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I need help with something that happened to me years ago <Possibly triggering>

(20 Posts)
SillyStuffBiting Sun 24-May-15 11:03:28

I'm 32. We had the internet st home from when I was about 16. Big chunk of a computer in the spare room. Anyway, as it was so new and unknown and as my parents were quite understandably naive to the risks, I was given free access and quite quickly knew how to delete history etc.

I spent t a lot of time on and in Yahoo chat rooms and music forums.

Through a music forum I got chatting to an older guy. His name was Jack. He was in his late 30s. I was so desperate for attention I was flattered. He was funny. Well he probably want but as an overweight average teen I was easily impressed.

This went on for a while, we swapped pictures, I'd put our webcam on and chat at the same time. I then started putting on little shows for him, pleasuring myself. Fuck I feel sick typing that. But he made me feel good. I think I was over 16 by this point. He'd text me, call me and we'd chat all the time. I knew very little about him. He was quite tech guy and would purposefully freak me out by doing things to my computer like freezing it and shutting it down. He somehow found out my address and parents name. He used that against me a lot.

I still stripped of on camera for him. He used to tell me afterwards sometimes that his friends had been watching too but I have no way of knowing if that's true.

He was quite controlling and a big distraction through my senior years at school. We didn't really ever plan to meet up or be together.

It was weird.

It's playing on my mind a lot. He popped up on Facebook through a music page I was looking at the other week. He'd commented on a post i was reading. It was horrible and brought it all back. I blocked him without looking at his profile. I'm scared he will 'find' me online and tell everyone about what I done. What if he's still got stills or recordings of me?

Ugh. I don't know what I'm wanting from posting. Nobody, not even dh who has known me since I was 17, knows anything about any of this.

mrstweefromtweesville Sun 24-May-15 11:13:21

First thing "He'll tell everyone about what I done." So what? You were young, exploring your sexuality and exploring technology that was new to you. He was fully adult, it was his responsibility to ensure nothing untoward went on. But he didn't do that. He groomed you, encouraged you, and also seems to have intimidated you. That's not right and its not your fault. You have no reason to be ashamed.

Instead, be righteously indignant. Write down everything you can remember, including what happened and when, who instigated, how he intimidated you. If he contacts you, pm him that you'll take the details to the police, and mean it. Or just go to the police now.

Even if you were over 16, he had no right to abuse you via the internet.

Get some counselling, too. You don't have to go through this alone.

SillyStuffBiting Sun 24-May-15 11:39:10

It's just all so muddled. I was quite willing. I think I even enjoyed the attention. I was quite promiscuous at that age and I don't know why.

Cassie258 Sun 24-May-15 11:54:10

You did nothing wrong.

The actions you took part in were not bad. The reasons that you did it sound like they were bad. You may not have been 'forced' but it sounds like it wasn't necessarily of your own will. I hope that makes sense.

I don't think he could be charged with anything due to your age but I'd be concerned about him still having images.

I'd imagine it would have been lost in that time.

BertieBotts Sun 24-May-15 12:12:05

He could be charged with something if he has images. While 16 is the age of consent for sex, 18 is the minimum age for explicit images.

OP I think this is fairly common among your/our age group. I'm 27 and me and everyone I knew was doing similar things as well. We used to go on the "adult" yahoo chat rooms from about 13 or 14 confused. I look back now and think how creepy it was, but I have no way of knowing who any of the people were. And of course, we didn't tell them we were underage. I did often wonder if it was actually adult men or whether they were curious/frustrated 13/14 year old boys making exactly the same discoveries we did. One of my friends is still friends with a guy she got very close to, on facebook. They had a relationship when he was in his early 20s and she was 15. I find that odd and fairly disturbing now, but she's obviously okay with it.

Because the technology was so new at the time, our parents didn't really conceive of the fact we might have been doing this. I think that today's parents are more clued up, so it's sort of a pocket of time between when it was totally new and hence unregulated, and now that it's mainstream. I have never seen a flasher, and I reckon that this internet stuff is our generation's equivalent of that.

