forgiving yourself?

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forgiving yourself?

Postby Rose21 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:49 am

This is awkward.

Ok. I am now in a very good long term relationship with an absolutely wonderful man, who has helped me turn my life around and begin to like myself again, so everything should be good with me, and it is... when we're together. My problem is that I regret pretty much everything I did between the ages of 16 and 20. I've started to pull myself back together, with a completely honest, trusting relationship, but now I'm angry with myself and with other people. I will explain.

I got a boyfriend when I was 16. I didn't like him. I didn't want to lose my virginity to him. But having been bullied at school I found it too hard to say no when someone told me I was attractive after years of being laughed at and told that I was ugly. The end of our relationship came when... well, this bit is hard. I don't want to say he raped me, it wasn't violent or anything. I said no. Repeatedly. And he refused to let me sleep until I said ok. Is it rape if someone torments you until you say yes? I said yes, anyway, even though it made my skin crawl. I very quickly got with his friend, who was there for me afterwards, when I was crying in the bathroom and had to talk to someone. But it didn't take long to realise that this was not a good relationship. It wasn't long before I tried to leave, and he began threatening suicide. He would tell me he was going to kill himself and it would be my fault. He would kick my stuff around, shout at me, I would start to plan where I would run to if he tried to hurt me. One day he was so determined to find out that I was planning to leave him that he pushed me head first into a table in order to stop me stopping him turning my room upside down looking for evidence. I thought that would make him stop and see what he was doing, but he took the opportunity to look through my phone whilst I was on the floor. I told him it was over and he turned up at my house in the night, frightening my mum and shoving the cuts he'd inflicted on his arm in my face telling me it was my fault and that I was selfish for wanting to get out. I believed him. When you're told someone's suicidal thoughts are your fault for that long you can't help but start to believe it. I'm not proud of it, but I started sleeping with other people. I had no self respect. And I slept with people who treated me like dirt, who were happy to call me a whore when it suited them, and boring and worthless when I tried to stop it... And fat, ugly and stupid the rest of the time. I shouldn't have cared what they thought of me. I should have just stopped. I was so stupid.

As soon as I realised that the guy who was to become my wonderful boyfriend actually liked me, it gave me the courage to stop everything. I didn't say yes to him for several months. I wanted our relationship to be free of the old me.

Now I'm older I despise the person I used to be. I'm angry that so many people treated that little girl that way, and angry with myself that I took it when, had I known it, such a perfect guy was waiting for me. I feel like I don't deserve him. I look in the mirror and I'm disgusted with myself. I lie awake at night and torture myself with what I should have done, how I should have said no, how I degraded myself and became a complete slut. I got tested before getting together with my dream man, and I was lucky. It makes me sick what could have happened. It did lead to arguments in the first few months, but he seems to have forgiven me because I have proved to him that I've changed. I hope so. I don't quite have the confidence to say that he definitely has, because I think that would be arrogant of me.

But I can't forgive myself. I have nightmares, I comfort eat and then comfort-starve (if there is such a term), I have self-harmed in the past but I promised I would stop, and I have, but I still think about it when I'm sitting in my room unable to summon the energy or motivation to move fo hours upon end. The slightest falure brings me crashing down in hysterics. This only happens when I'm alone. When I'm with him I don't even think of it. So it isn't properly serious. I just wish that when I was alone I could forgive the teenager who was so very stupid.

How do I forgive myself?
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Re: forgiving yourself?

Postby everloney » Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:00 am

I could of written that post... it sounds like my life with a few minor changes. It's ok, how you reacted its not because you are a slut, you were coping. You felt worthless and that these men were all you deserved. I'm pleased that you have found a good man and see you deserve better. Your boyfriend was wrong to push you into it. I know what you think... why wasn't i stronger? why didn't i fight? why did i react after by sleeping with those other boys? I have no answers for you, other than you are not alone, it happened to me. You reacted the way you did, giving in to survive. You wanted to be free of the situation and submitting was the easiest and safest option. You were still a baby, suffering with the emotional damage this situation caused you, are you surprised you developed a coping mechanism?

