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Old 01-24-2001, 03:47 AM   #1
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Rape

I was raped December 1999 and told no-one. In February I found out I was pregnant, it was here that I completely lost control and just wished I could of vanished. I ended up having an abortion with still no one knowing of what I was going through. It was only after the grief I went through after the termination did I finally tell someone. Although still no family member knew of what I've been throught and I am still trying to everything all on my own.

I sometimes get the feeling that after all this time, things shouldn't be like this for me, that I should be able to let things go, but sometimes things still get to me, I may see a little baby and just burst into tears, unable to explain my feelings to anyone else.

I know that my decision on the abortion was the right one, as I am still too young, especially as a single mother. But I just seem to get this empty feeling inside.

I get so confused that sometimes I don't really know whats happening with me. I have nightmares/flashbacks where I can see everything, feeling everything happening again. I get them any time of the day, but night times are generally the worst.

I was seeing a counselling for a while, but have only just starting see her again. Someone was going to look into group theraphy for me, but unsure if this is happening or not and not really sure if I could go through with it.

As you can see my life hasn't been all that great lately and I alway seem to think that I whinging too much, that no one is really interested.

I'd be happy to hear from anyone who has gone through the same experiences as I have. Some one who can tell me that one day I will be able live with whats happened without feeling so mixed up.

Please help me....<p>[This message has been edited by BWG (edited 01-24-2001).]

 
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Old 01-24-2001, 06:10 AM   #2
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Re: Rape

Although I haven't gone through what you have, I have been through some difficult times. Rest assured that if you get some counseling it will help. Keep searching for they type of counseling that you feel most comfortable with, group or one on one. And keep going even if you don't think it's worth it. Counseling will provide you a safe place to talk about all of your feelings and you will feel less isolated.

You have to remember that you had a traumatic thing happen to you and you are not the only one that it's happened to. Others will share your feelings and it's important to connect with someone who you can talk to about it. It's too heavy a burden to carry by yourself.

Take care and I wish you the best of luck.
-Sook

 
Old 01-24-2001, 08:06 AM   #3
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Re: Rape

Although i have never been through an abortion, i have been though a rape. I know how hard what your going through is- i still have nightmares sometimes and it has been just over 10 years for me (gosh-I hadn't even realized it was that long). I am glad to hear you are in therapy and I believe you should definitely follow through with looking into group therapy or at least finding another person who has been through rape to discuss the issue with (if your interested I am sure we can figure out a way to swap email addresses and email about it). This approach was what helped me move on with life.

the loss of any child is traumatic, whether by choice or otherwise. I am sure you hope for one in the future, mourn the past that wasn't what you thought it would be and will wonder about the what-ifs of what is supposed to be a joyous thing. I sympathize but understand I can't really identify there...I am sure you did what was right for you at the time, try not to beat yourself up about it. My thoughts are with you though.

All I can say is keep up the therapy, surround yourself with healthy people and don't let the past keep you from finding "prince charming". I was so scared when I met my husband I almost dumped him becuase it kicked my nightmares and flashbacks into overdrive. It was hard to work through the feelings even though I knew they were irrational and my hubby could never do things like that. Luckily I did and have a wonderful family now. hang in there.

Steph

 
Old 01-25-2001, 04:39 AM   #4
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Re: Rape

I would like to say thanks to Sookie and Cranlite. You all offered me that little extra support that sometimes I feel I need, but just unable to talk to anyone face to face.

I have alway had difficulties in talking about all my feelings and emotion to someone in person. I started out counselling that way and she was the one that suggested that if I found it easier to write to her I could, but she still wanted to see me regulary. Things between her and I now are ok, we can talk about things more easily. Although sometimes I still tend to write down my feelings address to her, but she never seems to get these little letters.

You all suggested that I continue with my counselling and I am in a way, not as regularly as I guess I should, but I feel like I'm whinging to her about things that I should of already gotten over.

I should try group theraphy and in one way I would like to, but just don't know where to start looking into it all. Someone was going to look into it for me, but like I said, not sure if they are really or not. She said that she would and that she would be willing to go with me for support, but I'm not sure. I would like someone to go with me if I do decide to go through with it, but I feel "why should she have to help me through things?" (we aren't related - we're basically just work mates).

She has been really supportive of all my time of work (due to counselling), but sometimes I wished that I'd never told her. Things are still just so confusing at the moment. I'd glad she does know, because at least I do have someone I can talk to when I get the need.

And thanks Cranlite, I sorry to hear about everything you've been thought. I does help to know that there are others out there that have been through exactly what I have and hear about the different ways they have cope with it all. I would love to be able to swap emails and talk to you some more. Hear about things you've done to get back on track - so to speak.

And Sookie, I promise to continue counselling. I've alway said that there was no way that I was going to allow things to ruin my life like I let it all in the beginning. Sometimes this is easier said than done, but I guess it's the right sort of attitude to have.

I guess things at the moment aren't as bad as what they were in the beginning. Things were really bad. I used to cry every night and at one stage was actually thinking about different ways to end it all. Someday I still do, but I know that I could never go through with it, so don't worry.


