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Still feel like an evil witch over 10 years later *triggers*(21 Posts)
I have NC for this but am a fairly regular poster and a very regular reader. I have never told anyone about this in depth. I did something pretty awful in my teens and I haven't been able to forgive myself ever since. I'm hoping that by reaching out to you guys on here I might be able to forgive myself in some small way.
When I was 18, and had just started Uni I got into a relationship with a guy (let's call him Kevin) who I really shouldn't have been with, there was nothing really wrong with the relationship but we were just not right together and there was NO "spark". Because I had been in a really bad relationship before this, the thing with Kevin seemed safe to me, when really me and him would have been much better off as friends.
Anyway, after me and Kevin had been together for about 2 months I met up with a friend who I hadn't seen for a long time (let's call him Tim). The chemistry between us was incredible. Now the sensible adult me, who still feels crap about this over 10 years later, says what I should have done was to break up with Kevin and start seeing Tim. But the teenage me went to a house party with Tim, got horribly horribly drunk and slept with him.
Now this is the bit which is messy - I wanted to kiss Tim, but I didn't want to sleep with him. I kept telling him "no" because I felt really guilty about Kevin. I was so drunk that I don't remember large portions of it. He should have stopped, but then I should have tried harder to stop him. I think in my heart that I could have resisted more and he would probably have stopped if I had.
The next day I had the hangover from hell and felt absolutely evil for what I had done to Kevin. Tim felt awful to and I know he blamed himself for pushing for sex when I was saying no. He apologised to me in tears.
I had always been the "good girl" as a kid and couldn't believe I had done something so dreadful. I told Kevin I had got drunk at a house party and slept with someone when I didn't mean to, he called me a "slut" and started telling all my new friends that I was a bitch.
I felt forced into a corner and felt like the only way to convince my friends that I wasn't evil was to say that Tim "took advantage" of me, which I suppose is partially true, but it's all so confusing because I really did fancy Tim a lot but I was saying no. My parents and some of my friends told me that Tim had raped me and gave me lots of support, but I felt that I didn't deserve it and that it was all a lie because part of me had wanted it.
I haven't seen Kevin or Tim since, and am now happily married. But to this day I still feel so very guilty about this whole thing and still don't know how to come to terms with what happened, I haven't told anyone in RL the full story. Can anybody help me to deal with this?
Please be gentle with me... Thanks for reading.
You were young and we all wish we'd done a few big things differently as teenagers. But that's what teenagers usually are: childrens minds in adults bodies. You did what you were emotionally capable (or incapable) of at the time. He behaved badly too, but you give the impression it was not really rape and he would have stopped if you insisted. Only you and he know the truth, but I think it's time to forgive yourself (and him) as bitterness and regret are such negative and pointless emotions and unfairly stand in the way of true happiness. So, if at all possible, put it all behind you and believe that whatever really happened all those years ago, you deserve true happiness now.
I have a kind-of-not-quite similar thing I still feel conflicted about that parts of your story kind of helped me clarify. I guess it was more grooming by a peer...
I had been in a long term relationship as a teen with a guy from school. Several years. In the 6th form, I became good friends with other guys (bf had been quite controlling about this, so it was fun, flirtatious, I knew I was challenging his boundaries). One became a good friend, and I fancied him a lot. My long term relationship was fizzling out. New friend and I talked late into the night, MSN'd each other (one way webcam, me showing, him not, didn't see this as odd at the time). He also gave me info on something that caused me to end the long term relationship (conveniently timed, although I didn't see that at the time). He took me out to a hotel, we slept together, then I got the cold shoulder. That was that. I thought it was a simple as being used for the fun of it, was very upset. If it had ended there I would never have thought more of it.
But then his friends would make odd comments (who else was on the MSN conversations?), and some began pursuing me as if I was easy (which looking back, I had been I guess! But I thought he was amazing...) I'd get lewd calls, texts, mum had to change my number. They would come to visit me at friends houses, stay the night and try things on really bloody blatantly... I fell for it once and ended up in a situation where a classic 'date' (that I was really excited about) just meant he got his dick out in a private place he hadn't told me we'd be going to... and I was verrryyy naive but it kind of clicked at that point what had really happened.
I suspect that the MSN conversations were shared, friends invited over for the webcam (wasn't I an easy target, far too trusting). Now the long-term relationship was over, I was literally fair game. An actual game. They were al trying to get a bit in... and it kind of turned into harassment until I left the town and moved on to Uni.
I still can't define it because I was always consenting, but I was totally blind to the idea that they knew how naive I was and essentially joked between themselves who could get me to do what first.
So I guess, if I had called them out on it I would be in your shoes, feeling awful because I loved the attention, but it wasn't exactly what I had full knowledge of being ok with. I think your confusion is valid, but don't feel bad - you were pushed. Things weren't they way you had entirely wanted them to be.
Sorry for the long story!
We all make mistakes and do stupid things, especially when we are young.
It's sometimes hard when events overtake us and a mistrust can escalate into a full blown lie and things rapidly get out of control.
I do hope that Tim has been able to move on from this incident as being accused of rape is a very damaging event.
However, It's history now and there is nothing you can do to change it so you might as well file it away in the 'box' marked learning experiences.
The fact that it still bothers you shows that you have a real conscience and you are generally a good person. Not sure if Kevin or Tim will ever truly forgive you for your actions but it is time now to forgive yourself. As I said, we all make mistakes, some bigger than others but we have to learn from them and move on with our life. Don't beat yourself up forever. You have 'confessed' to us here on Mumsnet so you don't have to carry the burden of this secret guilt any longer. It really is time now to forgive yourself and concentrate on your happy marriage.
you said no and he didn't stop, it was rape, simple as
stop blaming yourself
You have absolutely nothing to feel guilty for. Nothing.
