T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 45445
posted 07-28-2012 02:59 PM
I'm not sure what my question is or even if I have one... This keeps on popping up into my mind. I need to say it.
A few months ago, I went on an overseas volunteer trip for 6 weeks with a group of youth. We were celebrating the end of the trip and we started drinking. I ended up blacking out and slept with another volunteer. I didn't remember it but people said there was others coming into the room to watch and taking photos. When I woke up in the morning the guy I had slept with was with his friends making fun of me in front of everyone. They did it for the next two days. I've never felt so humiliated in my life. To make matters worse, his friend kept on coming up to me telling me to lighten up and let it go. I felt like I couldn't think anything negative or express anything to anyone because they would say, 'Well you weren't that drunk. You were up walking and talking.' I'm in a mutually exclusive relationship and was in a relationship prior to leaving for this trip. I never in my life wanted to cheat on my boyfriend. I've never wanted to betray him this way. I knew I had to tell him though. I had to let him know because a) this guy didn't use a condom, b) I wanted my boyfriend to know so he would have a choice as to if he wants to be with me or not and c) I felted f'd up. I know in my past posts I have similar experiences and I'm starting to realize I have a problem with drinking alcohol in safe and reasonable limits. Majority of the time I drink I end up blacking out. During this celebration though, no one was drinking heavily. We all had been flying for the last 9 hours and were sharing stories. Everyone was relaxed. It wasn't my intention to black out. Part of me feels like this was assaulted. That the sex, the voyeurism, the cheating wasn't something I agreed to. And I wish my boyfriend would comfort me, listen to me. But the other parts of me feels like I should be held accountable for my actions-drunk or not. I need to give my boyfriend time to trust me again. To find me attractive again. To love me. It is like this huge wax ball of emotions that are confusing.
Member # 95710
posted 07-28-2012 04:37 PM
WildRice, I am so sorry that this happened. Admitting and realizing that you need to consume alcohol in a safer environment is a big and courageous first step - good for you! If you were intoxicated during this situation (and this is what I studied in Criminology, but I'm no law expert by any means), your actions were not pre-meditated and were not acted upon based on an intent of any kind (so there was no previous conscious act of you thinking "I'm going to sleep with this person"). It's not like you planned for this to happen; and I can see how hurt you are over this. However - and I'm sorry if I'm prying - how drunk was this other person? Could he have been able to stop the act if you had blacked out? Also, in my personal opinion, no one really has the right to say "you weren't that drunk because you were talking and walking around," because everyone's body reacts to alcohol in different ways. Some might still be able to walk and talk and still be heavily drunk; whereas others pass out or do something else. Also, these people aren't you - since your body is not their own, they can't measure how drunk you were.
How are you feeling right now? I hope you are feeling a bit better... This sounds like such a difficult situation. What does your boyfriend think? I'm sure that, given time, you will be able to have a conversation with him about everything. When I get mad or upset, I often need some time to cool down and get over things... Is your boyfriend like that? You stated that this person did not use a condom. Are you on any kind of birth control? Try to ignore the comments that these volunteers are saying; and try and focus on self-care and healing yourself from what had happened. Having someone do something without our consent - whether we were sober or not - is a very scary experience, and so I think some time for yourself is needed. I'm not sure if this post will help in any way; but I want you to know that I'm thinking of you and hoping that you're doing okay.
Member # 45445
posted 07-28-2012 06:57 PM
I'm not entirely sure how drunk he was. I asked him if he remembered anything and he said some of it. I've heard from close friends and strangers alike that it's very difficult to tell when I've blacked out. I still talk and walk in a way that seems sober to them. I think the only way he would have been able to tell I blacked out is if he noticed how much I drank. This is part of the reason I feel confused. It feels like an assault but the guy was drunk as well.
