Mighty Mom is a keen observer of life. She shares her personal experiences and opinions in helpful and often amusing ways.
The question: Do rape victims become promiscuous in response to the trauma?
The answer: Let's just say running out and having retribution sex is hardly the first thing on their minds. This hub is written primarily from my own experience, with some generally accepted guidelines thrown in. If you read through the many comments, you will see that some women do react to the trauma of rape by becoming sexually indiscriminate.
Whatever your own (or your loved one's) reaction in the aftermath of rape, I hope you will find some solidarity and healing here.
My Favorite Book By a Rape Victim
One Rape Does Not Fit All
First of all, rape is an equal opportunity crime. Women of all ages, races, builds, income levels, education levels, and temperaments get raped. They might be sleeping in their bed, or walking home from work, or partying in a fraternity when the rape occurs. They may or may not know their attacker(s).
In short, you can't easily classify all victims pre-rape. In addition to the above, some women who get raped are virgins. Some are married. Some are sexually active, but within normal limits. Some "promiscuous" women do end up getting raped, too. But the victim's sexual history is not the issue. You see, rape is not -- despite what popular opinion, movies and courtroom dramas would have you believe -- a sexaul crime. It's a crime of RAGE and POWER. It's an overpowering of a woman using sexual force as the weapon.
A rape victim may be sexually active before her rape. She will probably, at some point, be sexually after the rape. The fact is, however, the rape itself will cause a major -- if temporary -- disruption in her sexual functioning. Because it will cause a major -- if temporary -- disruption in her functioning period.
Rape Recovery Resources
Rape recovery support including understanding and comfort to victims of sexual assault, rape or domestic violence and we give hope to the people who love them.
- Women\'s Web - Health
Jody Foster as Rape Victim
Paralyzed by Fear
My particular rape was perpetrated by a total stranger who cut the screen of my girlfriend's second floor apartment. I was spending the night with her after a fun evening hearing live music. This was before the era of cell phones. He did make sure we understood he would cut our throats and the phone line if we didn't cooperate.
The specifics of what he demanded and how we finally got him out of the apartment are irrelevant. Well, not irrelevant, but irrelevant to this hub. The important thing is he left, we ran upstairs to safety and called the police, and (blessedly) they sent both a male and a female officer.
I remember the police drilling into us (in prep for the grand jury hearing) the mantra "paralyzed with fear." As in, "Yhy didn't you go and check on your friend in the other room?" "I was paralyzed with fear." "Why didn't you rush him and run out?" "We were paralyzed with fear." Etc.
Surely we were paralyzed with something similar to fear for about 3 days following the rape. We retreated to my apartment where we alternately slept, drank copious amounts of wine, and chain smoked cigarettes. When we finally got up the courage to go back over to her apartment we were shivering. Irrational as we knew it was, we expected to find "him" waiting for us there.
Near-Term Coping Mechanisms
In the hours and days following a rape (and trust me, the rape does not have to involve vaginal penetration for this to be the case) pretty much the last thing you will feel like having is sex.
You feel dirty, fouled, crushed and bruised (emotionally if not physically). The sense of vulnerability is overwhelming. You may want to sit down in a scalding shower and scrub your skin to remove the feeling of filth.
There's also the rape kit to contend with. Imagine your body and clothing being culled as evidence. Yeah. CSI My crotch. Even more intrusive (for me) was getting jabbed in the buttocks with a tetanus shot and being forced to take the morning-after pill. Merely routine, they told me. Not for me, it wasn't.
A resource for abuse and rape victims
FREE Rape Counseling from a Hubber
- anjegirl on HubPages
Anjegirl is a hubber trained as a rape counselor. As you will read in several comments, she has helped others and would love to hear from you. Check her out. MM
But the Trauma Is Universal
Although the circumstances surrounding rape are virtually unlimited, it is a universally traumatizing crime for its victims. Women who live through rape go through the familiar stages of grieving: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and finally, if they're "lucky"(see book above), Acceptance. Another categorization of the grief of rape victims that rings quite true in my experience is this:
1. Numbness (mechanical functioning and social insulation)
2. Disorganization (intensely painful feelings of loss)
3. Reorganization (re-entry into a more 'normal' social life.)
Ideally, the reorganization and re-entry into a more normal social life will include normal sexual functioning. The sexual partners of rape victims are essentially victims, too. Through no fault of their own, they end up having to help their partner pick up the pieces of her life.
Chat with other survivors here
- Rape & Sexual Abuse Survivor Message Board, Online Support & Chat Room
Online support group, message board & chat room for rape, sexual assault & sexual abuse survivors / victims. Join the message board for help after rape and sexual abuse. Also includes articles on sexual violence.
Rape: The Aftermath
Our case had a happy ending. Our rapist went to prison. Notwithstanding, my friend insisted the landlord install metal bars on her windows. She never felt completely at ease in her apartment again.
We both received rape counseling. I don't remember it being particularly effective. But then again, I had a pretty strong denial system working for me in those days.
So how did this experience affect my sex life? For me, I'd have to say it didn't. But my friend was traumatized for a long time.
All Purpose Rape Crisis Links
A helpful resource suggested by gmwilliams
Is your rapist a SOCIOPATH?
Rape vs. Abuse
Now it is true that women who endure systematic sexual (or even emotional or physical) abuse from men can become hyper-sexual as a result. It's not uncommon for exotic dancers and prostitutes (for example) to report being abused in their pasts. Turning the tables on men, so to speak, is a way to regain their sexual power.
Promiscuity is also a common response to abuse. Girls who grow up equating their self-esteem with allowing men to "have them" sexually often repeat this pattern as adults. It's what they know.
But these examples represent responses to established patterns. Rape is different. Rape is a one-time shock to the system. Yes, it's horrible. It's violent. And it does involve sex -- unwanted, unbidden sex. But does it alter the victim's basic view of her sexuality? Short term, absolutely. Long term, I'd argue that rape does not make women promiscuous. If anything, it may make us more circumspect and reserved about our sexuality.
A Sad Response All Around
Rape and Self-Esteem
As I said above, my rape was in many ways "best case scenario." I didn't get beat up, I didn't get pregnant. I didn't have to worry for more than about 5 seconds if or what I might have done to bring this on myself.
But most rape victims don't get away so easy. The rape itself is degrading enough. Too often the victim gets dragged through the mud all over again. Her reputation may become tarnished (think college campus). Her sexual history may be put on trial by the defense (think Kobe Bryant). Even family and friends may come at her with surprisingly caustic "analyses" of what she must have done "wrong" or even why doesn't she just get "over it" and "move on."
There's no doubt self-esteem takes a hit. Whatever you were before the rape, you now have a new identity: RAPE VICTIM. The key is whether you allow this new label to define you long-term or if you do everything in your power to heal and move on.
If you are in a sexual relationship when the rape occurs, it may take time for you and your partner to re-establish pre-rape intimacy. Don't be surprised if your first time back in the saddle brings up a range of emotions. Be gentle with yourself.
If you are not in a partnership, you have the choice to tell or not tell future partners about your rape -- including full vs. partial disclosure of the gory details.
Rape Crisis Resources for Partners
The Opposite Reaction = Promiscuity
Although it was not my personal reaction, promiscuity can be a reaction to a brutal rape. Several commentors have noted this, so I am hereby amending my hub to include it.
Last night I watched a disturbing movie called "The General's Daughter" based on a book by Nelson DeMille. I don't wish to give away the twisty ending, but suffice to say, it involves a gang rape and the victim's subsequent response. It's a bit over-the-top in terms of the Freudian aspects, but does raise an interesting point about how others' reactions to the victim's experience can make or break her recovery. Boyfriends, husbands, family members, counselors and clergy -- take note!
For Partners of Rape/Incest Victims
What Do You Think?
African survivor on May 13, 2016:
Mighty mum. I keep returning to this page because it gave me strength. You started a topic that few will admit to. I wrote comments on this blog under the username 'staying sane' and 'lll emu.' Fear controlled me at that time. Secrecy was my life because I was ashamed. I'm no longer afraid neither am I ashamed. I am a survivor. Two years ago I met with a professional psychologist. She helped me because she had heard it all. My story did not shock her so I was able to tell it without considering her reaction. I confronted who I thought I was. I confronted the lies my sexual abuse had left me with. I was able to finally confess this big secret; and it wasn't the abuse but rather the idea that I was unlovable and only good for sex. The truth is I was never promiscuous, I just didn't know how to talk to myself. My self talk and self image was in a gutter. I needed help. I learnt a lot. I learnt what self worth is. I learnt I'm cable of love and I am lovable. I finally broke the cycle of self hatred. I'm 28, born and raised in Africa and hold a post graduate degree from a British university. It took me more than 10 years to accept myself and heal. I write this post to let people know there is hope. You can be whole. My abuse is just another chapter in my life, a closed chapter. I'm free. I finally understand what it feels like to be shame free. The first step was confronting the abuse, it's no longer a secret. I survived, I'm free of the shame and guilt. I'm finally alive. So thank you mighty mum. And to those who stumble onto this thread like I did and suffer the ill effects of abuse, please know you can overcome the pain and guilt. I love you guys out there who posted. Xoxo. 'African-survivor!'
tmoose on August 16, 2015:
MM, Kirsa Whitley found some peace she was looking for in your conversation before she died 2-4-2014. Just wanted you to know.
Yoleen Lucas from Big Island of Hawaii on September 08, 2014:
Thanks for having the courage to write this hub. I've never actually been raped, but have been threatened several times. I grew up in the ghetto, where that sort of thing is all too common. As a result, I feared men. I left soon as I turned 18, but am still struggling with issues. However, I have since discovered most men are good. I keep telling myself, why let the bad ones win? Why let them continue to control my life, when they're not around?
Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on April 03, 2014:
Hello Ill emu,
I'm so glad you came back to update on your healing. And also joined Hub Pages!
I can very much relate to turning to food as a coping mechanism/self punishment. Even as we are overeating/gorging, we don't feel good about it. As we watch ourselves get bigger and bigger, we get to feel worse and worse about ourselves. But there is a strange safety in making ourselves unattractive. If we are unattractive to ourselves, we must be unattractive to others. I did the same thing! I put on 60 lbs and felt absolutly disgusting. But also knew I was insulated from the potential of "scary" sexual behavior. Eventually I was able to break through that and drop the weight which feels EMPOWERING. But not til I was ready.
It's not uncommon at all to take up an unhealthy habit after trauma or as a replacement for another unhealthy habit (like sex that is being used to punish ourselves).
As you said, you are not where you used to be. And that is huge.
If you are concerned about any of the things you described -- becoming socially awkward and regressing into a shell -- and the overeating too, you might consider a 12-step program for overeaters (Overeaters Anonymous or OA). It is patterned on AA.
The nice thing about 12-step programs, besides being anonymous, is that they bring together peers who share a common problem to help each other. It's pretty much impossible to be "socially awkward" in the groups.
In the meantime, I hope you will explore Hub Pages and all it has to offer. Read other hubs, participate in forums, and WRITE hubs!
Wishing you all the best,
Ill emu on April 02, 2014:
Hello MM. I once wrote on the comments under hub name 'staying sane'.' That was around two years back. At that time I was very secretive because of the shame in my history. This meant that I had a fear of people finding out who I really am and hence me setting up a hub name whose account info I forgot.
Anyway, I'm not here about that. This hub helped me deal with a difficult past more than anything I have ever tried. I cried whilst typing my comment. It got me out of bed ( I hadn't been able to get out of the bed for 5days before my first post). I guess I'm back here to exorcise the last of my ghost. I'm still much better but not where I need to be. Now i realize that the mental breakdowns come with major changes in my life. I'm now part of the workforce in a very much male dominated industry. Currently only three women in a section of over a hundred people in my industry. Crazy huh. This has brought a rush of emotions that simply want to get the best of me. I have given up on sex for religious purposes as well as the fact that I was worried for myself. Having been once abused sexually, the idea of not being good enough gets stuck in ones head. I have used sex for many reasons, one of which was to express self hatred. Hence me giving it up. Unfortunately now I have taken up eating. I'm now a size 12, which is big for me :( . Food helps me punish myself but I find I don't like its effects. Meanwhile getting fat has made me feel less attractive and unfortunately this makes me want to punish myself even more. The comfort of knowing that one day I can return to sex as a coping strategy is slowly slipping as it realize that the fatter I am, the less attractive I become. (Don't get me wrong ladies, I don't think being overweight is bad, I just don't like it for myself). Food is also a very lonely existence. Sex made me feel like I could trust someone and the feeling of intimacy was soothing. Unfortunately after sex I could not stop berating myself for being a slut, pushed my partners away as I believed I was 'unlovable' and basically felt shitty but comforted too. I need a coping strategy. One better than sex and food. I tried counseling, it sucks but helped. I now stay in a country where counseling is not readily available. I have also become very socially awkward, I have been slowly regressing into some shell. All this is very stressful, life sucks sometimes. The only positive thing is that: 1) I'm not where I used to be 2) weight gain is better than the emotional turmoil associated with sex.
Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on December 02, 2013:
I'm sure he does. It's not easy for the partner of a rape or incest victim, either. They want to have a partner they and enjoy and that enjoys them. Instead, they have a partner who it seems they trigger PTSD when they touch her. That's gotta be hard.
The feeling of "you're not alone/you ARE understood and not judged as damaged goods" can be very empowering. It can also help to be in a survivors group where you get to see someone who is still really raw and suffering a lot. And offer your own experience. That is really, really powerful.
Don't know what the women's clinic situation is is Charlotte. But on school campuses there might be support groups. Ask your ob/gyn. Or the police SVU dept (they were actually really supportive for me).
Or check to see if there is a women's "meetup" group" (you know that that is right?) and if none, start one! I bet you will find others eager to vent their pain and residual effects!!
Or start an online chat site (a bit more complicated perhaps but some prefer the anonymity of online).
Get stronger, Kirsa! You can and will heal if you continue to work toward the light.
