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cstars124
That's awesome, elvisisvelvet! It's very liberating when you can overcome a fear like that. And no need to apologize for sharing!

I'm just stopping by to see how everyone's doing.

I read a little of the posts below and unfortunately, I don't have any good ideas on dealing with nightmares other than letting myself cry or get upset for a little bit and then occupy my mind with mindless tv or a book or something along those lines.

Lately, I've been thinking about my ex (the rapist) and how if I saw him, how afraid I would be of him. Which sounds stupid cause he was my bf for two years. I also think I see him EVERYWHERE. I don't know if this is because he's my ex boyfriend and things didn't end well, so I'm afraid to see him because of that, or if it's because he raped me and I'm finally coming to terms with it?
kiss_the_fiddler
elvisisvelvet, Hey, welcome! I'm glad that you felt you could share here. Your victory is great! Every thing, no matter how small it seems to someone else, that you overcome, is like sticking it to whomever hurt you. I've been scared too. And I still am sometimes, but not as much as I used to be. I took a self defense for women class just a coupla weeks ago. Already I find myself changing. I still have nightmares but now, when I'm attacked in my nightmare, I fight back! It's so cool!. I'm glad you found this place. I'm glad you're finding your power. I'm glad you're taking your life back. You go, girl!

fiddler
elvisisvelvet
Good morning from grey autumnal England and WOW-thanks for the support, feel a little less foolish for sharing now.

Nightmares...hhmmm. I know this is going to sound crazy BUT, try keeping a notepad by the bed. I know that the first few times you wake from one of these terrrors the last thing you will feel able to do is write, but try, if you put what is going through your mind down on paper it kind of takes the power out of it. That's the only thing that prevents my nightmare hanging around all day, like an albatross around my neck. Write down exactly what you see, feel, hear, smell. Put it all on the page, and then, when you feel able to in the following days, destroy the page. Burn it, use as it as a liner for your cat's litter box-turn that controlling bastard from a metaphorical piece of shit to a literal one, jump up and down on it in your favourite killer heels, whatever feels right. It doesn't stop them coming but it does neutralise their power. Try it.

And self defence classes? I like the sound of that! Just off to find one in my area. more power to you ladies. X
kittenb
Welcome to the thread, elvisisvelvet! Your victory is NOT insignificent. We all lost different things when we were raped/abused. Taking them back is never insignificent. You lost the feeling of safetey that we should all be entitled too. However you go about getting that back it is a victory that should be rewarded with red wine and chocolate (I don't smoke so the chocolate would work better for me.)
A lot of what you wrote resonated with me. I don't have a husband but I know that I will never be the person that I would have been had I not been raped. I, too, was raped while young. It was a one-time occurence (well two times, sort of, but I was only raped once. It was a friend, not a family member. Sometimes when I tell my story I feel compelled to say "But it wasn't a family member." I always need to defend the truth although I feel like sometimes it makes them sound more guilty through my defensiveness. Like you, my situation is every parent's worst nightmare, but noway near the normal occurance. That whole "worst nightmare" was an enormous burden when I first realized it.
Anyway, you are not crazy, you are not lame and you are not insignificant! I am gald you came here.
elvisisvelvet
dry.gif Hi again, thanks soooooo much. I'm glad I'm here too. You girls are fab. I think this whole positive experience thing has a nock on effect. Since feeling a bit of my power and having others validate it I have booked a singing lesson with my old teacher and have begun to feel a bit like myself again-whatever that is. You girls are part of that awful 1st singing lesson-and as well as holding you responsible for the embarressment-I also thank you from the core of me. This teacher (like all great teachers) has no subject and teaches me more about being a woman in the world without any one else's permission than she ever taught me about singing.

Kitten, I really get what you say about having to justify yourself. For so many years I really thought that I'd somehow 'imagined' what had happened or 'exaggerated' what had happpened. As far as 'Parent's worst nightmare' weeeeellll....my parents are YOUR worst nightmare. That's part of the root of my panic attacks and my wider anxiety disorder-I have no family now. So now my husband has left, and taken his family-and many of our friends (try not to judge, he's by far the easier of us to deal with) with him, I am truely and absolutely alone. Scares me. What if I find myself alone forever and become one of those scary women who is found 3 weeks after her death half eaten by her own cats? Alone. Liberating. But scary.

