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How does thinking about the rape make you feel, and why?


JustSam

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I find it quite difficult to think about it most of the time. If I try to it feels like my minds pulling away from it. My gut reaction to thinking about the rape is to feel trapped, scared, panicked and unsafe, or to feel nothing, numb, disconnected. I went through all these emotions during the assault. I also feel very guilty, especially over certain parts, parts where I feel like I lead him on and let him think that I was OK with what he was doing.
It makes me feel sad for the person who was lost, the person who never I was, who I could have been if this hadn't happened. I'm sad for the girl I was, for all the pain/shame She went through after the rape, blaming herself, hurting herself. I feel defeated, crushed, used. I feel so confused, I wish I understood why he would choose to hurt me like that, what was going through his head. It makes me feel sick inside. I feel betrayed that someone I trusted could do that to me, and betrayed by myself for believing it was my fault so easily, for freezing up, for going along with it rather than face the truth and fight. I feel so guilty, I should have fought, I should have confronted them after. I didn't, I let them get away with it and maybe think they could get away with it again. I feel like I let down every girl in their lives by doing nothing to alert them to the danger. 

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Hi JustSam

This is my first time posting. I feel the same in the way you said you felt like you led them on mine was a first date, and we were going to go out for the day but first he wanted to go to the hotel where he was staying to put his stuff. Then that was it. Straight away he started undressing so quickly like he knew what he was going to do the whole time. I did say no more than once but it wasn't firm. I said 'no later' thinking that might get him to stop. But he was getting undressed so quick and rushing and he wasn't listening like I was invisible. I said no again but i was too scared by this point as I could see what was going to happen and what he might do if I didn't 'cooperate' if you can call laying there frozen staring at the door cooperating. 

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Hi @Foreverflashbacks

Thank you for your comment.

I'm so sorry that you can relate to this. 

Nipping to his hotel to drop off his stuff doesn't sound at all like leading him on. The first no should have been enough to stop what was happening. 

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I just wish I could stop the flash backs. I was 6 years ago and all of a sudden i keep getting the same image of me lying there but I can't remember much else, I want to and it's frustrating me that I can't I don't know why I want to remember I guess to feel like I did happen and I'm not making it up. Maybe it's a good thing I don't though. 

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I could have written every word you wrote, JustSam. I have felt the EXACT same way too many times to count. Word. For. Word. Just know you aren't alone. I grieve for the person I might have been, too. I imagine this confident, cool, happy other me that could have come to be. If I had a nickel for every time I had a self-loathing thought about freezing rather than fighting, I'd be a millionaire many times over. Freezing is the most common response to being raped (just in case you weren't aware) but our society loves the fighters, and even the flight-ers who escape somehow. The freezers... well, no one knows what to make of us, do they?

A while back I posted in AS about this analysis of a poem called The Blue House by Tomas Tranströmer. The poem is about acknowledging the different lives the narrator might have had, and the analysis of the poem concluded that the different paths that life takes us on are almost like sketching the same house from a different angle - you are sketching the same thing, but what you see from different angles are different shades, different shadows, different light, different backgrounds, different assumptions, different realities, different end results on paper. Tranströmer's point is that every life “has a sister ship,” one that follows “quite another route” than the one we ended up taking. We want it to be otherwise, but it cannot be: the people we might have been live a different, phantom life than the people we are. “The sketches,” Tranströmer writes, “all of them, wish to become real.”

Somehow this metaphor of the ghost ship comforts me. I think of it a lot when I'm trying to make big decisions, but also when I try to think about this ghost ship of a life that sailed away on a different path when I was 18 - that life cannot be, no matter how much I wish it could have been. Yes, it was taken from me without my permission, but that does not change the end result that that other sketch of my life could not become real. So the real question that I keep coming back to more recently as I try to move forward from this PTSD, is not actually "what could have been" or "why did this happen?", but who do I intend to be now? The sketches of your real life and your future unlived sister lives are right there before you, only now you get to decide what to do. Only one is the life we’ll be able to have, the others are the ones we won’t have, that cannot be.

And yet, there remains my sister life, the life of the un-raped me... all the other things I could have done and been instead, had the rape not hijacked my life to force it in a certain direction. But those things could not be, that sister Me cannot be. I’ll never know (and neither will you) of the ghost ship that sailed away from me after that trauma. We’ll only know that whatever that sister life was, it was important and beautiful and not theirs to take from us. That life was the ghost ship that didn’t carry us to where we are today. There’s nothing to do but salute it from the shore and try to live the life we do have, warts and all. 

Sorry to get so esoteric!

Edited by StrugglingMama
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I relate to your post so much. I had to hold back the tears because i know EXACTLY what you feel like. I was 12 when it happened. I feel so angry that i let him do that to me. I was just a CHILD. I feel like my innocence is forever lost. I feel like there is a part of me that he took and i will never get it back. My childhood was ripped from me in a mere 20 minutes and it kills me inside to think about it. and the aftermath. hurt even more. hiding it from my mom.. the torment afterwards. the verbal and physical assaults afterwards for months. No one cared. It tore me apart. I just want to scream. i feel so alone right now. I still can't come to terms with what he did. I want him to understand my pain.  I feel like i could have done something different. I feel like he doesn't understand the toll the moment took on my life. I always think "what if, what if".. I feel so weak and vulnerable. I feel like I'm never going to be okay. i just want to be okay. I want to think and talk about it without crying. I want to finally feel like a survivor. But it feel so far out of arms reach.

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