Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Dating/Intimacy After Rape

"The only normal people are the ones you don't know very well!" Joe Ancis

Most of the time, I feel like I should "be over it" by now. Like my rape happened so long ago that it should be in the past and it should still not effect me in the ways it sometimes still does, especially when I feel my heart beginning to care about someone.

I went out of town this last weekend for my best friend's bachelorette party (think it's going to take me another day or two to fully recover!) I met someone on this trip my first night there. Jeremy. It was fun for us to flirt with his crew and party the night away. But when I was ready to finish the night with the rest of my girls, he wouldn't let me go. Literally. I kept saying it was fun to hang with him but I was ready to take off with the rest, that our weekend was just beginning. But everytime I turned to walk away, he would grab my arms and not let go. He wanted a kiss, so I quickly pecked one on his cheeck and when I turned around again, he grabbed my arm and pulled me back in. I didn't let him kiss me. I was starting to get really uncomfortable with how tight his grip was on me, and how he just would not let me leave. I kept watching my girls walk away and I didn't want to be stranded, especially with a random guy who thought I owed him something. What was really getting under my skin was how he kept saying, "Why are you being weird? I just want to spend more time with you. I don't know why you keep acting like that. You're being really weird and I don't know why."

I wasn't acting like anything. I was drunk, but not so drunk that I was going to ditch my best friends for this character. He kept getting more forceful. His grip on my arms kept getting tighter and tighter each time I tried to walk away. I was starting to get antsy, and pissed. I didn't owe this fucker anything. And HE was getting irritated with me, asking me over and over why I was "being weird" with him. When I finally walked away, I had red marks on each arm where he held tight. I just wanted to be with my friends again.

This is how it is for me since my rape. What may be "weird" for the "normal guy" is my normal now. I can't help it if I start to panic a little or if I need to just run away. I can't help it if I start "acting weird" because the truth of the matter is, you never really know who you can trust anymore.

I know I can get paranoid and scared. I know that in order to just preserve my sanity, I'd rather turn around and walk away forever. It's much easier than facing the truth. It's much easier to just close your eyes and pretend like you don't want to be someone, like you don't care about being alone when, in reality, you're acting like you don't care because then you can't get hurt. Anything to keep your heart from hurting anymore than she has to, especially because you're just now learning how to accept and process something as confusing and painful as your rape.

Dating is even more difficult for me because my rapist was first experience with a man. Because a majority of my experiences with men since early childhood have been unsafe and fearful, my mind, body & heart have all learned to "stay away" from men altogether. I'm trying to change that, but old habits die hard. It just takes time. And more that I have to remember to take it one step at a time, I have to remember to just be patient with my heart. If something doesn't feel comfortable or right for some reason, I need to pay attention to that. I can't just keep turning around and walking away because then I WILL be alone forever. And who wants that?

My greatest struggle with dating is communicating when something confuses me or makes me uncomfortable. Instead of openly asking questions or sharing why something bothers me, I assume he should just be able to read my mind and understand without needed a long, drawn-out discussion. And I hate The Talks every relationship needs to have in order to successfully and continuously progress in the same direction. The way I see it, if it's meant to be, it'll just happen... he'll just know what do and make it work.

But I'm realizing this is not the case. The truth is this is the only way I'll know when someone is right for me... when I'm comfortable enough to say what I'm feeling, or not feeling, for that matter. For some reason or another, of all the men I've dated or "liked," not one has given my heart what she needs in order to relax and let go. I don't say this to mean only a man can help my heart let go... I say this to mean that my heart just isn't ready to open up yet. And for all I know, I could have already met plenty of men who do care enough about me to make it work, but if I'm not really "present" in the relationship, then there isn't really much to work with, right?

Maybe I'm finally reaching a point where I'd like to at least explore another relationship. I feel like I need practice. Like I need to be with somone who is just willing to go through the motions of learning what a relationship is all about, and someone willing enough to help me learn when I'm struggling with what to do next.

I understand I'm not a "normal girl" with "normal issues" because of many things I've experienced in my tired little 27 years of life, but I also understand that... well... how many of us are really all that normal anyway? And what does that even mean?! You are only as normal as you feel, and if I don't feel 100%, then eventually it's going to show, and it's going to slither its way into other areas of my life without me even recognizing it... until it's too late. I can't keep my heart cold, hard and locked away forever.


On a side note: I had my first counseling appointment last week to pursue confronting my rapist. I need help wrapping my head around my motivation behind needing to see him. And before I even do that, I have to look at this confrontation from every angle. I don't know how I will react when I see him standing in front of me, or how he will react when he sees my face. Maybe more than I need to see him, I need him to see ME... this possibility surfaced in my session, and I haven't been able to get it out of my head since then...

71 Comments:

Anonymous Somegirl said...

I didn't really understand it but i'm really sorry for you

9/05/2006 11:29 PM  
Blogger The Missing Link said...

I'm not sure what's really so hard to understand... I was raped and thinking about confronting my rapist. The End.

9/06/2006 7:55 PM  
Blogger Breeya said...

"Most of the time, I feel like I should "be over it" by now. Like my rape happened so long ago that it should be in the past and it should still not effect me in the ways it sometimes still does, especially when I feel my heart beginning to care about someone."

I feel as if you beat yourself down over this, the fact that you think you should be over it already. As if there was something worng because it is not that way.

I am unsure about saying this, I wouldn´t want my words to cause moer if a problem, so please question everyhting I say. This is just a feeling I have, and it is probably extrapolated from my own experinces.
I have the impression that you pt all your problems down to your rape, and reading your blog I see that yuo have actually gone through a lot in life.
You mention things about your family, your father´s fists. The friend you lost, and now your gandmother.
I think loosing a close relative is particularly hard and ground shaking for survivors. it is hard for everyone, but we do not get that close to that many people, and actually the loss feels as a punishment, for something that is wrong with us. (I know I did feel that way for a logn time)

All this things affect your ercovery so much, they are enough to cause a lot of the feelings you have.
So I think you are doing wel given the circunstances.
There is no time by which you should be over it.
If anything shouldn´t be the way it is, is the fact that you were raped.

You are going through something ery hard, you have been for a long time, I am guessing even before the rape, so be easy on yourself.

I am going to stop here now.
I am worried I might be... that maybe I shouldn´t say this things, so please let me know if you rather me not doing so.
I will try to be supportive in a different way.

Take good care of you.

9/08/2006 9:14 AM  
Blogger The Missing Link said...

Breeya, you are totally fine in saying what you feel, and I appreciate every word from the bottom of my heart. I'm just grateful that others are reading and caring at all, to be honest. You are right, though, in believing that I do kind of ultimately mount everything on my rape. I don't why this happens, esp. since life was so fucked up long before I was raped. But like my aunt told me a while ago, and I mentioned in a post some time ago, too... it's that I already had this negative outlook about men and certain things in life because of everything I had been through thus far... and then I was raped. "It was like your rape was the exclamation mark of everything else you already felt about the world," she told me.

