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For sure - there's a series of ads here about DV and they always get me because a lot of them are about rape. It sucks.
I haven't posted here in a really long time because things have been really crazy.
So last week I met a guy online.Got really drunk and slept with him.The day after was filled with regret,remorse and ALOT of paranoia.
So I call my mum up (she knows all about the abuse I recieved from my brother and that I have an alcohol problem).I told her that I'd gone on a binge again (but not that I'd slept with anyone) and she told me come over so we can talk.When I got there she started all this tough love shit.Then she brought up my brother and said that this had gone on long enough and that I was to "grow a backbone" and call him NOW or leave.I got up to leave and she got all crazy and tried to stop me.Then she called my sister (who I haven't spoken to in over a year also because she abused my brother sexually and mentally abused me for years) and my sister said that she couldn't talk as she was at work and that I was to call her later.She said that she wasn't going to tell me anything different from the last time I spoke to her.The last time we spoke we had a huge fight.I wanted my brother and sister to meet with me and to talk about all that abuse that had occured.
She didn't agree with me as she was aftraid that it would be counter productive and that we'd all get into a big fight.She told me to get councelling as it had benefited her so much. True.I can see her reluctance in us all getting together.It would have been awful and nothing would have been resolved.
So after my mother's crazy outburst and me not leaving as I couldn't bear to be alone she suggested a trip to the beach.It was good to just drive for a while but she just started on me in the car.I had to call him,I had to call him,I had to call him,this had gone on long enough.Then she tried to manipulate me by saying that she'd had three kids so that we'd have company for each other and be a happy family and that she thought we'd all get on.My mother is an only child and wished that she could have had siblings.The only word I can write to describe the situation is ALONE.I feel completely used (by men) and completely isolated by my family.I said in the car that I would call my brother and put the responsibility on him.I also said that I'm willing to forgive him if he acknowledges the abuse and appologises.My mother offered to come home with me for support while I called but on the way back from the beach I changed my mind.I said I didn't care what she thought of me and maybe I have no backbone.Once at home my father called me and tried to give me web sites and phone numbers for survivor support groups ect.I really didn't want to talk to him about it as he sounded so uncomfortable on the phone.Up untill now he never knew about the abuse.It just goes to show that my mum must have been really distraught to tell my father.
So what do I do now?? Move to a different country obviously.
datagirl - that sounds just awful. I often refer to what I call "well-intentioned bad advice." No one can or should force you to deal/heal/confront your abusers in any way that you are not ready to. It is unfair of your mother for her to force her notions on how this should be dealt with on to you. Does she realize that by doing that all she is doing is denying you your right to choose what happens to you next? It is another way to victimize someone. Not that that is her intention but she is still denying you the ability to deal with your trauma in your way.
That being said, there are many great resources that you can access if you feel that your behavior is out of your own control. Feel free to email me if you need help finding something in your area.

deschatrouge - sorry it took me so long to respond to your post but I had to think about it A LOT. I used to use the word rape as it it were a taboo that would hurt me to say aloud. Then I started to work for a company where rape was in our title. It is often a challenge for our volunteers to say our name at first b/c they fear that by identifying us accurately they would be defining the callers experience. When I see ads on TV or magazines that talk about rape or sexual assault it tends to stop me for a few minutes but then I feel proud b/c I am reminded that I have nothing to be ashamed of and people should be aware of how common rape is. The danger in the ads is that some people will be badly affected by them and I don't have any idea how to garuntee one without risking the other.

For me, having to say the word rape as often as I do know was really healing and liberating.
I’m not really sure where to post this so I figured here would be the spot.

My 19-year-old friend was recently sexually assaulted. She stayed the night at her best friends house. She had a few beers and fell asleep on the couch. Her guy friend was going to stay the night as well but when he saw that she feel asleep so early he decided to head back to his own house.

Late that night her friend’s husband and his friends were in the living room with her while she slept on the couch. I think they were watching TV or playing video games or something. She woke because she was uncomfortable and no matter how she turned something didn’t feel right. She woke up to find her friend’s husband sitting over her with his hand down her pants and a finger inside her. Of course she freaked out. She got up and I guess didn’t know what to do. She went to the basement to smoke a cigarette and get her thoughts together. When she came back upstairs he sat next to her and bragged that he was going to get a piece of ass. She assumed he meant from his wife. In an attempt to get him away from her she told him to go upstairs and get a piece from his wife. He then said no and that he intended to get it from her. Then he reached over and rubbed his hands over her lady parts through her pants. She said she just didn’t know what to do. She just told him to get away from her.

The next morning she told the guys wife, her best friend, what had happened. The wife approached the husband. The husband then says that he wasn’t the only one who fingered her that night. He informed my friend that all the other guys who were in the room did it as well. Then he started to smack my friend in the face and call her a whore, all the while the wife is standing there watching this. He then kicks my friend out on the street with her bag and this was in a very bad, bad part of the city. My friend then had to walk to the nearest hospital. Her parents came and got her. She told her mother what happened. The hospital staff did a rape kit and took pictures of her bruises on her face. They also gave her STD medications. They said that there was penetration but that it didn’t look like penile. Her and her boyfriend just broke up so she hadn’t had sex in a while which I guess was semi helpful. The police came and a detective was called. The wife and husband are now denying that anything happened at all. They are supposed to come in on Monday for interviews. They have a warrant for the guy’s DNA so if he refuses he won’t have a choice. They said the DNA evidence could take up to a year.

All the while, my friend is crying all the time, not sleeping and when she does she has night terrors. She doesn’t want to get out of bed or her pj’s because she’s so depressed. Her guy friend who was supposed to stay the night and didn’t is beating himself up very badly because he really loves her and feels like if he had stayed the night this wouldn’t have happened or he could have protected her. The detective is going after physical assault and sexual assault.

