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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Abuse & Assault » I'm confused. . . I dont understand (may contain triggers?)

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Author Topic: I'm confused. . . I dont understand (may contain triggers?)
struggling
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I don't even know what I'm doing by posting. . . I just decided without thinking. "I dont feel like a deserve to do this after reading some other people's stories." One girl said something to the same effect. . . I know exactly where she's comming from. Before I start, I want to apologize for my round about way of talking/writing... I'm sorry if this is too long.

First, I just want to explain what situation I'm comming from. Don't worry it's not a life story.
Josh (my ex) and I were raised in homes where sex was not a greatly open topic. Needless to say my home wasn't as nearly sheltered as his, it just wasn't something we talked about often. In fact, my mom was a rape victim as well as my grandmother and I was always taught to feel sex was bad. Kissing even was not something you did in front of people or cuddling or touching. Holding hands was one thing, and even then carefully watched. And "men weren't to be trusted."

Josh was most of my firsts. The first guy my parents liked My first boyfriend, my first guy-kiss, my first date, homecomming, sexual activity partner even though we never actually had intercourse. I started dating him because of my inexperience, cause he'd never had a relationship before either or had even kissed a girl at 17. Starting things off- he was shy, sweet, seemed to have morals most guys didn't, and went to church constantly. Josh "didn't seem like the kind of guy." At least not from what I'd known from experience, his mom, and friends.

The relationship started out slow and then all the sudden it was like things went into hyper drive. After the first incident, I felt the need to tell him we were going too fast. It was only two weeks in and I got into this situation I wasn't at all comfortable with. The same night I talked with him (to which he assured me he understood and was feeling the same way) my dad invited him to spend the night. Instead of expressing how uncomforable that made me feel all I said was theres no way his mom would agree. She did.

(this is sorta of detailed and fragmented... I took it from my journal I started writing earlier this month after a seperate event made me relive the whole experience)

"That night mom went to bed early. We were allowed to stayed up till one. We were on the couch watching a movie... Josh moved to kiss me and I pulled away. He tried again. "Come on now Josh, not tonight..." I pushed myself into the corner. For a while he left me alone and I thought it was sweet. I kissed him then and allowed myself to enjoy the moment. All the sudden, things got more aggressive, he'd flipped us to where I was on my back. The uncomfortableness was back again. At one point I remember opening my eyes and staring at the ceiling. All I could feel was apathy in that moment. In my head I remember begging for him to stop, In reality I stared at the ceiling. He began kissing, biting, and sucking at my neck. I closed my eyes, it hurts. I remember pushing against his shoulders now hoping that unlike last time he'd get the hint. Harder still. "Josh" I begged. StopStopStop. There was an opening, I tried to move away. "What time is it?" and pointed out I needed to go to bed. He offered to walk me to my room to say goodnight and I reluctantly agreed. I was aggitated the first inklings of the ritual guilt and resentment to myself comming in. I still had that sinking feeling in my stomach. For one moment he washed it all away. He'd picked me up and carried me down the hall. It was like slow motion, and in that moment he seemed sweet to tuck me in... Until he laid me down and pressed hiself against me and started kissing me again. He started attacking my neck. "I need to go to bed" no answer. He went to take off my shirt and I freaked. "Please no!" He begged and I felt conflicted. More begging. He started to feel me up and I started to feel numb I just paniced. At one point he got off and moved to the corner of the matress. I just didn't feel like trying to argue anymore. He took my hand and placed it on his penis... I remember saying please one more time and more begging. I closed my eyes and let him move my hand for me. Afterwards I felt numb completely and went into the bathroom to clean myself up. I came out to him scrubbing and scrubbing at the mattress and told him I'd deal with it. "We need to go to bed..." He apologized and apologized and held his head in his hands. After he went to bed I couldn't stop shaking. I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned. When I went into the bathroom for the second time...I started crying. I looked like I'd been hung the skin on my neck was black. I went to bed feeling... dirty? sick?"

