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koffeewitch
QUOTE(treehugger @ Nov 8 2009, 04:38 PM) *
I could totally see the scared little boy there, too, and what struck me was how he talked about how it affected him (no girlfriends through high school, scared of sex, didn't know what sex was when it was happening, etc) and it just struck me, that men are just as traumatized by it as women. They just have a bigger stigma against TALKING about it.

Another thing that struck me, he was raped by a woman. It's easy to think, because he wasn't penetrated, that he wasn't traumatized. But, I tell you, knowing him as intimately as I know him, he was deeply traumatized.


Hell, yeah. And so many men can never stop blaming themselves because they believe they should have been tough enough to stop the assault. (Even if they were kids and had no power in the situation).

Depending on whose stats you want to believe in the U.S. one out of every six (or 1 out of every 10) boys are sexually molested/raped by their 18th birthday. Many of these guys grow up to be perps themselves, of course.
A horrible anecdote:When my BF was in prison for drug possession he knew a guy who had just been raped. The rape victim chose a female guard to report to about the rape; he thought a woman would be more compassionate. While he was telling her how he was forced down and sodomized she said, "and I betcha liked it". The good part of this story is that he then PUNCHED her in the face. Obviously he immediately got his ass kicked and would up in the "hole" (solitary confinement). Moral: Women can be just as ignorant and insensitive toward rape victims as men. Sad to say.

One more anecdote (and this one makes me cry when I "talk" about it, so bear with me, here): Years ago, my friend "Jane" went to a big feminist conference out west. One of those big camping out doors festivals that go on for a week-end. Anyway, part of the conference included free childcare in the "childcare tent". One of the participants had a tiny baby boy that she dropped off at the tent before she went to her little hour long workshop. When she returned to pick up her baby, she heard him crying and ran into the tent to find him unattended. This was strange: it was one of the rules that children were never to be left unattended. The baby was wailing and screaming like he was in pain. When she checked him, she found that someone or someones had drawn a bullseye around her baby's anus and left a marker stuck up his ass. THIS HAPPENED IN OUR OWN COMMUNITY. A FEMINIST CONFERENCE. This poor mother had noticed lots of comments from others about her baby's sex; i.e. about his being a boy. She (obviously ) was devastated and told as many other conference participants (including my friend "Jane" before she left). I have no more words for this atrocity except to say I am still seething and horrified that this happened in our own "house" of sister feminist activist women.
deschatsrouge
I'm writing a paper on the Feminist centered views of why rape occurs, and Feminist philosophy for treatment of sexual assault survivors. Does any one know any good books besides the prerequisite Against Our Will?
ketto
I haven't posted or even lurked in this thread in over a year (probably longer!). I feel like I've really dealt with the issues i had related to my rape and I've been in a really happy place for probably the last two years.

Two months ago my younger brother (20) told me he needed to talk to me in private. We went to my bedroom and I could tell it was something really big. He told me that a neighbour and childhood friend (3 years older than me, 7 years older than my brother) had molested him when they were kids. I didn't ask how old my brother was but I gathered he was about 6 or 7 (making the neighbour 13-15). He said he blocked it out for a long time but started remembering in high school. I'm the only person in the family he's told. I've been able to tell both my parents and my other brother what happened to me, but I feel awful for him because he can't and I know he can't. He told me he really wanted someone in the family to know, but the person who did this to him is still in our lives and my brother said he doesn't want to confront him or disrupt his life. I told him I confronted my rapist and it helped me a lot and it seemed like it hadn't even crossed his mind - which I also thought was a bit odd because when I went to sexual assualt crisis counselling they outlined my options, and while there was no pressure, confronting him was definitely an option and even knowing that I could do it gave me back some power.

I told him he could probably tell our older brother but I completely understand why he can't tell our parents. I don't want to put down too many details, but the persons parents and siblings are still in our lives in small ways and up until two months ago, I'd always considered the whole family to be friends. Most of my best childhood memories revolve around playing at these peoples house. They're a huge part of my childhood memories. We're a really close family and I think it's probably hard for him to only have on person to tell. I might ask him if he wants to consider telling our older brother because the three of us are so close. I think the extra support would be really good for him.

