TRIGGER WARNING – Sexual and Emotional Abuse Described!!!

Last Tuesday, I saw my new psychiatrist for the first time, so I was really anxious.  I always get really anxious when seeing a new therapist or doctor.  I especially get nervous around the doctors, because I know that they will ask me if I have ever been abused and I frankly don’t know the answer to that question. I feel like I was sexually abused by my first serious boyfriend, ten years ago, but to be honest, I’m not absolutely sure.  I wasn’t raped-I always gave consent, but every time we had sex it was very painful and rough and not in a good way.  It got to where I would just lay there silently crying while he would roughly have sex with me.  On top of that, he would say hurtful and demeaning things to me right after sex.  I remember one time he called me a prude.  After the first time I had sex, when I told him that it was really painful, he told me that I should be comforted by the fact that my “tightness felt really good.”   No, that was not comforting!  Basically he was telling me that my pain didn’t count and that his pleasure should always come first.  What finally got me to break up with him was when he bought me a dong and told me to “wear it between your legs until it’s comfortable” and then laughed.  Does this count as sexual abuse, or is it emotional?  When my doctor asked me if I’ve ever been abused, I thought about this guy and I answered yes, sexual.  But when I told my doctor that I had never been raped, he wanted clarification and that I could barely provide.  “Were you scared?” he asked.  “No, not really.”  The room became cloudy and all I could see was me in bed with my old boyfriend with tears in my eyes.  I was losing my grip on reality and losing my voice, so I finally said, “I’m sorry, I can’t talk about it anymore.”  And that was that.  New topic.  But I felt defeated, because I felt I hadn’t been able to fully articulate the abuse to my satisfaction.

The problem is that most sexual education is about abstinence and avoiding icky diseases.  It’s not about how to respect yourself and each other.  It’s not about consent and communication.  It’s not about  what constitutes rape, what is abuse, and how to stand up for yourself.  Thinking back to that time, I remember wanting to please him and feeling like a failure.  I wish that I had had a more rounded sexual education-I think it would have saved me a whole lot of trouble.  And even if it didn’t stop the abuse from happening, at least I would know what to call it.