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Sexual Harassment?


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So I'm coming to the realization that I think I was sexually harassed.

About a year ago, I met a man (ten years older than me... and I was 17) who noticed my cutting habits and distordered eating. Brought it to my attention. He looked really sad when he saw new cuts on my wrists and said he didn't want me to hurt myself anymore. 

Then he started giving me sexual suggestions to "relieve" myself instead of cutting.

THen he asked for details on how those sexual suggestions went.

Any conversation or text would end up as... "and so did you try [something sexual]"? or "well then go get laid" or "go get a **** buddy". I couldn't talk to him without him bringing something up.

I felt disgusting for having to deal with those questions. I didn't want to talk. I never wanted to answer those questions. At the same time I feel terrible for having all this resentment, anger and hate towards him because he showed some kind of sympathy for my cutting. But that sympathy went away and turned into laughter whenever I'd mumble an answer to his questions. Talking to him led to me cutting to try and hurt myself for talking. Regardless its my fault for speaking at all. 

I told a friend what happened last night. I thought I'd be able to move on and forget about him and stop having bad memories. Instead all I've done is cry and want to cut again (though I haven't cut). I want to stop crying. I don't even know why I'm crying... its like all the anxiety and panic and fear and everything else has quit being supressed since I told someone and the only thing I can do is cry.

I just wish everything was better, and I don't know what to do. 

18 Replies (last)

This seems kind of personal. Maybe you should see a therapist.

Also, it's ok to feel the way you feel and it's ok to cry.

Sometimes it feels like you'll never stop crying, but you will.

Sorry you're feeling so rough right now.

I'm not qualified to offer advice on something which is clearly very deep...I think you need to seek professional help IRL.

I'm glad that you haven't cut, and I'm glad that you found a friend to share this with. As nomo said, it's ok to be feeling everything you are feeling, and it's ok to cry.

Are you in school? Is there someone there that you can speak to about this? You didn't do anything wrong, and I think it will help to have someone who can listen to you and reassure you in person, more than what folks on here can do.

I'm in therapy for cutting and the  ED but I haven't brought this up yet. I'm planning to give her a letter next time I see her because I really want to forget about this and let this go. But at the same time I don't want to talk about it. I don't want to have to discuss with her what I should do. I don't want to talk. I just want to cry. And cut. But cutting isn't an option so all I'm doing is crying.

But if I do tell her (therapist)... will she have to report it? I don't want anyone getting in trouble. And more than anything I don't want to repeat the exact words he told me or my responses. 

And I know that I can't get professional help here... But anonymous aspect of these forums at least makes it easier to say anything. This isn't exactly something I really want people I know in real life to actually know. 

I'm sorry you are struggling.

In the future, if someone is saying or doing something that bothers you, tell them.
Original Post by lostpumpkins:

In the future, if someone is saying or doing something that bothers you, tell them.

Why is why I'm the one to blame here. That's exactly what I didn't do. 

Original Post by melodic:

But if I do tell her (therapist)... will she have to report it? I don't want anyone getting in trouble. And more than anything I don't want to repeat the exact words he told me or my responses.

I'm not positive what a therapist has to report, but I think it's generally in the "plans to kill self or others" range of things. Not something like this.

I don't think you have to worry about getting anyone in trouble - and simply the act of telling your therapist can help a lot in relieving the burden you feel now.

Original Post by melodic:

I'm in therapy for cutting and the  ED but I haven't brought this up yet. I'm planning to give her a letter next time I see her because I really want to forget about this and let this go. But at the same time I don't want to talk about it. I don't want to have to discuss with her what I should do. I don't want to talk. I just want to cry. And cut. But cutting isn't an option so all I'm doing is crying.

But if I do tell her (therapist)... will she have to report it? I don't want anyone getting in trouble. And more than anything I don't want to repeat the exact words he told me or my responses. 

And I know that I can't get professional help here... But anonymous aspect of these forums at least makes it easier to say anything. This isn't exactly something I really want people I know in real life to actually know. 

She can't. I went through something similar a couple years back. The therapist urged me to report it, but she wasn't allowed to do so. Still, I would make it plain to your therapist before you even talk about it that the only thing you're interested in is how to better deal with your feelings on the matter.

That certainly sounds harassing to me, not necessarily legally actionable unless the man was in a position of authority.  If he is in a position of authority over others or has easy access to those who might be vulnerable like yourself I would recommend that you report it anonymously.  At some later point you might want to make a report just to help you deal with it.

You have several issues here that your therapist might be able to help you with.  The initial cutting, the reaction to a concerned person, how to deal with people who turn out to be creeps, how to communicate your concerns about this particular creep.

People interact with each other and hopefully those interactions end up positive, but many times one or more parties are injured, sometimes unwittingly and sometimes deliberately.  Personally, I think that anyone making sexual remarks to an underage person or to a person who doesn't indicate that it is a joke is absolutely out of line.

I didn't say nor do I think it was your fault.

However, it is empowering to learn to say "stop". It can be such a big step and can throw a wrench in a cycle of abuse or harassment. If someone is making you uncomfortable, you have a right, and owe it to yourself, to tell them. Then if it continues, you take the next steps to make it stop. You have more power than you realize.
Thanks for everyones responses. I want to tell my therapist. The more I think about it the more confused I get. Like I don't want him to get hurt or in trouble yet his laugh to my answer/responses sends me chills and I hate him for that. And i hate what he knows... There shouldt be any reason for him to ask or say anything about that. I don't see in any way how comments about touching yourself when there is no sarcastic/funny conversation or even gossip going on, is something to laugh about.

