Need some comfort

Any questions or discussions that you ONLY want to discuss with our staff or volunteers.
(Users: please do not reply to other users here.)
flores2231
not a newbie
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:05 pm
My primary language: english
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: heterosexual
Location: usa

Need some comfort

Unread postby flores2231 » Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:17 pm

I think I should break up with my boyfriend but I'm pretty upset. I do have my reasons. He thought it was funny to keep nagging after I said no or was hesitant when it came to kissing and giving him blowjobs which I did end up doing it anyway. He would also sometimes reassure me when I was paranoid to do sexual activity with him. Sometimes I would even pressure myself. I did learn about sexual coercion. When I learned about sexual coercion recently, I had anxiety attacks because of some of the sexual interactions I had with my boyfriend and the fact he made those jokes. I had a huge discussion about it with him and he said that he's really sorry and that he won't do it again. He did educate himself on the topic and hasn't done it since. He said that he thought I was saying no because I was playing along with his jokes. He said he never had any intentions to coerce me to do anything and that his jokes were also never meant to coerce me. I'm currently on a break with him and have received support from my friends and family. Some of my friends don't think what he did was right and that I should dump him. Some of them are just as confused as I am and told me that I need to really think things through. After coming to this website, I found a post where even if it was intentional or not or as a joke or not, it's still sexual pressure. That concluded it. Now I don't know how I am going to break up with him but I will have to. Luckily I have therapy tomorrow so I can discuss this with her. I just need some comfort because I am so sad. We had an amazing relationship and I truly felt a great connection with him. He has always been there for me and listened to me. He helped me go through my parents divorce. He is a great guy and I feel heartbroken. I don't want to break up with him but I can't move forward with the fact he did that. My heart is in pieces right now. But it explains why I have had so many anxiety attacks recently these past few weeks. I just need to know how to cope and how to heal. It was definitely kinda traumatizing

Mo
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 1999
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:57 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: I'm always wearing seriously fancy nail polish.
My primary language: English
My pronouns: he/him, they/them
My sexual identity and orientation: queer/bisexual

Re: Need some comfort

Unread postby Mo » Mon Apr 19, 2021 2:22 pm

Hi flores2231, and welcome to Scarleteen.
We're glad you found us, although I'm sorry it's because of a stressful and traumatic experience. It can be difficult to break up with someone even when we know it's going to be the best decision; it sounds like there have been some really positive aspects of the relationship, and I can understand how hard it would be to break up with someone who's been supportive of you and who's been sweet in many ways.

At the same time, though, sexual coercion is a serious thing; even if your boyfriend ever thought you were "joking" by saying no, it was then his responsibility to follow up on that and clarify the situation, not continue pressuring you or pushing past your hesitation. It's understandable that this would be a large enough betrayal of your trust that you wouldn't feel able to continue the relationship.

How can we best support you right now? Do you want to talk about how you might want to go about breaking up, or ways you can take care of yourself in the aftermath of the breakup? We do have an article that has some good general advice for surviving a breakup: Getting Through a Breakup Without Actually Breaking.

Mo
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 1999
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:57 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: I'm always wearing seriously fancy nail polish.
My primary language: English
My pronouns: he/him, they/them
My sexual identity and orientation: queer/bisexual

Re: Need some comfort

Unread postby Mo » Mon Apr 19, 2021 2:23 pm

Because I saw you post a message about this in another thread: your first few posts here will go into moderation, so you won't see them until a volunteer approves them but they are going through! So don't worry if you don't see them appear eventually; we're able to see them. :)

flores2231
not a newbie
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:05 pm
My primary language: english
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: heterosexual
Location: usa

Re: Need some comfort

Unread postby flores2231 » Mon Apr 19, 2021 2:54 pm

Sometimes I also doubt myself. Some thoughts in my head appear such as "what if it wasn't sexual coercion?" "am I overreacting?" "I do have anxiety so I could be overreacting?" "What if I give him another chance?" "Should I just stay?" "What If i regret it and it turns out to be a huge mistake?". A part of me wants to still be with him because I love him so much

flores2231
not a newbie
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:05 pm
My primary language: english
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: heterosexual
Location: usa

Re: Need some comfort

Unread postby flores2231 » Mon Apr 19, 2021 3:16 pm

And I also need help on how to cope with this. Because if it is coercion, I don't know how am I gonna cope with it. I do have a therapist but I'm scared of her making a report because I don't want to. I have been letting all my feelings out. Im just anxious how badly this is going to affect me especially with the breakup. It's like a double kill lol. Sorry humor is also my coping mechanism.

