So, hey everyone. I apologize for using up cloud space to hold my two-year-old blog. Whoops! But I’m back! I read my “About Me” section and I’ve got to say that I don’t really feel like I don’t fit in too well anymore. I definitely felt that back when I started the blog, though.
I don’t take back what I’ve written in my blog, but I feel different now (and thank god because I was going through some rough times!). My previous posts reflected who I was and how I thought when I wrote them. And I hope they provided encouragement or company to those struggling.
To address my last post, I did go to a support group for domestic violence and it turned out the lady who ran it was a complete nut and my time in the group left me with deeper scars than I’d trotted in with. I saw my old therapist for a while after that. I then tried working more to keep myself occupied. Then after about a 5-month hiatus, I started dating again and it still sucked. Then I met a guy who really broke me. I found myself suicidal again and it became clear that I needed some focused help. I’ve since gotten it and I’ve got to say, I’m doing pretty well. Professional development seems to be my weak spot at this point.
It was recently my birthday and I just shaved my head, so heyyy! New me!
Here I am again. After another failed relationship. What is going on!? There are many theories (created by me and others): I sleep with people too soon, I tell them too much about myself too soon, I’m using things like OkCupid and Tinder. I don’t know, but I am going to lose it. I am sick of this crap. I’m going to start going to a support group for survivors of domestic violence, I just picked up a bunch of self-help books from the library about emotionally violent relationships, and I am, sadly, going to start seeing my old therapist again. I don’t see her biggest contribution being to my romantic life, and I hope it is not. My last therapist insisted on telling me to take it easy with the dating, to stop sleeping with guys right away if I want a relationship. Yeah, thanks. Slut shame me a little more, MOM. But really, going back to my old psychologist, I expect to get help with my anxiety and support in getting the rest of my schoolwork done so I can finish up my undergrad degree and MOVE ON.
But anyway, dating. It’s been terrible. My mother said the other day, “No one you’ve met on OkCupid has been OK.” And, though it might be a bit of an exaggeration, it rings pretty true. Some people have been “OK,” but none of my relationships on it have been successful, which is my goal…and a few have been abusive! So, please. WHAT. And there is no way I’m going to take the blame for this. I’m going to read my self-help books, and if I find something in them that helps me understand my lack of dating success, then fine. But somehow, when therapists or parents or friends are telling me what to do with my dating life, I feel like they are trying to blame me for what’s happened to me. And it’s insane. I fucking hate it. I don’t fucking want to be told how to live my life! What happened to supporting people? I support. And I don’t know…maybe one of my self-help books or my old therapist or my interactions in the support group will give me a clue about why I’ve been unsuccessful…and maybe it’s something unhealthy going on with me because of the abuse or something…I don’t know. But all I can say is that I am over this! OVER. IT. (Not emotionally, obviously…but I’m fed up with it…REALLY).
Soooo…people. My favorite people. Anyway, I think I have figured out how to identify an abuser.
By the way, like the photo? You know, not actually like it…but appreciate it. I think it is a really creative way to symbolize emotional violence. I know it’s a bit graphic. I hope it’s not triggering for anyone. I apologize if it is.
Sadly, I was victimized again recently. Woo hoo! But you know, with sexual coercion and arguments and blaming comes KNOWLEDGE!
So…I’ve been dating on internet sites. And maybe that’s my problem. But let’s assume it’s not. Lol. For many reasons… I’ve now found a few different guys. Actually, a lot. And when I tell them I don’t want dick pics, I don’t want sex, etc., etc., they get REALLY defensive. To the point where they get annoyed and don’t want to talk to me anymore and stuff like that.
Now…this could be me identifying abusers…because, honestly, the guy who would get really finicky about me telling him I didn’t want to have sex eventually coerced me into it and stole my underwear. Whaaaattt? Who does that? Ugh. Orrrr, maybe this is just me being overly sensitive, telling a guy things like this a few times (in what I think are non-threatening ways), and him feeling attacked and then choosing not to talk to me because he thinks I have issues or am too anxious.
What do you all think?
I honestly don’t think a nice guy would get OFFENDED by me asking for there to be no sex. If I kept saying that, the mature guy might say, hey, is everything alright? I’m totally cool with not having sex, but you bring it up a lot. I worry you’ve been mistreated by someone.
Am I right? Am I right?
So I am kind of having an “Oh shit” moment.
I just started dating a new guy and, you know, I have a lot of suspicions this could turn into something abusive.
I was originally going to title this post, “Is he sensitive or is he abusive?” And you know what, after refreshing my memory on the cycle of abuse with a few diagrams found on Google Images (thank god for the internet), I think I may have answered my question. Sometimes I wonder if I am paranoid that I’m being abused…but it might be that I just keep finding abusive people (which they say can happen with victims). Our first date, everything was great. He seemed like a very happy and caring guy. But as soon as our second interaction, things started getting bad. Unexpected (though not really coercive) sex…then the arguments. The arguments, the arguments, the arguments. I’ve only known him a week and we have been arguing a ton. He went out of town this weekend so I wondered, maybe he doesn’t do well communicating long-distance…or, he’s with his friends…he doesn’t want to bother with me, especially if we’re disagreeing. Maybe we’re so different (he’s an artist type…you know, they’re so off in their own world, or sensitive, or whatever, whatever <—sarcasm), we need to talk about serious things in person or, at the least, on the phone. But then weird comments started coming…and I do DEFINITELY have the “walking on eggshells” feeling. Comments like “You know how you are” (criticizing what he thinks is my constant communication) and now he doesn’t want to hang out with me on Monday, his original plan, because I had mentioned that maybe we’re incompatible. When I asked if we were going to hang tomorrow, he said, “Why with all the stuff about being incompatible, etc.?” He stops answering messages when he wants, and man, the arguing. I think that is key. I argued A TON with the guy who last abused me. I’m starting to get scared, but I’m also really happy that I can recognize the signs. I’m not saying for sure that this is the case, but I fear it is. I’ll stay vigilant and try to call on adults (seriously) for help. The other thing…I’ve been trying to bring up my past abuse with him and he keeps basically telling me to stop. He thinks I’m projecting my past experiences onto him. It’s (communication) getting impossible. That’s a bad sign. I had been raped before I was with the last guy whom abused me, and he didn’t like hearing about the rape either. Didn’t give a fuck. Only used the information to suit his purposes. Oh, and he also kind of has the perfect story to have developed into an abuser…left alone by his family (neglected, perhaps), no father figure, sisters with different dads who also aren’t around, and a mother who has experienced rape and probably other violence. It is bad.
