Steps in The Healing Process

#1) Believe deep down it is not your fault, no matter what the actions were leading up to the rape, you need to know and accept there is nothing that justifies rape and you didn’t do anything to deserve it! Everyone I talk to feels guilty or ashamed in one form or another, but what you don’t understand is the person that is deserving of the guilt and shame is the person that chose to do the rape, NOT YOU! The rape was not about anything you did, it is about the attacker needing control and they are responsible for their actions NOT YOU!!!

#2) You need to try and do your best to deal with your feelings as they arise. I’ve learned that in order to feel like a survivor you face them head on. You have two options, deal with them head on or run from them. The problem is when you run, your demons become your shadow and you can never outrun your shadow, so it is best to try and deal with your emotions head on instead of trying to outrun something you can’t.

#3) The one thing I learned the hard way was that none of my loved ones reacted they way I thought they would, so I immediately was more concerned with their thoughts and actions than my own healing process. I see this almost every time when counseling a survivor. The first thing I hear is, “What is my family (often spouse/partner) going to think?” or “how are they going to react?” My typical response is, “I know you are worried about their reactions BUT aren’t you more worried about your well being for you and your family?” Before you expend your energy on controlling someone else’s feelings (when ultimately you can’t) you should take that energy to heal yourself. Because you truly need to believe that you did nothing to lead up to the rape and know in your heart it wasn’t your fault. When YOU realize it doesn’t matter what you were wearing, where you were at or what you were doing, then it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks! The bottom line is you have to take care of yourself first before you can take care of anyone else!

#4) Surround yourself with the people who support you and distance yourself (at least temporarily) from those who don’t.

#5) Find the positive in something everyday and focus on it no matter how small or stupid it is. A lot of days you will have to dig deep to find it, even if it is splurging on a dessert or watching your favorite TV show, but you must find something positive everyday to keep you going. This will also help train your brain that you can block out the negative.

#6) Remember that you can’t change the past so stop focusing on it with – shoulda, coulda, woulda – because it doesn’t matter since the past can’t be changed. If you are focusing on something you wished you would have done differently or beating yourself up with something you did, then you do not believe it wasn’t your fault, step #1. YOU MUST BELIEVE THAT IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT and until you do you have a long struggle in your recovery. Remember NOTHING JUSTIFIES RAPE!

#7) Focus on what you DO have control of and that is your future. The day I stopped letting my assaulter control my life is the day I realized I could be dead. At that moment (about 9 months later) even though I knew my assaulter took something from me, I realized he did not take my life and I wasn’t about to give him another day of MY life! He doesn’t deserve it, not one more minute! I felt this huge relief that I sat down and cried for hours. From that day on I stopped worrying about my past and what anyone else thought and focused on appreciating the life I had left. Now I’m not saying I skipped off into the sunset, but that was the day I stopped feeling sorry for myself (those emotions are allowed – for a while) and picked myself up and took a step forward instead of backwards.

#8) DO NOT turn to drugs and alcohol to mask the pain, once again you MUST FEEL IN ORDER TO HEAL. Alcohol and/or drugs are only a temporary fix and does absolutely nothing to solve the problem other than to push it deeper. You must deal with it and the more you feel and release, the more room you have to heal.

#9) DON’T rely on anyone else to heal you. You will heal as much as you put the work into it. Hopefully you will have support, but you need to know while it is OK to accept help from others, only you can heal yourself. Healing yourself through some type of professional counseling, whether group, individual or anonymously. A lot of cities offer free counseling or support groups through their local crisis centers. There are your some church groups or if you health insurance (make sure mental health is covered under your plan) use that. Some employers have EAP (employee assistance programs) that are completely anonymous even to your employer and usually offer a couple free visits. Go to rainn.org to find the closest counselor to you. There are so many resources, just make the commitment to start helping yourself and you’ll find a way!

#10) While the above suggestions are more long term, I would like to make some suggestions for baby steps that can help “right now”. My most successful suggestion is to right down your feelings at the end of the day (good or bad) whatever they are just as a release. This is good for survivors or immediate family members trying to cope as well. It is up to you whether or not you keep it, it is just a way for you to get your honest and true emotions out and not keep them deep inside you, which only fester. Warms baths are great before bed along with a good book to take me away, if even for 30 minutes. I always try to keep a book in purse, dvd at home or cd in car that I love and makes me feel good that I can immediately turn to to brighten my mood. And if you don’t have a pet, get one! Pets are amazing and offer true unconditional love BUT make sure you have the time to love and nurture your pet and you will get nothing less back!

#11) Think about taking a self defense class. After being raped your sense of security is shot and an excellent way to start to get it back is taking a self defense class. It is very empowering and a good confidence builder.

#12) Try yoga (if you don’t alreaady), it is truly amazing how it makes you feel calm and can just release the stress and anxiety. Never tried it until after my rape and I still have the same at home beginner dvds I’ve used for years, but I love them and I truly feel empowered, strong and relaxed when I’m done. They say you can heal your body through your breathing and I believe it. Tell me you don’t feel a little better after you take a few big deep breaths. Well, when you are doing yoga, not only is your body trying to align and release your stress you are holding in your body, but you are really breathing the whole time and getting oxygen to your entire body, which is not only a calming affect but helps the tightness in your muscles to release. So trust me just try it a few times, you don’t have to do it perfect (which is why I do it at my house) but I always feel better afterwards, never fails..

996 thoughts on “Steps in The Healing Process”

  1. I cant get past the fact that ive been raped…..ive told no one and i dont really intend on telling anyone close to me. It would only cause problems and i know that for a fact. Because the man who raped me is engaged to my cousin, i keep replaying the day over and over again trying to figure out what i did to make someone want to do this to me. I dont dress in revealing clothes,i dont even drink or smoke….i was just trying to make some money babysitting for my cousin. It was suppose to be me and the girls there but he came home early and i had put the girls down for a nap up stairs and i was half sleep on the sofa when he began to force himself on to me i tried to push and kick and bite and scream but all that did was make it worse he is like ten time bigger and strong than me….it hurt so bad i couldnt fight anymore so i just layed there watching the clock on the dvd box,that was the longest 8 minutes of my life…when he finished he got up with out saying anything….i ran up the stairs to the bathroom and cried and cried and cried as i cleaned myslef up he had been so rough that i was bleeding as if i was starting my period….and all i could think of was how to get home and if it was going to happen again before i could get away from that house…..and to make me feel even worse he tried to pay me double the money for babysitting….this happened 3 months ago and i havent been back to babysit since and i know that my cousin is going to start to wonder why i wont call or come over or watch the kids…..but i cant face her and tell her that her soon to be husband raped me, and i fear that if he did it to what will happen to my little cousins will he hurt them to i dont know what to do im ashamed and scared to say anything………

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    1. MGA I completely understand your feelings however you must tell your cousin before she marries this man. Explain the reason you did not go to her was because you were scared he would hurt you. DON’T tell her you are ashamed because this WAS NOT your fault. Just say you were scared. Let her know the reason you are coming now is because you are also scared for her daughters. The longer you wait the worse it’s gonna be for you and them. Do you have another family member or friend that you can confide in and that can be with you when you tell her? I would confide in this person and ask them for their help. You need to get counseling also for you to heal from this. Two things you need to take into consideration 1) Because you didn’t tell he might think he can get away with it again whether with you or someone else. Think about how you would feel if you find out he did do something with those little girls? It’s not your fault if that happens but you would feel horrible. 2) Hopefully your cousin will believe you but there is a chance she won’t because you waited so long. If she does great but if she doesn’t just know you did the right thing and at the very least planted the seed in her head. that will always be there as it should and going forward hopefully she will be extra safe with her girls. Also, be prepared if she does believe you she might want to turn him in and that is OK too. I would rather her be broken up and her and those girls safe, even though it will be difficult it is the best thing for everyone. Most importantly no matter what happens he will know that he can’t get away with it. So please tell her for everyone safety and get the counseling you need. I would also start counseling immediately and you can tell your cousin you are in counseling for the rape, this will help plead you case with her. Stay strong! Lynn

