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A safe space to share stories and ask questions
Many thanks to everyone who responded so supportively to my last… 
10th-Dec-2005 01:55 pm
ali and lilo
Many thanks to everyone who responded so supportively to my last post. I really do appreciate it.

I've reposted my story below for reference b/c I couldn't figure out how to link to my previous post.

In response to your comments:

I'm still trying to work out the things my therapist said. On one hand, she has a point - my sexual abuse experiences were not physically forced. There was a lot of negative emotional training and lack of self-worth stuff that went into it. The events of my upbringing/childhood that led to my inability to stand up for myself as well as my lack of understanding that I had the option to do so make a lot of sense in the "lack of personal choice" context. I could make the argument that I was really young (14-16) when the majority of the instances occurred, or that I didn't realize that there was a distinction between love and taking part in sexual relationships, or a hundred other things that influenced those situations.

But.

It doesn't erase the fact that I did have *some* responsibility for the situations. I could have chosen to throw my partner off me, demand the respect I deserved, and discontinued dating the person until I received the level of respect that felt good to me. Could I have verbalized that at the time? Probably not. But I did help to create the situations in which I found myself, if not when I was younger, the ones when I was in Mexico and in college, definitely. I made the choice to value staying with that person over my personal comfort. That was my choice. Does that absolve my partners from blame? HELL NO! Does that mean that my therapist wasn't insensitive in how she choice to discuss the topic? Absolutely not. But it does mean that I did have a degree of responsibility in the sexual abuse I have lived through, and that is something I must come to terms with.

Thanks again, all, for the love. I extend it all right back at you.



I haven't been raped. I haven't been beaten.



I have been a part of sexual experiences that were unwanted, or went further than I wanted them to. I

often wonder if this is sexual violence, or simply a failure on my part to use my voice to protect myself.

So often in sexual experiences as a teenager, I could feel my intuitive voice saying no, and then countered

it with the Seventeen magazine voice in my head, which said I'm supposed to enjoy this, I'm supposed to want to go further sexually than this, I'm supposed to be this way and do these things if I really love and care about my boyfriend.



I can see that its crap....but I still feel like a little girl about it.



Where is the line between failure to stand up for myself and sexual violence?


The first I can remember is with a guy I had been dating on and off for about a year, freshman and

sophomore year of high school. (I'm now 22). He was the tall, muscular, flirtateous black wrestler; I was

the young white girl who just wanted to be loved, and was excited to be crossing the race boundary that was relatively high at our school. He called me beautiful. (I can feel myself stalling. There's so much

background that goes into this....things to do with my lack of relationship with my mother, never being

taught what boundaries were or how to come up with and/or enforce them....never being taught that love

and respecting my body and limits can go together without "offending" the one I'm with...Him being a

druggie and me wanting to save him from that world, if only I could give him enough alternatives to keep him from wanting to go back to that...argh). Anyway. It was a day after a big drama - in an "off" period, he

had dated a girl on my field hockey team (which I didn't know about), and she had gotten angry that I

flirted with him, it was a whole big deal. So awhile after all that got cleared up, we went on a "date" to

the mall to see a movie and eat lunch on a Saturday. It was our first big "dating again" day. Right before

the movie, I walked ahead of him, and he said the Pretty Woman line "Work it, work it baby, Own it,"

which I didn't realize was from the movie and was offended by...(stalling again)...So after the movie we

went back to his house. He was
supposed to be watching his 4 year old brother, who was more sexually forward than he was. We were all snuggling on his bed, and his baby brother said "that's MY woman" and put his hand on my butt almost between my legs. At this point I started to feel uncomfortable, but then his mom came home and took his brother and left again, so we were alone in his house. We were on the bed, kissing I guess, although I don't really remember it. I remember a bedside lamp being on, being in my eyes. I remember the radio playing the song "Stay tonight, break the light of dawn, come tomorrow, tomorrow I'll be gone." I remember his hand wandering down my body, over my breast, unzipping my pants. I remember warning bells going off in my head, then countering them with "all my friends have had this experience, I'm the only one who hasn't, all the magazines say this is supposed to feel good, just go with it, just go with it. I must have wimpered or hesitated or something, because he looked back up at
me and said "Shhh, shhh." I think he even asked permission. I don't actually remember him asking, but in an essay I wrote shortly after, I wrote that he asked permission and that I said okay, so he must have. He pulled down my jeans, pushed my underwear to the side, and started brushing his fingers back and forth. I remember laying there, just

