When would you tell?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by danerain, May 24, 2007.

?

When would you tell the person that you are dating?

  1. Early on. While we are still getting to know each other.

    7 vote(s)
    29.2%
  2. Later into the relationship. When I know they really care about me.

    11 vote(s)
    45.8%
  3. Never. It's just something that they don't need to know about me.

    1 vote(s)
    4.2%
  4. Other. (please post in the thread)

    5 vote(s)
    20.8%
  1. danerain

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    The person that you're dating that you've been sexually abused?

    A lot of my friends were sexually abused when we were younger (myself included) and I know this can be an issue when you're dating someone.

    Some of my friends (mostly people who weren't sexually abuse) feel that you should wait until you are in a relationship to tell your partner, at least until you know that they really care about you. A friend told me about a male friend of hers that waited 6 months before he told his gf what had happened to him. One of my male friends didn’t find out that his gf had been raped when she was younger until he had been dating her for over a year.

    I feel like it’s better to tell someone early on that you were sexually abused pretty much because I have to. My friend who was also abused for multiple years by multiple people (kind of like how I was) agreed with me that you have to tell them something. Granted, we both flinch when people touch us, sometimes we pull away when someone reaches out to touch us, we just do “weird” things. And then people ask questions, usually going for the “were you abused as a kid one.’ If someone is trying to make-out with you and you pull away and/or make a sound like you’re disgusted, they are going to ask you what is wrong. And you can’t lie to them forever and say that you, “just suddenly felt sick.”

    I feel that telling someone early on helps prepare them to date you. It gives you a chance to tell them how you might react if they touch you a certain way, long before you freak out in bed. I also feel like if I don’t tell someone that I’m lying to them and that I have something to hide from them for fear that they’ll reject me.

    Even so, what do you think, LPSGers? Tell ‘em early, make ‘em, don’t tell them at all, or something else?
     
  2. jeff black

    jeff black <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    First of all, my condolences. No one should have to live what you went through. To hear that your group of friends ALSO went through this drives a knife through my heart. You are all fortunate to have each other.

    Anyways, on to your question. Personally, I don't feel that telling your partner right away, is a good idea. It is a lot to ask another person to deal with it. I recommend you let them get a chance to get to know you first. You know, experience the REAL dan, and then, after a month or two.... if you find yourself having intimacy problems, or you feel close to your partner, then tell them. Break into it easily, ie, a quiet evening at home, when you have a chance to talk.
     
  3. IntoxicatingToxin

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    I think it's good to tell people early on, but you don't want to do it too quickly. Have you gotten therapy for this? Maybe there's a chance that with help, you can get over some of the sexual/emotional issues you have. So anyway, yeah. Wait until you've been dating them for a while, and make sure that you trust them.
     
  4. B_Think_Kink

    B_Think_Kink New Member

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    I hate saying it... but I was abused as a teen.. by a friend.

    If you were sexually abused, I would tell your partner before you were intimate, so that s/he understands why things might take longer or whatnot. Other than that, I'd say tell early on. So the person can build a relationship with you, knowing that there may be some rough patches.
     
  5. danerain

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    I haven't gotten any therapy yet, but 20+ sessions are built into my college fees, so I'll more than likely get some soon.

    It's probably for the best to wait a little while before telling someone, not something to say on the first date. But it someone hangs out with me a lot they generally notice my touching issues. Eh, keeps me from being a slut.


    Aw, now I feel sad again. . . . .
     
  6. Mr Ed in Mass

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    I'm sad ,that several people here, had to endure sexual abuse.I hope you can find expert help in dealing with this issue.God bless you all.
     
  7. D_golden parachute

    D_golden parachute New Member

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    I think if you jump in with it straight away it would seem liek you have some kind of mental issue because of it (do you? Cos I can imagine it being a very traumatising event)
     
  8. chavous

    chavous New Member

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    I Agree With Geordie. I Think If You Tell Too Soon It Makes You Appear Desperate And Needy. I Was Sexually Abused By A Friends Dad When I Was 12 And He Was 46. I Know How It Affects You The Rest Of Your Life ,but It Does Not Have To Fuck You Up. Most Survivors Feel Guilty And That Is My Main Message (it Was Not Your Fault). Have A Great Liife.the Perpetrator Was More Than Likely Sexually Abuse Too And Needs Help. I Think 99% Of Abusers Were Also Abused.
     
  9. SassySpy

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    Other. Depends on the guy. Its still tough enough for me, why lay it on him? But because it has affected my (infected!) entire life of intimate relationships, he needs to know. Since it started at age 2 and went on for 13 years, well... understanding from him is a must, and I dont trust easily enough to blurt it out, and am too honest to never tell. But ya know, there are scars no one can see. They are certainly felt.
    *sigh*
     
  10. Onslow

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    Whereas I have discussed this matter on the intenet (including here); in day to day life with people I know, there are very few who know. I do not tend to discuss this openly as it is a very private matter and people will have an opinion of some sort once they know. Some will be sympathetic, some will walk away, some will blame the victim (yes, they do), some will have more anger towards the attacker than I ever have had. Some will decide this is where I turned queer or this is why I drank and did drugs--no, those were all part of me from the start (well the queer part was) and the fact is except for a handful of occasions I never drank or drugged in direct response towards anyone or anything. I abused my body willingly because I wanted to and did it in both good and bad times.

