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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Abuse & Assault » am i overreacting?

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Author Topic: am i overreacting?
spiral out
Neophyte
Member # 41944

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hello,

i've been having a dilemma in my head over my ex (we're both female). it was not a healthy relationship at all, but i'm not sure how much of that is my fault. i was a virgin going into the relationship, and she was very experienced and a few years older than me. so there was already an unhealthy power dynamic. i was curious about sex, but she took things way too fast. she usually didn't ask if i was ok with what we were doing. almost all the sex we had was not that great for me and i didn't really want to be doing it, but i didn't feel like i could say no because of our power dynamic.

so, what happened? am i at fault for the pain left from this because i should have been empowered enough to say no? am i just making a big deal about nothing? or was she actually abusive?

i feel bad because i know that if i ever said no she would have stopped and been ok with it, but it the time i didn't feel like i had the option of saying no. how was she supposed to know i wasn't ok with everything?

i'm so conflicted about this. i'm just not sure what to think.

thank you!

Posts: 3 | From: nyc | Registered: Jan 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
September
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 25425

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Welcome to Scarleteen, spiral out!

If you never voiced your feelings about what was happening, how do you know that she'd have listened to you? Clearly the way the situation presented itself for you at the time made you feel like you could not speak up. Certainly knowing your boundaries and being able to assert them is a very important factor in deciding whether or not you're ready for sex, so once you noticed that you did not feel comfortable saying no to your partner, you might have decided to opt out of being sexually active. That was your responsibility. But at the same time, there were TWO people in this relationship, so much of what took place was an interplay between you two, and as the older and more experienced partner (and as a caring and decent person, period!) it should have been HER responsibility to make sure that you are feeling comfortable and having fun, too.

However, as this relationship is over and all of this is in the past, it may not be very useful to squabble over where to lay the blame and who was at fault. The important point is that YOU don't feel okay with how things went down, which means that, no, you are NOT making a big deal about nothing - obviously it's something that affected you, and that you are still struggling with. Those feelings are valid, regardless of how your ex partner experienced the situations and whether or not she was abusive or just oblivious.

So let's focus less on her and more on you. How has the relationship (particularly the sexual aspect of it) affected you? Do you think about it a lot? Is it painful for you to remember, do you get nightmares of flashbacks? Do you feel worried that you might have difficulties with voicing your boundaries in a new relationship, as well? If you answered yes to any of that, it may not be a bad idea for you to seek out some help. You might want to talk to a school counselor and see if they can help you, or refer you out to someone. If you want to, we can also look up some local resources for you.

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Johanna
Scarleteen Volunteer

"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

Posts: 9192 | From: Cologne, Germany | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
spiral out
Neophyte
Member # 41944

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thank you! this helps a lot. i don't get nightmares or flashbacks. just awkward, painful memories. and i'm pretty sure that i'd be able to set good boundaries with the right person, i think i will go back to therapy just to make sure. i just met a really nice girl, and i don't want to mess it up with old emotional baggage or make the same mistakes i did. i think i can finally stop worrying about this and actually go talk to someone about it. [Smile]
Posts: 3 | From: nyc | Registered: Jan 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
September
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 25425

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I'm glad to hear that! [Smile] I'd encourage you to talk to a therapist about this, if you can. Even if you say that you are dealing with the memories alright, it's clearly something that's still on your mind, and just talking about it can often be a huge help.

And if I might make another suggestion, it would be a good idea to be up front with this new girl, if and when you progress to that point. A part of what went wrong in your past relationship was certainly due to lack of communication (which doesn't have to be anyone's fault - it sounds like the dynamics of the whole relationship just weren't very conducive to open and honest communication), and as long as you keep all channels of communication open, you're much more likely to have a happy, healthy relationship.

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Johanna
Scarleteen Volunteer

"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

Posts: 9192 | From: Cologne, Germany | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
spiral out
Neophyte
Member # 41944

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yes, definitely. i don't feel as overwhelmed by this anymore, or like damaged goods. i probably will start therapy again. thanks for your help!
Posts: 3 | From: nyc | Registered: Jan 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
September
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 25425

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You're welcome! Glad I could help.

And you are most certainly not 'damaged goods'. I'm glad to hear that you're starting to see that, too.

I wish you good luck with your therapy, and with the girl you mentioned! [Smile]

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Johanna
Scarleteen Volunteer

"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

Posts: 9192 | From: Cologne, Germany | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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