P.S. A therapist who is skilled in aversion therapy (not sure the name), who helps people with phobias desensitize themselves so that they are able to overcome the phobia -- driving over the bridge, going out of the house -- whatever it is -- would be a good place to look.
kirsa whitley from Charlotte on December 02, 2013:
He does try very hard....and thank you for your input on my paper...also i agree with you on touching base on finding seeking help from someone who does understand and can relate if you feel you need to seek therapy.
Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on December 01, 2013:
Hi Kirsa Whitley,
On the path to recovery we take baby steps and only when we are ready to move into the next phase. Good for you for getting past sexual destruction. That's great!
You can only do what you can do and no more.
If you trust and love this boyfriend, maybe you could work on s-l-o-w-ly getting past the things that bother him. If he trusts and loves you, he will (hopefully) support that growth in you. Or, it could be that there is more healing ahead for you with a partner who elicits a different response in you.
All the best to you. I will go read your hub now. MM
kirsa whitley from Charlotte on November 30, 2013:
For a while I went with sexual destruction and when I got older I realized that was not the correct path and I still suffer openly. My problem is though that my current boyfriend can not stand that I still have sex with him with my eyes closed or some of the things I have him do as a copping mechanism. If you want to know more you can read one of my hubs "Pro_Gramed"
hdkjnfaskjen ircauher on August 03, 2013:
thank you, i have been typing in different questions to find different information about rape as often as I can, and on google, yahoo, and avg, when I type in "what are the number of women who feel bad, involuntary flashes in front of their face after rape of people's privates.
...I saw actual pages full of free rape videos for people to fetish,,,,,, those people who made that page need to go to prison,,,, that is not ok to put anywhere, and i have had to see that headline three times in the past week when I try to look up information,,,, it makes me soooo siiiickk,,,,,sickkkkk violently siiick.... then YOUR page, then a page boasting that a woman lied about the rape,,,these were the articles on the internet about rape,,,,, either more men are writing internet web pages, or the world is extremely wrong and sick and scary,,,,
If I were to ask every person on the block what every sexual thought and touch has been in their life, what would they say???? did anyone ever experiment with another child when they were a child, even as a child, i was affraid to hurt peoples feelings when they did things that made me uncomfortable,,,i had two friends ...girls, who both showed me their privates, and wanted to see mine,,,, the first, I was extremely uncomfortable about, and still feel incredibly wrong, and stopped it almost immediately, but the fact that a thirty two year old has to sit and think about these bad feelings that lasted two seconds when I was so little should not make me feel so bad about myself now,,,,, i didnt even remember until after I was raped, at twenty seven by some old man while I was sleeping in a hotel bed, and he was sleeping in a different bed in the same roomgoing to nyci was miserable in austinmiserablejohnscotttook over all of the feeling fo the entire town, and you kno that can you imagine having a brother who says you are shit every day,a and looks at you with disgust and embarrasment starting from birth, and never stopping,,,my fraternity brother, my fraternity brother, fraternity-0oligflk j,dsf it's called a fraternity, as in from your father, dna from your father fraternal,,,,maternal would be the complement, but they are sorority, and that is different,,,,fraternal,,,,as in came from a group of white bread men who wanted their sons to make only deals with their friends sons, so all money would stay in the same hands, forever,,,,fraternity,,,,fraternity,,,,, who thinks that is acceptable, we cannnot allow that to happen,,,, so today, all people try to join the fraternal hanshake, instead of fighting it, and that is not right,,,, we have to talk to someone about disbanning all fraternities for job equality in this country,,,,world,,,, to pretend that the network is not as huge as it is, is completely delusional,,,,in my college, a bunch of artists didnt think twice about frat guys, but, today in the world, I see the motherfuckers thumbwrestling their way into anything, without any ideas, but a good sticky sense of stealing others ideas, and manipulating masssessss....I am not sure who writes articles on the internet about liking rape, and thinking it's funny, or something, but my rapist thought it was funny, as well, ,,, and furthermore had an adopted sister who came to his house when she was four and he twelve, because she was raped, and he used to laugh at her, all the time, he said,,,,,he also had "art," on his computer pictographing women as sex slaves, and showing them on the street as homeless whores..... but there were sooooo many colors in those paintings, that it took a while to see the graphic images of the women in the corner of the painting,,,,, it took a while to see because some people spend their whole life hiding and stalking and preying,,,, and I am affraid of people, because they seem to want to harm me no matter what I do,,,,,alll the time, full of potential, no potential,,,,on the floor, making deals with executives on the top floor of things no one else has even come close to,,,,,greedy violent assholes who cant figure out that their attacking someone talking about the real issues in the world ,,,,, attacking me just to get a leg up with the frat guys is so subserviant,,,,we have no hope if you cant stop attacking me, and pushing me over , world,,,,
i have tried to move "past" rape, but the real problem is masogany, and I need someone to talk to me, invite me out, be interested in what I have to say, have interesting things to say back to me,,,,be able to actually carry on a conversation about all things, actually,,,,a real person who is self assured enough to walk with me, anywhere, ,,,,,my roomate is aggressive, she is my friend, jen, and she is a bitch, she is narcistic, and she is tuned into everything I do and say, then sllllammmms into my space, area, awakening, aura, like ive put out tentacles, and she comes out and cuts them off, all the time,,,,, i know she is doing it on purpose, because I can feel other people when I cannot hear or see them, and I know other people can do the same,,,,it is always when I find happiness, or the place I have been looking for for eons of time,,,,,,why does the world invade my personal space, juuuust to attack me soooooo often, when I am writing about what we needhave to have to survive,,,, whatwe have to have happen,,,, and the sick men fight, and the sad sick low self esteem women fight for a spot to show their vagina and get a prize out of the box....that is what narcism is,,,,it is low self esteem,,, i really appreciate your page, and I hope to be able to go meet or interact with people again someday, soon,,,
i have no sex life since three year ago, no sex , except to be raped, and no friends to speak of, and no contact, and no people to talk to,, and i try to think rationally about what is happening ....i am embarrased to say that after I slept in a bed with covers on and a dress and underwear, i woke to have my underwear off, and someone on me shoving himself inside, then it was over, i guess I let him do it,,, i didnt really say no it was litterally only three thrusts, then he spluged on my stomach, and I just sat there shocked, then he said, get out, i have a wife, and i said nothing, i said , nothing , but, now, i feel sounds and skeezy deutschy pushy aggressive men outside raping me over and over, and laughing about it,,,, i hear them laughing because it is obviously my fault to them, and obviously, they think its ok to do it too,,, i hear people say over and over with their body language adn their eyes and impulses and vocal inflections that they think they are dominant and can do whatever they want whenever they want, and i am confused as to how our country got in this place,,,where 1 in six women are raped in their life and report it and are found to be correct,,,,i did not report the hotel rape, as I was homeless at the time,,,i ended up there in the room with one young guy and one old guy both on a business trip in adjoining rooms, we were talking and things were happy, and relatively safe feeling, like i had found sanctuary, i wish i hadnt been homeless, but i had enough money to eat and be clean, my mom would give me ten dollars a day, and i used that to eat and drink, and i really found the emptiness of life, i think my mom was punishing me, for being mentally ill, for having done things to make her worry, to have to ask for money, and to be so angry all the time,,,,to tell her stories about things i feared, that she couldnt fix,,,,i think it made her snap, and when i hopped a bus from austin to denver with six hundred dollars just for a bit, she went and emptied my apartment, cutoff the lease, and cut off the adjoining funds we had in an account,,,,making me homeless....i dont think she even thought about it,,,,,teach you a lesson , she said,,,, teach you to try to fix your issues, or find comfort, or your own life,,,,,,if people want to come at me with a needle, there is so much judgement from unsure people in this world,,,,when i left my house just now, i walked about a mile, and bought some food,,,,the cashiers were snide, and judgemental, and bitchy and horrible,,,,they werent very cool, at all, and
Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on May 21, 2013:
Elizabeth Smart seems to have done an excellent job incorporating that advice. She's a wonderful role model for others who have been abducted and sexually abused.
Thank you, Kathleen! MM
Kathleen Cochran from Atlanta, Georgia on May 20, 2013:
So much bravery and courage reflected in this hub and these comments. The only think I'd like to add is what Elizabeth Smart's mother said to her. Don't let that person take one more moment of your life from you. I'm sure that's easier said than done, but I would think it would be a good starting point.
tuteramanda from beijing china on March 28, 2013:
Teresa Pelka from Dublin, Ireland on September 01, 2012:
@my preceding comment
Please do not take me FOR anyone critical, I mean.
The software is a bit strange here, it makes 'paragraphs' - this is what shows on my screen - then some words happen to be deleted.
Teresa Pelka from Dublin, Ireland on September 01, 2012:
I'm not a sociologist or victimologist. I came across your hub browsing.
I did not mean an analogy to someone attacked in a pub or robbed. I meant the social bias towards rape victims. You would be confirming the existence of this bias in your saying about 'self-directed disgust and repulsion'. Do you despise yourself if you break your leg?
This social bias would never allow a term like 'forced encounter' to cover rape. A rape victim is to be labeled a RAPE VICTIM. All other kinds of violence would be strictly segregated. No one wants the label or any possible implication of it, however one might remain unravished robbed of his or her house, car, and money - which was just an example.
I obviously do not have any experience statistically, but I have read that a number of rape cases never become reported. The woman would become brandished with the label of a rape victim, possibly for her lifetime at least - and, what do you do if you want to destroy a woman: you rape her.
Generalizing on a rape victim experience might be another aspect of the bias. K, you despised yourself, you're saying. I don't believe everyone would. Trauma does not annul personality, individuality. Self-disparage might be internalized social bias.
Again, please do not take me anyone critical.
Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on September 01, 2012:
It sounds to me like you might be studying sex crimes in a course of some sort, as your perspective is very sociological and distant in nature. Certainly you are welcome to speak about the "notion of sex crimes altogether." I am speaking about a very real sex crime that happened to ME.
Let me be very clear about this fact. And it is very, very fresh in my memory today (I saw my friend whose apartment I and she were raped in more than 25 years ago last night and the subject came up).
The primary emotion is FEAR. You just want to get through this ALIVE. After the fact, the other rapist-directed and self-directed repulsion, disgust, etc. kick in. It's a grieving process.
The tasks I describe are definitely self-imposed. You set yourself goals to get back to "normal" even though for many rape victims that is an overwhelming challenge.
I'm not quite understanding your analogy about the person attacked in a pub or robbed so will not address it.
Thanks for your comments.
Just wanting to be clear how those on the outside, including people making laws and policies regarding rape, need to REALLY UNDERSTAND the impact and not assume. So I'm not sure if I took you wrong but appreciate the opportunity to discuss further.
Teresa Pelka from Dublin, Ireland on September 01, 2012:
It's not my intention to pick on particulars, just sometimes word use can make a difference.
I wouldn't be certain that a rape victim's most important feeling would be fear. The feelings could be those of repugnance, disgust and therefore animosity as well as antagonism towards intimacy or closeness.
I wouldn't be certain that a rape victim would be dominated by distrust in own body.
Finally, I wouldn't see the matter in terms of tasks, as those happen to be assigned by others.
Rape is probably very damaging to the INTERpersonal dimension of human existence. This dimension can be seen in the notion of sex crime altogether. Please do not misinterpret me, I am far from proposing euphemisms.
Rape is, actually, a form of a violent and unsolicited, direct contact. There would be no way however to introduce a term like 'forced encounter' to cover rape cases along with other violent behaviors, leaving the details for discernment within particular jurisdictions.
The interpersonal aspect of human life would kick in. Someone attacked in a pub, robbed, etc. would vigorously deny: 'Oh, no, my house has been plundered and pillaged, I'm never going to see my automobile again, and my bank account is literally empty, but I haven't been RAPED!'
I mean, this is not necessarily the victim to produce the bias. Just this might be not the victim to have fears, feelings of distrust about oneself, or - to need a task - ?
(As I've said, please don't take me wrong). :)
Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on August 31, 2012:
Hi teresapelka. Thanks for a very thoughtful and multi-layered comment. You have pointed out from many angles that societal pressures complicate sex. No wonder people have hangups!
After rape -- and there is no set timeframe for this -- there is a point where the rape victim wants to have sex to prove s/he CAN. It's like a rite of passage. Can I actually put those traumatic memories out of my head long enough to allow my body to respond to someone I really WANT to be intimate with? That can be a difficult process.
There is an element of the old adage "If you fall off a horse, get back up in the saddle and ride." It's a little (ok, a lot) more involved after rape. But it is ultimately about overcoming fear and (re)learing to trust your own body and your partner. That's not a simple task!
Anyway, thank you for bringing a very objective viewpoint to the discussion. Best, MM
Teresa Pelka from Dublin, Ireland on August 30, 2012:
I agree that rape is about power - it's more about power than about sex. I suppose, there are so many ways to seek sexual gratification without violent means.
Promiscuity as a response would reflect this power aspect - again, the power aspect probably much more than any need of sexual contact. The indiscriminateness would be often actually the individual's yielding to the surrounding culture.
Not all humans take the cultures they live in the same. Some would attach a sense of power and pride to sex, compromising on intimacy and intellect.
Some time ago, a taxi driver in England shot his colleagues down in a rampage induced by their deriding his 'insignificant' sex life. It was not sex to motivate the rampage really. It was the teasing and the resulting sense of social status.
Importantly, sex is not breathing, it's not as necessary as water, food, or - a working brain. I think it's actually stupid to put so much emphasis on sex.
Humans are capable of living on their own. To me, it does not mean that the human needs to have 'anything going on', or that anything would be 'going on' but some trauma or flaw on the part of the individual.
Many contemporary cultures would yet have one bringing in a doctor's leave or put one under an inquisition on an alleged lack of sex activity - whoever that would be to decide on what is lacking.
Especially after abuse, 'leaving it' and 'letting it go' might be good. Pressure to have sex could do only harm.
Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on June 22, 2012:
Thanks for the support and sharing your guy's perspective. I agree with you that guy had no good intentions for you and your gut steered you away for a reason. WHenever anyone sets your internal alarm bells off -- trust your intuition!
I can definitely tell you are passionate about this topic.
Write a hub if you feel inspired -- and link to mine!
Thanks again for the comment.