OK, goodnight, and thanks again-less alone with you gals. X



ananke
I always found that spectre of "....then your cats eat you!!!!" rather less terrifying than "...then you're locked into a stupid relationship until you die and strangers put makeup on you". Of course I'm lucky in that the Marital Unit is not a complete gimboid and can deal with me being mostly insane. Most of the time.

I've started smoking again, which is bad. But I'm over this 'be strong' thing. I just want to get through the next few weeks, then the breakdown of "OMGWTF i've finished!?!" with the Masters and start jobhunting. I just have to get through that. I did have a whole week of drinking myself to sleep. Which cut down on the nightmares and repetitive thinking, but meant I got through 1.125 litres of vodka in 5 nights. Which can't be good for my liver (or bank balance).

But yeah, elvis - getting outside when it's scary as all fuck (I just went to get cigarettes on a Monday morning and some fucking yobbo yelled out of his car at me!) is a total achievement. I even did church on Sunday and hung around with MU's family. I'm paying for it now (stupid anxiety) but i did it. And it does have knock-on effects. I've actually got my uni work document open (unlooked at, but open!) and planning on at least choosing a topic today. Then making carbonara for dinner.
deschatsrouge
Hi guys!

Welcome Elvisvelvet.

Around here, no accomplishment is ever small and No experience is ever insignificant.
elvisisvelvet
Thanks Deschatsrouge, I think you know what that response means, but I tell you....right now I feel like scum. I've broken up with my husband and "our" friends have all chosen him. WE are still OK. We are managing this situation with as much equilibrium as we can mustre, but they're choosing sides anyway. My Best friends get married on the 10th November, they told me they wanted to just make minidiscs to go through a sound system for the reception-so they could have the songs they want-but apparently they have asked HIS band to play. Not told me mind, HE told me. My oldest friends.

My parents didn't want me, my extended family didn't want me, he doesn't want me, and now my friends don't want want me, I'm thoughtful, I try to be kind, I go out of my way to look after the people I love, and yet the only people I have-STILL-are the men who took something from me. They are the only people who ever wanted me. What kind of scum am I? So sorry to dump. I don't know where else to put this. I hate me right now.
ananke
Not scum. Seriously.

Some people empathise strangely. My best friends picked my ex because the circumstances of the breakup were similar to that of their relationships, except I was the 'evil ex'. So they kept inviting him to our parties and blaming me when he got drunk and mean. One night I just took off and they broke some of my stuff and then said if I apologised for leaving, they'd take me back. Not the same situation (my ex was a dickhead about everything) but I know how hard it can be.

But you get through. You find good people. People who don't do stupid things and tell stupid lies and keep information from you because they can't face the reality of the breakup.

Do you have somewhere you can hide for a while? I've found my downstairs toilet quite good for hiding - enclosed space, very little noise, cool and isolated. But I'm a born introvert, so that might not work for you. Soemwhere you can just block everything else and do stuff just for you. Read or sing or listen to music you like.
kiss_the_fiddler
I agree with ananke. Not scum. Nope. Not scum at all. I don't know you, elvisisvelvet, but what i do see is not scum. i see someone who is hurting and alone. that doesn't make you scum. the fact that the people you thought you could count on have left you doesn't make you scum. Other people have taken from you and done to you and hurt you and that doesn't make you scum.

I'm glad you found us. I'm glad you share with us. Keep coming here. Keep sharing. I believe you and you're not scum.

fiddler
deschatsrouge
QUOTE(elvisisvelvet @ Oct 11 2007, 10:23 PM) *
Thanks Deschatsrouge, I think you know what that response means, but I tell you....right now I feel like scum. I've broken up with my husband and "our" friends have all chosen him. WE are still OK. We are managing this situation with as much equilibrium as we can mustre, but they're choosing sides anyway. My Best friends get married on the 10th November, they told me they wanted to just make minidiscs to go through a sound system for the reception-so they could have the songs they want-but apparently they have asked HIS band to play. Not told me mind, HE told me. My oldest friends.

My parents didn't want me, my extended family didn't want me, he doesn't want me, and now my friends don't want want me, I'm thoughtful, I try to be kind, I go out of my way to look after the people I love, and yet the only people I have-STILL-are the men who took something from me. They are the only people who ever wanted me. What kind of scum am I? So sorry to dump. I don't know where else to put this. I hate me right now.


(((((Elvisvelvet))))
The reason this place is here is to dump in, I dump in here all the time. This is a supportive environment, I think I can speak for everybody when I say we want you here.
elvisisvelvet
Evening all, thanks for the patience and the support.