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  2. I was 17 bi and had a rep to be easy but no one knew that the night after my graduation from high school, I went an hour away from home to stay the night with one of my friends (he was 21). When I got there he poured me a glass of crown black and monster mixed and made me sit beside him and drink it while he played porn on his phone. Then told me to take my dress off. I was so scared that I did and when he try to touch me I told him no several times but it didn’t even seem to bother him. He made me then stand up and go to his bedroom where he raped me. Its been two years since then and I still wake up crying almost every night. It seems like the closer to May it gets the more it reoccurs in my dreams and the more depressed I get, I’ve been trying so hard to forget but the more I try the more I remember. I haven’t told anyone besides my boyfriend …. I just want the nightmares to go away I want to move on but im so afraid to get help ……

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    1. H. Why are you so afraid to get help? Do you think it’s going to worse than the hell you are living in now? It’s not easy but it is a LOT EASIER than going through what you already did, I promise. Rape is like your shadow that you can’t run from. It must be dealt with head on. When you keep it suppressed, it always rears its ugly head when you least expect it. Through counseling you deal, you recognize triggers and you let out emotions, which in turn leaves room to heal. I wouldn’t walk I would run to counseling and do the work it’s gonna take for you to get better and make a better life for yourself and your boyfriend. Because he can only help you so much. All they can really do is listen and be a shoulder to cry on which is great! But sometimes it takes a toll on them as well because they have the burden of not knowing how to help you going forward. If you are getting help through a professional it removes that burden from them and they can again put their focus in protecting you and your sense of security. Also, by going to counseling you are not letting this guy/rape control you and your emotions anymore. You are taking back the control in your life. Good Luck! Stay strong! Lynn

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  3. I had met this guy on the internet about four years ago and we started a long distance relationship. I was in NC and he in TN. We dated for almost a year and a half before things went down hill and he cut it off. I moved to TN a couple months after the break up. It took me forever to sleep at night because I was so caught up on him. We hung out a couple of times, and I kept thinking maybe he’ll come back to me. Well I was hanging out with him last week and my mom asked me to come home early because of the weather so as I was taking him home he asked me to pull over into this empty parking lot and get in the back seat so we could talk and I kept thinking that this was finally it, he was finally going to give us a chance. Well he only ended up wanting to mess around and I was okay with it but I hadn’t had sex in a few years and never with someone as big as he was. I thought he’d take care of me, prepare me right and go easy as I asked because this was someone I trusted, someone I considered a best friend. I was wrong. He immediately shoved him self inside me and he wouldn’t stop no matter how much I begged, every time I tried to push him off he’d only get rougher. Eventually he finally stopped, and the first thing he said was “if you’re pregnant, get an abortion”. I couldn’t walk for two days straight. I wasn’t going to tell anyone. I started having issues using the bathroom and my stomach and lower back are in constant pain. I finally ended up telling my mom and she took it harder than I did, she was sexually abused by her father when she was young for years. What I don’t understand is how I’m taking this so well. I feel numb and indifferent and it’s bothering me. I should be mad, upset..anything. I just don’t care and it’s worrying me. I haven’t been to the doctor yet. I don’t know if I’m pregnant. I don’t know if I’ve got some STD. I don’t know if I’m hurt internally. I just want to feel something, anything just not this numbness.

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    1. E. Numb is a common reaction as you will go through the same steps of death. Rape is the second most horrific emotions a person is put through, the first being death. So the emotional roller coaster is similar. You will be going through most if not all, so try and prepare yourself as best you can, or at least know they are coming. You need to take care of yourself by going to the doctor to get your health checked out. Then get professional counseling. I’m glad your mother is there to give you the support you need and that she can truly understand the emotions you have/will have. Have you thought about what you are going to do with the person that did this to you? Whatever you do stay as far away as possible. Are you thinking of turning him in? Did you save any evidence? Either way I would change your phone number and if there is any way of you possibly running into him again get a stun gun for your protection. But you need to get to the doctor and tehn into counseling. Stay strong! Lynn

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  4. I was raped almost one year ago. I still havent cried about what happened. I still cant feel much. I just feel empty. The only thing I do feel is unsafe which doesnt make any sense to me because I am safe. I decided to take him to trial and my lawyers always tell me how strong I am…which I think is b.s. because I am neither strong or weak. I am a shell and I am searching for ways to feel something. Anything. I almost feel like nothing bad has happened to me because I dont feel like anything has. I know in my heart that it was wrong…seriously wrong. I know I was abused. I cry over silly things all of the time..like tripping while going up the stairs or getting my car stuck in the snow. I am so fragile that way…but when it comes to me being raped..nothing. I know this sounds weird…like why would I want to feel sad or angry or depressed…but I am starting to think something is wrong with me. I just want to cry…but i cant. I am numb. Pain and joy are emotions I no longer know.. There is only numbness. Please help.

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    1. K. The reason you don’t feel is because you are scared too, which is very common. You are protecting yourself mentally. For example if you don’t feel then you can act like it never happened. I don’t mean admit that it didn’t happen because you obviously have, I mean dealing with the fact that it happened. These are two different things. So you are mentally protecting yourself from the feelings you are scared to recognize and deal with. Therefore you block them because you can. The problem with that is they are there and they are going to come out, whether through your actions or emotions and typically they will show up when you least expect it. Like maybe down the road when you have a daughter and you are forced to recognize what you do and do not want for her. It could be something as simple as a nightmare. Just know they are there and they need to be dealt with. Two suggestions, first try writing out your feelings either in a journal form or just writing and and tossing them away. and it doesn’t matter what you write about, your day, what your not feeling, whatever just take sometime to write everyday. This is a mental release and I’d be interested in how you are doing about 2 weeks into it. Also, as I always do suggest professional counseling. This will definitely help with your feelings and help you open up to them. Remember the more you let out the more room you have to heal. And I would like to reiterate your strength as others have told you. I don’t think you realize the strength it takes to take your rapist to court or the fact that you took the step to ask for help. That means you are ready and it is a huge step to take. You should be proud of yourself. Don’t give up and put in the work to get your life back on track because he doesn’t deserve another second of controlling your life even if with “numbness”. Stay strong you are worth it! Lynn

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  5. I was raped 5 years ago. I was 16. I was a naïve virgin. I thought, up until recently, that I had moved past this event and taken many steps toward recovery. I realize now that I had done nothing but try and run from my problems. I told my parents at the end of 2012 what had happened. I just finally reached a point where I just couldn’t lie to them any longer. I was forced to file a police report, but I wasn’t able to remember details of what exactly happened. I think I blocked out the experience. To this day I don’t know if what happened, really happened the way I think I remember it.

    A year ago from March 3, 2014, I was raped again. I was blackout drunk and my coworker took full advantage of that. I had previously been denying his advances but I don’t remember what happened the night of my 20th birthday. I woke up to him fucking me. I was still so shitfaced, that I just let it happen and then left. The more sober I grew, the more that vicious anger I thought I left behind me grew. I’ve never sought out counseling other than one of my dearest friends, who had been through an 8 year long abusive relationship.

    I want, no need to move past this. I am tired of feeling sorry for myself. I am tired of having to fake happiness. I do it so well that it almost feels real until it doesn’t. Then I crash hard and my depression comes back with full force. I’m done with this helpless bullshit, but I have no idea how to come out of this devious black pit.