All the best. And STAY SAFE. MM
Moses Jones on June 21, 2012:
This was a great and powerful hub. I've been looking up information about stalkers, rapists and other types of violators and I found this hub. This is a brave move on your part.
It is very surprising (and disheartening) to see that so many people are going through a form of what you went through. At the same time, I am happy for all of the people who actually took the experience and made it into something very positive for your lives. Many rape SURVIVORS and other survivors could use these examples.
I guess what sparked my curiosity was that I have had a run in. I met a guy (more like he met me). He seemed to make a lot of effort to talk to me. In each conversation, he said some racist, misogynistic and otherwise judgmental remarks. Now, I do not hang out with people like that.
One red flag went off when he started talking about how he was going to get some money and that he had plans involving me and him. Now as far as I'm concerned he was a complete stranger. When a complete stranger (or a mere acquaintance) says that he is going to take you with him, there is something wrong. I also noticed him following behind me a few times.
He also showed up at quite a few places that I go to.
Another red flag was when he talked to at least one of my friends trying to get information about where I live (good luck with that).
I'm sure it's just me, but I don't play that crap. (Other people would just say he's just lonely. Umm... When I get lonely, I talk to other people, I don't fix myself on one person and obsessively try to get information. So...)
I often wondered what he wanted from me. Then one day he said something about coming out of the closet this summer.
I can't say for sure what he wanted/wants from me, but that remark coupled with how he looks at me from time to time (stares at me with a weird creepy smile) sets off alarms. I could be wrong, as a matter of fact I hope I'm wrong.
He seems to have backed off a little bit, probably because I quit smiling or showing emotion besides anger. It seems like when he first saw me, he took me as weak. I don't know what he wanted, but he definitely wanted and possibly still wants to take advantage of me.
I haven't been raped (that I know of). But I do know that society tends to favor the rapist over the victim. God forbid you be a male and that happens to you.
My friends and I talk about the subject of rape and we agree. Rape is about POWER. When I come across a rape victim, blame never crosses my mind. Being forced to do ANYTHING against your will is a violation of a person's whole being. Rape and sexual abuse are the worst forms of violations. Even not going through it but knowing that it was intended can bring out icky feelings.
To all the would be victims in the world (this would be EVERYONE), if you feel a sense of danger or meet someone that makes you feel "unsafe", do the best you can to get out of that situation. Unfortunately, rape occurs from diverse beginnings. Often times, it is from a situation where the victim is least suspecting. It's as if the rapist studies his "object" in order to find a weakness. It's no wonder that they are often called predators.
It is sickening that I see so many rape victims get blamed for what happened to them. Now, do everything you can to prevent it from occurring, because I can't imagine how horrifying and traumatic this incident is. I do know that I don't want to know what it is like. I also know that no one is invulnerable. I've already been through enough to send me to the edge.
Even if the person has no intention of raping you and is just a friendly person, if something about him sets alarms off and makes you feel safe, you do the best you can to get away from that person. Even if its me. I want people to feel not necessarily safe, but feel like they are in an environment and situation where they can grow.
It's not just rape that pisses me off, but any kind of oppression. There are certain people who are so eager to demonstrate their POWER that they go to disgusting measures.
I did the best I can to make sense. Obviously this moves me.
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on June 07, 2012:
I respect people of courage. I'm not sure if you feel courageous for writing this or not but to me it is an act of courage.
I also respect the way you wrote this hub and the way you have shown wonderful compassion for those who commented and who had similar experiences.
I have always believed that awareness and forthright discussion of painful subjects is the only way for healing to occur. I certainly hope that this hub has helped others out there trying to find their way.
Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on April 27, 2012:
Dear just a note
I'm very sorry for your experience and wish you healing. I am certain of only three things when it comes to rape: 1. My own experience, which no one can dispute.
2. No to rapes are the same, and even in the exact same circumstances, no two rape survivors will react the same. I fully respect each person's pain and healing procss as individual.
3. That rape counseling does help women heal and the chances of healing without it are greatly diminished.
just a note on April 26, 2012:
I give you credit for being a strong person on blogging on this subject. My question is... Are you a social work and do you specialize in mental health? When you say you are certain in topics you mentioned... Make sure you are certain. There are stages to post rape. Study them. Not everyone reacted as you did. I certainly didn't. You talk of how serious this is yet you basically insulted the rest of us who didn't deal so well and had different outcomes.
cs on April 11, 2012:
Thank you for this hub, I just found it while searching for information about sex after rape. I was raped 17 years ago and it took me ten years to finally start talking about and dealing with it. I am still not all the way healed but finally approaching the possibility of actually having a healthy romantic relationship - and doing so with joy instead of fear. Therapy as well as some women's studies and human sexuality classes in college helped me start to understand what happened to me and to stop blaming myself and quit making excuses for that bastard. Something that had a huge impact on me realizing that I am not alone was watching the documentary film "Searching for Angela Shelton." There is also a book that came out after the film called "Finding Angela Shelton". Both are excellent. Basically, Angela Shelton set out to make a documentary surveying American women and decided to look up all the women with her same name that would talk to her. Throughout the process of these interviews all over the country, she discovered that, like herself, nearly half of them had been beaten, raped or abused. This is an epidemic in our country. I just want to encourage everyone who has been brave enough to share here, and all those who are just here reading the article and comments - You deserve to be heard, don't give up. You deserve to have a full and joyful life.
Also, if you can't bear to go to a counselor yet, I found this book really helpful with starting to process what happened (written by a counselor and rape survivor) - The Truth About Rape by Teresa Lauer.
And PS to Laurel85 - your attack on MM is disgusting. I truly hope some righteous hacker enacts some internet justice on your ass.
William E Krill Jr from Hollidaysburg, PA on April 02, 2012:
Thank you, this is an important hub. I work with survivors of interpersonal trauma, many of them children. Those who have survived and thrive have much to teach other survivors and caregivers.
Reve from Dhaka on March 22, 2012:
I have heard hundreds of stories where the girl got raped by his family members or even by her male friends. That makes me feel sick as I do not understand the philosophy behind this sort of activities.
Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on March 18, 2012:
Welcome here. Thank you for sharing what happened to you. I understand that feeling in limbo. It feels like it's not real sometimes but other times it's the only thing in life that does feel real and it's hard to imagine life ever being normal again.
If you've read through some of the comments here you know your experience is shared by many women.
It sucks. It was horrible. It's the worst betrayal someone you trusted could possibly do to you. He is a _____ fill in your favorite word for lower than low scum.
Whatever you do, don't go near this man. He will twist this around to save himself. He will justify his actions. I couldn't help myself? Really? What kind of animal are you? Do not look for any explanation or anything from him. You will only get more confused and hurt. There is nothing he can do to make it up to you.
You said you have reported it. Good for you. Have you asked them if they have rape counselors you can talk to?
Even if they don't have that resource, I highly recommend (see every single comment above) talking to someone. There is something very empowering about getting the rage out of you in a safe room or group with others. Don't look for the differences of circumstance. They are not important. Look for the commonalities.
Someone had sex with you against your will. That is RAPE.
On the positive side, I know you WILL heal. It will not feel like this forever. But you will heal more completely and faster if you get help rather than trying to deal with this on your own (lots of commenters above have tried the above, too).
All my best to you. I wish you peace and serenity. And happiness. MM
katie on March 18, 2012:
after what happened just looking for some answers how to get on with my life. I in som ways try to tell myself its not as bad bcause it happened whie i was druNk then druged anD asleep.The animal that did it was a close friend known since i was young he ould b the last person i would of expected to mess with my head and do that to me. After i woke up still had his semem inside me asked hi what he had done. he calmly explained he pulled m shorts down and rubbed my thigh to check if was awake but obv flat out . Then he got on top and fucked me ... AND quote his word i couldnt help myself... Then he said he was sorry he wanted make up to me ... BY then my head in pieces.. i have reported it all going through procuction system well. But he even said he was going to admit it now he crawling out of it. feel like i lost in limbo dnt no wherre to turn... Is there something wrong with e that somedays it dnt bother me i can shake it off then others breaks my hart any advice please
lsc on March 15, 2012:
Hey mm, just thought I would check back in while I was having a little blip...nothing serious just an overwhelming flashback triggered by yesterdays therapy session. Feel ok now until I read the post above yours from laurel 85!! Goodness that's made me so angry...quite frankly am totally shocked, outraged at the comments. Why o why would they post this? I don't really care for her perspective on what happened to you and your friend.is she some jealous colleague/associate. She has said some very hurtful things and achieved what exactly??? Just made themself look stupid. I don't know this person and apologies for my comments but I'm sure we are all thinking the same...if we didn't value mighty mums view,kind words,inspiration,encouragement,hope then we wouldn't keep logging in and fighting the fight. Laurel 85 clearly has some kind of issue+I'm very disappointed they have spoilt the feel of the hub :( I hope u stay strong+keep up the amazing strength mighty mum we all value you as in individual. I could rant for ages but its not my place to...laurel 85 hope you' re very proud of your incredibly insensitive post...when you dig at mighty mum u r at us all...please keep your hurtful comments private. We are rape survivors and getting some serious guidance from each other. We all have mighty mum to thank for starting this very tricky hub. We were all raped in different circumstances,different men,different ages but u know what we were all violated! If you have nothing encouraging to say please don't say anything. Naming the perpetrator on here is useful how exactly? Please remember this is an incredibly sensitive subject that some people are talking about for the first time. Don't ruin this. Now I know mighty mum is tough enough to fight her own battles but as someone who has benefited no end to this hub please don't embarrass yourself and let mighty mum do what she dies amazingly...sorry to go on...lsc x
Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on March 06, 2012:
I obviously don't know who you are or why you feel the need to come onto my hub and vilify me.
Anthony Canejo didn't "walk in" on anything.
He slit the screen to a second floor apartment.
That is breaking and entering.
He held a knife to MY throat and told me that if I didn't perform oral sex on him I would die.
That is forcible rape.
Rape is any sexual contact that is not consensual.
Trust me. This was not consensual.
If you've read any or many of the comments here you will notice that most rape victims don't have the satisfaction of ever facing their perpetrator or seeing justice done.
Mr. Canejo left his wallet there. Perhaps he wanted the police to find him?
The one portion of your story that is likely true is that Mr. Canejo was very drunk (seems to me like he was also high on something). Like that excuses his actions?
I didn't delete your comment because I want everyone to see your accusations.
Blaming the victims.
All I can say to you is God bless. I hope you never find yourself on the receiving end of rape.
Laurel85 on March 06, 2012:
It is very interesting that you did not want to speak about the specifics of the night in February 1985,
WHY IS THAT !!
It was 27 yrs ago and you talk about everything else that happened, WHY not the truth, Is it because you have embraced you'r identity as a rape victim and you are milking it for all it's worth, you don't want the truth to end all the attention and sympathy, it seems that way.
As a victim you have a right to speak the truth to help you heal and to help others..
You said the police had to drill the truth into you'r head why did you need the police to tell you how you felt that night, was it because they felt the truth was not relevant either ? Or was it because it did not happen the way you say it did in you're blog ?
One of you'r readers Mia 1957 said you are a liar was she referring to the specifics, or did she know you were trying to just cast Anthony Canejo in a bad light, could it be that you have to make yourself as sympathetic as possible and give you the right to try to comfort victims of real rape.
Could it be that you really want to meet new potential girlfriends on the blog pages, If so then Mia 1957 is correct to say shame on you Jane Rothchild.
You know that Anthony was very drunk when he walked in on you and you're girlfriend as you were in the middle of a lesbian sex act both naked in bed, He asked could he join you and made a threat when you said no, so your friend agreed to oral sex but not until you and Anthony shook hands on a deal, this concerned him promising to leave and not taking any jewellery with him just the 6 pack of beer and a few dollars you gave him.
That was the only time he touched you, soon after you shown him to the door he kissed you
he could smell that you had oral sex with the girlfriend, he then said he wanted oral sex with you too and you agreed, he then left, he was so drunk he left his wallet there
The judge in the courtroom asked you and you're girlfriend if you would like to give a statement but you both declined, was this because in MA homosexual oral sodomy was a crime and you would have opened yourself up to charges.
Anthony pled guilty that meant no trial so no need for any of you're secrets to come to light !! yes the secret of what was really going on that night.
Anthony had no right demanding to be part of the action, you had every right to engage in homosexual activities in you're own home without a drunken stranger wanting to be part of it, being drunk was no excuse and he deserved to go to jail, the only reason he is still there is for a crime of robbery that he committed later in life.
You could have held the moral high ground by simply telling the truth but you didn't Jane Rothchild
that could be how Mia1957 picked up on it you lied simply to seek attention and play the victim after all you could not tell the police the whole story now could you so you lied to them too.
For example you say they had you're clothes and body taken for evidence ? Why when you were naked when Anthony walked in on you, when he kissed you in the kitchen you had wrapped a blanket around you but you did not say the police took the blanket.
So you know the only sex you had that night is oral with a man and a woman, “OH lucky not to get pregnant” this is why you left out the so called specifics so you're lies would be more believable..what happened was not you or you're girlfriends fault so why not tell the mighty truth shame on you for painting yourself a bigger victim than you were.
You say the key is not to let you're new identity define you long term yet here you are 27 years later still peddling your lies, and the court papers back up Anthony's version of the events that night.......
Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on March 04, 2012:
Joyce! Happy birthday! I am thrilled to hear you got through the anniversary of your rape and are doing so well. I absolutely LOVE the positive steps you are taking. Not sure which is more healing -- the working with others on the crisis line or learning to shoot. I'm kinda liking the shooting idea right about now. Get that rage OUT, girlfriend!
Thanks, too, for affirming that Anjegirl is helping you so much. I am so glad.
And note to others (including you, stayingsane), check her out. Joyce is living proof of how we CAN turn a devastating situation around.
Stayingsane -- Thank you so much, too, for reporting in. Progress is progress. We can't expect to be well and wonderful overnight. Please be gentle with yourself. I think you're doing amazingly well -- even being able to put one foot in front of the other and go to those counseling sessions is HUGE. So keep up the great healing!
I totally get the eating thing. I did that, too. Until I decided it was time to live in my body again. LOL.
