting to make peace with your choices (especially since they were consensual) rather than burying them until something brings them back.

I just want to add to what Heather is saying about virginity=integrity. The cultural framework that creates that equation is really hard to disentangle ourselves from, because it sets us up to perceive ourselves as losing a huge of chunk of our social status if we engage in sex. But (and I am willing to bet many of your friends would agree), what makes a person a good friend, a good partner, and a good person has pretty much no correlation to when in their lives they decided to have sex.

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zeitvogel
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Hi there Rozen,

I've been thinking about this line you wrote: "To me, making someone wait to have sex with me would be a good test of whether or not they truly wanted to be with me, or if they wanted something other then that."

I've been thinking about it because this is still something you can do. You would have to count "wait" from the start of the relationship, but it would still be a good test of what they want from you. You wouldn't have to wait until marriage to get good information on this, though of course you still can. You could choose some other relationship milestone that makes sense to you.

If you're worried about whether you can justify waiting if you're not a virgin, then that's another good test of them: they should never expect you to justify not having sex. If "I don't want to" is not enough, then they're not going to be good for you.

So, I hope you can keep that part of your plan.

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RozenxthexWulf
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I know that everyone is trying to help but I really just want to be by myself. After going through such a bad experience and learning the hard way because I was being weak-willed, I feel that relationships aren't even worth going through the trouble of being in. Just like marriage, I don't value the idea of relationships enough anymore to want to ever be in one. Again, I also feel like being alone is the only way I'll ever grow to accept such a bad life choice I made.

I don't want to tell my friends. I'm too ashamed. Everyone has secrets that they would like to keep to themselves and this happens to be one of them. I don't want them to know that I lost my virginity to a loser as it's too embarrassing. My best friend already thought that the guy wouldn't be a good life partner for me and I had to find that out myself the hard way. The only reason I told the guy that I liked was because I thought that he should know if we were going to be in a relationship together and I wanted to start off being honest. But unfortunately, my honesty didn't work the way I thought it would and I ended up feeling worse then before.

I don't know how to go about taking responsibility for my choice. I don't want to because then I feel like I would have to admit that I have only myself to blame for my own self-hatred. I already have bad things going on in my life as it is, what with my best friend, my dog, dying of cancer and the death of my grandmother.

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Heather
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Well, it's certainly up to you, any of this.

So, if you want to try just being by yourself, not sharing any of this, or anything, with friends or family, not pursuing any kind of new relationships, then you certainly get to do that and see where it leads you.

I'm very sorry to hear about the other things you are struggling with right now, too.

--------------------
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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Also: http://www.scarleteen.com/forum/ultimatebb.php?/ubb/get_topic/f/8/t/001581/p/1.html#000000

--------------------
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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