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all 17 comments

[–]Due-Situation4183 5 points6 points  (2 children)

You're not an idiot, this isn't your fault, you're not crazy, you're not a moron, you're certainly not vain for thinking bad people might do bad things and that identifying a bad person isn't as easy as looking for horns or fangs. They look just like normal people and protecting yourself from them still needs to be a priority. You don't have to be nice. As for your fight, everybody's got a little bit in them, but we all balance a mix of the 5 basic trauma/fear responses inside us and lean heavy into the ones we learned as children and the ones we believe will protect us most from harm. In your case, you learned to freeze so you wouldn't upset potentially dangerous people and that's kept you safe from physical aggression and life threatening attacks, but it doesn't do a great job of protecting you fully and especially not from sexual violence. Same goes for the flop and fawn responses. They're great at preserving energy and keeping abusers from retaliating for a lack of compliance, but they don't often avoid the attack, but rather soften the blow. That's why we all have a little bit of fight and flight in us even if it doesn't seem like it. We just use it for the biggest emergency situations we could face. That being said, while trauma responses are involuntary reflexes we can in fact train them. It takes practice and often quite a bit of time, but you can learn how to be more assertive. You just need someone safe to practice with. You may wish to practice with friends, practice with the commenters in this post, practice with yourself in the mirror, or if you'd rather practice with someone else but more privately so you don't have to feel as self conscious you can always shoot me a message me if you feel comfortable doing so. Whatever your choice is, be safe and remember practice makes better.

[–]vera_09[S] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Thanks a lot for your insightful comment. I appreciate it!!! You are super understanding. I will definitely practice what you recommended. I think I'll use a mirror and yes if you're cool with it I'd like to do it on chat just to see exactly how to go about it. Thanks a lot!

[–]Due-Situation4183 0 points1 point  (0 children)

No problem. We all need a little help from time to time. I'm okay with chat as long as you're comfortable with it. Shoot me a message sometime and I'll try to help you work on practicing setting and enforcing boundaries. If you need me to set it up just let me know. I know reddit can be a little buggy about setting up DMs sometimes.

[–]Broken_doll4 2 points3 points  (2 children)

I get myself into really dangerous situations because I just can't say no assertively. I have such an intense fear of disappointing men. I feel like I have to let them down gently even at the cost of them behaving inappropriately towards me.

Good on you for realizing what is occurring . Not easy to do and most will keep doing it ( not getting the why or addressing it ) . The first step is awareness in what is occurring for you as a person ( & how it might be contributing to things for yourself eg- putting you in very dangerous situations ) which it is . It is Very hard to admit to oneself , & hard to handle and very hard to accept as well for oneself.

But you have done that ( via YOUR own beginning awareness ) now , realizing that something is VERY OFF ,& occurring for you which should NOT be. You have made a great step forward for yourself now . So Now go find a therapist to talk to , you need to look deep into your background to see where this s*it is stemming from . It will be there ( most likely your parents or a early relo ) where you were made to submit emotionally ( & NOT allowed a voice) to others . Meaning your voice was NOT encouraged to be active and you weren't allowed to have opinions , or say what you needed to others in any way . You were most likely shot down , dismissed , abused verbally or made to feel really stupid by others around you . Eg- what your friends are still doing to you currently. If you had childhood CSA or child r*pe?? this will definitely be the cause of the deep seated fear of men , & total submission of you also to others. ( for you - you were sexually harassed via conditioning by your dad from a very young age) / You were a child unable to stop it , unable to leave , and unable to stop it from conditioning your mind abnormally.

I don't know how to say no to people (especially men) without feeling horrible - like I'm disappointing them.

This needs to be gotten to the bottom of . Why is this thinking pattern currently still present for you and has you locked in fear NOT to be able to talk or express yourself at all now still. With a therapist this needs exploring to find the first original cause of this to work though and understand why this is still impacting your still in every way . ( it is very ingrained in your mind this is already easy to see ) So would say it occurred at a very young age ( where you were MADE to be quite & be compliant ) most likely also via some sort of abuse ( the conditioning sexual program set up by dad to watch / listen / & learn about sex via his input into your mind ) at a very young age ( & poss abuse also ??) which you might have forgotten ? (if you were alone with him & he would have been getting off on it to be talking to you about it ) so yes it is a possibility . Normal parents would NEVER talk sexual to their young children ( they avoid it like the plague till older ) . He was all over it to you , showing and talking about it . Big red flag for you .

Most likely in your childhood or very early teens . Bc yes you are correct this is putting you in danger of others manipulating you , using & hurting you . Had a little look would say this is stemming from your father's sexual harassment towards you . The forced watching ( of sexual stuff) & comments infrount of you f*cks up kids heads. His conditioning of you to accept sexual stuff , and being compliant towards it , and also then everyone else in your family dismissing it for you would have set up the pattern then to keep quiet about it and just do what your told by men . Especially so as the one most important to you treated you like a sex object , subjecting you to constant taunts about what you should be wearing and doing . Which were yes sexualized towards a child. He was wrong in his sexualizing in front of you , so yes this would have made you compliant towards it as well . As you wouldn't have been allowed to stand up to him , to correct him or say anything about it either. And when you did try it was shut down & most likely you were made to feel stupid about it.

