I feel guilty calling it rape

I feel guilty calling it rape

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For background, a year and a half ago I ended a 7.5 year long relationship with my ex, who had been abusive and had told me that he would force me if I ever said no to him. So I spent all those years too afraid to say no, even though I generally didn’t want to do it. After I left him, I started seeing J. J had been my best friend for the last 8 years, and he had heard everything that I have been through. He always said how angry it made him, and what a monster my ex had been. I fell pretty hard for him.
The problem is, I have still been learning to say no, and he is the kind of guy who would rather ask forgiveness than permission. A couple months into the relationship, he started introducing anal into the sex. I told him we couldn’t do it without lube. He’d do it anyways. I told him that we could only do it once a visit (I saw him on weekends every other week), so that I wouldn’t get injured. He would do it 2-3 anyways, and not seem to care when I told him I bled. I know that’s pretty sketchy, but during the moment I never said no, though I would pull his fingers away the first couple times before giving in and letting him.
However, about 4 months ago, I found the courage to speak up. We had done it the day before, and I was okay with that. But that day he tried to use fingers for anal play, and I said that “it was too soon from last time”. He said okay, we kept going with vanilla sex. Then he tried again as soon as I relaxed. I told him “I’m too sore”. He said “okay, sorry”, and we went back to regular stuff. He went for fingers one more time, I pushed his fingers away and said “I said I’m too sore. When you push for anal when I’m too sore, you ruin the experience for me and makes me not want to do that”. He looked me in the eye, told me he was sorry, and went back to normal. I relaxed, thinking that I finally made my point, and had a successful no for the first time. Then he tried one last time. But not with his fingers. I froze, I didn’t know what to do. My best friend, who knew everything I had gone through, acknowledged my nos and was doing it anyways. I slipped back into old habits from my previous relationship, and I stopped responding and relaxed my body as much as possible to try and minimize damage.

People have told me that it was rape, and that is was horrifying, but my mind can’t comprehend it. He’s my best friend, the guy I confided in. He was the one who comforted me while I started finding myself again after leaving my abuser.
He couldn’t rape me too…. Could he?


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28 comments

  1. tayestlack Volunteer

    Hello love, i’m so sorry you’ve experienced such an abusive relationship with your ex as well as in your new relationship. He should have listened and followed through with your pleas. He should not have passed your boundaries and comfort zone. perhaps try standing your ground to make your comfort zone clear to him. Thank you for coming to us. I really hope you can come to an agreement and common ground in this new relationship. Please return to us if you ever need our resources or if you wish to return. i hope you have a lovely day.

  2. Breanna Grunthal Volunteer

    Hi Lady_Direwolf,

    Thank you for sharing with us. I am so sorry your ex made you afraid to say no and speak what you want. And I am sorry that your best friend disrespected you and ignored you when you were speaking up for yourself. What you said was enough and he should have listened to you. They both should have respected you and your boundaries. You did not deserve to be treated that way. We are here for you. Feel free to explore our Find Help tab for resources, and please let us know if there’s anything we can do for you.

    Sending you love and strength,
    Bre

  3. Jess Volunteer

    I am so sorry that your ex made you so scared to say no. And I’m sorry that your best friend has this knowledge and has dismissed it. You didn’t deserve what your ex did to you and you do not deserve for your best friend to dismiss your lack of consent. You stated your desires and he dismissed everything you fought for in that moment by moving forward. As others have said, it may be beneficial to speak to him at another time about how his actions make you feel. It would show him how important your boundaries are to uphold and respect.

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. If you need anything else in the meantime, we are always here and we believe you. Stay strong and keep fighting. <3
    -Jess

  4. Marissa Day Captain

    Hi Lady_Direwolf,

    Thanks for sharing your story with us. I’m so sorry your ex made you feel scared to say no and that your best friend took that and kind of used it against you. You don’t deserve for this to happen to you. I would suggest talking to him when you’re not in the “heat of the moment.” Maybe it would help him understand how serious this is to you… Even though your previous refusals should have been enough for him. Please let us know if there’s anything we can do for you. We’re here to help!

    Marissa

  5. Samantha Harris Volunteer

    Hi Lady_Direwolf,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I’m sorry that you had to go through this. You didn’t deserve to be treated this way. You had boundaries set with J, and he chose to ignore that. If you ever need anything, let us know. We are always here for you.