Did you ever tell your family? Talking about it helps, it helps to have an "adult" tell you it was not your fault and you didn't deserve it. I'm telling you, it wasn't your fault, you did not deserve it. I'm just so pleased you managed to cope and come out the other end. You should be giving yourself a pat on the back. You are very brave. You have nothing to forgive yourself for. I wish you happiness with your mr right :).
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Re: forgiving yourself?

Postby Skarlet » Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:15 pm

I think that this comes down to self esteem, you felt that you didn't deserve more from your bfs when younger, and now use what happened then to beat yourself up and punish yourself. I would say that you need to believe that you are worth forgiving before you can actually do that. I would go and see a counsellor, or get self help books, that will help you get out of this destructive cycle of thinking less of yourself.

You are worth something, and you shouldn't punish yourself anymore. Good Luck.
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Re: forgiving yourself?

Postby Rose21 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:02 pm

Thankyou both, that made me shed a few tears, but it's given me a bit of a boost.

I've never told my family any of it, I don't think I could. Never really discussed it with friends either, not all of it, only a few tiny bits that came out when they pressed me to know what was wrong. It's quite cathartic to be able to write it all down, all at once, and be told it wasn't all my fault. It won't fix everything, but it's a step.

Thankyou
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Re: forgiving yourself?

Postby retrochav » Mon Feb 01, 2010 12:58 am

First things first. No one has the right to pressurise anyone into sex - when a partner is saying no it makes it rape go ahead. Likewise bullying, physical or verbal is always wrong - taking strength and esteem at the expense of another person cannot be justified.

The harder point is learning to forgive yourself. You were in powerless positions, and even if you were able to turn back time, given those positions again you would be just as powerless. What is really important is to remeber that you have now come into a more powerful place - with the benefit of hindsight. You can now see abusive situations arising and you know have choices.

You can choose to report the rape to the police - it could be held on file in case he does this to someone else if you dont want to go through it as the lone victim (often rapists go on to assult again, and two persons reporting the incident can be more powerful). You can choose to seek counselling - no one need know, your GP makes a confidential refferal to a counsellor and then you have confidential disscussion. You could choose to learn self defence so that never again would you need to be submissive for your own safety. These are just some of the choices that come with being away from powerless places.

Even if you choose to take no action at all - remeber that the situations of the past (the prison atmoshere of school bullying, abusive partners) should not be allowed to bully you even when they arent around any more. Physically they arent in a place of control, now its time to focus on emotionally taking back control too.

Good luck
whatever your problem someone else has been there and bears the scars.
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Re: forgiving yourself?

Postby Bel Bel » Mon Feb 01, 2010 4:25 pm

retrochav wrote:
Even if you choose to take no action at all - remeber that the situations of the past (the prison atmoshere of school bullying, abusive partners) should not be allowed to bully you even when they arent around any more. Physically they arent in a place of control, now its time to focus on emotionally taking back control too.



I couldn't agree with this more. You have got away don't let them still have power over you and your life

You HAVE moved on and you have a better life so don't lose it by drifting back into the past where poeple took advantage of you because you were vunerable not a slut
Life is for living so live it to the fullest

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Re: forgiving yourself?

Postby Millenia » Tue Feb 02, 2010 3:26 pm

When your 16 people can have great first relationships and the worst ones.
Im sorry but i will be blunt about this: You SHOULD NOT feel bad that your boyfriend at the time clearly had issues that had nothing to do with you. You were a trigger to him, a trigger that he could shout at you and blame you for everything. You should have slammed his face with your door before he done those awful thing's to you, but you were 16 at the time you shouldn't be so harsh on yourself.
Ok, well what your saying is in the past now and you still feel bad about your actions. We are all human, we make choices in life we don't like and we have to face those choices and deal with them.
You decided to sleep with other people to make yourself feel better, you won't be the only woman in the world who has done that. I know a few (raises hand).

What you need to realize as a grown woman is that: woman and men can be horrible. They can treat you like the dirt on their shoe if they want to but it's YOUR choice to let them. Not everyone will be nice in this world.

You are with someone who likes you for who you are, you should be proud of what you have achieved in your life and not to dwell on the bad parts, if you did then it wouldn't be a happy life would it? :)

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