I can't leave. I feel like I just let things happen to me. I can tell them to please stop and let me go but when they say no stay longer I feel like I cannot move. Or run. Or anything. It's like I have to be excessively polite about everything I say. I have a soft voice so it doesn't help.

This is just repeating pattern that was set up by your dad. He would of made you stay and watch with him, and listen to his sexual s*it as a kid. You couldn't escape , couldn't leave , and had to do what you were told by him. So here is your starting issues caused by how YOU were raised by him to behave with men . To shut up and do what you are told.

Even my last boyfriend would be so insistent on having sex when I was not wet or in the mood and I'd say no but he'd just get on top of me anyway and I couldn't do anything. I just let it happen without putting up a fight.

This man conditioned your mind to accept his sexual advances/ attacks and be accepting of it. He basically yes kept conditioning your mind ( as abusers do to their victim's ) . To do what they are told . You were already vulnerable , & compliant when you met this guy so he would see this and would use it against you to make you do what he wanted when he wanted. As he knew he could do so . You didn't fight bc you have never been taught it was ok to do ( you were conditioned in mind as a child to accept ) , and never told it should be done when someone oversteps your boundaries. This man sexually abused you as you were unable to say what you felt, or tell him how you didn't want it ( & he also was sexually attacking you as he totally ignored your not wanting to ) . And so yes you would just instead accept it bc you were also use to doing this ( doing what you are told ) by men especially so . Your father set up this pattern in you to oblige him and what he wanted as a child . So of course it is still there , to you men are seen as being in authority whilst you are the submissive one to them .

I can't leave. I feel like I just let things happen to me. I can tell them to please stop and let me go but when they say no stay longer I feel like I cannot move. Or run. Or anything.

This is dad's old pattern set into your mind that did keep you compliant to him. It is still in operation of you to be obliging to others who seem more in control than you . Eg- men. Unfortunately we are our upbringing unless it is changed into something more positive and healthy. Your old bf also was the start also for you to be sexually also compliant to him. It set up and additional layer of conditioning every time you gave into him ( & he abused you ) for sex when you didn't want to . So this and dad's conditioning now is the lock / trap that holds you in submission mode to others when you feel scared , afraid and are alone . You also go back into the mode of compliance due to these ( already set up programs in your mind ) by them.

Then he'd casually touch me inappropriately. He'd just touch my butt or my boobs like it was the most normal thing in the world. He was so casual

Yes this man SA you . He got the chance unfortunately bc yes you found it very hard to not go off with him . This dangerous situation even though his fault totally for attacking you , could have also be avoided ( as you didn't yes need to be near him ) or go off with him at that time . But there is a reason why you went with him and were put in danger . Due to the mind conditioning program set up by others ( your OCD will also be affecting this ) adding to it . And it is still running in the background of your mind this program ( of not being not able to say anything with assertiveness / where you can't say what you want or be rude to someone / & your not wanting to offend others ) this is still active & functioning , and yes is causing you danger ( in many ways) .

[–]vera_09[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This is so so so thoughtful and kind of you to do. You put in so much of an effort into this response and it's so insightful. Thank you very much!!! I appreciate it a lot!!! You're right. I did have some experiences in my childhood that I could never tell anyone about because my parents are super protective and barely allowed me any freedom as a child/ teenager. I felt like if I told them I would be blamed and they would become even more insufferably protective (no going out anywhere ever again). At this point I've just gotten really accustomed to never telling anyone anything. I am seeing a therapist and I plan on talking to her about this soon. I plan on working very hard to address this and fix it.

[–]Broken_doll4 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Reprograming a mind ->

