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If rape is a form of theft, what did it steal?


JustSam

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Rape stole the close relationships I had. The shame/ need to keep my secret led me to push people away so they wouldn't see. It stole my sense of safety and trust in people. It stole what should have been fun happy memories with friends, replacing them with memories of feeling triggered, upset and unsafe. Rape stole my concentration and hence my school and collage grades. It took my sense of self worth, then compounded this with the feelings that I'd let people down/people had less respect for me, e.g. my Mum for "not focusing on my exams", My best friend because I asked about the morning after pill again. It stole the person that I thought I was, the person I thought I would be. Rape stole my trust in myself.

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Hello,

I relate to your post also, thank you for sharing it with us.  "Rape stole my trust in myself." I think this is the hardest for me. To not feel safe within my own decisions is the hardest part.  It leaves me frozen, unable to decide things because I must've made the wrong choices before.  I have to still work on rebuilding my own trust, with time..we can do it. 

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It's so timely, because I just wrote this crazy email to my T yesterday, in a much less eloquent way than you put it:

I really struggle with trusting my intuition or feeling confident in my perception of things, I think largely because of my inability to see danger coming when I was 18 and a new college student. I just don't trust myself and I look to you or E or my boss or or my mom or whoever to confirm that what I'm thinking or feeling is appropriate, and if it isn't, I attempt to self-correct. I hate that I still feel like I am a poor judge of character - it makes me question everything and doubt myself constantly about whether what I'm seeing/feeling is real. So I have this push/pull tension about seeing you, because it makes me needy for your insights, and then I don't have to rely on myself as much to figure things out, and then I feel weak and unsure of myself and it's a cycle of insecurity. The truth is that I have been shell-shocked ever since you told me something along the lines of "I'm not sure he wouldn't have raped you some other time, even if it hadn't happened that night. There was nothing you could have done to prevent it." I rattle those sentences around in my brain ALL THE TIME, every day, many times per day. I turn it over and over in my head like I'm kneading a foam stress ball. It had never, ever EVER occurred to me to think of things that way, and it's unsettling, especially because the more I think about it, the more I think you are correct. Once I met him, and once he got fixated on me, it was probably inevitable. I'm sure it seems basic and self-evident to you, and here I am 20 years after the fact not even able to see things rationally without you pointing out what increasingly feels like the obvious. Anyway, I feel no relief whatsoever. I feel more shame when I accept I couldn't have controlled what happened, which feels upside down. Nothing makes sense or makes me feel the way I want it to. I'm losing faith, and starting to think that healing from sexual assault isn't really a thing, it's like striving for perfection and impossibly out of reach. That anyone who feels healed just is lying to themselves because society wants reassurance that healing is something worth striving towards, but it seems impossible. Working on healing doesn't lead to healing, it just stirs stuff up and keeps it fresh. Can you have PTSD from experiencing PTSD? Like PTSD2... I feel terrorized by the fear of PTSD symptoms rising up again. I'm really sick of myself and sick of thinking about myself and sick of the having the same thoughts for years and years and years, sick of feeling self-absorbed and yearning for normalcy and whining about my problems.   I'm tired of trying and being stuck in the mindset of an 18 year old when it comes to basic stuff like sex and intimacy and trust and self-confidence. 

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@StrugglingMama that was very eloquently put.  

I totally understand feeling like a poor judge of character and doubting yourself. It only dawned on me recently how much I hate, and therefor avoid, making decisions. I think maybe the big decisions I've had to make in my life in the few months leading up to my (whatever you'd call it) depressive/anxious phase may have been my trigger, or at least a contributing factor. I understand feeling sick of yourself too, I get like that all the time ("yea, we get it Sam, shut the fu*k up already). My counsellor told me I'm too harsh on myself, I think that go's for a lot of us, please try to be kind to yourself, I know it's hard. :console:

Im not surprised that your therapists insight: "I'm not sure he wouldn't have raped you some other time, even if it hadn't happened that night. There was nothing you could have done to prevent it." was a shock to you. This could easily have applied to me and I have never Ever consideres it either.

I do believe that healing is possible, don't give up hope. I do think that personally I need to reevaluate what healing means though. I will never be the person I was, I wouldn't even remember how. I will never be the person I thought I was going to be, nothing Ever go's to plan, that's life. I need to learn to get to know, and make the most of, the person I am. Warts and all. Which includes identifying and finding better coping mechanisms for my issues. Which can seem like a mammoth task but when taken one step at a time no mountain is insurmountable. (I'm in a strangely positive mood today) 

I hope you're feeling a bit better :console:Did your therapist reply to your email?

Edited by JustSam
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Wow, I haven't logged in here for a while but to see this post has just given me a huge bit of reassurance that I needed. I have often said he took something from me that night (those nights) but I couldn't explain it all, I often say I don't trust people but it's definitely my ability to judge I don't trust, I have also lost many friends, my degree and opportunities 😞💜

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