I still think all the time if only I'd said no, or left, or something. Sadly this wasn't the first or the last time this would happen. The relationship as a whole was short, two months. In this time while we never had intercourse things progressed further and further. Eventually I stop trying to stop things. The whole situation ended badly when Josh broke up with me and then after making me promise never to tell- told his mom everything which I'm sure You can guess where that got me...

It's been almost a full year, this Nov. and I thought I'd gotten over everything. You see before Josh/Highschool I'd suffered from severe anxiety, panic attacks. I had a hard time communicating, talking even, before then I didn't even like to be touched. Josh was one of the first guys I was able to be even remotely intimate with which was also why he was my first choice for a boyfriend. After everything that happened and even now I still feel like most of what went on was my fault cause I never put a stop to it. After countless "talking to's" from my mom I believed she was rational in it was my fualt. It was only today I started question things.

I've been dating my best friend for six months now. Ryan I had known two years previous to Josh and had refused to date him in fear it'd ruin our friendship. He's one of the reasons literally why I'm alive and even though I trust him and know he'd never judged me I'd never shared all the details. Over this last weekend... Ryan and I were in my room and it were just making out- he'd gotten on top of me and it was like... I was there again. And staring at the ceiling... He asked me to give him a JB and while I'm proud to say I told him flat out no and he didn't push just being there threw me off emotionally all weekend. It was like reliving every feeling all over again. Today was the first day I ever broke down and told someone. They in turn told me it sounded like sexual assault/rape...

It didn't feel like the right term...because eventually I consented and we didn't have sex... I became so confused and lost when thinking about this today I remembered seeing this site before when my friend went through something of her own...

My real dillemma here is weither or not I'm over-reacting- I don't really know what to classify what happened, it could of been a whole lot worse and I don't want to paint someone as their not (josh still reminds me of a child/immature) and at the same time I feel guilty about the way I feel/think. I just feel lost right now. I really want to talk with Ryan to... I feel like he should know (the person I talked with suggested a safe word) but I'm scared....

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breath
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Dear Struggling,

What you are experiencing is completely normal and natural. Anyone in your position will likely feel something similar, even if it has been years. It is also normal to feel guilty however, there is nothing that you ever did to cause it to happen.

It doesn't sound to me that you consented to the experience you had with Josh..on the contrary, it seems to be that your active enthausiatic consent wasn't even taken into consideration by your EX.

Secondly, sex isn't only limited to penis-in-vagina. It encompasses all things to, with and one someone's body. Nor do I believe this one kind of sex is less sex than another kind of sex.

Would you like some help in finding someone you can speak with in person? We are all happy to keep talking to you here too. it takes a lot of strength to come here and talk about something that has caused you so much distress/pain but over time, this experience will heal and you will be able to move like any of us in similar situations.

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Saffron Raymie
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Struggling, Josh may very well seem immature - but if you are old enough to do something sexual with someone - you are old enough to sexually assault someone.

Have you read this? http://www.scarleteen.com/what_is_rape_what_is_it_like_to_be_raped

This article says this:

Unwanted sexual touch or sexual use of someone through force or coercion is rape. To coerce someone sexually is to get them to engage in a sexual activity they do not want through guilt-trips or nagging, threats, bribes, intimidation or some other kind of emotional pressure or force. Where on the body is unwanted touch rape? Touching someone’s vulva or vagina, breasts, buttocks, anus, penis, testicles, mouth, or other parts of the body without permission, when that touch is intentional and sexual on your part, or is considered sexual by most people, are all rape or sexual assault (in some areas, those terms mean the same thing, but in others, they differ based on the activity or situation). It is also rape to make someone else touch YOU when they don’t want to, or to force or coerce someone into doing something sexual with someone else.

Most people consider biting and sucking someone's neck as a sexual act. He also made you touch him, on his penis, a lot. You are not over-reacting, and it is not too far to call what Josh did rape. You didn't consent at all: he wore you down by begging and begging until you just gave in. Wearing someone down until they give in and say okay then is rape. Sucking and biting your neck as he did was also a violent sexual assault, as the skin was so badly bruised that it turned black, and you said it hurt. I'm so sorry this happened to you. It shows how forceful he was in assaulting you.