  6. Ashley Day Captain

    In your previous relationship, I’m sorry that your ex made you feel fearful about expressing your discomfort.
    It sounds like you have set boundaries with J (no anal sex without lube and only once per visit), which is great. You have the right to be treated with respect and wanting J to respect your boundaries isn’t too much to ask for.
    Although there have been times where you didn’t say “no,” I want to emphasize that the absence of “no” doesn’t mean “yes.” You mentioned that you pulled his fingers away and that should have been enough to indicate that you didn’t feel comfortable. I’m sorry he made you feel dirty.

    Please know that you don’t deserve to be mistreated by anyone, Lady_Direwolf.

    Ashley

  7. music2799 Day Captain

    Hi Lady_Direwolf,
    I’m really sorry about what you’ve been through with your ex and with this friend. You don’t deserve to be treated that way, and you’re not at fault for any of it. Since this is your experience, I think you should decide whether or not you want to define it (and how to define it). It makes sense that this is difficult for you to comprehend.
    Based on what you’ve said, your friend kept disregarding your lack of consent. He should have listened to you when you were explicitly telling him and when you were pulling his fingers away. Coercion is not consent. He should not be wearing you down to get what he wants – it’s wrong, and he’s not keeping your boundaries in mind. You deserve to be with someone who respects your boundaries.
    Thank you for trusting us with your story – you’re strong and brave. We’re here to help and support you, so please let us know if you need anything. I hope you’re safe and that you’re doing okay.

  8. mikaylaanne11 Volunteer

    Hi Lady_Direwolf,

    I’m glad you found us and were willing to share your story. You didn’t deserve to be put through what you’ve experienced. It’s understandable that you’re having difficulty reconciling this most recent incident, considering your history with sexual trauma and your history with J. Your feelings are valid. We believe you and are here to support you.

    Rape is defined by forcible penetration, while sexual assault can cover a more wide spectrum of behaviors like unwanted touching, indecent exposure, etc. To me, language is so important, and you should be allowed to choose what language you want to use to describe your experience. Whatever you come to, your terminology will not invalidate your experiences. We are here for you anytime you want to share. Sending lots of positivity your way.

  9. CarmenR Volunteer

    Hi there,

    Thank you for coming here and sharing your story with us, and I’m so sorry for all that you have been through. You didn’t deserve any of it, and you are not at fault. I think that the advice given below is really important to consider. We cannot define your experiene for you, as it is your own experience. If your best friend had told you the story you just told us, what would you think and what would be your response?

    You said no, and J didn’t listen. I am so sorry he didn’t respect what you said and what you were comfortalbe with. You deserve someone who respects you. Stay strong, and know that you are always welcome here.

    Carmen

  10. Bluebell13 Volunteer

    Dear Lady_Direwolf,
    Thank you for trusting us with your story. I am so sorry for what you have been through and for what you are currently experiencing. No one here can define your situation because we were not there; however, it sounds like you have some very strong feelings about it and your gut is giving you a message. Maybe go back and read what you wrote to us and think about it as if you were reading someone else’s story. What would you say to that person?
    From this perspective, it certainly sounds like J is not respecting your boundaries and he is banking on you not enforcing them. Coercion is not consent and consent isn’t limited to only the words “no” or “stop”. Consent is given or denied in many different ways and can also be taken back at any point.
    Please keep yourself safe and let us know if we are able to help you in any way.
    Sending you love and strength,
    Roxie

  11. Kayla Volunteer

    Lady_Direwolf,

    It sounds like J is not respecting your boundaries or taking your lack of consent seriously. This isn’t okay. You said no in several ways, you shouldn’t need to say it more than once. You weren’t enthused which is a no in itself – consent is an enthusiastic yes. The signs were clear and you were firm and yet he did it anyway. I’m very sorry. You don’t deserve this. Have you ended things with him?

  12. meg Volunteer

    Lady_Direwolf,

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. Those partners disrespected your boundaries, your wishes and you. It sounds like they put you into situations where self-preservation was your only option. None of that is your fault at all. I hope that sharing your story with us has given you the beginning steps of healing. As you move forward, be gentle with yourself. Take time to breathe deeply. You are strong and resilient. I would suggest finding a therapist to help you navigate the complexity of the trauma that you have endured. There are free resources available at the Find Help tab on AVFTI. You are not alone. Please update us as you feel you need to. We are here for you!