    I’m not sure what I hope to gain by leaving this comment. I don’t really know why I’m typing this all out. This is probably completely presumptuous that I even ask you for help. whoever you are… but if you are out there, and can give me some anonymous advice, grateful wouldn’t even begin to describe how I think ill feel. In the very least I thank who ever you are for reading my long, and drawn out sob story. May good Karma come to you.

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    1. Unknown, I’m glad you found my site to tell your story and I appreciate your trust, that is why I run this site. You know I’m obviously going to suggest professional counseling because these rapes are still controlling your life. There are a couple things I’d like to explain to you about rape. That it is about control, not you and that it’s like your shadow that you can never run from. Once it happens the only way it can and should be dealt with is head on, through counseling. The control aspect is why you are still having these emotions which in turn can be causing certain actions that you are doing. I know counseling is not easy but it isn’t as hard as the 2 rapes you went through and the way they are controlling your life to the point you don’t know who you are or how to act. I promise you the counseling will tremendously improve your quality of life. And more importantly you will be taking back control of your own life. They don’t deserve to be in control of your life another minute because it’s YOURS and you have your whole life ahead of you. You just have to put the work in to get there. Stay strong! Lynn

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  6. @I would also ask this person to help you get a stun gun or pepper spray, since I think you need to be 18 to purchase. Maybe consider taking some self defense classes too.

    Hello Lynn and CL,

    I´m not vicitim of rape or sexual abuse, but I´m here because I got to know some survivors. Therefore I think that this is an issue which concers everyone. I hope I do not disturb you, because I´m not a survivor myself. I only write, because it´s hard for me what I heard and feel very sorry for the surviors and I´m very often, very angry to hear that this happens again and again. Thank you if I may write here, but please tell me the truth, if I disturb.
    I wrote the article and your comments. I think it is a very good idea, to take a self defence class, too. Because I think that this could help to heal a injured self-confidence, either. I think with a good teacher, you can learn to become a Living NO! . I mean that a woman can learn to love her self, and to show a storng behavior again. This is the best way I think to take away control form this guy and to avoid to give control to anyone else again. I that someone who wants to rape sombody feels if he has good chances or not (I don´t mean that it is the fault of the victim if it did not work in some cases. It´s ALWAYS the fault of the rapist!). I think that he´ll otherthink it twice, if he meets a confident woman who ist ready and willing to defend herself with all power. I think weapons like pepperspray are a good possibillity for selfdefendence, too. Bu the best is, they are used on the ground of a good martial arts course because:
    I can forget my pepperspray,
    I can loose it
    someone could take it away.
    But no one is able to take away my ellbows, hands, feet, knees, and so on. And I never can forget them. 🙂

    What do you think about that?

    Greethings, best wishes and God bless you,

    Stephan

    ps.: Sorry for my (perhaps) bad and broken English. But I´m not form USA. 😉

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  7. I feel like I’m being crushed by the shame and hurt that I feel. I can’t escape my head and everything I’m thinking and feeling. I cut myself to try to lessen the pain and pressure and stress. I don’t like that I do it but I don’t know what else to do. I’ve tried everything. I just feel aweful and disgusting…. I was 14 when it happened and it was by my friends dad…. I just can’t take this I don’t know what to do.

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    1. N. I’m so sorry this happened to you. You say you’ve tried everything, have you gotten the counseling you need? You say you want to lesson the pain and pressure, have you told someone that can help and you trust that this happened? Once you let out what happened and to receive the support you need is going to relieve the pressure and pain you are going through. You are not expected to be able to deal with this on your own. Because this happened at such a young impressionable age and by someone you obviously trusted, it’s suppose to turn your world upside down. So you NEED professional counseling immediately and you NEED to tell them about your cutting. You need to tell someone close to you, preferable and adult that you trust who did this to you. I need you to NOT worry about your friend, you need to take care of yourself. And if this man can do this to you, I bet it’s not his first or last time that he has done this. What if he did this to your friend too.. You never know. So put yourself first because everyday that goes by that you feel like this means that person that did this to you is still in control of you. He doesn’t deserve to take another minute of your life, he took enough. So be strong and get back control of your life, I know you can do it. Lynn

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  8. I feel so bad n lonely inside! Some days are good some are bad. I just want to die already. Its like the pain never goes away it never stops. I was molested at 8, raped at 18. Both by family members. It hurts me so bad. It was my first sexual experience as well. Its a complete nightmare. Im 22 now and its so raw. Im so ashamed n embarrassed….. I would have dreams of animals. I took time off frm college becuz i couldnt function properly. It was like a dark cloud.

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    1. Forbidden, well I can only hope that you have rec’d professional counseling, if not please do so because if you don’t that dark cloud will not go away. The first thing I need you to try and do is stop letting this define you. You did nothing wrong therefore you should NOT be ashamed and embarrassed. You didn’t choose to have this happen to you, someone else made the horrible choice to do this. I hope you told someone you can trust who this family member is and I hope you no longer have to ever have contact again with this person. If you haven’t told anyone let the truth set you free. I would only go to someone you completely trust and that will be there for you 24/7. This has happened to you at very vulnerable times in your life, at 8 and taking your virginity so you really need professional help. Let me ask you this.. if this happened to your daughter what would you expect her to do? You would want her to be able to come to you for help and you would want to take care of her through counseling wouldn’t you. So don’t treat yourself any less because you totally deserve to be happy. Thes people have hurt you so much and the longer you live under the dark cloud the more they are controlling your everyday living like this. Take back control of your life by getting the help you deserve and truly believe in your soul that this doesn’t define you, only the people that did this to you as molesters and rapists. You are a good beautiful person that needs her life back. Don’t let them take another minute of the happiness you can have. Counseling isn’t easy but what you have been through is a lot tougher. And Counseling and talking about it let’s it out and gives you more room to heal. So don’t waste another minute under that dark cloud because there is sunshine waiting for you! Stay strong! Lynn

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  9. Recently I went out with a friend. We ended up at some halls of residence and proceeded to get more drunk. I ended up sleeping with somebody but was so drunk I can’t even remember how it happened. He was throwing me around quite a bit and strangling me and forcing me to do things. He then gave me a joint which I thought was a cigarette and passed out. He came up behind me and started having anal sex with me and I started to wake and tried to push him away but he carried on. I was paralysed with fear and now feel scared and have a constant nervous feeling inside. I want to be on my own all the time but I’m scared of being alone and having time to think. Does this even count as rape? Am I being over dramatic? I hate to think that I’m making a big fuss over nothing and there are people who have endured much worse. It’s my own fault for being so drunk and acting the way I was. My best friend knows because she was with me but I want to tell somebody else but I daren’t in case the way they act with me changes or if they think I’m just being daft because I’m overreacting.

    Posting it again because it still says it’s awaiting moderation. I’ve managed to not think about it so frequently over the past fortnight but when I do it’s like big thought and I get panicky and nervous. Has my comment not been moderated because I’m being an idiot and it doesn’t even count as rape? I know I’m being pathetic.