This young lady is a very close friend to Mr. Pug and me. We went to spend the day with her. When I first saw her today it was obvious she’d been crying. She’s drinking a lot. Her mother told me that she’s been drinking every night since it happened. She seems to act sillier then usual. I guess she’s just trying to avoid thinking about it all. When she told me about it yesterday I was shaking when I had to retell it all to Mr. Pug. I feel sick whenever I think about it. Mr. Pug just hugged her. I feel violated having just heard the story. Her sister and mother asked if Mr. Pug and I would come to the court when (if) they take him to trial. Of course we said yes we would be there to support her.

Is there anything else either one of us can do to help her? She seems to really be leaning on Mr. Pug. He is such a big, macho, protective kind of guy. I think he makes her feel safe. I like that he’s there for her. It makes me love him more. I don’t want to pressure her to talk to about it if she doesn’t want to but I want her to know that I’m here if she needs me. I’m just so shocked and nothing like this has ever happened to someone I’ve known. I don’t really know what to do. Can anyone offer some advice? I just want to hold her.

Also, Mr. Pug is so upset about this. I know he comes second to her right now but he, like me, feels violated. He was saying that he doesn’t want daughters because if this ever happened to his daughter he’d end up killing the guy and going to jail. He paced the floor for 45 minutes last night so upset after I told him the story. He went and locked himself in our bedroom to talk to her on the phone alone. I could hear him telling her that she didn’t do anything wrong and that the police will do everything they can and that if she needs anything to just call him. He was very sweet to her. Again, this makes me love him so. He’s going to be a great father someday. This morning I was crying about it and he was saying over and over that it isn't fucking sexual assault. That is fucking rape. He was so angry and disgusted. I feel I need to comfort him as well. It’s just such a terrible situation.

Thanks for listening.
LMP - This is the perfect place to write about this. It is great that you and the Mr. are able to help someone through this. One of the first and best things that you can do is pass the number for the RAINN hotline to your friend. It is 800-656-HOPE. When she calls this number, she will be automatically forwarded to the closest rape crisis hotline to her area code.
I don't know where you live so some of what I write may not be legally accurate. Again, the RAINN like will be able to correct any mistakes I make.
The Mr. is right. At least according to Illinois law, what happened to your friend is rape. In this state, the law reads, "Any penetration, however slight..." of any object into another person counts as rape. However, the definition of "sexual assault" is often easier to get juries to convict on. Esp. if you are dealing with people who only recognize rape as penis/vagina. So often they have to report things as sexual assault. Don't worry, the people on the RAINN line allow survivors to define their own experiences.
Your friend might do well to get a legal advocate. Any organization connected to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center should have a way to arrange this. Again, this might be state specific.
It is pretty typical for someone who is in the crisis phase or Rape Trauma Syndrome to exhibit the behavior your are describing. Crying, can't sleep, grief, giddiness. No reaction is "bad" but when a survivor is falling into addictive behavior patterns like drinking, it helps to bring in a professional (RAINN, for example.)
You are helping her just by being her friend and letting her be upset and not telling her what she should be doing/feeling/etc. You are helping her by asking these questions. Feel free to call the RAINN line yourself. We love it when significent others and friends of survivors call. smile.gif
I hope the police continue to treat your friend with respect. That is another aspect that an advocate can help with. They know how the system works.
It is understandable that the Mr. and your friend's make friend are reacting the way that they are. Often men react to sexual violence against women with their own desire to do violence. I have spent more than one conversation talking a sig other out of killing a rapist. I understand the impulse, I just know how much easier it is for the cops to convict on guys fighting than it is for them to convict on rape.

I do want to correct one thing that you said:

nothing like this has ever happened to someone I’ve known.

With a statistic of one out of every four women and one out of every six men being sexually assaulted in their lifetimes, I believe that everyone knows someone that this has happened to. They just haven't told you. Hell, you know me, even if only over the internet and it happened to me. I correct this out of anger just b/c people need to know how prevelant this really is or we will never make it stop.
QUOTE(kittenb @ Jan 21 2008, 12:34 AM) *
With a statistic of one out of every four women and one out of every six men being sexually assaulted in their lifetimes, I believe that everyone knows someone that this has happened to. They just haven't told you. Hell, you know me, even if only over the internet and it happened to me. I correct this out of anger just b/c people need to know how prevelant this really is or we will never make it stop.

Sorry, I didn't mean to offend. I guess what I meant is that I've never had someone sit down and tell me something like this before. I do know people who have been sexually assaulted but it is usually years after that I find out and they are healing from it. This is just so fresh and right in my face and mind. I guess like I've said many times on this site that I'm just nieve and sheltered. Also, sometimes what I mean and what I type aren't exactly one in the same.

Thank you so much for the numbers. I'll foward them to her mom and sister and let them approach her about using them. When I feel passionate about something I tend to get crazy about it. I'll bombard her with the numbers, laws and statistics and she'll think I'm nuts and/or pressuring her. I want to be there for her but I also don't want to stress her out anymore then she already is. I don't know if that's what I mean or not. I'm confussed and not sure how I feel. I'm so sad for her and to be honest like I said before I feel violated as a woman who just heard all of this. I'm a mess about all this. I guess I just wanted to type it all out and read it over and process it all. Does that makes sense? I got the sense that the detective knew his shit and her mother and father heard that he is very good at his job. I feel almost like it's in the hands of the authorities and I just need to be there for her if and when she wants to talk. I don't know what I'll say other then to just listen and hold her if she lets me. I'm confussed. I'm going to bed cause what I'm typing sounds stupid and selfish. This isn't about me. It's about her and I'm just so upset for her. That fucking cocksucker. I don't know who the fuck he thinks he is. What think's he has the fucking right uh? What a piece of shit. People like him should be shot. I'm really sorry Kittenb. Thank you so much. Please, please, please don't be pissed at me. I'm just really angry and I'm going to bed.
Shoot, I am sorry. That was supposed to read, "I don't write this out of anger." I am so sorry. unsure.gif
Too much caffine too late in the night. Sorry.