I cheated on my boyfriend when I was 18 and at Uni, it's kind of par for the course. I don't feel guilty.
But you didn't even have a choice in the matter. You didn't deserve any of it.
I am glad your parent's were supportive.
kitty i had something similar. hurt like holy hell for years. I couldn't believe it. Took years before I could even begin to thing about it. Felt so bad.
First time I've ever referred to it, couldn't ever have talked about it. Thank you for having the courage to post. feels like a boil's begun to be lanced.
Sorry OP. I hope you can find some forgiveness for yourself. It doesn't sound like Tim was essentially a bad lad at heart, you both made mistakes. Everyone got hurt.
Might it help to think how you'd feel if it was a friend who'd done this? You might be gentler on her than on yourself
You may have done Tim a favour, let's hope he made sure he never raped anyone again, because rape is what he legally committed.
Why do you think he apologised in tears? He knew.
Seems like Tim pressured you into sex while you were in a drunk state. There is a real argument for rape there, even though you probably don't feel like a rape victim. You seem to feel guilt about your treatment of those people.
Its a difficult one but life is full of ups and downs and you live through your experiences. You have experienced this, which I think has probably made you into a better person overall.
Being cheated on is a painful experience but it isn't the end of the world, he will have gotten over it. Tim's behavior on the night seems selfish too, so I would try and feel less guilt about these situations.
Thank you everyone who is responding. I won't respond to all of you individually because I'm feeling really over-emotional... but you're really helping me so much.
I think finally getting this out has brought up a whole load of emotions. It's like Meerka says, it "feels like a boil's begun to be lanced".
Although I didn't see either of the guys again I have heard that they are both happy and doing well for themselves, this makes me feel a bit better about it...
I think the main reason I'm having trouble forgiving myself is that I am a very self-critical person, so I tend to blame myself for things anyway... That means it's difficult for me to get perspective on how much of this was actually my fault (if that makes sense) and how much of it was Tim's.
I think it was probably legally rape, because I did say "no" and try to stop him... But I don't feel like I think a rape victim should feel... Jeez what a mess
It was rape. It doesn't matter what your reasons for saying no were. You told him no, and he chose to ignore that. It was not your fault. From what you have said given the choice you would have stopped at a drunken snog.
stillfeeling ... <gently> ... do you need to apportion blame?
It sounds to me like it's something you both very much regretted and still regret. Maybe it will always be a regret. I suspect you feel very guilty over it. Do you feel guilty over the act itself, or for saying that Tim took advantage of you?
When you feel guilty it's easy to fall into the blame game. But at this stage, I'm not quite sure it's helpful.
Ok, so I think two things happened here.
1) you wanted to cheat on your boyfriend
2) you did not want to have sex with Tim
So I think it's OK to feel guilty that you kissed Tim in the first place - because for most teenagers, that would constitute as cheating. That wasn't the right thing to do by Kevin. But then Tim took that as a green light to rape you, despite you saying no and telling him to stop. That is rape.
I think you have to forgive yourself for 1). Let it go. Write Kevin a letter and then burn it, do what you need to do to get closure. But know that 2) was NOT your fault. You do not need to carry that burden. You can put it down now, and walk away from it.
FWIW something similar happened to me at a party when I was 15 (not rape but sexual assault) and it took me till I was 35 to recognise it as such. I just assumed it was my fault because I was drunk and feeling a bit reckless over an ex that night.
Be kind to yourself.
sorry to make it clear: i had the impressoin from your first post that you felt bad about saying it was Tim, to other people. Might be completely mistaken.
Meerka I think you are right, apportioning blame certainly hasn't helped me to deal with this over the last 12 odd years. I guess I feel like the situation has to be someone's fault, but actually it would probably be more helpful to think about it as a great big mess which happened because the two of us were young and both acted stupidly.
I think at the time I felt guilty over sleeping with Tim and saying that he took advantage. I've come to terms with what happened with Kevin, I don't think he was really that bothered about me to begin with tbh, he certainly moved on quickly afterwards.
So I think now I just feel guilty for what happened with Tim. I don't think Tim was some sort of evil twisted man-beast or anything. I think he was just a young lad who didn't realise that I wanted him to stop. Maybe if I had been less drunk or more forceful he would have stopped and then the dreadful mess wouldn't have happened... What happened with Tim really messed up my sex life for a few years afterwards, I really hope it didn't do the same to him.
I felt bad saying to others that he "took advantage" because I really do think he just made a stupid mistake. I didn't / don't think it was premeditated or anything like that... Does that make sense?
Yes. Yes it does and from what you say, it sounds like that's exactly what happened. Two young people with a spark between them drinking too much and messing up.
Lonny That post really helped me look at this in a new way - something I wouldn't have thought possible after thinking it over for so long. I think the guilt I felt for wanting to kiss Tim got all mixed up in how I felt about the sex that I didn't want. Thank you for helping me try to make sense of this.
I'm really glad it helped. Essentially, you were a bit mean to Kevin. That's all. I think you can forgive yourself for that .
However, as you work through this you may develop stronger feelings about what Tim did - and that's fine too. You've been carrying the responsibility for what he did, you may well now see that's all on him.
He really should have stopped.
Forgive yourself. You were young. He should have stopped.
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