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I need a severe talking to from you lot about men...(31 Posts)
I have previously posted about getting out of my very abusive relationship with my H. It took me a good couple of years but I'm out, nearly 8 weeks separated and have definitely made the right decision. I'm safe.
However after last weekend it is clear I am not learning any lessons and I need to seriously grow up and rethink my attitude to men. I went out for the first time, got very drunk, a 'friend' was very very complimentary, said he wanted to take me out, protect me etc, knows how shit my marriage has been and spent 3 hours persuading me to sleep with him. It was 10 years since I even kissed anyone except H. I eventually relented and of course he has now blown me off. I knew he would do, I don't trust any man but I still let him use my body for his own ends/gain.
If I'm brutally honest I got very little out of the whole experience apart from an ego boost and an epiphany that actually I'm totally vulnerable and men seem to be able to figure that out. So what can I do? How can I get to the point where I don't go to my default position of just letting men do what they like, sacrificing my feelings & self respect in the process? I hate hate hate that I have slept with him. I hate that my self respect and dignity is so low that I behaved in this way. I never want to go near another man ever again, how can I ensure I don't?
Don't drink, that way you will remain in control of you..
If you can't trust yourself not to drink to excess, then you must go NC with it.
You are right. You are vulnerable. So protect yourself.
Otherwise you will never build up your self esteem.
Alcohol's a horrible drug it causes all sorts of problems. Why not not get drunk for a while & don't sleep with anyone until you have been on several dates with them & got to know them?
Be easy on yourself, you'd had a drink and were feeling understandably vulnerable and the flattery was probably really nice to hear.
Just chalk it up to experience, you've got your whole life ahead of you now a few mistakes are par for the course!
No real advice on how to manage future situations other than just remember how you felt this time and try to be firmer.
I sound a bit harsh there but it's no good buttering it up.
You know the score, you talk about being brutally honest, so I've given it back to you in a brutally honest fashion.
Take time out. Get to know yourself. Love and like yourself.
Don't dip your toe into the dating scene until you are the person you would most like to date.
Once you reach that happy state you will attract more people who will appreciate you and treat you better, but not if you treat yourself so abysmally .
Well done for getting out.
I would look into enrolling on Womens Aid Freedom Programme as this is for women who have previously been in abusive relationships.
You are currently a magnet for all the losers and opportunistic men out there who would use you and have done for their own ends. Do not put yourself in such a vulnerable position again by getting drunk or date at all until you have addressed your own issues properly.
What have you learnt about relationships to date and where has all that come from?. Start with your childhood experiences and work from there; we after all learn about relationships first and foremost from our parents.
You also need to work on rebuilding you along with shedding all the crap you have learnt about relationships along the way. To this end, counselling for your own self would also be helpful. BACP are good and do not charge the earth.
Love your own self for a change. You can certainly help you also by unlearning all the destructive stuff you have learnt along the way.
I don't agree with Dowser, in that I don't believe alcohol is your problem here.
I think the same thing would have happened if you were sat at home with this guy and were drinking tea. If he persisted for 3 hours and your default position is to let men get their way regardless of how you feel then the alcohol is moot.
I think therapy would be your best bet. Did you get the help of Women's Aid to leave? They should be able to arrange some therapy for you. Have you heard of the freedom program? That may be beneficial for you.
I think maybe CBT could help you as this is obviously a deep rooted issue with you, you need help to understand how you ended up here. CBT can help break cyclical behaviour.
Don't be too hard on yourself.
Yes I know the answer is to not drink. I'm not sure I am strong enough to stop though! It's my only respite from my thoughts.
When I am sober I have horrible flashbacks, don't sleep and if I do get awful nightmares. I have flashbacks to my childhood rape and the rape by my H. Drinking is the only time I blot it out.
I don't drink during the week when I have the dc's and I feel shit. I'm not coping with real life at all. Work is a nightmare.
Dowser I thank you for your honesty. I need to get a grip, I know that. Knowing it, advising and saying it are so easy. I'm really good at understanding what I need to do hut I'm crap with actually getting it done.
Attila I've had CBT, Psychotherapy, highest dose of antidepressants, inpatient care. None if it has had any long term impact. I have lost faith in mental health support & services.
happy I got out & into refuge with the help of my local domestic abuse service. I have an appointment this afternoon with them. I'll ask what they recommend. I have been doing the freedom project online, I have read a few books.
I won't be harsh. In addition to taking care of yourself and shoring up your self-esteem so that you are less vulnerable, I would also say: why not focus positively on the ego boost that you briefly got out of it?
You wouldn't be the first or the last to flirt/sleep with someone after a break-up for a bit of ego-boosting attention. It's not a crime.
Don't make a habit of it and certainly don't put yourself in harm's way, emotionally or physically. But do also give yourself a break. You're just fine. And you know you want to focus on developing healthy self-esteem, so you're also only going to get better. Rock on, you're doing great.
I disagree that you are a 'magnet' for crappy men. Crappy men exist, they look like everyone else and they can foist themselves on anyone at all. Strong, weak, fresh out of a bad relationship or otherwise. It's not you, it's them.
What you've not had chance to recover, however, is your self-esteem and judgement. If you're feeling lonely, that's also going to skew your standards and make you susceptible to flatter. If you give yourself some time - and the Freedom Programme may help you a lot - and work hard to build your confidence you won't give the next dickhead three minutes of your time, let alone three hours.
It's not you, it's them.
Thanks goat and cogito. Really interesting different points.