ETA: No, you are not being selfish or making it all about you by being upset and traumatized by your friend's experience. The depth of your reaction shows that you care. That is why I suggested that you used the numbers as well. They can help. As for overwhelming her w/your reaction, give her the number and then let her decide what do with them.If she knows that the answers are there waiting she will probably be more comfortable asking for them. And be honest if she shares more than you can hear. You can tell her something like, "I want to help. But at this point, I cannot hear more and still be helpful to you. Is there some other way that I can be here for you?" Caring for her does not mean wearing yourself out.

Again, I am sorry. Gosh I am glad that I checked this again before I went to sleep.
I really should go back and delete that post. It's not conducive to the environment you are all trying to make here for survivors. Again, like I keep saying over and over like a broken babbling record I just don't know how I feel about it. Last night I was laying in bed until two in the morning just trying to fall asleep and all I could do was picture myself in her position trying to sleep and that happening. I ended up texting her under the blankets while Mr. Pug slept next to me telling her how much I love her and how sorry I am that this happened. I told her how special she is to us and that we will always be there for her no matter what. I felt a little, tiny bit better. Eventually I fell asleep. Mr. Pug had to work so I didn't want to wake him to talk about it that late. I'm making this huge chicken dinner tonight and she is coming. It's going to be me, Mr. Pug, her, her guy friend, her sister, her sister's husband and their daughter. I'm sure it will be nice for all seven of us to just sit down together and have a meal. Hopefully, we'll all just talk and laugh the night away. I'm sure to be exhausted and sleep well tonight. See, I'm blabbing again about nothing.

Thanks again,

I don't think you need to delete your post. Nothing that you wrote was rude or offensive. You care. How could that be wrong?
Hey LMP, as a sexual abuse survivor, let me also get on board to tell you this was a great thread to post it in. All of us who have experienced any form of rape/sexual abuse (and I'm totally on board with Mr. Pugs estimation that it WAS rape...I don't see why this is so fucking hard for the genpop to understand) have this very innate sense of what we would have preferred to have happened to us as far as aftercare goes. It is only natural that since you love your friend, that you would want t take care of her in the best ways possible. It's not unusual for someone to go on self-destruct mode afterwards...try to do everything you can to get her into counseling if she isn't already. You can't take this on's too hard. So, please leave the post up, babygirl.

I was much too young at the time, but I wish I'd had a friend like you. For serious, though.
"I wish I'd had a friend like you."
me, too. you are one to have in your friend's corner, LMP.

yesterday I was texting a friend. he was telling me how he admired me for being strong, how I shine, and all these wonderful things.
and I responded with this.

no. not me. I am a survivor.

it's the first time I'd ever said it.
I am a survivor.

I am.
Yeah, Pugs, I really, really needed a friend like you back from 1984-1986.......leave your post up, hun.
Last night she was supposed to come to dinner. When her sister showed without her I was surprised. Her sister told me that she just stayed in bed all day. She was surprised she didn't call to tell me she wasn't coming. I wasn't upset. Usually, if I made dinner for seven and two didn't show I'd be kinda irritated but I can't hold that against her right now. Mr. Pug said she's probably not sleeping at night so she's sleeping during the day. She's probably just lounging around trying to have some "me time". I was going to call her today to say hi and see how she was doing. Today she is working so I'll have to call tonight. Thanks all of you for your support. This really isn't about me. It's about her. As her friend I'm just so angry, sad and scared for her. I mean I know that she is 19 but she's kind of small and petite and she is six years younger then me just like my baby sister. Being as she is so small and Mr. Pug is so big that always opens up lots of joking around when the two of them hang out. He loves her too. I wish you could have seen how upset he was when I told him. I mean he was just pacing the house in anger. He had his hands shoved in his pockets and you could just tell he felt so helpless. Mr. Pug is a fixer and this is something he can't fix. He has to leave it in the hands of the authorities and just be there for her. He's trying like I am to cope with all this. Thanks again for all your help. I'll stop back when I hear anything from her.
Woohoo Jami!!!!!! That is wonderful! You are a survivor.

LMP, one thing to realize is that it is not uncommon for people who have been very recently raped to not be ready for counseling. Often when someone goes into counseling right after being raped they drop out soon. It's like there needs to be a certain amount of time b/w the rape and the healing where they can get back to a "normal" life. However, as long as the resources are there when she wants them it will still help.
Last night I did what I thought was impossible. I forgave my rapist. I realized that I can forgive but not absolve. A while back I made it one of my goals for healing. I have felt ready for a few months but I didn't know how to do it. Last night I said it out loud. It felt good even though it was hard. I feel like a burden has been lifted.

I have to admit, it's prolly not for everyone, and for some people it may not be possible. I also think that survivors/victims shouldn't expect themselves to do it. I just thought I would share. I don't expect everyone to be happy for me or anything, since this is a touchy issue.
Well I think it's awsome deschatrouge. I have no desire to do it. but I am glad that doing it made a difference for you. smile.gif
One thing with being the friend of a survivor, it can be really really unhelpful to go on revenge fantasies. I was grateful to my partner and my friends because they took care of me first. I knew they wanted to kill the person who did it, they didn't let their anger overwhelm my pain.
deschats, I've sort of gone around in circles with the whole forgiveness thing. I came the closest, when I was into Buddhism, sort of going through a meditation where first you forgive yourself, then you forgive somebody you love, then a stranger, and then an enemy. Well, not really "forgive" but just sort of acknowledge our unity as humans and respecting their paths and realizing that their paths are the same as our paths...and we deal with things differently. Anyway, it was pretty uplifting to see things in that light. It doesn't stick with me for very long, though.