To echo what breath said: it is very common for a person who has been raped to blame themselves for not 'fighting back'. It is also very common for someone being raped to freeze. Most rape victims do not 'fight back'. They freeze. You said no, repeatedly, and he kept on doing sexual things - kissing your mouth and biting your neck, and forcing you to touch his penis. These are all though of by most people as sexual acts, and it is clear Josh had sexual intent in doing these things - hence the begging.

Would you like to talk about how you feel now?

[ 10-04-2011, 07:37 AM: Message edited by: RaeRay2112 ]

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'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

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Heather
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struggling, I'm so glad you felt able to come here and post. A bunch of us are around today if you want to talk more about this.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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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struggling
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Thank you so much for replying. In all honesty, I'm not sure how to feel... It's hard to consider it something that serious in a way- cause when I think of "rape" and "sexual assault" I automatically think of someone with malicious intent. Josh was always so apologetic and remorseful. One of the reasons I feel responsible was because of this. I felt like it was my job to say flat out "no" and "stop" and because I didn't I allowed the situation to progress, I made Josh feel guilty and in turn- I felt like I corrupted him in some way, that I've done something bad. If he'd never met me I didn't think it would of happened.

Yet while, Josh and I had good moments their over shadowed by these bad ones. I keep running into him at school and lately it's hard cause I can't help but focus on one of the last things he said to me or even just the memories... I feel... less? inadequate, disappointing, wrong, filthy? I can't seem to place a name on it but it's in the pit of my stomach.

I tried talking things out with one of the guidance councelors I go to for panic attacks/family problems... She gave some great advice but when I told her about what "my friend" had said she didn't agree. In a way it's a little confusing- I feel like I'm blowing things out of proportion and wish it would go away.

The only bright side was talking with Ryan (not in detail with what actually happened) about how I've been feeling... He didn't judge me when I got upset...

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Heather
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I think it can be really tricky to try and figure out someone's intent or motives only in regard to how they behaved after the fact. With sexual assault, it's particularly tricky because it is a crime, and pretty much no one wants to be charged with a crime. So, how people behave afterwards can be influenced by wanting to avoid that. To boot, just because we are full of remorse or apology doesn't mean we haven't done anything wrong: in fact, that's when any of us tend to feel those things most acutely.

You DID say stop. You say you begged. So, I'm perplexed as to why you're saying you are responsible because you didn't do things to try and stop this. You did. Mind, even if you hadn't, that still doesn't mean something like this is automatically consensual. And "allowing" this to progress because you don't feel you can say no or are shocked is not the same as giving consent for someone to continue.

To boot, the idea that someone who would assault you would ONLY assault you is probably false. Most typically, people who assault others will do it to more than one person.

I often offer this up to people in the spot you're in because it seems to help: I am a person who was sexually assaulted once in pretty much all the textbook ways people will recognize as "real." My attackers were strangers. I was forcibly grabbed and physically hurt. I was dressed modestly. I was 12. Et cetera.

And I don't see what happened to me as any more real than what happened to you. I also don't see that that assault that happened to me was, at its core, any different than my friend being forced to have oral sex by her husband, or than the person who tried to assault me by trying to force me with words and emotional dynamics instead of physical force. What makes sexual assault sexual assault and makes assaults real is that they are all something sexual someone did to someone else against their will or without their express permission. That's it, really, and you'll see that reflected in most of our current laws defining sexual assault.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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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struggling
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(EDITED) When I said "begged" I meant in tone more than anything or just saying "please." I never actually said the word "No" or "stop" aloud (save for when he tried taking off my shirt)

When I wrote "In my head I remember begging for him to stop, In reality I stared at the ceiling." I meant- in thought I could remember thinking over and over again that I just wanted him off of me. The sad truth of it was I couldn't bring myself to say it out loud. Hope this clears up any confusion with word choice. Sorry!

