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Conflicted feelings about potentially predatory experiences

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Hello everyone,

I feel conflicted about writing here.

I have not experienced sexual assault.

My problem is that I have experienced situations that are legally in a grey zone and that didn't make me feel bad at the time but now cause me to feel weird.

Basically I experienced some things when I was quite young with people who were a lot older. In some countries this would be a criminal offence but where I live it is legal. Some people would still perceive it as predatory.

I feel weird because only looking back I realise that I was potentially a victim of predatory behaviour. Even though I never felt bad about the things that happened at the time they happened.

I don't so much have a problem with the situations themselves but with the implications that I now see looking back.

I think it might be comparable with being in a consensual relationship with someone and then years later learning that person was a rapist.

Kinda like that.

I don't know if that makes sense and if this is a topic appropriate to discuss here.

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Hi Maksim, 

Welcome to AfterSilence. I am sorry for what you went thru when you were younger. Often times when we are young, we do not understand what we have gone thru and sometimes also find them normal. Often times "legally" is not the same as morally right and still can be deemed as wrong and inappropriate and manipulative. Do understand that most victims of abuse are not individuals of legal justice, as well...no matter where they are from. 

You obviously are struggling from these experiences from when you were young and are looking for a place to possibly process and gain understanding of how this affected you. Feel free to look around our private forums and interact where you feel comfortable. 

I wish you well as you find your way down this healing path.





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Hi @Maksim

Welcome to AS. I'm sorry for the things that you have went through and experienced. Mary is right, just because something is legal doesn't mean it is okay. The most important thing is how you feel. If you were uncomfortable or if you were unable to understand what was going on, it shouldn't have happened. It sounds like you are just starting to think about and process what happened many years later, and that is normal. Stuff like this can be confusing and that is why it can be beneficial to talk with others who have dealt with similar experiences. We are all here to support each other. I hope that by looking around the forums you are able to see you are not alone. You are welcome to post on the forums whenever you feel comfortable. Wishing you the best. 

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Dear maksim


I am sorry for all that you have been through.   You have been so brave in reaching out to us, please know that this is never easy!   We are all here for you and we want to support you.  You're not alone in your healing journey and are always welcome to lean on us for extra support.  You can post as much or as little as you like.  We are here to support you in the way you need.  I have found this community to be very helpful.  Everyone is so understanding and non-judgmental and I am hoping you feel the same way once you've gotten to know us a little.   


All my best,




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Thank you. I appreciate your kind words.

It's just that I haven't actually been "through" anything. I am not a victim of anything. Luckily.

I just think some stuff is questionable in hindsight and I'm trying to make sense of it.

My problem is that everyone either thinks that what I experienced was bad and that I must be traumatised, or that what I experienced was completely normal and fun and nothing to worry about. It's like there's no middle ground. Like "I didn't mind it at that time but feel mildly uncomfortable looking back" isn't acceptable.

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Welcome to AS, @Maksim! I'm glad you found your way here. :aswelcomesu: We've all experienced different things...none of our stories and pasts are the same. So it's ok that what you went through was a little different! We're all happy to help. Being in a gray area can be confusing, but there's nothing wrong with that. I hope that your time here will be helpful to you in figuring things out. Best wishes!


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Welcome to After Silence, @Maksim! Your feelings are completely valid, and I'm glad that you've found this safe place to share whatever you would like. We are here for you and are happy to support as you process what happened. You don't need to have experienced sexual assault in a specific, precise manner to have experienced something that is not right. No matter what, you did not deserve to experience predatory behavior in any way. Nothing that you're looking back on now is your fault, and it's okay to feel conflicted as you're processing this and reaching out here. Whatever you feel is okay and deserving of compassion and respect. I hope you find peace and comfort here. ❤️

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Hey @Maksim and welcome. The young brain dosent always precieve threats or understand impact or the consequence of what's happening at the time and it only later as the brain matures you begin to recognise predatory behaviour for what it was sometimes predators/abusers can manipulate and coerce you into believing you want it or that it was you that started it. 

The experience has clearly had a lasting impact on you and you have been struggling enough to reach out so I definitely think your in the right place. Talking about my experiences from being young is still pretty new to me and sometimes it's not always easy to truly understand how you felt at the time until later.

You didn't deserve to experiences predatory behaviour it wasn't your fault.The law doesn't always define what's acceptable moral behaviour, everyone should be given the chance to mature and develop in a way that feels natural to them, without leaving lasting negative impacts on the way the think and feel as adults. 

I'm really sorry you had to go threw an experience like this and your not alone, so don't feel like you shouldn't be here or you don't "qualify". You have taken the brave step to seek support and to question the things you don't feel where right.i wish you all the best on your journey of healing and hope you find inner peace. Take care as you process these feeling and know your not alone I hope you can find some comfort here.

All the best Curly


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Welcome @Maksim to After Silence.  I’m sorry for what brought you here but I’m happy you are here reaching out for support.  Good job taking this step in your healing process.  You are not alone and what happened to you wasn’t your fault.  Take your time exploring and post when you are ready.  If you have any questions feel free to message me. 

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I guess I'm sort of in a similar situation. I was very young and at the time wasn't scared about what was happening. I just know it wasn't okay now. It's a really strange feeling because I'm struggling so much in my adulthood coming to terms with what happened. Especially working with kids now I see I was too young to be experiencing what I was. Even though I wasn't scared, it doesn't mean it was okay. I'm struggling really hard with this. The person things happened with were with someone 5ish years older than me which doesn't seem like much of an age gap which confuses me too. Was this person being abused too? I remember this person turning 13 and I was no older than 8, but it all started (I think) much earlier.  It's all foggy and confusing and I sometimes feel as though I don't have the right to be suffering the way I am. I just know it's tearing me apart from the inside out. But I feel like I shouldn't be.

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Posted (edited)

@Maksim Hello and welcome to After Silence! I am Wanna :flowers:

You did the right thing by coming here.  As I understand your example of realizing something was off years later, I want to stress that you were a minor. Minors cannot give consent. Even if a minor is convinced they're approving, they just can't. What I want to say, is that adults have a completely other responsibility when it comes to adult-minor rather than adult-adult.

Children might not understand what's happening either. Perpetrators tend  to manipulate a situation too, so it will appear as something different. Even if your country would allow certain relationships legally, it's fore and most about how you feel and not what the law says. 

I am sincerely sorry about your trauma. You have nothing to be ashamed about. Please know, that we believe you. We are here for you. Also, please keep staying around even if you feel uncertain. It is easy to believe one exaggerated in the beginning, but survivors tend to understand their situation better after speaking to others. 

This platform offers a safe place to share, relate and receive support. Our kind members form a wonderful support system. Feel free to contact us staff if you'd have any questions whatsoever.  :supportu:

Wishing you the very best

- W ☀️

Edited by WannaMoveOn
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Hi @Maksim Welcome to AS!

This forum is full of people who have experienced a variety of things, so I think you will fit in more than you realise. I think you are lucky to have experienced something you feel hasn't given you trauma, but I'm sorry you had to experience something at all that has made you look back on it with suspicion. Hopefully you'll be able to find what you need here that will help you better define those experiences.

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