Kudos to you for taking this huge step, Deschats. smile.gif
Thanks all.
I am really just bumping this so it doesn't fall off the page. smile.gif
Well, I spent two hours talking to be best friend about it last night. He used to be best friends with the guy who raped me, and when I finally told him about it, we got interrupted.

It's so freeing to talk to someone who accepts me and knows me and knows him too, y'know? He called me 'almost Jesus like' because I said that he's got a burden to bear about this as well, his own grief and anger. I told him all the details and the hard bits and everything.

I feel so lucky to have a friend like him, for all we've been through.
I never come in here. I don't/do know why. I changed that the other day.

So I owned some shit this week. I admitted my guilt to my aunt whose daughter was abused. The same people that abused *her* abuser abused *me* & I never spoke up about it. In fact, I've only really talked about it with a few friends. I told her I was sorry & that I would always carry the burden that had I said something, my cousin wouldn't have had to go through what I did. I don't have many regrets in life, but that is one.

Wow, I'm glad you have a friend like that Ananke. It's good to have somebody to tell that about that can support you.
Thanks AP. Your post reminded me of the guilt I carry with that too - is he still doing it? Is his current gf excusing it away? Did I give him more leeway to do it? Down that path lies madness for me, but it's still there. Even though I know speaking up won't get me anywhere, there won't be a conviction, or an absolution. He probably doesn't even think of it anymore, and too many people have said that my experience was just 'miscommunication' for me to think that his gf would take my word over his. Afterall, I'mthe jilted ex aren't I? Except that I'm not.

I'm getting more comfortable with my rage again. For unrelated reasons I'd tamped it down and I think that made it easier for him to rape me. But I'm feeling it again now, six years later. And it feels good.
I really thought I'd dealt with the guilt in as proactive of a way as possible, but after this week, not so much. Firstly, I told him I'd kill him, no one would miss him & they wouldn't find him until a hunter pissed in his skull twenty-five years from now. He looked into my eyes & knew I meant it. And I did/do. Secondly, I warned his babies' mamas. I advised them that any visits should be closely monitored because even if he didn't get brought up on charges, he was still a sex offender.

One of his babies' mamas put his ass in jail for a year over child support & he just got out a couple months ago. He came over once & regaled me with tales of his grifting, thievery, drug dealing, hustling, etc. I've been keeping a loaded 9MM in a basket in the living room because I don't trust that fuck at all. He pretends not to remember molesting children or my threatening to kill him. Go figure.

I've never talked to the child about it. She went off to college this year & I was terrified. I talked to her at Xmas & she'd dumped her little boyfriend for pressuring her for sex. I don't want what happened to her to keep her from enjoying sex, I hope that someday she will be ready for it. But I want her to wait until the time is right.

The path of guilt does lead to madness, Ananke. But I can't help it though. I think the only reason I told my aunt was because both my parents are dead. It would have broken their hearts had they known.

And Ananke? Get mad. Get really really really MAD if you need to. As the song says, anger is an energy. It can be good for you.
I've just started a new training at work so the issues of anger and forgivness have been coming up a lot. I keep telling my trainees that if I stop being angry I'll start expecting a job that pays better. I think that anger and rage can be the most powerful tools in our healing. If I ever stop being angry about rape, mine and others, I only have to wait for the next work day for something new to come up.

Auralpoison and anake, I know it has been said to you before but it can't hurt to hear it again. Whomever you told and whenever you told them or didn't, it is NOT YOUR FAULT what the abuser may have done to others. It is THE ABUSERS choice and his fault in its entirety. I know how much I struggle w/the guilt of not telling each other but I can no longer blame myself for his fucked up actions. Yes, I think it would have been wonderful if the adults in my life had noticed that something was not right with me when I was raped but that it their failings not mine. I didn't have the language to tell and I don't know that I would have been believed even if I had.

We all deserved to be believed and protected and we all deserved a hell of a lot better than we got. None of us deserve guilt.

{{{all survivors}}}
It is possible to realize it wasn't your fault and to stop feeling guilty. It takes time, you can't rush it or force it upon yourself. It can happen eventually. Years and years of therapy and healing finally let me let go of my guilt and self blame. Meanwhile I think it's okay to have anger and to own it. To me anger was a close friend, I cherished my anger and let it live inside me, it reminded me that i was still alive. Anger could be healthy. If you have anger, that means you understand that you have been wronged, which is a step toward knowing you didn't bring the event on yourself.

Hey survivors, hope you are all well. I have a problem. I'm still coping with/in denial about being raped a couple of years ago. I still feel shame for not fighting the guy off. Recently, one of my (male) housemates was talking crass and said something that totally triggered me and I sort of spaced out for a minute. He was like "hello? You there?" ..and I kinda snapped out of it and angerly scolded him for what he said, and he seemed a bit surprised (usually I'm game for locker room chat, but this comment thourougly disgusted me) and nervously said sorry. That night I cried myself to sleep, not really sleeping much at all.

Anyway, I've already long thought of him as immature and offensive yet harmless, but now its like I'm scared of him,..eventhough I dont honestly think he would rape me, I'm having those *NEVER AGAIN!* feelings to the point where I've been holed up in my room avoiding him for the past couple days since his comment...and this in itself making me feel shame, for recoiling instead of standing up, much like how I reacted during rape.

