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Author Topic: I needed someone to talk about
Helen439
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This year has been a rough one. Beside the problems I had in college and in my family, I almost got raped. Twice!

I've never been in a serious relationship: part because of my abusive relationship with my parents which left me with zero trust in men and part because I've never met a nice man who could treat women with respect. This is also the reason I've never had sex with someone because I knew I would regret it afterwards if I do it with a wrong guy.

There's no right words to describe those sexual assaults. I'm relieved nothing happened in the end, but I sincerely can't count myself lucky. The guilt, low self-esteem, memories and nightmares afterwards are horrible. Also, if my trust in men could go lower than zero, I think it would be something like -100. Pure Hatred and Disgust!

First time I couldn't talk with no one. I couldn't get out of the house - and when I really had to, I felt like everyone was starring at me and blaming me. I considered talking about it with my mother but I worried she wouldn't understand.

Second time (a few months apart) I really couldn't keep all those negative thoughts that were screaming inside my head anymore and decided to talk to my mother, no matter what, because I got to a point where I couldn't sleep, I was constantly crying and it really affected my college grades. Our talk lasted like ... 60 seconds ... She blamed me! Surprise!

I think, like most girls, I've always dreamed about starting my sexual life with a man that would love and respect me. And the thought of being raped while being a virgin kept me awake many nights. And after those experiences, starting my sexual life with a man was not an option - not in the near future.

That's when I decided no one would love me more or take better care of me than ... myself. I took a day alone and apart from everything, bought a small vibrator and decided I was the one who should break my hymen. I needed to do this on my own. No one could have been more gentle than I was with myself. I don't regret it. I feel relieved in a way. But also I'm thinking, is this psychologically, right? Has anyone ever done something like this? There's no one from my friends that I could talk about this. They're all judgemental.

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Redskies
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Hi Helen,

I'm sorry to hear you've had such a tough time. I'm also sorry to hear that you were sexually assaulted. I think you know this already, but I want to say to you that being on the receiving end of any kind of assault is never, ever ok, and that any and all feelings you have about it are totally valid.

I'm glad to hear that that the assaults on you were not completed rapes. You do know, don't you, that the effect on an assaulted person doesn't solely depend on "how bad" what physically happened was? Which means that you're totally valid in having very strong feelings about what happened to you. Having someone attempt to assault us is a really serious thing, and it can be very traumatic. It's important to say that everyone responds differently, that there is no "normal" response to something like that, but the way you describe feeling sounds very, very familiar to me as a way people often feel. I'm so sorry you feel bad, but I hope it helps you to know that you are not alone, and that the feelings you have are a very reasonable way to respond to what you experienced.

I'm also so incredibly sorry that your mother wasn't supportive. I hope you know this, but I'll say it anyway: her response is Totally about who she is, what she thinks, and what she can and can't deal with, and says absolutely Nothing about whether you as a person deserve support or whether what happened to you is something that people should get support for. You deserve support, and the experience you had is totally reasonable to need support for.

Have you thought about getting support from anyone else? Firstly, there are really good organisations in many regions that offer support and/or counseling for experiences of assault - I imagine that the lovely team here will be able to suggest some places available in your region. Is there anyone in your personal life who might be able to offer you support? A family member, a friend, a teacher/professor at college, a college counselor? You certainly don't have to tell anyone, but if you have someone that you would feel safe telling, sometimes that can be really helpful.

You said it affected your college grades. Many places have a mechanism where you can confidentially report a major personal trauma, and then the institution takes some kind of action (with you) to make sure that you aren't too disadvantaged as a result. Does your college have anything like that?

It sounds really healthy to me that you want your sexual experiences to be with a person who would love and respect you. And also, if that's what you want, you have the right to decide that that's what you want, you know? Also, it's fairly common that someone who recently experienced assault doesn't want sexual interaction. Not everyone, certainly, because we're all different and need different things - but it's a completely reasonable way to feel. While we're still working through something that was traumatic, it's totally ok not to feel ok about having or wanting any kind of sex. Partly because we don't have enough mental and emotional energy to go round, and partly because sex can still be too tied up in the unpleasant thing we experienced. And know that this doesn't last forever - we can feel differently in the future. We just need time to heal, and that's ok.

