I am feeling so full of personal shame..

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
I am feeling so full of personal shame..
10
Wed, 07-02-2003 - 10:10am
Last weekend I went to meet a man who I'd been talking to for 6 months. I met him on the internet, just randomly...not on a dating site or anything.

Anyway, I flew across the country to meet him for the weekend, we had exchanged pictures and all that. I never expected to feel the way I did when I got there.

I felt totally obligated to sleep with this guy after we'd had so many intimate conversations on the phone and over e-mail, even though I truly found him physically repulsive. Seriously. Now I don't have to have someone hot, but this wasn't a matter of opinion, just take my word for it.

I felt trapped, and I didn't realize at all how much of a stranger he really was until I was there alone with him in a strange city so far away from home and too scared to say anything about my dissapointment and how I felt.

I sort of removed myself from the situation and just tried to make it until Sunday when I could come home. I've had a few one night stands before, and I've had a few sexual encounters that have left me feeling less than special, but I never expected this. I thought I could just get through the horribly dissapointing weekend, and make it home and forget about everything.

As I got on the plane to come back home, I started to experience crippling back pain that lasted through the whole flight. When we started to land, I began to get nautious. I was eyeing the barf bag as we were landing (and I never get sick on planes!).

As soon as I was picked up from the airport, I just lost it. All I could think about was his face above me, having sex with me, and how dead it made me feel inside. And how I felt like a hooker because I thought I had to do it or something b/c he had paid for the plane ticket and all that. I started crying and couldn't stop as soon as I saw my sister waiting for me.

This is my third day home and I cannot think of it without feeling sick. I can hardly look myself in the eye with self-disgust. I guess this is just venting because I feel traumatized by this. It brings tears to my eyes to think about how this all happened, and how I could've stopped this whole feeling from happening if I'd just said something, but I didn't and I feel so gross now.

I know I should have said NO, but I just got so scared, and I was all alone. I just got scared, but I feel so shameful now. I've never felt so dirty and disrespectful in all my life.

I make myself sick right now.

I don't know if it helps me to talk about it or makes me feel even sicker.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-19-2003
Wed, 07-02-2003 - 10:38am
I'm truly sorry that this happened to you. Your post is obviously loaded w/grief and guilt.

I dated through personal ads, which are not unlike meeting people via Internet. But one of the things I learned from it was, if you encounter someone that seems interesting, meet them RIGHT AWAY. By not doing so, you prolong the mystique of this fantasy person who seems like a dream come true--when in reality they're a potential walking nightmare. This seems to be what happened to you.

You're going through some anguish right now, and time really does heal; you made a mistake, it's over, so learn from it and don't repeat it. If you continue to feel this way, find a therapist and work it out of your psyche; pay the $$ and consider it an investment to buy back your psychological health.

Then understand that it's not your first or your last mistake, and that your life will go on. I met my now-XH through a personal ad, and he looked great "on paper:" widowed, schoolteacher, a minister w/his own church, a father w/grown kids and grandkids. We dated for 16 mos before we married--and 2 mos after the wedding I found out that not only was his youngest son moving coke, but his dad (XH) was the hub of the business! Then XH and kids were hitting me up to cosign loans (for thousands of $$!), they needed cars, etc, etc.

The best thing I ever did was divorce him, and I too have had to contend w/the self-recriminations. But I also understand now, w/the help of therapy, that this man was a con artist, and it was his JOB to make SURE I didn't suspect his true character (or lack of same). The only consolation I have now is that I got out before he saddled me w/debt that would've made leaving impossible--or that I wasn't busted right alongside all of them. The true blessing for me is that I bought a house for myself where I now live; in the interest of buying our new home, I sold my own home at a loss of $27,000 equity just for a quick sale. He bought out my interest in our home, and I bought my own home w/that $$ (though I've never told him I did so, and he doesn't know where I live).

So don't beat yourself up about it. It was a mistake, it's over--now learn from it, and be more careful in the future.

Ash

Avatar for cl_shywon
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Wed, 07-02-2003 - 1:32pm
We all have regrets in life. Some of them have to do with sex, some don't. There isn't anything you can do to change what has already happened, but I'm sure that given how you feel now, it won't happen again. Right now, you feel awful, and I probably would feel the same way. Eventually, it'll get better, and you'll realize this is a life lesson learned, and be a better person because of it.

Just remember that no one goes through life making all the right decisions. That's just part of being human.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 07-02-2003 - 1:48pm
Honey, please don't do this to yourself. Seek a counsellor or post on the rape boards - these feelings are very similar to that experience. Yes, I know how you feel. But if you beat yourself up - then you will never get to the place where you love yourself. And you deserve to love yourself UNCONDITIONALLY! When you accomplish that, you won't have to worry about this kind of stuff - it'll be beyond you. And you will find someone who loves you as well :)

Let it go. Release it. Set yourself free!

