18th November 2020 at 7:23 pm #116501AnonymousInactive
Hi all. I’m new here and am quite nervous to be writing this but here goes.
I’ve recently started therapy for some present struggles and emotions which I think have built up over some time.
I had some bad experiences with relationships at university and have always known that these contributed to my current issues, but I’ve never seen my experience in the way that my therapist has explained it to me. When I mentioned to her that I didn’t necessarily agree with what she was saying, she suggested I try talking through my story on a forum like this one, so here I am.
I went through a bad break up at the end of college and left for university a couple of months later. I fell in with the wrong crowd quite quickly, who were older than me and who introduced me to a lot of things that I hadn’t ever done before.
There was one guy who I connected with quite early on and before I knew it, we were spending every minute with each other and we were sleeping with each other and it was all quite intense.
The relationship was like this for a couple of months, until he started getting really hot and cold. This was the moment when I sensed a change in him and it’s the moment when things started to make me feel uncomfortable and the things we were doing felt wrong.
This then escalated. He would often arrange a night out for the two of us and ask me to dress in a certain way and do certain things with my hair and make up. Towards the end of the night he would chose someone, (detail removed by moderator) and he would ask me to go home with them. He would then ask me to come and see him (detail removed by moderator), we would have sex and he would ask me to compare the two experiences and he asked me to tell him and show him that he was better.
Is this abusesive? Did I not go home willingly with these men? I didn’t choose to but I didn’t say no because at the time I wanted to please him and I felt like I was loosing him at this point and he meant the world to me, he was all I had at that time.
My therapist also asked me whether he ever forced himself on me, which he didn’t. There are times when I felt like I couldn’t say no but I COULD have and SHOULD have said no, like I should have could have in the situations he put me in.
I’m now just having this internal battle with myself of whether it was his fault or my fault or a combination of us both because I want this guilt and shame that I’m feeling to go away but I don’t feel that it will until I can get this straight in my head.
Any advice would be so greatly appreciated and I hope this all makes sense/is right for this message board.
19th November 2020 at 2:51 pm #116537Same-againParticipant
Just out of interest was he ever threatening? This can be more subtle than a direct threat. Sometimes they talk about how they’ve been violent in other situations and their intent is to frighten you.
I do think you were clearly vulnerable and that he took advantage of that. That in itself is abusive. Say you know one of your friends is in a bad place and is vulnerable and needs your friendship. Would you push her into something that wasn’t in HER best interests but was something YOU wanted?
I am glad you’re not with this man now and that you are getting therapy. You are young and have your life in front of you. Don’t make my mistake and spend a lifetime chasing after losers who’ve hurt me. All because I didn’t love myself enough and have boundaries which I honoured.
Try and think back to that vulnerable girl you were and give her a hug. Probably if you’d had a best friend who was close at the time they’d have given you that hug and made you feel special. Because you are.
We all do things we regret and it sounds like this man took advantage of you. Try to forgive yourself because that would be a great gift to give YOU. Shame is so toxic and will set you up for another similar scenario. I know, alas I’ve been there.
Take care sweetie.
19th November 2020 at 3:08 pm #116538Same-againParticipant
P.S. Not a lifetime I guess 🙂
Am taking my own advice and being less critical of me. A work in progress.
21st November 2020 at 7:53 pm #116658AnonymousInactive
Thank you so much for your reply, you have no idea how much it means to me.
I think that the main threat to me was that he’d leave me if I didn’t do what he asked of me. He was all I had at this time and the only person who understood me (or so I thought) so I guess losing him was my worst fear. I think as well that as he was loved by all and everyone saw him as some kind of god I was scared that by going against him, I was isolating myself when I already felt so isolated.
Thank you again for your kind advice.
21st November 2020 at 8:36 pm #116660CamelParticipant
This man was a predator. It’s clear that you were vulnerable, lost and out of your depth. Moving away from home so young is difficult, more often than not.
When you question your part in what happened you’re doing what many do without thinking – victim-blaming.
This vile man used well-worn strategies to get you to do his bidding.
He isolated you from the group.
He came on strong very quickly, leaving you no head space.
He manipulated and coerced you to behave against your true nature.
He persuaded you that he was a god. And that everyone else thought so too.
It’s true, we’ve all done things we’re ashamed of. But they don’t have to define us. They’re blips. Blaming ourselves is damaging. But questioning why we did what we did is healthy.
Yes, in my opinion, you were abused.
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