I don't think that anyone can say whether what you did yourself is "psychologically right" or not just from the act itself. I think it depends on how you felt about doing it, and whether it felt like a healthy thing to be doing. If it was a thing that you truly wanted to do for yourself and you felt good about doing it, then that sounds fine to me. Sometimes there's an idea that any sex (including solo) a person has while healing from asault is automatically unhealthy for them, that they're doing it because they're upset and mixed up. I think that that view is wrong. I Do think that when we're in that situation, we have to really step back and ask ourselves, is that really what I want, does this really feel like a good thing for me to be doing? If the answers to those things are yes, then I think it can be a really healthy, healing, empowering thing to take charge of our sexualities exactly the way We want to, and not what anyone else thinks we should be or tries to make us do or do to us.

I once read a blog by a very smart-sounding young woman who was raped by her boyfriend. After getting initial help with that and getting her head back together, she had sex with a number of good friends very deliberately and thoughtfully - she wanted to have experiences where she felt safe and respected, to regain her positive attitude to sex. That certainly wouldn't be the right thing for everyone to do, but I wanted to demonstrate that there are many possible responses, and that so long as we are thoughtful and healthy, that's ok.

If something didn't feel ok, then it would be wisest to just take a bit of time to think about it. It can be easy to hurt ourselves when we've already been hurt and still needing to heal from that.

The only thing I would say is that you know virginity isn't tied up with having or not having a hymen, don't you? I don't even remember mine - I must be one of those people where it wears away naturally in childhood. And "virginity" is kind of an odd concept, too - many people use it only about penis-in-vagina sex, which discounts a whole lot of people who can't/don't do that; and I promise you, not-penis-in-vagina sex is just as much sex as penis-in-vagina is! I prefer to think of it in terms of having had/not having had certain sexual esperiences. It's much clearer, and also, it makes it a statement of fact rather than a value-judgement.

I understand from what you write that you haven't had any sexual experiences that you would consider really significant. Being raped or assaulted before we have formative sexual experiences - I don't think it makes the rape or assault itself worse, but I do think it can cause problems with our view of sex, as we don't have any healthy prior experience to balance it with. It's also important to remember that rape or assault can really have an effect on someone's view of sex no matter what stage of life they're at or how many previous experiences they've had.

Am I right in reading that you were worried about being raped before you were assaulted? If so, is there a particular reason that you're worried - do you live in an unsafe environment, is there any person who feels unsafe, has someone suggested that rape is something you should be worried about, or something else? If you worried only after you were assaulted, then again, that's quite a common reaction, and something that you can get help for as part of the whole picture.

Whether we've been assaulted or not, we have the right to do with our bodies what we want, including anything sexual. So long as that does not cause us physical harm, or pain, and we are truly happy about doing it, anything we want to do is totally ok, and that includes you exploring your body sexually.

I do want to check with you, though, that what you did felt like a sexual exploration and not solely a hymen-breaking exercise. If it was solely about your hymen and "virginity", I think that would be something to look at some more to check how you're feeling around that.

Sometimes it seems like there are so many bad men around. Given your experiences, it's totally ok that you feel the way you do about men, and for you to feel that way for however long you do - but I want you to know that there are some good men who respect women and all human beings. I'm sorry that you haven't met enough (if any) of them. It's totally, totally ok if you don't feel able to be comfortable around men or even anywhere near them at the moment. Just know that they aren't all terrible, and that if you ever wanted to, there would be some good men to relate to.

I'm so sorry that you were assaulted, and I hope that you get everything you need to heal from it.

--------------------
The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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Helen439
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Hi Redskies,

Thank you so much for taking time to reply. I appreciate it a lot !!

I'm sorry if my message was a little confusing - English is my second language and it's kinda hard especially when I have like "a thousand" thoughts in my mind that I want to write.

That thing about my college - they don't have such system in my country. And even if so, I don't think I could tell someone about what happened. I'll just have to deal with it.

I'm not feeling really comfortable to talk even with a counselor. As for my friends/family, there's really no one to share such personal things and to understand me. My mother is the only one close to me (compared to my friends) but even so we're not like best buddies. I'm not really mad at her for not being supportive (maybe because I was expecting her not to be), but it left me with a bitter taste of sadness.