I guess a few months have passed and my parents are constantly asking me and my older brother what's wrong with my younger brother, why he's so anti-social, why he doesn't want to date, that therapy doesn't seem to be helping - he sees a woman and I think he needs to see someone who has specific experience with male childhood sexual abuse and anxiety disorders. I would NEVER EVER say anything, but I feel like my brother needs more support than I know how to give. He told me he was dealing well, but I feel like I could offer him more supports, I just don't want to offend him. There's a men's resource Centre here that has a support group for men who were abused as children so I think I'll pass that on to him. I just feel conflicted about how to bring things up.

I think he has a really good rational reaction to what happened, but I feel like he needs more emotional help. He rationally knows it wasn't his fault, it doesn't mean he's gay, he couldn't have stopped it, etc. But emotionally I don't know if he's really dealt with how he feels about it, if he has anger, the fact that he hasn't had any interest in dating for over 4 years now, the fact that this person is still in all our lives (in small ways) and he can't do anything about it. We're really similar and I know we both tend to look at things from a rational point first and sometimes our emotions get ignored.

Phew. I guess I don't really know what I'm asking, mostly I needed a place to vent and put my thoughts in order. I work at a counselling centre so I have access to a lot of great resources so I'm just going to pass them on to him and let him know that I'm here if he needs support. When he told me I just hugged him and told him I was also a survivor. I feel like knowing that has answered a lot of questions I had about him and really helped me understand where he's coming from. I just want to be able to offer him better support.
koffeewitch
Wow Ketto...I bet getting the courage up to tell you at all was probably a big step for him. It's so hard for anybody to talk about, let alone guys. I know you want to be the big sister and help him out, but maybe he just needs to know that someone in the family understands him (why he is anti-social, not-dating, etc.) If I were you I'd probably just wait for him to bring it up again. I feel really awful that his perp/perp's family are still involved with your family. That must be so hard. My perp died when I was 16...I'm kinda afraid I might have been obsessed with hurting/killing him otherwise. I wonder if your bro. feels that way, too...
cecilia
Hi, Ive been a member for a long time, but tend to only lurk..... Anyway, I have recently come into a position where it is my job to prosecute juvenile offenders. If any of you are willing to share, I would like to hear your stories regarding the criminal and juvenile processes. If any of you have feedback regarding either system, or what prosecutors can do to make it easier on you, I would really like to hear it.
For, example, I recently dealt with a young victim who totally kicked ass on the stand. I feel, at this point, it would be wrong to tell her that, as I have not yet closed my case. That might be "coaching." On the other hand, she did kick ass! The defense attorney tried to get her mixed up, but she stuck to her guns and did not let him manipulate her. She"s my idol in many ways, she's only 14!
Is there anything prosecutors can do to make the whole system less painful? While I, myself, only deal with juvenile offenders, I work in a small office where I am the only female attorney, so the others tend to at least listen to my opinion.
And for what it's worth, if anyone is or knows or suspects anyone they know is a victim of sexual abuse, please speak up or encourage the victims to. In at least half of my cases involving sexual abuse, the (juvenile) perpetrator is also a victim. There's a much greater chance of rehabilitation if the offender is a juvenile and caught young. It's all about breaking the cycle.
Anyway, thanks for listening and I look forward to any feedback that anyone here might have. If you don't feel comfortable posting, feel free to pm me.
ketto
Cecilia, I know this thread isn't very active and you're post was trying to be supportive and it's great that you're doing good work in this field, but this is a safe space for survivors to share what's happening our lives and situations. It's not okay to say we should encourage survivors to speak up or we should speak up if we are the survivors. A lot of us are dealing with very personal issues or went through an experience where speaking up was and is not an option, and where we've already been repeatedly re-victimized by the systems that are supposed to be in place to help us. This is a safe space where we can come to share what's going on in our lives, and even though I'm sure you didn't mean it to come across this way, it's not a space where we want to feel pressure that we "should have" reported.
ketto
Dead thread. It's still been a few years since anything has really come up for me and I'm happy to say that I feel like that will be the way things stay for a while. I didn't end up giving my brother anymore info, but just trying to make sure we're a little closer and checking in to see how he's feeling more. It's still hard though when my dad or older brother will ask why my younger brother acts so anxious and depressed sometimes and I usually just say that he's going through his own shit but I wish my older brother could know at least. But the younger one just turned 21 and quit a stressful job and moved bedrooms, which are all small changes but I sometimes those little changes can make you feel a lot better. He seems to be doing pretty well right now.