    Back to the main point--choose carefully who you tell. Some persons have loose lips and will tell everyone else, possibly even persons who you are not yet ready to admit this sadness to.


    Look for some professional counseling and keep your head held high, you were the victim and have done nothing wrong. People are out there who will and do care, allow them to embrace you and soothe your wounds.
     
  11. Dave NoCal

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    Danerain (Dan?)

    It seems to me that you have thought about your question carefully and well. What people did to you was terrible and there is no excuse. For many, the worst part is the abuse of trust and internalizing the pathological lack of guilt of the offender into a personal sense of shame. I'm sorry you feel sad, but what happened to you IS SAD.

    Nevertheless, you survived (many don't) and now it's your business to thrive. Counseling can be very helpful. For some, reading on the topic moves it to a logical/learning level that that can help you overcome. I taught a course on Trauma at the graduate level this last sememster and the students, many of whom are also sexual abuse surviviors, really like the text I chose. It's: Trauma and recovery" by Judith Herman. It's a classic and widely available in paperback. The only thing is that reading can also access your untapped anger and sorrow so it might be good to be in counseling before you start.

    In my career, I have counseled a number of peole around issues related to childhood sexual abuse and, although the process was painful at times, it's my experience that people do recover, transform the experience from re-living to memory, and integrate their life experiences, good and bad, into a sense of self with self-esteem and empowerment. I have every confidence you will too.

    Dave
     
  12. danerain

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    Yeah, one of the problems that i have is that before I met my friend who was abused a lot, I didn't tell anyone what had happened. I largely didn't allow myself to view the majority of the abuse as abuse.

    When I met her, she was really nonchalant about being abused and I picked up on that. So when people ask, I usually tell them. Of course, I also use being abused as a way to build a wall between myself and other people. I guess I'm so used to people looking at me like I'm really weird, I just tell them to freak them out or push them away.

    Not something that you want to do if you're trying to be in a relationship with someone.
     
  13. Love-it

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    Danerain: I applaud your pluck and agree with you about telling earlier than later in a relationship, it is great that the college offers 20 counciling sessions, they can be a valuable tool for you. One word of advice is to preview the choice of councilors beforehand and be willing to change.

    I know that my wife was emotionally and intellectually abused as a child and as an adult, I also think that she may have been sexually abused outside of the family, but she doesn't want to go there.

    Abuse has a lifetime effect but you can choose whether or not it will control you.

    Best wishes.
     
  14. Rikter8

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    I say later in the relationship.

    Make sure they are who you want to be with, before airing out personals like that.

    Not that people are.... but the person that your dating might think "Oh christ they want a shoulder to cry on, not a boyfriend/girlfriend", not knowing the situation, or having time to sit down and really hash it out with you.

    I think its better to keep things like that until you build the normal trust that comes with the relationship.

    The Journey of life is about learning. The journey of Marriage should be about life with your partner, and learning a little bit more every day.
     
  15. danerain

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    I still kind of feel like I'm misleading someone if I don't tell them. What should I do if they ask me? I'm the kid who's known for flinching when people touch me. If I'm dating someone they're going to notice, and then they'll ask. What do I do then?
     
  16. Love-it

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    Honesty is the only policy.
     
  17. danerain

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    Meaning?
     
  18. Dave NoCal

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    If you feel like you need to explain flinching when someone touches you you could you could just say that you are sensitive to touch until you know someone well. If pressed, you could say that it might be due to some things that happened in the past. If further pressed, you could say that you don't want to bring that into a new relationship.

    You don't owe anyone the full story.

    Dave
     
  19. Dave NoCal

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    BTW, there is a really good movie avalable at the rental places that is about this topic. It's named "Don't Tell." It's in Italian with subtitiles and is beautifully crafted.
     
  20. davidjh7

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    I have had many friends who have been sexually abused when young. Although I have had extensive conversations with them, tried to council them, offer advice or tools to use, based on what I know of human nature and how our brains work, I will NEVER purport to truly understand the depth or level that they have been affected--I can never completely understand. All I can offer to you, is to remember, that the brain developes patterns. We literally embed grooves in our brains, and the more we follow those grooves, the deeper and more reinforced those thoughts an behaviors become. You CAN reprogram your brain, and you do so by FORCING yourself to not fall into the same deep grooves, and forming newer, DEEPER grooves of a more positive behavior, outlook, or idea. It is very hard to do, but it can be done. You are going to have natural aversions to being touched, because of the associations--the grooves that you have worn. If you are with someone you really trust, someone who has shown you they can be trusted with intimacy, then they can help you with this issue--it will be painful for both of you, but if you communicate up front, so that at least the more conscious level, you both know what is going on. IF you are both willing, when you have a reaction of pulling away, then let the person CONTINUE to touch you, but with a lot of reassurance, and positive things said and done in the process. Start small, with touches in the least intimate areas. By associating those touches over and over again with positive events, over time, your natural reactions will be positive associations. I know this all sounds like psychobabble BS< but it DOES work. I've used it on myself, and with others I care about, to build more positive behaviours, attitudes, and ideas. It is very hard work, and can take a very long time, but it DOES work. I'm so sorry for all who have suffered from such things, as children, before you have the emotional tools and experience to defend yourself from the worst kind of humanity. I can only pray that the help you seek, and receive, will help you find the peace and release you want and need.
     
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