I wasn't worried about being raped before the assaults (again, sorry for the confusing post) because I didn't have any particular reason. I did have some issues with men and that's the reason I didn't have serious relationships (that would include sexual activities of any kind). I knew a lot of men are violent because the ones in my family have always been and that left me with no trust in men in general. But after the assaults... That's a whole other life. A life full of fear and shame.

The first assault happened in October last year and the second one in January. It’s been a long time since then. Sometimes I feel fine and I motivate myself to go on with my life without letting what happened affect me. But other times I have things that can trigger memories and then it hurts a lot and I feel like everything just happened yesterday. A few weeks ago I was searching channels on TV and saw an interesting movie – I didn’t know what was about because it was already started, but it seemed nice. It was Speak (2004) and when I finally saw the theme of the movie, I felt hopeless again; it kept me awake almost all night. Also I once saw Helen (2009) because it was about the female depression and I thought it would be interesting, but (if you saw the movie) I didn’t expect that rape scene to appear - it caught me off guard and I was like freezing and crying. Sometimes it’s enough to see how bad my father treats my mother, to start thinking about those things again. It’s a constant battle !!

About the "virginity" thing... I know it can have a lot of different meanings for different people. Personally, I don't think "virgin" equals intact hymen, but I think I got used to use the term generally speaking. An intact hymen doesn't matter for me; what would really matter would be a serious relationship with someone I would respect and would respect me - that would be something like a first. About “breaking” (actually “stretching”) my hymen myself – that happened exactly 1 week ago and I think there were a few reasons:

After the assaults it was a big period of time when I couldn’t think or see something sexual (or purely anatomical) – it seemed so very wrong (and gross I might dare say). But after a while, when I started feeling motivated, I also started to see human sexuality as something normal again (of course, I’m talking in the context of a normal relationship, not rape), something that no one could take away from us. I think I wanted to explore my sexuality because I’ve never did that in the right way; I’ve always felt bad about masturbating and it usually lasted a few minutes before going to bed – so I haven't taken the right amount of time to discover exactly what I like or dislike. Also, how to feel safe with somebody else if I haven’t got the time to feel safe with my own body?! I still have periods when I can’t feel aroused if something triggers my memories and anxiety, but I guess it’s normal (is it ?!); then I have to find the power inside of me to put aside those memories (and that’s the most tricky part because jumping from one “mood” to another it’s tiring). I don’t think I will ever forget what happened, I think I’ll just have to live with it and find a way to deal with it.

Another reason, but not exactly the most important, was that I had problems using tampons (and I really had to use them because sometimes I was staying like 8-10 hours a day at classes). It didn’t hurt a lot inserting them if I was at home, relaxed (it was rather uncomfortable), but using them in the college bathroom in a difficult position was almost excruciating. I assumed (and I was right) it would hurt pretty much to stretch my hymen so I decided it was best to “take the matter in my own hands”.

I don’t regret it, not the tiniest bit !! It was something that I felt good to do on my own. I couldn’t let somebody else to do that, no matter how much I would have trusted him.


Thank you again, Redskies, for writing to me. And I apologize about this awful long message.

[ 09-22-2011, 01:10 AM: Message edited by: Helen439 ]

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Redskies
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Hi Helen, good to hear back from you!

And I never even realised English wasn't your first language - your English is superb, if I may say so. The language thing would also never be a problem to me as I have close friends whose native language also isn't English, and have at times been the non-native speaker of another language myself, so I'm kind of used to it! Still, thanks for letting me know, so that we know just in case we ever seem to have any kind of odd misunderstanding [Smile] And it's no problem to me at all if you write quite a lot - I tend to do the same thing myself, as you can probably see [Smile]

Could you say what it is about speaking with a counsellor that you don't feel comfortable about? I'm not going to suggest that you do anything you really don't want to do, but from everything I know about healing from assault, counselling is often something really, really helpful. Remember that you have actually already told someone, by posting on the boards here. That's a very brave thing to do. I do recognise that it's a bit different, as I wouldn't know who you were if I passed you on the street - but still, you've managed to say quite a lot here, and that takes a lot of strength, and is something to be very proud of. Would you be ok just talking about your feelings about counselling?

