Believing My Own Story

For the last two months, I have been struggling with my first rape. I seem to get nowhere in the “healing journey.” In fact, lately, I have been adding more blame to myself. I feel delusional and like I am making something out of nothing. Two days ago, I started to writing down my story and realized that I add a lot of excuses, explanations, and persuasion to my story. Maybe to someone else it doesn’t sound like that, but in my head, I HAVE to get others to believe me.

One of the many flaws of this survivor. Worrying that I will never be believed. And I am sure I am not the only victim that has felt like this. When these sort of things happen, my support tries to get me to see that if I don’t blame them, then I can’t blame myself… but that doesn’t always work. Could we really see someone in our shoes and think that they are innocent? In my case, it is hard to see.

For those who don’t know my story, when I was 11 or 12, I was bullied, abused (mentally, emotionally, physically, and sexually), and raped by a girl down the street. I spent the night at her house one night and she “wanted to show me how it feels like to have sex with a guy.” This is usually where I tell about how she was, but the simple truth is, is that I didn’t want to be touched or kissed or fondled, but it happened.

My biggest issue is when people start telling me that it is ok to experiment at that age or that it is ok to be gay. If you would have asked me a year ago, I would have jumped down your throat about me not being gay. Now, I know I am not gay but it still doesn’t make knowing what happened to me and placing the blame where it truly lies easy.

So how do we get to a point where we blame the perpetrator and not the victim? If society can’t do that, the how can we? People don’t understand how more difficult the victims healing becomes when the whole world is telling us to blame the victim. I told my mom about my second rape (my boyfriend coming into my home and raping me), yet she still blamed me. “You could have taken him,” “Why did you open the door?” and etc.

My family will never know about my first rape. Which is a shame because if they did, they might understand how difficult things really are lately. I just cannot put myself out there to be questioned and blamed all over again by my own family. I was strong enough to endure my mothers attitude but not with this.


Simply Said…

The simplest truths we could teach our children are the hardest ones to understand after someone doesn’t respect us. Teach your children now. Let them come to you. Stop blaming the victim. No means No!

Where do the lies end and the healing begin?

After I was raped, I had the hardest time calling it what it was. Every time I would look something up or try to figure out what was going on (by myself), I realized it was all in my head. It must have been true if it was on the internet and people told me not to tell them it was a possibility. It must be one of those things that don’t really happen. Eight years later, I know it was rape… they were wrong for telling me otherwise!

Update, Hospitalization, and Progressive Health

Been a long while since I have been on this blog or any. Actually, I haven’t been on the internet in like forever because of what started at the end of May. I got to a point where I wanted to beat my husband up in his sleep, crying myself to sleep every night, major anxiety, and so much more. My husband confronted me at my work because he happened to see that I was talking about partial hospitalization on fb. I told him I was serious. He understood after reading about wanting to beat him up. I just couldn’t handle this “normal” (fake) life anymore. I was hurting and no one cared. Even my cousin (the only one in the family I talk to) told me she was tired of talking about it, and we only talked about it maybe 4 times within a year. Anyways, so off to the hospital I went.

I uprooted my family from one part of the country to the other with my wanting to go back to where I grew up to make sure I got the best care, since there were no trauma therapists or support groups within 2 hours of where we lived. Hated that town anyways!

I went into the ER at 4:30pm, brought to the Mental Hospital here at 2am, and finally laid my head down on one of the inpatient beds at 4am. I slept that whole day or two. I was that depressed. My husband had to go back and work but I was inpatient for 10 days. The best 10 days I could have ever gotten. I really do recommend people going and getting help if they are thinking suicidal or that depressed.

(On the way to my hometown, I wanted to jump out of the car, but I turned my music on and went to sleep for the 23 hour drive.)

After inpatient I was outpatient in the PHP (Partial Hospitalization Program) there while I slept on my dad’s couch. Once my husband drove back down we got a hotel for Hubby and Cupcake (*Not her real name, our daughter). The suicidal thoughts started coming more frequent when interacting with my husband and daughter. If only I was dealing with my past rapes. Rape started a long process of unhealthy relationships for me.

Since they wanted to get me reevaluated again, I got sent inpatient for a LONG 5 days. It was unexpected and very aggravating. I made the doctors think everything was fine. It was easier that way because not having jobs or a place to live and my physical health was more important to me.