Sooo, should I confide in him that I "survived" something terrible and need him to be more sensitive around me in regards to sexual topics...OR is it a huge mistake to approach him on this, considering its so personal and may make our relationship more uncomfortable? Remember I live with this guy so I cant hide from him forever. (((all yous)))
wow, greenbean, that's a tough one. i would probably say something though. i don't think you need to go into details with him, something simple like "i think you should know that i was raped a few years back and would appreciate it if you not make rape jokes because it's a serious topic and shouldn't be joked about." i've had to have similar discussions with a few of my guy friends and they mostly watch their comments now.

please please do not blame yourself for not fighting back. i know, easier said than done. i know, because i do the same thing. it's been 10 years since i was raped (only 6 years since i really admitted what happened was truly rape) but i still second guess myself, thinking things like "maybe if i had fought him it wouldn't have happened" or "if i had told somebody maybe he wouldn't have been able to do things so many times" but there is NO WAY to go back in time and make yourself react differently so it is pointless to beat yourself up for what you did/didn't do. IT WAS HIS FAULT, NOT YOURS. and i know you know that, but we all need to be reminded sometimes i think.

(((((((((((safe hugs))))))))))
GB, I'd say something, but if you don't feel the need to verbalize it in a personal way, I'd understand. You don't *have* to tell him what happened to you, you can just tell him that you find comments like what cheesed you off to be objectionable & that you'd appreciate it if he showed a little discretion in the future.
Greenbean, before I started being as open as I am about being a survivor I used to run into that conundrum quite often. Someone would say something that offended but I would stay silent because I was always afraid that the person would figure out that I was raped. Too be honest, I still trip over that fear sometimes.

I encourage you to do what makes you feel comfortable in the long run and that sounds like telling him. At least then you might be willing to leave your room more frequently. Whether or not you choose to identify yourself as a survivor to him, the boy needs to know that rape jokes (I am assuming that is what he said) are never funny no matter if he is standing in front of a survivor or not. And he (and all men) needs to realize that rape jokes scare women b/c rape is something that we fear a lot. Instead of mocking our worst fear, how about he do something to change it?

As for the self-blame/guilt/whydidn'tIfightharder cycle, you are not alone in that. Gods, I was 7 when I was raped and there are still times when I wonder "Why did I let it happen?" Healing is not a one-way, straight up journey. Just keep reminding yourself that it wasn't your fault. The rape did not happen b/c of something lacking in you. It did not happen b/c you weren't smart enough or strong enough. It didn't happen b/c you were too pretty or too flirtatious or too standoffish. The rape happened b/c some asshat decided to rape. It is all on him. Maybe it would help if you wrote notes for yourself and posted them on your mirrors or in your purse saying "Auralpoison says it wasn't my fault. Damona knows it wasn't my fault. Kittenb says it was all his fault. I know it wasn't my fault." Some sort of affermation (sp) that you will see every where you look until you are able to believe it.

Please take care of yourself and love yourself. Let us know what happens.
hello survivors.

i've lurked in here quite a bit ever since i joined bust. one of my best friend's was date raped in college by some one in our immediate, extremely close circle of friends. we all participated in this collective denial. none of us wanted to face the fact that she was rape and that our best friend (and he really was the social glue) was a rapist. it wasn't as if she didn't tell anyone when it first happened, but none of us ever used the word 'rape.' two years after the rape, she participated in 'take back the night,' and it all came out in a group session. it was then that she learned this 'friend' of ours was a predator. that he had done the exact same thing to at least 6 other women, possibly 8. i was out of the country when this revelation ocurred. it ripped our friends apart. most of the men siding with him and most of the women siding with her. of course, people said, 'why did you wait so long?' 'why didn't you say something sooner?' the thing is, she had. we knew what had happened the day afterwards. we laughed it off. 'oh that creepy X, he always goes after drunk girls!' even though our friendship has grown beyond this point in our history, i still carry considerable guilt that i didn't stand up for her.

now i have come to realize why. i've been dealing with depression my whole life (its in the genes!), i hit a wall a few months ago and have been seeing a therapist regularly, working through things. it came up that i had to travel to the UK this summer for a conference. i was nervous, because my father's best friend's from college wanted to meet up with me. i couldn't express that anxiety to my father, so of course i expressed it to my therapist. i wasn't afraid of this couple, i was afraid of their son. that's because. deep breath. 10 years ago, he raped me while i was visiting their family home with my father.

it was a very muddled situation to begin with. i was 15, he was 21, and our parents had been the best of friends since they were around the same age. when he first showed a sexual interest in me, i was flattered. our first night out together i got so piss drunk at the bar i totally blacked out. i don't know if he took advantage of me then, but it's possible. i woke up with hickeys on my neck, which to my horror, my father noticed. the next night we had 'consensual' sex. as consensual as sex can be between an adult and a minor. i know some people think this is a gray area, but the law is clear. if we had been in the united states, he would certainly have been prosecuted. i was a virgin at the time. i have no idea if he knew or not. i didn't bleed.

the next day i was disgusted with myself and with him. every look, touch, laugh from him sent a shudder down my spine. i didn't know why i was so reviled but all i wanted to do was disappear. that night, my last night at that house, i was dead asleep in his sister's room. he came in the middle of the night. he smelled like liquor and i don't know if he was drunk.

i'm going to get kind of graphic here. i just need to say it (type it). create evidence. bring the truth back into existence.

he started kissing me and touching me and i told him to leave. i told him no. i told him i wasn't in the mood, i didn't want to do it again. i told him i'd had enough. he pried apart my legs and forced his fingers into my vagina. 'it feels like you want it to me,' he said. then he was on top of me, humping away as if i wasn't even a person. i just lay there. i didn't make a sound. i didn't fight. i couldn't imagine what would happen if the whole house woke up and knew what was going on. better to be quiet and wait for it to be over.

when he was finished, i asked him politely not to take off his condom anywhere near me. this was my rational, science brain kicking in, regurgitating all the things i'd learned in sex ed. i didn't want to get pregnant. he laughed at me. laughed in my face. then he took the condom, filled with semen like a water balloon and tapped me in the face with it two or three times. he laughed again and left. i never saw him again.