As for wanting sex -- isn't that a positive sign? Heck, I think it is! If you want it, go get it!
As for your counselor and the fixation with your childhood. Sounds like a Freudian therapist. But good for you for sticking with it. You might also want to check out Anjegirl and I do HIGHLY recommend group therapy. As you can see from other women here, it's incredibly powerful to be HEARD and UNDERSTOOD by others who have lived what you've lived. We have our own tribe and we "get" each other, you know?
Overall, I can't tell both of you -- ALL of you -- fabulous women how amazing it is for me that you are committed to "our" mini-community here. There is such energy and support among the women who share here.
I am honored to be the hostess.
Continue talking -- and healing -- amongst yourselves.
You all totally rock. Much love. xxooo, MM
staying sane on March 04, 2012:
Just checking in. The last time I posted here I was quite depressed. But I'm in a much better place now (as in I'm functioning normal life). Anyway I did get counselling, which is ongoing. The first session truly did help, it made me able to get out of bed and do productive stuff. But I'm finding counselling very difficult. The lady seems fixated in what happened on my childhood where as I am obsessed with what is happening to me as a adult. But I have decided to try and stick with it.
Meanwhile Im missing my ex, missing the sex. I want sex now. hahaha not funny but true. I feel like I don't know anything about myself, and somehow sex in what was/seemed like a loving relationship was an anchor. I do feel bad to come here without a better sign of improvement but trust me, I'm working on it.
Meanwhile it seems like I might eat my way to obesity. Definitely not a good coping strategy. I type this now feeling bloated from all the muffins and Doritos I managed to munch thorough.
Anyway there is progress. I'm trying to be light hearted and stop isolating myself from people. I thinking about joining some group therapy as seeing a counsellor one on one freaking me out. Its too much like Tv, sometimes I'm dried eyed, and all I can think is I should be crying so that she can believe me and feel sorry for me. Definitely twisted thinking on my part. But my counsellor is nice, I just happen to have an active imagination.
I hope your well. Your hub really helped me in a time of need.
Love all you ladies out here (and the men!)
Joyce818 on March 04, 2012:
I know its been a while since I've been on this site, but I just wanted to stop by and say hi! I've been doing a lot better lately. My birthday was not as bad as I expected (however, I did have a few flashbacks--but I worked through it). I do admit, I was a mess during the few weeks before my birthday--I was pretty depresssed, and I couldn't stop thinking about my gang rape. However, as soon as my birthday passed, I felt a lot better, and the anxiety and depression significantly subsided. So if worse comes to worst, then I'm assuming that in the future, I will only feel depressed during the few months before my birthday (until I competely heal). So things are better. However, I still need to finishing healing, because I still think about my rape quite often, and Im still not able to be sexually active or engage in serious relationships without difficulty. But fortunately, the depression has decreased. I've even been doing a few things to help me heal. Right now I'm training to intern at my university for a rape crisis/domestic violence hotline so I can help others. And also, I've found a new hobby--recreational shooting! I've already signed up to do some interesting firearm training classes, along with some self-defense classes. So the next person who tires to harm me is in for a rude awakening! Lol
Also, Anjegirl and I have still been doing our counseling sessions! She has helped me sooo much and she has been amazing! She's not only my counselor, I believe I've also made a new friend for life :-). I don't know what condition I would have been in right now if it wasn't for her help. I would reccomend her to any rape victim, so please check out "Anjegirl" for counseling. After working with her, I'm starting to feel less and less like a rape victim---I'm starting to feel more like a "rape survivor"!
And also, MM you have also been a great help. The very first time I ever discussed my rape was right here on your site. Reading everyones stories (including your excellent advice and feedback), really helped me to talk about my rape for the very first time in history! And I've even managed to tell 3 of my closest friends after telling you and anjegirl. So thanks again :)
Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on March 01, 2012:
That's a new wrinkle in Hub Name selection how odd.
Given that you haven't "officially" signed up as a hubber with a profile description, photo or avatar or written any hubs under the name Daves little Girl, I would suggest the easiest thing is to open a new HP account using a different computer/email address with the name you want. If for some reason Daves Girl is taken, add a number that's meaningful (e.g., Daves Girl378 if your birthday or his birthday is in March 78) or even Daves1Girl or something...
I do hope you will officially join our community and start writing (e.g., HUBBING) about your own experiences, as they add a lot of value to our readers.
Hope that helps.
Daves little Girl from oklahoma on February 29, 2012:
This is way of topic but is there a way to change your Name on here. Mine was supposed to be Dave's Girl not Daves Little Girl. I set it up on my best friends phone and didn't relize till it was too late that the predictive text put little in there.
Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on February 29, 2012:
Hi Daves Little Girl,
It sounds like your biggest concern is not being completely honest with Dave that you were a virgin the first time you had sex or tried to. Would he be more upset to find out you weren't a virgin? Or that you were you were raped by a family member?
In my mind, being raped doesn't disqualify you as a "virgin" (if that's important to anyone). It wasn't like you went out and had consensual sex with 10 guys before meeting Dave.
But it sure does have an impact on your attitude toward sex now. Which you can't just turn "on" simply because you're with the love of your life.
You haven't asked for my advice, but I'm going to give it anyway.
I strongly urge you to talk about your rape to people who get it. Families are notorious for not being able to handle it. Boyfriends/fiances/husbands want to be supportive, but are very traumatized and you cannot rely on them to react in a way that helps you. Believe me on this. I've lived it.
I am NOT saying you should hide this big part of you from Dave. Not at all. But I think that getting some professional guidance FIRST is a good idea. A trained counselor can even give you ideas on the best way to broach the subject with Dave. If you read lsc's comment above, talking in a group with other rape survivors can be amazingly healing. Please seek that out.
Of course, I don't know you and I don't know Dave. He may be the most understanding man in the world. I know you think the world of him, and that's exactly why I would hate to drive a bigger wedge between you than is already there.
But right now there's a big fat elephant in the bed with you two.
You both deserve a healthy and fulfilling sex life.
That may happen simply by finally coming clean about your past and being ultra gentle with him.
But honestly, that is a calculated risk. You've waited this long to spill the truth to Dave. Wait a little longer until you've dealt with the "I'm going to explode" feeling of needing to SCREAM about what happened to you!
Good luck and please keep us posted.
Final comment: The first time does NOT always hurt. Perhaps that has been Dave's personal experience with other virgins he's slept with, but it is simply not true.
Daves little Girl from oklahoma on February 29, 2012:
Thanks mm. He did say that your first time does hurt he did ask if he needed to slow down or stop but once we did stop I was still in pain and he held me and comforted me till I fell asleep in his arms. Yes as I said we have only had sex once but that was just a few months ago. He has asked but I have just said I am not feeling up to it. I want to be completely honest with him especially since Dave is the love of my life. My family has always acted like my rape did not happen and from what I understand that happens tow lot of women but the only person I know that has been raped is a Guy and he doesn't want to talk about it. Idk if I should really be talking about it but I feel like I am going to explode if I don't. I was raped by a family member he is now in jail it happened twice in the same month before I reported it.
Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on February 29, 2012:
lsc, I know you are on the right path. You're working hard on getting past this the right way. I know you're going to land solidly on your feet and continue to be a source of strength and encouragement to others. Bless you. Please keep me/all of us posted on your life's journey.
sam -- I can totally relate to your statement "I don't know what I'm looking for." We know what we're feeling and experiencing something odd that is keeping us from fully living our lives, especially our beautiful healthy sex lives.
One phrase in your comment really jumped out at me: "We've all silently agreed to put it behind us." Wow.
That makes me FURIOUS! How dare the adults in your life dismiss this as if it never happened? How dare your older cousin skate away without as much as a slap on the wrist? Meanwhile, here you are suffering what sounds like PTSD symptoms. I'm not a shrink and can't say what other events in your childhood contributed. But I will say that the insomnia and paranoia and inability to be in a relationship (you soooo deserve to be living your first big LOVE at 18) show that something is still haunting you.
As is my stock answer, I encourage you to get counseling. If at the very least, see a good acupuncturist/Chinese energy specialist who can unblock you and help your energy flow and help you get some sleep.
14 years with no support from the people who were supposed to be protecting you is a long time. This cousin robbed you of your childhood and innocence. PLEASE don't allow him or anyone else to rob you of your womanhood, too!
Dave's Little Girl -- Thank you for your comment and for bringing yet another perspective to the conversation here. First, I'm so sorry to hear about your rapes. You seem to really diminish them and dismiss them, however.
And yet, it seems your relationship with your fiance is really being held back. It is not my place to judge how anyone conducts their private life. However, I will observe that being engaged for 2.5 years and together for 5 and having sex only once -- is that ok with you? Is it ok with your fiance? Is the fear of the pain from the one time you did try making love holding you back?
I would first suggest getting fully checked out by a gynecologist. There could possibly be a physical reason sex hurts. Although it is more than likely that the trauma of your two (!!!) childhood rapes triggers an involuntary cringing at even the idea of being penetrated. That's quite natural, under the circumstances.
It does concern me that your fiance seemed more concerned about the amount of blood that was (or wasn't) present when he supposedly deflowered you than the fact that you were clearly in PAIN. What is that about?
As to your best friend, she is dead wrong. That is quite often the case with people who have not been raped. See other entries above. It's sooo much better to talk to/get support from others who have been in your shoes.
I see no benefit to telling your fiance that you were raped as a child. Quite honestly, I see NO good coming from that. Others are free to disagree with me. You, also, feel free to push back on me and tell me why you feel that opening up to this man you've been with for 5 years, engaged to for 2.5 years,but who doesn't seem to have any urgency to have sex with you or even any curiosity as to why you might not be jumping HIS bones, is a smart idea.
Sorry to be so blunt, but you did ask... MM
Daves little Girl from oklahoma on February 29, 2012:
Thanks you mm for this hub...
I was raped twice when I was little. I am now happily engaged to a wonderful guy named David. He does not know about either of my rapes. I am afraid to tell him. I love him and he loves me but I am just afraid that him knowing that I am not the virgin that he thinks I was when we got together 5 years ago will make him leave and not want to marry me anymore. We have had sex once in the 5 years we have been together but we live together like we are man and wife meaning we have an apt together. I feel bad for not telling him and my best friend told me that I have to tell him before we get married we have been engaged for 2 1/2 years so idk when we will get married. Am I wrong for not telling him? The one time we did have sex was awful. It hurt bad and made me think of the pain I felt the night if my rape. Idk why it hurt so bad but he said that there should have been a lot of blood he said that when a girl loses her virginity there is normally quite a bit of blood. He said he was thankful there wasn't but that is a very odd. Does every girl bleed when she loses her virginity? I bled a lot the night o both of my rapes more so the first time than the second but I just figured it was from the trauma of the rape. In closing I am asking what do I do?
Sam on February 29, 2012:
Um, this was far more helpful than other sites I've visted, but I'm still not sure it was what I was looking for. I honestly don't know what I'm looking for. I mean I wasn't really raped in a form that would be a display of power. I was raped by my older cousin when I was 4. It's been fourteen years and for the most part I was able to move on. Only having minor insomia, and paranoia that results from other unrelated things... Um, where my problem comes in now is that though we've all silently agreed to put it behind us. I find that I can't really have a commited relationship. I've never slept with anyone sexaully since that incident, but I have had many bf, and gfs. Though only since last year. I didn't start dating till I turned 17...I was never quite sure what to do. I'm still not comfortable with anyone touching me and yet I want them too. I also find that I can't stand being but in a possion of power or attention. I'm mostly just trying to find out why I'm so socially akward and such.... I was wondering if it was some long term trauma from the, um rape or maybe if it was uh, um from something else.(I had some issues growing up with my mother and being away from my father,sisters. I also moved a lot, jumping between parents after they finally got a seperated and then divorced...) I'm probably not making any since sorry if you read this and I only aggaitated, um or confused you... Sorry, I'll stop typing now. Thank you for your time.
lsc on February 28, 2012:
Thank u MM, your reply truly touched me and made me cry! I think because i was focusing on the negative of this whole situation for far too long, its nice that i can bring the positives out this awful (understatement of the year i'm sure)situation. I can't emphasise how much it pays to talk about what's happened to us..in this case i thought my best friends were the answer but it was my counsellor and the girls in the group, who although strangers instantly understood the tears, the anger, the frustration, the 'grieving', the silence and every emotion i showed. That understanding is totally priceless...almost like an acceptance into a different world that is full of stigmas.Anyway i digress, i just want to thank u and your hub so much for pretty getting me moving on with my life again. I am sure you have helped so many of us here on this hub, probably without even realising which is a true testament to your kind, selfless soul.I hope to drop by on here again one day with some great news..not sure what but who knows...i live by "everything happens for a reason, the good, the bad and the downright hideous", i try and take the positive out of every situation..it doesn't mean it was right what he did or even that i 'accept his behaviour' but it means i have learnt alot about me,life,society etc and can do some good from this and channel my negative thoughts into positive energy. Now im rambling..sorry. keep strong ladies and gents.(ps love the ending of your messaghe above..made me smile...strong, sassy, SURVIVOR...yes i am a survior
damn it! ive taken ownership of this situation. its up to me to turn it around! Big hugs right back at u MM x
Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on February 27, 2012:
It's sooo good to see you back here. I'm really encouraged by your update. You have made so much progress in your healing. I read a lot of EMPOWERMENT in your message. You have worked through so many self-doubts and even misconceptions (which come with the rape territory, alas) about what happened to you. You are telling it like it is, sister. Your message of HOPE is simply awesome.
Thank you, too, for taking up the "get therapy" mantra. You can clearly see the difference it has made in your own understanding and acceptance of the awful truth. There is simply no substitute for processing the insanity of rape with someone else who has lived through it.
Thanks, too, for pointing out that while we can't always expect justice through the courts, we can ALWAYS expect and demand justice in our own lives. That's another tough one to grasp. But you, my dear, have grabbed it and turned your experience into a positive. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing the most important message of all. We are NOT ALONE.
