Sensitive subject - CSE past relationship(10 Posts)
Hello, I am a long term lurker and I have finally built up the courage to post about this. I need some clarification on what happened, as my feelings are very muddled on this.
I would firstly like to say, I'm now happily married and have two gorgeous children and generally very happy - this has been something from my past that occasionally 'bugs' me and more recently more so, due to a course I did on child sexual exploitation for work, setting off some 'alarm bells'
In my teens I suppose I had quite low self esteem - I went to an all girls school and wasn't the most confident of creatures, so meeting boys was difficult. I found meeting people online was great and I had a couple of 'relationships' online, which gave me more confidence.
When I was 15 I started talking to mike. At first he didn't appear interested, because I was only 15, he was 25, but soon we started talking a lot. Some of it was of a sexual nature, a lot of it like we was in a relationship.
He officially asked me out on my 16th birthday and we met for the first time. I found out at this point that he had lied about his real name (he knew that it was wrong to speak to a 15 year old like he was, but now I was 16, so it was ok 🤔) We had sex the first time we met.
Our relationship was kept a secret from both of our families and his friends (I told my friends who weren't keen, they felt it was wrong) he apparently told one of his friends after we had split up and they told him he was discusting and they fell out.
We saw each other probably once or twice a month - he lived 3 hours away and was always the one to come to me.
Our relationship felt 'good', I thought I was in love. He was usually king and acted like a good boyfriend. We talked about the future and getting married and having kids etc.
He started giving me money and expensive gifts every time I saw him - I would be lying if I said this wasn't an incentive to keep seeing him. He would buy me lots of phone credit too so I could keep talking to him.
When I started 6th form (at a different mixed sex school) he started getting jealous of me talking to other boys. He would threaten to break up with me if I carried on talking to them. He also threatened to break up with me if I didn't pick a university close to where he lived.
We finally broke up when I was 17. He guilt tripped me for nearly 2 years afterwards - messaging me about how his health was declining, he had lost so much weight, he was suicidal, he lost his job etc.
I'm now 26 - the age he was when we were dating. I can't help feeling how wrong it was and how much I regret him taking up so much of my life. It makes me feel 'dirty' in a way. 😩
I guess I'm asking, do you think he was in the wrong? Would you go as far to say this was child sexual exploitation? And what would you do about it now? Any help I would be most greatful!
I totally disagree with thenaze
What you describe is absolutely illegal and nowadays would be taken very seriously.
Very similar happened to me. Never really talked about it and like you I'm not sure what (if anything) I can do about it now.
Thank you both for your replies, I have to admit until recently I thought the same as thenaze, but having done the course on child sexual exploitation - it really opened my eyes to how many boxes it ticked.
One of the worst things is, is if I did want to do anything, I have no details. He wouldn't ever tell me his address or exact details of where he worked etc
Genuine question, can you explain why a 26 yr old dating a 16 yr old , for whom he bought a lot of gifts and waited until she was 16 to have sex with her - is illegal ? As pp said. Immoral (maybe but 26 yr old and 36 yr old wouldn't raise an eyebrow. ) but illegal.. except perhaps the 2 yr after splitting thing..that I could see as harassment if op gave more details..
For me, I think the age of consent is too low for some .. especially vulnerable youngsters.
I can't see that he broke the law - it was (I hope) consensual sex when the OP was 16. But morally/ethically - dodgy as hell and no wonder you feel exploited. And he presumably knew he was on thin ice, hence waiting to meet until you were 16. Is this something you dwell on a lot?
By asking if you dwell on it a lot, I'm wondering if you think some counselling or something might be useful.
twinkle It didn't occur to me until very recently that I was exploited or 'abused' in any way. At the time I remember thinking I was in control, it was my choice, I was mature for my age and could handle it etc. Looking back I was groomed and I wasn't in control at all.
My family found out and hit the roof - I got told I was provocative, off the rails etc there was never any suggestion that it was anything other than my choice/fault. Back then (2003 ish?) online grooming/CSE wasn't a 'thing'. No one reported it to anyone, no one seemed worried about me - they were just angry that I had been doing something that was immoral and shameful.
Like you I don't think I could report anything now. I remember some stuff - email addresses, rough ages/names/places but nothing that could identify anyone.
I'm sure we can't be the only ones. I'm the same age as you. I think age is relevant here - we were teens in that period where the Internet was so new and parents/professionals had no understanding of the types of people that the conputers/Internet were bringing into our lives.
I've had counselling about other stuff and never discussed this...I get what you mean about feeling 'dirty'. for you. I'm not sure I've been any help in answering your questions, but you're not alone.
CSE laws apply up to the age of 18. I don't think they are retrospective though
I don't actually know -
I know that if school were to pick up on it now it would be a safeguarding issue -at the highest level in my LA - but as for what would happen to him, I'm not sure? Is he legally doing anything wrong?
I just remembered something else actually - I sent him photos (very explicit ones 😳) I can't remember if it was before I was 16, but was definitely before I was 18. When I was 20ish I asked if he still had them and he said yes and sent me all the ones he had in an email. I asked him to delete them at that point. After that he blocked me on Facebook (though iv just looked and he's unblocked me again)
I think the thing that bugs me the most is looking back now I can see how naive and vulnerable i was and he used that to his advantage.
It's not something I think about a lot, but it's something that is quite topical in my life at the moment due to work, so it's brought back a lot of memories I think I shoved to the back of my mind. I think counselling probably would help.
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