I read the article more indepthly once I had time to sit down. (Thank you Raeray) When using the word coersion I ussually think of disagreeing and eventually agreeing after whatever method the other person chooses. Heather you used this word too as did the article- But I wasn't sure about something. If you don't say it (Stop. No. Don't. Or Get off) clearly does it still contend the same thing? Is it safe to assume the other person should be able to read your actions or reactions as they should with words?

[ 10-04-2011, 06:11 PM: Message edited by: struggling ]

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Heather
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No is probably the word that is hardest for people to say in the midst of assault or abuse, especially when it comes from someone they know and trust.

Let me check in with you about something: if you were with someone sexually, and they just totally numbed out like that and were not participating in anything you were doing, would you notice? If and when you did, would you keep going, or check in with them?

Again, consent isn't just about the lack of no: it's about the presence of yes and about people seeking out consent, rather than only bringing it up or engaging with it when someone is saying no.

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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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struggling
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I would definitely stop... This is sort of hard to think about I'm sorry for all the questions. I don't really know how I should be reacting now since it's been so long? Or if I should be at all. While reading the article I could recognize each stage I went through over the past year by the definitions...

Is it weird that I'm so reluctant to call it by what it was? Or that even though I'm fine talking about things on here that it's so hard to talk about out loud with another person face to face... It was one of the things that bothered me while talking with Ryan this morning. Even though I wasn't talking about a particular situation even thinking about it while engaging in the conversation I was in tears. I want to be able to share with him what I'm thinking but I'm scared...

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Heather
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You can ask as many questions here as you like. You don't need to be sorry for asking them: I'm glad you came somewhere for support, and we're happy to help you as we can.

There aren't "supposed to" with reactions to sexual assault. People all react differently, and there's also no timeline for how it impacts people.

It's also not weird to be reluctant to call rape/sexual assault what it is. It's really hard to know and accept that we have been assaulted, and sometimes it can feel a lot easier in some ways to frame it as something else, blame ourselves, or deny it happened at all.

It also can take a lot of practice to be able to tak about it out loud. heck, if it makes you feel any better, the last time I was assaulted (was an attempt more recently, but I'm talking about a completed assault) was over 20 years ago. I work in this stuff and write about it as part of my life and living often. I have talked to many partners and friends. And yes, I have to give a keynote in April at a Take back the Night rally, and I know that talking about it is going to be hard, even though I have had plenty of practice and it was a long time ago.

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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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struggling
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I'm sure alot of people have told you how amazing you are to be doing this... If this site was here I don't know how I would be handling everything right now especially with all these...emotional flashbacks? Thank you so much.

To be completely honest... I'm not sure how to be in the same room with Josh anymore. The last "conversation" we had, he told me he could hardly look at me, that I made him feel "dirty/filthy". It's not that I like him still in fact I would rather not go down that road again but somehow him saying that makes it even harder to see him in the hall each morning. Everytime he's in the room I feel guilty all over... or "less" if that makes sense. The guy even talks with my current boyfriend every once in a while and won't even acknowledge I'm standing right there.

I feel stupid for wanting something as simple as my existence to be validated... That he still effects me this way hurts, like I'm still being punished... I feel conflicted. And yet talking about him like this I feel like I'm doing something wrong cause of that stupid promise, or that I'm painting him out to be this horrible person... when I know theres more to him that just... this? I'm not sure what to do about it...

Where do I go from here I guess is what I'm wondering... with all of it in general...?

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Heather
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You are so welcome. I'm glad that I can help.

It's usually very, very hard to keep seeing someone who assaulted you. If they have the opportunity to keep talking to you and saying the kind of things he has been, it's a million times harder. Ideally, you wouldn't have to be in contact with him, and ideally, he would not have the opportunity to keep talking to you at all.

And of course you want to be treated well, by everyone, but certainly to have someone who did you harm seem to at least acknowledge that and take responsibility for it.

I don't think we need to talk about who is or isn't a horrible person. You're right, at the very least, that's really loaded for you, alone. how about we instead frame Josh this way: this was a person who did you harm, who sought their own pleasure at your expense and without consideration for you as a person of equal consequence, worth and value. This was a person who caused you trauma you now need to heal from and need to carry and deal with without that person carrying any of that burden.