Blessings and hugs, from one STRONG, SEXY, SASSY SURVIVOR to another... MM
lsc on February 27, 2012:
hi mm its me again from way back when. well just an update really on my 'situation' i still can't say the word r*%* it burns me inside. Anyway a word of encouragement to those seeking counselling..I am striving to become a survivor and one on one therapy helped me no end..this then progressed into group sessions every week for 12 weeks. It nearly killed me (emotionally)hearing the others stories of what happened and how useless our justice system can be in these situations. I'm not here to criticise the justice system just to let you all know that before counselling i was VERY sceptical but my counsellor is amazing..maybe i was lucky to get a counsellor who is very passionate about what she does, yet knows her 'limitations' with some questions i ask that she will never know the answer to..like why me? what did i do to make him to do what he did to me? i blamed myself and still do a lot of 'what ifs.'it took a long time to fully open up to her, i really had in the back of my mind that she was judging me..but she really wasn't and thats what let me relax. A total stranger who seemed to now know my inner deepest darkest secrets has helped me begin the healing process. it is by no means finished but i can truthfully say i am getting there. live for the moment.Don't get me wrong i still get flashbacks, nightmares,intrusional thoughts,insomnia and so it goes on but this is the PTSD i need to deal with. my few friends who know tried to help but i just get frustrated they don't understand and a little flippant 'unintentional' comment really hurts so i give up talking to them about this and my counsellor and ladies from my group get it all instead.Its such a horrible subject to talk about but one that i feel needs to be shared with those who have gone through the same, regardless of circumstance..we have all been violated,humiliated, made to feel useless and dirty...but u cant hold these thoughts and feelings in. I certainly tried the stoical approach and it just came back to bite me in the rear! Fortunately the bond with my group therapy is really tight as we all share the same 'painful secret' so we can help each other get through this, bit like this hub. I promise things do get easier over time and im so grateful to MM for continuing this post and spreading the 'love'...I'm in the UK so justice systems are prob very different to the US but i wish u all the very best of luck and Please dont let these men ruin our lives. They are nothing, they have the problem not us! it wasn't our fault no matter how much it may feel like it is and we will move on! I am by no means healed but i feel emotionallystronger and more determined than ever to continue with my counselling and try and help others if/where possible coz i know what a dark horrible place i came from and how things improve each day.Its very empowering to read sopme of the stories above and pains me to read how very young and vulnerable some of you are/were but keep reading the stories and no that you're not alone. The world is a very big place but it can be a very lonely place sometimes..this hub has helped me realise i am not alone in my thoughts and feelings on what these men have done to us..i found a comment above so very true that "men don't r$*# for sex, they r&$% for the power!" it took me a long time to understand this concept but i get it...Try and stay strong ladies we deserve the best life has to offer. a huge Thank u MM for being open and honest stay blessed :) x
Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on February 25, 2012:
princesswithapen -- first off, I love your hubber name! Thanks so much for your supportive words. I think women who find their way to this hub are amazed at the strength they find both through other survivors and in themselves.
KellyPittman -- thank you for the excellent comment. I know exactly what you mean. We can adopt an attitude of resignation when it comes to sex. That we really don't have (or even deserve) any say, so might as well give it away. That's very true. Other times rape victims will unconsciously try to reclaim their sexual power by "using" men (hence the promiscuity). Either way, there's no denying that our healthy attitudes about ourselves, our self-worth and our sexuality are very damaged by rape.
Thank you so much for pointing that out!
Hi rochelle -- Thank you, also, for bringing up the subject of rape in marriage. I'm so glad you got out of that abusive relationship and are now with a wonderful guy. That's a huge step forward. But sounds like you are still dragging around the pain and shame of your previous marriage. It's not that you're not attracted to your new husband. I get it. It's just that your associations with sex are so mired in force and abuse.
I wish I could wave a magic wand over you and say, "You're healed. Give yourself permission to enjoy your sexuality." You deserve that. I hope you are able to claim the happiness you are entitled to as a woman. Get therapy of whatever nature appeals to you.
Good luck to you.
Blessings, all you beautiful strong women!! MM
rochelle on February 25, 2012:
i was raped by my ex husband all the time threw out our marriage. now i am remarried to a wonderful guy but he thinks that i am not attracted to him cause i don't feel like having sex much any more. getting raped really affected me sexually.
Kelly Pittman from South Louisiana on February 24, 2012:
I believe that only sometimes does a victim's post rape sex life include 'promiscuity", actually, I think it's the wrong term. - I guess what I'm saying is, sometimes the victim doesn't consciously permit this behavior for themselves. Many victims must overcome the self blame. More so, I believe, if they knew their attacker. They may find themselves in a situation and rather than 'say no' - they lack their own self worth and feel their body is already damaged as well. In some cases, it could be the fear of what may happen if they refuse someone. As in, I'd rather give them what they want than be abused. Does that make sense?
princesswithapen on February 24, 2012:
Good to know that you've come out stronger from your ordeal. Just the thought of being labelled "rape victim" is scary enough, let alone the physical and emotional torture. I hope this hub and its subsequent comments reach out to people who need to read this, and that they can take advantage of your insight and the situation you have been in.
Worldofwow1992 from Michigan on February 20, 2012:
I know of a few friends who were raped at younger ages by family. IT certainly is tragic. This is a great article. Very useful
Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on February 14, 2012:
That is one powerful and insightful comment! You have a lot of understanding of yourself and your reactions. Stopping yourself from repeating unhealthy patterns -- not so much. Which to me (since I totally relate to everything you said) seems quite normal. And for a sexual abuse and rape survivor, it IS totally normal.
What jumps out at me is that you seem to be on the outside of yourself observing yourself doing these things. There's a dissociation of sorts. Also totally normal.
What is missing is integrity. Not honesty, but integrity, meaning that reconciliation with yourself where the disparate halves are reunited into a healthy whole. That is what you are striving for. But understanding something intellectually and really repairing yourself at the cellular level are miles apart.
Ask yourself this question: Do I forgive myself for what happened to me? Do I forgive myself for reacting abnormally because that is the only reaction that seemed normal to me?
I'm going to spare you my Mighty Mom broken record speech. The truth is, I honestly believe you will heal much faster and more fully with outside help. You can do a whole bunch of self work, but if you don't really know where to get the tools, what good is that? Right now you are stuck in analytical mode. That's a start, but the leap from head to heart is big. In my experience it requires external assistance.
Grieving for a loved one is something you can do solo. Your wounds are so complex and compounded, I doubt Mother Nature is going to just lift the burden of grief one day just because you've been suffering for 5 years, 10 years or 50 years. You have to make sense of what's happened to you and make peace with it and forgive yourself. That is a harder thing to do than to forgive someone else. Trust me on this one. Been working on it a long, long time!
If you don't want to go to therapy,I understand.
Perhaps, then, instead of searching the internet for personality disorders, look instead to spiritual healing guides. Read about the law of attraction so you stop sending out subliminal mixed signals to men you verbally say you only want to be friends with but somehow permit them to sexually violate you. Read about affirmations and intentions. There are healing forces all around you.
But, they cannot access you through your brain!
Sorry if I'm getting all New Age on ya.
I wish you every happiness and do hope you will check back in and let us (collectively) know how you're faring.
P.S. For what it's worth, asking how many sex partners someone has had is a really immature question and should NEVER be answered. It is totally irrelevant to the relationship at hand. Your boyfriend forced you into a lie then punished you for lying.
But you've now seen for yourself how tricky it is to open yourself up to a "new" partner on the whole rape issue. Even the best ones (and yes, there ARE good men out there and you deserve one and will ATTRACT one to you when you are ready to acknowledge you deserve love) get all squirrely. I don't like it, but I've lived it!
staying sane on February 14, 2012:
It amazes me that a thread that started 3 years ago is still going strong. I too am a "rape victim." Im actually someone who seems determined to "fix" herself? I keep googling answers to what I believe are the personality disorders I gained from my experiences. Is that weird? Anyway its how I landed on this page.
To tell you the truth, my experience happened years ago. And I feel guilty because the things I do to myself, I sometimes think they are motivated by some sort of self-pity mode.
Yes, I am promiscuous or atleast I feel that I am. I have sex with men, even when I know I don't want it. Before I have sex with them I always seem to think, "well, I have made my bed, now I must lie in it."
I do know that I do want men to be sexually attracted to me, and the fact that they are seems comforting. I don't know why.
What happened to me is that I was abused as a child. It involved penetration and oral, so really it was rape. I managed to stop the abuse by saying no one day. And to tell you the truth this memory of me saying "no" as a child haunts me to this day. I do know why, I guess its the sense that i was somehow disappointing the person who was doing this to me?
I somehow managed to move on and heal from the experience as a teen in high school. However, then came university. Suddenly there were men, and I was living in shared flats. You see your female friends managing to have normal relationships with men. This is something that you also want for yourself. This pinnacle of inviting a guy over to your flat and having nothing happen that is remotely sexual seems to be a sign of true healing (well to me it look that way).
Somehow I have not been able to achieve this status yet of having a male friend and I dont understand why. Its my greatest internal battle. I don't act slutishly, I really don't. Nothing outrageously short in my wardrobe and I don't use any sexual innuendos in conversations, I don't swear and I hardly flirt at all! But somehow I find myself in a cycle of finding men who are intent in having sex with me against my will. These men who I explicitly tell, I want to be their friend are forcing their kisses and hands on me.
What makes it worse is that these very men, are able to have female friends and I know they have never attempted any inappropriate behaviour with their female friends. So really it know becomes a question of what vibe is this that I am sending out? I think people can sometimes sense vulnerability in someone, and perhaps they sense it in me and hence the cycle? They somehow know if they try to sleep with you against your will, you will try fight but ultimately you submit because you cant overpower them and the is no use. Whats worse is that you dont report it. The thing about a 'friend' raping you is that its hard to report. Its not really as traumatic (dont mean to offend anyone). I can view these incidents dispassionately, I rage not at them nor myself for that matter. You dont report it because this person is human as well. They have parents, they have dreams and yes they do crush your dreams in the process, but to me it looks like they have no idea of the inner turmoil and grief that they cause you.
Believe it or not, I met my last boyfriend trying to running away from promiscuity. He was a guy I knew was interested in me and the day we happened to get together I had been drinking at party. I had drank too much that night but I was still functioning, he walked me home and invited him into my house not thinking he would take it as a cue for sex. I just wanted to chat which we did, until I realised at some point that he was not going to leave. So we ended doing the deed and I decided from then on, its better to be in a relationship than alone, because at least in an relationship no one can call you a slut as your sleeping with only one person.
Anyway it was really weird being in a relationship but it gave me some sort of security. Yes, I had not really wanted the relationship to begin with, but I found that because me and this person where in a sexual journey together, I felt like I was learning what sex could be about. It was liberating believe it or not. Finally I somehow did have control of my sex life. What started out as a lover type relationship then evolved into something where we started to have genuine feelings for each other.
One of readers on this talked about how her partner wanting to know about the number of sexual partners they had and about the rape incident. To me this is dangerous ground and here is why I think so:
I finally disclosed to my partner that I had been raped after he raged at me about my peculiar reactions in bed. He did try to be comforting which is good, but I do have to say I also sensed this anger he did feel to what I said (not anger towards me but anger toward what was stolen, its hard to describe). I refused to tell him who had did it but he knew it was not a stranger and it bothered him that I was refusing to share this info. Anyway to his credit he tried to put this behind him, but one day we were discussing whether it right to ask how many sexual partners a person has had when you are in a relationship. I dont care for this number because of my history, for me some of my partners are not people I consented to have sex with but they are my sexual partners all the same. My boyfriend I think was shocked to hear that I was not interested in how many partners he had given the fact that i had now realised that im a very conservative person. It made him curious to know, my number and I lied because he was pressuring me to tell him. He knows I lied because he asked me a couple of days later and I gave him the wrong number. So why is the sexual history question hard for rape victims? Well for me its a simply because more than one men has penetrated me against my will, more than one main has tried to penetrate me and failed against my will. And with all these men i had made it clear i did not want sexual activity. Do these men count towards your sexual history list? I dont know? I therefore think this is the worst question you can ask a sexual abuse/rape victim.
Eventually my relationship with my partner did die off, due to the lack of trust that was established once i lied. Obviously this was not the only reason the relationship ended but it did represent the turning point. I could see the questions in his eyes? He wanted me to trust him with my experiences, and i did trust him, i just didnt want to share. I was just trying to move away from my past. He didnt understand that because i had managed to fall in love with him and graduate to a relationship that could be called healthy, I was actually proud of myself for finally achieving normalcy. Unfortunately i was never able to truly convey that not sharing did not mean i didnt love nor trust him enough. The relationship started to deteriorate until all i understood once again was sex, because that was how we started. He once accused me of using him for sex. What I was afraid of was him seeing the emotional scars I carry with me to this day. Its hard to let anyone see your naked soul for really everyday I put a brave face and my best foot forward. But underneath is a grief that is very deep, I dont think I will ever stop grieving. Just like a parent who lost their child, I too lost something every time I was raped. I am no longer trusting of people (this grieves me); I think all men are inherently bad (this also grieves me for I know it not to be true), I wonder if i will ever be sexual pure, i wonder if i will ever be strong enough to never let anyone force their self on me.
Anyway those were my thoughts. I thought i should share. Really i hope to be cured. Cured of fixing myself, cured of my anxieties, cured of my need to have a man approve of me. I am still searching, still looking for the day when i will finaly be able to say "its well and truly in the past"
And to all you out there who have been sexually assaulted on way or another, I pray we may find acceptance within ourselves to let go and to finally stop grieving.
Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on February 13, 2012:
Hello loverdearest. You are proof positive of the triumph of good. Most of us cannot even fathom being raped once, let alone 4 times. It's inspiring and heartening to read that you have found peace and forgiveness. That is truly the only way we can heal. Congratulations on reclaiming the love and the life you so richly deserve.
Loverdearest on February 13, 2012:
MM I am glad that you posted this hub as it is hard for most females who have been raped to talk about their experience. As for I am a victim of 4 different rapes one in which I almost lost my life by being stabbed 18 times I have still been able to find forgiveness for what has happened to me and am happily married.
Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on February 05, 2012:
Date rape can be just as traumatizing as stranger rape, and much more confusing because you trusted the guy. I understand. I'm sorry you are still suffering the after effects of your former boyfriend's selfish and destructive actions.
You deserve every happiness. Congratulations on your engagement and I'm pleased to hear it's to an amazing man! You BOTH deserve a beautiful, healthy sex life together.
Your "gut reaction" is a learned response that CAN be unlearned. You need to create new, positive associations with sex to supercede the negative of your rape.
How do you do this? My standard answer, as always, is "get therapy." A good, trained therapist can guide you to make positive associations with sex so you can enjoy the happiness you deserve.
I wish you all the best. Thank you for having the courage to share your story. MM
Ash on February 05, 2012:
My virginity was taken by my rapist. The worst part about it was that he was my boyfriend. I now, after 9 years, still have a tough time sexually with men. I am engaged to an amazing man, but I still have a horrible gut reaction anytime sex is mentioned. I hate that I am this way and wonder what I should do. Any ideas?
M. on February 04, 2012:
I would like to amend my previous comment-- rape IN AND OF ITSELF does not affect how promiscuous a woman is. Because every woman and every rape is different, we all respond differently. If a woman cares deeply about sex outside of marriage, she won't become a prostitute simply because she was raped. I'm exaggerating, of course, but you get my point-- it depends on the individual. I can see why some women would have more sex afterwards, because it WOULD restore some level of control over her sexuality. And others become afraid of it-- my friend told me there have been times when she's freaked out while having sex with her boyfriend. We women are all different-- that's what makes us all so beautiful! Even twins are different.
I wish everyone good luck in coping with their experiences and/or in helping loved ones recover. Have patience and surround yourself with supportive, caring people. Talk to someone you trust and remember that you are SPECIAL and BEAUTIFUL and WONDERFUL.
M. on February 04, 2012:
One of my close friends was raped, and it didn't really affect hess sexuality in terms of promiscuity or conservativeness; she had sex, but she doesn't sleep around with just anyone, which is normal for girls our age. I, myself, went through what's known as "coercive rape." Basically, he didn't use physical force, or even actual verbal threats, but he used other tactics to convince me to do what he knew I didn't want to do. In the end, he asked if I trusted him, and then didn't even ask if it was ok-- he just did it. It happened a couple of times. I don't have sex currently, but it's not because of what happened-- I'm not afraid of having sex, I just don't want to at this point in my life. Although my situation was different, it still had a huge impact on me, but neither my friend nor I let our experiences dictate our following sexual experiences or lack thereof. So I would say, from what I've seen, it doesn't make girls more or less promiscuous.
Lola on January 15, 2012:
Thanks for your response MM, it's helpful to be able to share this anonymously, since I have sworn to keep her experience confidential.
She doesn't know who the guy was, and it happened while travelling, so I don't know what chance there would be for any criminal charges, but I could see how (although difficult) empowering it could be.
I just want what is best for her, and its hard to know because she's not as emotionally vocal as I am. I don't want to keep bringing it up, because I can see the flash in her eyes, but I don't want it to become closeted.
I will recommend her seeing a rape counselor, I want to make sure her first experience with therapy is positive, because I know people who had a bad first session and never went back. It's hard to find the right fit, so I'm sure speaking to someone who has experienced rape could be better.
Thanks for everything,
Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on January 15, 2012:
Your sister is lucky to have you. As horrible as being violated by a doctor was for you, it does help you to empathize with your sister.
Your suggestion to get therapy is a good one. This is one of those life experiences that simply cannot be dealt with in our own heads. It really helps to have your feelings, reactions, even the grief process, validated by someone who knows what you're going through.
I feel it's important that you talk to a RAPE counselor specifically. Not any old therapist. It really would be best if the therapist is herself a survivor. But not essential if the "fit" is there.
Mostly, go at your sister's pace. Let her know you are there for her (which you obviously are) when she feels like talking. Don't pressure her.
The feeling of guilt at not being there to protect our loved ones from harm is universal. You will notice the husbands/boyfriends who commented here saying the same. But that doesn't change anything. Get over the coulda/shoulda/woulda and focus on today and moving forward.
Do rape victims who report heal faster? That's a tough but excellent question! At the most basic level, it takes away a layer of guilt and shame. You are not sitting in wondering "Did I somehow cause this?" NO, it is a CRIME.
If you get a positive outcome and your rapist is punished, I believe that helps the healing tremendously.
That takes another HUGE layer of guilt and shame off.
But it's very, very possible to heal and live a full, happy life and have a healthy sex life no matter what the circumstances.
There are some links on my hub you might want to suggest to your sister (sorry to bounce around).
Best of luck to both of you.
Thanks for having the courage to share. MM
Lola on January 15, 2012:
I just found out my sibling was raped. I am overwhelmed with sadness for her and I don't know what to do. I have expressed my support to her, and I've encouraged her to attend therapy (therapy has been helpful for me). I feel so nauseous and have horrible dreams. She's younger then me, and even though I wasn't with her when it happened I feel guilty for not being able to protect her. She didn't tell me for awhile, which I understand, but I feel sad that she couldn't talk to me about it. To think of her in that situation, to have a man abuse her in that way is heart breaking.
If anyone can help me understand how to help her, and how to deal with this in my own life I'd really appreciate it. I was violated by a doctor when I was young, not raped though. I told her that although my experience is nothing as hard as hers, that I understand her not wanting to tell the police. I never reported what happened to me, even though I could find out who he is. Is this a common experience? From people who have reported, did it help your healing?
Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on January 12, 2012:
I'm including your link because I think the straight-up, common-sense advice could be useful to women (and men) struggling with knowing how to reengage in positive sexual activity after rape.
I hope you continue to add to your blog. Thanks for the link. MM
bem on January 12, 2012:
Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on January 10, 2012:
I can understand that response as an initial reaction to the trauma of rape. It can only follow and define your life if you let it. That's the point of counseling, to de-power the man/men who did this and regain the power that is rightfully yours.
No matter what the circumstances of the rape or abuse, we CAN retrain our minds and hearts to love and to ACCEPT LOVE. There is a saying "We get the love we allow." If we continue to see ourselves as alone, isolated, numb, not worthy, damaged and see all men as scum waiting for the chance to hurt us again, that is the reality WE CREATE for ourselves.
I believe it is possible and necessary to break that cycle.
I've done it and so have many, many of the commenters here.
Check out hubber anjegirl. She'll tell you what's what and it's totally free.
If you can't afford or don't want to pay for rape counseling, go to a 12 Step program where they WILL teach you to love and value yourself. And that's free, too.
Will you at least try those things and let me know how you do? I would not say these things if I did not know in my own life that they are true. MM
christina on January 10, 2012:
Rape makes it difficult to love period. You cry every night, you cry in the shower, you cry going to work, you cry in the church & you can forget about it temporarily but then later in life you wake up & realize rape has followed you all your life..counselling all your life..never believing you are good enough. That's why you see prostitutes & porn out in this world. Men are scum..its hard to find the real good men..so women take what they can, hope for the best & treated bad all over again. Rape makes you feel alone..then when you are living alone..another pervert comes in & does it again. You become numb..post traumatic syndrome. Life goes on..until you die..period.
anjegirl from Myrtle Beach,SC on January 06, 2012:
See, I don't even know the difference in a blog and a hub. I still don't. I never meant to make you feel like we were talking over your head. Really, I just was doing what I have been doing on political hubs since I came to hub pages and as I said, my email and that of many others has been not working from my hub or theirs and my contact button was missing for a week and hub pages couldn't get it working. Again, I am sorry and would appreciate it when a girl is looking for therapy if you would tell them where to find me. Thanks and much love Analise.
Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on January 06, 2012:
I'm thrilled when any two commenters are able to connect and help each other. Whether it's through dialogue here or offline, what matters is that we all are here to reclaim our voices and our lives.
But once the one-on-one connection is made, wouldn't it be more efficient and direct to correspond with each other on your hub, analise? I feel like there is a conversation being had over my head and that feels weird. This isn't a blog. It's a hub.
I'm really glad you are helping these women and know they are grateful. I am very grateful and don't ever want to discourage you from commenting here. That was not my intent. Just not to turn the comments into private email exchanges...
Suggestion to current and future readers: anjegirl has graciously offered her counseling services. To take advantage of her generous offer of free counseling should go to anjegirl's profile and click on "Contact" and that should get you right to her Hub Pages email.
anjegirl from Myrtle Beach,SC on January 06, 2012:
I'm sorry MM. I have never done this blogging thing before and I have been getting updates from this hub and when I see these girls screaming for help, I have been trying to help them. Most therapists are not rape survivors and over 40 years, I have found that far too many therapists are no good at therapy and then there is the fact that therapy today averages out at about $150 for an hour and I don't know anyone in this economy who can afford that. I have talked openly here to young girls because many of the hubs I participate on that is being done, but I also have tried not to leave personal messages here,but my email service through hubpages and the email services of several ppl. I daily correspond with on hubpages are also experiencing problems like I am. I am very sorry and didn't know this was against hub etiquette and won't comment here anymore. analise
Joyce818 on January 06, 2012:
Hi MM, Sorry.. just read your last comment about the posting for Anjegirl. Will do. Thanks.
Joyce818 on January 06, 2012:
I know that being sexually violated is very depressing, but drugs and alcohol is Not the answer. Drugs only controls the problem temporarily, but the problem still remains. And suicide is Definitely Not the answer! ...If your already planning on making suicide a choice, then right before you kill yourself, you might as well just pay a visit to your rapist, and hand him a goal metal for allowing him to have that kinda control over your life! I believe real therapy is needed if a victim truly expects to heal. And I strongly believe healing is possible with the right counselor/therapist, and with enough determination on your behalf.
Yes, I advise that you get help. I've been getting help from Anjegirl and she's amazing!! She's only been counseling me (via phone and email) for one week, and I've already improved tremendously. I was gang raped last year on my 25th birthday, and for several months, I could not talk about this to anyone. Nobody. But Anjegirl has been spending time helping me, and yesterday, for the first time since my rape, I was able to tell one person who was close to me (my best freind) about what happen to me. I couldn't believe I actually got the words out to someone (although it was still too painful to talk in person, so I sent my friend a super long email instead--Im sure she still got the hint just as good). But I felt so good to finally get it out. And I know this probably sounds very trivial or unimportant to most people, but this was a huge step for me.. Because for several months, I was so embarrassed and emotionally damaged, till I couldnt get not one word out to anybody.. I was totally mute about it, and it was seriously eating me up inside. So Im just amazed that Anjegirl gave me that push to open up only after one week of counseling. I didnt even believe the counseling would work when I first started it, but Im so glad I gave it a chance. Im still hurt and depressed about my rape, but at least I feel a lot better than before. Once again, thanks Angiegirl!!
Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on January 06, 2012:
Note to all:
I am really glad you are hooking up to get help and anjegirl, really glad you are offering help to these incredible women.
Could you please do your communication via anjegirl's hub instead of mine, however? It makes no sense to be leaving private comments back and forth here. Anjegirl has at least one hub on rape so go there and talk privately.
berttron on January 06, 2012:
Anje i tried my hotmail account and it failed to send ill try again
berttron on January 06, 2012:
i am the same age as you i just turned 20 i was 16 when i was assaulted mine was by my uncle it took three years to get him to court first time the jury couldnt decided second time he was found not guilty after he turned up court drunk and then tried to od jury didnt no any of this
going to court is the hardest thing to do i was put under child protection due to my age when the incidant took place i gave mye evidance by video link and locked up the rest of the time i felt more like i was in the wronng to wa h e got walk free in court just look at the judge or the jury n ignore him i no thts hard but stay strong
anjegirl from Myrtle Beach,SC on January 06, 2012:
Are you still there------yes, I can and will help you---go to my website or email me at email@example.com and I will email you my phone number if you need to talk right now. I have heard a million stories all of them different from the last one but it sounds like Texas just keeps on victimizing you and I am shocked at how your parents reacted and just email me and you can call me now. The picture is not me but my niece and I am 59 and have been raped two times and have been doing rape counseling and going to court and advocating for victims for four decades. So go to my hubpage and email me or not. Analise Roberts
Blondie on January 05, 2012:
Also I won the school court date against these guys and I need info about going to court and facing him. It is just my rapist and me now. The other guy was a German exchange student and was sent back to Germany. The girl, moved to Georgia....So now just my rapist and me in court. I don't know what to say or what to do about him. If I win that, will he get prison or just probation. I am terrified out of my mind right now about it!!
Blondie on January 05, 2012:
Dear anyone on here that can help me....I was raped on a college campus in Texas on September 18, 2011 at a small "get together" (not suppose to be a party..."hey come watch movies with us")....I was pushed into a room by two guys and a girl. The guys were my "friend's" roommate, and the girl was a lesbian. My story is pretty messed up to say the least....The girl was drunk, as were the two guys...I was held down by all three at first and the guys made the other girl advance on me. I am a very strong person for a female...I am blonde headed with bright blue eyes and a 25" waist....140lb....so I am pretty muscular. I completely froze up and couldn't scream...everything I was witnessing scared me so badly, I didn't know what to think. At one point in time when I started getting very angry the two guys held me and one continued to penetrate me. I was on my period and my tampon was ripped out of my body. To say the very least, I was so terrified I thought I was dying. When I screamed and cried out the guy that was hurting me laughed in my face. The other girl involved seemed okay with what was going on until the other guy held her down and began raping her as well. I was pushed into the corner of the bed and wall with my legs up in the air trapped. All I remember was this guy....this evil person was hurting me. All I can think about now is how much I hate this immature, idiotic guy. This guy thought he was some kind of hot shot....thought he could do to me what seemed like he had done in the past. The other girl began fighting off the other guy and as my rapist stopped raping me to try to grab her I got away from him and flipped on the light. They were wrestling with her as I attempted to pull what clothes I could on. I ran out of the room, leaving her behind. I did not care for this girl that had hurt me. I hated her just as much.