    -Meg

  13. Shannon Volunteer

    Hi Lady_Direwolf,

    Thank you for sharing with us. what he is doing by pushing you to do things you don’t want to is not okay, he needs to understand that. I hope you can find some help or answers in our comments, or in the find help tab at the top of the page. let us know how else we can help. be kind to yourself

    Shannon

  14. dzreid Volunteer

    Hi there!
    Thanks for trusting us enough to share! I’m sorry that your wishes (& you) weren’t respected. Your feelings are valid! You didn’t deserve that! You are worth it to have a relationship that has healthy boundaries in which you are respected. I hope by coming on here, you can find some help & hope. I think by sharing, that takes a lot & is a huge step to your healing. Continue reaching out as you process it all. You’re not alone! Stay strong. Wishing you the best.
    Dawn

  15. musicislove

    Hi Lady_Direwolf,

    I’m so sorry someone you’ve trusted for so long and have been so close to isn’t respecting your wishes. Him pushing you into something you don’t want is not okay and you should be able to set your boundaries and not have to worry about them being violated. What he did was wrong, and you shouldn’t have had to go through it. You clearly didn’t want to go any farther and he didn’t listen, that’s not ok. Thank you for sharing your story with us and we’re here if you want to share more.

    Delaney

  16. Julia Mandel Day Captain

    Thank you for reaching out to us. I am so sorry that someone you trust so well is not listening to you or respecting your feelings during sex. You did not consent and he kept trying to make you, which is wrong. If you feel it is rape, then that is completely valid. It’s difficult to assign a name to these types of things, especially when those involved are such a huge part of your life. You need to do what makes you the most comfortable and safe in order to be healthy. Nothing you did was wrong and you should be proud that you were able to tell him how you felt, since that is very difficult sometimes. We are always here for you and have lots of resources as well you can check out. Have you tried to talk about this with any close friends or family, or even a therapist? They may be able to help you through this and put a name to what you are feeling. Stay strong; we support you <3

  17. Marcus Aurelius Volunteer

    Hey there, hope today is a better day

    so yeah, this is our first contact. I’m not here to tell if what you lived was rape or not unfortunately but also fortunately for you.

    What I mean is that, I was not there, all the people commenting were not there. The only person that really was there was you…I know this is hard to hear, super hard..the hardest thing in the whole world.

    Honestly, when I read things like that, my blood boils. My role today though is not to be all vindictive and solution-making. My role today is to say: you are loved, you are worthy, you are wonderful and things WILL work out (maybe not today, maybe not in 2 days, but they will work out eventually I can guarantee that for you. You may say: how can you say these things? Hmm very good question. Call it gut-feeling or call it hope. From my personal experience in a somewhat different but also similar way, I have tasted hope and it tastes real good, especially when things are confusing. So anyways, long story short, hang in there, we got a whole team dedicated to these different situations and we are always available for more “chatting” online. Take care,

  18. Natalie M Day Captain

    Hi there,

    Thank you for trusting us with your story! I am so sorry that you had to experience the relationship you had and then this from your best friend. What he did was not okay. I think it was really great of you to say no to him. I am sorry that he did not respect your no. It is great that you have friends who you feel comfortable talking about this with, that is a great way to process through what has happened and to process your feelings as well. Please be gentle with yourself, and you can call what happened here whatever you are comfortable with. You do not necessarily have to classify it as rape for it to be considered not okay. You did not consent and he took advantage of you. That can take a long time to process, especially because he was someone you were very close with. Please know that you did nothing wrong! You are very strong!! Focus on your health. Continue to talk to friends or family that you are comfortable talking with, come here to share your thoughts, and seek out a counselor if you would like. All are excellent resources to help you heal. Be patient with yourself and always remember how strong you are! We are here for you every step of the way!

    Sending lots of support your way,
    -Natalie

  19. sam Volunteer

    Hey Lady_Direwolf,
    Thank you for sharing with us. It makes sense that you have a hard time saying “no,” but you indicated many times that you didn’t consent, yet he still continued to do something you asked him not to. He knew your history yet disregarded the fact that you’ve been violated in the past, and I’m so sorry that someone you trusted and confided in betrayed you like this. It must be really hard to come to terms with the fact that someone who has provided so much support could also cause so much harm, but you have already shown how strong you by surviving your abusive ex, and we are here to help you stay strong through this experience, too. You deserve to be treated better.

    I hope that sharing with us was helpful and that you continue to do so. We believe in you!

  20. Amysue43 Volunteer

    Thank you for telling your story. I’m sure this was hard for you to write, but doing so can help you digest your feelings. The key factor here is the absence of consent. You never consented to such and you blatantly said “no” several times after each attempt. What he did to you was wrong and I’m sorry you had to go through this. These feelings can be tough and frustrating to handle. I would suggest journaling about your feelings and thoughts. This may help you process your experiences while lifting some weight off your shoulders and clearing your mind.
    Don’t forget that you are in absolute control of your body and you can stop the scenario at any point. The person can either be mad or accept the fact that you do not want to continue. Don’t let their anger persuade you into anything you don’t want to do and you don’t have to explain yourself either. They will get over themselves at some point and recognize their fault, but this may take some time which could honestly be for the best too.