Those are big, hurtful things to do to someone. Those are things that, at the very least, someone who did them should take real responsibility for.

The rub, though, is that most people who assault people do not have that kind of personal responsibility or care for others. If they did, they wouldn't have assaulted you in the first place. So, in some ways, while your desires around these things are valid, the expectation of them is usually unrealistic. And I know, I know, how much that hurts and how utterly unfair that is.

I have to pack it in for the day, but I'm happy to pick this up again with you tomorrow or whenever you'd like. And if you want to start by talking about what you can at least do to get some distance from this person (same goes for your boyfriend) -- which seems to me the minimum of what you need to start to really heal -- we can do that.

--------------------
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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struggling
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I'd really like that... talking that is. Just hashing this out, I feel like I can breathe again. It's not suffocating anymore just to keep it to myself...
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Heather
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You got it. I'm here, but will be a little in and out from the boards as I have a lot of other work to get done today. But I'll check in at least every couple hours or so.

Maybe start by letting me know where you're at with everything today? How are you feeling right now?

--------------------
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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struggling
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Today I felt tired. But things have been extremely crazy even without trying to deal with things with Josh. I got home and just slept for hours. I'm still attempting to figure out how to avoid running into him as much, but it's hard...exhausting. We met through ROTC and even though he quit, he's always showing up at the rooms in the morning. I'm realy high up in the positions so I have to go there weither I want to or not and I'm already avoiding going into whatever room he's in. I feel like I'm running away...

At the same time I've been worried about how to be intimate with my current boyfriend. I told him how I felt about last weekend and he's been extremely supportive? Not pushy. He said just to tell him flat out if we need to stop all together. But we haven't really had alone-time since then. I guess I'm still testing the waters. Cause I remember when Josh would say the same thing... just tell him and he'd stop. I don't know how many times he'd say that and something would happen and then I'd feel guilty for not saying anything.

I want to be intimate (kiss maybe just touch a bit) but theres this constant battle with whats right/wrong, what I want, and things getting out of hand. Everytime we get to a point where I'm uncomfortable it's like a wave of emotional apathy comes over me and it hard to talk or even move. I've been better at tell him when to stop but theres still that fear I might not react and just allow things to blow over like I did with my ex.

[ 10-05-2011, 09:58 PM: Message edited by: struggling ]

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struggling
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I'm sorry for posting again... My boyfriend tried to innitaite something today I wasn't comfortable with and I immidiately had a panic attack... I just somehow went into this defense mode on my side covering my face so he wouldn't see me upset. He stopped what he was doing but I don't think he knew what to do. He kept saying sorry and then I felt even more guilty for how I acted. I'm so embarassed... I feel like I overreacted that I'm still overreacting and I don't know how to feel okay right now... I don't know what to do in this situation or in the future at all right now...
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Redskies
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Hi, Struggling.

I don't think Heather is on the boards just now (but I imagine she'll be back soon). I also think that there are better people around than me to talk with you, but I just wanted to say that I relate to what you've written in your thread.

Personally, I don't think you're overreacting at all. I think it's really understandable that you react that way. Someone in the past broke your very clearly expressed boundaries, and that's a hard thing to deal with. I totally understand how you can feel guilty for how you reacted with your boyfriend, as I've felt that myself about me - but I strongly believe that you have done nothing that you need to feel guilty about.

Do you feel it would be worth considering if taking all sexual interaction with your boyfriend off the table at the moment could be a healthy option for you? Remember that we never "should" do anything that doesn't entirely make us happy or comfortable. Supportive partners will always accept our decision that a certain, or any kind, of sex isn't right for us at a certain time. From what you've described so far, your boyfriend sounds like he's a supportive person.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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Heather
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Struggling, I'm so sorry I haven't been available. I've been stuck in meetings all day, and had deadlines coming out my ears yesterday. Redskies, thanks so much for stepping in to offer support. [Smile]

I think we should talk more about what you can do to have less contact with this person without having to feel that means you need to opt out of things you want to do. But it sounds like the things you're talking about in your last post are more immediate.