Anyway, the big change of late is that I'm not volunteering in the sexual assault crisis program in our city. I used this program a couple of years after my assault. I used the crisis phone line and went for in person crisis counselling for 8 weeks and I credit it for getting me back on track when I was at my darkest. The counsellor I saw was amazing and supportive and really empowered me, so I wanted to give back in the same way. No one I work with there knows that I was a former client so sometimes I want to say that I remember how I felt when going through so-and-so but I don't feel like that's something I want to share with the volunteers. I was worried I would find the program triggering but it's actually been really good. My job is to answer crisis phone calls, go to the hospital (overnight or day) if a sexual assault comes in, or do in-person crisis counselling - I work there about once a week. I never went to the hospital when I was assaulted but I'm glad I know how the process works now - I may have actually gone if I had known what it was like. There's a special suite in the hospital that's set up really nice, like a living room with couches and nice lighting and the exam and interview rooms are really relaxing and comfortable. There are only certain nurses who work in that room who are specially trained and no one is pressured into reporting if they don't want to. They always call volunteers from our organization to come down and offer support to the survivors and secondary victims and we'll explain what's going to happen, explain our programs if they want counselling, bring them extra clothes and resources, get them a cab if they need it, and just generally be there for them if they need us. If the client doesn't want us there, then we leave. It's all very respectful of what the survivor wants and we're very clear that no one has the right to pressure anyone into doing anything they don't want to.

Anyway, for all the things I've felt like I've had to deal with and get over, I'm really glad to be in a position in my life where I feel really stable and in enough of an emotionally healthy place to be able to support other people who are in a similar position I was once in. I'm very thankful for where I am right now. I hope others are doing well too.
deschatsrouge
((((Ketto))))

QUOTE(ketto @ Apr 26 2010, 01:13 PM) *
I used the crisis phone line and went for in person crisis counselling for 8 weeks and I credit it for getting me back on track when I was at my darkest.


I have had a similar experience. I felt like I was in limbo until I went in for trauma counseling.

QUOTE(ketto @ Apr 26 2010, 01:13 PM) *
Anyway, for all the things I've felt like I've had to deal with and get over, I'm really glad to be in a position in my life where I feel really stable and in enough of an emotionally healthy place to be able to support other people who are in a similar position I was once in. I'm very thankful for where I am right now. I hope others are doing well too.


Me too. I feel the darkness that he left still lives in me. The piece he ripped from my soul will never be returned to me. But, the darkness does not control me anymore and I'm growing a new piece in the place of the missing one.

We are yet living.
kittenb
Hello all! Well, I guess if this thread is active agin, I should visit Bust more frequently. smile.gif

ketto - several years ago I started to volunteer for an agency that did advocacy in the emergency for people who were raped. This quickly turned into a job and is culminating in me finishing my master's degree in counseling. I would really like t stay with trauma work but there are not a lot of places hiring at the moment. But I am so glad I have had the experience of doing this work. My clients are constant inspiration.

QUOTE
Me too. I feel the darkness that he left still lives in me. The piece he ripped from my soul will never be returned to me. But, the darkness does not control me anymore and I'm growing a new piece in the place of the missing one.


This is one of the things that I can really work with my clients. I think that many therapists are uncomfortable working with the dark side of healing but I feel that a lot of the richest and most fertile parts of ourselves can be found there, stuffed down and reaching for light. I don't quite know how to do it yet, but I love talking with my clients about it.
damona
i haven't posted here in so long...

i thought i was doing ok. but. the mr got a facebook. guess who friend requested him? guess who he friended? yeah. i told him it was his facebook, and it was up to him, but now i'm not so sure. his reasoning for friending him was that now we know where he is and what he's up to. i just don't know. it both really bothers me, and really doesn't. i don't even know if that is logical. well, i guess it really isn't, but i don't know how else to say it.
deschatsrouge
((((damona))))

Your feelings don't have to make sense to be real and valid.
pollystyrene
What deschat said...maybe the mr. should at least block the guy from seeing his posts and pictures, so that your lives stay private from him. I know you're not on FB, so PM me if you need help with the technical details of doing that...I've got a couple people who I am FB friends with solely under the theory of keeping your friends close and your enemies closer.
damona
deschat, thank you for reminding me of that. i need a little kick now and then smile.gif

polly, thanks for the idea. can you go ahead and pm or email me about that? i'm so damn tired i nearly fell asleep on the keyboard (see kvetch for deets).

