30 November 2011

and i'm not too old to rock and roll, and i'm not really scared of turning thirty...

Piplover asked a very good question: If, when they're older, and they asked, you could give one piece of advise to the boys on sex, what would it be? Not necessarily based on your own experience, but something you wish you had known, or someone had told you when you were younger.

So...I shall try to answer. It's a bit...difficult. And I talk a bit about sexual assault, so I don't want to upset anyone - dont read it if you don't want.





My advice would be...always have the courage to say 'no'. Which sounds...obvious, I suppose? But there's a great difference between saying to yourself "of course I'd say no!" and then actually...saying it. There is also a great deal of difference between the other person(s) hearing it and heeding it.

But it's never too late, or the wrong time, to say it. You never owe it to anyone to go through with sex just because you've started. You should never worry about what they'll think of you for saying 'no', no matter how far along you are. And always, always listen and heed it yourself, if your partner says it. Never think "well they might say that now, but in a minute they'll realise how great this is" or any other shit like that.

And it doesn't matter who the person is - a total stranger, a friend you've known for years, your spouse, whoever. If you don't want to do it, it's never ever wrong or bad to say 'no'.


That said, if you find yourself in situation where someone has forced you into doing something you didn't want to, then don't ever blame yourself, no matter how you reacted. In some situations you have to, for self preservation, go along with things to some extent to prevent yourself being injured or even killed. Some people freeze, no matter what they thought they might do. It didn't mean that you wanted it. It makes it no less wrong.

Equally there is no wrong way to feel if it happens. Some people cope on their own, some need to talk to a professional, some just need to talk to friends. Some people want to talk right away, others won't for a while - some won't ever. Some people move on quickly, others take years to feel anything like normal.


I know, being boys, they're statistically less likely to ever need this advice. But people are complicated and hard to read, and they say one thing and mean another. And I'd never want either of them to feel pressured into anything by their peers, society, or another individual.

So yeah, that's my advice. Probably not written as eloquently as I'd like. It's taken me all day to get that far, as the time stamp shows.

82 comments:

REReader said...

I think you put it beautifully and, more important, absolutely clearly.

(And I am not asking, but I most sincerely hope you learned none of this from personal experience.)

piplover said...

Thank you, Lestrade. That is excellent advise, and something I think everyone should be reminded of, no matter how old.

I'm so glad the boys have both you and John they can turn to if they ever have any questions. Peer pressure, as well as pressure from a current partner, can be very hard to say no to.

Anon Without A Name said...

Wonderful, brilliant, essential advice.

Which, combined with your "help me I'm broken" tag, and stuff you've mentioned or alluded to in the past, makes me want to offer you never-ending hugs. But you have Danger, you have dinner, and you have far more strength than you seem to credit yourself with, so proxy hugs of support from an Internet stranger are probably unnecessary :-)

Mycroft and Sherlock are very lucky to have two such good men in their lives.

Small Hobbit said...

That was really well put, Lestrade. I could have done with that when talking to my two, rather than the long winded version they got.

Especially my teenage son, who informed his best mate that evening, in my hearing, that he'd been given "the talk".

John H. D. Watson said...

Excellent advice for anyone I'd say, and very well put.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Thanks everyone, I really wasn't sure if I was going to say all that very badly.

Nameless - my tag should probably say 'It's okay I'm being mended now', or something, really. :) I'm lucky enough to have a very good team of mechanics.

Piplover - peer pressure, pressure from a current partner, and pressure from yourself, all very difficult things to overcome.

REReader said...

You said it all very well.

It made me remember, for the first time in years, something that happened when I was a graduate student at Cornell. I was part of a program called something like "writing across the curriculum," where they had grads who passed some tests and had the right criteria teach small undergraduate freshman seminars on writing, centered on whatever subject they were studying. And since most intro courses were huge lecture classes, that meant that the grad students teaching these courses were pretty much the only teachers that knew the students by name.

And one day, one of the young women in the seminar came to me and, basically, wanted permission to not have sex with her boyfriend. Mind you, she came from a traditional family and any one of them would have told her that was utterly forbidden, but at that point she wasn't buying into her family's religion or culture--and because she had been raised that way, she didn't have any other answers for her pressuring boyfriend.

