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Author Topic: I'm a Survivor, Not a Victim: Coping with Rape  (Read 13353 times)

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Offline Gman001

Re: I'm a Survivor, Not a Victim: Coping with Rape
« Reply #100 on: October 02, 2015, 10:19:19 PM »
And a big thank you for the bravery and honesty in posting this.

Offline Kouen

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Re: I'm a Survivor, Not a Victim: Coping with Rape
« Reply #101 on: January 04, 2016, 06:57:56 AM »
Dear Zillah,


While awaiting to be approved and being up at an ungodly hour, I decided to peruse the parts of the site I am allowed and stumbled across the blogs. Blogs are always fascinating to me because I wishI was capable of actually making use of them. But there is a part of me that frets that I'll only seem like I'm fishing for attention or that what I put out will be used against me later.

I digress.

Like many who have read your blog, it seems a tragedy makes kindred souls of us all. In reading the frustrations and fears that you've laid out for us, along with seemingly the rest of your soul there are things that you mention that brought a chuckle or two from me. Not a 'oh this stuff is comedy gold' kind of laugh but more of a 'wow..heard that before'.

I think the first was the boyfriend who, in his own twisted sort of way, tried to help by asking "When are you ever going to be over it?" And your reaction echoed my own similar reaction when a friend asked me something similar long ago.

A few years ago while waiting for a bus, a woman struck up a conversation with me. Funny how sometimes life puts the right people in our path to teach us a lesson...
Her son had been arrested and she was on her way to go see him. She was the only one who would even bother and as she continued to talk at length, (believe me ..it was lengthy.) I discovered my initial hunch about him was right when she let slip how long he'd be in prison. Her son was a rapist.

But the comment that slipped from her mouth as she was bemoaning the fact that her son would never again be free while she was alive at first made me want to scream and shout. "It's not like he killed anyone.."

My first reaction was to tell her in so many colorful and descriptive words that yes. Yes he had killed someone. He killed the person his victims had once been. He didn't just violate their bodies, but with that vile act he cut away something very precious about them and no matter how much time goes on...will never, ever get back. All the counseling, all the therapy and all the self-help books in the world can never, ever bring back what once was.

But as I prepared to tell her how wrong she was, I realized that as the mother of a rapist, maybe she of all people aside from those who had been raped themselves, could understand the shame I carried within me. Shame I still carry to this day. Because she refused to abandon her son and denounce him like the rest of his family had she had become a pariah. The lines on her face told a story that her still-flapping lips did not. More to the point, why she would opt to blurt something like what her son had done to a complete stranger made me see how truly lonely she must have felt. However disgusting and heinous her son might seem to me, for a brief moment I came to see that tragedy had made this woman and I closer than I'd felt to anyone in a long time.

I won't say I know how you feel because I don't. You mentioned how countdowns make you cringe...I can't stand to hear 'Happy Birthday' being sung to me and hated having to explain that to certain people I was once friends to. Seeing their empty expressions while they tried to wrap their head around why even years later, hearing that song sung to me made me incredibly uneasy.

To echo the sentiment that many hear have said, you are brave. I can imagine on some days it doesn't feel that way. Some days are harder than others. And while we can never gain back what was stolen from us, the single greatest revenge we can serve to those who harmed us is to never let them take away any more of who you are. And also to never be silent. I applaud you from my corner of the world for you speaking out and continuing to live when giving up is far more tempting sometimes.

Offline ZillahTopic starter

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Re: I'm a Survivor, Not a Victim: Coping with Rape
« Reply #102 on: January 05, 2016, 06:57:05 PM »
Thank you. Knowing that some people find some good in this blog makes it worth writing. And sharing.

I don't think I'm particularly brave. It's a struggle. Some days are better than others.

Offline Kouen

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Re: I'm a Survivor, Not a Victim: Coping with Rape
« Reply #103 on: January 05, 2016, 10:20:25 PM »
Thank you. Knowing that some people find some good in this blog makes it worth writing. And sharing.

I don't think I'm particularly brave. It's a struggle. Some days are better than others.


I can definitely relate to the some days being better than others. That you've created a small corner for people to share and connect makes you a very beautiful person.

And you don't have to think of yourself as brave, I'm sure there are plenty of others beside myself who will assure you that you are. Courage without arrogance is a wonderful thing and speaks volumes of how truly spectacular you are.

