I was raped when I was 22. It was fast and stunning. I knew the guy, a friend of a friend of a friend, and it happened in a car after a concert. He just kept repeating the same thing “you know you want this.” I did not. I did not. I fought and pulled away, but then something sort of broke inside of me and I froze. I think I froze. I still can’t explain to myself why I didn’t get out of that car. I used to say if it happened again I would kill him in order to get away. I would do it all differently.
No hospital, no police, no counseling. I mostly tried to pretend it didn’t happen. It felt like it happened in a movie to someone else, or I told myself to think that way. It’s just this horrid thing in the back of my mind, this place where I don’t understand the world, men, myself.
Over 15 years later, it’s still there. You would think it wouldn’t be. For all those years this thing haunts me but not in a big way. I used to tried to tell boyfriends about it. When that question “who have you been with comes up.” Or when I’d be not in the mood for sex. (I can get overwhelmed when faces are too close to mine.) But I always regretted telling them. It made it present in our lives too much. In our faces. They always said “why didn’t you just run?” And then they saw me differently.
So I stopped telling people. I’ve since had friends tell me stories of rape or talk about it in general and I give them sympathy or say I can’t imagine. I didn’t tell my boyfriend, the one, the one who is now my husband of almost 8 years. He doesn’t know and never will. I almost told him when I was pregnant, because childbirth and breastfeeding put me in this weird space about it all again. That overwhelming feeling from breath in my face was there and I hated it.
I feel horrible that I hated it, but I did. It was a depressing time, I feel like it was a lost time and I was not at my best. I can’t even imagine having another baby, and I think this is the reason.
I wish I didn’t have so many regrets but I don’t regret keeping my secret. It feels good to say these things, but I don’t like being defined by them. My only question is whether some day I will tell my daughter. The thought of her not being safe makes me sick. I want her to know how to fight back. I want her to never have to worry about any of this.
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You are 100% not guilty for what happened to you. Your rapist is 100% guilty. With as much love and compassion as I can send through a computer, I encourage you to get professional help with your recovery. A little counseling goes a long way! Throughout my recovery I noticed that issues I needed to face kept resurfacing, and never at a convenient time! It always meant that no matter how much I didn't want to, there was something that I needed to face and fix. If this is coming back to you at certain times in your life, face it head on! Healing, and complete recovery, is possible, And it's wonderful!
That's exactly what happened to me. Backseat of a car, after a party, friend of a friend. I was 16. I didn't tell a soul until I was about 22. I'm 46 now. I too wish I could have done things differently that night, fought harder, told someone sooner, SOMETHING. I too wonder what I'll tell my daughter some day, if at all. She's only 6, but I'm always on guard for her... always worried about the statistical possibility that she will become a victim of sexual assault too some day. Maybe that is enough, that I'll be a mom who pays closer attention to having an open/honest relationship with her than my mom did. That doesn't mean I blame my mom for what happened, but I do wish she'd "warned" me about such things LONG before they actually happened. Just know that talking about it does help, even if you have to do so anonymously. We here, we hear you, and we love you. (((hugs)))
That's way too much.. to live with as i read your story I realized many things about why i can't just feel comfortable with people around me God i also hate the feeling of being unsafe and unconfortable around people always feeling out of place, this i s just energy taking I'll be praying for you ... remember non of this is you fault but it does make me feel proud of you the fact that you want your doughter to learn to be safe.. im doing that as well with my kids i wouldn't want them to go trough that kind of situations.God Bless You always!!
I'm so sorry for what he did to you. I want you to know that it's not your fault you didn't get out of the car - you did freeze, and that's part of the survival response (you know how they used to say "fight or flight"? Now they say, "fight, flight, freeze, or submit" all part of the same system designed to keep you sane and alive). There is help, if you decide you want it. It absolutely can be different. And not everybody will look at you like those old boyfriends did. But you get to decide. Because you're in control now. And whatever you choose for yourself is okay. Thank you so much for sharing this.
I'm truly glad that if you feel that you can't talk about what happened, you have this space to get your story out, and know we understand. I know what you mean about daughters. I have 2 and I fear that I'll tell them too much in trying to protect them.
Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. You are not alone, and you are the expert of when and whom to tell. You made the best choices possible at the time to handle this thing that should not have happened to you, and I hope for your continued healing.