I gave her a few other answers, and she seemed satisfied. (I did make sure she didn't feel threatened.) And, looking back, I very much hope she was able to use them to not do what she didn't want to do.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

I hope she was too, RR. And thanks. It was sort of hard to say, and I can back to add bits so many times during the day I thought it might end up reading very badly.

REReader said...

It's very clear.

And I think it's a very important message to get out there, that no is a valid choice--especially to young people. The popular culture and current mores all say "yes" is okay, but it's very rare for someone not coming from a religious or otherwise censorious angle to say that "no" is okay.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

yeah, see it too often at work. Pressure to do it in the first place, then pressure no to 'make a big deal' out of it and report it, followed by pressure about how you should and shouldn't feel.

Anon Without A Name said...

Lestrade, it's usually clear from the content of your post whether your tag means "ow, bugger, someone just drove a car into me" or "stuff happened, but my life is much better these days (<3 Danger)". I don't know if it's weird or not that it's the latter that is more hug-inducing (from my perspective).

piplover said...

Lestrade, I'll just say this: I wish that I had had someone tell me that it was all right to be upset that no hadn't meant no, and that it was all right that I had said no in the first place.

Sex talks are never easy, but important.

Although, I do have to say I was rather traumatized when my whole battalion in Korea was assembled for a safe sex lecture and they passed around the bag full of - ahem, protection.

There was video. It was horrible.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Like I said up there, I've had a few bits knocked off me, but...I suppose I've been put back together stronger? And I can't thank anyone enough for that, really. John, Nicky, the boys, friends, all of you - it all makes a difference.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Piplover - yeah, me too. And I'm sorry there wasn't someone to do that for you.

Rider said...

Piplover, there was a famous incident in WW2 when Field Marshal Montgomery (who was only a general at the time) decided the disease rate was too high and wrote a very blunt and to the point memo to the troops about it.

He got in trouble for that :) Can't tell the men to put the French Letter on before shagging the French, at least not in so many words.

Looks like your lot were more sensible about it than the Brits in 1939.

Desert Wanderer said...

I have been on this earth for 27 years, and that's the first time I've ever heard someone say that, in any variation. The world needs more people like you in it. <3

There was video. It was horrible.

I'm sorry, pip, but that made me chuckle a bit, in an "Oh, goodness, yes" way. Ours was pictures and a "tension, tension, release" lecture but had much the same effect.

...but I second your first paragraph. (hugs)

piplover said...

Rider - I have to laugh, because I think it may have gone better if we had just been told bluntly to "don't be silly, wrap your willy!"

As it was, though, all the top brass were there, and this little old lady who was - I don't even know who she was, and she was the one who gave the lecture.

There was video of the consequences, and the little old lady, who must have been about 70, lecturing us on being safe and keeping our distance.

It would have been even more horrible if my base, one of the smallest in Korea, hadn't also had the highest STD rate. Which was what prompted the whole thing in the first place, lol.

piplover said...

DW- *Hugs*

Oh my goodness, tension, tension, release! LOL!

I will always remember the lady giving a ball to two volunteers and having them throw it back and forth, and then telling us, "See? That is a safe distance."

*Face palm*

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Danger, if you roll over in bed and find me lying next to you in a full hazmat suit, it's Piplover's fault with her stories of what you military types get up to (or expose your poor innocent doctors to).

Desert Wanderer said...

...that is not where I thought that sentence was going, Lestrade. I think Doc should wear the suit to protect against stray Lestallion glitter.

Is that what the G is really for?! Glitter Lestrade?!

John H. D. Watson said...

Is that what the G is really for?!

It is now...

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Damn, my secret is out.

My parents always knew I'd be a star...

I'd probably discover Danger has a fetish for rubber suits or something...he does love snapping those doctory gloves on...

Desert Wanderer said...

M.F. is probably really for "Man-sized Fairy" or "Magic Flinger" then. Although I can't really see you in wings and a pink tutu. Perhaps with a tiara on your mane, though...

(no, that's not a typo. "fling" as in "to toss wantonly")

Space Cadet said...

More unending hugs from here.

