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Awful past "relationship" - why?

(11 Posts)
oracleselfservice Mon 06-May-13 12:17:23

I have never written this down and I only told my husband about it last night when I'd been drinking. I don't know whether this was rape / abuse or my own fault. I think maybe both? Or maybe unintended rape. Not sure. But even though it happened years ago I still hate thinking about it.

When I was 22 I started working in an investment bank in the City. I had a long term boyfriend I'd met at uni but the relationship wasn't great. We were like brother and sister. He never wanted to sleep with me and I felt miserably rejected.

About a year after I started work I lost over 3 stone in weight and men started paying me a lot of attention. This went straight to my head. One of those men was my boss. He was 13 years older than me and married with kids.

I was very stupid and basically started an affair with him. There was no affection. He didn't want to leave his wife he just wanted sex and I thought I did too.

I didn't find him very attractive, in fact having sex with him often sickened me and made me feel dirty and used. He used to get me as drunk as possible - I remember ordering white wine so I could pour it into the ice bucket and seem like I'd drunk more because he was so pressing about forcing booze on me.

He would rent rooms in cheap motels and we would have sex. I'd go home drunk and sit in the bath sobbing and washing myself. He would call me a naughty girl and act like I was desperate for sex while often I was hating it.

More than once he penetrated me without my consent when I was passed out or sleeping. He would attempt to persuade me to do things I was disgusted by. On one occasion I woke up as he penetrated me anally very brutally (sorry for being graphic) and for once I stopped him as it was so painful and I was bleeding. Often I was so drunk I didn't know what he did to me. He would try to grope me in public places and try to have sex with me in loos and behind restaurants.

This went on for 18 months.

I kept going back and agreeing to go out with him in the evenings - even though I knew he would probably get me drunk and want sex which I would give in to. Why did I do that?

He was my department head at work and my job was entirely dependent on his whims. I only managed to break it off when I left to work in another country for a few months as I managed to get away from him.

When I look back now as someone who is the same age he was then (mid/late 30s) and I see young girls the age I was I realise how manipulated I was and how he used my vulnerability and his job to coerce me into the things he wanted. But I still CHOSE to put myself into that situation so its actaully my fault. If I just refused to go out with him or LET him do those things to me then it would have stopped. Why did I do that to myself?

Its all come back to me as this man emailed me last week. I just don't know WHY I let myself get into that position. And now I have my own daughters I hate the thought that they could too. Its so confusing. Do you think I could benefit from counselling or is it too long ago?

Do you think he knew what he was doing or did he really believe I was happy with everything and fully consenting / enjoying it?

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 06-May-13 12:56:30

I'm sure, like all abusers, he convinced himself that you were happy with everything but of course he knew what he was doing. i.e. exploiting a position of authority to groom & coerce someone to engage in sex against their better judgement and/or wishes. Sexual abuse at its heart and certainly rape & sexual assault in the worst examples you've just described. Horrible.

If he's still e-mailing as if it was all some romantic affair you then you have to turn the power tables. Tell him that the police are very interested in his behaviour (think of all these 'historical' assaults in the news at the moment that are being successfully prosecuted) and you'll be seeking legal advice. Whether you do or not is up to you but my guess is that you weren't the first or last victim of this man and he'd be shitting himself..... And then, yes, do seek therapy. Victims are never to blame for the actions of their abusers. Abusers can be highly manipulative - just ask the legions of women that have ended up with life-partners that treat them this way for 10, 20 and 30 years - and give the illusion of CHOICE when, in fact, they have you quite trapped. I think you're obviously struggling to square that particular circle and would benefit from professional help.

oracleselfservice Mon 06-May-13 13:46:02

Thank you for replying. Until I started reading this forum I didn't think of this part of my life as being abused. I didn't even think of the penetration without consent as being rape until I read it on another thread.

I always loathed thinking about that part of my life but always felt I'd asked for it and I'd just made bad choices.

But I think it affected me very badly. When I was dumped by my ex fiance and before meeting my husband I had several one night stands and allowed myself to be abused in a similar fashion. I felt utterly worthless.

Fortunately I have a lovely husband who has been very sweet and kind when I told him about what my boss did (not details obviosuly). But I wonder what is wrong with me to have actually invited this kind of sexual abuse into my life.