still, just wondering how it would feel, maybe slightly excited to finally have an experience to be able to talk about with my friends when they are all talking abou their sexual experiences, but mostly...stuck...paralyzed. He pushed a long, dry finger into me, and just started thrusting with it. I

remember thinking it hurt, it hurt, it didn't feel good, it just hurt, but
it was supposed to feel good,

it was like a favor he was doing me, its not something he was getting pleasure out of, i'm supposed to enjoy

it, why don't i enjoy it, there must me something wrong with me, i just must not be a sexual being,

something is wrong wrong wrong with me and it hurts, and he has no idea how miserable i am right now, he hasn't asked, he hasn't checked, i'm just waiting for it to be over, it feels like hours, when will he stop,

why doesn't he know its hurting me? I am silent,
not moving, not saying anything, trying to convince myself it feels good and failing miserably. Finally he stops, and comes back up, and asks if he can "go down there" with his mouth, at which point I'm finally able to shake my head no. Somehow, I don't know how, I find myself in the bathroom, which was through the living room, and i had all my clothes, so I must have gotten them somehow, but I don't remember how. I wanted to cry but I couldn't. I felt dirty and sick and stupid and just stayed there for about 45min. I heard his mom come home, and still I didn't move. I heard his mom leave, and still I didn't move. I wanted to go home, but couldn't call my parents for fear I'd cry, and then they'd hate him, or yell at me, or want to know what was going on at least, and of course I couldn't tell them. He knocked on the bathroom door and asked if I was ok. I didn't answer. When I finally came out, I called my best friend to ask her mom to pick me up. She
wasnt' home. He finally called a friend to drive me home. (He didn't have a license or a car). I dont' remember speaking to him at all, or going home. I have no idea what happened in that time. He called that night, I didn't answer. Every time I saw him in the hallway I would start shaking and run away, escape into a classroom, the bathroom, anywhere I could. A little while after that, my dad found adn read a journal entry I had written about it, about how I felt

dirty and disgusting and stupid. My dad said he found the journal open, and that things like that don't

happen by accident. Afterwards, he said they'd have to leave me with a babysitter if I was to be trusted at

home alone. (I was 16 and had been staying home alone for at least 3 years).



Wow, I didn't realize this, but the incidents I'm thinking of right now all occurred in that same year.



The next one I remember was spring of that year. I was dating a guy I had met through a friend who lived in a different town, at
her Sweet 16 birthday party. I was excited b/c he had asked me to dance, and asked me out. She warned me that he was kind of a scumbag when it came to dating, but for whatever reason, I didn't listen to her. I wanted to be "fair" and give him a chance, to determine for myself if he was a scumbag or not. We'd go on dates, and he'd drive. Sometimes we'd park in this garden/parking lot near his house and make out. It'd be funny and cute b/c we both wore glasses, and we'd always bump glasses. I liked him a lot, and didn't see why my friend thought he was a scumbag. He'd pick me up from play practice and drive me home, be nice to my family. I met his mom, she liked me.



One weekend, for some reason I had the house to myself. He came over, and we were being silly, running

around the kitchen half-naked. We settled on the couch in the living room, and were just generally making

out. He asked if I would go down on him, and I really didnt' want to. I felt super uncomfortable, and tried

to think of a way out of it. I had never gone down on anyone, and was super scared. It just seemed gross to

me. I kind of shyly shook my head no and said no, that I
didn't know how. He said "well can't you call one of your friends and ask?" "NO!" I said, that's crazy! "Well I'll call one of MY friends then!" "NO!", I

said, more mortified at the prospect that being emphatic about the "no." "Well, then," he said, "just

do it." Trying desperately to figure a way out of the situation, I said "but what if I hurt you?". He said

