Emotional fallout from being a partner to a sexual assault victim (obvs CW)

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by Coriander, May 9, 2015.

  1. Coriander

    Coriander Active Member

    Two of the three people I've had sex with in my life are rape/sexual assault survivors and I'm (with the latest one, specifically) having a lot of trouble bc there's this person I care so much about that other people have repeatedly hurt and there's nothing I can do about it
    So instead I'm obsessing over the one sexual encounter in his life I did have control over, that being the one with me, and I keep feeling like I messed up. Like I didn't make it clear enough to him that I wanted to make him feel good, you know? And I didn't mean to be selfish in any way I didn't I just...having sex with a person with a penis was a brand-new experience for me and I sensory overloaded and got a little nonverbal and a lot passive and I keep thinking that maybe if I hadn't he wouldn't have, to use his descriptor, 'shut down'. But I don't know if I should or even want to bring this up with him?
    I just feel really confused and helpless and I definitely don't want to talk with him about that bc I never ever want to make what's obviously already a huge trauma for him about me
    Last night I woke up at four in the morning bc I had a nightmare that someone touched my baby sister and i couldn't reason it away. Couldn't think 'oh that won't happen to her' couldn't even convince myself she'd necessarily tell me if it did bc here's this wonderful wonderful person and I can't separate the decisions he made in his life from the decisions she's made or is making. Like, he didn't do anything wrong, he didn't make any mistakes and while i logically already knew that sexual assault has nothing to do with 'making mistakes' I guess I didn't viscerally know that until now.
  2. Morven

    Morven In darkness be the sound and light

    I think you should bring it up, because it's very easy for both people to think something's utterly their fault, especially like this. Pick the time and place, obviously, but I suspect he is bottling up a lot of feelings that he hurt you, that he did something horrible to you because you went nonverbal and not very responsive.
  3. Coriander

    Coriander Active Member

    I'm a little concerned about that, but from what he and I have already discussed I'm a lot MORE concerned that my nonresponsiveness hurt him.
    One of his exes basically used him as sex toy when he was having a paralytic episode accompanying his depression, and he knows I came but he's on anti-depressants now so he can't, physically, and since I was so passive I'm really really worried I didn't project enough that I wanted to make him feel good.
  4. Beldaran

    Beldaran 70% abuse and 30% ramen

    You should talk to him about this.

    I've dissociated during sex before without even realizing it until later. I felt awful because I knew my partner only wanted to be with me if I was "there" and consenting the whole time since, you know, they're a good person. But I didn't put on the breaks or give any indication that there was something wrong. After realizing what I'd done, in my mind at the time that was sex they wouldn't have wanted if I'd been "truthful" or had communicated with them better. Felt bad man, but we worked it out.

    You need to talk about what meaningful consent means for the two of you when one or both of you are likely to get overwhelmed or even mentally nope out. Maybe him going away had little or nothing to do with you, maybe it was a specific thing you did, maybe it was a specific thing HE did, who knows? Not you, because you haven't talked about it. ;p

    Anyway, expect to fuck things up, and be ready to forgive yourselves when that happens. And... this is just my personal advice: don't set impossible standards that he doesn't think he's going to be able to keep. You need to reach a balance between not setting up impossible barriers for him as a survivor in figuring out how he relates to sexuality now while also respecting your wishes that he be present and consenting throughout.
    • Like x 1
  5. hoarmurath

    hoarmurath Thor's Hammer

    Talk about it with him. That's really the only advice I can give.
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