Redskies gave you some great advice, there. It sounds to me like, for right now, this might not be the best time to be sexual with a partner. It just seems like so much of this is triggering you and like you don't feel able to handle it, which is totally understandable. It also sounds like you don't feel very comfortable or able to express your limits and boundaries or to be exposed when you are triggered and upset. All of those things are things I would take as cues that the time for being sexual with a partner isn't right now, and that what I needed to do now was to take some time away from being physical with anyone else and spend that time instead sorting more of my own stuff through and getting some extra help and support so I could do that.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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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struggling
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Hey Redskies,

I really appriciate your reply and the advice whether you feel you're the best qualified or not really helps. I mean that. Especially since you feel you can relate... It makes me feel better- aside from one person out of the few I've told what happened, the rest of them find the situation "not that bad." I'm not sure if that's maybe cause I might tend to downplay it or...

At this point I'm thinking that taking sexual interaction off the table is the best option right now. Although aside from the obvious ones, I find it embarassing I'm not even sure what that qualifies as...Also, even though I want to make this decision I'm not sure how to tell him or explain it. I'm afraid of how he'll react even though he's been really patient with me so far... It's like I'm waiting to hit the limit and brance myself for when he'll decide he doesn't want me anymore...

I have difficulty drawing a specific line. I feel like he'll think I set it too far back. That it's not fair to him cause I already let stuff happen "so it must mean I'm comfortable with it" in that way it's like leading him on...not that he's the one saying that it's just something i have stuck in my head. Cause he has ALOT more experience than I do and it's like... theres this obligation to reciprocate anything he's already done. And even after the boundry is drawn I'm not sure what's next...

[ 10-07-2011, 07:03 PM: Message edited by: struggling ]

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Heather
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So, what I hear in that is a lot of feeling obligation around sex, or that sex needs to happen to "earn" this relationship or this person's investment in you.

Does that sound right? If so, then yep: before you are likely to have a sexual relationship that's really right for you, you're going to need to not have those things be part of the mix.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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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Redskies
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There is never an obligation to reciprocate anything. I understand how you can feel like that, but I want to say to you, whatever your boyfriend has done in the past with other people, whatever you have done with him in the past, you never have any obligation to do anything at all that you aren't completely happy about. Someone who cares about us, who cares about our well-being and how we feel about things, will never expect us to do anything sexually that we are not completely comfortable with.

If someone we were with thought that our own boundary was too far back, then it would be that person who was wrong, not us. Every person has the right to set our own boundary where we want it and to have that respected. Someone who wants us to be healthy and who cares about us will respect our boundaries. So far, from what you describe, your boyfriend sounds like he's responded well to your expressed boundaries.

It's common for people who have experienced someone breaking their boundaries, as you have in the past, to worry that present, seemingly positive people, like perhaps your boyfriend, could break our boundaries too. It's also common for us to wonder if we have the right to set our boundaries and expect them to be respected. We do have that right, always.

Would you find it helpful to talk about how to decide on your boundaries (right now, with your boyfriend) and how to have that conversation with your boyfriend?

I do have to be away from the boards right now, but I will check back on your thread in the next 24 hours to see how it's going and reply to you if I can still be helpful.

--------------------
The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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Redskies
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And now there's Heather [Smile]

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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struggling
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To Heather: Don't be sorry! Everyone gets busy, in fact I was up to my ears in homework haha. Had a outline proposal and paper to finish. But thank you for responding! The first part sounds right... I'm sort of analyzing the second half.

A)I know that.... I get scared that maybe his other girlfriends were better cause they could give him that type of intamacy and because I have different values and issues when it comes to sex, because I'm a virgin, and because this is only the second relationship i've been in that he's going to get mad at me at some point... but then again when you say sex I'm still stuck in this mentality that sex is only intercourse? So if I think about it in the way that sex is umm sexual... or more than just intercourse? then it makes more sense?