Now I realize that, yes, I am living my life after rape, but I am not defined by anything. Not MDD or PTSD or anything. I am me and all I can do is me. I took very colorful notes inpatient and outpatient and have finally been released from the programs. I wish I could stay there for those who are just now coming into the program and be an advocate for them. It is so essential that they realize it is more than just sitting there in the groups, but soaking up the knowledge the therapists and doctors are giving them. I feel like I did all I could do there for my own personal growth.

Now that I am out, I am still journalling from time to time (with markers in composition books) and looking into DBT. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy focuses on Distress Tolerance and Interpersonal Effectiveness, which the inpatient therapist tried to go over with me. Thinking more rationally than emotionally minded when it comes to situations where I perceive distress in relationships. I feel like I have lots of resources and help and I will gladly pass them on to others who need help just surviving LIFE, let alone abuse.

Strive for PROGRESSION, NOT Perfection. I want to surround myself with progressively healthy people than people who are stuck and unhealthy to what my needs are.

Think I might coin that phrase if it already isn’t… “PROGRESSIVELY HEALTHY” or “PROGRESSIVE HEALTH”

After Reading My Rapists Reply

I do have to admit, although we know rapists are dumb, they are pretty smart too. They seem to get everyone on their side, play the victim, and get the REAL victim to blame themselves and hold onto their guilt. They don’t live with the consequences, the victims do. And only a small percentage are ever reported and even fewer put in prison. About 5% is a pretty tiny number. What other crime happens that the victim and everyone around them say it’s their fault? None. That’s right. So no wonder they don’t get convicted. In the court room, the guilty party is the victim who has to practically prove their innocence. This needs to change. Society needs to change. Rapists need NOT to rape! Nobody asks for it. If they didn’t say yes, it was rape. I don’t care what you “think” the person wanted. They HAVE to give consent! And we have HAVE to start believing the victims. The trauma never goes away. The survivors need to be accepted and given time to put their lives together. I don’t care if it was 1 month ago or 8 years ago. Rape is rape. And we all heal at our own speed. Will you stand up for your loved ones?

Why Many Survivors Struggle with Acquaintance Rape

“The consequences of acquaintance rape are often far-reaching. Once the actual rape has occurred and has been identified as rape by the survivor, she is faced with the decision of whether to disclose to anyone what has happened… The percentage of survivors reporting the rape is so low for several reasons. Self-blame is a recurring response which prevents disclosure. Even if the act has been conceived as rape by the survivor, there is often an accompanying guilt about not seeing the sexual assault coming before it was too late. This is often directly or indirectly reinforced by the reactions of family or friends in the form of questioning the survivor’s decisions… People normally relied upon for support by the survivor are not immune to subtly blaming the victim. Another factor which inhibits reporting is the anticipated response of the authorities. Fear that the victim will again be blamed adds to apprehension about interrogation. The duress of reexperiencing the attack and testifying at a trial, and a low conviction rate for acquaintance rapists, are considerations as well.”

American Academy of Experts on Traumatic Stress

This is why Survivors don’t tell people they were raped!

This Saturday was my family’s Christmas (dys)function. After deciding to report my rape to the police, I thought about whether or not it would be a good idea to tell my mother (and maybe other family members). So far I had told my dad, brother’s girlfriend (living with my mom), my cousin, and my aunt. I have a very small family, but very dysfunctional. From the people I told, it was almost the subject you don’t talk about and if something is said, its about “getting over it” because it’s “taking over my life.”

I did tell my cousin about it as we are closer than the other family. It took me six months for me to open up to her about my first incident with the bully. She now understands why the Love word and people hugging me get to me. As much as I care for someone, I CANNOT use the L word or hug a girl… not even to my own cousin.

So when this function came up with the whole family, all 16 of us, I debated whether or not it would be a good idea. My conclusion came while sitting in my brother’s girlfriend’s bedroom… No it wouldn’t be a good idea. A few weeks ago, my mom found out I was in counseling for things that happened in my past, but I never told her why I was going. When she walked into the bedroom, I knew that something was going to happen. In the end, I told my husband that she wants to know what my problems are, and he told me that my mom deserves to know. So I told her.

The first few seconds of the conversation she said: “why did you let him in the house” and “you could kick his a**.” My initial reaction was to tell her that it was NOT my fault and I will NOT be taking the blame because I did NOTHING wrong. She knew who he was, where it happened, when it happened, where she was, but that still wasn’t good enough for her. Within two days after me telling her, I got about 10 random texts and calls from her (when we go months without any conversation). I knew something was up, but I was secretly hoping that it was genuine concern for me. I was wrong.