(((((((safe hugs for all)))))))
deschatsrouge
I'm taking a child development class from a LSW/trauma specialist and he talks a lot about rape and sexual trauma in adults and children. I have to take a happy pill (propanylol) before each class because I never know what he'll say that might trigger me. After I'm triggered I have to behave like a sane person, sit, take notes and listen calmly, while I have a flash back in class. Inside the demons in my synapses are going ape shit.

Yeah, I could ask him to keep the ugly stuff to a minimum but that would mean opening myself up to him and I don't want to. He's not my therapist and he hasn't earned it. Besides, I think he already knows because I handed him my ADA form and answered in short order a question about rape victim behavior. I guess I don't want to tell him because I'd like to keep my therapeutic relationships therapeutic and my academic relationships academic. If I tell him I'm crossing the two and that makes me very uncomfortable.

PTSD sucks the big one. Every once in a while I am reminded how little it takes to cause me to become a pile of tragedy mourning the symphony of atrocities committed against me. When this happens I feel like a weak and sniveling fool. Every once in a while I am reminded how little it takes me to become weak, self pitying, self hating, and stupid.

The Eleventh Commandment: Thou shalt not mourn thine rape lest thou be self pitying.
ketto
Deschats, that's totally understandable. I was triggered a few times taking my training course but like you, that's not something I felt comfortable sharing. I wish I had some good techniques to help calm you but I typically went home, journaled, had a cry, or talked to my partner. I don't know if you would find this at all helpful, but The Tapping Cure has actually been a big anxiety reliever for me - it feels really weird to do the first few times but now I have it memorized and if I'm in a calm place I can just imagine myself tapping and doing all the steps in my head and I calm down. I know for some folks it doesn't work at all, but every little tool helps. I was trying to find an article online to explain how it works but it looks like you have to pay for them. I have a worksheet in a word file and if you're interested msg me and I'll get your email and send it to you. It involves tapping on certain points of your body that are connected to emotional centres in order to ground and relax you.

I'm at an interesting place because I'm almost the same age of the guy who raped me. I was 17 at the time and he was 26. The circumstances we met under were weird. It was basically cyber/phone sex and then he knew my last name and phone number, looked up my address in the phone book, and came to my house. What really scares me, is even though that happened to me it still didn't really register how dangerous it was to talk to this guy and how easy it was for him to find me. I was young, naive, and easily manipulated so I let him in and then we hung out together all day. At the end of the night he had me pinned in the backseat of my car and that's where things got really scary.

What almost...angers me now is that if I had met this guy now I would never have given him a second look or even started talking to him. He was very strange, made insulting assumptions about myself and my upbringing, accused me of being close-minded, and waxed on and on about his travels and philosophy of life - which was basically that he was smart, everyone else was an idiot, if you grew up in the 'burbs you were a single-minded asshole. He was such a pompous idiot that it kind of pains me that I fell for it. I know I was only 17 and I'd never even dated anyone so he had the upper hand but it's hard to know sometimes that I was naive. Of all the things I've held on to, the one that's hardest to let go of is my anger towards him. I don't think I'll ever forgive him for the things he did to me - maybe it's unhealthy to hang on to that but I'm sure as hell not ready to let it go.

The sad thing is, even if someone had told me all this when I was 17 I know it wouldn't have changed anything. On the other hand, I'm one of those folks who feels that if that experience hadn't happened to me I would be a totally different person.
ketto
So my mom calls me yesterday morning. My parents have been taking care of my niece for two weeks while my brother has been doing a charity bike ride out of province. My niece is 7 and a really really sweet kid but she's already been through a lot in her life. My brother was married to her mom for 3 years but when my niece was 3 he finally had to kick her mom out. She's an alcoholic and only sees my niece about once a week and they don't do sleepovers or anything. Her mom has been through treatment a few times but still doesn't really believe she has a problem therefore she often goes through some really "bad times" where she'll cycle through a breakdown and start drinking a lot again.