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    1. B. Sorry for the delay. I have been on vacation. No you are not being pathetic and yes this is rape. First even if you wanted to in the beginning and changed your mind and he wouldn’t listen it is rape. When he started doing anal and you tried to stop and became fearful, that is rape. The reason you are having these feelings is because your body knows that wasn’t suppose to happen. I’m glad your best friend is there for you and you need her but you also need to go to professional counseling as that is who you should be talking to. Your friend also as long as she is giving you the support you need. The sooner you get to counseling the sooner you will feel better. Stay strong! Lynn

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  10. Lynn, It happened at college 4 years ago, I was completely sober, he just wouldn’t stop. I went to the police the next mooring, and their first question to me was “were you intoxicated?”. I replied no, but I could tell by the detectives face they didn’t believe me. The next day I went to the dean of students councelor because I was so emotionally unstable. I told her my story, and the first question she asked me was “what do you do to provoke this to happen to you?”. I couldn’t believe what I had heard. I remember hearing that just as well as I remember being raped.
    After being raped I went on a 2 year binge of getting drunk every night and sleeping with random men. It didn’t matter to me anymore. Sex wasn’t personal, or romantic. I was just a body.
    I’m engaged now, to a man I love dearly. I want to badly to enjoy sex with him, to feel that passion with him, but all I feel is pain associated with my attacker. I don’t know how to get over this. I need to get over this. I fear that it will ruin our relationship. He knows what happened to me, but that doesn’t change his needs.
    Please help guide me in the right direction.

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    1. J. I can’t believe how you were treated, it’s complete bullshit and I’m so sorry! If you haven’t already gotten counseling that is what I would do and even consider both of you going. You need counseling for your rape and he needs counseling to understand how to deal with you and your needs. So I would start with you, tell your counselor exactly what you told me and then see if you can get him to join you for a visit or two. Because he is going to need to be very empathetic with you and what you need more than you to him. And I would stop thinking of it as sex but more as romance and doing the romantic things to help turn that switch in your mind that it’s just sex. So plan some romantic things that you love and make it more about that than the actual act of sex. No matter what you do the counseling is absolutely necessary. Stay strong! Lynn

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  11. I was molested from ages 6-9 and raped when I was 9…I was also sodomized when I was 14. I have worked though a lot of emotions and anger from what happened. But, at times it drives me crazy. Its like I re-live it all over again. Like a real life movie…but it is all in my head. I can remember everything like it was yesterday. Is this normal?

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    1. AAA, yes it is normal however you through professional counseling you can learn to cope and lesson the memories. Have you tried counseling? You’ve got to be able to talk to someone that can help and you can get these memories out of you head. The more you open up and talk the more room you have to heal. The fact that this has pretty much happened most of your young life is completely traumatizing and will effect you until you get the professional help you need. Rape is like our shadow, we can’t run from it, we must turn and face it head on through counseling. People think time makes it go away but the longer you wait the longer it takes to heal because it just festers inside of us. So even if you have had counseling before you need more if it is still affecting you like this. I would also consider taking a self defense class. Just know that you can have a happy life and move forward BUT we must put the appropriate work in to get there. Stay strong! Lynn

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  12. I was raped in 2005. I went through one-on-one counseling, and anxiety group therapy. In 2008 I was starting to feel more normal again, feeling in control. In 2012 I felt happy like truly happy for the first time since. A few weeks ago, I started having nightmares of it happening again like I did back in 2005. What can cause something like this to occur again? Will this always be something I have to deal with from time to time? It’s the most frightening experience and even worse I woke up in the middle of last night because of it and I felt aroused by it and I cried for a few hours and tried to sleep more but I was unable to sleep so I lied in bed doing my best to only think about the good things in life cuddling with my childhood teddy bear.

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    1. Z. First let me say that I am proud of you for going through the steps through counseling that you did and glad you truly reached happiness again. Part of the therapy as you know is how to cope because it doesn’t go away. But as good times go by the episodes do get farther apart. When we do get them (and sometimes you are unaware of the trigger) what helps me is breathing deep (if its a sudden onset like your nightmare) and I turn on the tv to concentrate of something else. It’s hard I know but you need to switch the gear in your head and try your best to think of something else. Put on some head phones and listen to music, read a book something. If you dont mind getting upa do some yoga because all the deep breathing calms you down. Then when you are calm or maybe the next day try and evaluate what you think may have triggered it. But you may never know. If you can figure it out then try and a oid it going forward if possible. I use to tell myself to calm down that this is my past not now and not my future. Stay strong! Lynn

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  13. I was raped when I was 13. I am 20 now and I still can’t forget it. I was in a summer camp and it was so much fun, at first. But one night, the owner’s sun (he was 17) came to my tent and told me he liked me. It made me feel good, because my family and I just moved to a different country and I didn´t have many friends and hardly spoke the language.My dad left us when I was little and told me he never really wanted me. Everything was fine until he started to force himself on me. I remember that I tried to tell him to stop, but he kept saying it was alright, that he was not going to hurt me. He put his hand on my mouth and I stopped fighting. It was over so fast and I was lying there motionless for a while, not undestanding what happened. The next day he told everyone that I had slept with him and made fun of me. I desperately called my parents to come and get me, but they couldn’t for a few days. And later his father tried to touch me too. I hit his hand and ran away. I think I hardly came out of the tent till my parents came. I felt so ashamed, dirtly even. Before I went home the son told me that if I ever told anyone, noboby is going to believe me because he told the truth. And I kept it to myself. Since then I was enable to have any succesfull relationship with guys or other people, because I don’t really trust anyone and a couple of years ago I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Sindrome. I drive every body crazy, probably, and I think everybody will hurt me eventually. I try to fight back from all of these feelings and even though I was in therapy for a while, it is not cheap, and every time I felt even more guitly for ruining a relationship or feeling this bad when people can suffer from more. I know that I have to let go of the past, but I can still hear him telling me it is alright when I go to sleep sometimes…

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    1. A. I’m glad you were able to get some therapy but if it is still bothering you this many years later I truly feel you need more. Especially with your diagnosis. And it isn’t something that we just let go it is something that we learn how to do with kinda like your diagnosis. I was in therapy for a year. If you are worried about the expense some therapists will work with you or you can even try and contact your local crisis center to see if they can refer you to someone that offers counseling. And stop feeling guilty because this is something that you have to work through and you need to take care of yourself first and foremost, especially if you want to be able to trust and have a good relationship in the future. Stay strong! Lynn

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  14. I am 17,Male,Now i hope youv heard something like my story before , because i really feel like nobody has gone through what i have, Basically when i was 7 years old i got raped by my 14 year old male cousin, he use to bully me, pick on me, laugh at me, make me feel low etc. He use to make my anus bleed, he done it for years, all the time every time he seen me id get sexually abused or physically abused by him, recently i have told my family, i use to live in mayo,ireland. was nice had loads of friends everyone wanted to know Glenn because he was funny and really nice, i started gettin older , started gettin very violent, but the situation that im stuck in now is, iv made my statement witch took me 6 hours and many pieces of paper to the Gaurdi, they have done nothing about it so far, it went to the DPP and the DPP have decided that it goes to court, now i should be going to court very soon in th next couple weeks, and the situation is that the gaurdi from swinford,mayo have asked the mother of my abuser could my parents lie for me, its gonna go downhill in court, and my abusers mother has told my uncle that when she proves that im lying shes bringing me to court for lying, to be honest here im not sure if yuv been arsed to read this but now i feel like im going to jail for been raped as a child. my girlfriend of one year said to my abusers brother over facebook “you should tell your mother the truth about what your father done to you” basically i lived in athlone next door neighbours to my abusers family and i was 4-5years old living there , and i use to see my abusers dad been dirty with his kids. so i told my girlfriend that i think hes fucked up because of his dad. and she said it to him that he should tell the truth, now they have brought this to teh gaurds yano, im going to jail for been raped repeatedly , i feel like my only option is murder after all nobody gives a shit like.
    iv been abused by another cousin of mine , i was 10 when she started to abuse me she would make me touch her, she would give me a blowjob when im sleeping, she worked alittle different to my former abuser , i also reported this to my local gaurdi station and nothing has been done about that either, that abuse stopped when she moved out when she was 17, she had moved in when she was 15 because her mother in dublin didnt want her livin with her anymore, she was a troubled child.
    in the same period my first abusers younger brother who is 2 years older then me abused my little brother and had sex with me also, there whole family is rotten, i was a very little kid, i was tiny , and weak and couldnt do anything about it, i hit puberty properly at about 14-15, im now 6ft , but up until i was 14 i was tiny.
    Im not sure what im asking off you by saying this but can you atleast reply with something for me to read, if you understand where im coming from like, im going to jail for been raped in my ass by my first cousin , theres so much to this story its unbelievable.
    Everyone thinks im a liar back in ireland. im now living in england because everytime i was seen i got beatin up by groups of my 20-25 year old abusers mates, i got beatin up at a petrol station infront of my mother.
    so ya im livin in england now and i dont know what to do with my life, im planning on murder straight up, or im gonna be weak and kill myself, because in the eyes of the law when they bring the printed out version on my girlfriend to the eyes of the judge its gonna look like im lying about been raped and abused because it looks like im makin up that my abusers father molested all their kids, im fucked. only the last 3 years of my life i have had to recover because all im usto is gettin played with like a childs toy, my cousin ADAM told me he loved me after he raped me while holding my neck choking me , amazing fucking amazing.