"you can't really do it wrong." Hesitatingly, I went down there, began kissing around his penis, trying to

avoid putting it in my mouth.
Somehow he shifted and there it was, in my mouth. I didn't know what to do. I felt stupid for not knowing what to do, for not wanting to please my boyfriend, for the thought of his

friends knowing that I was so stupid I didn't know how to give him a blowjob. I just kind of...hung out there for awhile, not really moving. He put his hand on the back of my head, and began pushing and pulling, up and down, and I just went along with it, waiting, waiting for it to be over. At the end, finally, he asked if he could cum in my mouth, and finally, I said no. He came on his stomach, and I curled into a little Alison ball next to him on the couch. We moved when he asked me to get him a towel to clean himself up. I don't remember what happened the rest of the night. At some point he went home, and I continued to feel stupid, but I stayed with
him, for a few months longer. I didn't want him to not like me, or be mad at me.



That summer, I went on a cruise with my family to Tahiti. There weren't many people my age on the trip -

mostly honeymooners and elderly people. Our family befriended one of the entertainers, an older (60ish),

very overweight comedian/impressionist that called himself "Fluffy." He seemed very grandfatherly - at a

beach stop, he showed my sister where all the cool fish were, and talked to me about school and what

books I liked to read. One night when I was seasick, he gave me some strong coffee (which made me throw up, but also made me feel better), and called to check up on me. He lent me a book of French phrases so I could try to communicate with the locals. The last night of the cruise, I went down to his room to return the book to him. He opened the door in only a towel, said "excuse me," closed it, then reopened it wearing a

bathrobe, saying he was getting ready for his show. I went in to his room. He sat on his bed, I sat on a

chair. He asked if I had a boyfriend, when I was going ot start school, if I had fun on the trip, told me he

was excited to see his granddaughter, who was my age. I returned the book, then went to leave. He said he

probably wouldn't get a chance to say goodbye the next day, so he'd say his goodbye then. He asked if i was allowed to kiss an old man like him, and thinking he meant on the cheek or on the top of the head, I said yes and went to kiss the top of his head. When I did so, his arms reached around me, pulling me down onto the bed, coming at me with an open mouth trying to kiss me. Luckily, I was able to squirm away and run from the room. Later
that night, my family wanted to go to his last show, and of course I had to go, b/c if I didn't they'd want to know why, and I couldn't tell them, it was the last night, it'd be a big deal,

everyone on the crusie would know it was me, etc/etc/etc. So we went, and of course they wanted to

sit in the front row. So we did. Fluffy sang Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World," staring at me

the entire time. I still hate that song.



From that time on, I trembled whenever a man touched me. A good family friend came over for Thanksgiving the next year, and made his usual lewd jokes, and I started shaking uncontrollably and had to leave the room. I covered it up by saying I needed more water, and took a long time to get it. My own uncles scared the crap out of me.



For the next two years, I was involved in a serious relationship with a boy who loved me very very well. I

lost my virginity to him, and it was fine. I never orgasmed, but i didn't freak out. Then, slowly, I

began to have adverse reactions in sexual situations. My mind would just go away, and I'd have no idea what my body was doing. I only knew this b/c I would come back into myself when something felt wrong. I came back into myself one time when this boyfriend was going down on me, and I realized I hated it, and just wanted him to stop, but all my friends said it was the best thing you could feel, so something must have been wrong with me, to be feeling this way. I came back into myself other times, when we'd be having sex in my living room, and all of a sudden he'd be fisting me, or we'd be having sex doggy-style. For each of these, I can't remember how sex started, I just remember the moment when it started to
feel not okay. He was very good about them - we'd stop immediately. Sometimes I could tell he'd be annoyed or frustrated, and say to just keep going, but usually we'd just stop. When I went to colllege, things ended between us.



For a long time, I held the belief that you don't just have sex with anyone, there has to be love involved.