So my niece has a lot of people that love and has adjusted pretty well. She has some attachment issues but for the most part she's just a regular kid. The last few months it seems like things have been escalating for her though. She's very very sensitive and will get upset very easily. She finds movies like "Finding Nemo" really upsetting when a parent dies - she'll start crying uncontrollably and just get really scared. She already has some anxiety issues that make her tummy hurt and sometimes will make her throw up.

Since my brother has been on his trip (he's a single dad with total custody, care, and control) she's been even more sensitive and upset almost every night. She had a friend on my parents street last year that she always used to play with. They're the same age but the other little girl was strange - my niece would misbehave and do things she wasn't supposed to when she was around. They were always whispering and breaking rules my niece knew she shouldn't be breaking. A few months ago my niece just stopped calling on her friend though. Two days ago she decided to call on her and the friend came over to my folks. 1/2 hour later my niece said she was sick and told the friend she had to leave. A few hours later she told my mom that (from what we gather) last summer or fall this other little girl was getting my niece to go to the bathroom in front of her and getting her to take off her pants and touch each other and telling her that it felt good. After that incident my niece stopped playing with the girl. So when the girl came over 2 days ago she asked my niece if she remembered doing that and my niece lied and said no and then said she felt sick and made the friend go home.

I feel so horrible for my niece. They did a presentation at school about how you shouldn't let anyone else touch your body but I think she feels like she did something bad - I'm going to talk to her today and let her know that it's not because it's bad but because no one else has the right to touch you like that and make you feel uncomfortable. She was really scared that my mom, me, and her dad would be angry at her. I just felt like my heart was breaking when my mom was telling me. But I spoke with my mom later last night and she said since my niece told her everything she seems to be feeling a lot better - I think it's been weighing on her conscious for months.

So I'm looking for a good play therapist for my niece because I think she needs a good third party to talk to about her feelings. But I'm really concerned about the other little girl. When my mom told me this I said that I wanted to call Child and Family Services. I work in a children's counselling program and that behaviour is almost always a sure indication that she has been sexually abused by someone. My mom doesn't want me to because it's the neighbours kid but the reports are anonymous and there should be absolutely no way the family would know who called with concerns. The other kid is only 7 too and I really feel like no one is looking out for her interests in this situation.

This sucks so much and I already feel like she's been through so much. I hate that she's been dealing with this other thing all by herself.
sparkledust710
I am posting this in most of the threads here because this is a serious issue that does need attention.
Please everyone click the link and sign the petition.
http://www.change.org/petitions/view/south...pe_a_hate-crime

"Corrective Rape" is a term used to describe when a male rapes a lesbian with the aim of 'turning' her heterosexual! This heinous crime is prolific in South Africa, especially in the "townships". Most of the victims are tortured, grievously assaulted and sometimes murdered! The South African government and justice system are failing the victims of Corrective Rape by letting the perpetrators out on ridiculously low bail, and taking literally years to bring the court-cases to a conclusion. In the meantime the victims have to live with seeing and being taunted and threatened by their rapists every day, as do those who help the victims!

In the last 10 years:
*31 lesbian women have been murdered because of their sexuality
*More than 10 lesbians a week are raped or gang raped in Cape Town alone
*150 women are raped every day in South Africa
*For every 25 men accused of rape in South Africa, 24 walk free

This is very serious and people of the world need to come together and stop this injustice from continuing to happen.
http://www.change.org/petitions/view/south...pe_a_hate-crime
angie_21
Hi everyone. I am looking for some advice, I guess. A few weeks ago I had a non-consensual, unprotected event. I don't want to call it rape, exactly, it wasn't violent or even psychologically coercive. More that I was taken advantage of while drunk, by a stranger, in a situation that I had more than one opportunity to escape from and would have, had I been sober. I said the word "no" a lot, but other than that I have pretty much no case for calling it assault. Especially in Texas. I know this is a survivor's space and I'm not sure what the rules are here so I don't want to go into any details. At the moment I hate thinking about it anyways.

I have only told a school counsellor and my boyfriend (we have been currently spending "time apart" before this happened and still are). I know I should report this but I don't know really how or to who and right now I am still blaming myself for getting into the situation in the first place and I feel almost like I don't have the right to call it any kind of sexual assault. I feel like they won't believe me when I go in to the center or call. I am really, really angry at myself. I have no idea why I feel this way, I always considered myself a feminist and a strong person and all of those things and there is no reason I should be letting myself feel like this.