That's something that everyone needs to hear and internalize, and that people too often don't. And it's sad that it needs to be said at all, but thank you for saying it.

*HUGS*

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Man sized fairy? It has been said before...

Space Cadet - hearing it is one thing, believing quite another. I hope you all do .

John H. D. Watson said...

Danger has a fetish for rubber suits or something

I've worn those, and no thank you. They're right up there with bomb proof pants.

Anon Without A Name said...

Pip - would offering a hug be trite? (I don't really have the right words)

DW - "tension, tension, release"? Do I want to know?

DW and Pip - Throwing balls as a way of teaching safe sex? 0_0

Lestrade - "he does love snapping those doctory gloves on... "

...

Desert Wanderer said...

It has been said before...

I figured. I was wary of making the joke for just that reason. But, I figured, damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead! But if I offended, apologies.

P.S. Don't tell anyone I just made a naval reference. The pilots will disown me.

X said...

As it was, though, all the top brass were there, and this little old lady who was - I don't even know who she was, and she was the one who gave the lecture.

Ahah, Pip, was it Sue Johanson of Sex with Sue fame? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sue_Johanson) She gave a talk during orientation at my university. She... pretended to fellate the hand held mic.

DW -- As the daughter of a navigator, I have to point out that while naval references should be anathema, it's not like the pilots have an iota of intelligence either. ;)

Greg -- thanks for a thoughtful and well-written post. The boys are very lucky to have you, as are we. :)

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

No offence taken.

But we must go. Soon Danger will turn into a pumpkin, and I will go from sparkly silver Lestallion to old grey ass.

piplover said...

X, it wasn't her, but probably someone who did something similar? All I remember was she was a little thing who reminded me of my grandma, and really, I just didn't need to hear some of the words coming out of her mouth, lol.

Anon, hugs are never trite! (Hugs)

Ruby said...

As someone who is simultaneously terrified of confrontation and fairly good at speaking up for herself, I always felt sure I'd be able to say "no" firmly, and mean it, if the occasion ever arose. And then it did (arise, I mean), and it was surprisingly difficult to make my mouth work. There were a lot of mitigating circumstances, and at the time, I wasn't firmly decided either way, which is a very good argument for saying, "Wait let's hit pause, I need a break". But I couldn't say that either.

The experience wasn't terrible, and seeing as I never said anything and went along with everything, it was oddly close to consensual sex. (Which also means the guy can't be blamed). Really, the worst part of it was the tormenting my mind did, at my inability to assert myself.

I guess what I'm trying to say is: Greg, your post really hit home, and it would've been nice if I'd read it a year ago.

Also, I'm sorry for being so serious and sad. (I don't mean to bring down the whole tone of the conversation). Really, I'm very rarely like this.

hsavinien said...

Yes, this. Very well put.

*hugs everyone who needs it*

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Ruby, I understand completely. And it was a pretty sad post, really. There's nothing wrong with being serious input serious issues.

I'm just sorry you didn't have something like it to read a year ago.

Ruby said...

Greg: Well, if it's not clear, I'm pretty conflicted about it, even now. And I suppose in the spirit of "My experiences shape who I am" it was really good for me, because I was way (way!) worse about being assertive in my teens, and it showed me I still had some growing to do. Of course, it would've been nice if I didn't have to go through it at all, but I've made my peace.

Thanks for the empathy, and hugs to you.

Small Hobbit said...

Ruby, more hugs to you. Maybe just being able to share something with us lot here will help a little bit.

And to everyone, Happy December, hope you all have a great month.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Ruby - that's a bit how I feel about my first time. I didn't ever say 'no' either. I went along with it all. I just had a lot of doubts I didn't voice. And I've made my peace about that, too.

Other things...not so much. But even saying what little I've said here has helped, in some ways.

Happy December to you too, SH

Anonymous said...

That...helps, actually. Way more than the counselor who said I should be over it by now. (yes. She said that.). Thank you. I always felt culpable in some way for allowing myself to be in that situation, and I'd never quite thought it through with that in mind.

Hunh.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

I'm really really glad it helps a bit. that actually makes me feel better, knowing that.

and I'm with you on the culpability. If I'm honest, I'm not certain I'll ever stop blaming myself, despite, at work, frequently assuring others that they're not to blame - and really meaning it.

we're always our own worst critics though.

thank you Anonymous, for leaving that comment. And your counsellor, as you know, was an idiot.