You defin. did not cross any boundaries or lines at all... please continue to share because I agree with everything you are saying. I just need help understanding why I think and feel this way, especially because I really, truly, wholeheartedly am doing EVERYTHING in my power to heal from this, and live a healthy life post-rape.

Things just blurry when you're in the middle of it, you know?? I need help clearing the muck. It's my readers, my friends, like you, that help me get there. We're all in this together :)

9/09/2006 12:03 AM  
Blogger Breeya said...

It has taken me a bit to carry on with this "conversation", sorry.

Although you say that it isok for me to say what i feel and think, i am still very unsure about it. I don´t know why, I guess I am worried that it can do more wrong than right.
But... here I go anyway. Just be very critic of everyhting I say.

I think maybe expanding your effors to heal to everyhting that has happened to you besides the rape, before and after would help you healing.

Maybe the rape was a strong reafirmation of many things that you already felt before. But the rape is a easy to pin down, concrete, objective wrong. Maybe other things that had happened and that have affected you are not so clear.
I am not sure I am making much sense, I wish I was half as good with words as you are.

I will try to illustrate this using examples. It took me a long long time to realise what was going on with my father, actually I think it wasn´t until he tried to move into intercourse that it started to become clear to me. And even then it just started and still doubted that he was wrong, maybe I was provoking the situation somehow.

What I am trying to say, is that if someone else have done things to me againts my will as he was doing it would have been clear to me that it was wrong, that that person was doing worng to me, hurting me.
Even now my feelings about many things are confusing. I was growing up, and I was forming myself and that was a part of the world and life to me as much as anything else. Even if it felt bad. I couldn´t make the realtion between my feelings and what was happening. Even nowadays is hard sometimes to make the conexion.

I have seen similar things in friends who have not been molested or sexualy abuse but physically abused. The realisation that the physical punishment they were subjected to was in fact abusive was the first struggle. But even after this they would still not consider as part of the abuse things that were for an outsider obviously abusive. I guess that implies taht when you start dealing with it, you leave all this things out, when in fact have a lot to do with the way you feel.

Is as if youy were suffering from an illness that present cover or mild symptons for a long time, and then at a particular time yuo get another illnes, on top of the other one, that presents the same symptons though they are more accute. Then you start treatment for the second one, and you get a bit better, but never get really well. The unspotted ilnes is there, it has debilitated your system, and it is still not being directly targetted by the treatment.

I hope this makes some sense.

I am saying all this as something to think about, as an idea to explore, not as a fact.
I don´t REALLY know what goes on inside you and why, I can relate to so many of the things you describe so well, but I realise that i am internalising those things into my experinces.

Hope you are doing ok.

9/14/2006 5:20 AM  
Blogger Breeya said...

Sorry for the bad typing.

9/14/2006 5:24 AM  
Blogger baby221 said...

I don't know whether this will help -- but even a "normal" person would have every right to be freaked out by someone who refused to allow her to leave. Especially with the grabbing-of-the-arms bit; that's just over-the-top, in-my-space WRONG.

9/17/2006 6:20 PM  
Blogger SFSweetness said...

First of all, the guy in this post sounds like a drunken asshole. He wasn't respecting your boundaries at all. He could have just as easily said, "I would like to get to know you better - can I have your phone number or email?" instead of pressuring you to do something you were uncomfortable with.

Second, I identify with what you are saying about feeling like you should be over it. I broke up with a boyfriend two years ago. A year later, I got a call from the police saying he was being investigated for taking sexual videos of women without their knowledge. I was one of them. He did it to many women but there wasn't enough evidence to go to trial. There are things about the situation that remind me of getting "date" raped in high school by someone I knew. High school was 20 years ago!

I tell you this because I understand how it feels to wish it were over and to think that it's not THAT bad and always questioning how come I'm not over it yet. I also have friends who say things similar to Breeya; I'm doing well under the circumstances and that I am the one who had something done to me. That doesn't make me the bad guy and I don't have to keep blaming myself for being with a loser...whatever.

The truth is that what happened to you was awful. What happened to me was awful. And it takes time and therapy and good friends and family to get over it. I totally get where you are coming from.

Now I am trying to let myself feel the pain fully in hopes that this will help me to move on from this experience. And in feeling the pain, I seem to be feeling bouts of huge relief and happiness and feel like I'm started to be released.

Anyway, that's it.

9/18/2006 7:24 PM  
Blogger Redpiper said...

It is hard to confront a rapist...be strong, keep talking about it! You're not alone in this fight!

9/26/2006 7:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bless you. Know that you are not going crazy. Know that you deserve someone who will be patient and not push you. The reall people in the world...who open their hearts are hard to find. I was raped this August. I feel like I am going crazy...my counselor says that really crazy people often don't know they are crazy. I hope for hope for you. I hope for a softened view of the world for me and you. I feel sad and alone too...even in the midst of friends. Let's believe. Let's visualize our lives better. I want things to be better for you and all women who suffer. We do not ask for these injustices and we must scream at the top of our lungs that the occur and that they cannot continue. All my heart - C

11/04/2006 3:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand. I used to be so happy, dated all the time, was fun 2 b with. I got out of an abusive marriage, found myself in "high demand" and dated many guys just for fun. It ended with one I dated for 2 months, New Year's Eve he raped me, I blamed myself at 48 years old, I should have known better like my marriage, I should have been in control, I shouldn't have trusted him...now, I'm 50, I am NOT THE SAME PERSON nor will I ever be again. I just don't feel the same or see men the same after the rape. It is hard for me to even be around men. I don't want them getting to close to me. I do understand. I hope I will not always feel this way, what a horrible way to live my life...

11/20/2006 5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG - what you just said is exactly how I feel and what I was thinking just today.

I recently went on a nite out, and met the most amazing guy, for some reason I told him my dark secret about being raped,and he was just so understanding and just held me....it was perfect.

But then Im kept on getting jumpy when his hands were roaming a bit too far, and he told me to stop getting paranoid and he wouldnt do anything.....I just wanted to blurt out "I cant help it, my body remembers!!!"

You just managed to write out everything I feel at the moment...

I really hope it all works out for you though, think we deserve a chance in life to lead that "normal" life where we can go out with guys again without having to always be on guard.

5/14/2007 11:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i just found this...i was looking for help for my daughter, she's 17 and was raped 8months ago...it's been hard, really hard...she's started to try seeing people agian and is see a nice young man...he knows about it and has told her 'take a week take a year' that he will wait and they can go at whatever pace is good for her...he's known her since she was 13....what you've written is very much like she says...i wish i had a magic wand and could take the pain, the fear away...i just keep looking for answers

8/31/2007 12:42 PM  
Blogger Brit said...

I read this a year ago but it didn't really sink in. I thought I was ready, but many broken relationships later I realize that I've just been using men to keep myself from thinking about what happened. This post seems more true every time I come back to it. Hopefully one day I won't have panic attacks before dates. Until then, it helps to know that I'm not alone.