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    1. G. My advice is to get into counseling immediately. Tell your entire story and ask how and if she can help with court. You also need it if you are thinking suicidal thoughts. Most importantly don’t give up. I’d be asking for help from an attorney, a counselor and family members like your brother who it also happened to.. Get as many people on your side as possible to stand up for you. I don’t believe you are going to jail because you did nothing wrong. If you can remember anything about your surroundings, exactly where it happened, as much info as possible. Tell them. Getting a professional counselor on your side could help a lot! It might be hard but you must stand up for yourself and don’t give up. The more details the more it shows your story and makes it believable. Stay strong! Lynn

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  15. I was at a party with some friends and went missing for 45 minutes and no one could find me. I don’t even know where I was. I had been drinking, but I remember everything up until when I got raped. I think I may have been roofied because I have no memory or flashbacks of it. My friends finally found me in a bathroom, half naked, and passed out. They had to drag me out and into their car and drove 40 minutes to get me to my parents house. I’m only 17 and I had never met the boy who raped me. I didn’t even know I was raped until I got out of bed and something didn’t feel right. Later that day he Facebook messaged me asking if he should buy me the Plan B pill. I didn’t even know the boy’s name at this point. I eventually told my parents and they talked to his. Everyone tells me it isn’t my fault, but I feel like in a way it is. I put myself into that position with drinking and I should have been smarter about everything. I’m even scared to just go hang out with some of my guy friends now, I’m just paranoid about it. I’m really lost and I don’t know who to talk to about this

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    1. M. It’s not your fault because you were drinking… That’s like saying everyone who drinks it’s there fault if they get raped. You are in a completely vulnerable state, especially if you are roofied and that’s when predators pounce. Again, not your fault. And I’m glad your parents are supportive but if they haven’t mentioned getting you into counseling the you need to ask them. Every single person that goes through rape needs a professional counselor because the only people that can truly help you learn how to cope are counselors or other rape survivors. So you have the options of counseling or group counseling. You can go through your parents insurance, if they have it or you can try your local crisis center or go to rainn.org to find the nearest counselor to you. There are many options but the sooner the better because thelonger you wait, the longer it takes to heal. Trust me because it will continue to affect your life in adverse way! Stay strong! Lynn

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  16. I Don’t know what to do anymore, in the past three years I have been raped and harassed (I got away from it) , abused(by a new person) forced into sex through pity and then raped again, all by people I trusted. Just last night (a few hours ago)I was forced again…I have been doing my best to stay head strong but I don’t know why this keeps happening to me. It’s effecting my life I need help but I don’t know where to turn…

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    1. C. My first advice to you is to get a stun gun and take self defense classes. The second thing is professional counseling because these people have some sort of control over you that you don’t seem to be able to break away from or recognize. Very important you seek counseling and be able to protect yourself. Have you kept any of the evidence so you can report these people, I would? You can contact your local crisis center and ask them for referrals. sometimes they work with you on payments as well. You can also go to rainn.org and find the nearest counselor to you. Stay Strong and get the help you need please. Lynn

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    1. K. If you’ve been raped son’t think this is going to go away or be forgotten because it doesn’t. HOWEVER you can learn to deal, you can get your life back and you can be happy. But you must do it through professional counseling. We are not put on this earth wired to know how to deal with or understand the trauma of rape. Only professional trained counselors or other rape survivors can truly understand. So maybe try group counseling where there you will build lifelong froends that understand and can share ways of coping or individual counseling. The sooner the quicker you will get your life back. Stay strong! Lynn

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  17. My rape happened almost 6-7 years ago, I saw about 5 therapist between then and now and I still can’t even think about it without crying and hurting all over, I hid my feelings far down, at a time I never told anyone and in school it became a problem. My whole school began calling me a slut and telling everyone I slept with older guys and then I pushed it all down further and moved half way across the country. Not having to deal with it every day my night terrors stopped being so bad and I thought I was over it. But recently I moved back and I met someone who has been trying to help me, but I mentally can’t let it happen? and I go to the same school, kids apologized but it all came back, hiding my problems have only made my life harder and I am not sure how to go about this. I try to tell myself it was not my fault and try all those steps but it has not worked so far. I don’t have much money to see a therapist and I just don’t know what to do. Any one have any advice??

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    1. B. You still need to be in counseling. Try your local crisis center and tell them you need rape counseling but can’t afford it and see if they have referrals for you. You can also try rainn.org and see if they have any recommendations (you will need to get the toll free number and call). I actually just called therapists until I found someone that could work with me and see me immediately and after a lot of calls I found one and she was awesome. That also told me she was in it for me and not the money. I saw her for over a year. Have you thought of taking self defense classes as this will not only help with your sense of security but your confidence level as well. If you are having nightmares try writing out your thoughts from the day about an hour or so before the end of the day, whatever it is it doesn’t matter and then try doing some yoga right before bed. It might not happen overnight but the more you practice this the less nightmares and better rest you will have. The better your rest the less anxiety. An lastly, you must understand that by holding in your feelings it just causes them to boil up inside of you. By letting your feelings out through talking, writing, crying self defense classes this allows your body to have room to heal. When you let the negative out the positive can come in. But if you filled with negative then that controls your life. You have been through a lot but this IS your past that can’t be changed the more of your future you are giving up. And you can decide how you want your future to be because YOU are in control. It’s baby steps and it’s not easy BUT it IS worth it. Stay strong! Lynn

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  18. I was abused for four years and raped by my ex-boyfriend. I buried it so deep for three years that it was almost like it never happened. Then a few months ago I met a guy who I was instantly drawn to (I recently realised I was attracted to him because he was exactly like my ex). He used me and tossed me aside. I then got drunk one evening and told one of my best friends about the rape and abuse (I later thought I had dreamt telling her because I was so drunk). I talked to her again sober a few weeks later and she admitted that I had already told her. I’ve had to admit to myself that this happened to me and honestly it sent me down a bad path of drinking, self-harming and risky behaviour. But I am trying to be strong. I have told a few of my inner circle of friends and I met a wonderful man who has somehow helped me put the pieces back together. He has made me see that this was not my fault and was never my fault and that I am a strong woman. I can’t tell my family what happened to me. I want to but it would tear us apart and I just can’t do that. It is the one place I know will always be (somewhat) stable and to tell them would tear them apart. My parents would blame themselves and my brother would probably hunt down and kill my ex. I’m not even joking he would do that he is so protective of me. I can’t have him screw up his life or have my parents screw up their because of something that was only ever his fault. I’m not really sure why I’m writing this I think I just needed tell someone who doesn’t know me. I’m trying to accept it.