The summer after my freshman year, I went on another cruise with my family, and met a girl who to this day is still a good friend. She helped me discover confidence in myself and my own beauty. She had a

different outlook on sex - if it feels good, do it! If not, its because he's doing something wrong, end of

story. That vacation, there was a boy who liked me, a lot. We danced in the disco room every night. It felt

good, b/c I was in control. If I didn't want to dance, I didn't. And he listened. We were together one night

on the kid's jungle gym. He wanted to have sex but I said no - too open, anyone could walk by, including my parents. We ended up having sex the next day in my room, with me initiating it. (I had a separate
room

from my parents.) I think it was fine, but the thing is, I don't remember it. At all. I know we did,

because I told my friend about it right away, and she took a picture of me in the bed a few hours later, but

I have no recollection of the act itself.



The next summer, I was in Mexico for 10 weeks. I met and dated a
Mexican guy who I liked a lot. He kept

wanting to have sex and I didn't want to have sex with him b/c I knew it was just a fling. He kept getting

upset that every time we'd be together sexually, I'd say no at a certain point. He couldn't understand that

even though I wasnt' a virgin, I didn't want to have sex with him. I didn't really have a reason, I just

didn't feel like it. I made the mistake of calling my friend from teh cruise for advice, and she chalked it

up to cultural differences and said "why not?", so I did. The first time we had sex (at his house), he

initiated it, and I was still feeling hesitant. He asked "are you ready for me," and I said yes. It was

mildly uncomfortable, but there wasn't the discomfort of having the argument, so it was fine. A few weeks

later, as a "surprise" to him, I rented a hotel room (i had been staying with a fairly conservative

family), and set it up all sexy-like. Again, I know we had sex, probably a lot of sex, but I don't remember

the act of it, at all.



I feel like this is getting really really long, so I'll try to wrap it up.



That fall, I had a class with a guy I had had a crush
on since freshman year of college. He was flirtateous,

and I was interested in him. We spent a day shopping in Georgetown,(the first time we had hung out outside of class) then he talked his way into my apartment. (I had been planning on not letting him into the room – I had gotten us snacks to eat on the roof of my building, but then he had to wash his hands b/c he got apple juice on them.) When we had been up on the roof, he had held me against a fence (yes I had a fenced in roof...), and tried to kiss me, but b/c he had his arms on either side of me, I was uncomfortable - I

couldn't get away - and talked my way out of it. When we got to my apartment, we sat down on the couch. He told me how he had had a crush on me since my freshman
year but didn't ask me out b/c I had a boyfriend at the time. I had already decided I didn't want to do anything more than kiss him, but somehow he kept talking me into doing more. He tried to take my shirt off and I said no, and then somehow my shirt was off. I told him I was uncomfortable, that I had had negative experiences in the past, if we could just not

do this right now. He said that sexual energy was "perfectly natural," that humans are just like

animals, and like animals we should just follow our sexual urges rather than moralize about them. I still

felt uncomfortable, but felt like he was challenging me or
something....for whatever reason i felt like I

couldn't refuse. it wasn't even like we were really making out - he just kind of talked me out of my

clothes. I told him I didn't want to have sex with him, and he kept saying "why not, why not, just listen

to your sexual urges, you're attracted to me, right? Just go with the flow, it'll make you feel better." I

can't even say it was date rape b/c I was the one who got up and got the condom. But like the other two

before this, I have no recollection of the act whatsoever. I have no idea how it started, or even

what position we were in. The only thing I remember is him saying "oh, you're so good," as I was sitting on

top, straddling him, (he was sitting up on the couch), and I thought "ok wahtever, i'm not even really here."

When he was finished he said he wasnt' really interested in a dating relationship right then. At

first I was like, "huh, I just had sex with a guy I had a crush on since freshman year." A little while

later, I called a friend, and she was like "are you okay? you don't usually do things like that...what

happened?" At *that* point, I felt incredibly dirty and just had to take a shower. I didn't so much feel

raped as I did feel tricked. I felt like he tricked me into having sex with him, then just left. I found out

later he had a girlfriend. I felt skeezy whenever I saw
him.



What's my point in all of this? To share, I guess. I don't know if my experiences "qualify", whatever that

means, but I feel like a survivor. To this day, I am affected by all of these experiences. I have been with

my current boyfriend for almost 3 years, and I can barely make out with him. At a certain point of touch

and/or closeness, my body shuts down and my mind goes into panic mode, even though I love and trust him. We had been having sex for awhile (we've stopped for now, for reasons on both sides), but I dont' even really remember the times I was with him, not even the first.