Had my counselling session today and that has helped a bit. Just being able to cry for an hour without getting scared you're going freak someone out is indeed top therapy! Just feeling really unloved and alone. I know it's an old, old song but it seems that everyone leaves. I've spent the last few days doing the whole "why doesn't anyone want me" routine. I don't know if there is an answer to that one but today in counselling my therapist was talking about patterns. How we find a pattern to help us survive a bad situation and then when we are out of that situation we can't let go of the pattern because that's the thing that helped us survive. She seems to think that I find it really easy to choose people who will make me feel like this-because I know what this is going to feel like. As much as I don't want to go through this maybe it's easier for me to choose that than to break the pattern and do something like facing the dark on my own like I did the other night.

We also discussed the idea of "backlash". That as soon as you have a little victory like that one, your old shitty inner critic attempts to keep you small and in the pattern by backlashing against it. They're only theories but they make a whole lot of sense at the moment.

I know how far I've come in the last few years to reclaim what's left of myself. But the fear remains. What if you've allowed your patterns to define you? If I let go of all this shit and reach out for MY life on My terms as MYSELF-what if there's nothing there? What if, when I let go of this assault and stop making it my defining characteristic there's nothing else there anymore?

Oh well, came home from that session totally wiped and have slept for most of the afternoon but woke up feeling a bit more centered and some ideas/decisions are forming: Because of my upbringing I have found it really easy to characterise myself as the bad guy, the failure. The abuse happened and people only wanted me for something that was 'bad'. This followed me through my 20's as the 'one who fails spectaculary' model and I found my social niche as The Failure. My ex, fine man though he is, is a 'nice guy' and he really likes being the 'nice guy'. That means that any problems in our relationship paint me as the baddie once more. Anyone else see a pattern forming?

So, if we follow the theory to its logical conclusions-he doesn't want to stay in the marriage because he won't get back the woman I was before (the bad girl failure). My friends are-unprompted-choosing his corner ("well he's such a nice guy-he's put up with enough"). Perhaps these extreme reactions are because I've begun to break some of those patterns? Perhaps now that I won't play the bad girl or the failure for people they are finding it hard to relate to me because I'm not fitting the comfortable staus quo we have built up over many years? Maybe this isn't about me-maybe my recovery is just making them uncomfortable because they have no frame of reference for me in the social group if I won't play these roles?

Is any of this making sense to you guys or do you think I'm just pissing in the wind to make myself feel a little less wretched???
ananke
I was readin Ellroy again yesterday, and he refers to it as 'running tapes'. The situation was a missing wife, and running the 'run off' 'abandoned' 'abducted' 'car accident' tapes, but it's the same. An old therapist talked about it too.

When something bad happens, I run the 'what did I do' tapes. Like the dickwads yelling out of the car at me - what did I do? Was it what I was wearing? How fat I am? For being obviously female and feminine? But the tapes don't help, they just put me back int he comfortable box of 'all your fault'. When it isn't.

The fact the 'friends' chose him over you means they aren't your friends. YOUR friends would want to help you through it. Would be there for you. Sometimes they come out of nowhere - my Marital Unit was friends with my ex, even lived with us while we were breaking up. He became my friend because he knew I was going through pain and wanted to help. Same with a few other friends I made during that time. They may not understand me, but they love me and want to help me. The MU saw what my ex was doing and couldn't stay friends with him for it. But he tried. We all did. It just never would have ended well.
opheliathemuse
I hear what you are saying perfectly elvisisvelvet. The nice guy theory makes perfect sense, unfortunately. As far as backlash is concerned, that too makes sense. When you start to make progress it's only natural to take two steps forward one step back.

Yes. The what did I do tapes...

I came here because I had my first flashback about two and a half months ago. I was in the car with my ex and his brother, leaving the shopping center I had met the first person who took advantage of me. I had sunglasses on and I became all hot and started to cry but neither man noticed. I don't believe I will characterize it any further, in case of triggers.

The one thing I am ashamed of...I told my ex about the men who forced themselves on me, and he made me feel like he didn't think it was their fault, because I didn't have the ability to say anything. I was too frightened. I know I don't suffer the same as the brutal sexual assault victims but the people I used to call friends are the ones who did this.

What happened after my flashback is that I was intimate with my current boyfriend, and it was simply put, a bad idea. I was still in a state of emotional alarm and cried while he used the restroom.

The summer before this one I had nightmares about my father, very intense and scary ones that have never occurred before. He's now dead. I do not know what these mean.