I think it is extremely unlikely he would have any interest in finding you online now. If he did, then you could immediately go to the police and report him, and he's most likely aware of this. It's fairly easy to find somebody's address and parents' names online (the electoral roll is, or used to be, free to view) - I would put money on the fact that he used that as a scare tactic to prevent you from telling your parents, a teacher, etc, and never actually intended to use it. And, most likely, you were not the only girl he was grooming. If you did want to go to the police, I expect they would investigate, because it might have been that he convinced some other girl to go to his house. Or he might have just been "harmless" (well, relatively) and just all about the chat, images and videos, perhaps so that he could kid himself that it was all consensual and above board.

Honestly, most people are promiscuous at that age. There is nothing wrong with it.

SillyStuffBiting Sun 24-May-15 13:14:04

I just can't imagine telling dh I done things like that confused

Zillie77 Sun 24-May-15 15:39:31

It sounds like you feel tremendous shame about your actions, but being libidinous and exploratory at that age is perfectly normal! It is a bit rough that it involved an older man who had his own creepy agenda, but I highly doubt that there will be any public repercussions for you at this point.

My husband was a very well-behaved teen and young adult; I was not, but I have told him all of my stories, and he has laughed at some of them, tsk-tsked at some, etc. I bet your husband wouldn't judge you at all.

SillyStuffBiting Sun 24-May-15 20:24:16

He knows that I had several partners before him, I'm very open about all that with him. But I've never talked about this. I suppose as I'm getting older and looking at dh who is close to the age he was I just can't imagine him stringing along a 16 year old girl like that.

It was really fucked up. He used to go in major huffs with me, ignore me and really rip into me verbally at times calling me names and telling me how immature I was and how I thought I could flirt my way out of any problems. Still I kept going back for more. It was probably all a laugh to him but I really invested a lot emotionally into our weird set up.

SillyStuffBiting Sun 24-May-15 20:25:15

Quite a head fuck. At an age I could really have done without it.

notquitegrownup2 Sun 24-May-15 20:58:41

It sounds like him popping up on Facebook has brought all of this back to you. You were clearly vulnerable at the time and although you went along with it, it was abusive and you are left with bad feelings about it.

I too don't think you should worry about him popping up again (and if he ever did, a brisk F* off or I will go to the police, as it's illegal to have explicit images of an under 18 should deal with him - or just go to them anyway.)

Instead, use this as an opportunity to look back kindly on your 16 year old self for getting herself into a scrape. As others have said, we all did stupid things, and wince at the memory of them. However, time has moved on and we should not judge ourselves by today's standards - we know so much more now. He does indeed sound really creepy and unpleasant. He may even have gone on to do the same/worse to others . . . .

If it really troubles you, a counsellor would help you to deal with those feelings, and would certainly not judge you for what you did.

HTH

SockQueen Mon 25-May-15 12:21:54

He is presumably in his 50s now. Him telling stories about how he persuaded a teenage girl to get her kit off online are hardly going to make him look good, are they?

I am 30 and during my early days of having internet access (probably a similar time, I think I was 14/15 I encountered a few similar guys in Freeserve/MSN chatrooms. Fortunately (?) I didn't have a webcam so things never progressed in that direction but there were a lot of very explicit conversations and several of them openly admitted they were looking for young/underage girls. Really quite disturbing now.

WherehaveIgoneto Mon 25-May-15 17:15:29

SillyStuffBiting hopefully you've realised that what happened to you isn't uncommon. I had a very similar experience. And equally wanted to keep it under wraps, and felt ashamed.

A couple of years ago, it came back to bite me, and people found out. And you know what? No one cared. I was braced for some sort of massive fallout (my experience went a little further than yours in that we met), but nothing happened.

Maybe telling your DH would help?

Postchildrenpregranny Mon 25-May-15 17:21:21

I would definitely tell your DH, especially if he knows a lot about your past anyway
And maybe warn your parents if you think it might come out ?
I doubt anyone your own age would judge you .

ByeByeButterfly Mon 25-May-15 17:33:10

Silly Stop beating yourself up about it.

You did nothing wrong. Unadvisable yes and potentially dangerous but you were not a bad person for what you did.