Mo
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 1999
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:57 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: I'm always wearing seriously fancy nail polish.
My primary language: English
My pronouns: he/him, they/them
My sexual identity and orientation: queer/bisexual

Re: Need some comfort

Unread postby Mo » Mon Apr 19, 2021 3:25 pm

It's pretty common to have these kinds of doubts, I think; a lot of people tend to second-guess themselves when they come to a realization about something like sexual coercion in a relationship. It's upsetting to realize it's happened to you, and sometimes it might feel "easier" to decide you've misunderstood the situation, or that you're overreacting.

But you said it yourself in your first post: he thought that pushing past your stated "no" was funny, and you wound up doing sexual things you weren't interested in. No matter what his intentions were, that's just not a healthy sexual dynamic to have in a relationship. It isn't impossible to course-correct and wind up having a healthier sexual relationship after a rough start like this, but I think it's a much less common as an outcome than a situation where the same patterns continue tends to be.

In terms of your therapist reporting what happened, you can always ask what their mandated reporting policy is before discussing anything, but sexual coercion on its own is not likely to be something your therapist would have to report. Setting the reporting issue aside, do you feel comfortable enough with her to talk about this? I think therapy would be a good resource for finding some good ways to take care of yourself through this.

flores2231
not a newbie
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:05 pm
My primary language: english
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: heterosexual
Location: usa

Re: Need some comfort

Unread postby flores2231 » Mon Apr 19, 2021 3:41 pm

Thank you again,

Those words really reassured me because I did feel like I was crazy for being confused to only find out it's a common and normal reaction. Sometimes he did push my no and I did it but sometimes I was okay with it I don't know it's a hard thing to remember. I just did it because he wanted to and sometimes I was okay with it. But looking back at it now it's not a healthy sexual dynamic, as you said.

With the therapist reporting thing, no I don't feel like reporting it. I'm not comfortable with that. Her reporting policy is that if I was physically harmed or something like that she will have to report it. I did tell her the majority of it which so far so good. I feel alone though. I feel like it hurts to accept the fact that he did that to me and that coercion is part of assault. That really sucks and it's hard to accept. It brings me more pain to think about it that way. I feel weak you know? But my mind tries to cheer me up by telling me that I'm not the only one and that this does not define me and it doesn't mean I'm weak either. Do you have any articles about self care? I do have a plan in mind to take care of myself after the break up. I do wanna cut my hair. My concerns are that what if I never get over this and it damages me in the long run? But I think that's my anxiety speaking. After all, I am diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. Thank you for all your help. Seriously, I love this website and if it wasn't for you, I wouldn't know what to do. You guys have taught me so much. Who knows maybe one day I can be apart of your staff. I do love giving advice to people and educating them lol

flores2231
not a newbie
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:05 pm
My primary language: english
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: heterosexual
Location: usa

Re: Need some comfort

Unread postby flores2231 » Mon Apr 19, 2021 3:45 pm

Oh yeah I'm just scared because some victims of assault do go into a state of depression and denial and PTSD. All of that really scares me. I don't want to go through that.

Mo
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 1999
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:57 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: I'm always wearing seriously fancy nail polish.
My primary language: English
My pronouns: he/him, they/them
My sexual identity and orientation: queer/bisexual

Re: Need some comfort

Unread postby Mo » Mon Apr 19, 2021 3:51 pm

I'm so happy this is reassuring for you; that's what we're always hoping for! :)

I hear you on not being comfortable officially reporting anything about this situation, but assuming your therapist would not be mandated to report (which it sounds like she would not, as it doesn't sound like you were physically harmed in any of these cases), just discussing the coercion with her might be helpful, especially since you're worried about how this experience might impact your mental health.

We do have a great article on self-care: Self-Care a La Carte, and the article on dealing with breakups has some thoughts on that as well. I wonder if it might be helpful to read this article about how consent in relationships should work, ideally, so that you have a strong understanding of what to expect from future partners: Driver's Ed for the Sexual Superhighway: Navigating Consent.

flores2231
not a newbie
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:05 pm
My primary language: english
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: heterosexual
Location: usa

Re: Need some comfort

Unread postby flores2231 » Mon Apr 19, 2021 4:12 pm

One more thing,

I am still confused. Because he did keep pushing my no and when I did end up doing it sometimes I was okay with it. Don't know if that is still coercion but I think so?