Ruby said...

Anonymous: Your counselor... Wow. I'm wondering how someone like that could graduate school? pass certifications? whatever it is to become a counselor.

The way I think of it, I do feel culpable, because I'd been working on asserting myself more. But at the same time, I don't, because to me it means that I wasn't in the right place emotionally or mentally that I could.

Kira said...

Hey,

I had a counsellor ask me what I was wearing at the time... because obviously a skirt rather than jeans made it my fault??

Must admit I kneed him in the bollocks and got away - fab first boyfriend.

Lestrade - you are the best thing for those boys, you and danger both.

K
xoxo

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Ruby - yeah, I...I don't really know how to put it. I know that I didn't say 'yes', but...ah, it's complicated. I didn't say 'no' either. Which doesn't make it my fault, I know. Or at least, I know I should know.

And of course, for...well, sorry, I was going to say something that I'm not ready to say, it seems.

Kira - nothing annoys me more than when the defence bring up things like that. Makes my blood boil.

Glad you got away.

REReader said...

I don't...I can point out that not saying no is not at all the same thing as saying yes--or that that not all force is physical--or that not knowing what to do is not a fault or blameworthy--but you already know these things (all to whom they apply) in your head, and being told them isn't very effective in convincing your gut. I can only offer my love and hope. So I do.

Bronwyn said...

The part of this that rang true for me was actually the feeling however you want later. I mean, I said no, successfully backed it with a swift kick in the balls and that was the end of the incident itself. He was my boyfriend at the time and I will say that afterwards his listening skills improved 100%.

Where things got strange for me was three months later when we broke up. Or rather I dumped him for completely unrelated issues and everyone, EVERYONE, either assumed he had tried again and succeeded (which he hadn't) or that I was belatedly holding it against him (which was only part of the issue). No one could really grasp that what really bothered me ease that I was having to raise him. Like a badly socialized puppy.

What I'm trying to say is that he and I managed to move on because once the testicular selling went down, he apologized profusely and honestly for not realizing he'd freaked me out and I explained precisely where my limits were. And then we were fine. Until I got tired of being mommy. But as soon as wer broke up, I got all sorts of pressure to report him and he got some truly epic hate mail. No one believed I was fine and he wasn't a monster.

I ended up briefly seeing a lovely counselor who said very much what Greg said because I was beginning you wonder if something were wrong with me for not being horribly broken over something I considered a non-issue. Like I was aspd or something. She called it a sexual misfire, said I was fine and gave me a root beer lollypop, and I felt much better.

So thanks for saying it Greg
Bronwyn

Bronwyn said...

Rereading my post, I am absolutely not trying to minimize anyone else's experiences. I'm just clumsily trying to express agreement and gratitude for advise I wish I gotten on a slightly different experience.
Sorry if I put anyone off,
Bronwyn

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Bronwyn, I'm sure no one would think you were minimizing anyone's experiences. We truly can only know how to deal with our own feelings, and offer support to others for however they want to deal with theirs.

I've known more than one person, via police work, who has had a heavy burden of guilt and shame purely because they didn't feel as terrible as they thought they ought to - and some who, because of that, have then doubted whether their assault was 'bad' enough to report/prosecute, which is a terrible thing to feel, I'm sure, and completely unhelpful. nd all because people kept telling them how they should feel about it, instead of listening to how they were feeling.

RR - no, being told them - even telling yourself those things - really isn't effective at all. I've always been pretty good at lying - learnt that skill young - particularly to myself, apparently.

REReader said...

*offers hugs*

Anonymous said...

Going anon for this, sorry.

Bronwyn - How you feel is how you feel (felt?) I know I feel the same, a bit. I had a few experiences early in life I'd rather not discuss, but the wierd thing is that, while I remember them all with perfect clarity, I don't feel traumatized or violated or anything. I always felt like there was something wrong with me because I *didn't* feel that way. It's taken a while, but I've come to terms with it. If that makes sense. Not that it wasn't all wrong - Jesus, yes, it really, really was, and I'd personally slit the throat of anyone that tried it with my kid - it's just...I've not subscribed to the notion that I was supposed to be messed up by it, is all. And like Greg said, I think if I'd told anyone at the time, they'd have spent a lot of time telling me what to feel, instead of listening to how I felt, and that might have been worse. But that's me, of course, and only my experience.

