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Author Topic: Don't know what to do
loststone
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I feel like my world's just become one big mess.

As those who've read my previous posts will know; my ex was sexually abusive. A few days ago a friend (H) reported a rape (which I had known about previously, but had no idea she was going to report); and last night I found out a friend (L) has raped someone, who may well also be a friend (though I don't know, she has chosen to remain anonymous currently).

I don't really know how to deal with this. I thought maybe I would phone a helpline or something but I don't like talking on the phone, I don't think that would be helpful. I'd much prefer to write it down, which makes here useful obviously, but online chat would be awesome but I don't know anywhere I can go for that (the only place I know which does it is Childline, and I'm over 18 so I can't use that).

I really want a hug, but I don't really want to go anywhere. My best friend here, who I live with, knows everything; but he has a friend staying this weekend so I would feel bad. There's no one else here who knows, though there will be on Monday. I've arranged to Skype with my best friend from home tomorrow. L's housemates have offered support but we're not really close and they don't know about anything else. I guess maybe I could talk to them...

I feel like I should call my local rape crisis; where I go to group therapy. The facilitator said I could call if I needed to (I have been to the group since finding out about the friend who has reported; but I found out about L yesterday) but I don't think she'll be there at the weekend. Plus, like I said, I don't like the phone. Also, I feel like she's not that clued up on queer issues; and given that nearly everyone involved in all these situations is queer; I'm not sure.

I want my mum, but she doesn't know about my ex, I can't break H's confidence by telling her anything about that, and she's far away. Or my best friend from home; but she's really far away, and at work.

I just, don't know what to do.

Posts: 134 | From: UK | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
loststone
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Just thought I should check back in and say I feel a lot better today. I managed to spend some time with my housemates and semi-enjoy myself.

I've spoken to H and I'm speaking to my best friend later, generally feeling okay. I think I will call my group facilitator tomorrow and let them know what's going on.

It would be good to still talk about this though. I especially have no idea what, if anything, I'm going to say to my parents...

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Saffron Raymie
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I'm glad you're feeling better, Loststone - but I'm also very sorry to hear about what H experienced; although I'm glad ze's getting help from the police. As for L, I can see how finding that out about hir would come as a huge, terrible shock to you.

Do you think you can confide in your parents about H or L or both, without having to discuss your ex if you don't want to? Or is your ex connected to H or L? If you were worried about breaking H's confidence,

I think calling your group facilitator is a very sound idea, too. How did that go today?

This is just a suggestion, but would you like this topic moved to the support groups forum so other users can reply? Or are you happy to stay in here talking to us staff and volunteers? I ask because, we might have other users who've been through similar things with friends, so we could try to recreate group therapy until you can go to the rape crisis centre again?

Again, I'm sorry to hear about this, Loststone; big hugs to you.

--------------------
'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

Posts: 1285 | From: England | Registered: Oct 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
loststone
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Thanks Ray [Smile] it really does totally suck, can't believe I'm having to deal with all this at once.

I've spoken to my best friend, and told her about H and L (though letting her assume that H is someone she doesn't know) and she's been really supportive and we've arranged to talk again at the weekend. I also told another friend that bad stuff was going on and arranged to talk to her soon.

And I spoke to my parents last night. I told them about L. I don't think they really know how to deal with it; they're worried about me and are trying to keep in contact which is good. They're worried that I'm going to be caught up in something I think, like because we were friends I'll be associated to this in some way? (L and I were on the committee of our LGBT society together; and they suggested that maybe I might need to take a step back. But I really don't want to at all; that's my community and we all need each other right now, and being part of it is really important to me. I don't think they realise how much). I guess I kind of feel that their priorities in this are wrong; but I guess that I can't expect them to realise how big a deal it is because they don't know all the other stuff. I know they'd have reacted totally differently if they knew about my ex.

I didn't call my group facilitator today in the end; I couldn't decide whether I'd rather leave a message or talk to someone straight away. But I think I'd rather leave a message so I'm planning on doing that in the morning and hopefully they'll be able to call me back later.

One vaguely good thing about this is that I have been talking to people, and actually admitting that I'm not okay. Every time anyone has asked me if I'm okay I've said no. I feel pretty good about the fact that I've been able to do that; even though the fact that I'm not okay isn't great.