I do err towards self flagellation and over analyse things. I need to get to the point where I can brush mistakes off, shrug my shoulders and get on with it. I'm 35 fgs. You are right, I haven't committed a crime, it's his thing to feel bad about. He used someone obviously vulnerable for sex. It is his conscience that needs to deal with it. I need to chalk it up & think back to how I've felt after and think 'fuck it, I'm not feeling like that again'.
I think I am maybe doing better than I'm giving myself credit for. Your few posts have helped me realise it's not as doom or gloom as I thought. Thanks x
Don't be too hard on yourself. The first time kissing someone else, let alone sleeping with them, was always going to be tough after a relationship such as yours. It's unfortunate it happened with a man who turns out not to be nice - but that's on him, not you.
I had the same happen with my first sexual experience after my 15 year relationship was over. My ex was not abusive, I have self esteem, but is still happened. Now I look on it as a positive - it meant I took time out to work on being ok with being single. I'm glad I didn't tumble into a relationship with a man that was not worthy.
The freedom programme sounds like a very good idea. Please be kind to yourself, don't beat yourself up.
Self-flagellation achieves very little except a very sore arse. Learn how to love 'em and leave 'em.... use 'em and abuse 'em... well, OK not literally abuse anyone but at least be able to walk away and think 'their loss'.
You may even look back on this experience as a turning point. Personal growth!
Cogito has it right about it potentially being a turning point - that's how it was for me.
You did fantastically well to get out of an abusive relationship. Give a yourself credit for that and accept there may be a few turning points in the journey ahead
FREEDOM PROGRAMME. I cannot shout this loud enough. It's not the same as CBT, counselling, medication, etc, it's about recognising the patterns that you've repeated time and time again which have allowed people to abuse you. It's not your fault, but it is a cycle that you have input into to break.
It was just sex - lots of people have casual sex, it's not a big deal. But you're right that you don't have to keep on doing that, if it's not making you happy. I don't think alcohol would make a difference either, FWIW. Creepy persuasive men
Go and read everything on www.baggagereclaim.com, and find a freedom programme, or a domestic abuse counselling service in the abscence of that, near you. I think it's important that you do it in person.
And for a long time, become suspicious of men's motives, and practice putting up boundaries. A genuinely respectful man will respect a boundary and it won't scare him off (well, unless your boundary is something like "Don't talk to me ever" ) - an abusive or manipulative man will slime all over that boundary until you're halfway up the stairs and then you think "Hang on!" Learn to notice when people overstep little boundaries, and you'll be better at enforcing them, and you won't hang around people who do. People who listen to little boundaries have no intention of crossing the big ones.
Thank you all for making me for the first time today.
'People who listen to little boundaries have no intention if crossing the big ones'
That's going on my wall when I get out of this place & into my own house.
Hang on a minute.
You wanted sex and got it - and that's a failure? Don't beat yourself up!
Now as you and posters say, less alcohol, less vulnerability and you're on a winner.
You've had the ego boost, you've reminded yourself how to protect yourself in future - go forth and enjoy!
Hi, I know nothing of your previous posting and my sympathy on your abusive relationship.
While 8 weeks is probably a relatively short time before getting back on the horse again so as to speak, really good for you for doing so! You need to not feel such a victim here. Personally if it had been me I'd have felt great (going through divorce process myself and would have probably leapt on him as long as he was single and fit!). However I wouldn't have been looking for a relationship...
So there was a little blip in your moving on.
Think about how many years it took to get you to the psychological state you were in 3 months ago.
How do you expect to get over all that in 8 weeks? You are doing well to have so much self awareness so far, and in getting out of the abusive relationship, and in starting to recognise what you want in life, and that you are worth a whole lot more than this. Don't beat yourself up because you aren't quite sure how to get there yet and might make a few mistakes on the way. We learn from mistakes. So now you know that if you are vulnerable you don't want to get very drunk and listen to some dick flattering you for 3 hours so he can sleep with you. I'm sorry he did that to you. Now you've learned he is not a friend, after all. Throw him out with the other rubbish in your life.
You sound so ...determined...you'll get there.
oh...not that there is anything wrong with a bit of casual sex if that's what you want.
But probably wisest to avoid if you are vulnerable, as you are at the moment, as you could get your feelings hurt. And yes, some people will take advantage of you.
Oops I just realised I didn't finish my sentence! Creepy persuasive men don't need alcohol - they just keep overriding boundaries until they get to where they want to be and you've barely noticed. That's something along the lines of what I was going to say, which I've forgotten
Some men will take you as far as you let them. It doesn't matter your situation or your level of self esteem or your vulnerability. Some men will try anything, do anything, say anything to have sex. It's really not about you personally.
When your are sober (BTDT) it's easier to set up boundaries and keep them there, although it's not any kind of guarantee. You being sober around men, well, it's just usually generally safer for you. You can't trust all men to have your best interests at heart.
It's good to have these crummy things happen sometimes so you have a few "lessons learned" for the future. Don't beat yourself up at all.
Thank you all. I think I was just annoyed that a) he talked me round relatively easily, everyone keeps saying I'm strong. Obviously not!
b) I'm in a women's refuge & I'm having a ONS
c) it's only been 8 weeks and my head has been turned by a pretty face already.
But I suppose I should be more fatalistic and like you all say, tick it off the list & put it down to a lesson learnt. At least I've got past the awkward first time in 10 years point, thank god. And yes, I have felt like a victim for so long, I need to stop thinking like one.
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