((HUGS))

Go.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-23-2003
Wed, 07-02-2003 - 3:51pm
You're OK, you're human, and most importantly you're safe. You did not hurt anyone or get hurt, except for the mental anguish you're feeling. I can relate to your feelings. I did something recently that could have completely changed my life forever, I mean that. I spent days crying, not talking to anyone, asking myself how I could have done that? It made me feel bad about myself, made me feel like I was a bad person. Then, a few days later (and after I talked to a friend and a therapist), I began to feel better. I started to see the sun again. I could think of the incident w/out immediatly wincing or shaking my head to remove the images. Then even later, I just put it out of my mind. It DOES get better with time. Believe me!!!

And who were you to know that he was not going to be who he said he was? He mislead you and you had no idea. He lied to you and that is HIS problem, not yours. You went there to meet him and see how you would feel spending time with him. Well now you know, it's not something that you want to pursue. At least you know. Again, you're OK, you're not physically harmed from this (are you?) and it could have been so much worse.

Have you spoken w/ friends about this? I know w/ me, I finally broke down and told my best friend about my situation and felt like 100 lbs was lifted. It made me feel so much better to hear her say that I did nothing wrong. She didn't judge me, she didn't tell me how dumb I was, she said it was OK b/c it's over. You can't change the past but you can move towards your future in the present.

You'lll be OK, I swear. I hope that each day that passes will lessen your pain.

K

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 07-02-2003 - 5:36pm
Thank you. It feels better just to hear it from others, even if I know all that deep down.

I appreaciate the kind thoughts/words.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 07-02-2003 - 6:25pm
Look, nothing you do now is going to "undo" what happened...but everything you do now is affecting your perception of that situation and you...which is what is causing all this distress.

Feelings aren't facts, goals, or used to determine what to do in situations to reach a successful result. Feelings are a result o situations. Situations are created/changed with actions.

So....I have been EXACTLY where you are. Hard won lesson...so wear the badge of learning with honor - not with shame.

You had lots of email conversations - which meant that he typed and you read...and vice versa. There was no factual review of his life, no personal interaction to allow you to do anything but project and assume into his words -what you would have meant had you said them, given the life that you've created and lead for yourself. You've just learned the valuable lesson - don't "email, IM, instant message" date. Dating is done in person, in a variety of situations - where you and your future, your security and your safety are NOT on the line based on your own actions, decisions and words.

You got there...and found he was less than physically attractive. Since NONE of this is designed to "make you feel better right now" - realize all of this objectively read will make you "feel better, pretty quick" - if utilized constructively.

People that pay for plane tickets....can't get companionship without paying for it. No matter how small or large your town or city - there are people there you don't know, might find fun, interesting, attractive....there is no shortage, no matter where you are (although %'s differ) of interesting, exciting, good looking people - by YOUR standards - to interact with.

Let me guess...he's in a profession that you assumed would never be hunting for companionship - a doctor, a lawyer, some successful position. Says volumes about you - and what you prioritize - if that is the case.

Let's see how dead on I can remember this....you get to the airport and finally meet face to face. He's less attractive than you remembered...or less physically attractive than you assumed him to be based on the picture you drew in your mind from his descriptions, and your own projections and assumptions based on the facts you knew - his age, his profession, his social status, etc. etc. etc.

And the very idea of being 'with him' romantically sent shivers up your spine and you wondered how you would survive the weekend, because after all the intimacies exchanged on email - and his actions at the airport - he quite obviously considered you two "an item".

So, in an unfamiliar town, perhaps with little cash/credit at your disposal to leave on your own volition and power, you found yourself in the exclusive company of a man that you had hoped would be the man of your dreams...and found him rather to be the man that sends goosebumps up your neck, adn not in a positive way.

Obviously, you didn't know how to confront the situation - - because he had paid for the ticket, you had no way/no inclination to foot the bill to return on the next flight, or pay for hotels, or rent cars. So you went with him....tried to keep him at arm's length at all times, talked incessantly about inane subjects, and worked very hard to not making yourself attractive ot him....and you found him on top of you as if there were no tomorrow.

Well, let's just get all the reality in a place where you can deal with it. First, having casual sex isn't "wrong'. It might not be your style...but it's not going to kill you, unless you had unprotected sex/oral sex with a stranger that you didn't ask for a clean bill of health and he's infected with a disease.

All that happened here is what rarely happens to you...because you're wanting a relationship very badly. But it happens all the time - to people who are objective, discerning, realistic, self-aware, and self-accepting....someone is attracted to them tremendously that they do not share a physical desire for.

In other settings and circumstances, you'd have never had sex. If he'd shown up at your door with flowers and candy for a date - you'd have had a quick casual bite, and ended the evening early with a lame excuse - or more hopefully - with an honest statement that friends are all that you foresee in the future regarding you two.

He wouldn't have had a choice....he'd have had to have been fine with that as a result. Or end up with nothing - no friendship, no romantic liason, nothing.