9/07/2007 6:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a man who is dating someon who had a bad experience in her past. In her case it was a family member and happened more than once. I care very much about this person but wonder if it will have an effect on physical contact between us. Your comments were very helpful when you talked about if you care enough about someone you will tell them what is comfortable and what is not. While not all situations are the same I will keep this in mind as we move forward and not take things personally. I really think you are helping people by talking about your experience. It is a brave thing to do.

11/12/2007 1:56 PM  
Anonymous more empowered everyday said...

I found this searching for discussions that would help my boyfriend better understand who he is choosing to love and what he has gotten himself into.
My sexual abuse occurred over 20 years ago and I'm sad to say after many years of good therapy and many well-read books it still affects me. Of course less so and I am now able to have an intimate relationship in ways I never was before; but the bottom line is there is no cure and sometimes your body still remembers (and it's usually at the most inopportune times). My biggest challenge has been not to turn the anger and terror inward towards myself in those moments of fear. The biggest necessity to recovery is learning (especially exactly in those moments) to be kind and patient towards myself. For if I don't, noone else will, and the pattern just continues....

12/02/2007 6:01 PM  
Blogger emerald_agony said...

I don't think I will ever get over it. Things will improve. I won't always be this upset. But, it's never going away. People are always quick to tell me that I should move past it. They don't have a clue what they are talking about. Instead, they spit out the typical cliche responses. I'm glad they love me enough to try.
In the meantime, I see him every time I try to sleep. I watch all the passing cars to look for his. Every time I go past a parking lot, I check for his car. People think I should get over it. Unfortunately, once you have experienced such terror, life is changed forever. It sucks, but I think it true. Once again, I emphasize that it will get better for us. This will not always effect me so much. It won't always hurt this much. But, I think that, realistically, that for the rest of my life, he will find a time to sneak into my dreams.
Anybody who says you should be over it is completely full of shit.

3/08/2008 2:00 AM  
Anonymous Thankful said...

Thank you. I couldn't have stumbled across this at a better time. We have a disturbing amount in common, from what I've read. It's sad, because I wouldn't wish it on anybody, but at the same time - it's such a relief to read that someone else has been struggling with the same things.

My therapy attempt was unsuccessful, and I saw him the other day. I ran. /sigh Taking that away, dealing with it, sounds smart. I hope you continue to work through things.

Thank you, reading this meant a lot to me.

4/15/2008 10:21 PM  
Anonymous stardust said...

You know, I've been raped three times but the last one I have never been able to get over. It was awful. He was a sadistic rapist and held me hostage.

Anyways, after tons of therapy and truly feeling better I still have a hard time dating. My trust isn't fully there, and if men get an inkling "I'm damaged" they no longer want to deal with me. I feel so hurt and angry. At any rate, I sympathize with you... .

5/17/2008 9:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this. I also want to thank everyone who commented on this. I was raped in March '08 by a guy I was casually dating. Everytime I see his type of car I go out of my way to look into it and see if it's him. I can't go to stripclubs with my friends anymore because I feel like I'll see him.I still think about him everyday. I'm trying to start a new relationship now but it's hard. I often find myself at a loss of things to say, I can't fully laugh at his jokes, I can't even touch him, less likely allow him to touch me. Your blog has made me realize that he's never going away. Even if I never see him again I'll always see him. I'll feel him. It feels as if he's still touching me. But I refuse to be the victim. All I can do is deal with it. I thought I could just get over it too. However, I feel the more pressure you put on it to go away and to get over it, the harder it gets. Thank you for the blog. Your story has helped me feel not so alone.

Truly,
J

6/02/2008 12:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so her completely. I feel the same words. It is amazing to see someone, and others healing just as I. With the exact same thoughts. I do not feel normal, and i feel like i need the same as you. I feel so small inside. But I want to try to love, and be loved. Thank you so much for your words, they could not be more closer to my heart.
Julie K.
www.myspace.com/freefromabuse

7/06/2008 6:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this. I couldn't have found this at a better time. I hate that so many women have had to deal with this.

9/05/2008 7:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so glad that I found this blog, this post echos just what I've been feeling. I was raped a few months ago by my then-boyfriend. He's the only boyfriend I've ever had, the only person I've ever had sex with. I feel like I want to date again because I'm just a teenager and should be able to have fun with dating, but I'm scared to death to go beyond just flirting with people. I've not been on a date since I broke up with The Jerk, and I panicked the one time that I got asked and turned the boy down. Just the idea of dating scares me, not to mention future kissing and ... oh my god, what about sex? I'm really glad that I found this blog because I don't feel as alone or messed up now. Thank you!

11/05/2008 7:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know how old you are from your blog but I am now in middle age. I was raped 8 years ago, and reported to law enforcement. He went to prison. I have not had sex with a man since the assault. I have dated several men, but did not become intimate. I don't know how long it will take. But I now know that I am more careful and looking for a good honest tenderhearted man before I have sex.

11/23/2008 8:13 AM  
Blogger Allison said...

I know it's been said already, but I found your post at the perfect time.
It has been two years since I was raped, and I felt like I should be able to move on. However, I completely freaked out and ended up curled in a ball crying when I tried to let a guy I like get near me. I felt like such a freak. I just worry that I won't ever be able to overcome this fear.

12/20/2008 5:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so very much. As so many others have already said, I found this at the perfect moment. Perhaps the moment is only perfect because I was finally able to look for it, but...

I am 28 and thought I was alone in this terror. My rape happened when I was 11 and I have barely dated at all since then. I've never managed any intimacy and rarely can stand more than two dates with one man before I get too nervous to move on to another. I refused to acknowledge my past and expected the men I met to magically know how to handle me. Then I tried to convince myself that I don't want to date.

Now I've found someone I'm comfortable with and am facing the dreaded "talk." I wish I knew how he would react and whether or not I'm about to put my heart back on the line. I don't know how it would recover from another blow...

2/04/2009 12:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is good to read how other people have lived with these events. I won't list the things that happened to me as it no longer matters. I was just extremely unlucky for several years. I think the important part is how to move away from that as you get older.

I took a slightly different route. After spending many years and a lot of money on therapists, going round and round in circles, I decided to just accept that I couldn't fix that part of me and changed my life to deal with that. I actively sought out an asexual relationship and have met a wonderful guy who will never ask me to pretend to enjoy sex or perform for him. I go to a hypnotist regularly to gradually erase my childhood memories and my whole attitude to life is getting brighter each month. I am getting on with things instead of spending all my energy trying to 'fix myself'. I will never get over the things that happened to me as a child/young woman and I decided to just get rid of them so I can start life again. I'm sure many therapists and psychiatrists would be very much against my decision, but it is the first time in my entire life that I have started to feel normal. I now have a job, am learning to drive and saving for my first house. I can eat properly and have a 'normal' routine. I can walk outside and talk to people and I have hobbies that I enjoy. I have created a new person and thrown out the dead one.

Best of luck to everyone here. I hope you all find your own cures.