So, yeah.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Please, nobody be sorry for going Anon. It doesnt matter one bit, if it's how you feel comfortable. I'm well aware this post can bring up very difficult feelings.

Piplover said...

*Hugs to everyone*

I was in a situation that, at the time, I didn't realize was unhealthy. I was young, and naive, in a lot of ways. I didn't realize that, even though we had started, when a person says "stop" it means stop, now, don't continue. And that when a person keeps going, it's not right.

For a long time I didn't think it really bothered me, until very recently, when looking back, I realize that it really, really did.

As you said, Lestrade, we are hardest on ourselves, and sometimes we just need permission to realize that we don't have to be.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

That's exactly why I think it's an important thing to tell young people.

My first time, I said stop, and he told me that it was normal to say that, and it would get better. And yeah, I was too young and naive, and had got into a situation way over my head. And it did get better, a bit, and afterwards it felt more...more just sort of disappointing and a bit crap than anything else. Took a long time for me to realise that the bloke, who was plenty old enough to know better, was just taking advantage. But for me, I'd already sort of made peace with all that, and never really felt strngly about it. Still don't. It was what it was. i learnt from it.

But every situation is so different I woukd never expect anyone else to feel what I felt.

You lot are very good for me, you know? I've nevere talked about any of this stuff before. Thanks.

Desert Wanderer said...

I sometimes think the world would be a better place if people would stop expecting things of other people and just dealt with them as they are. But then expectation is the foundation of discipline, so I'm very, very conflicted.

I do know that "it's okay to feel how you feel" is not a message that's said enough or at the right times. Thanks for being one of the good guys, Lestrade.

REReader said...

You wouldn't think resiliency would be considered a negative character trait--but in my experience, people get all sulky and critical when you aren't eternally traumatized by traumatic experiences.

It's not shallow to be able to deal with things on your own. It's not weak to need help to deal with things. It's not a character flaw to fall apart and not be able to deal with things, for however long it takes.

John H. D. Watson said...

One of the things Dr E told me (a lot of our appointments were her talking and me sitting there in stony silence) was that thinking of what we feel in terms of right and wrong is like thinking of the colour of our hair as right or wrong. It is what it is. We feel what we feel. I don't know if that'll be helpful to anyone else, but it was to me.

REReader said...

(Sorry, got interrupted.)

It's not a fault of steel that it's not elastic, and vice versa. Everything--everyone--has his or her own strengths and weaknesses, and the trick is figuring out which is which.

Or, to put it another way, it's not only okay to feel what you feel, it's necessary. It's who you are.

(And now I see that while I was diddling around, John came by and said it better. Thank you, John.)

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

That is a good way of putting it, thanks Danger.

You okay? Enjoying a day at home?

John H. D. Watson said...

Yeah, actually. It's not bad. How is your day going?

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Fine.

Commenting here's making me feel...odd, but work's fine. Bit boring, really. Lots of paperwork today.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Fine.

Commenting here's making me feel...odd, but work's fine. Bit boring, really. Lots of paperwork today.

John H. D. Watson said...

Odd in a bad way?

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

No. Well, no, not really. I'm not saying anything I don't want.

Just that I've never really told anyone any of this before, and now I'm telling a whole internet. And I feel like maybe I should have talked to you first? Sorry.

John H. D. Watson said...

There's no need to be sorry, love. I don't think there's a wrong way to tell people either. Anyway you want to do it is always going to be fine with me.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

You're wonderful, you know.

John H. D. Watson said...

So are you, and I don't plan to let you forget it.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Must have done something right to deserve you in my life :)

Dinner tonight - any requests?

John H. D. Watson said...

Something with that pesto you made?

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Indeed. Risotto? Gnocchi? Pasta? Chicken? Surprise?

Why has it started raining now??

John H. D. Watson said...

Surprise. :)

Because it's almost time for you to come home?