I ran home that night and tried to contemplate what had happened to me. I could not figure out what had happened. That happened on a Sunday at around 3am. I hate myself for what happened. I tried to leave, but obviously I could not listen to my gut feeling to leave. I called my parents on Monday and of course my dad answered the phone. I didn't know what to say to him....when I told him, he had to give the phone to my stepmom. I told her what had happened and they immediately drove to see me that night. I told them what had happened and I felt that they either didn't or couldn't believe what had happened to me. My stepmom was very angry with me. They called me an idiot and said I should have never been with those people. The funny thing is that when I ran out of that room that night, there were 5 others in the living room. The music was playing so loud they couldn't hear us scream. I couldn't put all of the pieces together and I was and still am so angry at myself. I didn't go to the police until that Wednesday. I tried to remember all that I could about that other girl and went and found her on campus. She was surprised to see me when I got there and I told her that we needed to go to the police. She said she felt she was drugged that night and did not know everything that happened but asked if we were really raped or if she was dreaming it. I was completely sober that night, she was supposedly given a date-rape drug, though I still have my doubts. We went to the police and the rape kit was horrible. They put us (her and me) together in a hotel room for 4 days alone and watched my hotel security and the lady at the front desk. After they got a search warrant on the two guys, the guy that raped me said he was going to come and find me and kill me.
To this day, almost 4 months later, I am becoming more depressed it seems. I am overanalyzing things. I got a boyfriend shortly after the rape. Sex seemed so dirty to me until I remembered that you have sex with people that you love and care about. Something that I have always seen as romantic and sensational and loving turned to something I believed to be dirty and I wanted to hate it. When I found the guy I am still with today....I have tried to let myself forget about the rape when we make love. I have of course had moments where I have freaked out so bad (just from being frightened in my own mind) and almost karate kicked my boyfriend about 3 times. I have left some stuff out....but as of tonight I started overanalyzing things again. I started smoking over this past summer....I am almost 20 years old and I have been trying to quit. My boyfriend hates that I smoke, but after the rape it seemed like something I could do that would make me not think about things so badly....kept me "sane" but not really. I have been feeling like I am going to lose my mind thinking about this upcoming court date that could possibly take place. I had a school court date already at my college and had to sit in the same room with the two guys I hated most and the female that ended up on my side sitting right next to me. They MOVED HER IN WITH ME AFTER THAT to help her feel "safe" and to "cope".....little did they know how I FELT!! I have never been one to hate someone or to be so angry....I have always been very Godly and always had faith...lately I have not talked to God as much and have been getting very angry...smoking is starting to slip away and I feel depressed sometimes like I might not make that day. I had two jobs since then...the one I had before and then one after...I messed both of those up and I blame myself for being such a disappointment. Nothing seems to make me happy anymore. I am not suicidal by any means. I love my family and my boyfriend too much to ruin their lives because they care about me....I could never hurt them, because the desire to hurt myself is not anywhere as close to hurting them. I just hate my life sometimes. I am disappointed in myself most and make myself angry at myself because I never dreamed of being this big of a disappointment. I have full academic scholarships to college.....This was not suppose to happen to me...I never thought it would and I wish I could get past it. That girl one time told me that she forgave those two guys....I got into a fight with her gf one time and she told me that me apologizing to her gf meant more to her than the rape. I was so pissed at her I wanted to literally beat the crap out of her. I have never been that way. Please help me understand myself. I don't want to put my family and boyfriend through this anymore. That dirty girl went back to Georgia, and my life is so much better without her here. I hated her for what she did to me that night, willingly or not, and I hated her for what she put me through living with me. Please help. I need to understand myself, please.
anjegirl from Myrtle Beach,SC on January 05, 2012:
I just tried to email you using your email and it did not go through. Joyce818 is emailing me two or three times a day as are about 30 other people and I am not hearing from anyone that they are having a problem. Open up a new account with hot mail or some other email ppl. and try again. Please test it first and see if it goes through and then email me your entire story with all the details and we will proceed from there. Joyce818 has been using my technics for a week and is doing amazingly in her recovery already in spite of the fact that she works full time and is getting her BA in college full time. So try that. much love analise
berttron on January 05, 2012:
Anjegirl i didnt use the hub email i sent it from firstname.lastname@example.org
anjegirl from Myrtle Beach,SC on January 05, 2012:
berttron---I have not received an email from you---still having problems with hubpages emailing and they have not acknowledged the problem and haven't fixed it---go outside of hubpages and email me.
berttron on January 05, 2012:
Thanks anjegirl ive sent u a email
anjegirl from Myrtle Beach,SC on January 04, 2012:
My email address is email@example.com and yes I will offer my help.
berttron on January 04, 2012:
Analise i dont know if you could help me many counselliours have tried and failed but if you are willin to try i would appreciate it i dnt know how to get ppls email address on this page
anjegirl from Myrtle Beach,SC on January 04, 2012:
I do rape counseling for free and if you read some of my posts and comments on my hub page you will see that I was raped twice and ran a rape crisis center from my home for a decade and I have helped hundreds of girls and women to get through this thing and truly move on. I use the same technics with them all and if you are willing to do the work, you can truly be healed like me and MM and many other older women who have been there and moved on. I began to work with JOYCE818 who posted just above you only a few days ago. She is coming up rapidly to her next birthday which will be the first year anniversary of her rape. She is working hard and facing her demons and knows she is on a path to healing and I am there for every moment of her pain. Send me an email if you want my help. Much love to you and I am praying for your healing.
Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on January 04, 2012:
Glad to see you back here. I like your spirit. Your rapist cannot take YOU from YOU unless you allow it!!
This may sound like psychobabble, but consider this. If you kill yourself, who wins? A scumbag who won't even know he had that amount of power. You gonna let that arsehole literally take you from you? HELL NO!!!
But I know it's difficult to sit with the wreckage. Gotta work through it and forgive yourself! You do have a lot of reclaiming to do. Reconciling your actions with the consequences. I will give you my standard MM line: GET HELP. Get counseling to help you put into perspective what you did, why you did it, and how you can heal and move on. You, samantha.
You DO deserve to be forgiven by your family, but it may be too soon. Once you have done your own inner healing work, it is tremendously freeing to make a genuine amends. An amends is not just saying "I'm sorry" but accepting full responsibility for your actions and the pain they caused without any mention of whatever your husband may have done (or not done) to contribute to your bad behavior. And also having no expectation of forgiveness or even acceptance of your amends -- just get the yucky stuff out of YOU.
Time has a way of healing even the worst hurts.
We have a similar example in my family. As furious and hurt as the husband was when the wife not only cheated on him but left him for the other man and lived around the corner, eventually they found their way back to each other. They are reconciled now. So it can happen!
Best of luck to you and to your husband.
samantha on January 04, 2012:
Thanks for you reply I take some comfort in knowing that someone understands. I know he is hurt and angry but I dont know how to help him. I have now decided its time to help myself deal with all my issues over being raped, having an affair and turning into "not a very nice person" for a short time.
We had before my rape the same values when it came to sex .. that it was a sacred act between two loving people, when we got together he taught me those values well and I always upheld them .. after the rape something was gone from inside me and unfortunately my value of sex was one of them .. my view is .. if sex has no value then my ordeal wasnt that bad ... its has taken me months to understand why I have cheated, lied and deceived those that I love but I think I am finally coming to terms with it and am ready to deal with the aftermath of my rampage and rape.
I know I am a stronger person although I have tried to take my life several times since this trauma began but I now understand that although what I have done to my family is unforgiveable I know that I am still a human being with feelings and emotions and I am worth something .. maybe not to my family anymore .. but I owe it to myself not to allow my rapist to take ME from ME anymore. I am me and one day when I have finished dealing with all the issues that have arisen from what that man did to me I will rise again and be the person that I was before only better, stronger and wiser. Your pages have been my only hope and it has taken sometime for me to post and admit what happened to me. I have tried denying it to myself continuously and tried beleiving that I am just a cheat who doesnt love her husband but it doesnt work .. so I guess its time to face up to the fact ... I was raped and it wasnt my fault. Oh how I have blame myself over and over for what happened .. the worst of it is I blame my husband too and everything that we did sexually I compared it to that of my rapist. My husband is a good man and I love him so much and I am so sorry for what I have done to him and our family. Its time to seek help .. thank you x
Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on January 03, 2012:
I can relate to what you are saying very well. I get that you couldn't cope with your husband's illness and the affair was a coping mechanism that meant little to you but a lot to your husband. That's the problem when two people attach different meanings/values to sex.
Of course I can also see how your actions hurt your husband and his pride. That is not how he would react if roles were reversed. He is angry. You can hear that in his words "cheating whore" but also doesn't understand that love (for this other guy) had nothing to do with it.
As the comments above show, some women become introverted and turn away from sex after rape. Others go on sex sprees trying to regain control over their sexuality.
I am really sorry things are so messed up for you. I do hope that your husband will be able to forgive you and you will be able to forgive yourself!
Thanks for sharing your experience. I know your words will help others. MM
samantha on January 03, 2012:
I was raped last having an affair,went on a full blown rampage and wrecked my entire family. i had an affair, my husband was recovering from a series of heart attacks. I had an affair for just over a month but have managed to destroy my husband. I was sexually active before meeting my husband and had many sexual partners I found it easier to deal with sleeping with a man I hardly knew. I had built up this ficticious woman that was strong. My husband has since left me over the affair as he beleives that women become introverted after being raped. Until my husband left we had a good sex life,he but I have destroyed him by running to another man for sex, He says that I must have loved this man but I didnt I was using him but the things I did to this other man sexually (according) to my husband were not the action of a rape victim nor a coping strategy. Now nine months on I still havent dealt with being raped .. my husband says I am just a cheating whore who had an affair because she no longer loved her husband but this was never the case I still love him now if not more than ever before.
Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on January 02, 2012:
Thank you to my new friend, gmwilliams, strong and strident marcher for women's rights. Good point I should put a link to Against Her Will on this site.
One day I had a brain fart. I thought to myself, "What if we simply don't value chastity or virtue or our sexuality? Men can't steal what does not have value." My thought was that we would train women to be impervious to sexual assault. That they would mentally not let it mean anything to them. I guess kind of like how soldiers are trained for combat.
Of course, as soon as I thought the thought I realized how utterly ridiculous and impractical it is. Our sexuality is precious!
And training doesn't do anything to reduce the trauma. Look at all our servicewomen (and men) getting raped in the military. These are tough people and it's still a horrific crime.
So I agree with you the better solution is to educate EVERYONE about equality. Take away the culture that enables rape.
And for GOD'S sake, stop aberrant thinking about a woman's role. Women are not incubators for anyone's spawn. (not so subtle reference to the crazy forum where you and I met, gmwilliams).
Wishing you peace and serenity in 2012. MM
Grace Marguerite Williams from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on January 02, 2012:
To Mighty Mom: This is a very poignant hub. Rape is a horrific crime of violence which has profound psychosocial effects on the victim. I have read a book by Susan Brownmiller, AGAINST HER WILL, detailing the intense, psychological aftereffects of rape. You have made excellent points in this hub. I cried when I read your horrific experience regarding this subject.
As a feminist, this culture of machismo and the boys will be boys mentality often result in an utter disregard and disrespect of women. Even though the culture has progressed regarding equal rights between the sexes, subconsciously women are still viewed as second class citizens. This, too, create a rape culture.
Rape is a horrific crime of violence against women. Boys and girls must be educated regarding sexual equality. As long as women are still viewed as second class and subordinate citizens, they will be treated with disrespect and they will be seen as preys of all kinds of abuse including rape.
anjegirl from Myrtle Beach,SC on December 31, 2011:
No problem happy new year
joyce818 on December 31, 2011:
I will try the exercise, and I will email you the results. Thank you!
anjegirl from Myrtle Beach,SC on December 31, 2011:
You Rock and God has a very special address for you very close to His house===but for now keep lovin my favorite state, Cali and keep encouraging these sweet angels who have been pouring their hearts out to you and each other in an effort to find the peace that you and I and many others have truly found for our lives after rape.
I only have a minute to talk here, but I want to tell DD that I want you to check out my newly republished (long story) hub on rape and abortion and I want to tell you and anyone else here that I do rape counseling for free.
In addition, I want to tell DD that I have been working with prosecutors,defense lawyers and DA's all over the country and going to court with rape victims and I will help you and get involved in this if you want me to.
Truly this is the worst situation ever but most women prevail in these cases strictly based on how and who handles them. I would like you to find out or I can how your state handles rape depositions, filings and testimony. In many states today you are allowed to do your testimony and cross examination and all depositions by video and you may never have to face your rapist or testify in open court. You can maybe find this on RAINN or maybe under rape testimony in your states laws online or by going onto a free legal aid website in your state.
In any event you may not have to face your biggest fears and know this that "cops" are easier to prosecute than a train engineer or a painter or anybody else, because other cops will not stand behind a guy who does this.
Has the DA received this guys "duty" file and have you seen it? That would show whether or not other women have made similar complaints against this sick SOB.
Has your story been in the news, online locally or at all? I promise you he has done this before and probably since. It only takes one person to start a downhill snowball like we just saw with Penn State and the late great Catholic Church,oh,no,wait,they're still here.
Is this guy on suspension pending trial or what? Have you met with a defense lawyer? I have a million questions. Hub pages crashed my emailing capabilites. Joyce and I have sent a bunch of emails back and forth since HP unpublished my site at noon on thursday and when they republished at 4:30 yesterday they did not hook up my email again and Joyce and I cannot email each other. Late last nite I put my email address on my hub so go there and get it and email me "outside" of hub pages if you want and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.
I have been to court with lots of people and if we can swing it I will go to court with you, if not I can help you now to get prepared and alleviate some of your anxiety about going and make sure you don't experience any surprises between now and then and try to make this as seemless as this process should be for the freakin' victim. Cops hate rapists even more than prisoners hate pedophiles and although this is painful and extremely intimidating,it doesn't have to be. It doesn't have to be.
Most judges and jurors know that unless monetary gain is at the root of the rape charges that most women would never take a case to court against an on duty cop unless she was indeed raped!!!!! But like every case in court it is all in the lawyering and I can make sure that you get the best lawyering that the DA will supply so he can prosecute this monster. Which reminds me the Drew Pederson story is coming on lifetime network in a few days. Sick pig.