Anyways, thank you for educating me and the articles. I'm definitely going to stock up on fruit because usually when it comes to break ups my appetite is gone and the only thing I can really eat are fruit. I am going to try and let all my feelings out as I heard that it's an important thing to do. And if anyone else is reading this and going through the same situation as I am, know that you aren't alone and you will get through this. Seriously thank you so much for your kindness it has definitely made me feel a bit better.

Mo
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 1999
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:57 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: I'm always wearing seriously fancy nail polish.
My primary language: English
My pronouns: he/him, they/them
My sexual identity and orientation: queer/bisexual

Re: Need some comfort

Unread postby Mo » Mon Apr 19, 2021 4:24 pm

Yes, him trying to push for something you'd said no to is still coercion, even if you were okay with it eventually if you did go along with it. He was still making the choice to ignore your stated boundaries.

Stocking up on fruit sounds like a good plan, as does finding a good outlet for all your feelings. You may find that doing some journaling is helpful for this; sometimes I find that writing out how I'm feeling helps me to sort through those feelings a bit better than just thinking about them does.

flores2231
not a newbie
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:05 pm
My primary language: english
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: heterosexual
Location: usa

Re: Need some comfort

Unread postby flores2231 » Mon Apr 19, 2021 4:45 pm

I feel really hurt that it is. Is it bad that I still love him and think he's a good guy because he had no intentions?

Mo
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 1999
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:57 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: I'm always wearing seriously fancy nail polish.
My primary language: English
My pronouns: he/him, they/them
My sexual identity and orientation: queer/bisexual

Re: Need some comfort

Unread postby Mo » Mon Apr 19, 2021 4:59 pm

Someone can be good in a lot of ways and still choose to act in ways that cause harm. He may not have been clearly thinking "I know, I'll do something terrible to hurt my partner!" in those moments, but he was still choosing to ignore you telling him no, and deciding to push past your boundaries in pursuit of what he wanted. No matter what other qualities he may have, that's still something that he decided to do.

I'm trying to frame this in terms of a decision he made because I think a lot of people come back with this "oh no, I didn't know I was doing it!" sort of excuse when someone calls them on coercion, and I think that's a really unfair attempt to avoid responsibility for one's actions.

flores2231
not a newbie
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:05 pm
My primary language: english
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: heterosexual
Location: usa

Re: Need some comfort

Unread postby flores2231 » Mon Apr 19, 2021 5:08 pm

He did acknowledge his mistake. I just feel anxious. I don't want to think of him as a rapist or a bad guy. This is so hard to accept

Sam W
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 7291
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:06 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I raise carnivorous plants
My primary language: english
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: queer
Location: Desert

Re: Need some comfort

Unread postby Sam W » Tue Apr 20, 2021 6:47 am

Hi flores2231,

Those are all completely understandable ways to be feeling right now. I want to reiterate what Mo said, which is that someone who has good qualities or someone we love can make a choice that hurts us. That can be incredibly hard to accept, and it's okay if you need to take time to process all your feelings around it. If it helps with processing all this and the break-up, for now maybe you can frame it in your mind as "I broke up with him because he made a choice that hurt me and showed he wasn't a safe partner" rather than "I broke up with him because he's a bad guy."

You mention he acknowledged what he did. What did that acknowledgement look like? How did it make you feel?

flores2231
not a newbie
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:05 pm
My primary language: english
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: heterosexual
Location: usa

Re: Need some comfort

Unread postby flores2231 » Tue Apr 20, 2021 7:28 am

He admitted his mistake and said it was dumb of him to do that looking back at it now and he apologized and stuff like that. I feel a bit better the fact he acknowledge his mistake and apologized but obviously that doesn't excuse what he did and how much hurt and trauma it gave me. I think that saying of him having good qualities but he made a horrible choice helps so thank you for that. My anxiety still comes and goes and it's usually centered around the fact he did that and I have to accept it. I've been trying to be patient with myself and remind myself that anxiety is just my brain processing all of this and part of healing. Still I don't know when to break it off but definitely soon

Sam W
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 7291
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:06 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I raise carnivorous plants
My primary language: english
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: queer
Location: Desert

Re: Need some comfort

Unread postby Sam W » Tue Apr 20, 2021 7:33 am

I'm glad that framing helped! And I think it's really sound on your part to realize that some of the anxiety you're feeling is your brain processing what happened.