if a stranger told me that story i would say that clearly, they had been raped. but for myself, i never categorized it that way. i never used that word in its re-telling. i never used that word at all. i hated myself and i figured that no one would ever believe i had actually been raped because we did have semi-consensual sex the night before. in my mind, it was my fault and i would have to deal with it alone. to this day, my mom is the only person who knows. she knew it from the minute she looked at me when i got off the plane.

i am just now starting to deal with the consequences of that experience. i have only, in the last week, been able to say to myself (never outloud) that i was raped. now i understand all too well what my friend went through. first, it's awkward and hard for people to understand when rape isn't the stranger attacking in the alley scenario. it is instantly confounded by the fact that i knew and she knew the rapist. the rapist, for both of us, was so engrained in the fabric of our lives that it was simpler to blame ourselves, deny the rape and move on. i'll never report what happened. i'll never tell my father or my rapist's family. for me, what's the point? i am happy that i am FINALLY after a decade, coming to terms with it. however, dragging my family into the whole mess, destroying life-long friendships. for me, that isn't going to be healing. but i think my friend is all the more brave for being able to face all that down and speak out anyway. i understand all too well the guilt and shame that kept her silent for two years. it kept me silent for 10 and will continue to be so, for the most part. i feel weak for not being able to do the same as she.

thanks for listening. i need witnesses. no one has heard my story except for my mom. i feel very alone in this, even though i know i'm not.
i feel very alone in this, even though i know i'm not.

{{{{bizmonkey}}}} I just want to support the idea that you are not alone. It is so wonderful that you have started to talk about this. It sounds like your experience was horrible, not that there is ever a non-horrible rape. I would even question that the one exerience was even semi-consensual. I wonder, as you explore the circumstances of the first night that you can't remember if it is possible that you were in shock. And anyway, as you clearly put, you were a child and he was an adult. He had no right to touch you EVER!

I am happy to hear that you are in therapy. If you ever need to talk about the rape and your therapist is not available you can dial 1-800-656-HOPE. This is the RAINN Hotline and you will be automatically forwarded to the closest rape crisis center in your area. Most of those centers have a 24-hour hotline that you can talk with.

As for the experience in college, I have heard similar stories more time than I care to recount. I don't believe in a "one-time" rapist. I think if a man rapes once, he is going to do it again and again until he finds reason to stop and there are very few reasons for rapists to stop (you know, other than the fact that it is wrong.) As for your own reactions at the time, try to be gentel with yourself. If you are still in contact w/your friend, you might want to apologize but do it w/in your own comfort level for now. It is not uncommon for survivors in denial to be very victim blaming of other survivors. There is a lot behind that and it seems that you are learning that w/your therapist.

I hope you stay active in this thread. There are so many great places on the internet for survivor support. If you want more, jus google "sexual assault support" and start to look around. As a tip, I have learned that typing "sexual assault" as opposed to "rape" tends to turn up safer, less pornographic entries. I hope they help.

{{{love and light}}} You deserve it.
Glad you posted about this (((Biz))). I know that some folks take the "it's a very private thing" approach to talking about rape or incest or childhood molestation (the sanitized word for rape), but I've never gone that route. I found that the more I talked about it, the more real and less shame-inducing it became. I was raped by a babysitter when I was five...what a fucking mess. Anyhoo, keep doing what you're doing. Your brain is leading the way...go with it.

I outed a lot of the shit in our family (generational incest and rape), and dealt with a lot of hostility from those who wanted to keep on their blinders. When you live in silence and shame, it eats you alive. No one ever told me when I was a kid that it WASN'T my fault. Just the opposite, actually. What a crock of horse apples. Fucking seventies....go figure. Anyhoo, after ten years of on and off therapy and finally finding one who I've synched up with, the healing has started. My sad times are "normal" now and not debilitating; oh, and the panic attacks have ceased completely. PTSD is such a mindfuck.

Greenbean, honestly, I think that you should tell him something. Some men need something to be right in their faces when it comes down to retarded rape jokes and off-color things of the like. Folks like Sarah Silverman have a greenlight from me to make those types of jokes, but what I've found in my classroom (I teach 11th and 12th grade) is that if you get in their faces about rape, they tend to shut up about it forever. I usually find that the "I don't find rape jokes to be very amusing" comment usually works when topped off with "because one out of every three women you know will be either raped or molested...and that could be your best friend or your sister, and I'm sure you wouldn't be laughing." Prison rape jokes are at a premium, as well...but then we are touching on the very definitions of masculinity in our society. Bon chance.
thanks ladies. it's one step at a time. my mom has been incredibly supportive. she said, 'you're coming into your strengths now and shedding your skin. this old skin doesn't fit anymore.' she told me it's like i'm mature enough, stable enough, wise enough to deal with what happened in an honest way. my poor mom has had to bear this burden with me. we were the only ones who knew the truth.

the same year of the rape, this man and his sister came to visit our house. i was terrified. they were just staying for a few days, but i was so afraid that he would try and sneak into my room at night. my mom would lay with me every night until i fell asleep. on the last night they were at our house, she went into his room. she had to whisper because everyone was asleep but she said, 'i know what you did to her. she is just a baby and you had no right. you're lucky i didn't tell b*****, because he would kill you. and i don't want to lose my husband. but i don't ever want you to set foot in this house again.'

maybe some people will think she should have been a more assertive advocate, but she served me well. when i look back on things, i see how she tried to help me without pushing me. almost immediately after, she put me in therapy. i was so deep in denial that i couldn't figure out why! i was like, 'they say i'm depressed, but i don't feel it.' i would just lie and lie and waste the insurance company's money. my mom was crying with me on the phone today and she said, 'hundreds of times i've wanted to speak up for you, to say something to your father. but i always thought it was your story to tell and i couldn't urge you to do one or the other.'