I think moving this to support groups would be a great idea, thanks Ray [Smile]

(also, really appreciate that you used gender-neutral pronouns instead of making assumptions [Smile] H and L both use she/her pronouns normally)

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Saffron Raymie
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I understand; it's a sound move to recognise when we aren't okay, and to tell others. Not only does it mean people can offer support or get help, but it's safer for our hearts - as pretending we're okay when we aren't can make us feel our feelings are being eclipsed and don't matter, even if we're the ones we're doing the pretending for.

Well done for reaching out! Do you think it's possible that your parents reacted they way the did because they recognise that L isn't a safe person and don't want you in danger? I mean, I'm not suggesting you step back from the LGBT group either, but I was wondering if that's how they saw it?

[ 02-28-2012, 07:25 AM: Message edited by: Saffron Reimi ]

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'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

Posts: 1285 | From: England | Registered: Oct 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
loststone
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Thanks, it good to hear someone understand that [Smile]

I don't think it was that; though maybe that could have been a factor. Basically, L's housemates have known for a long time that she needs psychiatric help; and so are really pushing for that over say, a custodial sentence. I told my parents that and I think they thought people were trying to use it as an excuse, and that somehow I would be associated with excusing her actions in some way. This won't happen, the society isn't getting involved at all; but I think that's what they were worried about.

I guess that's partly why I feel their priorities are wrong; from my point of view, I know plenty of survivors, and am one myself obviously, and rape is in no way seen as the horrific and scandalous thing it should be, so I don't see how having been friends with L could come back to haunt me (in this way). Whereas I feel like they are thinking this is something which happens rarely and is going to create a massive scandal and if I'm there then I'll end up being implicated in some way. I just don't see how that view is realistic, the university isn't going to want to tell anyone, no one involved is going to be shouting it out to the world (though the rest of the queer community will end up finding out), because people just don't treat rape like that. No one's going to be making public statements about it which could somehow be linked to me, because no one's going to make public statements full stop. Or at least; I can't see how that will happen. Does that make sense?

I guess I feel like "rape happens" isn't in my parents' worldview, whereas clearly "rape happens" is very much a given for me (obviously), so this looks totally different to them than it does to me, which I found a bit frustrating.

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Saffron Raymie
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Oh, Loststone. I understand; especially if the society isn't even getting involved. Even then, if people were punished because the law felt they were making excuses for rapists - that'd be an awful lot of people in prison, unfortunately.

I think, in the world, a lot of people think about this the way your parents do. I can certainly understand why this would weigh so heavily on you when your parents don't know what happened in your past.

You've obviously thought about this a lot, and came to the decision you felt was best for yourself, and I don't mean to disrespect that - but what do you about talking to them about the abuse you've experienced?

[ 03-01-2012, 06:44 AM: Message edited by: Saffron Reimi ]

--------------------
'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

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loststone
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Yeah, I think if it comes up I will explain to them about the society not being involved; I've had a bit more time to figure my head out and I'm not in crisis mode any more so I think talking to them about it again might be a good idea.

I know lots of people do think like that; I just find it frustrating.

I don't really want to tell my parents about my ex. I just don't think I could deal with it. My parents knew my ex, they spent time together without me sometimes, they let her sleep in my bed, they didn't think she was good for me but didn't get involved because they were respecting my right to make my own choices. Under those circumstances I just can't imagine them being able to deal with it; which means I'd have to deal with them not dealing with it, you know? I have lots of support from friends, I just don't really see the benefit of getting my parents involved.

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Saffron Raymie
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I understand. I'm glad you're out of crisis-mode.

Just as a suggestion; if you'd like you parents to understand more about assault in general - and now the subject has be opened up - do you think talking to them about abuse in general is an option? You could say that you've read about it at Scarleteen before in the articles (Blinders Off: Getting a Good Look at Abuse and Assault; What's Rape got to do with it? ; What is Rape? ) and it's something you feel passionate about raising awareness about. Is reading through the articles together a possibility?

Lots of people think that way because sound information about this topic is so hard to come across - I understand how enfuriating and heartbreaking that always feels - I didn't mean to sound so emotionless about it back there; sorry Loststone.

Obviously, if you're afraid they'll ask if you've personally been affected, and you aren't comfortable saying not you personally, this won't work, unfortunately.

What about L? Is she still in your life?

--------------------
'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

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loststone
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Thanks Ray [Smile] you didn't sound emotionless!

I might do that, I do feel passionate about raising awareness and do so at uni so I'm sure we could have that discussion.

I haven't really been in contact with L since; she's around but that's all. She sent me a couple of messages which I haven't replied to; and I sent a message to a group which included her which she hasn't replied to. I don't really know if I want to deal with her, and if I did, how; so I'm just not atm.

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