4/05/2009 3:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wanted to add my thanks and sympathy to the rest. My first sexual experiences were negative/violent -- grabbed on a beach by a stranger, but no intercourse -- and I already had issues with inexplicable panic attacks when getting intimate with men...and then in Nov. 08 I was date raped by a friend of a friend who I believe drugged one of (way too many) drinks I had that night. I woke up just before he put himself inside me and started sobbing, and he said to me: "Why are you being so weird?"

I think I'm finally gaining the confidence to feel comfortable explaining all this to a man, if I ever meet one who seems trustworthy again. Stories from people who are experiencing the same setbacks along the way are really helpful, though, especially after "friends" responded to my attempts to talk about the rape by mentioning how drunk they've seen me get. As if that has EVER been linked to me going home with strangers, ever...If there's one thing I've learned from this, it's that we have to take care of ourselves. Somehow we have to have the confidence to go out there and meet people and take small risks -- but we also have to know how to protect ourselves, how to keep predators away and not accept the affections of guys who try to manipulate us into their idea of normal. It's a pretty tough balance to keep.

5/06/2009 7:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you know my rape happened about 9 years ago. It took me about 5 of those years to come to grips with the fact it was rape. Like you, it was my first sexual experience. With a boyfriend of almost 8 months at the time who was actually the youth pastor at a local church. It was until a few months ago that I realized the repercussions of his actions. My anxiety disorder's orginis, my inability to carry on a commited adult relationship, my absolute need to be in control of all aspects of relationships, and my weird relationship with needing and wanting to go to church but being angry at the whole idea of religion at the same time.

Now trying to explain to my boyfriend how he can tip toe around my messed up sexuality, and occasional lack there of...

lets just say it does me an infinite amount of good to read about your experiences. Although I am terribly sad that anyone else has to deal with this in any variety, know that you are doing others a WORLD of good by being so open about it.

I hope one day I can be as insightful as you.

God bless.

5/28/2009 11:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are seeking counciling and have Acknowledged the problems at hand. Keep it up!

6/14/2009 10:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It has been 6 years since I was raped by a family friend and still I haven't told anyone except my ex-girlfriend. I have talked about it a couple of times to ppl online but am yet to tell my family and close friends...a part of me doesn't want to,i dont want to talk about it, a part of me feels a deep level of shame...that somehow i subconsciously projected all those negative feelings that i was having at the time it happened..and somehow it has come back to me like in a circle. like in that movie, "the secret"...you will get what you project in this life. so if u project that you are a victim..you become one. i know i dont deserve what happened to me...but i feel that i contributed in some way. i flirted with him too. I have been having therapy for about rape a year pre and post rape to current for anxiety and depression. My life wasn't the happiest before it happened and then it happened and I think in some ways it confirmed to me that the world is a hard place and maybe this happened to me because my "friends" bullied me a bit at school and i had low confidence..so i wouldn't stand up to them. My older sister bullied me a bit when i was younger too and i couldn't stand up to her. i dont see those "friends" anymore, cut them out of my life..and my sister has since apologised for her behaviour and my anger has resolved towards her. my anger has always been turned inward...ive had problems with alcohol and drugs...trouble forming relationships/friendships, self destructive behaviours/thinking...anyways i appreciate you listening..and im considering telling my psychiatrist about the rape because he may be able to help me better if i do. love to you all.x

9/02/2009 8:12 AM  
Anonymous Hannah said...

Reading this was like reading about myself, in the words I haven't really been able to express. I think, in a way, I feel ashamed. Or lame for not getting over it?

I was not raped per se, but it was attempted forcefully. We had had a great date before that, cocktails, salsa.. If only he hadn't been a dickwad. Unfortunate really, because I'd just about recovered from a childhood of physical and sexual abuse from my father. (This of course, brings up Freudian issues for me. Am I attracted to incarnations of my father?)

I had a similar experience with the manipulation, he kept saying, "why are you being like this? do you want me to look like a complete dick? do you think I'm a complete asshole?" and kept repeating this over and over whenever I told him to not do something or to go home etc.

Even though now I look back and think, jesus, why the hell did I let him speak to me like that? Why did I let him in to my house when I had said I didn't want him to? Why did I let him stay when I had asked him to leave?

Just reading that, my mind exclaims: Why do I feel like I am the guilty party for "letting him" sexually assault me? Why do I feel like it is my fault?

I have now met this guy and he made his first move on me the other night and I was so stiff, and when he touched my thigh I froze up and moved away. This guy gives me butterflies in my stomach. I haven't felt that, or rather, allowed myself to feel that for almost a year. I feel like I have lost a year of my life.

Problem is, you can't just dump your baggage on some guy you still hardly know, being like oh yeah, sorry I was sexually assaulted (like a YEAR ago)? Right? So what do you do...?

I am too scared to kiss him because I am afraid he will take it as a "I will have sex with you now" signal.


Reading what I have read, and others, it all sounds so similar. It is as if these men, these rapists, have gotten together and worked out the perfect way to get to us. But I have to keep saying to myself, men are not the enemy, but I can't help feeling like I'm heading into enemy territory whenever wherever guys are?


Love from England,

Hannah.x

( Eilan_1c@hotmail.com )

10/05/2009 4:32 PM  
Blogger lovely said...

Hi,

When I read this post I felt immediately connected to you.

I have always felt that every experience I have had with men has been bad. I was sexually abused at the age of 7 and had bad dealings afterwards and even was sexually assaulted and raped in college.

I didn't run away. I always just thought I just had to deal with it and that it was how it would be for me. Maybe that is why I experienced so much pain.

i think that you should put yourself out there but don't feel bad if he thinks you're being weird because he is probably being DISRESPECTFUL.


I want to tell you that I know that special person will come along that knows how to treat a woman. You will get him. If you truly believe it.

10/25/2009 10:02 AM  
Blogger lovely said...

I too struggled with confronting my rapist. If you'd like I could tell you more about the pros and cons for me. And how it turned out.

10/25/2009 10:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know it was quite a few years ago, but i've just stumbled upon this post at the absolutely right time. Your post is me, and reading it has made me realise a few more things about myself. Thank-you

1/08/2010 3:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm really sorry to read about this. I know it was a few years ago but a lot of what you wrote felt very similar to my feelings. I was also raped and I was a virgin at the time. It is really difficult to trust men. I also believe that protecting your heart is so important because it cannot bear any more pain. Be easy on yourself and only do what feels right. Thank You!

3/18/2010 10:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I came across your blog by googling "dating after date rape" and I'm so glad that I found your blog. I was date raped 5 years and 9 months ago. And I know exactly where you're coming from. I feel like I should be past it... that so much time has passed and I should just be able to trust someone and tell the rational side of my brain that it won't happen again. I have been on 1 date since I was raped. It was awful, I couldn't wait for it to be over. I was awkwardly nervous, more nervous than first date jitters. I can't tell you how awful it was. And recently, I asked a guy out who is super nice. He seems like the nicest guy who doesn't have a clue that I was hoping that he'd just say no and I could relish in the fact that I had asked a guy out. The old me (yes, there was an old me who would be esctatic to be going out with a guy who hopefully sees this situation as a friend). I wouldn't be second guessing myself. God, I would have asked him out a long time ago. I've known him for a while. Since my rape, I have been one to second guess myself and be so petrified that it's going to happen again, that I just completely avoid an situation involving men. I'm 26 (almost 27) and I don't want to be alone with a man. It's an anxiety/panic attack waiting to happen. I was diagnosed with PTSD. I guess, my point of long winded rant is that your rape doesn't define you. You define your experience. I give you SO much credit for confronting your rapist. Mine has no clue. Even thinking about confronting him... your strength is so inspiring. From what I've been told by my counselor is that there is no magic formula that says when you're supposed to be over your rape. It's like telling a Vietnam Veteran that he should be over it after how many years? It's not that easy. Somehow, all of us survivors will be all right.