Offline Mintprincess

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Re: I'm a Survivor, Not a Victim: Coping with Rape
« Reply #104 on: January 05, 2016, 10:30:16 PM »
Your story is way worse than mine and I'm so sorry to hear that happened to you. I can't imagine at all.   For mine it was coehersive rape. I didn't even think of it as that until I told my story to a therapist a year later, a story that I've mostly blocked at this point.  I was 19.  And I went out with this guy a few times.  I would say my self esteem and confident nature wasn't quite as strong back then, at least underneath the surface.  This particular night, he rode me back to his dorm on his motorcycle, which I hated, cuz I can't stand those things.  And we were making out his bed. I remember he tried to take off my shirt and I told him no.  I remember I did this numerous times.  Said no.  Yet, he kept, trying, like no didn't really mean no, it meant try harder.  And being less strong, at a point in each 'step', my no's got weaker.   All the way.  I didn't want it.  I didn't enjoy it.  It was like, I didn't really have a voice or wasn't being listened to.

The next day he told me, it was fun but yeah, he was done, didn't want to see me anymore, something like that. 

As girls do, I blamed myself for not 'being stronger' and 'not walking away' or 'not say NO more forcefully.'

But in the end, the first no, should have been the only no I ever had to say.

I don't feel scarred.  More, I suppose since at the time I blamed myself, I also told myself I would never let someone use me like that again.  It might have been something that pushed me to be stronger.

But that doesn't mean that guys don't do that to girl every day, breaking them down their will until they feel guilty for saying no.  And that not everyone can walk away and not feel something awful inside.   And I would wager that many of these experiences don't ever get reported, and that 1 out of 4 number might be much higher than we realize.

Just remember, you didn't do anything wrong. He was the horrible person that used his size and strength to force you to do something you clearly said no to.  He is the broken person.  You are the butterfly.

*hugs*

Offline ZillahTopic starter

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Re: I'm a Survivor, Not a Victim: Coping with Rape
« Reply #105 on: January 06, 2016, 07:50:50 AM »
The question I've truly grown to hate when it comes to rape is this:

"Why didn't you go to the police?"

(Or, as it tends more to be phrased, if you were really raped, why didn't you press charges?)

Because it's not always that simple. That's why.

Not all rapists are anonymous strangers lurking in the shadows. Most people know their rapists. Many love them. Some have children with them. And it's a traumatic experience to begin with. So when your rapist might be someone you know and trust - and love - it's even more traumatic and confusing.

You tell yourself you weren't raped.

You tell yourself there's no way the person who raped you could've ever done something like that.

You find yourself wondering what you did wrong.

You find yourself thinking that maybe you're overreacting. Or what you think just happened didn't really happen, not the way you think you did.

You doubt yourself. You hate yourself.

You just want to pretend it never happened.

You don't think anyone would believe you anyway.

If you feel any of these things ... it's why you wouldn't go to the police. It's complicated.

Eight years ago, I dated a guy for awhile. Charming, funny. My family liked him a lot. I loved him. We had a lot of fun together.

But there were times I'd come home to the apartment we shared, and he'd want to have sex, and I'd usually say yes ... but sometimes no. I was working nights, and sometimes I was just tired. Or not feeling right. And I just wanted to sleep.

Saying no at first got a sigh, but sympathy. That later evolved into a glare, which got progressively nastier over the next few months.

And then, one day, I said no, I just wanted to take a nap, but maybe when he got home from work later that day ... and I got a hard slap in the face. That became a regular response to no. Which was better than what came later on for no, which was either a punch in the stomach or a kick to the back. One of the kicks left me pissing blood for a few days.

But slap or punch or kick, I'd then get grabbed by my hair or my wrist, and either dragged to the bedroom or shoved on the floor. He'd pull most of my clothes off. I learned to let him. There were more punches otherwise.

And then he'd do what he wanted. He usually didn't say anything. If he did, it was to call me a selfish bitch. And that I didn't understand. And he'd make me understand. Towards the end of all this, he'd put his hand around my throat and squeeze until I passed out. Again, I learned to let him. Punches.

When he was finished, he'd get up and leave the apartment for awhile. I don't know where he went or how long he was gone. I'd stare at the wall or the ceiling, feeling totally numb. When he came back, he'd sit or lie down next to me and stroke my hair, and tell me that he loved me, and that I loved him, right?

I'd smile and nod and say yes and still feel numb and empty inside. Sometimes we'd have sex after that as well.

We were together for two years. This happened a few times a month during the last year we dated.

He left me. I didn't leave him. And when he left me, I was devastated. I was in love with him.

And it's only been over the last year or so that I've processed the fact that he raped me.