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    1. R. I’m glad you shared your story and it seems you are at a point where you are ready to talk about it. I understand why you don’t want to tell your family but you need to be aware that when you are finally to the point to talk it’s like you body and mind want and need to get it out. The more you let out the more room you have to heal. Which is why you should get professional counseling. Not only will it help you heal but it will help with your current relationship and your overall healthiness of your personal future. It takes a lot to get to this point and I don’t want you to miss your opportunity. You are strong and you can do it, you are worth it. Stay strong! Lynn

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  19. Hi,
    I have a friend who was first raped at the age of 18 and was recently raped again (less than a week ago). she seems to be doing good with handling this second one but the problem is, she seems not to be having enough sleep due to flashbacks, pains in her pelvic area, eating plenty even if she is not hungry and most importantly a little traumatized.
    How do i help her recover from this one without being extremely paranoid.

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    1. Anonymous, First and foremost I would try and get her to go to the doctor especially if she is still having pelvic pain. Whether or not she decides to tell him she at least needs to get checked out. Then I would also recommend that she goes to counseling however she has to be ready on her own this is not something you can push on her (not that you would). For trouble sleeping and flashbacks I recommend writing out thoughts on paper prior to bed (she can also use these for counseling to help determine triggers and ways to cope with them) and then after the writing dong some yoga right before bed. The writing is a mental release and the yoga helps the stress and relaxes you. She doesn’t need to be good at it and she can get a beginners dvd at the store. But these two things really helps with stress and anxiety and improves sleep. Let her know you are there for her 24/7 if and when she wants to talk. But you need to know that the counseling is necessary at some point, but again she must be ready. Because you can only do so much. After 2 rapes if she is keeping this buried inside her I can promise the longer she waits the longer it’s going to take to heal. Stay strong! Lynn

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  20. Hi Lynn, it’s currently 4am here and I have only had a few hrs of broken sleep. It’s been a few days now, I don’t know how many and I don’t want to think about it either, but I’m still bleeding which makes it too real for me. It feels like a nightmare but then I see the bruises on my chest and legs and have to use tampons like I’m on my period that I realise this is real life. I’m 18 and currently travelling with a friend overseas and I went out one night with friends from the hostel and somehow got way to drunk. I started hooking up with the promoter guy for the club which I would usually regret anyway but now the regret is on a whole nother level. He proceeded to buy me a drink or two I’m not sure, however I’m sure he wouldn’t have had to pay. I remember him saying he’d take me outside to get fresh air which I thought would be safe considering he’s affiliated with the club. It wasn’t, some how I ended up passed out at his fully naked waking to intense pain. My vaginity just taken like it was nothing. I said no many times but even though I was beyond drunk, I’m sure he heard me. When he finally got the hint (which wasn’t long I don’t think, but the dead was already done, no matter how short the time was) and then tried continuously to make me go down on him. I couldn’t even move I passed out and woke of early with blood on the bed and a crap load of regret which I feel will never ever leave. He was just staring at me like I was an animal and seemed angry he didn’t get the pleasure he obvs hoped for. Is this rape? I didn’t want it but I can’t stop the regret as this wouldn’t have happened if I wasn’t drunk! I’m scared this will affect me for life and my future husband will have a massive problem with it. I’m Christian so my vaginity means so much to me and espesh my family. I don’t know if I’ll be able to face the world again. I feel like a lot of me is lost. I try to think that it could have been worse but the issue is it could have been a lot better too. I’m scared I’m going to face this regret forever and I feel like I will never be genuinely happy nor intimate when that time comes.
    I really want to go home, I told my mum on skype and she was as supportive as she could be but she also seemed to think it was my fault, she always hated me going out and has never drunk in her life. I asked her If I could go home but she told me it’s just not possible, which is true. I have three weeks left and have two, week and a half long tours booked and payed for. I can’t enjoy this though. I can’t even sleep nor eat, how am I supposed to enjoy the trip when the trip was when this f ing thing happened to me.
    Even if I did go home, people would ask questions and I don’t want any of the outside world to suspect a thing.
    I ended up here on this site because my mum is at work and iv left a thousand messages on FB to her that she won’t see for hours. I just need a cuddle from my mum which is actually impossible.
    I don’t have the motivation or energy to face the world around me let alone continue travelling.
    I can’t see an end to this situation. I can’t see an end to this unhappiness, I’m already diagnosed with depression and I feel like this will make the depression unmanageable. Mum already kept saying on skype not to do anything silly because I don’t want to end up in an overseas hospital.. But I just can’t think of how else this pain will end.
    I’m sorry for letting lose on you, I just have no one else to talk to and I have no idea what to do.
    Can I still consider myself a virg. It meant a lot to me and I can’t come to terms with not having it. I don’t want to count this guy my ‘list’. I want my future partner whome I will be in a loving relationship with to be my ‘first’.
    Sorry for the massive rant, I know this isn’t the worse thing that could happen to me but it damn well feels like it. It actually feels like the end of the world which is silly I know.
    I feel like I’m doing this alone, atleast for another 3 weeks. I don’t think I can last that long in my own head.

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    1. T. I hope you are doing better, I know it’s hard. I’m hoping that you’ve have seen a doctor if not you might want to consider that. Also I need you to understand and truly believe that none of this was your fault. You must let that go. Just because you drank or got drunk does not mean you deserved to be raped. We trust people and don’t think these horrendous things happen but unfortunately they do. This does not define you, only the person that did this to you as a rapist. I’m glad your mom is supporting you but when you do get home you need to seek counseling immediately, especially if you are already diagnosed with depression. As far as your virginity goes personally I would say yes you can consider still a virgin. But that is something you have to believe. It might not be physically true BUT I don’t think there is anything wrong thinking that way if it helps you heal. Because it is not something you agreed to do with anyone. So if it helps you heal I would absolutely think that way. Once you start putting the blame where it belongs, on your rapist it will start the healing process. You can’t live in the past thinking if I did that or what if I didn’t do this. You have to move forward and take back control of you future. Everyday that you let this ruin your emotions and your thoughts then this person is still in control no matter how far away he is. It’s not gonna happen overnight but through professional therapist/counseling you can get there, I promise. Take care of yourself and stay strong! Lynn

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  21. I was raped about 4 years ago and I haven’t been able to deal with it. its like it never even happened I was seeing a councilor at cross roads but she got fired and now I dont have anyone to talk to about it to help me deal with it. I can talk about it some like to people I know and trust. Anyway I dont know where to turn to because I have this guy who wants to treat me and camden right but he is the same race as the 2 guys that raped me. I just want help and to move past this.

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    1. A. My best answer is to just keep looking for another counselor until you find one that you are comfortable with. You obviously were getting help and you need to continue with the counseling, based on what you said. So keep looking and I would recommend going with a woman if you can. It might take a little leg work but it will be worth it, just don’t give up because you and your future are worth it. Stay strong! Lynn

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  22. I am just feeling really hurt and confused, and I’m still dealing with it to this day. It was about 4 months ago. And one night I went out with a bunch of friends and ended up being way too drunk. I barely remember getting back to my own house. The person who took advantage of me happened to be my now ex boyfriends roommate. And my boyfriend was away working long hours.. so he probably knew that he could do what he had done. I woke up the next day really confused, hurt, and I felt I wronged my boyfriend at the time. And the roommate then decided to walk into my room again a couple days later and I had told him no. But he still continued to not listen to me… I tried bringing it up to my cousin afterwards and told her what happened. But at that time she had been cheating on her own husband. So she went along with it… said it happened once already. And it’s already been done so it will never change once what’s done is done. So I still didn’t quite understand.. or know how to cope with it. And I eventually just went along with it. Because she I felt helped influence the situation. And I felt that I had already wronged him. And I never told him but I didn’t know how. Especially without feeling that I had already wronged him. Of course he heard from other people that lived there of what happened. But he doesn’t believe me. And I don’t know how to talk about this to anyone else.. I just. I feel terrible. And I feel that I was wronged and had wronged him. I don’t know. I just don’t understand. And now my ex is harassing me about it. Saying I had cheated on him. But I feel and know in my heart that.. that was not the case. I was used as an escape goat for my cousin that had already been cheating on her own husband… and I got kicked out of my house. I just. I just wish it never had happened in the first place.