Thank you for your post/blog.

Sorry if my rant was confusing, but you spoke volumes to me.

Best of luck to you,

Jessica

7/25/2010 2:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My best friend in high school paid a guy we both knew to rape me because she did not want to hang with a virgin. He not only raped me everyway possible but stabbed me because I would not hold still. After it was over I walked home and told my parents I had just been in a fight.. I never reported it. I saw him everyday at school for 2 yrs., I was terrified everyday. I had a class which we used a dark room in an I was in the dark room and turned around and he was there.. He started grabbing me again, I screamed and got away... I told a teacher what was going on and they told me to just avoid him.So actually I did tell. I graduated early in January I could not get out of that school fast enough. My parents made me go thru graduation percession. After wards I moved out of state.. I recently was diagnosed with Post Tramatic Stress disorder from it.. My High school Reunion was this past weekend, I was told to get over my anxiety I needed to face my demons. So I went.... When he walked in I was standing by enterance for quick get away.. I almost peeed my pants I was so scared, I did manage to fight off the tears... Well we played stare down for awhile and then I walked up to him and simply told him YOU DID NOT BREAK ME... and started to walk away He said HEY the fear returned when he spoke I turned and The most Heartfelt SORRY came out of his mouth .. I have never heard an I'm sorry sound like that before, I think he ment it.. But I am still so angry.. By the way I was worth $50 and my so called best friend died about 5 yrs ago of colon cancer Her parents called me to come to funeral I said good ridence to bad rubish... I feel bad now... BUT I AM STILL SO ANGRY.... BUT IT DID FEEL GOOD TO SAY YOU DID NOT BREAK ME while looking him straight in the eye.. Just thought I would share Good Luck

10/18/2010 10:38 PM  
Anonymous Angie said...

It is amazing how universal-and timeless-rape and its effects are. I have read through the original post and nearly all of the following comments, and have been amazed to see so many of my own thoughts, feelings, and experiences written by other people.

I was drugged and raped 4 years ago. Sometimes it feels like a very long time ago, and other times it's hard to believe so much time has passed. I had done almost no dating before it happened-the few experiences I had being generally negative-and have done almost no dating since. Before I'd gotten a chance to fully decided what I wanted to do with my virginity, it was taken away from me with no choice at all.

Now, almost 26 years old, my desire to find someone seems suddenly to have intensified, and I am frightened because dating and relationships have always been a bit of a "grand mystery" to me anyway, without being afraid of my date... I have done a lot of recovering and moving on since what I refer to as "The Incident," but dating has remained one of the last frontiers. I'm terrified that anything more than the most mild of flirtation will give a guy the wrong idea and I'll suddenly find myself in a situation where I'm in way over my head. I want to feel beautiful and desirable, and then I'm terrified when I do.

But I very recently fell for an already taken man--because he is everything I need; safe, secure, comfortable, kind, gentle, patient... you get the idea--and decided the best way to get over him was to try to begin dating. So I joined an online dating site about a week and a half ago, went on two dates over the weekend... and, even though the guy was very gentlemanly and both dates were relatively positive experiences, I nearly had a meltdown in my psychologist's office yesterday. I'm overwhelmed by the desire to run away from the whole thing and forget I ever tried. I'm still trying to figure out if I've pushed myself too hard or if these feelings are just part of my tendency for avoidance that I need to ignore and push through. Like so many of you, I've been feeling bad because I feel like after 4 years I should be "over it" by now. So I Googled "dating again after rape" and that's how I found this.

I don't know if I'm going to decide to continue with my big "dating experiment" or not, and I realize that most of these posts were several years ago, but I would like to thank everyone who has posted for sharing their experiences--if nothing else, you have helped me realize that I need to be nicer to myself, more patient with myself, and more understanding with myself.

I would not usually do so, but I'd like to leave my e-mail address--angieb713@gmail.com--for anyone who stumbles across this while looking for answers and wants someone to talk to who understands how it feels. My love to all of you.

10/20/2010 2:42 PM  
Anonymous The Relationship Company said...

Keep blogging! Do you have anymore articles similar to this?

1/03/2011 1:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your post means more to me than I could ever express. It makes me feel like I'm not alone.. I mean, obviousslyyy I'm not the only one to ever be raped or have these emotions or have trouble trusting and opening up my heart to someone, but it often feels like I am. I feel like every article I read tells me how to open up to a partner sexually after an assault, but none tells me how to break down a few of those walls I've built up around my heart. Like you said, no one ACTUALLY wants to end up alone, no matter how many times you tell yourself and others that being alone is satisfying. So thank you for getting out there the fact that its not so easy to move on with relationships when your heart and emotions are all sorts of guarded. This post gives me an extra boost of strength to think that, not only am I not the only one, but maybe I can move forward too. Thanks again!
~A.C.

3/12/2011 7:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I completely understand how you feel. I've been searching the internet trying to find a solution to my problem with intimacy. I had one of those late night realisations of why I'm alone. I was raped (which was also my first sexual experience) and your words are the only ones that have made sense, you are not alone and it makes me feel better that I'm not alone in feeling this way either. Good luck with your counselling, I hope it gives you what you need to be in a happy healthy relationship one day.

LJ

3/28/2011 7:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You never get over it. It becomes a part of you. It's about knowing it and accepting it. It will be with you always, right by your side... It'll even help make choices.. As you already know... But that doesn't mean your voice is gone. And don't worry, your voice will get stronger. It takes time.

5/31/2011 9:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You never get over it. It becomes a part of you. It's about knowing it and accepting it. It will be with you always, right by your side... It'll even help make choices.. As you already know... But that doesn't mean your voice is gone. And don't worry, your voice will get stronger. It takes time.

5/31/2011 9:11 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

I completely understand what you are going through. I was raped in 07, and I don't remember anything that actually happened to me(daterape incident), but I have been married for 10+ years and now my trust for anyone is zilch. This wasn't my first sexual experience but my libido now is almost non existent. I have the same desire to confront my rapist. It was a friend of someone I am really close with. Don't worry about not being over it. What you experienced was traumatic, and trauma never truly leaves your body, but as time goes by you will be able to deal with the waves of anxiety grief and fear a little better. Something that is helping me is taking courses in women's studies. When I graduate I want to help women globally. I wish you all the best. Please go out of your way to take extra special care of yourself.