I appreciate this very much; I have my second therapy session tomorrow. I haven't even mentioned this yet to the therapist.
ananke
That's really awful that your partner couldn't support you. Really terrible for you. I'm sorry that you had to go through that.

But we believe you AND we know it isn't your fault. I was raped by someone I thought was my best friend, who was 'helping' me fight my depression and alcoholism and cutting. He wasn't. He was hurting me. Just because you're too frightened to say no, doesn't make it okay. Who frightens their friends so badly? Who hurts someone so badly?

It was not your fault.
kittenb
QUOTE(opheliathemuse @ Oct 16 2007, 12:24 AM) *
I know I don't suffer the same as the brutal sexual assault victims but the people I used to call friends are the ones who did this.


This is probably going to come out harsher that it should, so please realize, ophelia, it is not YOU I am mad at.

What is this this continuing theme I keep hearing of "The rape wasn't bad enough to feel like I have suffered enough"? I can't even say it right but I keep running into it. So many people who have been abused or rape will minimize the pain and suffering she has been through as if we are not allowed to feel what we are feeling! Why must we compare ourselves to other people's situations? I don't think we want to. I think it is because society does not want to recognize the pain that just living in a rape culture can cause so everyone really can't face the pain that rape, however the rape and/or abuse occured, hurts ! Rape is murder and everything after that is trying to bring yourself back to life. There is no rape that is less than that. So ophleia, kissthefiddler, elvisisvelvet, deschatrouge, anake, and I everyone else I may have missed (I am going to include myself in that list) you NEVER have to apologize here for taking up space, or needing support, or for "not suffering enough" (who sets the standard for suffering, anyway? Christ? Buddah? Ghandi? Nelson Mandela? As far as I know, no male religious or politically inspirational figure has ever been raped so they don't get to set my standard for suffering. I would rather wander through the desert for 30 days looking for food and water and enlightenment than be a rape survivor.)

I hope I have not offended anyone here. We all have the right to define our own experience and decide for ourselves how much we do or do not hurt. But I just never want anyone to feel that they don't deserve all the love and support that they want b/c someone said "Was it really that bad?" Yes, it is that bad.
jami
talk more about the 'what did I do' tapes. I'm not sure I understand.
I was always told that everything was my fault, I wasn't important enough, and it more became 'what can I do' to make everything better. and yes, when I was blamed, trying to figure out what I did wrong.
I have not been to counselling yet. I am still of the mindset that I am at fault, here to serve, not good enough.
am I a survivor? well, I am still here. not yet whole.
did he do to me what I did not want to happen? yes. but I was told to. and you do what you are told. because you don't want what would happen otherwise. I was forced, but taught to. conditioned.
still does not make it right.
kittenb
No, it doesn't make it right. I know that what happened to you was not your fault, jami. I know it in every fiber of my being. I know that you are a worthwhile person and deserving of love and respect. And I know this because there is no rapeable offense. There is nothing that you or anyone can do that makes rape allowable/permissable/okay. There is no person so low that rape and sexual abuse is okay.
I know that nothing that you did excuses someone else for hurting you. Just b/c we are all conditioned as women to be available for the male gaze does not forgive or excuse the men who rape us.
As far as are you a survivor? You are when you say you are. I believe that everyone who posts here is a survivor. After all, we are all alive. However, when you choose to claim the word survivor, things will feel different.
I cannot promise that you will feel whole. After all, I struggle with that broken feeling more often than I reveal. However, I can say that there are parts of me that do not work the ways that I wish they would and I can love the broken parts of me just as much as I love the unbroken parts. And I believe that you can do the same.
It takes time, time that you deserve. And it takes love and support, which you also deserve.
I highly recommend therapy but try to find a place that practices with a victim-centered, feminist philosophy. I think that is the best way to do sexual assault counseling.
I know I post this a lot, but you can find a center in your area by calling 1-866-656-HOPE. That is the RAINN line. They want to help. Trust me on that.
jami
**I can love the broken parts of me just as much as I love the unbroken parts**
I like that. a lot.
I will have to wait for the divorce to be final and son and I move. then we can have counseling. there are nearby cities that will be able to help us. we are so isolated here.
but for now what you are saying truly helps. thank you.
I am believed. I am deserving. (you have me in tears)
I have family and friends so far away, but also only an email away. I have to stay strong for my son. that's why I am here.
still it is hard. so very hard. and learning more everyday.
I thought this is just what men did. It's just the way things were.
I did not know it could be different.
now I know. and it won't happen again.
~jami~
kittenb
You are welcome!
opheliathemuse
I read and tried to submerge myself in submissive bdsm literature looking for an answer. I believe it did me harm, and my interest in something became something that hurt both my relationship and my mind as I tried to figure out why I had no self-esteem suddenly, after the summer in which those events took place.

