Other Was this a traumatic incident or am I being melodramatic?

J

jjcc22

I (29F) was in a 2 year long relationship from 15-17 with a guy who was 20 when I first met him. This was a sexual relationship that was emotionally abusive and later became physically abusive (leading to bodily harm). Due to the fact that I was a minor, this relationship feels like it was also sexually abusive, however I am having a hard time acknowledging this as 'sexual abuse', as I did consent to it and I've had mental health professionals say he was 'still a young guy' or 'you made the choice to be in this relationship'.

I mostly feel numbness and indifference to what happened. However, I struggle to have sexual intercourse without feelings of deep shame. I kept this relationship from my parents and would often feel deep anxiety of 'being caught' and a feeling of being 'dirty' when having sex with this person and now I struggle to have intercourse without reexperiencing these emotions. I've been told from previous partners that I am not very presernt during sex and I feel this is because I honestly just feel numbness, rather than enjoyment and I sometimes have to exert myself to block out memories from resurfacing.

After this relationship, I soon entered a 8 year relationship (17-26) with a wonderful guy who was quite a ‘saviour’ to me. I was genuinely happy in our relationship and completely pushed the previous relationship out of my mind for 8 years, basically eliminating any belief that what happened was real. These 8 years were the most stable and happy I have ever been in my life and I accomplished so much. Unfortunately since we broke up 5 years ago, I've continually experienced powerful and persistent feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness and a paralysing fatigue that I cannot pinpoint the cause of. I have also entered another abusive relationship and attracted a number of malignant male characters into my life, rather than good men like my ex boyfriend of 8 years. After the break up of my 8 year relationship, I was hospitalised and treated for major depression and I've gone through extensive therapy without going into detail disclosing the tumultuous relationship from my adolescence, but I am unsure if maybe this is the cause of the persistent symptoms that SSNRIs and therapy aren't able to effectively treat.

Would you consider this incident child sexual abuse or am I maybe overreacting?
 

Friday

Moderator
later became physically abusive (leading to bodily harm)
This... right here, is capital T trauma.

Which takes the entire complicated relationship & smacks it right dab in the middle of domestic violence.

Absolutely zero element of sexual abuse/assault needs to be present, for a) that to be “enough” to cause complicated problems, including sexual problems but b) it’s rare-ish for domestic violence not to include sexual abuse in some form, or another. Whether it’s to keep someone happy, or the only true time you feel connected/at peace, and the moment sex is done with you’re fair game again? Yeah. Domestic violence gets complicated as hell. Especially as “most” of the time? It’s a “good” relationship. So all kinds of good/normal things get f*cked sideways because they’re all linked to the abuse/trauma like a spiderweb.


Would you consider this incident child sexual abuse or am I maybe overreacting?
Whether it’s legally child abuse or not, depends on your jurisdiction. But, as I said above? There’s more to it than child abuse or an overreaction. There’s ALSO, at a bare minimum, assault (which is enough) and domestic violence (which also is enough).

Think of it this way... if someone T-bones my car? Does it matter if they’re drunk, fell asleep, or had a heart attack? Not particularly. The people in my car that died, are still dead. The bones are still broken. The lives are still changed. The only difference what caused the wreck makes is in the legal consequences, not the physical/emotional/mental effects of being squashed by a few thousand pounds of metal.

Bare minimum? You were assaulted. That’s a big deal. You were also in a partnership with the person assaulting you. That’s a big deal. It’s not a question of child abuse -or- no big deal.
 
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