A Little Input?

I'm not a hundred percent sure this qualifies as abuse, I mean I feel victimized but, I should have known better.

My brother in law was a very touchy feely guy. Hugs have always made me uncomfortable, but I put up with them to be polite. I have an anxiety disorder and when I moved to university dorms, I nearly broke down. The whole family agreed I could crash at his place til I got better a bit. He lives with his family, not alone after all. I slept in the same bed as him, because anxiety can turn a capable 23 year old into a child afraid of the dark like that, and ritualistically, we would smoke up every night. About a week in, he started to hold me as he fell asleep. It made me uncomfortable, with his hand around my waist, his head resting on my breasts, but I have never been with a man, and he convinced me this was all very brotherly. I put up with it because I didn't want to go back to the world of self harm and drug abuse (the irony!) And monsters in the dorms. I would be knocked out afterwards and it wasn't until much later, when he explained to me the exact anatomy of my vulva, and asked if a scar I have down there was self inflicted or not, that I realized he may (must) have been unclothing me as I slept.

This is making me dizzy so ill make it snappy.

Also on the list
Pulled down my pants as part of an abdominal exam after I had an ultrasound for an issue with my colon (he is a doc, I am a med student)
Prodded around my peri anal/peri vaginal area for sake of said medical problem (i now know this is in no way a valid procedure)
Forced massage on my buttocks when all I asked for was upper back
Hands slipped over side of breast during upper back massage
Hand on my thigh when driving despite me physically lifting it and moving it aside.
Purposeful exposure of his semi erect penis (first one seen since the one in my mouth when i was a child!)
Outright grabbing my breast and twisting my nipple (because I "looked so cute all dolled up for my crush" this is where I asked him to stop. He told me to get used to it, its normal touch. We stopped speaking)

Can I call this abuse? I am an adult, I have the power to consent. Does that mean I have to be explicitly clear about a discomfort before its considered non consensual? Also, is he right, is this normal? It all triggered a repressed memory of childhood abuse, am I projecting that situations emotions? Do I have a right to be this upset?

K I need water.
If you read this please respond, even if your don't know either. Idk why I'm requesting that, I just am.
scantilycladsoul scantilycladsoul
22-25, F
2 Responses Jan 21, 2013

This is abuse. He should not be doing any of those things. Has he been abused in his childhood? Has he abused you before in your childhood?

I'm glad that you're not speaking anymore. He doesn't seem to be a safe person right now. You have already displayed such courage and grace! Please continue to do so!

Even though you're an adult now, because of your childhood sexual abuse, you may have a "freeze" response that can get triggered when faced with any experience that reminds you of your past traumas. That doesn't make it your fault! You freezing and being in a temporary vulnerable state is not an open invitation for someone to take advantage of you or abuse you.

There are some great books on being an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse and repressed memories. I would highly recommend reading some of those for ideas and potentially recovering more memories. Repressed Memories: A Journey to Recovery from Sexual Abuse by Renee Fredrickson, Ph.D. is a great one that's geared towards survivors recovering their own memories and bringing it into the context of their abuse experiences.

Best wishes. Stay strong. Treat yourself with the love and respect you deserve.

Chica... somehow I'm now seeing this post. I might be out of place but, seriously what happened was unacceptable - by any standard. He perpetrated your personal space and your privacy, it was not normal and it will never be normal. It was unwanted, he overstepped many boundaries. You have a right to be upset, this is not ok. I'm upset as well, I hope you are no longer in this situation. I am not sure about your question about consent, to tell the truth, your best bet would be to explicitly state your discomfort, but I am sure from your body language (such as removing his hand from your thigh etc) it was clear to him.