T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 61437
posted 05-17-2011 12:24 PM
It was only 'mild', being that nothing happened under the clothes, but my ex-boyfriend (boyfriend at the time) had dry sex with me when I'd already asked him to stop and back off at kissing. Needless to say, he didn't.
Now I don't know what's happening. I thought things were meant to feel better as time went on but they just feel worse. At the time, I completely blocked it out of my head and actually told people it was a really good date. Then a couple of days later I admitted that it was a bit creepy, and I told one close friend that I wasn't entirely comfortable with what happened. It's been about a month, now, and I feel worse about it than I ever did. Don't get me wrong, this isn't a case of I-consented-and-now-I've-changed-my-mind, I remember asking him to stop, trying to get out from underneath him, staring at the ceiling during the whole event and being all shaky and stumbling and stuttering for the rest of the day, but it seems like now I've acknowledged what's happened to me, its affecting me more, rather than letting me move on. I'm having nightmares about him, so I'm worried to sleep, and I've gone a bit weird about sexual contact. Sometimes I'll let people do things to me without worrying about it in the least, and other times even little things like someone putting their hand on my waist will make me want to throw up. I don't even know what I'm trying to ask, here. Just. What can I do, I guess?
Member # 3
posted 05-17-2011 12:37 PM
I'm so sorry that you were attacked and sorry you're having a hard time right now. Let's see what we can do to help you out.
One thing I'd like to do is be clear that often, it's not useful or sound to label ways we are assaulted as things like major or mild based on what physically happened. That's because what happened doesn't always dictate how people feel about it. Something one person considers major may impact a given person less than one would expect; something someone considers mild may impact a given person deeply. So, let's be sure we're focusing on your individual experience and how you're feeling: after all, this is about you, not anyone else. It's not uncommon to go through a lot of phases in processing any kind of sexual assault or trauma, and also not unusual to find that giving it real words, being truthful with oneself and others that you were assaulted can kind of trigger a new phase of processing and healing. Sometimes getting away from denials or dismissing can be pretty scary and can also be a really big deal. You had your trust betrayed and experienced a physical and emotional violation: those are things most people need help dealing with and healing from, not things most people just get over. You mention sexual contact now: do you feel like that's something you're ready for? There's no one or right timetable for that, but I do think it's safe to say that a month after a sexual assault is pretty soon for sexual contact, and it may be that you need more time to deal and heal before you're ready for that and can manage that. What do you think? As well, have you sought out any kind of counseling or support specific to people who have survived sexual assault and/or abuse in relationships? If not, is that something you want to look into so you can get some help and support with this in-person? [ 05-17-2011, 12:38 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]
Member # 61437
posted 05-17-2011 01:07 PM
"You mention sexual contact now: do you feel like that's something you're ready for?"
I'm not completely sure I am, but I'm trying so hard to not be 'broken', as it were, so I don't like to protest. Its never anything serious, usually just fooling around with friends, games like Are You Nervous and such. "As well, have you sought out any kind of counseling or support specific to people who have survived sexual assault and/or abuse in relationships?" That'd be a no, as well, I'm afraid. I told my mother, and she said 'twould be best to just forget it and move on, which I can't, but she's always been quite anti-therapy in the first place, as I've thought about seeking it out in the case of an eating disorder previously. She doesn't seem to think it would help, and as she's underestimated how much this has affected me I don't really want to harp on about it. Any advice for what I could do maybe on a more personal level? I don't really want to get professionals/external people involved if I can help it. I appreciate what you've said so far
Member # 3
posted 05-17-2011 01:30 PM
We hear from a lot of people who push themselves to be sexual when they think or know it's not really right for them so they can try and prove to themselves they aren't "broken" or damaged goods.
Here's the thing: you're not. Really, you're not. And whether you're sexual with others or not, that doesn't prove OR disprove that. It can help to maybe think of it like a different kind of injury: if you sprained your ankle, would you go running the next day? Probably not. Instead, you'd give yourself plenty of time to heal, not put a value judgment on whatever time you needed, and use it gradually, in baby steps, to get back into the groove in pace with how you're healing. I do think it's also important to try and be aware of when we're trying to use sex to prove something to ourselves or others: that's usually not the best motivation for sexual experiences that are healthy and positive. Too, though, it's also important to recognize that feeling like you can't or shouldn't protest can be a big sign you really aren't in the right space with healing yet to be sexual with others. When we are in a healthy space for that, declining sex is no big whoop, and saying yes to it is something full of enthusiasm and joy. Know what I mean? I'm really sorry that your mother responsed the way she did. Would that we could just 'forget" ways we were traumatized in life, but that's just not something people can do. Moving on from trauma involves healing, which involves accepting and processing what happened with a lot of awareness. I would be happy to help connect you with some UK-based resources for help and support, some in-person, some by phone. Rape Crisis in the UK, specifically, is a really, really amazing organization which has helped many of our UK users dealing with assault and abuse. If that kind of help doesn't feel right yet, have you gotten your hands on any workbooks for healing from assault? What about going to or making your own support groups? Talking to friends about it who are supportive? How about creative ways of processing on your own, like through writing or art?
Member # 61437
posted 05-17-2011 03:01 PM
I might appreciate the phone ones, and I have been talking to some friends. Would the phone ones be completely confidential? And what kind of workbooks do you mean?
Member # 3
posted 05-17-2011 04:00 PM
Phone support hotlines for this are absolutely confidential.
Here's the link for Rape Crisis in the UK. You can look up all the info on their services before using any of them: http://www.rapecrisis.org.uk/ per workbooks, there are books out there to help guide people through the process of healing. Like this one, for instance.