Do you live in the town or county where the rape occurred and are you being harrassed in any way by any cops, sheriffs, troopers etc. If not and I am pretty sure you will tell me you have not been, because we aren't livin' in the Wild Wild West anymore at least in most of America. Unless sick stuff like that has happened to you,then congratulations you are still livin' in the free world---well semi-free.
Have you seen a personal or professional witness list? Are other cops preparing to testify to his character? You should be able to get that from the DA's office or from the attorneys prosecuting the case.
I highly recommend a Civil Suit against the department where he was raping women, but "when" you file that is best left to the recommendation of the prosecuting atty. He or hopefully and usually a she will know in your state and town whether or not it is best to file now, as you are going to trial or in some cases after a verdict is reached in the criminal trial. Not only are state laws different regarding this but local prosecutors know from past experience when to file a civil suit and you will.
You didn't say, did they still do a rape kit even though it was the next day? YOu can email me this if you don't want the whole world to know. Please write down these questions for both of us and we will work on answers you don't have beginning now. And anyone else who would like my help with a court case, please do the same.
In the meantime I want everyone who reads this and who has been raped to do one thing for me and for you and pay attention there will be questions at the end. Just kidding---I do that a lot, but if you are so inclined after you have done this one thing, email me and tell me what happened---there are no right or wrong answers
Whether you remember your rape or were given a date rape drug or blacked out from alchohol and do not remember does not affect this exercise. Joyce, baby, I am talking to you---
Get out a notebook with lots of paper and a pen---I know this is old school, but you cannot do this on a computor. We have used rolls and rolls of butcher paper (white works best) and your local butcher should sell it to you cheap in a back yard with a big bucket of paint or lots of small buckets of different colors of paint---anyway, you get the idea and I want you to spend at least four hours minimum or an hour for every hour you were raped and begin a list of every word that comes into your beautiful mind when you are forced to think about your rape. Even if you do not remember the actual incident, you will find lots and lots of words to use to describe how you FEEL about your rape. You must keep this list accessible for one week---not 5 days and not 8 days---this a 7 day technique. Every time you think of another word write it down immediately and try not to repeat your words but if you do, there won't be points deducted. Just write and let the words flow and you might want to give yourself a couple of hours in your first sitting.
On the 7th day whether you have been writing on butcher paper, notebook paper or lots of one dollar shower curtain liners on the ground in your yard with spray paint cans, I want you to first tear up or cut up your words or use a shredder, whatever you prefer and after you have done this,I want you to burn the torn and cut up pieces and tell me or one other person exactly what reaction you had to doing this---that's all---end of assignment.
I will post more helpful tips for overcoming rape on my hub by monday nite for sure.
Much love to all and Joyce, I got you!!!!!
Joyce818 on December 28, 2011:
Yes! Its almost like you cant hide and live in denial for long. The truth will haunt you sooner or later. It was so easy for me to just jump into the relationship with the sheriff only 3 weeks after the rape, because I was totally in denial. I was so much in denial till I even successfully convinced myself that it never happened. Now after 10 months, these feelings are starting to pop up, and its ruining my relationship. And yes, I know Im very strong, and I have already come a long way. I feel I'm incredibly strong in every aspect, EXCEPT speaking out loud about it to someone. Telling someone out loud makes me feel so weak till I feel like I just wanna melt. Until now, I never once knew how just even talking about a certain subject could be so emotionally challenging.
And I feel so stuck in my relationship, because I really want to be open and honest with him and tell him what happen, but like you said...even the people who love us don't always take the information and react in the best way. So that's something I will have to figure out on my own very soon. And yes, A year without sex is a long time. But I lost my sex drive for like the first 6 months after the rape. But being in a loving, trusting relationship greatly increased my libido and brought it back. However, now its just hard to actually apply my sex drive to my relationship.. its like I really really want it, but I'm just afraid to have it (I know sounds weird). But maybe those feelings will go away after the first time having sex again...I really hope they do.
And thanks! I will check out Anjegirl. You have been a humongous help.. but I would still like advice, and different opinions from others...so I will be sure to check her out as soon as possible. And don't worry, I will definitely let you know if I need more sarcasm text Lol. Thanks.
Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on December 27, 2011:
Wow, Joyce! That is HUGE! I'm really so proud of you for acknowledging that you do have feelings about this. Of course you do. But it's very natural for us to underplay it and try to live in long-term denial. That works for a little while, but leaves us vulnerable (as you have found).
It will be really healthy for you -- when you feel comfortable -- to say the words out loud to someone. It's important that the person you say them to is completely safe and trustworthy. That is why I agree with your not telling your sheriff dude quite yet. Even the most loving and supportive people can react in weird ways that end up making us feel worse instead of better.
The trick for you now is to start to reclaim YOUR life. A year is a long time for a young woman not to engage in sex. It's not right that you're still experiencing what sounds like PTSD reactions with men. Those goons can't own you forever! F them, I say!
But you know what? You have already come a long way in your journey to healing. Do you recognize that? Even from when you first started posting here.
I have a new friend here on HP that I would love for you to go check out. She has done a ton of rape counseling (free) and I bet has some great ideas for you.
Her name is anjegirl. Go read her hub (you'll understand why when you read it). She's definitely someone who can relate to your trauma and I believe would welcome the opportunity to offer her two cents as I've been privileged to offer mine.
Not shoving you off on her -- hope you don't think that! Just another fab resource here on my favorite writing community on the planet, Hub Pages!
Please do keep me posted on all your endeavors.
If you want more dripping with sarcasm texts for the bozo guy, I'm always happy to help. I keep my pen sharp and my tongue sharper. LOL. MM
Joyce818 on December 27, 2011:
Hahaa! Wow MM! Those are some good choice questions! ...especially the "you know my birthdays coming up soon...", that one is brilliant.. I think Im going to use that one! I love the sarcasm Lol. Thanks! Now I just need to get the courage to text him. Its so hard, because I want nothing to do with him, but yet, I wanna know what exactly happend. And I guess your right.. maybe I will seek a rape counselor, but only so I can get tips on how to tell my partner. That will be the main reason for my visit. But as far as telling her (or him) what happen, and going into detail on how I feel, I don't know if I can do that. I swear, I feel like Im being raped all over again just talking about it. But I will try to get help, maybe I will check with my university to see what services they have.
I can't believe it took me this long to realize what I feel. Im slowly starting to realize, and accept the fact that Im not the same with men since the rape.. Im completely fine with men on a friendship or professional level. But once it starts getting personal and/or intimate, that's where the cookies crumbles.. I have a hard time expressing myself, I get nervous if he gets too close, and sometimes its so bad till I might get startled or even flinch if he quicky touches me off gaurd. And I hate being like this, because I know this kinda behavior of mines just pushes him away, makes him lose hope in me, and makes me look like a weirdo. And I haven't even had sex since the rape.. so Im almost terrified to know the outcome of that.
It took me 10 months to realize I had all these feelings! Im doing everything I can to keep living a normal life.. but I guess I can't keep lying to myself in the process. But I will seek the rape counselor. If its too hard and embarrassing for me to talk to her and be honest with her, then maybe I will just tell her that I need advice for my "friend" who was gang raped. That's a start.
Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on December 27, 2011:
It pains me so much to see the after-effects this man and his lowlife pals still have on your life. All you need to do is reread your post above to see that trying to control this is futile. It will keep popping up and out in the weirdest ways. Now it is ruining your relationship.
I will say this again because maybe one of these times it will sink in. The ONLY way to get past your embarrassment is to reframe this experience. Which you cannot easily do on your own. You're too stuck. That's understandable. A good rape counselor can help you empower yourself so you believe -- for real -- you did nothing wrong and that includes not reporting the rape. Ok. Let's move on and have the happy life and relationship you deserve.
A good counselor will give you tips on how to open up with your man. Whether it's the sheriff or someone else.
But thinking you can just lock this trauma deep inside you is going to keep you sick. It IS keeping you sick.
And I hate to see that.
I've been thinking about this guy who let his friends do this to you. What kind of man does that? What kind of man then walks away while his girlfriend reels for months. And then, when he thinks the coast is clear, he tries to cozy back up to you? No way. That is soooo sick.
I am not in favor of any kind of in-person contact with this guy. However, I am totally behind letting him know in no uncertain (and biting, unsparing, totally cold) terms that you know what happened. I have a few choice questions for him myself.
I would probably start out with, "Wow. I'm really surprised the cops haven't picked up up already." Or
"You know, my birthday's coming up. I sure hope you and your friends are planning a party for me like last year's. That was soooo special. I still think about that every day. I bet they do, too. It was probably the last sex any of them have had since then. Losers."
Yep. I wouldn't spare his feelings.
But I'd only do it via text where you can abruptly stop reading or writing when YOU decide you've had enough.
Just spew at him and don't even read his responses.
And you might even casually mention you are dating a SHERIFF. Heck, maybe you could even make him crap his pants!!
I hope you sort this all out, Joyce.
Keep us posted. We are here for you. Always. MM
Joyce818 on December 27, 2011:
Hi MM, once again.. thanks for the quick feedback! And yes I understand that I should tell someone and seek counseling. But its incredibly difficult to even attempt to speak about this to others. I still haven't told anybody.. and I really dont plan on telling anybody anytime soon. I might tell somebody a few years from now. The main thing that keeps me from telling someone is the embarrassment. I believe I feel more embarrassment than anger, as this is the most embarrassing thing thats ever happened to me (especially since it was several men). So I dont know when i'll ever get the courage to speak of it. But for now, I just want him to stop texting me. And yes, your right.. now that he's texting me, I really want to confront him, but he will most likely just trun it back around on me, and probably try to lie and say that I asked for it or something. I know its been several months.. but its still very hard to believe that he allowed this to happen to me. I mean, we were dating for 8 months, and I was really falling for him. So I wouldn't be surprised if he's contacting me out of guilt... He should feel very guilty. But I wonder why would he still try to manipulate me? What good would that do when whats done is done? I just dont know how to get the courage to actually speak out on this. It almost feels like that would be even more painful and embarrasing than the actual rape itself.
And unfortunately, me and the sheriff are not on good terms right now. Him and I have been dating for almost a year (about 9months). We met literally like 3 weeks after the rape. I really really like him, but its been incredibly hard for me to open up to him over the past 9 months.. Im just very closed around him and its hard to express myself. I've always been a closed, introverted person even before the rape... but now its just way worst. So we had a big argument about me not being able to open up to him, he thinks Im not trying... But in reality, I've been trying so hard and doing everything I can. I didn't want to accept this at first, but the rape has made it even more difficult to be intimate with a man (and Im now just accepting that after several months after the rape). So I dont know what to do. And he's clueless on what happen to me. And now that he's angry with me and we're not really talking, I feel even more reluctant to tell him, because he's probably just gonna think Im making excuses to explain my behavior. Either that, or he would try and make me report it. So now I really feel terrible.. he's the first man that I feel like I love, and can trust.. and now he might be gone forever. So i dont know what to do. Im fine dealing with this on my own, but everytime I even think about telling someone, all my strength and control just goes out the window. This has been a really hard year for me.. Im so glad its almost over. But I have a bad feeling that this pain and embarrassment will still be here for many years to come :-(
Susan Reid (author) from Where Left is Right, CA on December 27, 2011:
Is it normal for a rapist to show concern for their victims even several months after the incident? The short answer to that is NO. He is not showing concern. He is trying to manipulate you.
You answered your own question. He feels safe because he thinks you don't know what happened.
And you're absolutely right he will not be honest with you if you do confront him about that night. He has no reason to be honest with you. Unless it's GUILT that is motivating his sudden interest in reconnecting with you.
I know you've worked really hard at repressing your memories and feelings. But they've come out through your human sexuality class. And now this man is bringing them out even more. Hmmm. Do you think maybe it's time to stop repressing them and work through the horror that was inflicted on you so you can actually heal? I think these are not coincidental things. The universe is telling you it's time to face your demons and rage and scream and get it all OUT so you can truly move on.
I am sure some of the strong women who frequent this hub will chime in here.
My personal suggestion to you is to seek out professional rape counseling. I am not a professional -- just another woman who lived through rape and reclaimed her life. A rape counselor can safely walk you through the different scenarios of "what if...." to get you to the right course of action for you.
I can say I totally understand how disconcerting yet seductive these texts are. I understand how you are disturbed to see his number come up and yet so drawn to wanting to know more... and to confront him with what you know. Letting him know that you know is empowering on one level, but may end up with you being revictimized if/when he turns it all back around on you. And that could easily happen.
I don't want to advise you in the wrong direction here.
But hope others have some ideas.
P.S. Are you still dating the sheriff?
Joyce818 on December 27, 2011:
Hi MM, this is Joyce. Im not sure if you remember me, but I commented a few weeks ago about the gang rape by the military men. I sorta have a problem.. my human sexuality class that kept reminding me of the rape is now over. Semester ended a few weeks ago, and I have been doing perfectly fine repressing the feelings. No problem whatsoever. However, the main guy who did this to me and allowed it to happen (the man I used to date), has been texting me for the last 2 weeks. And this is the first time I've heard from him since the rape happened several months ago. He's not saying anything disrespectful, he's actually being very polite and wanting to see if Im doing ok. But it really bothers me to see his number on my phone (and I dont want to go thru the hassle of changing my number, because I've had if for several years). But my birthday is coming up soon, so its almost been exactly one year since the rape. He has been texting me for the last 2 weeks, checking on me, and wishing me happy holidays. He wished me Merry Christmas yesterday... but everytime i see his number on my phone, it reminds me of the rape all over again. And I'm almost certain that he has no idea that I realized what happened that night (since I was unconscious), so this is why he probably feels safe contacting me. But I dont know what to do. Lately, I've just been ignoring all his messages. I dont know what to say to him. I really wanna get his side of the story of exactly what happen that night, but Im way to embarrassed to even bring it up with him. Besides, I know he's probably just gonna play dumb, and pretend like nothing happened, and that he dosent know what I'm talking about. So I dont know what I should do. I just really hope he stops texting me. Is its normal for rapist to show concern for their victims, even several months after the incident?
JOHN doe on December 25, 2011:
I see alot of women. but no service members like men.