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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Abuse & Assault » Healing and moving on

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Author Topic: Healing and moving on
Renny
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Hey there,
I made a post in July about dealing with rape and sexual abuse from a past boyfriend. I just wanted to give you guys an update and ask a few questions about what I'm dealing with now.

Since I talked with you guys I told my parents about the rape and abuse and they helped me find and pay for a therapist.Therapy has been going great and I can really tell a difference! I was diagnosed with PTSD, severe anxiety disorder, and some mild depression all of which I am on medications for now.

My questions now are dealing more with the relationship I am currently in. My boyfriend is amazing and has been supporting me through my entire healing process, he was also the first person I told about the rape. We have been dating for almost a year now, and only recently have been exploring sex. It is both of our first time to have sex (consentual sex for me). My main reasons for wanting to have sex I guess was so that my rapist wasn't the last and only person to ever be inside me (if that makes sense). The first time was very hard and stressful, but my boyfriend was very understanding and supportive. Since those first few times though and really since the rape, I haven't been very excited or interested in sex or stimulation at all. The few times I was excited, I couldn't reach an orgasm, and simply lost all feeling down there. I guess I just want to know if this is normal? And if it is, what can I do to help myself get more interested? Could it be the medication?

Something else I have noticed is that I have a strange urge to know where my rapist is and what he is doing. We attend the same college. It's almost like a frenzy in my mind if I don't know what he's doing or where he is. Is this just part of the anxiety? Or is it something that I need to discuss more with my therapist?

Thank you!

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Renny, it's great to hear from you and so awesome to hear you've been doing so well and getting so much support.

You know, I wonder if we should first check in to be clear that anyone and everyone, rape survivor or not -- may find they don't feel a desire for any given kind of sex at any given time, for periods of time, or after they try sex, especially if the experience they have asked a lot of them and they have stuff with it they need to process. We there with that?

If so, has this been around all sex, like masturbation, too, or just sex with your partner os some kinds of sex with your partner? Your medications may have some impact on your levels of desire, but what they won't tend to impact is sensation of your genitals, especially if you are feeling aroused and wanting sex.

In terms of needing to know where your rapist is and what he is doing, do you find that knowing that makes you feel more safe?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
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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Hi Renny,

I didn't know you before, but I'm happy to hear that your parents were so supportive and that you are in a happy and safe relationship now.
I can't address everything you said, because I don't really know what's "normal". That said I'm sure someone else will soon be able to [Smile]

I just wanted to let you know that some anti-depressants (SSRIs) can cause a drop in libido. It happened to me last time I took one (it was Paxil, i think) and, like you said, I just basically couldn't feel anything down there, even on the rare occasions when I was actually excited. The good news is that you will probably not get this side-effect to the same degree with every SSRI, so it could go away by simply changing medication. However, I was also raped by a boyfriend, and I had a really difficult time getting aroused for a pretty long while after that (when not taking meds). I wanted to want to have sex, but the thought of sex really turned me off, know what I mean? Therapy helped me get through that.

If you are confortable, you could talk about both of these things with your therapist. Ultimately, only you will be able to figure out what's really going on... I hope this helped a little [Smile]

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Renny
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It has been with all kinds of stimulation. Masturbation, as well as vaginal and manual sex. I do feel somewhat aroused, but not really enough to make a difference.

It does make me feel more safe if I know where he is. I'm not scared of running into him, because I have since the rape. I'd almost like to have a chance to yell at him or express my feelings, so that he would know that I'm not okay with what he did to me. But knowing where he is definitely stops the frenzy in my head.

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Renny
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Thanks for sharing!It's nice to know I'm not the only one out there experiencing this. My doctor changed my medication, but I'm still having the same result, so maybe it is more of a mental thing after all.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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I kind of figured it was probably about feeling safe: that makes a lot of sense to me. Does it feel like something compulsive to you, or like you can't control? If not, I'd personally not think there's anything to worry about in doing that.

With the sexual issues, do you feel like you need to do some more processing around the experiences you've had so far, or like they shook something up you need to deal with?

Or, do you think maybe this might also be about testing the waters, so to speak, to see if it's okay for you not to engage in sex just because you have before? That can certainly be something survivors need to feel more than other people when it comes to sexual relationships, and that can sometimes be something, at some times, we might not totally believe is for real, if you follow me.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
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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Renny
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I almost feel like it's something that I can't control. I don't want anything to do with him, but I have to check his twitter/facebook anyways and I always feel bad or embarassed about it after.

It's been almost two years since the rape. I feel like I've done a lot of healing and processing in therapy and talking with my family, but I guess there is no such thing as processing too much.

My boyfirend and I talked for a long time also before we started dating. And it has been almost two years since I have had any exposure to sex. So there was a while there where there was an absence of sex. We started discussing the possibilities of sex about two months ago. I was the one who brought it up. I feel like I was ready for it, but I probably wouldn't have brought it up if I hadn't experienced what I did with my rapist. Does that make sense? I was planning on waiting for marriage before I was raped.

Does that answer your questions? I'm not really sure what you were asking...

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Renny, you are most definitly not alone in this. Healing from rape is a long and hard process, as I'm sure you know by now.

The most powerful advice I ever got (for this, and for life in general) is: Be nice to yourself! If that's too hard (it is hard!), think of what you would say if your best friend was going through this, and follow that advice [Smile]

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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It makes sense to me.

So, how about this: do you think it's possible you might still want -- or have come back around to -- wanting to hold off on sex until marriage? It really is always okay to change our minds with these things. And we can certainly always discover when we engage in sex that it isn't actually what we want, or in the conditions we feel we need, at any time.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
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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Renny
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That makes a lot of sense actually.... Now that I think about it, I really don't want to have sex. However weird that may sound. Waiting for marriage was a big deal to me before the rape, and I shouldn't have let the rape affect my goals I guess.

Was the wanting to experience sex "for real" strange? Wanting to make it so that my rapist wasn't the only one? Or was it just a lingering of emotion from the rape and abuse? I guess I just don't understand why I felt so strongly that I wanted to have sex when I really didn't want it.....

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Heather
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I think that it's important to bear in mind that being curious about any kind of sex, or wanting to see what it's like, is incredibly common among all people. Maybe that was about your rape, maybe it wasn't, but either way, there's nothing surprising about that.

I'd also say there;'s nothing surprising about wanting to experience consensual, wanted sex, on your own terms, after a rape.

It's also common for all people, especially as we're developing, to have strong opinions about something for a while that we question or maybe shift on, sometimes shifting back again, sometimes not.

Bear in mind too that very few people truly do hold out on sex with partners until marriage, especially if they don't marry very young, and this has been common through most of history as we know it. So, there's that, too.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
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

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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