I think she was raped a week ago, and I'm not sure how to help her...especially because I'm pretty sure she doesn't see it that way. I don't know absolutely for sure, but I do know this:
Something happened when she was 'blackout drunk' that she's deeply ashamed of and that she blames herself for- and my sister has never been one to be ashamed of her sexuality- she's strongly implied that it was sexual. And told me she needs to go see her doctor. But she won't talk to me about it other than to say she did something so stupid that she doesn't want to talk to me about it, because she's afraid of what I might think of her. And that just thinking about it makes her feel so ashamed that she wants to throw up.
She drinks infrequently, but has abused alcohol when she's upset, so she's taken this as the impetus to join AA. And while I never thought of her as an alcoholic, I don't think it can do any harm, especially if it means she won't turn to booze next time she's been deeply upset by something.
I'm not sure it's enough, though. She can't sleep. She'll be so tired, but she'll still be up when I leave for work in the mornings. She told me this morning that she spent most of the night crying.
I floated the idea past her that people who are black-out drunk are not considered capable of consent...can't sign contracts, agree to things, etc... but she shook her head and told me that it was her decision to drink in the first place.
So I really don't know. I don't want to push her, and she asked me to not to say anything more about it.
I'm just not sure what I can do to help her.
Posts: 3 | Registered: Jul 2011
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Hi eumenides, I am very sorry to hear about what has happened to your sister. From what you are saying, I would say it is very possible that someone may have taken advantage of her sexually. But you have to remember, you are not 100 percent sure what happened and in a way, she isn't either. If she has any reason to think that she has been raped, she needs to do the right thing and get her health checked out. Her feeling guilty is a normal reaction, even if she wasn't drunk. It is a shame that it has to be that way but a lot of rape victims feel ashamed and guilty even though they are not at fault. The fact is, she did get drunk and when you choose to do that, you put yourself in a vulnerable place because you basically lose control. So I see why she feels upset about this and probably disappointed in herself. I know I have done things that I have regretted and I was ashamed of them too. However, she needs to keep in mind that anyone can be a rape victim, a nice person, a mean person, a drunk person, a sober person, a person in a good place, and person in a bad place, it doesn't matter. Her being drunk does NOT give anyone the right to take advantage of her, period. There might have been a possibility that she may not have been as "drunk" as she thinks and maybe someone could have put something in her drink, it happens all the time.
I commend your sister for seeing that she needs help and is seeking it. I see plenty more people who never admit they have a problem and they stay ill with addiction their whole life. She must be a very bright girl to be able to see that she needs help, even if she doesn't fit the bill as a "traditional" alcoholic. Alcoholics come in all shapes and sizes and it isn't always just the guy who beats his wife and drinks 24/7. I believe you can even have a few drinking spells a year and still be an alcoholic. The fact that she abuses alcohol when she is upset is a very good indicator that she has a problem. We all want to make ourselves feel better when we are upset but when we remedy ourselves with something negative or something numbing (to the point of abuse), especially to the point that we make ourselves dependent on it, then yes, that is a good indicator that you are addicted. Kudos to her for seeing that.
I agree with you that she does need to admit to herself that she might have been raped. However, when or if that will happen, I can't say for sure. It is a very serious and personal matter and she won't talk about something or deal with something if or until she is ready to do it. This is still very fresh to her so of course she is experiencing high emotion. You are a really good sister for be in tune with what your sister is going through and you sound like you have a really good head on your shoulders. If you really want to help your sister, just remember not to be "pushy" or "frustrated" with her. Be gentle in all your conversations with her even though you may have to fight temptation to just "tell her like it is" because you probably will feel frustrated with her, if you aren't already, and this is only because you love her and you don't want her to feel guilty over this. I would advise for you to be VERY supportive about her decision to go to AA and also to encourage her to seek counseling outside of AA. The alcohol is a serious problem, and I am sure that she will get great support for that but the rape issue (and whatever past issues that prompt her to drink) are a whole other topic and she really needs to see a therapist for this. From there, the therapist may encourage her to seek group therapy for other rape victims and/or alcohol abusers. I have confidence that she will, in ample time, be able to come to terms with the fact that she did not deserve what happened to her. It will just take some time. It also might be of some help for you to do some research for her on some mental health clinics she could go to and what the costs involved would be. That would make it a bit easier for her to start the process. Even if she doesn't do any of this, all you can ultimately do is love her and be supportive of any decision she makes and try to have faith that she will make the right one. Take care.
Posts: 172 | From: USA | Registered: Jun 2011
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