I'm sorry that you don't seem to have anyone close to you who you feel you could get support from about this. Perhaps for now, consider people on these boards your friendly support, so that you know you're not alone?

I'm sorry I misunderstood what you originally wrote about when you started to be afraid of being raped. Thanks for clearing that up. As I touched on in my previous post, that reaction is quite common in people who've been assaulted.

I'm so sorry that you feel fear and shame. That's a really hard thing to go through. Again, many people who've been assaulted feel those things, until we heal from the assault. Would some suggestions for dealing with your feelings be helpful? The things I can suggest to you won't make those feelings go away, but they may help you to manage those feelings.

I usually think that expressing our feelings in some way is very important, because keeping them inside us isn't very good for us. You're writing on here, which is good. Other possible ways that people can express themselves, depending on what suits them, are: writing a journal, writing poetry, writing stories, drawing, painting, clay modelling, dance classes, dancing like a dervish to music in your room in private, playing music, listening to music, writing music, drama/acting. Some people do better with something more physically creative, like any number of different sports. Some people find it helps to do something really challenging physically, like going for really tiring runs.

I have a thought about you feeling fear. It may not suit you, and that's totally ok. Some people find that it helps them to do some form of martial art. It can help a person feel more in control of their own body and more confident in themself. I have to say that I do not mean that people should learn a martial art as a way of being safe from attack - we should all be safe from attack, no matter what. It helps some people in feeling more in control and more confident, is what I mean. For your situation, if it was something you thought about at all, I would imagine that something non-contact would be better, so as not to trigger any direct feelings about the assaults.

Regarding the shame you feel - I hope it's ok that I ask you something about that. Do you feel any shame directly about the assaults? Do you feel that the assaults were in any way your fault, or that you could have avoided them? It is never at all the assaulted person's fault, but sometimes we can feel like it was. Sometimes we just feel that, even if we know it's not true; sometimes a part of us actually believes it was our fault. In your country/community, how do people usually respond to an allegation of assault, or to someone who was assaulted?

I'm not a big film-watcher, myself, so I haven't seen the films you mentioned. It's very common to be triggered by something we come across that reminds us of a traumatic experience we've had, even in people who've done lots of work at healing. I think that's ok, and that we're allowed that. Personally, I would still find a rape scene very triggering, and would choose not to watch one. That's where a bit of self-care comes in. We can't guarantee that we'll never be triggered, so what I suggest is a plan for when it happens. Firstly, it's ok to leave a trigger if you want to, when you can. You have the right to do that, even if people around you wouldn't understand. However, if you'd prefer to be more subtle, for example, if I was watching a film at home with friends, I would probably get up and say "I just need to go to the toilet" and go back whenever I thought the scene would have changed. For times when you are triggered, have a plan for something to take care of yourself - something that will make you feel secure and give you a bit of time to process your feelings. It could be listening to some favourite music, or reading a favourite book, anything that suits you. And remember that it's ok to feel triggered and to need a bit of time to deal with that.

I'm sorry that the situation at home isn't completely good. Is there anything I (or anyone else) could help you with about that? I know that it can be difficult to live in a place that doesn't feel very happy.

It sounds like your exploration with a vibrator was pretty healthy. It's good that you can decide to do what feels right for you. Many people, particularly young women, feel like masturbation is somehow wrong, so you're certainly not alone. All medical evidence says it's perfectly ok to do - but I reckon you know that already. It's ok that you don't feel quite comfortable with it - our world gives us so many negative messages about it, it's really not surprising. Don't push yourself with it - if you feel uncomfortable, stop. Because after all, it's all about what You want! However you feel is totally ok, even if it's annoying and because of the world's attitudes. Just know that you have the right to do what you like with your own body and that it's nothing to feel uncomfortable about, and in time, you'll get more comfortable.

Honestly, anyone, whether they've been assaulted or not, can lose all sexual desire when they feel unhappy or anxious about something. Obviously, people who've been assaulted have some other things in the mix, too. It's not at all surprising that you might have some strong feelings here. At the moment, I would simply suggest doing what you feel like: if you want to be sexual with yourself, and feel comfortable with that, then great; if you don't want, or don't feel comfortable, that's ok, just leave it for another time.