Man. Again!? But like I said, I’m happy I can see the signs. REALLY happy.
It is hard having suffered emotional abuse in a past romantic relationship in terms of forming new romantic relationships. I think, justifiably, I am paranoid as fuck. Lol. I am afraid I’m being manipulated, that I’m not really liked, that I will be coerced into sex for his benefit and not mine, etc. And, of course, unfairly, this paranoid behavior may halt the development of a new relationship because it freaks new partners out. Buuuttt, listen up here, fellows: YOU NEED TO BE MORE UNDERSTANDING. I was abused. That’s not my fucking fault. And you attaching words like “paranoid” and “presumptuous” to me is NOT HELPING THE SITUATION. And yes, is it my responsibility to heal myself after the circumstance that led to my clingyness? Yes, it is. But where is the sympathy? Where is the intuition? Why can’t you seem to understand that if I am acting like this, it is not a reflection of you, but a reflection of me? Help me out here, man. Because the last thing I need is to be told I’m crazy after I’ve been treated like shit by another of your sex.
**Obviously, there is a whole other side to this story, but this is a rant. And is, thus, one-sided. Sorry.
And the worst part is that I have not only suffered from this crazy-calling by men and prospective romantic partners. My own girl friends have said similar things, discounting the experience of being abused. And, in the field of abuse, sexual assault, mental illness, etc., you hear that people, many times, do not react in helpful ways to victims. And I know that. But I guess I have dealt with so much of this “CRAP” that I’m done! I’m done with it! Where are the fucking understanding people!? I’m sick of the excuses professionals in our field make up for people who say insensitive things. Stop being ignorant! (is what I would like to say sometimes).
So, yes, as the title states (if you can even see it…I’m having trouble figuring out where the title disappears to on a “photo” post), I am learning to value myself.
As I am figuring out, I am new to all this love stuff. And I was never really taught how to value myself, as strange as that may sound. My parents loved me, but I don’t remember them teaching me how to love myself. Maybe that’s not a parent’s job, anyway. But I’ve needed to learn it recently (though it’s more of a journey, I think, not a piece of information you memorize) because I haven’t been getting what I want in my love life. I want a relationship. I keep getting repeated hookups. Haha.
I’ve heard the past few years of my life things such as, “Ladies, value yourselves otherwise a man won’t.” Those things pissed me off. I thought, what the f***, I should just be treated with respect! Why should I have to guard myself!? Men are assholes! But, being a survivor of rape, and later, emotional abuse, I guess I ESPECIALLY had to be keeping a watch over myself. For whatever reason, I give in easily to people, I let people push me around, etc. And guys, or girls, or people of any gender, may take advantage of me if I don’t guard myself. I think I’ve been taken advantage of by friends, as well as lovers…it usually just hurts more when it’s lovers because of the greater level of investment and intimacy. I like to love without boundaries; but when I do that, people mistreat me (not always, of course). But I AM a sensitive person…I need to understand that about myself. Because…loving freely and being sensitive…they are kind of opposites. I can’t have both. And if I can’t “toughen up,” then I need to exercise some restriction over my behavior. It becomes a logical equation. Sensitivity and unbounded love do not yield the correct solution.
Also, as I discussed with my doctor the other day, women who have been abused and assaulted tend to become promiscuous after being victimized. I’d like to research the “why” of that more sometime, but we concluded that the “power” in sex becomes something we desire since our experiences left us feeling powerless. And forgetting that sex shouldn’t have to do with power, we may get caught up in acquiring sexual experience just for its sake…to gain the power we think is inherent in it. But for me…because I want intense love and security, sleeping around doesn’t work. And I am aware that even if I find a committed relationship sometime soon here, I might be cheated on. But I at least want to TRY for a deeper connection. It’s got to be better than (or different) from these surface level, “I barely give a shit about you” situations. I love deeply…it’s time I’m loved back.
So, yes, this is me. I am valuable, and I’m going to start treating myself like I am.
So…I’m figuring out I need to make a change. And it’s hard. I have a question for my few readers (or hopefully new readers!): How do you embrace change (if it concerns your behavior) without hating how you HAVE BEEN acting? Is this, like, a stage in the process of changing yourself? I’m sure I could read something about this (and may resort to doing so if I can’t find an answer for myself), but I would rather talk this out with people, hear their experiences, create my own answer. If I find out this self-hatred IS a step in the process…well, then I hate it, too. 🙂 And because my past behavior has led to unhappiness, it makes the self-beatings more likely, I guess. I would LOVE suggestions.