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Thread: Does it count as sexual abuse if it never progressed that far?

  1. #1
    unsureguest Guest

    Does it count as sexual abuse if it never progressed that far?

    I know already that he abused me emotionally, but I only recently put it together that he was grooming me for sexual abuse also.

    Backstory: I am aro/ace, meaning that I don't experience romantic or sexual attraction. I am heavily romance- and sex-repulsed when it relates to myself--I don't want to be in a romantic or sexual relationship and get really nauseous and anxious when someone tells me that they have romantic feelings for me. This is something that he knew, because I had met him at 16--already having figured out my identity--and when he confessed to me when I was 17, I freaked out and had to ask him several times to confirm that it wasn't explicitly romantic feelings. (He is grey-aromantic, which means for him that he has difficulty distinguishing between romantic and platonic feelings. He grew up in Oregon, which I understand is pretty liberal; he would kiss his friends and stuff so he never viewed it as explicitly romantic behavior like I do.)

    He didn't bring up his feelings for me again until I was 18. He reaffirmed that they weren't explicitly romantic, and I entered a relationship with him that was hard to define but was analogous with a queerplatonic relationship.

    I told him explicitly that I had two boundaries: that I did not want this to be labeled as a romantic relationship and that I did not want to kiss him on the mouth, even in fantasy.

    I'm BPD, and I imprinted on him. What that means is that I formed an attachment to him very early on in our friendship, and it got... really intense. I began doing things that I never did to impress him, and he would make me have severe emotional responses, which in the beginning was pure happiness. I wanted to make him happy. I wanted to make him keep liking me. I never wanted to upset him, and if he said that something I did upset him, I would avoid talking about it or doing it.

    He respected my boundaries for a bit, then told me that he wanted to kiss me. I was uncomfortable and told him so. He told me again, later, that he couldn't stop thinking about it, but he was trying so hard to stop because he knew I was uncomfortable with it. At this point I didn't want to hurt him, even by proxy, so I told him that it was okay to think about kissing me.

    We were in a long distance relationship, and he would text me about things he wanted to do to me--for the most part the romantic behavior was stuff I was fine with as long as it wasn't labeled as romantic, but he talked about places he wanted to kiss me as well. I allowed a lot more than I was comfortable with because I didn't want to tell him no again.

    Then he told me that he didn't understand why I didn't want to be in a romantic relationship with him when I was more romantic than any other partner he's been with. I tried explaining, but he kept pushing, and I had a weird moment where I doubted my own boundaries and asked myself if it would really be that bad if I was in a romantic relationship with him. The only reason that I didn't do it is because I talked to a mutual friend, explaining the situation and asking their advice. They rightfully pointed out that this was one of my boundaries that I had explicitly defined to him, so he had known going into this relationship that he wasn't going to get a romantic relationship out of me.

    As a summary of the backstory: he pushed my boundaries a little at a time, normalizing behavior until I was taking part in things as well and no longer viewed them as strange or uncomfortable, then pushed again. He made a push that was too big, and I said no.

    The reason that I know that he was grooming me for sexual abuse specifically is because he did the same thing with a mutual friend and because he sexually assaulted another mutual friend and retraumatized them.

    The first mutual friend had been in a queerplatonic relationship with him, entered a romantic relationship with someone else (which is something that they had never experienced before), and then agreed to a sexual relationship with him (which is also something that they had never experienced before).

    His sexual assault was on their romantic partner who was visiting him; he used them as a placeholder for his QP.

    So my question is: does it count as sexual abuse if I did date a sexual predator if it never progressed to sexual territory, although it's clear in hindsight that that's what he was aiming for?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Kindness & hugs.
    idk what his intentions and thoughts are...imo would just be speculation to guess. Also think it is a dicey thing to make assumptions that his current behaviour is paving the path to him sexually abusing you...grooming you for this...could be it is, could be it isn't.

    In your position I would be more concerned about his present actions...wouldn't want to be with someone who broke agreements they made with me...used passive strategies and coercion to do this. Up to you really. Would be enough to make me question things and to rethink my relationship with him. My opinion for what it is worth realise that you may think differently.
    Rest in my arms precious child; cradled and warm. You are safe. The war is over.

  3. The following 3 users say thank you to Jane for this useful post:

    Lost_In_Thought (09-04-2016),Manya (09-05-2016),Sunfl0wer (09-04-2016)

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Not sure it matters so much his intentions...

    Whether someone means to cause me harm or not I am always left with myself to deal with.
    My own thoughts and feelings about it to sort out.
    To decide if something is working for me or not.
    To decide if I can enforce my own boundaries as I do not rely on another to respect 'em, and uphold them, they are mine after all, not someone else's. (I'm sure others feel different, this is just my feelings of course)

    So sometimes it is easy, I can determine a person feels "unsafe" for me.
    Sometimes it is because the person's behaviors clearly are outside of my own values.
    The tricky part is when I am the one that is having trouble upholding my own values and boundaries because of nothing obvious and clear, but I find myself struggling with myself, so in that situation, a person may still feel "unsafe for me" at that moment.

    I try not to think of it as judging.
    More helpful if I can think in terms of what is or isn't working for me.
    Hard to do though, I still struggle with it.

  5. The following 3 users say thank you to Sunfl0wer for this useful post:

    Jane (09-04-2016),Manya (09-04-2016),weepingwillow (09-06-2016)

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