I'm going in for all the STI tests I can but right now I'm just terrified of what I might have. I can't believe how long it takes to know and that I may not be able to get my health insurance to cover this. The thought of spending half a year waiting for the results of an HIV test terrifies me.
ketto
Hey angie, sorry to hear that you're going through so much right now. I think in this space we all respect each others right to refer to our experiences in a way that we feel comfortable. It took me 3 years after my assault to even call it an assault and longer to admit it was rape. We're pretty candid in this space so if you feel comfortable or have the need to post more details please feel free to, you may want to put a trigger warning though. I'm not sure if anyone else still uses this space but oddly I was thinking of posting the day you posted your message.

How were the counsellor and your boyfriend? Did the counsellor offer any advice? I can't speak for the centres there but here in MB the crisis line I called and the centre I went to sexual assault crisis counselling was wonderful. If it's a good centre, then they won't question you no matter what happened. For some people someone hugging them without consent can be just as traumatic as sexual touching without consent and I think most centres will honour the experience of the survivor, no matter what situation has occurred.

It's not unusual to feel like you're to blame but the important thing to remember is that you're not. No matter what you choose to call it its clear that YOU feel violated and taken advantage of. We're told over and over that its up to us to protect ourselves in "vulnerable" situations and when we are assaulted, or taken advantage of its really easy to internalize all those hateful messages that tell us we're the ones who were wrong, we're the ones who deserve blame. One thing that helped me was putting someone else in my situation and thinking about how I would support them or what I would say to them - once I took myself out of it it was easier for me to define it and see how what he did was wrong. It's so easy to be hard on ourselves.

I don't have too much other advice to offer but please post again if you're feeling the need. I still read here pretty regularly and post occasionally. smile.gif



The reason I was coming in here to post was because of a phone call from my younger brother on Friday. He was molested by a neighbour when he was 9 or 10 and I'm the only one he told about two years ago (it happened 11-12 years ago). He called me because he wanted to tell our mom what had happened but he was really anxious about it. We talked until 2AM and it was pretty cathartic for both of us. I tried to prepare him for how much my mom might feel but she's really supportive too so I wasn't too worried. He was scared to tell her who it was but he felt like he really needed to. I thanked him for trusting me with so much before we got off the phone and I was really thankful we can have such a close relationship.

My mom told me yesterday that he had the conversation with her and of course she was wonderful. I don't think she pushed him for too many details and of course she was a bit upset but she was really supportive and seemed to take it, more or less, like I did. I know he didn't do this for me at all, but it felt really good knowing that someone else (either than my partner) was holding this secret. I live a few blocks from the perp (who has never been confronted and was a childhood friend) so it's been strange for me knowing that with no one else being aware. I've never run into him but I know it's only a matter of time and it's nice knowing someone else is carrying this information too.

My brother is doing really well though. He goes to therapy but this isn't his main issue anymore and we're both able to talk pretty freely and openly about it which is really freeing and cathartic for me. I'm so happy he was able to make it to this place.
strongirl
(((angie)))

I am so sorry that happened to you.

People have a right to define their own experiences and you can call it whatever you want to call it. However, as a rape survivor myself and a former rape crisis counselor, I would not hesitate to call what you experienced rape. You termed it "nonconsensual", you "said the word 'no' a lot", and you were drunk and therefore not able to give consent nor resist. It might not be a worthwhile experience for you to try to convince Texas courts that it was rape, but for your own recovery process, I think rape crisis counseling could provide a really helpful framework.

Just in your short post you demonstrated a number of common reactions to being raped - denial, self-blame, self-anger/punishment, fear of being disbelieved or shamed, fear that the damage from the attack is not done (STI's). Rape crisis counselors are trained to help people deal with those feelings and heal, not sit in judgment and hold people's experiences up against a "rape litmus test". If there is a rape crisis center available to you, I gently suggest you give it a try, unless you feel your school counselor is really qualified in this area. A rape crisis counselor can also help you decide whether you want to pursue reporting to authorities or confronting the perpetrator. Most crisis centers have a hotline that you can call anonymously 24/7. There's also some good self-help material out there if you want to work on your own.

I can totally understand your terror re. STI's and it's good you're getting tested. But the statistical likelihood that you were infected is very small. I'd recommend taking this off your worry list for now, and focus on your emotional recovery and healing, which is something you can control.

