Sexual Assault Did you ever antagonize your abuser(s)? Did you decide you wanted it?

Samantha_38

Confident
Did you ever purposefully make your abuser mad? Did you give in and just let them hurt you? Did you decide you wanted what they were doing instead of fighting? Instead of leaving?

I was abused at home from very young. Mostly physical abuse, but there was some other types sometimes too. As an early teen I found a 'boyfriend'. He was too old, but it didn't matter to me. He raped me. I went back, and for awhile when he'd continue to try forcing me I fought. I fought really hard. It was painful. I had debilitating injuries on top of other debilitating injuries caused by my dad.

Then I decided to let that boyfriend have sex with me. I don't remember making a definitive decision to do this, but eventually that's what it was. I periodically would tell him I didn't want to, but I didn't fight.

Then that boyfriend left and shortly after I started finding men that were interested, or making older men interested in me, and letting them do what they wanted. Often in return for letting me stay with them or for food, money, etc. I don't consider them rapists, or I didn't. They were older but I looked for it. In my head, "I wanted it".

Around that same time I started completely antagonizing my dad. Anytime we were in public I would push his buttons. 'Jokingly' call him names, but we knew I wasn't joking. I'd put him in places where he had to help me, make him buy me things because other people were around and he couldn't say no without looking like 'the bad guy'. He always wanted to be the perfect 'dad' in front of others. At home I was worse. I'd swear at him, disobey, even tell him to hit me. That has always been confusing to me, but now I'm wondering if it was because making him hit me was somehow, in my mind then, not 'real' abuse.

So until recently I think that's where all of these things were defined in my head. "My fault. I wanted them. I asked for them. They didn't hurt me. I made them hurt me. If anything, I hurt myself. That was up until I was talking through one of these events with my T and between what he said and what I said, it came to light that I really did feel forced by one of these men.

I have not been doing well emotionally since then and I think its not only that it feels like I was just now forced by this one guy, but I feel like all of these situations are so similar that I was then forced way more times than I ever consider. Feels like somehow I was just forced 25+ times within the last week, even though its been over 10 years since any of this happened.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
So sorry you went through this.
Whilst my story is slightly different, the thoughts and beliefs and realisation etc are the same.
I had convinced me that I had raped me. I made them do it. My fault.
And also my fault when aged 15 I would go to a nightclub and do whatever with men aged 20-40 years old. My fault. Couldn't possibly be assault as I would pick the first man that bought me a drink and off I went with them. So I must have consented right? Even though I was underage and they were full grown men quite clearly able to see I was a child. And also convinced myself another rape was an "accident". Convinced myself of this until just a year ago, nearly 30 years it's taken me to realise that was no "accident".

I think we give ourselves these cognitive distortions to protect ourselves. A form of self harm seeking out to re-enact the abuse. A form of protection to blame ourselves.
And it's heartbreaking and scary to realise a different truth. I'm glad you have your T and able to process this with him.
However hard it feels, the worst is over and it's now a process of compassion for yourself.
I totally get the feeling that it is happening now even though it's in the past. I also feel that, overwhelmingly so at some points.
I hope your journey gets easier.
 
So. I have written about this numerous times, I don't know if I'm just yelling into space but I'm going to keep writing about it in the off chance it might help someone.

I am a person who actually, literally asked for it. I asked to be abused. I begged for it. And she did.

This is a difficult thing to have to admit and I spent years thinking that I wasn't just complicit in my abuse, but that I was actually 100% at fault for it.

The fact is, however, no matter how much you told yourself you wanted it, and no matter how much you antagonized your abusers, and no matter how many times you went back to them, THEY made the choice to abuse you. It wasn't my fault. It wasn't your fault, either.

If I asked you to stab me, and you stabbed me, which one of us would go to jail?
 

grit

MyPTSD Pro
I could be wrong and this really hurts my brain calculating but I wonder if as humans we blame ourselves in order to start the ball rolling for recovery. Like we do not have a concept for our brain to accept recovery something we have no input to it (the little brain needs ownership in order to say I may have something to do with it but now I recover from it - tiny truimph, tiny power). Like if the brain doesn't take some ownership, it is so far off from attainment to say anything or have any impact....I am just wondering why this is so common in almost most traumatized people - to feel they had a hand in their own abuse some so strongly and some so fleetingly and some chronically and some here and there? It really hurts my brain now.

All I can say is this, most likely you did not have a choice being abused and even if you did, you were still abused and I hope you find a way to live in peace and heal from it.
 

ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
I’m so sorry this still is haunting you in this way.

I remember, on the moment I said twice, no, this isn’t a good idea and the guy proceeded, I just told myself very clearly "Let’s say it was consenting so I don’t have to process it as a rape, and think of something nice instead, a magnolia tree is good, I like the pink flowers." The day next, to keep on this fiction, I just did everything as if everything was fine. The guy even made toasts. All that period in my life I was super dissociated and running on full autopilot. It took me a few days before realizing and telling myself I can’t call that in any other form than "rape." Actually what surprised me is that despite feeling horrible h/24 because the previous abandoned/dissociated state, I didn’t really care I was raped. Like okay, at least I don’t have physical damage. I found it shitty but didn’t feel anything like I’ve been invaded.

I was just so completely surprised with my own absence of response. This still hurts my brain today, because I don’t have any other moment it happened. It’s the distracted way of the guy, just ignored or didn’t hear what I said, and I just frost.

In other circumstances I’m super combative, but I think I have to discern an intent of harm for that to be triggered.

After that I started to physically respond to menace. Bite, scratch, hit. I even said, "go ahead, you can strangle me right there" and then sort of vanished from my body. I think it’s a reflex that is made for either scaring the attacker or by "playing dead", reducing the rage that prompts the attack. I did notice that when I just entirely surrender and shape shifted in a mop, then the beating would stop immediately. It’s not even freezing, it’s like almost dying on the spot, sending your soul to another place. It can also snap into full battle mode. Not a very pleasant place to be.

When I was with my violent ex and the patterns of honeymoon/tension/violence started to fixate, I also started to provoke because the tension state is the most unbearable. When you’re yelling to death or literally fighting, at least there is something to do. In the tension state, you don’t know when it’s gonna happen. You just know it is gonna happen. So better that to happen when you decided, so you poke until it explodes. I never went as far as calling names, it wasn’t needed. But I’d find some comment that would set him off for sure.

But clearly there are sets of attitudes that are triggered and it’s difficult to say precisely what triggers one attitude rather than the other. I oscillate between provocation, attack, mopping or running away. In that order. Mostly I’m more fighting and I beat myself for not being able to just disengage from a situation but tend to fight to the finish. Or force the opponent to go away, them, not me.

I don’t really think it’s "my fault," but I don’t understand why I didn’t go away it in the first place. I guess it’s a form of guilt, or a shielded guilt.
 

Chris-duck

MyPTSD Pro
I have done all variations of the things you said in different situations with different motives. N I guess it's all down to a sense of control "he's mad. Hell do whatever eventually, let's speed this process along" cos I'm not a fan of waiting for things to happen.

Or just taking the good shit where ya can get it. Treated like shit in private? Totally normal to take advantage of public where you can dictate how things go n get good shit.

I'm not sure it changes the (overall) outcome though. Like it's still a shitty situation, learning to find a way to get some good or some control over how it plays out, doesnt really change what was really going on.
 

Samantha_38

Confident
I did notice that when I just entirely surrender and shape shifted in a mop, then the beating would stop immediately. It’s not even freezing, it’s like almost dying on the spot, sending your soul to another place.

I've been here and experienced the same thing. Being lifeless for the boyfriend often did nothing to stop the trauma. Fighting or not, he wanted sex and he got it.

However, me doing that in front of my dad would make him so angry, and maybe provoke a very hard final blow but could at times then stop the abuse. I vaguely remember him shaking me and me acting like a rag doll...to which he threw me on the floor and stormed off. I guess he was done with me for that time.

In the tension state, you don’t know when it’s gonna happen. You just know it is gonna happen. So better that to happen when you decided, so you poke until it explodes.

Thank you for this analogy. Yes, I think I was here with my dad. Somewhere I think I needed to control something, so at least I got to choose 'when' it happened.

I'm not sure it changes the (overall) outcome though. Like it's still a shitty situation, learning to find a way to get some good or some control over how it plays out, doesnt really change what was really going on.

Yea, I think I taught myself how to take some control, as crappy of a way as it was.

I wonder if as humans we blame ourselves in order to start the ball rolling for recovery. Like we do not have a concept for our brain to accept recovery something we have no input to it (the little brain needs ownership in order to say I may have something to do with it but now I recover from it - tiny truimph, tiny power).

I can kind of understand what you are saying here.