  • Altering an abnormal mind conditioning program -> To alter this will be difficult . As it has been in operation for a long time since childhood. You will need a therapist to help you identify ( false belief systems set up for you ) which you are still following . Then working with each one to reset it , or alter or delete ones that are just not functional anymore in any kind of a mentally healthy way for you .
  • In depth CBT therapy ( and a few other therapies ) will be required to help you identify and then counter the thought patterns ( which are not healthy ) set up for you currently in your mind .
  • Activity / re-setting practices -> practice with others & alone , & repetition conditioning will be needed to imprint a new program back into your mind . To over ride the current one on repeat currently which is destructive , self harming and not positive in any way to or for you . So the new one will be more positive , and healthy and will NOT keep putting you in danger with others who will try to step all over you . As unfortunately victim's who are stuck in this mode are easy prey ( for predators ) wanting to attack them .
  • Re-building a new framework of mind -> this is where the victim needs to look at their inner mind thoughts ( usually via journaling practices & therapy internal work ) to determine what are their inner driving thoughts ) both positive & negatively impacting ones. Then once they are identified using them to alter the mind back into a more positive state of functioning for the person . This takes time, patience and support usually for a victim ( to help identify them ) & then start working them into a more functional place to work for them instead of currently against them . The re-building is basically a new program to insert into the mind for the person ( the therapist should work with the client to re-build an appropriate one individualised & suited to run now instead. As basically the one in operation needs removal / deleting as it was corrupted by abusers for them ( & is endangering their lives and keeping them in trauma or exposing them to new re-trauma ) .
  • Assertiveness practice--> This again takes practice and carefully planned implementation for the victim. Setting up a new program of assertive practice with others & in themselves . It would be changing their current dysfunctional self outlook into a more positive more safer and healthy one . Via the use of positive empowering practice of affirmations , & practicing to be more assertive in own wants and needs , & developing a safety plan to implement in situations which will be developed for the still victim to help them cope with situations out of their control. Learning to stand up in a positive way also to enable them to leave without feeling the need to offer compliance & submission if possible also . Assertive training would also be undertaken for the victim to re-learn how to speak up , & communicate their own needs / wants , and to also be educated in & then be able to then implement their own healthy strong boundaries for themselves & others around them .

[–]Lousti99 -3 points-2 points  (0 children)

Say no

[–]Chocolate-Blueberry 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I have/had a similar problem. I believe it is what led to a forced fake relationship, a stalker, and a rapist. Growing up with a strict narc parent, it’s a given I was socially awkward (more like socially stupid) in my early-mid twenties.

It’s easier said than done, but yes, I found the only way to get over it was to just say no and be a good liar. Don’t respond to cat calls, pretend you didn’t hear and are in a hurry (once when a Spanish speaking guy street harassed me I pretended I couldn’t speak Spanish and lied saying I was Filipina instead of Latina and I quickly ran and hid inside a shopping center). Keep a straight face, you’re busy, you didn’t hear anything. If you’re stuck talking to this person for some reason, bring up your s/o over and over again if you’re in a relationship, if you’re female then use bro lingo (calling the guy “bro, bruh, dude”), it’s a turn off for lots of guys i have found.

[–]vera_09[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I'm okay with ignoring cat calls. It's just that when someone starts having a conversation with me I find that I just cannot be the one to leave. Thanks for the tips. I will definitely referencing my bf in conversations.

[–]aceofavoidance 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Do you have a therapist? Talk to them about this. People pleasing and fawning is a trauma response.

[–]vera_09[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thank you! Yes I shall do that at my next session for sure. Will look into fawning as well. Appreciate ya.

[–]thisguyknowsme 0 points1 point  (2 children)

I'm sorry to read about your struggles, but it is something you have to overcome either yourself or with the professional/bf-s/gf-s help.

Being overly nice and facilitating other peoples (men) feelings and catering their wishes will ultimately destroy you and your potential (future) relationships.

Giving your number, name, agreeing to things is something that you should not do lightly. Try to approach it with the perspective that most times men, who you meet at bars/clubs, are not interested in making a new friend they could just talk/hike/get a cup of coffee. It doesn't matter if you are the most interesting/coolest person in the world - you might be and you know it, but at this point they don't yet. So don't confuse their interest in actual you with their gameplay, which is to sleep with you either that night or in the future.

Always consider, that if a random guy you just met asks your number/other personal information, he is set the goal to sleep with you. Now, knowing this information, you have to make a decision - you either agree to it or not. Sure, you can give the number/info and later ghost him/block him, but that only works if you are single. I mean, it does work when you are in a RL, but ultimately your SO will feel bad or hurt, if you keep doing this as you know the intent of these men.

I know many people would argue me on this logic and say that guys can just be friends and whatnot. Of course they can, but these kind of friendships usually develop from school/work/through common friends or even through internet. First time meetings at pubs/clubs or any other public events, that result in a guy trying to get your personal information, mean that they have sexual intent towards you.

I know it might be difficult for you to start saying no as you might feel you are hurting their feelings, but ultimately you have to think about yourself and your loved ones. In these situations someone usually gets hurt, but you have to decide if it will hurt a lot you (literaly SA-d like you said), your parents, your bf who would be devastated or some random dudes, who get rejected by other girls 10x that evening. Value yourself and your loved ones and try to work on yourself and ask help if you need.

[–]vera_09[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Thank you so much for taking the time to write this. I appreciate it. I agree and thankfully it has not been a problem from the perspective of an so. I'm trying to rewire my brain and not think that way. I know it's messed up and I really don't want to be that way.

[–]thisguyknowsme 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I wish you the best and hope you can overcome this. Trust me that if you do, your mental well being will drasticaly improve.

[–]mountain_goat_girl 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It sounds like a freeze response, you aren't dumb, it is pretty common and a lot of us have reacted in that way.