Would it be helpful to talk about when and how to break-up with him here? You could also talk through your options with your therapist, since it sounds like you're seeing them soon (if you're still nervous about disclosing, you could keep the reason why you're breaking up general or vague).

flores2231
not a newbie
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:05 pm
My primary language: english
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: heterosexual
Location: usa

Re: Need some comfort

Unread postby flores2231 » Tue Apr 20, 2021 12:19 pm

Well I still don't know when to do it. I don't have the guts and courage to do it now. I keep thinking about how he would react and how guilty he would feel. I would also think about how his friends could possibly dislike me and there could be rumors going around the school. Another part of me is like so what? I gotta think about myself. I do have a plan but I don't expect it to go the way it fully should. Imma just tell him what he did was wrong and never do it again and that I need to heal and that I can't be in a relationship because I need time to really take care of myself. I want to prepare myself for those waves of sadness. Obviously Im going to miss him and I will be sad but hopefully there will be waves where I am happy and I don't regret my choice. I'm also planning to delete social media such as instagram and snapchat because I rlly don't want reminders of him and want to kinda isolate myself. My friends have been definitely supportive so I'm planning to facetime them afterwards. I just need the guts to do it, that's what I'm struggling with. The back of my head still wonders if I should really stay with him but I reassure myself and think about how if I do I will still have constant reminders of it. I deserve some dang respect for once. All my life people who I loved and considered really close to have taken advantage of me. I deserve to have my boundaries kept. And who ever is reading this I hope you know you deserve some dang respect too

Emily N
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 50
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2021 8:28 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: I love to cook!
My primary language: English
My pronouns: she/they
My sexual identity and orientation: pansexual
Location: Boston, MA

Re: Need some comfort

Unread postby Emily N » Tue Apr 20, 2021 12:57 pm

Hi flores2231,

By recognizing and talking through your decision to leave a relationship that has been important to you, you already have far more guts and courage than you realize! Any guilt he may feel as a result of the breakup is not your burden or responsibility (and it’s a good thing that he feels the impact of his actions). I recognize that breakups can cause difficult tensions with others close to your boyfriend. But listen to yourself when you say “I gotta think about myself”, because the most important relationship you have is with yourself.

It sounds like you have mapped out a good plan to prepare yourself for the breakup by thinking of what you want to say to him, recognizing the emotions that might come afterwards, and building support for those feelings by communicating with your friends and avoiding platforms that might add to your feelings.

Of course it’s okay and normal to feel sad and miss him - BUT, one of the biggest things that is coming across to me is how much you are following your intuition and have thought into your decision to break up with your boyfriend. While doubts about emotional decisions are normal, to me, it sounds like you know what you want and need. And I LOVE to hear that you are making steps to create and maintain boundaries in your relationships! Are there any other boundaries that you want to set with him after the breakup? Are there any more supports that you think would be helpful before breaking up with him?

flores2231
not a newbie
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:05 pm
My primary language: english
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: heterosexual
Location: usa

Re: Need some comfort

Unread postby flores2231 » Tue Apr 20, 2021 1:20 pm

Thank you for your kind words,

It does feel nice not gonna lie! It's like I'm gaining control back. I feel proud because I always struggled to stand up for myself and now here I am doing it. I'm definitely having some character development moment :)). I was also planning to tell him that I am going to unfollow him and unfriend him and that if he wants to talk to me, he can talk to me through our mutual friend. Any other supports uhhh I think that's it. Other than that I feel hurt that he did that and it's hard for me to accept the fact he sexual coerced me cuz he seemed like a great guy. Maybe he is but I don't want to spend too much time thinking about that all I know is that towards the end he made a horrible choice that crossed the line. And reading other people's stories here and other places has made me feel less alone. Anyways, thank you so much for all of your help have a good one!

Emily N
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 50
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2021 8:28 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: I love to cook!
My primary language: English
My pronouns: she/they
My sexual identity and orientation: pansexual
Location: Boston, MA

Re: Need some comfort

Unread postby Emily N » Tue Apr 20, 2021 1:30 pm

Yes, I love that you’re taking control too! And I’m also happy to hear that you’ve planned some communication boundaries you want to set. I’m glad this thread and reading other people’s experiences has been helpful, and I’m wishing you the best! You can always post again if you think of something else :)

flores2231
not a newbie
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:05 pm
My primary language: english
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: heterosexual
Location: usa

Re: Need some comfort

Unread postby flores2231 » Wed Apr 21, 2021 10:53 am

ahhh im doubting to break up with him again. I feel like a hypocrite and guilty. I used to smack my boyfriend's butt when he would say stop to annoy him. I feel terrible about myself. I think I also kept asking him to make out with me one time as a joke and then told him that it's okay if he didn't want to. I feel like it's my fault and that maybe that's why he made those coercive jokes as well.