I notice you saying several times about just dealing with this by yourself. You already know how tough that is, because you're doing it. I think, though, that you may not have to do it by yourself - which is why I'd like to talk about how you feel about counselling with you. I just know how very, very tough situations like yours are, and I wouldn't want anyone to go through it without proper support if getting that support could be an option.

You sound like you're doing as well as you possibly could with all of this.

--------------------
The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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Helen439
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I'm deeply sorry I didn't reply to your message !! You put time and energy to write it and I was a coward because I didn't want to deal with those feelings anymore. I almost convinced myself I can forget those things and did all my best to not think about them. But I failed! I failed BIG TIME! And I can't get out of this nightmare.

So... sorry about not replying! I didn't mean to be rude.

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Redskies
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Helen, I'm very happy to see you again, though I'm sorry to hear that you've had a rough time. Every second of my time and energy was useful, because my message is still there for you to read whenever you're ready.

I don't think of you as a "coward". These things are very hard to deal with, and sometimes, it's just too much for us at a particular time, and all we can do is to try to walk away and come back when we're ready.

As much as we'd like to, usually, it's not possible for us to just forget. Many of us, if not most of us, try for a while. It's really common to just try to forget, and then find later that that just isn't working.

It might not feel possible right now, and you might have no idea how, but you will be able to get out.

Would you like to fill me in on anything that's changed since your previous posts?

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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Helen439
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Your messages are still here and I've read them like a hundred times, but I didn't have the courage to reply.

These past months I've been thinking a lot and I've been analyzing things. I know those weren't completed rapes and perhaps a lot of people wouldn't even consider them significant assaults. But I felt violated, especially psychological, because the most hurtful part wasn't the physical one; what hurts the most is when I remember me not having the courage to protect myself and defend myself... and the smile on that person's face (if I can call him a person). That hurts a lot. I was to scared to say "no". I just froze up while dying inside. And that makes me guilty of what happened.

I know there are women in this world who have been brutally raped; many of them have the courage today to get up and go on with their lives. I shouldn't even complain about what happened to me. I have no right to cry about this. But no, I had to make a whole tragedy out of it... I've lost everything that was important to me (like college grades, friends or my family's respect) because some stupid things happened to me. This hurts a lot, because I know I shouldn't care about it, but I still do. And I keep hearing this voice in my head that it's UTTERLY STUPID.

[ 03-01-2012, 03:24 PM: Message edited by: Helen439 ]

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Heather
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I've said this before, but I'll say it again. I really think that trying to compare one person's trauma to another like this is really, really not helpful. Not only does you dismissing your feelings not help any of those other folks in any way at all, but trauma also doesn't work in a way where it's like X thing = X amount of trauma. How people experience trauma, and how much of it they experience, from various things isn't all the same: it's very, very diverse.

If it helps, and I've mentioned this to other uders before, I am someone who has been one of the women you're talking about. I'm also someone who has experienced attempted assault, and someone who has experienced years of verbal abuse. And for me, I know full well that an attempt can be just as scary and traumatizing. For me, those years of verbal abuse left deeper wounds that are tougher to close than the most violent assault I survived. For someone else with similar experiences, it might be totally different. We are all different in this way, and I most certainly, speaking as one of those women you are talking about, am never offended, nor do I feel diminished, by someone's feelings like yours about your trauma.

So. You, like anyone else, have every right to have the feelings you are having, and every right to have however much of a hard time dealing with this as you are. We cannot choose how we feel or what impact something has on us: all we can do is do our best to deal with it and work on healing. There's nothing stupid about any of that, and you trying to make the feelings you are having go away, or think of them as stupid, isn't going to help anyone, especially you, okay?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Redskies
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Hi Helen, it's good to hear from you.

Just so you know, no-one here is ever going to say to you that you "shouldn't" feel the way you feel. Firstly, that just isn't a part of how this community works, and secondly, the staff here make sure that no-one says something that is harmful to someone else or just plain wrong. This is one of the safest spaces I've ever known, on the internet and in person. I know that sometimes it can be very hard to feel safe somewhere if we're not used to feeling safe or supported generally. No-one here is going to judge you or question why you're having a hard time or needing help.