6/08/2011 4:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi im 17 years old and have been and in such a short time i have been abused twice by two different people one at the age of 10 and one at the age of 17 and personally i have found it such a struggle to move on but Everythink you have said, not just in your first post but in them all have had a big impact on how i feel I now feel like im not as alone as i have always thought, I have never really talked to anybody about what happened to me because i dont know who is there to talk to and as for my family nobody knows as i am to ashamed to tell them.
In my eyes this has been the hardest thing i have ever gone through as it has effected every part of my life in some way shape or form but I hope eventually i will find the strength to be like yourself .
And as for facing upto your past i have nothink but pure respect for you, I see my rapist in the street every so often and he acts so normal and smiles at me as if where friends and I just freeze my heart races and my mind goes blank so for that I think you are truly an inspiration if not just to me to everyone.
I hope some day soon you find someone you can trust who will make you happy and help you to move on with your life . Thankyou so much

7/17/2011 4:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish my friend could have seen this than maybe he would understand me more. He recently told me he had feelings for me, but I said I wasn't ready for a relationship on an intimate level like that. He knew that I had been raped, but he took things personally saying..."I dont know why I have to pay for another man's actions". Am I making him pay? I thought I was simply trying to protect myself, but he has taken this as a personal rejection.

7/29/2011 10:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I sit and read all these comments in A strange way it gives me a since of relief that I am not alone as honestly I wish I was. Rape is totally violating to an unexpainable level that no one else around me can understand. As you all know. I was druged and date raped about ten years ago by several men not sure how many as I can only remember flashbacks but the sad part, they were all male friends of mine in whom I had trust. I did know when I woke on of them had raped me I did not know at the time there were more the boy I woke up naked to was a friend I had known for, years, as, he was struggling with addiction I came to forgive him and moved on with my life when I gave birth to my son in 06 someone said something to me about me being on a video tape sexually and alot of people had seen it well at that moment in time the short vivid images would come as I slept as I thought and I now have to sense of anything that I feel is beautiful inside or out. I struggle with my family life I cry I hide from friends I dont like to go to my home town feeling there is a label stamped, on my forehead implying I am a slut I know in my heart I was helpless and these, men were wrong but I need to know how to get my life back as I suffer so do my children and my husband please help if anyone has, some advice, for me."

9/19/2011 11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The worst part for me is the fact that I just told this guy I was dating for several months that I was raped a year ago. He lost interest in me without giving me a chance. I just have to keep reminding myself that there are people that will hurt you...and then there are people that only care about themselves. He was the type of guy that only cared about himself, I just have to give up on him even though we had a really great relationship.

He didn't rape me but he did make everything feel like my fault and he made me feel horrible and like I would never move on. The only negative thing that was said was that I was too awkward near him. There is no possible way that a relationship can only be one person's fault, I feel very manipulated.

I'm trying everything I can to heal. I read about healing, go to counseling and had opened up to him about it. The missing link was the fact that he didn't care enough to see me get through this.

The lesson I've learned is that there will people that will hurt you, people are only worried about how they will be affected and then those who will actually help you move into a positive direction. And the people that will help you heal are hard to find but the kind of people that you have to surround yourself with.

There are good guys out there....but just make sure you feel confident that they are looking out for your best interests before you get too involved with them. Ask them as early as you feel comfortable.

I hope everyone on here the best of luck, I feel your pain everyday. I hope that your pain goes away and you can find someone to love and take care of you.

I know I'm still looking and will never give up. It may be many years before I fully move on from one horrible night. I hope that venting online helps, you may not have the support you need in person but can find many people online that are always able to share their story. Thank you all for your previous comments.

12/03/2011 9:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know exactly how you feel. Its been a long time since you wrote this, hopefully you're doing better by now. Anyhow My rape was 2 years ago and instead of it STILL bothering me, Its just starting to. I can't sleep at night, I have nightmares that its happening again or that he's following me. Ive been with my amazing boyfriend for a year and a half and he is so understanding but sometimes I just don't want him to touch me. a lot of times I feel like I need to have sex with him for our relationship but I don't usually want to. My ex boyfriend broke up with me right before I was raped and told me that since I was raped that I was ruined and that he wouldn't ever come near me again because I was damaged goods. Its getting to me now, I feel like I really am damaged goods.

3/13/2012 10:36 AM  
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3/31/2012 4:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This helped me out a lot. It meant a lot to me that someone else was going through the same thing. Its really brave of you to write exactly whats going on and you did a great job. Thanks for writing this.

4/13/2012 3:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

rape is not easy darling il understand your situation i been through it by my father and i was 9 and i suffered for 2 years of my life till i was 11.dont ever feel u alone out in the world coz these people who feel your hurt pain and trauma so maybe its not hard to forget coz i feel that il never BUT.....LET IT DIE A SLOW DEATH

4/27/2012 4:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just came across this blog and its been 3 weeks since i have been raped. it scares me that its going to take a long time. my life seems to be unraveling and those that do know are avoiding me link i am a sickness. when people you trust avoid you how do you cope. I am doing intense counselling and only getting professional support. i could not cope with anymore rejection. my mind is still so fragile. some simeple words of advice would be greatfully accepted
Lulu

6/01/2012 6:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think its stupid that some of the girls are saying you blame thing on your rape. You are totally entitled to.

6/23/2012 2:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lulu - it will take a long time, but don't get frustrated, keep pushing. I too had to deal with people talking about me and my own sister (to this day - 23 years later) still does not believe her friend would do this to me...I clearly made it up. Only you know what you are going through and only you can feel what you feel - don't let others tell you how it should be.

I was date raped 23 years ago. Typical scenario - at a party, we went to sleep (passed out on the floor) and I woke to him taking my pants off. I cried no, stop, don't...all those things. He told me it was OK, and that we weren't doing anything wrong. Afterwards, I crawled to the bathroom and cried. He followed me in and said it was OK, again we didn't do anything wrong. He hugged me and took me back to the blankets where he raped me again. Next day, my sister said she was disgusted and couldn't believe what I had done. No mention of him, just me.

2 years later, he died in a car accident. Victory, right? Not really, in the car with him was my long time on-again/off-again boyfriend of 7 years...he died too. Of course I was completely devastated by losing my friend, but also completely frustrated that everyone spoke so highly about my rapist and what a tragedy to the family to lose such a "good kid." Every year of the anniversary of their deaths, I have to hear how sad for the family - he was really going places. I want to just scream to them - no, he was a loser and has made my life hell. NO ONE understands what a rape will do to you. It never leaves my mind, my body or my heart.

So for those who get to confront their rapist, good for you. In a way I am jealous, but also relieved because he has faced his ultimate judgement, the same way all those who violated you will too.

what they took from each of us, is not fair. I wish I had the secret to getting "it" back, but I don't. I have struggled like the rest of you with letting my heart and mind feel for someone else. I am married now almost 10 years, and still have intimacy issues with my husband. He knows my story, and tries to be empathetic, but he is still confused as to why I pull away from him at times. I don't think there is anything more that any of us would wish for, than to let our guards down completely. I wish you all the best of luck.