LuC
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2021 3:04 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: I can pick up languages easily
My primary language: Spanish
My pronouns: She/her
My sexual identity and orientation: Cisgender Heterosexual
Location: Salta, Argentina

Re: Need some comfort

Unread postby LuC » Wed Apr 21, 2021 2:51 pm

Hi flores2231!

First of all, I think you shouldn't feel terrible nor guilty for acting in ways you now realize are not okay to act like. Sometimes our first approach to how relationships look like can come from different sources including the media, which in many cases, portrays awfully unhealthy relationship dynamics as "passionate", "fun" or even "loving". It is often by our own experiences that we get a reality check and see how harmful and unpleasant those dynamics can be. Unfortunately consent has not been a topic until recently, but I think that it is rather positive that you see how your own actions can hurt others or create/sustain unhealthy dynamics in your relationships.

Moving on, I see you struggle with taking the steps to break up with your boyfriend but I also see that some of the guilty feelings come from feeling like you "have to" do this but you can't. As a person with diagnosed GAD myself, I understand the overthinking and anxiety you feel around a situation like this. How hard making a decision that seems so big can be.

I think we are all clear on the fact that what your boyfriend did was wrong, whether he did what he did knowing it was hurting you or not. You made it clear to us and him how you felt about it and how traumatic it was to you to realize it was sexual coercion. What remains unclear to me is if you want to break up with your boyfriend but can't make a final decision on it, or if you think that you must break up with him but don't want to. Do you relate to one of these? Or am I missing the mark here?

flores2231
not a newbie
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:05 pm
My primary language: english
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: heterosexual
Location: usa

Re: Need some comfort

Unread postby flores2231 » Wed Apr 21, 2021 4:07 pm

I'm just concerned. I feel less alone the fact that you also have GAD but this is so difficult to process to be honest. Because it does sound like coercion. He did it multiple times to it's more of a pattern and not a one time thing yk? But sometimes my brain is scared to process this. I keep thinking to myself what if it wasn't coercion. That's what is stressing me out. Was it coercion or was it not? Was the fact that I was okay when I did end up doing those things when I said no still coercion? It's hard because sometimes I don't remember if I truly didn't want to. Sometimes I think to myself was it also coercion because I ended up doing it because he wanted to and I was okay with that. Is it still coercion if I was okay with doing it? My brain is going through a confusing time and many people tell me that it's up to how I feel about it but I doubt my feelings so much. I know that if it was coercion I am going to break up with him because I can't be with a partner who coerced me multiple times. But another part of me doesn't want to because I miss him a lot and we had a great connection. It hurts me the most to know that coercion is a type of sexual assault and it's difficult to know that he might have done that. I also feel like a hypocrite because I would smack his butt playfully even when he seemed annoyed by it and it makes me feel horrible because I feel like an assaulter. Or the fact that I kept asking him to make out with me but I think I do remember telling him at the end that it's okay we don't have to. I can't see him as an assaulter or a rapist. I feel bad for him because I know that if I was in his shoes I wouldn't know how to live with myself. We both did things and this sucks. I can't really speak up to my therapist about how I'm not sure if I was assaulted or not because I don't want her to make a case since I'm not 18 yet. I keep over analyzing every single sexual interaction with him and it's hard because I can't remember all of it. I do have a plan though. Once I turn 18, which is next year thank god I wanna speak about it more to people. I did speak about it to my friends who have been through assault. I have been so stressed and I don't know when to break up with him.

LuC
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2021 3:04 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: I can pick up languages easily
My primary language: Spanish
My pronouns: She/her
My sexual identity and orientation: Cisgender Heterosexual
Location: Salta, Argentina

Re: Need some comfort

Unread postby LuC » Wed Apr 21, 2021 4:55 pm

I have to say I agree with the many people who have told you to listen to yourself to make a decision. You have to work internally and find the answer because there is no external person who will be able to do that for you.

Saying that you are going to break up with him IF it was coercion seems to me the wrong approach to solving and overcoming this situation. Above all, because you are expecting the details of the past to give you a "correct answer" like a detective, instead of looking where all answers really lie. WITHIN.

Shifting your efforts from finding out if it was coercion to overcoming what happened to you could be a less stressful way to address the topic, and one that could prove more useful for you in the future.

Finally, I believe there is no need to put tags on you or the other person like "assaulter" or "rapist" to feel that breaking up with them is justified. Instead, feeling that there is something broken about a relationship like there is a level of comfort or trust that can't be reattained is a GOOD ENOUGH reason to break up with them. No need to place guilts or wrongs or names over you or the other person's head for it to be the right decision.


Return to “Ask Us!”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 14 guests