Next step is to actually say something to my therapist. I want to do that and I'm gonna try... I just need to not freeze up and be able to answer her questions :/

Can you print out this thread and bring it to her, so that you don't have to worry about freezing up?

Melodic, it's a tough world, but you are tougher.

Some years ago, decades really, there were several predators that roamed an anonymous organization, for people who were alcoholics, looking for newbies that were emotionally raw.

These predators tried to get newly sober people drunk in order to have sex with them.

They were sympathetic, understanding, generous, kind even. They were setting people up for the kill.

The man who set you up was a predator. His sympathy was not genuine. Consider, he wanted to hear details about you, a 17 year old, masturbating or having sex.

How is that building you up? He was out for his own gratification.

You can negate his sympathetic responses because his subsequent actions PROVE he wasn't honest.

You are not to blame for this. It's a hard lesson to learn, Melodic, but even evil people smile.

You are entitled to encouragement and kindness. Continue to talk to your therapist openly.

 

Original Post by kotov_syndrome:

Original Post by melodic:

I'm in therapy for cutting and the  ED but I haven't brought this up yet. I'm planning to give her a letter next time I see her because I really want to forget about this and let this go. But at the same time I don't want to talk about it. I don't want to have to discuss with her what I should do. I don't want to talk. I just want to cry. And cut. But cutting isn't an option so all I'm doing is crying.

But if I do tell her (therapist)... will she have to report it? I don't want anyone getting in trouble. And more than anything I don't want to repeat the exact words he told me or my responses. 

And I know that I can't get professional help here... But anonymous aspect of these forums at least makes it easier to say anything. This isn't exactly something I really want people I know in real life to actually know. 

She can't. I went through something similar a couple years back. The therapist urged me to report it, but she wasn't allowed to do so. Still, I would make it plain to your therapist before you even talk about it that the only thing you're interested in is how to better deal with your feelings on the matter.

Actually, I believe that sexual harrassment/abuse of a minor, which is what the OP was at the time has to be reported by anyone that works closely with children. I know that in nursing practice if a 17 year old client told me something like this I would be obligated to at least report it, whether anything came of it would be up to the discretion of the proper authorities.

On the other hand, when I was 16 and got pg by my 24 year old boyfriend and my parents files statutory charges, there was a brief investigation and then nothing. It may also be different if there was no actual touching involved.

OP, I'm very sorry you are having to deal with this. it is not your fault, no matter what. You were/are a child still in many ways and he was clearly taking advantage of his older than you status to intimidate you, even if that did not seem like his intention or was not how it felt. It was a powerplay on someone that was vulnerable and his actions are disgusting. Reaching out, even on an anonymous internet forum is a great first step! I'm proud of you for not cutting. Crying is a natural, healthy response and if you need to grieve over this, don't feel guilty about it. You are strong. I do suggest that you find a support group or something somewhere. I'm sure there are many internet ones and even though it wouldn't be face to face, it might make it easier for you to deal with and talk about that way. I promise you it was not your fault and you having nothing to be ashamed or guilty of. If you want to talk more, feel free to PM me. Please bring this up somewhere else, either with your therapist or a school counselor, or an internet support group.

((melodic))

Original Post by brightmoments:

Melodic, it's a tough world, but you are tougher.

Some years ago, decades really, there were several predators that roamed an anonymous organization, for people who were alcoholics, looking for newbies that were emotionally raw.

These predators tried to get newly sober people drunk in order to have sex with them.

They were sympathetic, understanding, generous, kind even. They were setting people up for the kill.

The man who set you up was a predator. His sympathy was not genuine. Consider, he wanted to hear details about you, a 17 year old, masturbating or having sex.

How is that building you up? He was out for his own gratification.

You can negate his sympathetic responses because his subsequent actions PROVE he wasn't honest.

You are not to blame for this. It's a hard lesson to learn, Melodic, but even evil people smile.

You are entitled to encouragement and kindness. Continue to talk to your therapist openly.

 

QFT.

If that person and you work in the same place, and more so if he is a supervisor, then you certainly have a valid SH complaint.  But if anyone, no matter who, says or does things that make you uncomfortable then tell them.  This is not your fault! You deserve to be treated with respect and dignity as much as anyone else.  And just for the record, he sounds like a sicko to me.

Glad you didn't cut, and glad you are reaching out to others with your thoughts and concerns.  And to echo what others have said or implied, yes, by all means talk to your p-doc about this.

Warm Regards,

~B

If this person is still part of your life you need to find a way to remove him imediatly and permanently. 

If hes already gone, then learn from this and be careful about strangers who want to open up to you.  And don't dwell on it.  I don't want to downplay depression, but you should make an effort to cheer yourself up by doing social activites with people your age, hobbies that you used to enjoy, excercising and eating fruits and vegetables.

I had depression as a teenager and it got better as I got older and went away almost completely when I started eating right.  If your brain isnt getting all the nutrients it needs it can cause or worsen it.  At least take a vitamin everyday.

18 Replies
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