Plausible deniability, or It could not have really been that, could it *Triggers*


Looking back there are a lot of memories where the abuse had some plausible deniability. I had a suspicion, that I was experiencing abuse. But I was not 100% sure. I was not sure about the intent of the abuser. And because it seemed such an outrageous proposition, that the person was being sexually abusive, I could not believe, that what seemed to be the case was the case.

One of those memories is of an ex-girlfriend of mine. We first started having sex and then dating, when I was 18. She said she was 30, when we met. She could have been older and lied about it, but I'm unsure. We'd had sex a couple of times and I told her that I was in love with her. She had a young daughter, whom I had not met yet. And when we were discussing getting into a relationship, she said that she and her daughter "only came as a package deal". I found that a weird phrasing. When I came home to her place to meet her daughter for the first time, who was around 6 at the time, she immediately got physically very close. The three of us were sitting on the floor together sort of cuddled up against each other. My girlfriend kissed me, while we were sitting together like that. And then her daughter kissed me on the mouth. Not in an obviously sexual way, but also not in a clearly innocent way either. Her lips were wet and I could feel it. But it was short, so it was a sort of on the borderline between being very affectionate and being sexual. And remember, that was the first time I had met her. We were not close. She also immediately started calling me "dad".
At the time I felt highly confused, if this was actually my girlfriend offering her daughter to me. That my girlfriend might have instructed her daughter to behave like that. But since that was such an outrageous idea, I believed that that was not what was happening. I set some boundaries, with her after that. The whole situation felt very uncomfortable to me. Even when looked at in the most favorable way, completely ignoring that it could have been interpreted as my girlfriend trying to get me to take part in the sexual abuse of her daughter, it felt like trying to force a kind of family intimacy, that we just did not have. Looking back at that situation today, I am inclined to believe, that that was in fact what was happening. That she was trying to use me to sexually abuse her daughter. I think that because my girlfriend behaved weird towards her daughter on multiple occasions. Things that look like abuse to me looking back. Things that were plausibly deniable. Things that were not obviously abuse to me at the time.
The strongest, but not only example of plausibly deniable abuse, was when she and I went on a vacation together. One morning she got up before me, while I was still napping and took a closeup picture of my semi-erect penis and another picture of me naked on the bed. I was slightly irritated at her for that. Not because, I was against her taking nude pictures of me, I had no problem with that. But the way that she did it seemed creepy. She could have just asked, but instead she decided to catch me off guard. She then "forgot" to take that photo off the sd card that was in the camera. And when we were home we looked at the pictures of the vacation together with her daughter, if I am not mistaken on a video projector. And she "accidentally" showed that picture to her daughter. She expressed her disgust at being shown a picture of my penis. And I was highly embarrassed. And I dimly remember my girlfriend being very dismissive towards her daughter. Telling her something like, there's nothing to be disgusted about and she shouldn't be such a baby. If she did this on purpose, that is clearly sexual abuse and she used me to do it.
She also "jokingly" talked to her daughter about her body in a sexual way. Especially about her daughters "buns". I remember my discomfort at that. And she also liked to take pictures of her daughter, that I felt were inappropriate. One time she would see her daughter playing on a handheld, laying on her belly and sticking her butt up. And she took a picture of her like that, that her daughter clearly would not have agreed to having taken. Sometimes her daughter would protest and the two of them would sort of play it off as if it was a game, where she was just teasing in good fun. You know, like the daughter would protest in the tone of voice, that you might protest being tickled in an actually innocent game. And this dynamic reminds me of the way, that she took that photo of my penis, while I was napping. Making a thing that was sort of creepy, when you think about it, into a game of teasing.
And also some of the pictures she took of her daughter in a bikini at the beach ended up looking a bit like "posing photos". Again, it felt very off to me.
Another reason, why I am of the opinion, that my girlfriend was sexually abusive towards her daughter is that she put a lot of pressure on me to have sex with her. I liked having sex with her, and a lot of it. But she would be of the opinion, that it meant, that something was wrong between her and me, if we did not have sex for one day. She was very pushy with her needs. She would sexually dominate me a lot, which I was into. What really drew me to her, was how forceful she was with her desire. But the pressure that she put on me, did not feel good at all.
When I wanted to leave her she pressured me into staying, and even tried to gas light me at one point. Saying I "wasn't myself", when I tried breaking up with her. One time, I was cheating on her, with a girl my age and she called me on the phone. She somehow got suspicious and drove over to my parents house, who unwittingly let her into the apartment. She then chased the other girl and slapped me in the face really hard.
So looking back on these things, I would definitely say, that it was an abusive relationship. And that whole picture of her as a person, today makes me interpret those things, that she did towards her daughter, as real, purposeful and sexually abusive.