Thanks again to you all you have replied so far. Hope to hear from others out there you may or maynot have gone through the same experience. Or even someone who has gone through some other trauma experience.

Bye<p>[This message has been edited by moderator1 (edited 01-29-2001).]

 
Old 01-25-2001, 07:25 AM   #5
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Re: Rape

Hi BWG,

I'm so, so sorry for what happened to you. You mentioned that you are "whining" and still focusing on things that should be past you by now. I've not walked a mile in your shoes, but I feel that it'll be put away in your past when you are READY for it to be. You've been through a horrible experience, and I truly believe it's going to hurt until it stops hurting. Counseling sounds like a good way to go.

I just wanted to make a quick suggestion: Have you tried typing in the keyword "rape survivors" on your computer, and hooking up with an online support group geared specifically for you and others that have gone through this? You can retain anonymity and still grieve with others who have been there. Just a thought.

I hope you are healed soon. Just remember - you have a RIGHT to feel pain over this.

 
Old 01-25-2001, 04:44 PM   #6
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Re: Rape

Glad to see that you're reading all the great posts here. You did mention that you feel that you should be 'over' certain things by now. Honey, let me tell you something that's good to remember. There is no timetable for getting over anything. Of course it's not good to obsess over things, but don't put any pressure on yourself to be over something by a certain time. It will be over when it's over and not one minute sooner.

Time will be a great help also. It's amazing how it can take the sting out of a bad experience because over time you will be meeting people along the way who are wonderful and make you forget that there are bad people out there.

And don't expect getting over it to end with a bang. I had a traumatic experience that I thought I would think about every day. Then one day I thought to myself...'oh yeah, that did happen to me didn't it?' It's as though I had realised that I hadn't thought about it for such a while and then I felt that I had come to terms with it and was able to move on.

In a nutshell...whatever it takes, however long it takes, whoever it takes, these things don't matter. Feel what you have to feel now and do what you have to do now so you won't have to feel and do it later.

Take care and BE GOOD TO YOURSELF!
-Sook

 
Old 01-25-2001, 04:57 PM   #7
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Re: Rape

I was raped and can relate to how you feel. At first I knew I couldn't tell anybody but it just ate me up inside, finally after 2 days I sought help. I found a lady at our local planned parenthood that helped people who had been raped. It was very hard when I first started going, hard to open up. I would write down how I felt and exactly what happened and she would read it. Every night I would write how I was feeling and it really helped. As she would read we would discuss my feelings. After awhile I was able to just open up and talk to her about everything. I would have bad days and goods and that is normal. I had days when I thought I would just never make it and get really depressed. It has been 4 years now since this has happened and I am doing very well. Yeah I still think about what happened now and then but the counseling I got helped me a great deal. Time will help heal your wounds and it just takes time so take it one day at a time. It really does help when you confide in people. Just hang in there and keep going to counseling.

 
Old 01-26-2001, 03:25 AM   #8
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Re: Rape

Thanks again to you all. I'm sorry for responding so quickly, but I guess I really do need someone to talk too or someone to listen. I need to know how others who have been through the same thing has handled things so I'm checking out all the responses regularly.

Thanks to Cranlite for your email address, write to you soon. Thanks.

Thanks to ruddfan. You are right in the part about it being extremely hard to talk about your feelings and thoughts to others. I'm also wondering what they are thinking. What they are thinking about me? Do they think it's my fault? or How do they see me as a person knowing what I've been through and what I am still going through?

I am constantly told that things will take a while, but eventually things will get easier and that I have dealt with everything the way I thought was best at the time.

I was also scared of others for a while and although it has been over a year now, I still tend to find it difficult to get close to another guy. I couldn't even give a guy a simple hug (although I did manage to do this a couple of weeks ago, someone at work was leaving and we had a farewell dinner - although it was really hard and I nearly didn't go through with it, but I just kept telling myself that he isn't like that and that I shouldn't be afraid of him).

One question I would like to ask other who have gone through something like this and has attended group therapy session is "What just actually happen in these session's, What do the people talk about and how has it help you?

As I have said, someone has promised to look into this for me and in one way I would be interested in attending something like this, but I feel that I need to know what goes on in these sorts of sessions before I can feel comfortable in attending one.


Thanks to all those that have responsed so far.

BWG

 
Old 01-27-2001, 08:27 AM   #9
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Re: Rape

I had a few more thoughts... if your nightmares have been really bad try starting a dream journal. I have found that through a dream journal I can tell when I am starting to get really anxious again and I need to take some extra time out and do something special for me or reflect. I started a dream journal about 5 years ago (which I use on and off whenever the nightmares hit in full force) and definitely saw a pattern... most of my dreams (even if they weren't specifically about being raped) were about being attacked physically/verbally or chased. I took the time to write them down and think about them during the day and think about what I could have done differently in the dream to change the outcome. I still have nightmares when I am stressed but I have found that instead of getting cuaght, mutilated or killed in the dreams I almost always fight back and/or get away now. I really think the process of reviewing my dreams helped with that.