Totally off subject, but as a Physical Therapist I had a patient once whom was severely injured at work. Very severe fracture to his leg and ankle. He had the atitude that work did that to him, so work better fix it. That meant he'd never work on his rehab outside of the therapy office that work was paying for. Months and months of therapy and he was getting no better. He had given up all ownership of his leg. He then was diagnosed with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy aka Complex Regional Pain. Quite literally his nervous system disowned his leg causing him major issues.

So like you say, maybe our bodies cannot heal what they do not on some level accept some ownership of what happened. Something to think on for sure.
 

Friday

Moderator
Did you ever purposefully make your abuser mad?
Oh for sure!

1) This is my MO in virtually any/all relationships that matter to me, or that have the potential to matter to me. Because I don’t trust anyone until I’ve seen them in a blind fury, and ideally with all of that rage directed at me.

Most of the time? It’s a very organic process, aided by the fact that I’m pretty freaking infuriating, by all accounts. 😉 On occasion though, inspiring men to violence... just to see what they’ll do... is a coldly calculated affair.

The hilarious (to me, anyway) piece, there? Is when I’m caught out doing it. It speaks to a level of self-control & familiarity with violence that I rarely see, anymore. (Just a note on geography & my circle of “friends” rather than people as a whole) And I can’t think of a single time when it hasn’t ended up with both of us laughing. Most people? Just ride the wave and get swept up by their anger, and respond accordingly to their character. Which is what I want to know. “WHO are you?” Mission success. Regardless of the outcome. Someone flickering in and out of their own emotions to continue assessing the person & area around them AND to either throw the breaks on their rage, or to redirect it at the fact that I’m baiting them? Is someone I will trust head and shoulders above the crowd. That person? Would have to lose their mind (grief, pain, drugs, etc.) to not be in conscious control at all times. They might get snappy or grumpy, like anyone, but that’s of no consequence. Because their getting sparky isn’t going to light off the magazine into a big f*cking explosion. UNLIKE people who are less experienced in handling themselves at all, much less under provocation.... and who not only explode over total bullshit reasons, but blame anyone/anything except themselves for their own actions.

2) SPECIFIC to abusers only? Pfft. It gets things over, faster. Building tension can kiss my f*cking ass. I can see where this is going. Let’s get this done, already.

Did you give in and just let them hurt you?
Not in an abuse-setting. But in other situations, certainly.


Did you decide you wanted what they were doing instead of fighting? Instead of leaving?
Ditto... not in an abuse-setting. But in other settings, there was a HUGE control factor involved.
 

Friday

Moderator
"Control factor" on your part?
Yep. My choice when & where it started. Not caught unawares, weak, or hopeful/exited for the day... but on my terms. Here. Now. My choice.

In abuse settings, deliberately kicking things off led to another level of control... Because I knew the cycle. I knew the tension building, I knew the crash coming, and I knew the good times following. Until the tension started to build, again. Far better to keep the tension period as short as possible, so we could get on with things.

Did I WANT it? (Abuse, rape, etc.) f*ck no. As illustrated, getting it OVER WITH so we could move onto what I actually wanted to be doing? Is the opposite of wanting it. I viewed it very much like jumping into cold water. All over fast, or drug out over a long period of time. ^^^ Although there were also parts I minded far less than others -outside of abuse- so if I could nudge the balance towards the things that sucked less? That doesn’t mean they didn’t suck. It means that it sucked LESS than the other option(s). Was something I could live wih easier, face better, recover from faster. ditto inside abuse. Like I can live with taking a beating faaaaaar easier than I can live with someone I love being beat down. And it was still exercising as much control as possible, regardless of the scenario. But the better of 2 evils? Is still evil. Choosing to TAKE the hit? Rather than someone else take it? Doesn’t mean I wanted to be hit. It meant I wanted someone else to not be. Which put me in the middle. Which was where I WANTED to be... IF AND ONLY IF... we were in a f*cked up scenario where someone was going to get hurt. Me me me! Pick me! ;) For real, though. That doesn’t make me responsible for someone else’s actions.
 
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Muttly

MyPTSD Pro
Honestly, a lot of what you described sounds like survival. you did things so you could get your needs met. That's not wanting it or deserving it.

And doing things that bring on abuse so the abuser feels a sense of control is pretty common. It's something my T has talked about. Having no sense of control is frightening even if you aren't getting abused. If you are getting abused, it's down right terrifying on some level.

Also, a kid/teen needs attention. And if they can't get positive attention they will try to get whatever attention they can. Even if it's abusive.
 
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