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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Abuse & Assault » how can i help her

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Author Topic: how can i help her
Member # 7724

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I have known my girlfriend for about 8 months, but we have been dating for about 4. About a week ago I noticed that she would flinch when i would touch her. I also noticed that she looked like she was about to cry when we would get in my car to go out and i would lock the doors (purly for safety). we don't have a very physical relationship, we do a lot of holding eachother instead of making out or sexual activity, i can tell that those things bother her, so i don't mind just being with her, you don't need sex to love someone(i wish more guys would realize that). anyways the reason i'm writing is because i don't know why she's like this, i'm not upset with her at all. i would just like to help her. i get the feeling that i'm doing something to offend her, but i don't know how. I get the feeling somethings wrong, but i don't want to bring up a bad subject for her. anybody have any ideas, i really appreciate the input.
This site helps a lot. thanks for making it easily accesible

Posts: 8 | From: US | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Celtic Daisy
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Member # 2971

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Really, you should ask her what the problem is. She could just be nervous or she could have suffered some emtional stress, etc,etc. You get the idea. It could be a great number of things that are bothering her. Even if you're afraid to ask, i think it would be a better idea to find out what is bothering her. Usually getting things out in th open can help a lot.

'You've got the eyes of ten women. Not in a jar! I wasn't accusing you. I just mean your eyes are really nice'-coupling

Erin Jane
~Scarleteen Advocate~

Posts: 1747 | From: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 7731

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Hi, I think you should talk to her about it. If you don't, it doesn't make you or her feel more comfortable. Tell her how you feel, about how you won't do anything with her you both are not comfortable with and ask her about why she flinches when you touch her. It could just be that she is nervous or maybe she had trouble with someone that abused her in some way and she is scared. Let her know you care alot about her and how you wouldn't hurt her. The most important thing in a situation like that is to make sure she trusts you. Good Luck!

~* $/\/\i1e *~

Posts: 23 | From: PA, US | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 7724

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First off i wanted to thank you guys for responding. I took your advice, and i talked to her. I asked her over for dinner and told her that i wanted to talk to her. After dinner we went to the backyard where i knew she would feel comfortable talking. I told her that i was concerned for her, and i was wondering if there was anything that i could do to help her with whatever she is going through. That's when she began to open up and tell me about her ex-boyfrien. she started to break down and cry. she told me that she dated a guy, not to long ago, who raped her about every other night,and she never told anyone about it. She said that she felt bad because she didn't want me to think that she doesn't trust me, just that she gets instinctively scared in certain situations(like when i would lock the doors). I didn't know what to say, it felt like someone had just shot me in the stomach. I could tell that she was incredibly upset, so i just held her for a while and enforced that i would never hurt her or force her to do anything that she didn't want to do. we talked about it for a couple of hours, and i think that she felt better having someone know about it. I can't help my feelings of hate and anger towards that guy. I can't believe that someone could repeditaly violate the woman i love to the point of her feeling ashamed of herself. I want this guy to pay for what he did, but my girlfriend doesn't want anyone to know about it. what should i do? I couldn't go behind her back, and it hurts her so much even to talk about it. any input or ideas are greatly appreciated. Thanks for listening

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Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 5375

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<big hug>

It sounds like you are handling this with incredible sensitivity and caring. I can't praise you enough for taking the time to look into this and support her. I'm sure it must be very hard for both of you.

Let me give you a hotline for her to call; it's confidential and she's not obligated to tell them anything she's uncomfortable sharing: 1-800-656-HOPE

We also have some resources here the two of you may find helpful:

Dealing with Rape
Abuse and Rape Survivors
Sex After Rape
Visiting the Gyne After Rape

Counseling is another option that your partner may find invaluable. A professional can help her work through all the emotional issues that come with being raped and help her to feel more secure.

I'm sending the two of you some energy.

[This message has been edited by ookuotoe (edited 04-08-2002).]

Posts: 3641 | From: Truckee, CA, US | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Scarleteen Volunteer
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I'm really impressed with how strong you and your girlfriend have been through this situation. I think that this article, which documents sexual abuse survivor's situation, can be enlightening too.

For yourself, I'm sure that the feelings of rage and helplessness and other negative feelings can be really overwhelming in the upcoming weeks. Don't be afraid to seek help for yourself if you're feeling lost. The best of luck to both of you.

Scarleteen Advocate
"The level of our success is limited only by our imagination and no act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted"--Aesop

Posts: 1784 | From: USA | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 7731

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Hi, its great that you talked to her and she felt like she could tell you about it. You might have to work up to her telling someone else about it though and its not you that has to tell somebody, its her. Just give her time, but let her know it is important. I'm very glad though that you talked to her about it.

~* $/\/\i1e *~

Posts: 23 | From: PA, US | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 7429

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<<big hug>> I applaud what you are doing, trying to help her in the best way that you can. I'm a girl who has been in your girlfriend's shoes, but never had a guy like you who was willing to pick up the pieces. i know that this can't be easy for either of you. One thing that you might want to do, if you haven't done it already, is ask her exactly what things scare her. This will help you know what to avoid and what not to. This will also help her feel more secure around you. I don't know if your girlfriend has told you this already, but if she hasn't.....know that when she flinches, or gets scared, or has flashbacks, its not in any way your fault. you didn't cause her to feel scared...her ex-boyfriend inflicted fear upon her, not you. She probably feels just as bad when things like that happen, like you said, she doesn't want you to think that she doesn't trust you. I hope that this helped in some way and the two of you are in my prayers, good luck.
Posts: 19 | From: Houston, Texas, United States | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 6858

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I to am very proud of the way you handled the situation. Just like Dramachic i also have been in the same shoes and had no one to talk to or help me out. Im sure she knows how much you care for her, but incase shes got her doubts i would keep telling her. The world should have more guys like you in it.

~*Katie Frances*~

Dave I miss you so much!! Come home as soon as possbile! I love you!

"In the land of the free, home of the brave, why is it that i still feel like a slave.?"

"And all i wanted was somebody who carres"

Posts: 183 | From: Buffalo, NY :) | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dark Wanderer
Member # 7967

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hey. i'm certainly not one who frequently voices his opinion, but i thought i'd give some input 'cause your story was very interesting.

i find myself being glad for you and your girlfriend. you did, i believe, the smartest thing you could by talking with her. having someone who cared for her ask her about her problem was probably the only way she could have comfortably opened up and relieved the emotions that had been plaguing her. from here, what to say to her should come more naturally.

about your thoughts of anger towards your girlfriend's ex-boyfriend. don't feel confused about what to do. if i were in your situation, i would undoubtedly feel exactly the same way. in my opinion, that sick dude needs to be shot a few dozen times (don't go and do that, please). just don't let your thoughts of revenge take over. unfortunatly, people like you and your girlfriend are forced to share a world with quite a few heartless fools.

good luck to you.

Posts: 2 | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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