First of all, I would like to apologize if some things do not make a lot of sense since English is not my first language.
I came across this site a couple of months ago and started reading about some of the experiences posted here. I gotta say it triggered memories of what had happened to me but mostly helped me realize that I'm not the only one going through this and that I am not alone.
So, this is the first time that I'll tell what happened to me to someone other than a therapist and an ex-boyfriend.
I feel the need to write about my experience because I still feel like I've got to get this off my chest because to this day it still continues to shape my life.
I don't really remember how old I was when it happened. I think I was about 5 or maybe 6 years old and it happend more than once. My parents both worked so I was often left to the care of my two older (half) brothers. I can't recall the first time that it happened but I remember this one time that one of my brothers (9 years older than me) approached the TV room where I was and asked if I wanted to play a game with him and I said yes. He took me to his bedroom and I think he must have explained the "rules of the game" but I honestly can't remember them, I just thought that it was a strange game, that I didn't like it and that it hurt. Afterwards he would say that that was our secret game and that no one should find out about it. This went on almost everytime I was left alone with him but I do not know how many times it happened; I do, however, remember the time I put an end to it. A few days earlier I had gone to my mother to tell her that my brother liked playing a game that I did not enjoy so she just told me to say "No" the next time he asked if I wanted to play; so that's exactly what I did that last time he went to ask me if I wanted to have some fun; I clearly remember saying NO and when he asked why I did not want to play I just said: "Because I don't want to". I don't recall him pushing me to go with thim, I think he just got up and left and that was the end of it.
Since I was a small girl I did not understand what had happened to me, not even when I was old enough to know what sexual intercourse was did I comprehend what had happened. I did not hold a grudge against my brother and those episodes were kind of buried for us. A couple of years later he joined some religious support groups and after attending several meetings he went to a weekend camp organized by them and a special kind of ceremony was held upon their return: we should be there at church to receive our loved ones me and my family were told that we should buy him a toy as a symbol of him being reborn and it also represented a new begging for him. When my brother found us among the crowd of other families, he was crying and moved from all that he had experienced during the weekend and when we held me he cried even harder and he apologized, said he was so sorry. I remember I started crying too and I told him that I forgave him and that everything was alright. I recall my family's questioning looks when they saw us in that strange exchange of apologies and reassurance.
To this day I don't think anyone in my family knows what went on between me and my brother. Years later, I think I was 13 years old, my brother died in an accident. It was not until a couple of years later when I was maybe 15 or 16 years old that I really understood what had happened. Even I sometimes find it hard to believe that so many years had to pass in order for me to understand that I had been repeatedly raped by my brother; hell, he had to die in order for me to be aware of this. When I finally understood this, I sank into depression, I gained a lot of weight (I have always been overweight and I've had issues with my body all my life but when I became aware of the rape it just got worse) and to this day I have not been able to shed the weight I gained... I pretty much became isolated in my own world. My parents saw that I was going through a rough patch and suggested that I try therapy, so I started a therapeutic process and a few months into the sessions I was able to admit to someone else other than myself that I had suffered from sexual abuse. I though that just by doing that I would be cured from all my anxiety, self- doubt, self-loathing, sadness and anger. I've learned that this is something that I have to live with for the rest of my life and that it requires constant care because if I let it beat me I can spirall down the path of depression once again.
It's funny how people often refer to me as one of the happiest people that they know & that I'm always smiling and it's true, because for the most part I try to forget about this episode of my life, but it's still there, shaping the way I relate to the peoople around me. It has been specially hard for me to have relationships with men. I've been scared of men almost my entire life; I'm scared I'll be raped again, thus it has has caused me to avoid all contact with men and this has led me to not know how to behave around them, even around the ones I like. I'm 25 years old and I've only had one boyfriend. I was 20 years old when I met him and on that day I got drunk in order to feel carefree around him because I felt attracted to him from the beggining. I ended up going home with him at the end of the night and getting exposed to what I feared the most: being taken advantage of. He behaved like a gentelman and soon after we started a relationship that lasted for almost four years. He sensed from the begining that there was something going on with me because I would have a hard time being comfortable with him intimately so I told him all that I had been thorugh and instead of being jugded like I thought I would be, I received nothing but love and support. I think this is what led me to cling to to him as hard as I did: I was scared to ever admitting this to anyone else so I tried to become the best girlfriend I could in order to keep him happy and intrested in me. This caused me to lose myself in the relationship because all I ever did was to please him... eventually my behaviour started taking a toll on me and this combined with cheating on is behalf lead us to break up. It has been around 9 months since our relationship ended and I have not yet been able to get over it. I believe this is mostly beacause I felt betrayed once again by someone I loved. I started going to therapy again soon after the breakup and the rape issue has come into the surface once again. I am certain that I'm on the right track to regain control of my life and my feelings... however, there are days like today when I feel sad and lost... I guess that's why I decided to start tying now... to just get this off my chest and hope someone out there can feel identified with my story.
I have anxiety issues that I think are linked to this experience; this anxiety has led me to develop an unlealthy relationship with food: always searching for comfort, protection, love and acceptance in sweets and for several years now I've been struggling with binge eating disorder which has only recently being diagnosed; this is now a new issue that I need to address in therapy and my day to day life but I feel angry and sad that whenever I feel like I've overcome something, another problem presents itself and it does not let me heal and feel good about myself.
Well... I think that this is all for tonight. I had never sat down to write about me before and I found it really soothing so I'm hoping to keep posting in the future.
Thank you for taking the time to read this long post