But, in putting yourself in the position of allowing him to provide the fare (not that it justifies requiring/having sex), and putting yourself in a position where you might not have been able to extricate yourself from him without financial assistance fromm others....YOU put yourself in a position to "read" his actions, interpret them based on your assumptions...and whether or not you acted on what you believed he wanted or not - was put entirely into the realm of "what do I need to do in order t survive this encounter."

So, in the future, let's not do that again. I know you want romance, you want a relationship...but unless someone shares your interests, values, goals, and definitions of a great life and how to achieve it - you won't have either one of those things.

So subbing in a trip as "romantic", and assuming his paying meant he was wanting "a relationship" was a grevious error in judgment on your part. Simply don't repeat the error.

The greatest thing you'll take away from this experience is self-awareness. You're now aware the lengths, perhaps destructively, you're going to to "get a relationship"...and you've experienced some very limited devastation as a result of not accepting that reality, and accepting whatever offer and liason came along instead.

So, take heart. You're not a casual sex person. You felt intimidated and scared - you did the "fight or flight" response of staying put out of necessity, and doing whatever the situation required in order for you to survive, by your own estimations, perception, and projections.

HE didn't use you,,,you didn't use or abuse you....it was simply a mistake based on a lack of self-awareness, self-acceptance, self honesty and experience. You now have all four of those things....so this likely won't be repeated as an individual episode, or even as a pervasive dynamic in any other situation in your life.

Erin

quickblade14@hotmail.com





iVillage Member
Registered: 07-25-2003
Fri, 07-25-2003 - 2:49pm
I am so sorry! It is hard to know what to say to you except that we all suffer great disappointments in life. It is good that you have posted this your story. Mabey you will help someone who is aobut to take a trip. With the internet available I am sure you are not the first girl to have gone through something like this. Have you shared this with your sister? It sounds like you really need someone to talk to. Sex is the way we communicate on the deepest level with someone. We are all looking for our true love. But that is not so easy to find.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-24-2003
Fri, 07-25-2003 - 10:56pm
Don't feel bad. It was just a mistake. Why don't you try dating someone who lives a lot closer to home? Weird things can happen with these long distance internet dates. Although initially it may seem "exciting" to meet someone who lives far away, you just never know how it will turn out.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-2003
Sun, 07-27-2003 - 11:44pm
You've gotten a lot of good advice and information about how you feel and how valid it is to feel the way you feel. I thought that perhaps another "I've been there" story might make you feel as though you're REALLY not alone in feeling this way...

At a wedding I met a boy, very nice looking young man who made me laugh and we had a good time together and then after a very long evening he went one way and I went another. Well a few months later, we met up again at a party. I got completely drunk (as did he) and we ended up spending the night together. I knew at the time, that he wasn't the one for me, that we wouldn't be dating, that there wasn't going to be a relationship, but it had been a while since I felt attracted to someone and had them feel attracted to me, so we ended up having sex. After I sobered up, I was mortified. I had never had a one night stand before, I had never had sex with someone I didn't love. On top of which the sex itself wasn't exactly pleasant. Not that it was awful, but during it, I was just waiting for it to be over. For the next few days I was a mess, I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep all I could do was cry. I think I lost my innocence and that was the painful part. It wasn't the guy's fault, and it wasn't my fault. It was something that happened, and I wasn't proud of it. I wasn't proud of who knew about it and I wasn't proud of how it happened.

But, I can tell you it gets better. You'll reach a point where you'll realize that you did something you weren't proud of. But more important than the action that made you think that is your reaction to it. You learn things about yourself and you learn what you're capable of and even if you can't get that naivete back, you can still be the same wonderful person you were before.

I will say that because of what happened and my reaction to it, I decided to get counselling. I wanted to know why I put myself in that situation and why I wasn't capable of getting myself out of it. Friends are great too, but they're not objective. They know you too well and in some sense that means they don't know you well enough to help you figure yourself out. I would recommend counselling, but only if you feel you would benefit from it. And you shouldn't look at it as though you're wrong or defective, but more as something that helps you learn more about yourself.

Deep breaths, chicken soup, and good thoughts about why you're still great.

Pongo

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 07-28-2003 - 2:31am
wow! the same thing happened to me a couple years ago...

met a guy online... he was sooo nice and everything seemed to fall into place... emails, im's, phone calls...

so we decided i'd fly to see him (1/2 way across the country where I knew nobody!)

oh, what a disaster that was! it was sooo gross!

remember, girlie, this isn't anything bad against you or your insides or how you are... it was merely one of *those* things that happens. don't make it into a serious personal defect or anything to be ashamed of... we all take chances on love and this was one of them... it coulda turned out great but it just so happened that it didn't.

don't be too hard on yourself... think of this as one of those "oh my god, i can't believe I did that!" type things...

chin up! you're safe at home now and it's all over... :)