    Stay strong <3

  21. Megan Volunteer

    Hey Lady_Direwolf,

    I’m so sorry that this happened to you. You deserve to be treated so much better. Even if you didn’t directly say no, things like pushing his hand away or moving away from him are still a no that he should have listened to. Plus, in order to have consent you have to clearly say yes. What your friend did was wrong and I’m sorry. I can imagine it must be really hard to have someone you trusted violate that trust. If you ever need anything, we are here for you.

    You are strong and you will get through this. I believe in you,
    Megan

  22. Lizzi

    Lady_Direwolf,
    I’m so sorry for what happened to you with both your best friend and your previous abuser. It’s understandable that you’d have a hard time saying no after being with someone so long and not being able to tell him no. It sounds like you did find your voice and you tried to tell your new partner many times that you weren’t okay with it, and he didn’t respect that. It sounds like you were very clear with what you did and didn’t want, and how often you were okay with it. He didn’t respect that. He should have stopped when you said no, the first time. You didn’t deserve what he did to you against your wishes. I can imagine it’s complicated and confusing that someone that was so comforting to you would do something so opposite from that. I’m sorry that he has betrayed your trust and made you feel some uncomfortable with him. If you need further support, check out our Find Help tab or consider talking to a counselor about what’s happened. Thank you for sharing your story with us. We’re here to support you.

  23. Lady_Direwolf

    Thank you, it’s been a rough time.

    I did talk to him about it about two weeks after it happened, and he seemed to understand the gravity of the situation. But what makes this feel so fresh after four months is that two weeks ago I was at his place and stayed the night. The last two months I told him we couldn’t have sex because I was feeling like my entire self worth has been sexual in nature. I’ve only visited once a month since then. The first time we shared a bed he respected my wishes. However the last visit he kept trying to jump me multiple times. Whenever I even twitched in my sleep he would roughly pull me against him to try and start something and kept pulling at my clothes. I told him to sleep and I told him we should talk before sex ever happens again but he didn’t listen. He even looked me in the eyes and grinned like he was being playful when he made one of the attempts. He made me feel dirty and like I deserved it for trusting him.

    It’s like he’s not my best friend anymore

  24. Northlane1991 Volunteer

    I will like to say i am sorry this happened to you and both what your ex-partner and current partner did was wrong. I am so sorry you had to go through that and it is difficult to understand when people you trust the most do harm to you. You have the right to say no and he as a person should know to understand your boundary. We are here for you.

  25. Erin O'Callaghan Day Captain

    First, I want to say that I’m so sorry for what you experienced, both before your current partner and what your current partner did. You didn’t deserve any of this, and this wasn’t your fault. I understand that it is difficult to understand when the people you trust the most and care about harm you-especially when you explicitly ask them to respect your boundaries, and they continue to cross them. What I can tell you is that you do not deserve that, and that anyone who truly cares about you will respect your boundaries, full stop, no questions asked. That is what we deserve, and that is basic “caring for someone” behavior. Is there anything else we can do to help you? Please let us know-we are here for you.

    Erin

  26. colton95 Volunteer

    What happened to you you absolutely did not deserve to go through and your friend should’ve known that. He definitely pushed many boundaries and forced you too go through something you should not have to go through. I recommend either talking to your friend about what he did, or consulting someone you absolutely trust, whether it be a family member, therapist, or otherwise. If you ever need to talk, feel free to reach out to anyone here.

  27. Thomas Volunteer

    Hi Lady_Direwolf,

    I’m so sorry that this happened to you. You don’t deserve to be treated this way. You deserve to be treated with kindness and respect. And that includes your own wishes and interests being respected. No means no. Whether it is your ex or your friend, ignoring you saying no is never acceptable. A friend respects the boundaries of another friend. Thank you for sharing your story with us. You are not alone. Please let us know how else we can help. You are so brave and strong.

    Thomas

  28. Alyssa Day Captain

    Hi Lady_Direwolf,
    I’m so sorry this happened. You don’t deserve the abuse you went through. What your ex and your friend did was both not okay. You said no to your and no means no. He didn’t listen that is not okay. I’m proud of you for standing up for yourself. What your friend did was not what friends should do.
    Have you talked to him about this to see what he says? If you don’t want to you don’t have to. If you feel uncomfortable bringing this up I understand. This is a very hard subject to talk about to anyone. You are brave to tell it here. If you need anything AVFTI is always here. Thank you for trusting and sharing you story with us. Continue to stay strong.