I posted re. your relationship in the other thread before I read this one. Knowing that you are going through this at the same time only reinforces the suggestions I made there, that you observe and honor your own feelings without judging them, and take the time you need to sort things out.

I am so sorry you are going through this. I have enormous respect and appreciation for your insightful, intelligent, balanced posts over time - you are a strong, beautiful woman with such a brilliant mind! - and I'm very confident that you'll emerge from this awful period with an even deeper perspective. But I am sad at the pain you're experiencing right now and sorry that we live in a world where things like this happen. Sending you healing energy.

(((angie)))

angie_21
Thank you so much ketto and strongirl. There is absolutely no way I can express how much your words have helped me. I don't know how but something you both said has helped me to stop replaying all the events in my mind. Until I posted here, I just kept going back to the moment I agreed to get into his car and berating myself for doing it. I just keep wishing I could take that moment back. But I didn't know it wasn't safe, at the time.

I actually had made the appointment with the counsellor to talk about my relationship troubles, and this occurred a few days before my counselling appointment, so he wasn't one of the sexual assault specialists. He found all the contact numbers for the women's centers here if I want to talk about it, and is taking it into account with everything else but said that we will only talk about that if I want to. My (ex?) boyfriend has been supportive, but he is having trouble with the fact that I agreed to go anywhere with another guy, drunk or not. Mostly though, he is very upset and angry at the guy who did it. He has been trying to convince me to go in to the rape crisis center on campus here even if only to report it in case this guy has been causing trouble for other girls too. I don't want to have to talk about it too much because I don't want it to become something I can't stop thinking about, it was a few hours of my life and I don't want it to be any more than that. But I do feel a lot better about it after what you have both said, and I probably will go soon.

I think I also didn't want to call this any kind of assault because I have always believed I had the power to control my sexuality and my body and I would almost rather believe it is somehow my fault, than that that power really was taken away from me. But somehow you both made it seem less scary and sad than I had thought. and yes, if the exact same thing happened to someone else I know I would never judge them or think it was their fault.

I'm very sorry to hear about your brother ketto, but I'm glad that he has been able to talk about it, and it sounds like by telling people maybe he has been reaching some sort of peace with it? My brother was also assaulted by a friend when he was a teenager. He told me about it when we were both teenagers and I actually blocked it from my memory until just a few months ago when my mom mentioned it to me. I wish so much that I had been able to be more helpful for him at the time. We do not have a very close relationship, and I would like to be able to talk to him about these things now that we are older.
ketto
My assault happened when I was 17 and now that I'm almost 9 years past it, it's so strange to see how I dealt with it over time. When it happened I was in total denial - even though I said no and pushed and knew it felt wrong when it was happening, I laughed it off after and tried to create some sort of relationship with the much-older guy who took off 3 weeks later.

For over 2 years I didn't think much about it but when an aquaintance relayed a story about being pressured into sex and was quite upset after the fact all of a sudden I was completely triggered and caught off guard. That whole year was pretty much a write off - I ended up in sexual assault crisis counselling, and then on anti-depressents, and then in for regular counselling for a while. It was a really rough time in my life and it took me ages to say the word "rape".

The older I get the easier it is to say just how much he took advantage of me and to let go of my feelings of guilt. I had a lot of guilt too because I hung out with this guy, I went out for dinner with him, I made out with him, and I went into the backseat of my car with him but when I made the decision that I didn't want to go on he's the one who made the decision to ignore me and do what he wanted.

I think we try and legitimize what happened or justify it in so many ways because it makes it seem like less of a big deal. If we put ourselves there then it wasn't that someone else had the power to take our control away, it's because we made a bad decision. Sometimes it's so much easier to be hard on ourselves then the people who are responsible for the actions that took away our power.

Okay, I feel like I'm getting rambly here. (((angie)))

Thanks for asking about my brother. I'm glad he told me more recently when I was already doing counselling work because I felt like I could react better and ask him the important questions. It really does mean a lot to me that he knew he could trust me with this first. We're not he closest but I think we are where it counts. It was nice to be able to talk about it a bit with my mom too.
anarch
QUOTE(angie_21 @ Feb 27 2011, 03:36 PM) *
I don't want to call it rape, exactly, it wasn't violent or even psychologically coercive. . . . I said the word "no" a lot, but other than that I have pretty much no case for calling it assault. Especially in Texas


I just finished reading Yes Means Yes , which addresses exactly this kind of situation and how fucked up and misogynist our society's concept of "rape" is. If you haven't read it already, you might be interested to one day.