I'm in massage school right now, and practice-receiving certain types of massage,

especially intimate modalities such as Thai and certain forms of Shiatsu seem to produce the same

effects in me. I just can't be touched in certain ways - when my legs are being opened, or when I don't know

what's going to happen to my body next. I just shut down, and my mind goes away. I feel violated, and have a hard time distinguishing safe touch from unsafe touch.



I'm working to learn that I can trust, that not everyone is out to hurt me. But its hard. Hard to let

go of that shutdown response. Partly because I fear the process of letting go, and partly because I fear

that once I do let go of it, if I find myself in a dangerous situation, I will have no way left to defend

myself. Some days I hold on, rather than try to let go of these processes.



But still I try. I try to feel. I try to trust. I try to be without fear.



Because of this, I suppose, I call myself a survivor.
Comments 
10th-Dec-2005 07:31 pm (UTC)
Okay, I didn't read all the stuff behind the cut- that's just not where I am right now. But I do recognize that it took courage to post it, and am in support of you.

I didn't post my thoughts last night about your other post because other people had already voiced them. But I just really feel the need to say- it's ILLEGAL for a 14 year old to consent to sexual activity, because developmentally (mentally) you are too young. You can't grasp all the implications of adult relationships at that age. Your statement
"But it does mean that I did have a degree of responsibility in the sexual abuse I have lived through, and that is something I must come to terms with."
might be accurate for someone "accepting" abuse after 18, in my opinion, as far as making healthy relationship choices. But at 14? You were simply abused, and I'm sorry that abuse happened to you.

I realize you may not agree with what I've said, but I felt the need to say it, esp. to the 14 year-old you that blames herself.
10th-Dec-2005 09:10 pm (UTC)
I appreciate what you have said.

Its not that I'm blaming myself. I Don't think I was resposible for the way things turned out. I think its helpful for me to understand where that self was coming from, what her teachings were, to see how it was that I ended up in a situation where I didn't know how to or even that I should stand up for myself.

ITs still a bit of a mess, but it sort of makes sense in my head.
11th-Dec-2005 10:10 am (UTC)
The age of consent thing is really helpful too.

Thanks:)
10th-Dec-2005 07:46 pm (UTC)
http://www.livejournal.com/users/_so_amazinghere/28945.html#cutid1

i think you should check out, on the second list, numbers: 4, 6, 11, 15, 21, 26, 29...

if someone has to CONVINCE you to have sex with them, i still think it's rape. i mean, wtf (on their part, not yours).
11th-Dec-2005 10:09 am (UTC)
Those are great lists, thank you.
(Deleted comment)
11th-Dec-2005 02:53 am (UTC)
You are not the authority on who gets to call them self a survivor. I am concerned about you - you appear to be male, and you appear to be just watching and judging who has suffered "enough". You don't have any entries on you journal, no friends, no bio - you are, imho, a troll.
If I wasn't a lady, I'd tell you to "f*ck off". As I am a lady I'll say that you make me feel uncomfortable and would appreciate it if you keep any gems of wisdom to yourself. In fact - I am not convinced you belong here and I would be tempted to ban you in order to maintain the safety of this community. It is up to you to persuade me otherwise.

Is the fact that your don't believe she's a survivor got to do with you remembering past sexual experiences where you jollied the girl into going that bit further than she was comfortable with? Because - yes, that's really common. That's called "bad experiences", "growing up", "learning from your mistakes". But these are just platitudes we tell ourselves to
1) excuse the men and
2) not feel like victims.

IT DOESN'T MAKE IT OK.
(Deleted comment)
11th-Dec-2005 09:55 am (UTC)
I would also highly suggest that you check the definition of this community before posting as to what is and what is not appropriate.

The "about" section of the community information is as follows:

"Community for survivors of rape, sexual assault, sexual abuse, physical abuse, domestic violence, verbal abuse, etc."