as for my college friend, we are still very close and talk every few weeks. i've been working on a letter for her. we hashed out most of what happened to her and our friendship this summer. we put it to rest (what had happened between us, that is) and moved on. now i'm seeing it in a whole new light. it is scary how many women are aquaintance raped and that it's so socially acceptable. kittenb, it's ridiculous that a google search for 'rape' would turn up so much porn.

greenbean, i think minx is right. you should use your voice and if you are living with this guy, he must not be a tota reactionary pig. i think if you choose a strategic time to talk to him about it and the outcome will probably be positive. easier said than done, right? it's take me ten years to even say the word....anyhow, good luck, i hope things work out and you can stop feeling awkward and uncomfortable at home.

thanks so much for the kind words ladies and for helping me feel connected to something. i will probably be sounding off alot. i feel like a dam has broken open inside me.
Your mom sounds like a great ally. As for the google things, well, it doesn't just turn up porn but let's just say I learned that tip the hard way.
Wow dj-biz, I'm so sorry for what happened to you but thats great that you are finally sharing.

Big hugs and thank yous every last one of you!!! I feel much better now. I havent seen the housemate lately, and I dont have a plan, but I definitely need to say something. It actually wasnt a rape joke that he made. He was just airing frustrations about a certain girl friend that he says was flirting with him while they were processing film together, and when he made a move I guess she told him that he was making her uncomfortable. anyways his comment was along the lines of, "wtf? she was all giving me the vibes, and then she has to make me feel like I'm an asshole!" And this gripe really triggered me bad because all my shame about my rape was that I WAS flirting with the dude, I DID want to fool around, but when I started to feel uncomfortable he didnt stop. Sooo, anyhoo, now that I have some distance from it the comment wasnt all that bad, it just really fucked with me...I guess I just need to tell my housemate that you know, women can change their minds, and guys are only assholes when they dont get that or respect it.
i think alot of men have a kind of sense of entitlement to your body, to have sex or whatever. it's like once they have a hard-on they loose all logical thinking skills. i don't think your roommate is being a total ass. the problem is the extension of that kind of thinking and also that some men are so twisted and deluded, they see flirting when it doesn't exist.

your experience sounds similar to mine, greenbean. it's totally fucked. i spent alot of my teen years feeling obligated to fool around or have sex. it's like i lost the ability to say no and stand up for myself in the bedroom, probably because i'd tried it in my intimidated and quiet sort of way and it hadn't worked. that didn't last forever by any means, but i had to re-learn that skill.
QUOTE(dj-bizmonkey @ Apr 4 2008, 08:48 AM) *
i i spent alot of my teen years feeling obligated to fool around or have sex. it's like i lost the ability to say no and stand up for myself in the bedroom, probably because i'd tried it in my intimidated and quiet sort of way and it hadn't worked.

oh my goddess dj, you just said how i have felt for years. i have gotten myself into several not-so-good situations through this weird inability to say "no", no matter how much i may have wanted to.

(((((((safe hugs)))))))
I'm a social worker, and I have several incest/molestation/rape victims that I'm working with. They're all children between the ages of three and thirteen. I've never been sexually assaulted, and I was hoping that someone here might have some advice for me.

What should I tell them. Is there anything that anyone has said/done that helped at all? Or something that you wished they would have done/said? I'm posting due to one girl in particular, and I'm just at a loss. I'm flying blind here, and any help that anyone could give me would be incredibly appreciated.

Thank you in advance.
We are NOT alone. If everybody that had the experience wore one of these, there would be a sea of them:

And it's scary how often there will be a single predator among friends. There was a guy in college that touched at least six of us inappropriately. What made it worse that his favorite haunt was the darkroom. He wasn't even sneaky about it. You'd be the only two people in a room, his gf ten feet away, & he'd touch your breasts or stick his hand on your thigh so high he could touch your Britney. We ladies complained to each other, made it a big joke, "Oh, so & so perved on you, too?! We need to start a support group! HAHAHAH!". But the laughter was forced & we all knew it. Nobody ever said shit.

DJB, I'm glad you were able to share this with your mom. The only reason I think I finally let it out amongst family is that both of my parents are dead now.
wow. i don't know how i feel about that shirt, but i certainly don't think she should be criticized for making it and wearing it. my question would be what is everyone ELSE so afraid of that they would want to cover up a statement like that. people are so clueless. they don't realize that they are surrounded by victims. i don't think that is even remotely an understatement. wow. i feel some irrational man-hate building up inside of me. if people weren't so complacent and/or fearful of rape and rape victims, maybe that wouldn't be true.

i couldn't wear that shirt. i have a hard enough time using the word 'rape,' as is. i know date rape or aquaintance rape has been going one since the dawn of time, but it hasn't been acknowledged until the last 10 to 15 years. i think that's part of what makes things difficult for me. date rape wasn't even really discussed until i was a senior in high school, four years after my rape. i had no idea what to call it. it's funny though, because my mom knew. i didn't have to tell her, because she knew the instant she looked at me. she never called it rape to my face until just recently, but she knew that's what it was. part of me wishes she'd pushed me a little and the other part of me is very glad she didn't. she did stick me in therapy and i remember sitting in those sessions like, 'ummm, why am i here?' i had recorded my own history in a distorted way and no one was going to get me to change that.

ap, we made jokes about this guy too! everyone would laugh and underneath we'd all be uncomfortable. in fact, one of my friends has him on video going up to a girl who is passed out drunk (in a closet) and telling her, 'you can't sleep here, let me take you to a better place.' i shudder to think. but we laughed at that shit too. our minds are remarkably adept at coping in the short term. it's the long term that is the most difficult.

as for your question, neville, not to sound rude, but don't they give you some training on this subject? i honestly wouldn't know what to tell you anyhow because i am just now begining to process. i'm actually glad that no one said anything to me back then because it would have been far more earth shattering than it is for me to deal with it now.
If you ever need to talk about the rape and your therapist is not available you can dial 1-800-656-HOPE. This is the RAINN Hotline and you will be automatically forwarded to the closest rape crisis center in your area. Most of those centers have a 24-hour hotline that you can talk with.