I haven't experienced that kind of assault but I think your reactions are completely understandable. While at the same time, noooo not your fault!

Good luck with everything.

(((angie)))

(((ketto and ketto's brother)))
strongirl
(((angie))) (((ketto)))

You're so welcome - I am happy to help since I was helped so much by other women myself.

Angie, you said: "I think I also didn't want to call this any kind of assault because I have always believed I had the power to control my sexuality and my body and I would almost rather believe it is somehow my fault, than that that power really was taken away from me."

You described (so articulately, as usual!) one of the central issues that survivors can get very stuck on. It can be viewed almost as a catch-22:

If it wasn't your fault, then you couldn't control it. If you couldn't control it, then you can't control future events either -therefore you do not have control over your body and sexuality and are vulnerable to being violated again. This is terrifying! And it can lead to a fearful outlook that can be immobilizing.

On the other hand, if you could control it, but you didn't, then it is your fault that it happened and you are to blame. You should have stopped it, but you didn't stop it, perhaps you even "asked for it" by being somewhere you shouldn't have been in the first place, dressing provocatively, or drinking. This way of thinking leads to self-blame, self-anger, and guilt. It also lets your assailant very conveniently off the hook.

Getting out of that 2-sided trap is key to recovery. Think about this:

Regardless of where you went, how you dressed, how much you had to drink, whether you flirted, even whether you were somewhat involved with the person like Ketto - you would never have been raped if there hadn't been a rapist there. Period. End of story. Your actions and appearance cannot cause rape. Rapists cause rape. You are not to blame.

At the same time, there are definitely things you can do in the future to minimize your risk and retain control of your physical well-being, from setting "ground rules" on your drinking level and location, to lining up "buddy system" friends for club outings, to taking a self-defense class, to practicing assertiveness and role-plays with a counselor in which you rehearse different ways of saying "no" at various points in the interaction. Actively engaging in those self-protection activities/plans can be very empowering and help reduce your sense of vulnerability as well as your actual vulnerability.

Recognize that you were not to blame while you simultaneously take actions to promote your future safety.

And forgive and encourage yourself if meanwhile you bounce around between the two negative viewpoints some - it is part of the process of finding your balance.



damona
((((((angie))))))

(((((ketto and kettos brother and family))))))

(((((safe hugs for everyone)))))


darlingstella
For women who have been raped and/or abused, or a victim or witness of violence, there is going to be a women's workshop on my forum, Believe. Zine.

http://womensworkshop.proboards.com

This specific workshop is Sugar Heart Victims of Abuse and Rape Women's Workshop. Please visit to learn more.

Believe. Zine is a girly, Christian zine. There are many topics, from spirituality to fashion to arts n crafts... The other women's workshop is called Get On The Spiritual Path To Jesus's Women's Workshop. The forum is still heavily under construction, but it is decent enough to have users join. Come check it out.

Aside from the workshops and posts, I give free advice and will have free therapy sessions, kept anonymous if the user wishes.

Have a blessed day,
Stella
empty_sack
Just want to say that for a long time I didn't really understand the impact that rape has on women. I don't claim to understand now but having heard it compared to castration for men, and having lost my testicles, I think I can be a little more aware of what you have to go through.
Anne_Ecdote
QUOTE(empty_sack @ Aug 25 2011, 06:50 AM) *
Just want to say that for a long time I didn't really understand the impact that rape has on women. I don't claim to understand now but having heard it compared to castration for men, and having lost my testicles, I think I can be a little more aware of what you have to go through.


i appreciate that you think you feel more 'aware'

i do

but, no

no, you aren't

and no, no you don't

losing your balls isn't the same

as losing your sense of safety, security and self

apples and vicious, violent sexual assault, if you will

not to make light

i do not know your story

BUT

unless your balls were being removed

while another person tortured, terrified, twisted

and forced their ANGRY, VIOLENT appendage/object into your orifice(s)

you aren't any more 'aware' about rape

than you were before

expert on empty marble bags, yes

more thoughtful, compassionate man, NO
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