As to your statement, I doubt they would appreciate the broadening of the term "survivor" to mean pressure or discomfort, in many states, "pressure" is a form of sexual assault.

I feel disappointed and unsupported in your words. I post in this community to feel supported, not to have my words challenged. I could spend hours telling you how badly my experiences have savaged me, about how I shut down and am paralyzed every time a loved one touches me sexually, about how I have flashbacks and anxiety attacks every time a partner practices posterior leg work on me. (I'm in massage school).

If it were up to me, I would ask to have you banned from this community. If this does not become the case, then I would ask that in the future if you DON'T have anything supportive to say, keep it to yourself and let we Survivors handle our shit on our own.
11th-Dec-2005 10:43 am (UTC)
what if i told you your girlfriend wasn't raped enough? hmm?

you are no feminist. you are no sensitive man. do not make yourself sound better than you really are... 'actions' speak louder.

either educate yourself, or get the hell out of this community. i really won't even put up with this. i didn't join this community to encounter MORE of you losers.
11th-Dec-2005 10:45 am (UTC)
this will be my last word on the matter:

if I could ban you I would. And I shall look into how one goes about this. Because you don't belong here with us. There is another website that serves to support partners of people 'surviving' - I'd suggest you look into that (if someone could supply the link I'd be very grateful).
I don't know why you have styled yourself as some saviour to women-kind, but I'd advise you to stop it. It's patronising and it's pretentious. And frankly, I don't believe you.

I am not going to justify why I am here - because I don't need your permission or approval. I don't need to say "I'm a real survivor so I can speak for everyone" - because the truth is that people have been through 'less' than me and people have been through 'more' than me. But at the end of it - what ever it is, it BLOODY HURTS. The end.

11th-Dec-2005 11:03 am (UTC)
fuck, our mod deleted her LJ.

someone has to figure out how to take mod-ship... we need one, anyway, in general.

then we can discuss banning.
(Deleted comment)
11th-Dec-2005 05:16 pm (UTC)
Your consistent defense of your objection to what you call a "liberal" application of "survivor" automatically invalidates your apologies. It also shows that you have not taken the time to read the definition of the community, or how IT defines a "survivor". If you cannot acheive this bare minimum of understanding, how can you hope to understand the wide variety of sexual abuse so many women have suffered?

It is people like you who keep we who have suffered with our mouths closed and our tears falling in silence for fear we will be told our particular type of suffering does not count.
11th-Dec-2005 06:58 pm (UTC)
you are a fucking douchebag. i can't even believe this.

don't you dare condescend us. you walk in like you know it all, like you have a productive existance... fuck no.

you act like you are god's gift to women... you'd be doing me a better service by sucking my goddamn dick.
11th-Dec-2005 05:23 pm (UTC)
*THank you* for your adament support and constant condemnation of this attack. I really, *really* appreciate it.

**Love**
11th-Dec-2005 08:14 am (UTC)
A-freaking-men to that, [Bad username: amissedlife"].

I don't care *who* comes to this group or why - if they're having a hard time, if they're struggling, they're welcome here and I will send them the same love and support.

I've been in situations like she describes... and while it's real fricking hard to label it as 'rape' - it doesn't matter to me AT ALL. It produces the same levels of confusion, identity issues, trust issues, etc.

I don't care about what label can be applied to someone here - I still love the heck out of them and think they deserve the same level of respect and support.
11th-Dec-2005 08:15 am (UTC)
That should say, amissedlife
11th-Dec-2005 09:33 am (UTC)
I appreciate your input, but I also don't think anyone else gets to tell me how to feel about my sexual experiences. Regardless, I know when I was disrespected, when I was emotionally coerced, and when I was abused, and I will not take the word of someone who was not there over my own.
11th-Dec-2005 10:33 am (UTC)
no.

who decided you get to choose who was 'truly' raped? why does she need to be 'politically correct' so that you're not offended?

some people think i wasn't raped in a true enough sense. gods help you if you ever said that to me in this community.
11th-Dec-2005 08:17 am (UTC)
::big hugs:: I'm glad that your therapist seemed to be talking about what I thought she was. I've been in many situations like that... where I definitely didn't want sex, but I didn't want to be raped, so I gave my permission to feel a bit better about it - knowing that if I didn't give permission, I'd be taken forcibly.