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    1. S. The one thing I learned is that you can’t help what others think so you have to take care of yourself and your mental state. Put yourself first and stop worrying about others right now anyway. I know it is difficult, very difficult. But I also know that you deserve all that energy in your own healing because you can say and try and convince them but in the long run the past can’t be changed and we have no control over others. The other thing is stop saying you “wronged” your ex. Seriously you didn’t ask for this, the only person that wronged your ex is his friend who also wronged you. My best advice is to get counseling so you can get your head straight and start to move forward instead of living in the past that can’t be changed. Once you start getting your head/mind straight then and only then will you know how to deal with others. So you first and then the others not vice versa. You might not even want to or care about what the others think or say once you take care of yourself. You need someone who can support you and help you deal, not blame you and make it worse. So get the counseling for you and your future. Stay strong! Lynn

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  23. I don’t know what to do. Or if it was even rape… I mean the age difference yes. I shouldn’t have been with this man in the first place. I feel lost and insecure. I hate myself for not knowing. For letting him touch me. For not pushing him off. I kept saying no and to stop but I kept going with the kissing and the affection… Still I said no. But he told me if I truly wanted to stop I’d push him off. I felt pressured … Deeply pressured. I tried pulling me shorts up and he held me down and said no. Sure maybe he was playing around but it kinda scared me. Then he got on top of me and basically forced it so I consented last minute. After that he became a jerk amf I cried over and over again. I dream of him and constantly replay what happened. I feel taken advantage of and used and shattered. I’m only 16 and he’s in his twenties. I need help and I don’t know what to do. I don’t know if this is still rape away from our age difference… Help me please I have no one to run to

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    1. K. This absolutely is rape, and because of the age difference he could go to jail. That totally depends on whether or not you want to report it and any evidence you have. But one thing is for sure you need to get counseling. Also if he didn’t wear a condom you need to go to the Dr. and get tests done to make sure he didn’t give you any diseases. the counseling will help with your dreams and you overall confidence. You might want to take some self defense classes too as this also helps. Have you told anyone that you can trust that will not judge you and be there for support. If not be careful who you tell, it needs to be someone you can trust completely and support you unconditionally. That being said they can’t replace the counseling, that is a must. Have or can you tell your parents? Since you are underage they will most likely need to help with your counseling. If you can’t then try to call your local crisis center and get referrals for counseling from them, it is anonymous assistance. Lastly make sure you stay as far away as possible from this guy, change your number whatever it takes. If he harasses you save all evidence and ask an adult for help. You might also be able to turn to a school counselor for help as well if you feel you can’t tell your parents. Just get into counseling however it takes and keep yourself safe because this guy is a predator. Stay strong! Lynn

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  24. i really need someone to turn to, to talk to about what happened to me and how to tell my mom i believe it was my fault as Ive kept it inside for over 3 years and i stayed with the guy after he did it to me. i don’t think people will believe me because i kept the relationship going for over 2-3 years its been eating me up inside and i don’t know where to turn anymore im on depression tablets and i have a councilor but i haven’t told him because i don’t feel comfortable confiding in him as hes new everything thats happening is new to me ive just opened up about my suicidal attempts and currently trying to get help its just so much to live with

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    1. S. If you can’t tell your counselor then get another counselor you feel more comfortable with. I know you feel they won’t understand because you stayed with the person but you have no idea how many times I’ve heard/seen this. Rape is about control and a lot of people that stay in their relationship is because they are being controlled. Which is another reason why you need the proper counseling, for your rape and the controlling issues. When I say proper counseling, I’m not saying your current counselor can’t do it BUT they can’t give you the proper counseling if they don’t know the issue to address. If you do trust this person then just tell them, it probably would make a lot more sense once they know everything you are dealing with, trust me on this. So whether you tell your current counselor or get a new one just know that you will never get the right help without being completely open to your issues. And it will be a never ending vicious cycle. You are ready to open up or you wouldn’t be here so just do it. I can promise you that you aren’t the first one that has been trapped in a controlling relationship because those are the most difficult to break away from. Stay strong! Lynn

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  25. I found this page wounding what to do about witnessing the rape… It’s always triggered some emotions and its made me have hate inside during intimincy I understand and feel that it’s wrong being I was not to victim I was luckier and don’t want to draw attention but I have a lot of guilt from not preventing it but I was so young and I’m not really sure what to do cause it’s been so long and there’s still a scar I thought the memory would just go away but I think it’s to late for me to do counseling nothing can really change what happened

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    1. M. You are right nothing can change what happened but the way you feel can be helped. If it is still bothering you then I would absolutely recommend counseling. I would also like to say if you witnessed this at a young age try not to beat yourself up so much. When we are young we are so vulnerable and you probably knew it was wrong but probably in shock, never saw this happen before and didn’t know what to do. Not to mention scared for yourself if you did do something. So try not to be so hard on yourself. Stay strong! Lynn

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  26. I don’t know what to do. Im pretty sure I was raped when I was very young and I had repressed the memories, now I am getting flashbacks and I don’t even know who exactly my rapist was. I can’t tell anyone because they would never believe me. I never even knew you could repress a memory until I started getting flashbacks and looked it up. I’m terrified of all men and there are certain individuals especially, but how do I know if they were my attacker? There’s no one I can talk to. I feel so trapped and scared. I have multiple phobias that are now starting to make sense, and I have almost all of the symptoms of sexual abuse, but how can I be certain if I was really raped? I’ve always hated people touching me, and exposing skin. I keep having nightmares. I just don’t know what to do.

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    1. J. Well the first thing that comes to mind if you want help to find the answers is therapy and even more specific hypno therapy which deals with hypnosis. I actually had this done to help with my bad dreams and it worked. That being said I never went completely out or anything just in a very relaxed state but it did work. Before just going to anyone though I would certainly look into references and their background and their overall success rate. Hope that helps, stay strong! Lynn

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  27. I recently turned 18 and me and my dad wasn’t getting alone very well. I mean after ten years of him not being there you know. So he kicked me out 3 times before I decided to leave . I left because I was in a bad place I was dealing with being molested by my moms boyfriends thought my childhood and present day there is still an on going case. Anyways when I left I was sleeping in abandoned buildings at night and then again I was molested by someone I thought I could trust. I then moved in with a family friend and lived with her , but her baby daddy raped me. And I told him no and that I didn’t wanna have sex and he didn’t stop . I just Sat there blank out of bodied .. After that which was last month I haven’t been able to keep a single.positive thought.. And Im back with my dad now but he’s so judgmental telling him would.make my intentional agony worse. I don’t know how to get over this… 😦 im so alone

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    1. E. You need to track down your local crisis center (hopefully you have one) and ask them for help with counseling. It typically is an anonymous call but they can refer you to counseling help. They can also help with lots of other things if you happen to end up on the street again. I would also ask them about group counseling/groups because there you will find friends for life that you can talk and turn to and understand what you are going through so you don’t feel so alone, because you aren’t! Stay Strong! Lynn

