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CW: I don't know if I was sexually manipulated/taken advantage of, I don't know what to feel

When I was 17, I was suffering with severe depression and anxiety, and my older brother's friend approached me and began an online relationship with me. At the time, I had just been discharged from psychiatric hospital and was still really vulnerable. I hadn't really had any experience before, and wasn't looking for anything sexual. We had met at my brother's 21st birthday party and he had gone out of his way to contact me afterwards. He began a secret thing with me. 

After a while he suggested I go over to his house. I thought it was a date, and that he was interested in me romantically. When I went over, he had made sure that nobody else was in the home and we headed upstairs almost immediately and started making out. I can't remember exactly what happened, I think I have repressed most of it.

 

But things got more intense. I don't remember whether I wanted to have sex or he suggested it go further. But I definitely didn't suggest any of the things that happened. I didn't think I could really say no and that's what he wanted to do (sex). I was a virgin so I didn't know much. But he then convinced me to do lots of things I didn't want to do.

 

I had wanted to have romantic normal sex, because it was my first time. He said no, and convinced my to try something else instead even though I said I didn't want to. He said he wouldn't take my virginity which didn't make sense.  At one point I passed out, and he asked me if I was okay which was the confusing part. Why did he do that? I guess I didn't scream or ask him to stop. But it felt wrong, I wasn't safe or in an environment where I could speak up and say no. I stayed over the night because I was trapped and couldn't call for help, and the next day after refusing to have normal sex he had sex with me before I left. It felt awful and wrong. I felt manipulated and like I couldn't say no.

I told him after that day that it was awful, and how traumatised I was. I think he was scared that my brother would find out, and made out that he was just an innocent nice guy. But then admitted he had a sex/porn addiction, and that he had known it was wrong. I didn't understand and just blocked him and the experience out of my life. Now that I'm 22, I don't know how somebody could accidentally do that, or to pretend to not know it was wrong. 

I couldn't myself imagine being okay with that power dynamic.

What happened to me? Do I have a right to be angry? I am so confused still.

Re: CW: I don't know if I was sexually manipulated/taken advantage of, I don't know what to feel

Hey @justsomeone1234, thank you for sharing your story. I am no expert on this matter nor will I truly understand what you went through, but upon reading this I wanted to remind you of this: coercion is not consent. You were vulnerable and from what you've mentioned, you were clearly uncomfortable and felt trapped. You're very brave for addressing this memory that you've repressed, because even if for e.g. you feel okay and that it's not a big deal, I can safely say that noone deserves an experience like that.

You absolutely have the right to feel angry or wronged, because what you experienced was wrong. I want to be careful with my words before making any accusations against him as I am not well informed in this area, but you did the right thing by blocking him. Now it's totally up to you how you pace this exploration of what happened and what it means for your emotional and mental wellbeing. In the meantime I'm sure many people here will be able to help you figure it out and support you. Hope you're okay and stay safe.

 

Re: CW: I don't know if I was sexually manipulated/taken advantage of, I don't know what to feel

Hey @justsomeone1234 

I'm so so sorry that this happened to you. This must have been such an incredibly distressing experience and you've been really brave to open up to us here and talk about what happened. I'm glad that you felt safe to share this with us, we're here to listen to you Heart

 

What happened to you was absolutely not ok and you have every right to be angry. This person betrayed your trust and your right to have agency over your body and there is nothing that would justify his actions. Is there anyone in your life that you've spoken to about what happened or anyone you can think of that you would feel comfortable to share with?

 

I really want to highlight how brave I think you were to tell him how this made you feel. It must have been really hard to confront him and say that this experience traumatised you - so powerful and strong of you to do that. Him saying he has a sex/porn addiction doesn't justify what he did, and I am with you in that I also don't understand how someone could ever do something like this and pretend to not know it was wrong. 

I'm really sorry to hear as well about how you've experienced severe depression and anxiety, are you still receiving support around this? Let us know if you want to talk more about supports for mental health Heart

I understand how this experience has left you feeling confused. We have an article which I'll link called 5 things to know about sexual consent which might be helpful to have a read of to learn more about how you should never feel pressured to do anything you don't want to do and that not saying no, doesn't mean you're consenting. You have the right to have (or not have) the kind of sex you want and have your desires be respected. 

We're here to support you however we can @justsomeone1234, I'm going to send you a little email today as well so look out for that in your inbox Heart

Re: CW: I don't know if I was sexually manipulated/taken advantage of, I don't know what to feel

Hey @justsomeone1234 Heart I’m so sorry that you went through such a shitty experience. To reiterate what @Gbear said - coercion isn’t consent. I’m no expert or authority on this topic either so I’m trying to be careful with what I say, but my understanding of consent (from doing modules on the topic, doing research, my own experiences etc) is that it is not the absence of no, but the presence of yes. An enthusiastic, uncoerced, sober yes. From what you’ve told us I believe what happened to you is 1000% not okay and I’m so sorry that your vulnerability was taken advantage of. You deserve so much better than that.  I can understand how the experience would be confusing and why you may find it difficult to define “what happened to you.” I don’t necessarily think you have to define it if you don’t want to - but if you do, that’s totally understandable too. At the end of the day, what’s best is whatever feels right to you and helps you heal. 

 

in regards to being angry - you have every right to be. I got angry just reading about it! You are so strong and the fact that you had the courage to share your story and seek help speaks volumes about the kind of person you are.

 

have you told a mental health professional about your experience? If you’re comfortable with it, exploring this with someone who is equipped with strategies to help you may be beneficial. It really sucks that you’ve had to have this weigh on you for 5 years already, and you deserve all the help you need to heal Heart 

 

 

Re: CW: I don't know if I was sexually manipulated/taken advantage of, I don't know what to feel

Hi @justsomeone1234, I'm sorry for your traumatic experience Smiley Sad and I agree with the rest of the replies that you were not giving a consent and you definitely have the right to feel angry. At that time you were a teenager and vulnerable because of depression. I don't know whether he was 18 at that time, but what he said should not be the reason that make him treated you in that way (hug).

Re: CW: I don't know if I was sexually manipulated/taken advantage of, I don't know what to feel

Hi @justsomeone1234 I’m so sorry that you had to deal with this at such a vulnerable time in your life and at such a vulnerable age. It sounds like such a distressing and traumatic situation. You absolutely have a right to be upset about what your brother’s friend did to you. You did not give consent and I’m so sorry that he pushed you to do something you didn’t want to do. How are you feeling now?