It sounds like you experienced a lot of fear and powerlessness. Those things Are a big deal, and if it had a big negative effect on you and your life, you absolutely Should complain about it. The negative effect isn't because of any weakness of yours, but because someone else harmed you. Someone assaulting us, or attempting to assault us, is unacceptable, and no-one should have to accept it.

You said that you froze. I want you to know that that is a very common reaction in someone who is being assaulted. It absolutely does Not mean that what happened was your fault. There are reasons why people freeze in these situations, and it's not to do with any weakness or lack of courage of theirs. We can all talk about that more, if you'd like to.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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Helen439
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Thank you for replying. I deeply appreciate it!!
I've been reading a lot of articles and messages on this site because not only it helps me to better understand my own anatomy and physiology, but also sometimes when I feel like I can't handle it anymore I come here and read all your kind messages, which I'm very thankful for!

Heather, I'm sorry about what happened! No one should ever experience something like that. I respect you for your courage to stand up and even help others the way you do! I've read most of your articles and I felt ashamed that I can't get over what happened to me; especially yesterday when I read an article about the "Saving face" documentary. I was thinking "God, I couldn't survive something like this. I just couldn't!" That's why I felt that my trauma was unworthy.

When I talked to my mother (as I wrote in the first message) I didn't even say the word "assault" or something like this; I just tried to tell her what happened, hoping she will understand or at least listen to me. I'm sure she didn't think it was traumatic at that moment; maybe she wouldn't even remember our discussion now. All I know is that she asked me if I did something about it. I was ashamed. I lied to her that I defended myself. That was our end of discussion, seeing her visibly ashamed and uncomfortable that I opened such a dirty and sinful subject. It hurt me to see the look on her face.

It's important to me to defend myself because no one ever did it for me. When I was a kid I had big problems with bullies at school and told my parents but they didn't do anything about it. I was scared to go to school because I was hurt emotional and sometimes physical and my parents were blaming me for this because I had weight problems. I was scared at home too because my father and brother were also abusing me verbally and physically daily (not sexually! I mention this because I don't want to create a confusion) and they aren't even aware of that nowadays. Even now, as an adult, I'm still scared of people, but mostly of men. I don't want to be sexist and say I hate all men, but honestly... that's how I feel. I've never met a kind man who would treat women with respect. It's not like I have a significant social life and a lot of friends, but most of my acquaintances have abusive boyfriends/husbands. Even at church I've met this type of cases. And it hurts because that leaves me with no hope and I feel like I will always be treated like garbage just because I'm a woman and no one will ever hug me with kindness and respect.

[ 03-02-2012, 03:08 AM: Message edited by: Helen439 ]

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Heather
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I think something SO important to bear in mind is that when those of us who speak very publicly about surviving assault do, more times than not, it's when our assaults are well in the past and we've had a great deal of time to heal. For instance, in my case, the violent assault that happened to me happened 30 years ago. And you know what? It is STILL hard for me to talk about parts of it, and I've had a LOT of education, done a lot of healing work, etc.

I think that sometimes being a "strong survivor" can wind up having a sort of status affixed to it. By all means, getting through assault or other trauma and moving forward tends to take a lot of work and effort, so it is something people are understandably, validly proud of. At the same time, there should be no shame in NOT being there yet, or being at any stage in that process. It's okay not to be there. It's okay to be traumatized when we have been traumatized. It's okay to struggle with this stuff. And if and when we haven't gotten any real support around it, it's always going to take much longer to heal, and be much harder, than when we do. I know that for me, the first couple years after my assault I was seriously like the walking dead.

I also think that it's okay to be wary of people if and when you haven't yet experienced being able to trust, meeting people who are safe. Realistically, men are no safer than women, but it sounds like the circumstances of your life and community have been such that in your experience, they're often, if not always, not. Hopefully that will change, but until it does, it's okay to be wary. If we haven't been given any reason to trust a person yet, it's okay not to trust them. Trust is something that needs to be built, anyway, not just given to anyone.