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Yeah. I was going to go for a bit of a ride around for half an hour. But i'd rather not get cold and wet doing it.

Right, it'll be a surprise for all of us then...

John H. D. Watson said...

We should go for a ride somewhere when you get some time. Maybe out to that lighthouse again?

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Yeah, we should. That'd be nice.

I'm heading home. I'll think about the surprise...

REReader said...

May I just say--I'm so glad you found each other. All of you.

(And that I found you.)

Anon Without A Name said...

I'm stunned (in a wholly good way) at the bravery and candour of all the contributors to this discussion (and that includes those who have posted anon).

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Me too, Nameless. I want to give everyone (who wants to) a big awkward group hug.

Bronwyn said...

I am always down for group hugs.
Bronwyn

REReader said...

Count me in!

Anonymous said...

I don't know if anyone will ever see this..... It's coming so late. And I guess I didn't feel ready/ able to join the discussion here when it happened. But I had a similar experience when I was 22. The only difference was I didn't say no or stop. I froze. I am not sure that it counts. But I feel horrible and dirty still today.


Some background that may be relevant: I have always felt completely terrified of sex, and have never had an interest with girls or boys. Probably also relevant: I was severely bulled, as A child and as a teen, At home and at school; I never had,relief. I had one friend in high school, and none in college/uni until my final year, when I finally made some friends who shared my interests and *gasp* enjoyed my company! I think I felt pretty grateful, and I sought out the company of my new friends whenever possible, especially a girl named Laura. I was probably pretty starved for affection. But I had no interest in sex.

though we had shared a number of interests, and had lots of fun, Laura also talked a lot about sex. Sex and vampires. She told me openly that she'd been sexually abused as a child, but also shared a lot about her previous and current sex life, including coming out to me as gay. (Though she hadn't slept with a girl yet). Sex was a big bugaboo for me but I wanted to be supportive, so I mostly listened when she wanted to talk. But she did corner me at one point and demand to know if I had been sexually abused. The honest answer was "I don't know."

Shortly after that conversation I had an encounter with Laura that has haunted me ever since.

One night after we'd known each other awhile, I was hanging out With L in her room. Her roommate was out, and I was laying with Laura on her bed, just cuddling (platonically) L was talking about people she was attracted to and wondering if anyone would be interested in her. I said, " well if I were into girls, I would like you."

She began to make sexual advances on me then. Kissing, touching. She got my clothes off. I just froze.....i didn't say no or I'm not interested, or jump off the bed. I let her do what she wanted. I didn't want it at all.

thr next day I felt filthy, like everyone could look at me and know what I'd got up to the night before. And just to be clear, the issue wasn't that she was a girl or that she was gay, it was that there's been sexual contact. I would have been equally traumatized if The same had happened with a guy friend.

When we spoke the next day, she told me she would be angry if I said I regretted the night before. So I didn't say so. She was unhappy that I hadn't been responsive, and that I didn't play along when she made sex jokes about us in front of others. And she asked me questions, like did I still think I was a virgin. I did let it happen one more time, and that was it. It was the same, I just froze and did what she wanted. She later pressured me to sleep with a guy friend of mine, but that didn't happen.

We stayed "friends" til I graduated, but she did cool off towards me, and I think it was due to my response to the sexual advances. After my graduation, I got a really vicious letter from her, accusing me of ****ing other girls, despite telling her I wasn't interested. It was vicious but completely made up.

I stIll,feel dirty when I think about what I did with Laura, and ashamed. I didn't want it- but I didn't say no, so was my encounter a sexual assault or just a poor decision? I wasn't interested in sex at all But maybe I led her on? Because I cuddled? Because I said I'd like her IF I was gay? And I never said no. I froze.... I wasn't able to sayor do anything. But there was never a NO.

I am not sure it's the same as everyone else who's shared here. Not as bad as what L has gone through. But I thought someone here might know what it's like, the kind of guilt and shame and worry I felt- and still feel.



REReader said...

I hope you find peace in yourself, Anon. Laura had no right to take silence as a yes, and no right to ignore body language--and you have every right, then and now, to be who you are.

Greg Lestrade said...

Hey, Anon, I certainly see every comment on every post, still.