No offense taken kittenb. Point taken.

Welcome jami.

Thank you, ananke.
jami
this is borrowed from another topic... but I like what it says:
~~ the main thing to remember about consent is that it is saying "YES," not "not saying no." ~~


deschatsrouge
QUOTE(kittenb @ Oct 17 2007, 03:28 PM) *
This is probably going to come out harsher that it should, so please realize, ophelia, it is not YOU I am mad at.

What is this this continuing theme I keep hearing of "The rape wasn't bad enough to feel like I have suffered enough"? I can't even say it right but I keep running into it. So many people who have been abused or rape will minimize the pain and suffering she has been through as if we are not allowed to feel what we are feeling! Why must we compare ourselves to other people's situations? I don't think we want to. I think it is because society does not want to recognize the pain that just living in a rape culture can cause so everyone really can't face the pain that rape, however the rape and/or abuse occured, hurts ! Rape is murder and everything after that is trying to bring yourself back to life. There is no rape that is less than that. So ophleia, kissthefiddler, elvisisvelvet, deschatrouge, anake, and I everyone else I may have missed (I am going to include myself in that list) you NEVER have to apologize here for taking up space, or needing support, or for "not suffering enough" (who sets the standard for suffering, anyway? Christ? Buddah? Ghandi? Nelson Mandela? As far as I know, no male religious or politically inspirational figure has ever been raped so they don't get to set my standard for suffering. I would rather wander through the desert for 30 days looking for food and water and enlightenment than be a rape survivor.)

I hope I have not offended anyone here. We all have the right to define our own experience and decide for ourselves how much we do or do not hurt. But I just never want anyone to feel that they don't deserve all the love and support that they want b/c someone said "Was it really that bad?" Yes, it is that bad.


The hardest part of moving from rape victim to rape survivor was understanding and my role in the event. It took me a really long time to accept that I was not to blame. It took even longer to allow myself to be angry about what had happened. I still think I lie to myself, make myself think I feel better than I actually do. I feel like I am waiting for a magical catharsis, when I will purge my self of all my emotional shit and suddenly become well adjusted about the event, and be able to take away some deep and personal life lesson. It feels as though I'm trying to recover with out actually remembering or reliving what happened. It's as though I'm faking it till I make it. I too compare what happened to me to the the things that happened to you guys. I'm just trying not to beat myself up over any of it.
kiss_the_fiddler
Aaargh. I have a hard anniversary coming up and it's got me more freaked out than usual. All of the sudden, I'm afraid to go out after dark (which is a problem because I live in the north country and it gets dark pretty early here and I'm on the fire dept and expected to go whenever I'm paged, whether it's dark or not). I have all the blinds closed in my house. I feel like hiding. I'm so freaking out that I can't sleep. Yup. Anniversary reaction. I'd been enjoying thinking that I was finally past this. NOPE.

fiddler
jami
Fiddler.... I'm understanding what you said. and it's making what I feel make sence.
it's getting winter and the thought of snow making me feel trapped.
I'm remembering things. it's awful.
I remember when he said - I like living here. you can scream. and there's no one to hear you.
that just gives me the shivers.
I'm getting back to the 'everything's fine' pretend mode. smiling, laughing. but it's not true.
I try to do it, the pretend mode, but I slip back into reality.
kittenb
kissthefiddler - I am so sorry. I have been caught up in my own drama and I did not respond to you like I wanted to.

kiss and jami and deschatrouge and everyone else who feels like they are faking it (me too!) - I am so tired of the feeling of faking it. I don't have a problem with aniverseries so I can only imagine what kiss and jami are feeling about that. I would say that indulging in whatever it takes to feel safe might make it easier for you when you have to go out. Because you know that safety will be there at your home or whenever when you get back. If you feel like the need for safety is interferring in your ability to run your life, that is when it is a problem that might require outside intervention. Is there someone who you can have come over and just hang out? Friends and partners who already know the situation and will arrive armed with DVDs and hot chocolate?
As for the "fake it till I make it," tonight I have my 3 1/2 date with this new guy. It has been a looooooong time since a guy has seemed this interesting to me and I know that sooner or later everything is going to come up. And I don't want it to. I don't want him to know that I am a little different than other girls and things move slower than he may be used to. I don't even want to have the conversation with him firstly, because being with him makes me feel really normal and I like that and secondly, because I don't want him to say something really stupid like "Oh, I've dealt with that before. I can handle it" (because yeah, all survivors just love to be reminded that we are one of many but can all be 'handeled' the same) or "Wow,let me tell you about this awful thing that happened to me" so that I realize what? that bad things happen to everyone? that you "get" what I went through? I just don't want to need to have this conversation again.

