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Author Topic: Abusive Partner
Charcoal
Neophyte
Member # 48520

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Hey everyone *Waves*

I recently broke up with my partner of five years. He abused me sexually, emotionally, verbally, physically and financially. As a result I am very mentally ill (including anorexia, dissociative disorder, depression, generalised and phobic anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, self harm etc) and have been admitted several times.

I'm currently having psychotherapy and I'm doing a lot of work on just opening up and getting all the secrets out.

I'm really struggling with the issue of r*pe. If I look at the facts and the bits of memories that I have recalled so far, I can see that he did r*pe me. But then I hear him in my head justifying and undermining and I feel so unsure.

I haven't really got a question... I just wanted to introduce myself and see if anyone has any perspectives to share on my situation.

Thank you.
Charcoal

Posts: 5 | From: UK | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
orca
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 33665

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Hi Charcoal. Welcome to Scarleteen!

I'm sorry to hear you've had to go through so much the past few years, but I'm glad you were able to leave him and even find some help in healing. That takes a lot of guts and courage, so go you! As for feeling uncertain about the rape, that is a very common feeling among survivors because we are raised to believe rape doesn't happen or to think someone "brought" the rape on themselves, but we know that's not true because rape DOES happen and no one EVER "brings" rape on themselves. Another reason that feeling of doubt is so common is because our abusers tell us that it's not rape or that it's not abuse. Abusers will almost never admit that they are abusing. Instead, they'll use a variety of tactics to make themselves look innocent (or, even creepier, like they are the one being abused). But I believe you.

We have some survivors here on the message boards, myself included, if you are looking for some extra support. There's also a really fantastic site/forum just for survivors called Pandora's Aquarium that you might want to check out. Their message boards are pretty great and friendly and they have group chats.

--------------------
Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.--Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Posts: 2726 | From: North America | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Charcoal
Neophyte
Member # 48520

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Dear Orca,

Thank you so much for your kind and supportive reply.

I'm glad I was able to leave him too! It's been very difficult, but for the first time in years I am seeing things as they actually happened and I am so glad that I don't have to have to happen to me any more.

I find the r*pe question very difficult. I know that he would never agree with me and knowing that the only person who was there and could confirm it would invalidate me is very difficult. I just don't trust myself any more. I can hear him in my head getting angry or violent or guilt-tripping me or trivialising it and telling me how silly/ crazy/ over dramatic I am. I do know rationally that he did r*pe me but I'm just doubting myself all the time and I'm going round in circles.

Thank you for believing me :-]

Thank you for suggesting Pandy's. I'm actually already a member there but I haven't posted much because I am so afraid that he will read my posts (he tracked me down on some forums I used to use).

Thanks again xx

Posts: 5 | From: UK | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Stephanie_1
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 36725

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Hey Charcoal, just wanted to leave a message for you as well.

I can understand why youre finding the question of rape difficult. As Orca said, its often a battle so many survivors face every day. And it is hard when the only person that really knows in a very formal way is the one person that will never stand in your corner on that. Im also a survivor, both with an acquaintance as well as having walked away from an abusive relationship around 8 years ago. What I often found though, was as I was ready and felt able to talk with friends its something they were there for me with, and knew that I was being honest about. Then I did have people in my corner, that were there and ready/willing to help me in any way that I needed. Too? Something to remember is that while sometimes you will question it yourself, its something that you will always have a survivor around reminding you that you did nothing wrong. Because in the end, as Orca said nobody brings rape upon themselves, its something that happens TO a person. Not to mention, if when start a relationship with a person we know and fully believe they are abusive in any way, were not likely to begin seeing them. Were all here for you, if you ever need to talk or just need support were always around. Hang in there!

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"Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side" ~Anon

Posts: 3429 | From: Pennsylvania | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Charcoal
Neophyte
Member # 48520

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Dear Stephanie,

Thank you for your support and for sharing your personal experiences. I am so glad that you got away from the abusive relationship.

For so many years I have looked to him for validation and if I didn't get it I was left doubting my sanity, fearing for my life, or loathing myself. It's so hard trying to stand by what I know to be true when I know that he wouldn't agree. I keep thinking through all of the flashbacks and memories that I have recalled so far, the implications of my mental illnesses, and what other people have said to me, from neighbours to family to mental health professionals, and other bits of "evidence". And I know that it's true, but it's hard to really believe myself deep down.

When we broke up we did stay in contact for a while. As I said above, he tracked me down on a forum I used to use and he saw that I had mentioned r*pe. He told me that he didn't think it was, that I was just getting ideas in my head and exaggerating etc. He also told me that he thought that in a relationship there would always be occasions when one person did not want sex but did it for the other person anyway. It's like he had an all access pass. And my opinion was always worth less than his, so a "no" didn't really seem to matter. I became so worn down.

Thank you for what you said about it happening to me and that I didn't bring it on myself. For years I have shouldered all the blame in the relationship and I find it hard not to feel at fault for it all. I still hear his justifications and reasoning and I catch myself automatically excusing him and blaming myself.

Thanks again x

Posts: 5 | From: UK | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
September
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 25425

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Hey Charcoal.

I was just wondering whether you've seen this article yet? He's my boyfriend, so how could it have been rape? That may also help you in the process of being able to call what happened to you rape.

I can also relate to the experience of doubting your own experiences: I was raped six years ago by someone I had considered a friend at the time, and it took me a long time until I was able to call it rape. In the beginning, I told myself that it was simply a bad sexual experience, because when I talked to him about it, that was exactly how he saw it. With the help of my therapist, I started to trust myself and my own judgment more. But even then, when I confronted him again with it a year later, I was embarrassed to tell him that I thought he had raped me, because I knew that he would tell me I am over-reacting and being hysterical.

So, doubting yourself and not being able to accept that what happened was rape is a pretty common experience for survivors. But that doesn't mean that it has to stay this way. You've already taken the first steps on the way to healing - you've gotten out of your abusive relationship, and you're getting help. So just keep going at your own pace, okay? You'll get there.

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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
Charcoal
Neophyte
Member # 48520

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Dear September,

Thank you for your reply and for sharing your experiences with me.

I just read the article and I found it very helpful. The articles on this site are amazing.I found the "Blinders Off" and "How You Guys" articles absolutely invaluable and they have helped me enormously. I had got to a point of completely undermining myself, which has obviously been making me feel a lot worse - not only have I been struggling with flashbacks, dissociation and all the rest of it, but I've also been hating and doubting myself. I can hear his voice so clearly in my head and it's very hard to challenge him. These articles were so well written and I feel that I have made quite a breakthrough today in admitting it for what it was: r*pe.

I'm so sorry to hear what happened to you. I am glad to hear that you got professional help with it and have made so much progress. I'm sorry to hear how invalidating his response was when you confronted him about it. I find it so difficult to know that he wouldn't agree with me. But reading the "How You Guys" article last night really made me think. No consent means r*pe, it's just black and white. There was a bit in the article that said that r*pists often would never consider themselves to be r*pists, but that doesn't mean that that isn't what they are. It also explained that while r*pe is not sex for the victim, it is for the perpetrator (as well as a way of showing power etc etc). This really opened my eyes to the fact that even if he never agrees with me, it doesn't change what happened to me, and it doesn't mean that I have to agree with him.

To be honest I'm really not sure which is worse - not believing myself or having to believe myself! Because now I'm confronted with the reality that I was r*ped frequently and in all manner of ways for the past five years by someone I trusted and loved.

Posts: 5 | From: UK | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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