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Was I Abused?

From a young woman in Poland: I had a guy whom I work in one office (open space) with and we were in a relationship. I let him push me sexually and push my boundaries. He touched me and I told him no, I told him I am not ready, this is too soon that I feel bad about it and he did it again and again. He would rub my ladies parts and I enjoyed it, had an orgasm but did not feel okay with that I was sad I told him it was too soon and keep on telling him no in the future and then letting him touch me anyway. Then he told me that I only take and not give anything to him, I was not ready but felt bad about “using him” for pleasure so I let him have sex with me, I felt bad and he was pushing me until I pleased him.

Once I stayed first time overnight he did the breakfast and asked me to do the dishes afterwards.
Once we had sex and the condom broke, I told him it’s not my fertile days so it is okay. He never even asked if it is okay.

He was supposed to go to a wedding with me, he already knew my mom, would meet my whole family tho. He said he will go, he even re-organised his commitments for that. The day before the wedding he broke up with me, he did not even say it to me that he will not go, I had to ask him. He propose to give money to my cousin instead f going to cover the costs.. Never took into consideration how will I feel. He told me that I cannot give anything I only take, that I never proposed to pay, but he never took me out for dinner, we went to cinema once, once for beer or some tea. The costs were so low I did not think to propose to pay. But if he would ask me I would never refuse.

Then he saw me at work being really pale almost passing out. Everyone asked me what’s wrong if I am okay, if I need anything but not him.

After a while I started another relationship and only then did I see that a man can treat me in a good way and I was always really thankful for each good thing done to me. I always said thank you and always told my new man how I appreciate him and he said this is normal. Looking back in time, I realized that this is in fact normal, that I always before expected normal, good treatment and said “NO” for anything else than that. I know the guy from work treated me bad and I know he did manipulate me somehow into it, I just have no idea how and why did I let him, why did I let it go on and on?

Now I still work with my ex and when I look at him I feel grossed out by him as a person (and otherwise in the office he has a diamond clear reputation as a perfect golden boy, always helpful etc). I feel like he did something bad to me but even I am doubtful if he really did; and why did I let him

You’re right. He did do “something bad” to you. He wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. Although he accused you of being a “taker”, I think he was projecting his own beliefs and behavior on to you. He is a taker, not you.

Please don’t punish yourself for having given in more than you wanted to. It sounds to me like you were inexperienced and confused by his behavior. You didn’t know how to assert yourself and he is an excellent manipulator. What is important is that you learned from the experience and that you are now in a relationship that is appropriate and mutually caring.

Avoid the guy in the office as much as you reasonably can. You don’t owe him anything. If he behaved inappropriately at work, do consider making a confidential report of his behavior to the Human Resources Dept. I suspect you aren’t the first person to be hurt by this guy. HR can only act on someone like this if people come forward.

Confronting your ex yourself is not likely to be helpful since he is so good at blaming others. Instead, focus on this new relationship with a great guy.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

from Ask the Therapist

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