Argh. Now I really want some DVDs and hot chocolate.

Hugs and support to all!

DVDs and Hot Chocolate For the Soul written by Kittenb on sale now.
ananke
I would totally buy that book.

It's an anniversary for me too - coming into summer. It's hot and humid and this one tree that was outside my window at the time starts flowering. Thanks be that my current home is nowhere near one. But it's still that claustrophobic heat and dark.

But we're getting there, right?

Congrats on the date kittenb, here's hoping he isn't an idiot about it.
kiss_the_fiddler
Thanks for the support gals. I'm going nearly out of my mind tonight with PTSD shit. Trigger here, trigger, trigger, trigger everywhere. It's night and I'm so not sleeping. I can't calm down enough for my sleep meds to kick in. I'm panicked and spinning.

DVD's and hot cocoa sound good.


fiddler
ananke
You got any methods of calming that you haven't tried yet? As crappy as it is, smoking works for me because it's a truly cognitive breathing thing - if I just breathe, I get messed up with memories. A physical aid helps. Or I just let it run and cuddle my bear til it's done, but sometimes that's too much. Memories are as painful as old scars sometimes.
opheliathemuse
I'm so sorry you guys are all feelin' the crunch. I have no specific anniversary as it happened with more than one person more than once. I hope your date goes well, kittenb! I can't get close to people--I'm always an ice queen unless I'm drunk or really sick. And I haven't had alcohol for years. Going to the shrink on thursday. I'm supposed to have goals. My only goal is to tell him about the rapes. I'm scared to and I don't really know why.
deschatsrouge
QUOTE(kittenb @ Oct 28 2007, 07:57 PM) *
I don't even want to have the conversation with him firstly, because being with him makes me feel really normal and I like that and secondly, because I don't want him to say something really stupid like "Oh, I've dealt with that before. I can handle it" (because yeah, all survivors just love to be reminded that we are one of many but can all be 'handeled' the same) or "Wow,let me tell you about this awful thing that happened to me" so that I realize what? that bad things happen to everyone? that you "get" what I went through? I just don't want to need to have this conversation again.


I had a guy say that to me once. it pissed me off royally, because it felt like he was minimizing my problem, making it sound like it's no big deal, like " yeah I've met a ton of rape victims in my time, and I mad all of them feel better." to tell you the truth, I just dumped his ass. Now I'm very selective about who I tell. If I do tell I wait for a long time until I feel that they know me well enough so that they don't see "rape girl" every time they think of me. I don't even tell some people, I like that fact that it's my choice, I get to control who knows and who doesn't.

As for talking to a therapist, I never rush into it. I talk about it when the subject is breached. It is really scary for me to talk about it, it's a trigger, I feel like if i talk about I might have a flashback and lose control. Losing control is scary for a control freak like me.

I feel lucky that my anniversary isn't a trigger I think this is so because i wasn't totally cognoscente of when it happened. I'm bipolar and at the time of the event I was unmedicated and completely nonfunctional. unfortunately certain sights and sounds are triggers and they can happen anytime, it's like riding around on a ticking time bomb, I never know when it'll go off.
MoonDancer
I had a question. Could it be in the matter of a rape that you really don't feel pain for it? I was raped 3 years ago and I don't even remember the date it happened. I have considered it being denial, but I don't believe it is. For a long time I considered that maybe it just wasn't bad enough. There are so many women that are really hurt out there that I thought it wasn't so bad for me. But at the same time I have read books on marriage rape and rape in general and always included myself in those ranks. What do you girls think? Any input would surely help. sad.gif
kittenb
I think this goes back to the question of "Have I suffered enough?" If you consider what happened to you to be rape, than I support you in that, however much it bothered you or hurt you or did or did not fuck up your life.
There is so much that goes into how a survivor heals and hurts. It is affected by the immediate reaction from others when you tell, if can be affected by your understanding of sex and rape at the time of the assault, and many other things. Simply because you are aware that others are in more pain than you consider yourself to be does not invalidate your experience. I work with many people that I know to be rape survivors. Some of them have managed to have happy and healthy romantic and sexual lives. I am still working that one out. But is the circustances of our lives had been different, we may be in the opposite place. But, because we choose to be, we are united in fighting for all the survivors. Including you. smile.gif

