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7th-Oct-2008 06:07 pm
flower of life

it took me a bit to actually get the courage to write this. I tend to just keep going through everyday with this stuff pushed to the back of my mind, ignoring it, because that is my survival tactic. For some reason, I don't feel a need to talk about any of this when it hurts the most...I need to talk about it when I feel fine, maybe to make sure it all comes out in order.

Y'all can call me Dori, I'm a feminist social activist in my mid-twenties, married with no children, and feel the need to emotionally vomit.

I have more incidences of things that I definitely consider abuse, however, the one I need to talk about right now is one of the two incidents that cause me the most obvious issues at the moment.

I am queer and have been fairly aware of this since puberty. I dated boys from the age of 13 to 16 simply because it was "what you did" not because I was necessarily all that interested in them. When I was 16 I met Zak, who was 21. I was on the rebound from a fairly traumatic relationship (I seem to be a weirdness magnet :P) and I felt flattered at attention from someone who seemed very much like an adult. He asked me to be his girlfriend and I said yes, despite the misgivings of my parents and the warning I got from his mother which should have been my first big clue.

anyway. our relationship was weird, mainly because of the age difference, but also because he kept pushing me to do things that I did not feel ready for. He pushed me into letting him grope me, making me touch his penis, wanting me to make out with girls in front of him, as well as heavy petting and foreplay in public areas. If I ever said no, he would shush me like a fussy child and keep going. He also used my budding beliefs in paganism to keep me close, positioning himself as my teacher and better, constantly telling me (literally) how powerless I was compared to him and how I would never get better or more powerful if I didn't listen to him and do exactly what he wanted. There were constant comparisons, I was a baby bird and he was a hawk, I was a tiny rabbit and he was a wolf. They always felt like bullshit, but when I tried to voice that opinion, he essentially threatened to take away my "powers" if I didn't believe him. He wanted me to date girls too, but every time I got even close to a girl, he would get manipulative, claiming that he was being spiritually attacked, and that without my help he would be lost, and then keep me from contacting the girl or force me to break up with her. His favorite thing to do to keep me around was to have a very emotional crying breakdown and start talking about how he had meant to propose to me, but because I had been so "angry" and "unreasonable" lately (translation: I hadn't called him twice a day and/or I had not seen him in more than three days), he hadn't had the chance, and crying about how much he loved me.

Finally, he pressured me into sex. I lost my virginity to him, and it took me years to even call it rape. It wasn't until I had chewed on it for a while and then blurted out when I was talking about my friend almost being raped that I hadn't wanted to have sex with him but that he did it anyway, and asked her if she thought I had been raped. She put her hand on my shoulder, looked me right in the eye and said "If you said no, and he didn't stop, then you were raped." It hadn't occurred to me to even frame it that way, considering that I still believed that rape only happened extremely violently and between strangers.

anyway, he and I broke up not long after having sex, on my end because I had fallen for my first (eventually) long term girlfriend, and I didn't want him anywhere near her, also partially because he hadn't really enjoyed sex with me as much as he thought he would, a fact which he admitted openly to and "blamed" on my lack of enthusiasm during the one time sex actually happened which according to him was because I was "obviously" a lesbian, and it was his duty to let me go. Also, according to him, I was supposed to be grateful to him for helping me "find my true self," which conveniently ignored the fact that I knew I was queer when I met him, but whatthefuckever.

i thought, as I got older and my awareness grew, that I would be able to avoid being treated like that again. I thought that since I got out of it relatively unscathed physically that I could just move on and be sure to avoid it later. Instead, Since I didn't deal with it, I only set myself up for abusive relationship after abusive relationship, even destroying good, healthy relationships to go for people who were obviously bad for me. From Bree, the girlfriend (not the one previously mentioned) who physically beat me, cheated on me whenever she was angry with me and emotionally tore me apart just because she liked knowing that she could, to my last boyfriend Ty, who did almost the exact same thing Zak did to me, even making me perform certain sex acts because he enjoyed degrading me and admitting this fact to my face.

It wasn't until my best friend not only told me that zie loved me and showed me what that meant by sticking by me and continuing to offer love with no conditions while I was with Ty, that I realized that I deserved better than what was happening. I forcefully dumped Ty, and 6 months later, I married my best friend. It is one of the first relationship decisions that I have yet to regret and we have been together for 3 years this fall :D I have been finding that I have a great deal of unexamined crap attached to these events, and I'm only beginning to really deal with it, but thanks to seeing the support of this community and places like it, I honestly believe that I can get past it.

Thanks for listening.
(Deleted comment)
8th-Oct-2008 12:53 am (UTC)
Thanks for reading...this whole thing was much longer than I planned :)
8th-Oct-2008 04:30 am (UTC)
Welcome to the community, Dori. I'm so glad that you're now with someone who loves and supports you. It's so hard for people to see what they're in when they're with an abuser. Abusers are very good at convincing us that what happened didn't really happen, so I'm glad your friend was able to phrase it in a way that made it stick. He even acknowledged that you weren't "enthusiastic," meaning he knew that you were an unwilling partner, and had sex with you anyways.

It can be tough, even when you're with someone great, to face your past. Kudos to you for standing up and facing it so that you can more thoroughly enjoy your future together. It is possible to get past it. It's not always easy or pleasant by any means, but there is peace to be had.
8th-Oct-2008 02:18 pm (UTC)
I'm struck by how much insight you have about your past, and I find that really impressive. I'm also impressed by how you've managed to get through it and find someone you are happy with and who treats you with respect and love. I find it nearly impossible to trust anyone, so your ability to do that is really amazing to me.

Welcome to the community.
8th-Oct-2008 04:06 pm (UTC)
Thanks :)

My defense mechanism is to analyze, and over-analyze...so, yeah...I felt like I needed that insight in order to function past all this. The trust issue is huge, and being able to trust my spouse as a totally safe and platonic friend early on in our relationship made it easier to trust hir when we both realized that we were in love with the other.

Trust is huge, and I have always been really lucky to have one or two people in my life who I just gut instinct knew that I could trust with my life. I learned to set up layers of trust and only let certain people only so close until I could be sure that they were trustworthy.
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