Do I overplug the RAINN site? I often get calls from social workers/teachers/police/other service professionals wondering what they can say when dealing with a rape/sexual assault situation. Let the survivors tell you what they want and follow their agenda to the best of your ability. I know that you may have mandatory reporting issues and other job responsibilites but let your clients know that you believe them, unless you are investigating the case and must stay nuetral. If that is the case, treat them w/dignity as they deserve.

Good luck.

neville, not to sound rude, but don't they give you some training on this subject?
You'd think they would, but often social workers do not seem to feel comfortable in this situation. Neville, if you can get some continuing education in this field, it would do wonders for your clients. smile.gif
My specialty just isn't sexual abuse. I somehow (through random luck of the draw I guess) tend to get a lot of survivors on my client load.

The big issue is that I'm working within the foster care system, so there is a specific protocol to handle disclosure. People don't tend to follow it. Add that to the fact that I'm working in an underfunded urban center, and the set of rules just don't work. The protocol assumes that I won't have to deal with this. I'm supposed to refer to therapists (which I'm fine doing). However, as foster children, they can't be referred without a court order. Take into account the backlog of cases, and I can deal with someone for between three and six months before they see someone with specific training.

I've sought out information on my own, both workshops and written, as a way of trying to help my clients more within the framework I have. However, I feel like I'm just crossing my fingers and hoping that I'm not causing more damage. For the most part, I really think I'm doing okay. However, I thought someone here might have some ideas that could be helpful.

As for specialized training...HA! Like they'd pay for that. Getting any sort of funds dispersed for something that is considered "non-essential" is almost impossible. I have a college degree, but I never specifically prepared to work with survivors. Oddly enough, my specialties are gender and relationships. So I have more specialized training than many of my colleagues. However, it's almost entirely for adult survivors.

I think part of the lack of training is due to the fact that people don't want to admit that children are sexually assaulted. If we don't train social workers to deal with it, we don't have to acknowledge the uncomfortable reality that many children are assaulted.
Miss Deena
I can say from my own story that when I was first telling a counselor about my past that nothing made me more angry then for them to say "I know how you feel" I would just scream in my head "How the FUCK do you know"!!! But being the internal child I was I would close down and say nothing. What made me feel more confidant to speak about my feeling was for them to say "You are very strong" It is going to be different for everyone of course. But if this helps one then I am glad to share.
i think the single most important thing when trying to help children who have been abused is this... believe them, don't try to fix them or tell them you know how they feel, just let them tell you what happened in their own way and in their own time, whenever that's possible.
I really appreciate this! I feel like maybe I'm not doing such a bad job. What kind of therapist offers that they know how it feels? I have no idea what it feels like to be sexually assaulted, and I would never presume to tell someone that I did.

Basically, I stick to a couple of things. 1)Telling when someone hurts you is always the best thing (I'm a mandatory reporter, so I have to encourage them to always talk although I don't judge adult survivors who have chosen not to share) . 2)It isn't their fault ever. No matter what the perpetrator said, it is always the grown ups fault because they should know better.

For some kids, we have to talk about the fact that sometimes grown ups are idiots. Not in those words. I have a lot of kids who report what is going on, and the initial disclosure is not responded to well. That's the worst for me. Trying to explain to kids why it is that I'm perfectly willing to believe them (despite the fact that I'm typically relatively new to the kid), when their mothers did not.

It isn't my job to hear this. I'm not a forensic interviewer. But sometimes I end up being the one that people choose to disclose to. Despite the fact that it's a horrible thing, and I wish that it had not happened to the kid, it makes me feel like I'm good at my job. Kids who choose to disclose to me will be believed, and if they're disclosing, I've created some level of trust. I would never hurt that trust by disbelief.

Not to mention, when you have a small child with an STD, it came from somewhere. And I've yet to meet a child who is lying about sexual abuse. I'm sure that some kids do not tell what actually happened, but I haven't met them.

Again, thanks for all of your help. I'll be checking this thread periodically, so any other suggestions are always appreciated.
I will add that it is imperative to not blame the victim.
llamas I haven't been in this thread much since my stalker issue a while back, but something happened on Sunday that I'm trying to process. (May be triggering.)
I'm going through a kinda drawn-out divorce right now, and the soon-to-be ex came over to get a few things out of the bedroom closet. While we were back there, he rather perfunctorily had sex with me. I really didn't want to, but felt like I couldn't say no, as he has a bad temper and I was afraid he would be legally or monetarily vengeful, if not physically, if I did. So I let him. Since then, I feel raped, but I don't feel like he raped me...does that make sense? I don't think he purposely tried to hurt me, but I feel nauseous and scared when I think about it. I just don't know whether I'm overreacting, since much worse things happen to people all the time.
(((((((((((((((llamas)))))))))))))))) honey, you are not overreacting. it sounds to me like it was something you felt you had no choice in, whether you wanted to or not. you're feeling violated and that is what happened. he violated you. i understand your hesitation to actually call it rape, i really do. i have been in similar situations, where fear of what he might do, then or later, motivates you to just lie there and figure that you'll deal with it all later, because at least you won't get hurt now. don't think that because it wasn't a stranger or because he didn't actively force you that your experience is somehow less important than others. no matter what has happened to other people, this is important because it has happened to you.
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