Welcome to Survivor's Space, MoonDancer. I love your screen name.
kiss_the_fiddler
MoonDancer - I think that if a sexual act was pushed on you against your will, regardless of the level of pain or of how your body responded, than that was violation/rape/sexual assault. I've found that it's not helpful at all to compare my pain against others' pain. It happened. I said 'no'. Bottom line. I hope you're in a safe place and that you're no longer being hurt.

fiddler
ananke
I'm with Fiddler and Kitten - what happened is what happened to you. You just can't put other people in the same space or situation. It can make it difficult, I know. When I finally talked to old friends about my rape, one of them had a very very similar thing happen to her and was confused because she didn't call it rape, but wanted to call what happened to me rape, but she didn't want to deal with what that brought up for her. It's all about how you see it and what happened to you, not others.

But we believe you and you are welcome here. And you have a really awesome screen name.
deschatsrouge
((((Moondancer))))
opheliathemuse
Moondancer, I came here with the same question. I did not consent in any of the cases that happened to me. You may call it what you want to, just as the others say, because names are powerful. I think that society is a little too quick to label others' experiences. What is absolutely terrifying to some is not to others. Just because you may have been familiar with the people who hurt you or it wasn't a violent assault does not mean your consent was taken from you.
jami
I was told yesterday that it was my fault. my fault because I stayed with him. I stayed with him for so long.
how did I know any other way? it was all I knew.
I don't think it was my fault. Now that I know, I would not go back to him. I will protect my children from him.
I have to be stronger than I know how to stand up to him, listen to the lies in court.
how can people say it was my fault?
kiss_the_fiddler
jami - when i read your post, i got so mad. not mad at you, but mad at the people who are telling you that what happened was your fault. how dare they? i'm glad you're protecting your kiddos. you're a strong woman. i believe you.

fiddler
opheliathemuse
Jami!

You know it's not your fault or else you wouldn't be here. ((((you))))

I am consistently impressed by the women on this site; their strength of character stands out.
jami
thanks, ladies. I appreciate the support , the belief and the hugs.
sometimes I wonder if the people telling me this are spies so to speak for my ex-to-be. I am never sure. I thought these people were safe. the only one I truly trust is my older son. and I have not told him everything. no need to mess with his head.
son lashed out at me yesterday, yelling and all. I know it's 'cause he can't yell at his dad. he's not strong enough yet. and he knows I will be here for him no matter what. it was awful hard though. it wasn't till he came, hugged me, kissed my head and apologized for yelling and hurting my feelings that I reaized how much it did hurt. he said I will never loose him. no matter what. (custody)
hope he will get counseling with me once this is over with and we move. he has to know that the way we were treated is not the way you treat someone that you love. he already does have some characteristics of his father.
kittenb
jami - I think counseling for you and your boy sounds like a great idea. I am glad that he apologized for yelling at you and I am sorry that some people have been such asshats to you. You deserve better.