6/26/2012 11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too lost my virginity to a rapist. Second time I was raped I wasn't sober and last summer I was sexually assaulted on vacation with my friends. I relive it constantly and over analyze it blaming myself and just overall feeling hopeless. Like it will never really heal. It gets to a point where I think about it so much that I almost convince myself it didn't happen. Or maybe I'm not sure if it did. It seems surreal. Anytime I get a new boyfriend and it starts getting serious I freak out...start having panic attacks and all this anxiety. I stress about my safety and his intentions. I just want to feel like I can handle emotions. If something gets too emotional I just shut down. I would love any advice or help. I don't want to spend my life disassociated from everyone in it. I feel so alone and so angry. I just wish someone understood what this feels like...not being able to really engage in anything emotional besides anger. Will it ever get better...its been 8 years since my first rape. Tired of the restless nights and waking up in panic attacks from flash back nightmares.

9/16/2012 10:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this! It truly is amazing to know that I am not the only one in the world that is scared if dating again. I wish I could be as strong as most of you all but I just can't find it in my heart to truly be brave enough to try. I am scared of every guy that comes near me, I still think that they will hurt me. Yet I have ONE guy friend that I am close to and I still can't get the courage to tell him my secret.

10/08/2012 1:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a close friend who was held at knife point and raped in her own home by a stranger. Im terribly upset by this and dont know how to talk to her, will she ever recover? Will her relationship survive?

12/07/2012 3:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


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1/29/2013 7:58 AM  
Blogger walking alone said...

It's so hard for me I was raped at 14 years old and now I'm 35. My mom put me in a cab to send me to my cousin's house. My cousin was waiting for me but it was taking forever for me to show up. The ride was kind of long so I dozed off. I woke up in a completely different place than I was supposed to be. The cab had a divider so I began to bang on it to tell him that this was not where I was supposed to be, he just ignored me. He controlled the locks to the doors I guess to prevent anyone from jumping out without paying. It was pouring down raining in sheets and we were in the middle of nowhere. When the car stopped all I saw was woods and one little house. I was so confused. The man then got out of the car and opened the back door and proceeded to get in. He said "take off all of your clothes. I immediately began screaming and crying hoping that he would sympathize and leave me alone. He then pulled out a knife and stuck it into my thigh. I got quiet. I was so scared. While the knife was in me he began raping me. All I could do is stay very still so he wouldn't push the knife in any deeper. Then he said I just want to make love to you. At this point I had given up on life I excepted the fact that he was going to kill me and leave me in those woods. After it was over I was shaking so bad and crying so bad I could not see. I survived. I was so confused I couldn't think straight. He drove be to a place close to my cousin's house and I heard the doors unlock and I jumped out of the car so fast that I fell out. I was a mess, it still raining very bad by then it was very late and I walked to my cousin's house. I went through so many changes since then. I never found true love in any man, not saying that there aren't any good one's but I just haven't found any yet. I have trusted men In my past but all I ever got was physical abuse and betrayal. It hurts even worst when I confide in some and they throw it in my face because I don't feel comfortable with certain things like porn or threesomes. Sometimes people try to make me feel if I'm not down with those things I'm not normal and that no man will want to stay with me if I'm not down with those things. I spend 9yrs with a man who claimed he had my back only fir him to tell me right after new years that he's thinking about moving on because he wants to watch porn freely and go to strip clubs and have threesomes and he knew I would never do those things. I was devastated. Now I have to either be down with that of be alone. He says that I'm childish because I'm not into it. I guess I'm going to have to be strong and learn to be alone because I'm just not comfortable with that kind of activity. I feel pressure because I love him but I'm happier without that in my life. The rape still bothers me and I do not know how to cope. I guess I will just have to live with it.

3/16/2013 4:21 AM  
Blogger walking alone said...

It's so hard for me I was raped at 14 years old and now I'm 35. My mom put me in a cab to send me to my cousin's house. My cousin was waiting for me but it was taking forever for me to show up. The ride was kind of long so I dozed off. I woke up in a completely different place than I was supposed to be. The cab had a divider so I began to bang on it to tell him that this was not where I was supposed to be, he just ignored me. He controlled the locks to the doors I guess to prevent anyone from jumping out without paying. It was pouring down raining in sheets and we were in the middle of nowhere. When the car stopped all I saw was woods and one little house. I was so confused. The man then got out of the car and opened the back door and proceeded to get in. He said "take off all of your clothes. I immediately began screaming and crying hoping that he would sympathize and leave me alone. He then pulled out a knife and stuck it into my thigh. I got quiet. I was so scared. While the knife was in me he began raping me. All I could do is stay very still so he wouldn't push the knife in any deeper. Then he said I just want to make love to you. At this point I had given up on life I excepted the fact that he was going to kill me and leave me in those woods. After it was over I was shaking so bad and crying so bad I could not see. I survived. I was so confused I couldn't think straight. He drove be to a place close to my cousin's house and I heard the doors unlock and I jumped out of the car so fast that I fell out. I was a mess, it still raining very bad by then it was very late and I walked to my cousin's house. I went through so many changes since then. I never found true love in any man, not saying that there aren't any good one's but I just haven't found any yet. I have trusted men In my past but all I ever got was physical abuse and betrayal. It hurts even worst when I confide in some and they throw it in my face because I don't feel comfortable with certain things like porn or threesomes. Sometimes people try to make me feel if I'm not down with those things I'm not normal and that no man will want to stay with me if I'm not down with those things. I spend 9yrs with a man who claimed he had my back only fir him to tell me right after new years that he's thinking about moving on because he wants to watch porn freely and go to strip clubs and have threesomes and he knew I would never do those things. I was devastated. Now I have to either be down with that of be alone. He says that I'm childish because I'm not into it. I guess I'm going to have to be strong and learn to be alone because I'm just not comfortable with that kind of activity. I feel pressure because I love him but I'm happier without that in my life. The rape still bothers me and I do not know how to cope. I guess I will just have to live with it.

3/16/2013 4:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone is different, but I share a lot of the same feelings you wrote about (4 1/2 years ago I was assaulted--for some reason I hate saying, seeing, or hearing the word "r---" because...well, I'm not sure even though that's what it is).

When you say it still bothers you, if it helps, it still bothers me, too--especially now with a sister the same age I was then and when it gets close to the time of year when it happened and when it's on TV and when people use the word "r---" as a joke in place of the words "defeat" and "won" and ...well, more often than I would like.

As far as relationships go, before the r---, I had not done more than kiss a boy and was very into saving myself for marriage (possibly some like you when you mention "first experience"). For the next couple years, I refused to talk about it, and when I finally did, when nightmares and socializing became too much, I was told I had PTSD and was later suffering some depression...In the meantime, treated boys who cared about me terribly--found some reason or another to be upset with them and just walk away (and never could explain why). I never saw a future for myself with a family and kids like I used to before things changed, so nothing seemed worth it.