B)I have really low self-exsteem... It's gotten alot better from where it use to be at but I don't feel like.... I value something? I guess... Men have always been an issue in my life even before my ex. They've never really bothered to stick around... I guess I have this fear that Ryan will turn out to be like that too.

How do I go about... fixing? (i feel like I need to be fixed...) all this-

To Redskies- I talked with Ryan alot today already... or tried to. I even got the courage to explain to him how I felt in comparison with all his experience and with boundries- he was really receptive to what I had to say and tried to make me feel better. You're right though even though I know he's this amazing/understanding person it's hard not to have that idea they might do the same thing as everyone else. I'm trying to see past that. It's like... you know it in your mind, but your body doesn't seem to want to believe you. It can be a really odd thing. I've really appriciate your advice and it will always be welcome if you feel you have some to give. Thank you for helping me as much as you have already-

[ 10-07-2011, 07:43 PM: Message edited by: struggling ]

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Heather
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I'm going to play a round of State the Obvious. [Smile]

When we don't value ourselves, other people won't tend to value us, either.

In other words, it's entirely possible that some of the not-stick-aroundness by other people is because you haven't stuck around, or up for, yourself.

Comparing ourselves to other people in the way you are is rarely helpful and often also inaccurate. Different people are different people. If previous partners of his wanted more of the same things he does sexually or had a pace more in aligned with his, that doesn't make them "better." Might they have been a better fit for him with a sexual relationship? Maybe. But that doesn't make them better and you worse.

A healthy person, and one who cares about you, doesn't get mad at you if and when you can't do or don't want to do what they do sexually. They might suggest you both seek out relationships that are a better fit for your different wants and needs -- which is often perfectly sound -- but get mad at you? Nope.

[ 10-07-2011, 07:38 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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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Heather
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If it helps to have a comparison, let's try this one on: I don't want to get married. To anyone. Ever.

I have been in dating or more serious relationships where the other person did feel that was something they wanted, either in general, or from me.

And sometimes we didn't stick together because of that, because we wanted different things. Some of those people did get married to other people in time. Does that make those people better than me? I don't think so: I think it just makes us different. Were those people a better fit for that person per what they wanted and I didn't? Yep. But that has no bearing on my value as a person, and in those cases I'm glad that all worked out the way that it did so that none of us wound up sticking with something that wasn't a fit with what we each wanted.

Does that help?

I mean, regardless, is sex is traumatic for you, trying to make yourself do things that don't feel at all right and compound your trauma isn't a sound choice, even if and when NOT doing that does mean you and someone else split. Having someone stay only because you do things you don't want to and that upset you or feel bad to you isn't a happy ending in my book.

Edited to add: I'm heading out for the day, and plan to take the weekend off. But I always still check my email when I'm away, so if someone else isn't around, and you really need some support, please feel free to use the "contact us" link below to get my attention, and I'd be happy to pop back in for a little bit for you if I'm around, okay?

[ 10-07-2011, 08:08 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

--------------------
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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struggling
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The marriage example made alot more sense to me then when talking about sex for some reason. I get what your saying though, basing a whole relationship around the other person's wants/dislikes in light of your own is definitely a recipe for disaster. And just because that person might find another person that shares thoses wants doesn't make you less, but just different in your views/or personality?

It's something that again makes sense in my head but if I factor in sex it's like those principles become muddled. I'm trying to seperate rationality from insecurity... This is like the fifth time I've reread your posts trying to do this. For the first time though I realized I really don't have grounds to think Ryan would get mad or do the same things an someone else... Its just like comparing myself to someone else I can't link his actions with the actions of others especially when he's been nothing short of understanding and tentative? Anger for some reason just seems like the first reaction to expect?

In fact most of these insecurities don't seem to have much basis when I compare it to what you and Redskies have been saying- which have all been incredibly eye opening? It's sorta like one of those things you know in the back of your head but reading it through writting seems to strengthen that belief.