And I can't believe its taken me over ten years to recognise what he did as rape.

oracleselfservice Mon 06-May-13 13:56:34

When he emailed me he just said hi and a line or 2 of chit chat then said "are you behaving?!". It made me feel sick. That's what he used to act like - that I was a dirty, misbehaving, cheater who was gagging for it. What he meant was "are you cheating on your husband / shagging around". I've never been unfaithful to my husband. I don't know why it bothers me that this horrible man seems to think I am inevitably going to be sleeping around because I'm some sort of whore (hate those words for women but I'm sure that is what he has been telling himself and is certainly how he treated me). But its like he can reduce me to feeling dirty and worthless like he did all those years ago with a single line.

I have blocked his emails btw but he keeps changing jobs and therefore email addresses. I hear from him a couple of times a year or less. But I hate it. I will just delete without reading in future.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 06-May-13 14:01:45

There was nothing wrong with you at that time. You didn't 'ask for it' or invite it. As you say yourself, you were very young, you'd just been dumped, your self-esteem had taken a hammering and you were simply looking for affection in the wrong places. We've all done it... I've done it. I've ended up on ONS thinking 'what the hell am I doing here?'. The one solitary difference between you and me is sheer 'luck'. You were very unlucky and met a nasty piece of work that exploited your naivety and need for affection in order to abuse a position of authority.

Why has it taken you ten years to recognise it for what it was? Because you were hoodwinked into believing it was normal by a manipulative man and it then became a bad memory that you suppressed for reasons of self-preservation. It takes guts to admit you were a victim. It would be superb if you reported the evil bastard to the police...

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 06-May-13 14:03:30

"When he emailed me he just said hi and a line or 2 of chit chat then said "are you behaving?!"."

This is controlling, manipulative behaviour designed to make you feel exactly the way you are feeling i.e. cheap, worthless. You can see that now all these years later. The younger you would not have seen through the tricks.

This man should not be at liberty.

Lweji Mon 06-May-13 14:13:12

He knew exactly what he was doing, as he kept getting you drunk and raping you while you were not conscious.
He still knows what he's doing and probably getting pleasure from it. sad

I agree that counselling may well be useful for you, as you can't easily get rid of him and at this time it would be your word against his, I suppose.
At the very least you should get to a place where you just delete without reading and it doesn't affect you this much.

Hugs, by the way.

kittyfishersknickers2 Wed 08-May-13 00:26:23

I agree with the above posters. I had something very similar, the relationship went on for a long while. He had sex with me without my consent too but I rationalised it and let him talk me round. Needless to say he could be very charming/kind and always knew what to say and made me doubt myself. I was younger than you were, just, and the age gap was bigger.

After writing about it on here I finally managed to end the thing and now have had no contact with him for over 6 months. But, like yours, he still texts me quite often and tries to get a hold over me again. I haven't replied for months but I am getting to the point now where I just want to reply saying 'You need to stop texting me and just BACK THE FUCK OFF or I am going to tell EVERYONE what you're really like'. But if I did that would be the first time I ever stood up to him properly.

I also think a bit of counselling might help - I used to blame myself for everything but now I realise how he really was I feel better about myself and praise myself for having finally managed to end it when I was under such mental pressure from him.

kittyfishersknickers2 Wed 08-May-13 00:30:23

Oh yes, and mine also implied that I could never have a functional relationship and that if I got married I would cheat on my husband with him (yeah whatever). He found out that I had gone out with someone else and in a 'jokey' way implied that he wouldn't mind murdering my boyfriend. Great!

I have now got to the point where I can delete messages from him as soon as they arrive and basically forget all about them straight away

ladyjadie Wed 08-May-13 11:41:57

This sounds horrible for you and I think therapy would be a benefit to you just so you can understand why the younger, vulnerable you felt she could let herself into this position.

Try not to beat yourself up about it, you aren't in the wrong, and you weren't in the wrong. I really think if you could connect the 'whys' of how this happened up, you could forgive yourself and get rid of the knots of negative emotions (that I imagine you have).

Can you change your email address, so he can never contact you again?

hugs to you

oracleselfservice Wed 08-May-13 18:13:38

Thanks for all the replies, I'm really touched people have taken the time.

I'm not sure what to say to my husband. I told him very very brief details after a few glasses of wine. We haven't discussed it since.

Should I refer to it or not. I think he doesn't know what to say. And reall, well what is there to discuss?

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