I am 25 years old so 7 years younger than you. From 10 I had access to a computer and I did some unadvisable things from about 13 years old that I wont get into on here but feel free to private message me if you like?

To give a hint it involved similar things to you but naturally, at a younger age.

I don't like to blame but I felt very objectified and I liked the attention, if I'm honest - even now with a daughter and a fiancé due to certain things with an ex boyfriend and a girl from school my views on sex and relationships are still pretty fucked up, though I hide it well.

This man took advantage of a girl.

OK the talking/flirting bit may not have been illegal but asking you to strip/play with yourself was.

At age 14 I also spoke to an older block on the phone who was my then boyfriend's friend's best mate who stole it off his phone. He asked me to do these kind of things over the phone and made similar threats re: knowing where I was and some of the things he said was god awful! I was a little girl then actually really, in retrospect and he was 21 years old and having gone past 21 I know you have full control and understanding at that age.

Even if you were 21 him pressuring you, being emotionally manipulative, blackmailing and making threats was not OK. I know you know it wasn't OK, but I want you to really understand that all of that was his doing.

The only mistake you made was trusting someone you didn't know and most of us who grew up in the internet age (20-30ish now) have made that mistake at least once, albeit maybe not to the same extreme.

Keep him blocked. If he messages and friends tell them this: *He admitted to being a sick bastard who blackmailed and coaxed a young girl into doing illegal things for him? I'm glad to hear he's being so honest about his filthy behaviour."

If they think badly of you because of it, they are idiots.

I don't blame your parents as such either as they didn't know what this could potentially be like, similar to my parents. Now my parents know more about the internet they would not dream of letting my DD use it on her own without filters/it being in the same room as them. However, they probably should have read up more about it - the best thing to do if you don't know much about a topic.

Please feel free to private message me - please don't think badly of yourself, it's not your fault.

You were not dirty.
You were not weak.
You were not stupid.
You were not insert slang word that's meant to demonise a woman for showing any sign of sexual feeling at all
You were not to blame.

Sorry for waffling on - having been through similar I know how this kind of thing can eat you up but you have no reason for self hate or fear of this man sick bastard.

SillyStuffBiting Mon 25-May-15 18:31:06

Thank you everyone. It's really helpful to hear I'm not the only silly wee girl who got talked into acting like this.

He hasn't made contact, I doubt he will. I was always kind of scared and in awe of him at the same time. Now I'm starting to realise he was, possibly still is, a sad creep.

ByeByeButterfly Mon 25-May-15 19:10:29

Yep he was/is (they hardly change).

Just count your lucky stars you didn't sleep with the guy.

Icedfinger Mon 25-May-15 19:22:57

I'm nearly 30 and had similar encounters on the internet aged 15ish although I didn't have a webcam. I remember one guy who looked older than my dad sending me pictures of himself naked though which stopped me doing anymore.

I think there will be a lot of us out there. We used and explored the net before most parents knew how dangerous it was. Looking back I shudder. hmm

SillyStuffBiting Mon 25-May-15 21:53:55

That used to happen all the time. I wonder where all these weirdos are now. Are there still chat rooms like that?

BertieBotts Tue 26-May-15 00:26:06

They closed the MSN chat rooms when I was about 15, and the yahoo ones went a couple of years later.

I expect there are still places where perverts/creeps can channel their desires. Certainly chat roulette is supposed to be full of willy wavers. Online dating. Occasionally you come across a talk forum which was originally genuine and was abandoned and descended into smut. Weird.

I remember having an ongoing thing with a guy who was a couple of years older than me who I met through Myspace. Most blokes on there would just start with a barely coherent non sentence, but he had gone through my photos (normal on myspace at the time, not like facebook privacy today) and asked me a specific question about some of them, so I ended up chatting to him. By the time it descended into dick shots I was getting on with him quite well, so I didn't really mind. I think I liked the feeling of power that I got from it a lot of the time. I almost met up with him, but never actually did.

BertieBotts Tue 26-May-15 00:29:50

And facebook groups. There are some creepy as fuck facebook groups out there.

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