Edited note: Okay, thank you for the help while you could though. It's given me alot to think about. Hope you enjoy your weekend! If I really need someone I'll definitely use the contact line but... I think I'll be good- Spending this weekend relaxing, plenty of time to contemplate <3

[ 10-07-2011, 08:20 PM: Message edited by: struggling ]

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Stephanie_1
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Struggling: Just letting you know I'm around and will check in here and there throughout the weekend. So if you need to talk/ want to talk more about as thoughts come about with your relaxation and contemplating time I'll keep an eye out too.

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

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Redskies
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(Hi, Struggling - I reckon you're in some other people's very good hands here, but just wanted you to know that I'm thinking of you and wishing you the best.)

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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struggling
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Edited: Stephanie_1 and Redskies- Thank you so much for offering support and advice. I really...really appriciate it.

When I first posted I had written alot of what I was thinking about. But it seemed way too long and almost reiterated what you guys were telling me all along. So I cut it out and saved it...But basically the last two-three days I spent rereading the posts and reading the articles on scarleteen. Defining what "sex" is, thinking about where I was comfortable, and just informing myself. Along the way- and with the help of something my little brother and sister did (we can be taught by even those younger than us) as well as helping a freshman I've "adopted" with one of her problems- I began realizing things? and accepting others.

So in summary-

A) I hadn't give active "concent" and that Josh had assaulted me regaurdless of what his "intentions" were.
B) Comparing his actions and words I realized I couldn't really know his thoughts or intentions. I had to accept that, which was scary
C) Looking back on how long I've known Ryan: if sex played a bigger role in the relationship for Ryan in the first place- he wouldn't be dating me in the first place. He's known for a long time my perceptions/experience. And just because Josh did this, my dad did that, or my mom's boyfriends did these things- it didn't mean that he was just like them-

I also learned something knew about my mom... when talking about her thinking about leaving Ryan with me alone in the house she compared it with me asking her to trust me when I first started dating Josh (which was a stupid move then..) and that now she had to "protect" me... I don't know how to gain her trust or respect back. In her mind, and she's even admitted this, I'm "emotionally weak"

[ 10-09-2011, 02:42 PM: Message edited by: struggling ]

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Redskies
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Hi Struggling,

With the thing about your mom, I just wanted to say a few things. From what you described in the situation with Josh, in my opinion, you did nothing at all to make you less trustworthy or respect-worthy. You made your own boundaries and wishes very clear, and Josh broke them. That makes Him the person who cannot be trusted or respected, not you.

Someone assaulting us also has nothing to do with us being emotionally "strong" or "weak". Many very different people are assaulted, and there is nothing that we do or don't do, or are or are not, that causes that to happen to us. To make myself clear, in my opinion, it would absolutely not be true that someone was assaulted because they were "emotionally weak", and equally not true that someone became "emotionally weak" as a result of being assaulted. We can be vulnerable and/or confused, and many other things, as a result of being assaulted, but that's certainly not the same as "emotionally weak".

I'd just like to put something out there for you. This scenario is simplified, and not intended to be a version of what you described happened to you.
Person A: Would you like to go to the cinema?
Person B: I need to go to bed.
A: There's this film I want to see, it's really good, and I think you'd like it too.
B: I need to go to bed.

Do you think that Person A should clearly understand whether or not Person B wants to go to the cinema? If Person A said something like "I'll see you there at 7.30 then", or took B by the arm and walked them to the cinema, or carried on asking B to go the cinema, do you think that Person A's actions there make sense or are reasonable?

With your mom, it's very normal and reasonable for parents to want to protect their kids and keep them safe, which I guess might be what she wants to do with regard to your boyfriends. It's just that parents are human too and occasionally don't go about trying to keep us safe in the most helpful or appropriate way. I also think that some other folk than me would probably be able to give you better help about your mom if you wanted it [Smile]

I'm glad that you sound like you're making some progress with your thoughts around all of this.

--------------------
The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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struggling
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Thank you- everyone. I think I'm going to be gone off the site for a while. But- all the info I've learned and the different perspective have been insanely eye opening. I've been recommending the site to close friends. Hopefully if they ever need help they might come here too-
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Heather
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Sure thing! You know where to find us should this feel useful again. Big love and solidarity to 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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