I feel guilty and disgusted with myself, to be honest. I feel like a very private part of me has been invaded. I want to forget and move on 'cause it happened so long ago but I can't... I can't stop thinking about it. He does not trust me, I know that much. I get the feeling he doesn't completely believe my story either. When I first brought it up he didn't say anything but walked away. Since then whenever I mention it he is usually silent. I think patience is definitely needed to have this conversation but at the same time I want to talk about it. The only other things he has admitted are he sometimes doesn't find me attractive or loves me because of it. Self-care is one I really need to learn how to do. But it doesn't always come easy for me. Thank you for the reply copper86. I feel quite a bit better knowing someone has heard me and cares.
Member # 79774
posted 07-28-2012 08:37 PM
Hi, WildRice. I'm sorry to hear this happened to you.
I think it might be worth separating out your drinking and its effects on you from the occasions of sexual contact that have happened. I think that if you're finding that drinking alcohol has effects on you that you don't like, for example, being very unaware of what's going on around you or blacking out, then it's very sound to think about if changing your drinking habits might be a sound thing to do. Just like any other behaviour we choose, really: if it has effects that we don't like, even if we don't intend those effects and even if most other people don't get those effects, it's probably wise to have a think about just us, personally, and what we want for ourselves. It sounds like you're doing that, and good for you. Now to the occasions of sexual contact that have happened. Particularly with regard to the one you describe, you say that part of you feels like you were assaulted. Really, our gut feeling on something like this is a really, really good guide. If that's how you feel about it, then that's what the experience means to you and that's how you experience it, and that's completely legitimate. You say you didn't agree to it: that sounds pretty clear that you did not experience this as something you consented to. If you were blacked out (either passed out or completely out of your usual self), then it means you lacked the capacity to consent freely and informedly. For a start, if we know that someone's been consuming any mind-altering substance, we should assume that they're not capable of consent. Things get a bit fuzzy there when we start talking about "but One drink??" or "but Two drinks and in a long-term partnership where consent is typically given in an equivalent sober situation??", but really, we should assume incapable-of-consent unless we're Really sure otherwise. For then defining exactly what happened in situations where everyone was drunk and incapable of making good decisions, that can get quite fuzzy again. I want to say here that I'm usually wary of accepting that kind of explanation on behalf of anyone who had sex with an under-the-influence person, because it's used far too often as a get-out excuse by people who knew exactly what they were doing and meant harm and exploitation. However, I do accept that that is not always the case, and I do accept your own personal reports of your situation. How I personally parse out things like this is with the belief that the person who feels assaulted - you - can be considered separately from the person who had sex with you. Even if they believed you were fully consenting and fully capable of consent, that doesn't change the reality you experience that you weren't. Their belief and assessment of the situation doesn't become the "one true version" of the situation. IF someone genuinely believed, And for good reason, that you were capable of consent, then I think we probably don't want or need to think of that person as someone who assaults people. But that doesn't change in any way the reality of what you experienced, which is that you were assaulted. Your experience can't magically change their belief or assessment in hindsight, and their belief and assessment of the situation doesn't magically give you the capability to consent. Because you were unable to consent, I really can't categorise this situation as you cheating on your boyfriend. Perhaps you and he might both benefit from better understanding the implications of your inability to consent - that non-consent means by definition that it wasn't consensual sex, which means that it wasn't cheating, but an assault. I do hope he can start to understand that and be a better support to you. You say a few things that people commonly feel when they've experienced an assault - that you feel invaded, that you want to move on but you can't. Have you considered connecting with any services/counselling for sexual assault? These can often help us process what we experienced and help us find some peace. Finally, I'm so sorry that people were shaming and making fun of you for this. The hypocrisy and double-standards shine through when it included the guy himself - why was no-one laughing at or shaming Him? If it had been a choice you freely and informedly made, it would be wrong to shame someone for it, because sexual choices aren't shameful; but as this was something you weren't capable of consenting to, they're trying to shame you for something you didn't choose, which makes no sense at all. And finally-finally, big respect to you for being responsible, honest and brave enough to give your boyfriend information that was relevant to his health, even though it was a hard topic for you and something that would impact your relationship.