How do you want to move forward from here?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Helen439
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I wish I had an answer to that question. I only know I would love to move towards a pain-free living, but it seems that simply isn't possible. I've become some kind of messed up sour person and I don’t like it, not the tiniest bit. It’s not even only about the abuse anymore. I feel lonely more than ever because basically I have just 2 friends who only call me when they need something from me; the others I’ve lost gradually over time (it’s not like we were close friends anyways, but at least they were sending Happy Birthday texts). I feel anxious even when I go to the store because I’m afraid of the people I might meet. My family is really angry because of the bad decisions I’ve made with my life so far and as soon as possible I have to take a major decision about in which town I should move – and I’m afraid that might me a bad one again. My eating disorder and self-destructive behavior aren’t helping me either. It feels like everything has come to an end for me. I don’t even remember how my life was when I wasn’t dealing with depression. I’ve considered counseling and even found a good therapist in my zone, but I keep postponing because it feels awkward and shameful; maybe I’ll give it a try when I’ll have some money saved up. I’m being sour again. I’m sorry.
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Helen439
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I saw a movie a couple hours ago and I'm still shaking. I just can't get those scenes out of my mind and the abuser's words (about how women are made for man's pleasure and should serve the man specifically quoting from Bible) are infuriating me so bad!!!!!!!! Usually it takes a few days to start clean my mind and not think about it so much.

[ 03-07-2012, 12:32 PM: Message edited by: Helen439 ]

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skiesofgreen
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Hi Helen,

I'm sorry you've experienced something so triggering. Women are certainly not objects made for man's pleasure, and statements like that are, quite frankly, absolutely disgusting. It's no wonder you feel shaken up.

Do you have anything you can do immediately to help you calm down/give yourself some self car? What sort of activities do you normally do to make yourself feel better when you're feeling off, can you think of any that might help now?

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Helen439
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It's not something specifically that I can do to instantly take the pain away, although I would like that. I mean, nothing totally helps on the moment. I usually come here and read a few articles that I've saved for moments like these. Or I see what I have to do around the house, like cleaning and cooking. Now I'm pretty ok because I've managed to sleep a little. And just reading some kind words like yours confirming me that these things aren't normal it makes me feel better because a lot of years I've grew up with the idea that that's how things are and there's nothing I can do. Thank you!

It's pretty tough with movies although I don't watch violence or horror; but sometimes I search channels on TV and some of them seem nice until it happens something like this. And I can't stop it, especially if somebody else is watching too. I just freeze and sort of black out and feel dizzy; then I go out of the room and take some fresh air. Sometimes I feel like crying, other times I feel extremely furious like punching someone - especially the abuser from the movie. And it's not necessary to be a drama about rape (which was yesterday); sometimes is enough to see some misogynist jokes on a comedy to trigger this.

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Redskies
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Hi Helen, I'm sorry I haven't been able to reply here for a few days. Know, too, that Heather was off ill for a while, and the boards got quite busy. You're important and welcome, and do post whenever you'd like some help.

You don't sound sour to me. You simply sound like someone who's experienced a number of really difficult situations and who needs some help dealing with that. It's ok to say so when we don't feel good and when something isn't ok for us.

Have you ever received any treatment, help or support for any of your depression, eating disorder or self-destructive behaviour?

The "bad decisions" you said you'd made in your life, do YOU think they were bad decisions, or is it your family who think they were bad decisions?

With all the issues you describe, I think that exploring whether a therapist could be helpful to you might be a really good option. You said it feels "awkward and shameful": is that about seeing a therapist and asking for help, or is it about the thought of discussing some of these things, or something else?

I'm very sorry that your mother wasn't very supportive when you tried to tell her. If you live in a society or community that generally isn't open to supporting people who have been victimised, then it's likely that your mother has simply internalised that. Please know that assault or abuse are not dirty or sinful subjects, and it isn't dirty or sinful to have been abused or assaulted. It wasn't anything that we did wrong, it was something that someone else did wrong, and we shouldn't have to be ashamed for what they did. Sadly, as you've experienced, often societies act as if we should be ashamed - but they're wrong.

You mention moving to a new place. It sounds like the community you've been in isn't a very positive place, for women or for you personally. The options that you have for moving, do they include anywhere that is likely to be more positive?

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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