Thank you for sharing your story with us. And no matter what anyone else might say? You are welcome here in survivors, and I happily stand behind you the whole way :)
11th-Dec-2005 09:36 am (UTC)
Thanks:)
11th-Dec-2005 12:44 pm (UTC)
Hey girl,

I posted my comments to your lj so I didn't read this until just now.
Are you okay? You know how I feel about this and that I've got your back a gazillion percent. I'm so sorry this happened.

******more hugs and love than ever******
11th-Dec-2005 05:20 pm (UTC)
Hey,

Yeah, I'm okay. I was really upset for most of the day - its a lot for one weekend right before finals. But it *has* shown me how much I believe in myself and my interpretation of what happened to me, so regardless of anything else, that is certainly valuable.

THanks *always* for your support and thoughtful responses. I only hadn't yet responded to the one in my personal lj b/c I was (am!) still thinking about it.

*****many grateful hugs and much much love*****
11th-Dec-2005 04:32 pm (UTC)
As I said in a previous comment, I relate to your story a lot. I think that a big problem for me is that sometimes I think I want to have sex at first, but then after I consent I get really uncomfortable at what the guy is doing and I don't know how to stop what is going on. It's obviously not considered to be any kind of rape or assault because I said yes, but I still feel like my boundaries have been crossed because I suddenly feel so out of place. I never know what to say about it, I usually just hope it goes away or he finishes what he's doing quickly. Then I feel like dirt afterwards. I don't think it is anything close to actually being raped and I would never compare it to that, but it still makes me feel like crap when I don't speak up for my own needs. It's hard as a woman, though, because men can be so sexually dominant.
That said, I think we all relate to the term "survivor" even if we haven't experienced that because it could happen to any one of us, and it is probably a fear built into our minds since caveman days or something. I know a piece of my heart goes out to any survivor because any woman could have that happen to her just by being at the wrong place, wrong time, and it is a big fear among all women.
12th-Dec-2005 05:32 am (UTC)
I think it would be statutory rape. As an aside, it's a strict liability crime, which means when someone who is older than 18 has sex with someone younger than 18, it is a crime. It doesn't matter how much the person struggled, whether they asked for it, or not- the law says it is rape and it is a crime. (at least, this is how it is in my state, it may vary from state to state but I think most are pretty uniform in their restrictions against statutory rape).

Hence, even if some people say you aren't a survivor, the law says that what happened to you was rape, because you were not at the age where you could consent. This isn't a matter of fierce loyal sisterhood- this is just what the law says.

((hugs))
12th-Dec-2005 10:47 am (UTC)
I am just concerned that your therapist chose to take it in the direction of 'you had choices' because I don't think that acknowledges just how powerless you really were, and I can't imagine that it would be productive in producing anything but guilt. Perhaps a better tact would be, "you weren't in power/didn't feel empowered as a young person, let's try to focus on ways that you can feel empowered, be assertive, set boundaries, feel good about your choices and power in situations as an adult." I do wish you luck and hope that your therapist as well LJ communities are able to give you good support that you need.
12th-Dec-2005 10:57 am (UTC)
AHhh, that is a WONDERFUL way to put it! I've been searching for the right words to use when I confront her about it, and those are the ones. Thanks!!
12th-Dec-2005 11:42 am (UTC)
That's a large part of what my therapists and I go over together :)

I understand that some therapists want to emphasize the power that people do have, but I think in contexts of abuse, it's better to acknowledge the power differentials, how you didn't feel empowered, and how, now that you aren't being abuse, how you can go about feeling empowered. I think that's true regardless of what the abuse was, as a child when my parents were verbally abusive, I didn't feel empowered to, nor was I taught to, confront them and be assertive. My therapist and I acknowledge that, and the pain that accompanied those experiences that still haunts me, and I try to heal from that, and move on to being a healthy and functioing person, never blaming the child that I once was, but always having hope for the functional adult that I want to be.
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