Now, I am in a committed relationship with a wonderful and extremely patient guy--I cannot tell you how many times I found stupid reasons to try to walk away. What helped me was actually telling him what happened (this is not something I really share--even with close girl friends) as well as things like don't grab my wrists (an old PTSD trigger for me), be careful waking me up (I was awoken from sleeping and attacked), and other minor things like that so that he would not make me so uncomfortable physically. Really, everyone has some things or issues that make them uncomfortable, and it's fair that we share those with people we may care about...it's worth it.

The man you wrote about at the reception sounds frightening to be honest--HIS behavior was not normal. No guy has the right to touch you or hold you back if you tell him to stop. Please, do not let jerks like that make you feel "weird" or "not normal". (Something very similar happened to me a couple years ago, and I went home and cried...you're not alone.)

Maybe what may help in meeting someone--if you feel ready--is to avoid meeting them anywhere there is drinking (usually, it seems guys who approach women there are more aggressive and forward--well, it at least made me uncomfortable when trying to be "normal" by going out with girl friends). I met my now-fiance at an ice cream social in a graduate dorm;) Although I am sure there are tons of success stories about couples meeting at a party or a bar, it may not be the easiest of situations...

And just so you know, there ARE wonderful guys out there who are willing to "go through the motions" and can handle your ups and downs and comfort issues when it comes to physical matters. If you feel a guy is not willing, it is disrespect you are sensing. Trust yourself :)

-24-year-old who may understand a little, but I know everyone is so different...just hope it helps to know you are not alone in a lot of the feelings you wrote about...

3/17/2013 1:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

THANK YOU for existing. And for writing this. I was raped 4 years ago and still struggle, with my friends, family and all forms of dating. I often ask myself why Im not over it yet - I dont understand why it still haunts me. Its devastating to me as a very capable and accomplished person. Life is no longer "normal" in the way it once was. Thank you for writing this, it is really extremely helpful.

5/14/2013 6:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My name is Rebecca. I am from Florida my Testimony goes to alayetemple@yahoo.com, how they helped me get my love back. Me and my boyfriend breakup 4 months ago, he told me that he don't love me any more and he went to be with another girl who was in love with him I reach out to the internet for help and I saw a testimony of a spell caster, I decided to give it a try and I contacted him,tell him my problem. He cast a love spell for me and guaranteed me of three days that my boyfriend will come back to me and to my greatest surprise my boyfriend came back and beg for forgiveness,promise never to live me again, I am so happy my he is back to me again, thank you Dr Ara for reuniting me and my boyfriend back together again. If you need him to help you contact them and you will be forever happy like me.

6/01/2013 3:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for helping me to understand my daughter a little bit more. Good luck for your future happiness xx

7/13/2013 11:13 PM  
Anonymous Meredith said...

I just want to say thank you. I can very much relate to what you wrote. I had been waiting for marriage for religious reasons when I was raped, and even though its been almost 3 years, I'm scared of the emotional waterfall I feel I'm holding back as I'm starting to date again. I'm now 28 years old and met a really great guy, and I want to date him... I feel like I want the same things that "normal" women want: a good husband, nice kids...Anyhow, I just had a moment of panic preceding our date tonight, and I don't want to scare him away and just googled "Dating after rape" and I already feel better having vented. Aaaah this is so scary! It has been years since your original post, and I hope you are doing well. It took such courage to write openly and publicly, and I hope you are able to somehow know that you are continuing to inspire people in 2013. Thank you.

7/24/2013 1:46 PM  
Blogger oaktreegirl said...

I find all of this so heart-breaking. SO many of us are trying to heal from these awful experiences. I can hear the confusion and the self doubt and the desperation to feel loved and comforted but the fear of letting anyone near....and I feel all those things too.
As the original post and most of the comments were written a long time ago I truly hope you have all found some peace inside and have been moving along your healing journeys.
My rape was 22 years ago, I was 16 and like so many of you I was a virgin too. I couldn't tell anyone at the time so I repressed it all. It came back full force 5 years ago when I met my current partner...I've had PTSD since then.
My experience is that truly healing is a long journey. Rape is such a devastating thing on so many levels. I'm certain that the men have no idea of the scale of damage they do...not that that excuses anything of course!
I find that getting back into my body is proving the hardest thing. In rape your body is the 'scene of the crime' so I guess it's no wonder so many of us want to kind of forget we have a body.
I am struggling with intimacy too. I have had various partners over the years but have never been 'in' and of the sexual experiences. I dissociated all the time. My current partner is an angel and is very understanding and very supportive. I know I@m extremely lucky to have him...but it breaks my heart that I still can't share with him in the way we would both like. I still feel phobic about being touched.
I could write yards about the healing process and how much of a bitch it is...but I won't. Just really want to wish all my sisters much love on your journeys...and to say how brave we all are to be trying to heal from these things.
Blessings - Kath x

7/31/2013 3:24 PM  
Anonymous Rhi said...

I was raped six years ago, when I was nine after the guy abused me for five years...... I've started to move on after trying to kill myself in June 2012, he was sentenced to 16 years for what he did to me and another little girl in February after I told the police while I was in hospital.....
But my problem is, everyone expects me to just get over it..... It's fine most of the time, except my boyfriend.... He's never pressured me for sex because the first time we tried I started crying before he even touched me... I don't know if I'll get over that part any time soon (P.S not being able to have anyone touch you at all is pretty bad when you have school every day. There's nothing I can do at school to get away from people)
But.... He expects me to be ready to share all of my emotions, how I'm feeling all the time with him.... I know he just wants to help me.... But it's hard for me, and I don't understand why he thinks I can just forget about it.....

10/15/2013 9:21 AM  
Anonymous Freya said...


I lost my 6 years marriage during June. My husband left me with so many pains and since then i have been heart broken and shattered. I have contact 9 spell casters and 9 of them has rip me off my money without any result. I have emailed so many sites online looking for a good spell caster till i was directed by a 32 years old woman to WISE INDIVIDUAL SPELL At first i never believed him because he was requesting for some amount of money to buy items, it took him two weeks to convince me and something occur to mind and i said let me give him a trial.I was very shocked when Jeff called three days after i sent Dr Zack Balo the items money. He apologies for all he has done wrong and i am very happy that we are together today because he proposed to me last night. I will advise you contact Email: wiseindividualspell@gmail.com

11/25/2013 5:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please forgive me if this may not be the right place for this question; however I have a very important person in my life who is a rape victim who I am trying to better understand.

My friend's rape was also her first sexual experience. For over 30 years now she has kept to herself and has told no one, not even her now ex husband or counselors. (A friend who witnessed the rape, mentioned it to me). She has talked about the fact that "something" has happened to her, however; she tells me she could never tell anyone.

I try to be very patient with her; however time and time again she pushes me away. I don't cause a fuss when she does, I simply give her the space to find her way back. But each time, she does come back.

I really care about this woman, and I don't know how to reach her. I feel that it would be wrong to mention that I know about her rape. But 30 years is a long time, and it's hard to watch someone you love go through this.

Thank you all for your great comments. Any input you care to share would be greatly appreciated.

David





12/01/2013 6:02 AM  

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