I'm really sorry you still feel horrible and dirty. And freezing is very common - very normal, even. Sometimes we're so overloaded we shut down, and freezing is all the defence mechanism we have.

And there's no need to tell yourself 'it wasn't as bad' or 'I didn't say no or stop', because that's not your fault, or anything to punish yourself or feel bad about. Your experience is as valid and traumatic as anyones, and not saying 'no' definitely isn't the same as saying 'yes'.

The only person to blame is Laura, for assaulting you and then playing some horrible mind-tricks on you after.

I'm sorry it's still so hard, but I hope you can find a way to be kind to yourself. Nothing is wrong with you, everything was wrong with her and her treatment of you. Your feelings were valid then, and are valid now, and she stamped all over that.

But I understand it's very hard, and you can only heal as fast as you do, and feel the way you feel. I hope the journey becomes easier for you.

Comments are always open here if you need a remote person to talk to. Sorry it took me so long to get back to you - I've been a bit busy.

Anonymous said...

Thanks ReReader. You are very kind

Anonymous said...

Thank you, L. Thank you so much for everything you said. It really helps. It probably won't surprise you, but I've never told anyone this story before. But I felt moved to share here, because your blog has proven to be a safe space, and that is a rarity.

I am still haunted by this experience, and I wish with all my heart it had never happened. The passage of time has helped some; the incident is not constantly on my mind. But when I Read something that's related, or see something on TV, Laura is on my mind again and all,the feelings are still there. I still feel dirty- and bad- it's hard to get back to normal again when this experience comes to the fore.

If I understand what you said, Laura shouldn't have done what she did in the first place, making a sexual move. We certainly weren't dating or involved, and I'd never given her an indication that I wanted to be. If anything, I think, I'd been very clear about my feelings on sex- which were that it freaked me out! It was not something I was looking for.

You have shared at one time or another that you've been able to mov past your similar experiences because you worked through your feelings about them, basically. I am saying it badly- but do you know what I mean? Did talking help you to do that, or passing time, or both? Do you have any thoughts on what might help?

Thanks again for your kindness and your willingness to talk. I know you must stay very busy, so it means a lot. Also,I,wonder if maybe I should apologize for my first post- it might have been too detailed for a "family blog" but I wanted to give enough detail for my story to make sense. I guess the good news is the boys aren't likely to read it since I posted so long after the original discussion.

~A

Greg Lestrade said...

I'm glad it helped.

And I'm glad this place is 'safe' - although I feel I should warn you (and future readers) that's it's only safe because you guys are a nice bunch of people - I don't screen comments or anything. But I hope it always stays as friendly as it has been up to now.

You understood perfectly. You didn't do a single thing wrong. Laura did. It was an abuse of trust, an abuse of friendship, and above all, an abuse of you as a person with your own boundaries and wishes. She had no right.

As for what helps...I think that varies wildly from person to person. For me...no, talking doesn't help. I've never talked about it more than I have here, and to be honest all I've done here is skirt around things, really. So really, when I say it doesn't help, I've never actually tried it! But nor am I ready to try it, I suppose.

For me it is time that's helped, and working it out in my own head. An acknowledgement of how it made me feel at the time (helpless. worthless. Like I probably deserved it) and of how I feel now (Angry, mainly! And determined.). And I'm very lucky to have John and friends in my life to give me the confidence now to feel better about myself, to feel stronger again, after my confidence had been chipped away at, to know that what I want is just as important as what someone else wants.

All that takes time. In the job I see people in those first, raw, moments of all kinds of horrible things happening to them. And then, usually, I keep seeing them over days and weeks and months. And some people bounce back, others withdraw. Some need the court case, the trial, and they build up to it, getting stronger and angrier and more determined, some seem quiet, but are then steel-strong, others flounder, not knowing what to do or how to feel. And none of that is the wrong way to deal with what's happened, just different ways.

I wish there was a magic switch, but if there is I haven't found it yet.

I hope there are people around you who can give you strength even if they don't know they're doing it - people who value you.

And don't worry about the details on the blog - I doubt many people will read back this far. And the boys are both a bit older now, and I hope have had good lessons on boundaries - their own and other people's.

Post a Comment