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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Abuse & Assault » Tearing me apart

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Author Topic: Tearing me apart
Perfectly_clueless
Neophyte
Member # 42651

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Im sorry if this isnt the right forum.
Basically I split up from my boyfriend over a month ago. But what's getting to me is how sexual I was with him. I was sexually abused when I was younger , and at the time of my relationship with him my head wasnt in a good place. I did'nt care , I felt numb , not happy , sad , angry , and I wanted to feel anything even if it was pain , just so I wouldnt feel numb.

But in the midst of this I did things with him that im ashamed of. He was my first , although I never told him this. At the time I didn't realise I wasnt ok with them , but now theyre doing nothing but play on my mind. What do I do?

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Well, the goal is perhaps obviously going to be to both forgive and accept yourself.

I can't know what exactly you're talking about, so I don't know if you mean things that were not really consensual, or were purposefully humiliating or caused you pain, or things that were not any of those things, but just activities you don't feel comfortable with in hindsight or feel like there is some shame in.

But either way, past really is always past. You clearly know now that whatever went on, you were not in a good space to be sexual with someone at the time, so can move forward from this knowing you need to figure out how to be sure you are with sex in the future.

What do you feel like you need to resolve this for yourself?

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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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Perfectly_clueless
Neophyte
Member # 42651

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It was consensual and wasnt purposefully humiliating from him. I thought its what I wanted , but when it was taking place it was like I wasnt there , I wasnt enjoying it , and there was certain activities , I just didnt want him to do. Every part of being sexual felt like it was wrong. Most of the times I had alcohol in me. N it's like I used sex as a substitute for talking about my problems.

I do want to do it for myself , I want to be able to have a normal relationship , even one that includes being physical. I just dont know how to make things better.

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Heather
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Well, it seems pretty clear you've cultivated an awareness around this since you didn't have before, and that all by itself should make some huge improvements, especially if you make choices using that awareness.

Have you had any support or counseling around your childhood sexual abuse yet? How about any around this relationship especially since it sounds like, when you say there were things you did not want him to do, some of that really was not consensual?

I do want to take one minute to unpack "normal" in the context of "normal" relationships. In short, there really is no normal relationship. There are healthy and unhealthy relationships, and functional and dysfunctional ones, but normal implies there is one set of things or dynamics that all relationships include when, in fact, relationships are built by and with people, who vary a whole lot. And while one kind of relationship may be ideal for one person, it may not be for another at all, or may be ideal for someone at one time in their lives, but not at all at another time. Know what I mean?

So, it can be much more productive to toss the "normal" and instead talk about what kind of relationship you want, and what you feel you want and need in it. [Smile]

[ 08-22-2009, 07:22 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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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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Perfectly_clueless
Neophyte
Member # 42651

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Thanks for the reply. I tried one counselling session and found it wasn't for me. And I think what your saying about it being non consensual is right in a way but not exactly.For both of us it was our first sexual relationship , and from his point of view I don't think he knew how to read the signals , like when it was ok , or when I wanted to be touched and when I didnt.
And I realise now that I should have said that , but verbal communication has never been my strong point. And I know theres not such thing as a "normal relationship" excuse my phrasing , just didn't know how else to word it. Just I keep thinking about the physical things I did with him and I don't know why. Just even thinking about them makes me hate myself.

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Heather
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Well, how counseling is tends to depend a lot on this counselor at hand and how our personality works with them and their style, So, one session not being a good fit doesn't mean counseling as a whole is, just like one bad relationship or lousy date doesn't mean relationships and dating as a whole aren't right for us. Know what I mean? Might you be willing to try again?

We all have various ways we communicate, and they are not all verbal. So, you not using verbal communication doesn't mean you were at fault if you did anything you didn't want to do. And a partner "not knowing how" to read your body language also only lets them off the hook so much. Rocket science, it isn't.

I hear you saying you hate yourself for what kinds of sex you engaged in, but it's tough for me to know where to take that without hearing more about why you feel that way. Can you talk more about why you think you're having those feelings?

--------------------
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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Perfectly_clueless
Neophyte
Member # 42651

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Sorry it's taken me a while to reply. I think iv come along a bit since the first and last time I went. Just when I went I hated the feeling , I did eventually end up crying and I felt weak and just hated her seeing me like that , and she's a complete stranger asking me about private things , and there was no sense of her even easing me into the questions. No general conversation, I know thats not what I was there for , but just to be asked such personal things so outright was so alien to me.

And as for my ex , there was a specfic time that I remember I just felt awkward and he did notice , like anytime he came near me I flinched ,and he did say "Are you ok?" I said "Yes" , like my mind was thinking one thing and my body doing another. Even though deep down I knew I wasn't ok.

Its like I feel ashamed of me actually doing them. They way everything happened , the person , I dont even think I overally cared for him. I needed to do something because my head and body don't know what to do. And my now ex he used to tell me he loved me and I hated it , I felt that I didnt deserve it , and knowing thats how he felt just makes me think im nothing but a person who sleeps around , even though he was my first , because I knew thats how he felt , and I did those things with him knowing I didnt feel the same , and all because my head was messed up with stuff about earlier abuse.

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Heather
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Counselors ideally should spend some time building trust. I obviously can't know what she asked you, but if she simply moved too fast, know that's not something a good counselor will do.

What I hear you saying in terms of feeling ashamed is that you're feeling shame because you don't feel like your motivations for sex were what you ideally want them to be, that your head and heart were not in touch with your body, and because what you treated casually was not casual for him. It also sounds like you are saying some of the shame is coming from you feeling that a lot of the why of all of that had to do with your abuse.

Does that sound about right? If it does, perhaps we can start by a) acknowledging that all of this is in the past, and that you have the power to have things be different from here on out and b) that it is not your fault that your abuse influenced your sexuality, and that's also very common for anyone who survives abuse.

--------------------
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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Perfectly_clueless
Neophyte
Member # 42651

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It does , and I know that its the main reason why I did engage in sexual things ,even though at the time everything was screaming no at me. .
I do see that now , just wonder if I will always have these issues in relation to both trust and the physical side of a relationship.

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Heather
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You probably won't, at least, not at that level.

Some of that probably is just about the passage of time, and about getting the kind of awareness around this you've been developing, and some of it is about really investing time and energy into healing from your abuse.

But no, it's pretty unlikely it will always be like this, especially when you make efforts to be aware of these things and make choices in better alignment with what you want and need, you know?

--------------------
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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Perfectly_clueless
Neophyte
Member # 42651

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I know my behaviour ,and the way I thought and things I did wernt good for me , more mentally than physsically. I guess sex was just one form of release ,I tried other ways , and sex just seemed to be the best release , even though it wasn't.

Even though I know now what I was doing was harmful , I don't know if I can ever trust myself in a sexual situation , what if the bad feelings come back , or what if I just go full circle and end up doing the same things again.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Well, let me present a scenario to you to consider.

What if, the next time a sexual relationship is beginning, you:
Have some kind of support system, even just a board like this, to talk to?
Are with someone who has an awareness of your abuse and who is willing to -- and knows how to -- have a real awareness around your abuse issues and makes extra effort to check in with you about what you're doing?
Are with someone who does a better job reading your body language?
Have some tools of your own to help you be more aware of what you really want and need and what's best for you?

--------------------
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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Perfectly_clueless
Neophyte
Member # 42651

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Yeah , iv found this board helpful , also another link that was given to me when I first joined. Just things have changed a little.
And as for the awareness of my abuse , my family have only recently found out , I wouldn't even know where to start in telling someone new.

But I get what your saying , and it makes sense , may give it a go , its got to be better than what im doing now.

Thank-you.

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