As I've said, it's complicated.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2016, 07:54:14 AM by Zillah »

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Re: I'm a Survivor, Not a Victim: Coping with Rape
« Reply #106 on: January 06, 2016, 08:28:20 AM »
Sits down and thinks.

It's hard. Sometimes it's beyond hard but one goes on because one has to. To do less, be less, is to let them ~ALL of THEM~ win. Hell with that.

Sexual Molestation. Not even a pre-teen but it was my fault because I'd developed and that meant I'd wanted it, right? "Old enough to bleed, old enough breed." Yeah? Yeah. I only told when he tried to mess with a different family member, after taking it and hiding it and carrying the scars for TWO years. I wanted to die. That was the first time I attempted suicide. Ten years old and I wanted to be on any other plane of existence but this one.

They don't tell you about the guilt that you feel for telling.

The fact that you are complicit and no matter how young you are, you KNOW it.

You let it happen...at 8 and 9 and 10...they don't tell you about the unreasoning jealousy because your RAPIST is looking at a new little thing to touch and it's your sister, your brother, your cousin...

Eighteen? Raped by my boyfriend at the time and his best friend. I was drunk enough to spew vomit EVERYWHERE. Ended up with alcohol poisoning and a lovely case of the Clap from one of them. Rape. The gift that keeps on giving. It was THEN that I decided Victim MUST be written somewhere on my body because it JUST kept happening.

The last time. 24. A female. Nice, right? You think that just because there is no penis it isn't rape? It's rape. If I say no and you persist? It's rape. If I fight you off? It's rape. If I have to whip your ass and then you try and call the law on me for defending myself, for having enough of this shit, for being tired of being everyone's little sex toy? That is rape again because you made ME the bad guy.

It took YEARS of therapy and I still snap at the slightest things. I still have unreasoning rage, I still stop moving completely if someone touches me on the back of my neck or breathes into my ear. I can not STAND soft touches. I do not allow random hugs. No cheek kisses. No touches unless I have bonded with the person offering. I trust No-One. I doubt I ever will again.

And I am fine with that.

Except, not really.

But I am here, still. And I am breathing. And I will be here until the gods decree that it is time for me to go.

Offline AmberStarfire

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Re: I'm a Survivor, Not a Victim: Coping with Rape
« Reply #107 on: January 07, 2016, 08:19:09 PM »
A woman tried it on me when I was very young. I was about 11, she was 15 or 16. We were friends and she lived across the road from me. We normally spent time together, and on this day I was told she was under my neighbour's house (which was built in like a flat downstairs). It was twin male friends of ours that lived there but they weren't home.

There was no one else around and she locked me in. I don't remember a whole lot of details except her sitting in a rocking chair, exposing herself to me. She wanted me to touch her and I told her no.

I had these earrings, like small silver hoops (known as sleepers in Australia) and had lots of little rainbow coloured rings on them that I'd put on them. I was uncomfortable with taking earrings in and out so left them the way they were most of the time. I remember her grabbing me, dragging me into the bathroom and pulling the rings off my earrings. She told me they made me look like a slut and flushed them down the toilet.

I don't remember too much else except I got out of there. She told me if I ever told anybody, she'd bash my face in. I never trusted her again after that and now when I think about it, I don't know that she wouldn't have tried to hurt me.

I became very shy about anything woman or sex related, and got very uncomfortable when certain topics were brought up. I think it started there but I feel most comfortable around male friends in RL, and I've always had a little bit of discomfort around other women, even though my best friend was female. I feel attraction too but I find men easier to be around, and I really think this is a lingering effect of what happened.

Offline AmberStarfire

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Re: I'm a Survivor, Not a Victim: Coping with Rape
« Reply #108 on: January 07, 2016, 08:37:58 PM »
I can't see how to edit my post on here (if I can), so I'll just add that I think those of you who have been through so much are strong, brave survivors.

Offline Mintprincess

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Re: I'm a Survivor, Not a Victim: Coping with Rape
« Reply #109 on: January 07, 2016, 11:30:56 PM »
I don't see an edit Amber, but I also want to say the same, that every person who has ever experience a situation like these is brave.  Period.

I admit I really try not to dwell on these things, but deep down I know as my daughter is getting older and older, there is that fear of all those things that could happen you know?

Offline AmberStarfire

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Re: I'm a Survivor, Not a Victim: Coping with Rape
« Reply #110 on: January 08, 2016, 09:30:20 AM »
I understand what you mean. A martial arts class might be helpful if she has problems with anyone someday?