Yes it does take alot of time to get over the fear of contact or men in general. It is something that will lessen with time and work. To some degree you will have to force yourself into interaction. Honestly I don't know if it ever goes completely away though. Occasionally I will still freak out and can't be in the missionary position during sex- even though my husband and I have been together for years and he has never hurt me. I just panick- tell him, he lets me up and the panick goes away in a few minutes. It takes alt of trust... You may not believe it now but you will be able to trust again one day.

Steph

 
Old 01-28-2001, 07:14 AM   #10
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Re: Rape

BWG,
I haven't read all of the replies, so forgive me if I repeat, but I thought I'd tell you my story. I was raped in 1983 while serving overseas in the Peace Corp. I'd only been there 6 months when it happened. I flew back to D.C. and decided not to return to my position. I don't remember how long it lasted, but I was in a very deep depression and had really irrational fears. The rapist was in another continent, but I kept seeing him everywhere. I thought I'd NEVER go through a day without having it on my mind every waking minute. I wrote my feelings in a journal and described what I'd like to do to the man. I went to the local rape crisis center and had individual counseling. I never did try group. The counseling was very helpful to me. About a 2 years after the rape, I spent a year volunteering (through a program simliar to Americorps) at a shelter for battered women and rape victims. I had come a long way through the counseling and time passing and I was able to counsel other rape victims. This also helped my own healing process. I even spoke at a public meeting that went along with a "Take back the night" rally. It's been 18 years now and I rarely think of it. Actually that's been the case for many years now. It still comes to mind at times, but I can deal with it. One thing I might mention is that once I wasn't thinking of it much, when the "anniversary" date rolled around I would start getting crazy and not realizing why - until it would finally hit me that the date was coming. I always try to do something special for myself on that date now.

All that to say, the thing that really helped me was counseling with the rape crisis center. I really encourage you to continue with that. There are also toll free telephone numbers to call and talk. It will get better.

As to relationships with men, I did the opposite of most. I wanted CONTROL of the sexual relationship and I had some one-night stands and short term relationships. (I had very little sexual experience before the rape). This was NOT A GOOD IDEA. I had some real scares with disease. Dealing with your feelings about other relationships is something you can talk through in counseling.

I did not have to deal with the pregnancy/abortion issue. My heart goes out to you. I think some of the other posts have given you some good suggestions.

Hope this helps. Melody <p>[This message has been edited by melody (edited 01-28-2001).]

 
Old 01-29-2001, 04:35 AM   #11
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Re: Rape

Thanks to everyone who has replied so far. I truely never expected such support from total stranger. Although for me to talk to you all seems easier then talking to my own family and friends.

I have written a journal, I started one after I had the termination. It was really only after that when I started to fall down emotionally. I honestly thought that if I pretended that it never even happened then I could just get on with my life like it never did (how wrong can one person be?).

Sometimes I read my journals and I can get to see the difference in how I was to how I am now. Sometimes just reading through what I did write back in the beginning I start to cry, but I haven't allowed anyone to read these as yet. I have written out some letter to a couple of people (a work friend and my counsellor) telling them how I feel, because at time I just can't seem to get the words out without cracking up.

I was a little unsure about writing on this board to start with, but I figure what the heck, what else did I have to lose.

I'm surprise at how many other have had to go through the same experience as I have, and I relate to alot of the thing you all have talked about myself.

It been good for my and I wish to thank you all, especially those that supplied email address, I will send a reply (via email) to you all, just give me a little time.

Thanks again

BWG

 
Old 03-21-2001, 01:59 PM   #12
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Re: Rape

I have been through some similiar things as you..except the rape was repeatedly happening by a long time boyfriend who didn't think "not tonight" was the right answer. He was a violent drunk who wanted it whenever he wanted it sight unseen. I ended up in a few other relationships like that after and as a result had a nervous breakdown and ended up in therapy for 3 years.

Also, I had an abortion when I was 17. I got pregnant the second time I ever had sex. My parents forced me to have the abortion threatening me. They literally took me by the hand their.

It was traumatic to say the least. I felt guilt, rage, pain, deep sadness and I felt dirty. I sympathize with you greatly. Get counseling, but for peace of mind also know you are not alone. I am now a lot older and a Mom to an 8.5 year old and I wouldn't give her up for all the tea in China!

 
Old 04-01-2001, 09:08 PM   #13
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Re: Rape

Thanks to you all that have only just replied, Zak, Lonelygirl and Smile4. I'm glad after all this time people are still responding to my post. I am finding things easier, although there are days that I still find difficult. Especially during early March the day of my abortion. I was a totally mess, all I can feel, see and smell were the same things I felt that day last year. It was really hard, but I got there and now I've just gone on a holiday and felt that during that holiday I was able to forget everything I've been though and enjoy life a little more. I'm back now and sometimes I find myself thinking of it all again, but I can honestly say things are half as bad as they once where.

I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to respond to my post and given me there stories and the understanding of everything I've been feeling during this whole time. I just hope oneday I will be able to do the same for someone else.

Thanks you all

 
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