As an update: I had The Conversation with the new guy last night. He handled it really well. Really well. And then we made out. biggrin.gif So, for now, it's all good!
MoonDancer
Thank you guys for all the replies. I thought no one had replied to it. I guess in my own way it's a type of denial. Although I'm sad to say that 6 months before it happened to me the same guy did it to another girl and I didn't believe it. I get alot of that. lol And to Jami, I used to think the same thing, that if you stayed in the situation then it's your fault. I have since changed my mind. The fact that you got the guts to do it says more about you than alot of women out there. Children and you come first. Not them. Sometimes there are outside circumstances that people never think of that keeps you trapped.
jami
yea to kittenb for making out!!! oh, yeah, and the conversation too. <g>
MoonDancer, thanks. I guess I never thought of it. the staying and fault part. I was just living it. denial says a lot.
son says he wants to spend time with dad. I understand this, I do, but it's tearing me apart. I have this FEAR that the brainwashing and bashing will begin and son may not want to stay with me. I know that the b+b will happen. but I have to believe in my son's stregnth. but he's still just a boy. this is so hard.
MoonDancer
I've just been looking up statistics on rape and I'm confused as to why the estimates are so drastically different. I realize that alot of surveys are done by different groups but I just looked up two different sites that claim to have taken their information from the Bureau of Justice Statistics and theyre vastly different. One of them said that since 1993 rape/assualt has gone down by 69%. That didn't sound right to me and I found this other site that says that each year since 1993 it has gone up a little over 100,000 a year. This makes more sense. There's also an estimated 32,000 pregnancies from rape a year. And rape victims are 13 time smore likely to commit suicide. So if things are truly this bad, why haven't they made it protocol in hospitals to ask if you've ever been raped. Especially if you're there for a pregnancy, self-mutilation, eating disorder, etc. Seems to me that docs would get more answers if they asked this one question. Why isn't there more support? I know alot of you ladies are in Canada and I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm in the middle of the country here and there ARE no groups or docs that specialize in it. Yet the bible belt is where more girls are raped/sodomized/abused. We're talkin' if you're unmarried and pregnant they expect you to ask your church group for forgiveness in being in their presence like that. But I guess I'm just preaching to the choir. wink.gif Oh and while I'm on a subject I don't remember the percentages but men are alot more likely to be assualted/murdered, but it's males that do it most of the time. Also thinking that in school shooting soemwhere around 5% of those killed/injured are male. The rest are of course female. The shooter/bombers themselves are usually between ages 12-18 and are male. I actually could not find ONE shooting that involved a female shooter. This is all telling me that boys should have a few more required classes in school. Like how to control aggression, how to treat women, channeling anger, something. Ah well, just thought I would rant for a minute. I think it's odd how society upholds men (who are greatly more violent) and yet we're the ones getting crapped on. Ok, I'm done. rolleyes.gif
kittenb
Sometimes preaching to the choir is okay b/c sometimes the choir needs to hear it too.

The stats are different b/c they come from many sources. The Dept. of Justice stats are innacurate b/c of how many people do not report to the law. Stats that combine justice counts with reports from service providers tend to be more accurate. You should also consider what acts are considered under the rape stats. The on-in-four/three stat of girls who are sexually assaulted considers everything from unwanted kissing to rape. Having seen the damage that anys osrt of unwanted sexual contact can have on a child, I support that stat but others dissagree.
The laws vary state to state. I think there are still states where men cannot be "raped." Any sexual assault in simply considered assault. I do believe, though, that rape charges can be filed in marital rape cases in all states now. I'll have to ask my boss.

As for services where you live, I might be able to help you find something if you PM me your location. smile.gif
neurotic.nelly
*BUMP*

Here is an amazing woman who is a survivor doing amazing things:

http://www.consciousmedianetwork.com/membe...fegratitude.htm

It is possible to heal ladies.

Enjoy!
ananke
I recently went through a creative burst and made fifteen survivor related wall papers. All of them are on DevArt - a quick run down and link to each:Visit My Website

Firefly inspired - since I think we're all big damn heroes for getting through it all.

This is a prayer to a God of Unseason and it always gave me a sense of hope, of sufficiency.

Pretty and girly and damn good advice.

Because the survivor aspect is one of walking through hell to get to where we are.

Those of us who had to listen to the shit abusers spew will know the value of silence and how world-ending they try to be.

Similar focus here - if we let the fools silence us, we are wrecked. Instead we are here, we stand and survive.

This one goes out to everyone here. (bad language warning)

It may not be a house, it may not even be a place - but there is somewhere you can turn, somewhere you can go, something you can do.

This is a little more desolate.

This perfectly describes the aftermath for me.

We worry so much about how we are, what we are like, but someone will treasure us, cracks and all.

Again, desolate and possibly triggering. But I find the image of strength from my scars a comforting one.

CUTE AND HAPPY!!! And so much what this thread is about. Also: Pooh Bear.

Minimalist and text based - so many of us are tied to what these arseholes say or have said, but we can erase that and make our own destinies.

Feel free to take and use them, just hit download on the lefthand side. All of them are 1024x768 - if you want one different, I can probably do it in the next few days. I also posted this on a community on LJ, so apologies if you see it twice.

It's come at a good time - I made the mistake oflooking at the news website - three stories about rape that were just awful. Two were judges setting aside sentencing in statutory rape cases (one was a gang rape) because "the child probably consented" and one from a pedophile saying the same thing. How can they be so stupid and awful?
kittenb
Thank you very much ananke. I saved some to my computer and will probably use one as my MySpace layout.
They are lovely.
deschatsrouge
Today I heard a public service anouncment about a rape crisis center/hotline and it made me feel all whacko. Does this happen to anyone else?
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