When she finally got ahold of me the third day, the first things that came out of her mouth again was “why didn’t you tell me because it happened in my house.” It didn’t matter that I was in shock and denial for the better part of SEVEN years. All she cared about was the fact that I didn’t tell her. No, scratch that. She was upset that she wasn’t told first! She told me that I have now strained my aunt’s and her relationship because my aunt should have told her about MY problem. She then proceeded to tell me that she was “disappointed and upset” that I didn’t tell her because she thought we were closer than that. We haven’t been close for over 8 years! She’s just in denial. After I got the lecture about keeping MY rape from her, she then proceeded to suck every detail about that night out of me again. This time, more in depth.

“Who was your first boyfriend? (first and last name) I keep thinking his name is Jake.” (No ma. JS)

When did it happen? (Friday, March 5th, 2004)

Where did it happen? (in my bedroom)

“Why were you alone?” (I have NO CLUE!)

“Where was your grandma and brother?” (I don’t remember MA!!!)

“Was I (meaning her) out on a date with the magician?” (Sure, why not, IDK!)

“Was that the night you helped me get all dolled up? If so, that could have been a fun night turned really horrible.”

“if that happened in 2004, then that means your grandma was still living with us and you were in the blue room.” (NO DUH! I REMEMBER THE COLOR OF THE WALLS QUITE VIVIDLY!!!

By the end of her questionnaire, I was so UPSET that she expected me to know all of this and that I actually wanted to talk about all of it. There is a lot of stuff that I suppressed. I don’t remember what I was doing at school that day or what happened after he raped me. I don’t remember why I was alone or what happened when she got home. All I remember is saying NO over and over and my boyfriend continuing to rape me. I remember the room. How messy it was, how small it was, how he stood there taking off my clothes, starting at the door and the ceiling and the BLUE walls! I remember him running out of the room to go “finish” then getting dressed and leaving. I don’t need someone prying into my every detail. I wasn’t ready to tell her.

Once my husband got home, I told her a little about what happened and how she was placing the blame on me. My mom talked to him on the phone too and thanked him for getting me to open up to her. Then when they were done talking, he told me to take her feelings into consideration because she is upset that she wasn’t the first to know, just like he wasn’t the first to know. Neither of them understand the complexity of the issue in the beginning stages of dealing with something so horrific. This started a whole argument between the two of us where he just told me that I didn’t need to get all defensive. I told who I told when I was able to tell them. Can’t they just be happy that I was able to open up to them? I find that family is harder to tell than others I don’t know that well or not closely related to. It took me so long to tell my husband about my first incident. I did, but I had to work up to it.

Once I was finally able to get in bed. I was so mad and frustrated and upset. When I tried to close my eyes, it was like the rape was happening right in front of me. Ever hear about people who feel like they are watching it happen? That’s how it was. I could see him taking off my clothes. The rape was so in my face that I just wanted to escape. The more I tried to sleep, the more it felt like I was being raped all over again. No longer was I watching it happen, I was feeling it happen. The emotions, him on top of me, and inside me. The feeling that I couldn’t escape. I woke up so much that night trying to get away from emotions, but I couldn’t. Normally I don’t have flashbacks like that, probably because I suppressed it and don’t have all the memories “during” the attack. But with my mom’s questionare, it was hard to escape as I was stuck in that darn blue room.

I have come to the realization that I took this upon myself because I decided to tell her. I could have kept my mouth shut and none of this would have been a problem. I now see why so many of my friends who were victims stayed quiet. It sounds like the better alternative that dealing with parents who put the blame on you and force you into that moment to relive again or having parents who don’t care and tell you to “get over it.”

So what is the answer? How do we find ways of getting the support we need without hiding this part of us from the world? My “secret” and burden that I’ve been carrying around with me for so long is finally out. Now I have to deal with people knowing and repelling the blame others try to place on me. But for those who haven’t been able to reach out to their loved one or to those who have and still need to find support within their circle, how do we get them to support us? It seems like the answer is always, EDUCATION IS KEY. Maybe it is. All I know is that I would love my family to read this article on ways to help a rape victim. It would be so nice, if for once, someone would try to understand our feelings as much as we try to understand our own.