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  28. My sexual abuse first started at the age of either 4 or 5 years old. I kept it to myself for a while and overtime I realized that I had recurring blackouts so I have trouble remembering exactly all of what happened. At 14 I was raped, and now I’m 18 so it’s only been 3 years since my attack. For a while I took pills and medication to try and relieve myself of the pain I deal with and counseling didn’t help, because I had an extreme distrust of the therapist trying to help me. When others began to notice something was wrong with me ( I have a tendency to space out or stare), I did all I could to hide my problems, but eventually I became so depressed that at one point I attempted suicide. I really don’t know what to do now that I have hidden the truth for so many years. I feel that if I finally decide to come out with my issue, then people won’t believe me, because I have a history of lying. I always feared that if someone found out I would get hurt again (my attacker threatened me). I cry all the time about it and I never feel in control of my own life, someone has always taken advantage of me, so in turn I do the same to others in an emotional way. I can never get close to anyone and when I am alone with a person I get so tense and nervous (especially with a male) there are always thoughts running through my head about them wanting to do something harmful to me. I stay up late at night and I haven’t gotten sleep in a while. People don’t understand why I always say I’m tired or exhausted. I suffer major headaches because I was hit in the head and stayed unconscious for a period of time when I was assaulted. Now that I’m going away in a few months, I need some guidance on how I can manage even though these scars will never go away.

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    1. I. You need to get into therapy asap, obviously different person than before and preferably a women. You can also go to rainn.org and find a counselor nearest you that specializes in rape. And when you go I would tell them exactly what you wrote to me. That is a perfect way to start and by opening up that way they know the issues, especially with your last counselor. But I can’t give you any better advice than the fact that you must seek proper counseling. There are several things you can look up on the home page under “steps in the healing process” if you haven’t already that you can try for temporary help but counseling is necessary. You might even want to consider group counseling which a counselor or even a crisis center should be able to refer you to. There you will make bonds with others that completely understand you and might also be able to suggest ways to cope that worked for them. Most importantly you will be with others that don’t judge and have empathy. I wish you the best because you have a lot of life to live and you need to start living it! Stay strong! Lynn

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    1. G. I’m sorry this happened to you and I understand how you feel. Please know that as much as you hate life, this is behind you and you have a life to live in your future. It’s not easy but the quicker you can get counseling the quicker you start to heal, I promise. Are minds are wired on how to deal with rape therefore the only people that can help and truly understand are other survivors and trained counselors/therapist. So just get the help you need. If you can’t afford it you can call your local crisis center to ask for referrals, most work with your income level. I can promise it doesn’t go away and you won’t forget, the only answer is to learn how to deal and that comes through therapy. Stay strong! Lynn

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  29. I’ve always thought it could never happen to me. I’m a feminist and I’ve listened to many bands that talked about it, I would feel awful because its not right no one should have to go through that. I was very drunk that night. Me and the person had a very deep conversation about how we were friends, he explained that he wasn’t trying to do anything to me but just bey friend because I was one of his close girl-friends. We had a pretty fun time, we slept on the same bedbut again, I thought this was my friend I’m really drunk and I need to sleep. I woke up and he was touching me I was out of it, next thing I know he was inside me and I quickly got up and put my clothes and left it was about 3am, my best friend was sleeping in another room with his brother. I couldn’t stop sobbing I couldn’t believe it happened. I blamed myself because I shouldve known better. I’m 19 years old and I suffer from social anxiety and depression, before this happened I was trying to be optimistic because I went through a break up about almost 2months ago. I also cut myself when I feel I need a release, I peeled some of my scabs when it happened, I told my mother and as much as I want to just slice myself I can’t because of her, I have flash backs and begin to sob. I feel like a different person, I was just about to try and battle my low self esteem but nthen this happened. I have to go to a check up tomorrow and I feel embarrassed. I want to forget this happened.

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    1. C. I’m so very sorry that this happened while you are trying to deal with everything else. This is just one more thing now and I’m sure it makes you feel very weak and defeated. And I have to be direct and to the point. You need therapy immediately or things could go south quick. You say you are being strong for your mom, so do this for her and you, please. Try and go to a women and if you don’t know where to start looking call your local crisis center for referrals. They sometimes work with payment based on your income too. But whatever you do please do it quickly. And I would start with your first session by telling them exactly what you wrote to me. It’s not easy but it’s NOT as hard as what you are going through by yourself. I PROMISE you it will help, so if you are desperate, why not. You are worth it and I want you to have a future you are excited about and therapy can get you there. Also, if you aren’t going to turn this guy in please make sure you stay as far away from him, don’t take texts/calls, in fact change your phone #. Have a safety plan. Stay strong! Lynn

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  30. I’m 16 and this year I was raped twice by two different guys that I thought I trusted. I can’t get the images out of my head.. I simply cannot touch or feel anything for another guy. I cannot leave the house without thinking “am I going to be safe from this?” Or “am I going to be alone for anything bad to happen?” I’m scared to tell anyone… Like a specialist, parent or the police, but I’ve told friends and they told me to contact the police. I feel like it was my fault and if I do contact someone, I’d be laughed at.. Or called a slit for letting it happen. I have felt numb since then and still am. I don’t feel loved or cared for and I’m only 16… I have my whole life ahead of me! What do I do :/ please help

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    1. M. I’m so sorry this has happened to you and so you know your feelings are very common. Your friends are right you should contact the police especially if you know these guys for your own protection. Hopefully you have some type of evidence such as pictures of bruises or clothes you haven’t washed. But if you don’t you can still report it because you never know there might be other complaints on them. Also, the longer you wait the tougher it is to prosecute. But if you decide not to go to the police you definitely need counseling at the very least. You would need to tell your parents or can you go to a school guidance counselor, especially if these guys go to your school. this might prompt charges though so be prepared. I would really consider starting with your parents and by asking them to help you get counseling I’m pretty sure they would believe you instead of just telling them about the rape. I also need you to consider your own safety. By not telling an adult that can help you then these guys think they have gotten away with it. Rape is about control, not you and when they get away with the rape then it typically happens again, sometimes to the person raped before because again you are letting them know they can get away with it and they are in control of you. So make sure you change your phone number stay as far away as possible, don’t hang out with people that hang out with them. You can not be around them at any time. That’s why if they go to your school you really need to tell the guidance counselor. You need to do whatever it takes to be safe. IF you decide to tell your parents then and/or report them they will know you are in charge not them. Think about it. Whatever you do you need counseling. If you decide against all of the above call your local crisis center and ask them for counseling help. Stay strong! Lynn

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  31. It’s been 5 months and I haven’t been able to let this go. I feel so desperate to just let this all go. I wish it never happened, like all victims, but I know I can’t change it. I’m making my friends angered because I can’t move on. I’m hoping you can help.
    My story is two days before valentines day I go over to my boyfriend of 2 weeks’ house. I agreed on him trying anal sex with me because I still wanted my virginity intact. I wanted to wait for a long while before I lost my virginity to someone I truely loved. I did not love this man. He ended up taking my virginity even when I said no, I ended up just letting him. The most hurtful thing of all of this, and is also where I can’t let go, is that I lost my virginity to him.

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    1. Y. Unfortunately rape isn’t something you can “just let go”. Rape is something that we have to learn to deal with, it never goes away. That being said once we learn the correct way to deal we can have happy lives again. I understand you are upset about loosing your virginity but when a true man loves you for the right reasons it shouldn’t be that be a deal because you didn’t have sex. Your virginity was taken from you there is a difference. I’m more concerned that you need the appropriate counseling to help you deal with your rape. Once you go through counseling you will understand that you didn’t loose your virginity. But even more importantly you will be on the road to a happy healthy life. So do whatever it takes to get the counseling you need. Stay strong! Lynn

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  32. Hi I’m 38 yrs old . And when I was 16 I was forced to have sex with someone . He has since committed suicide which I thought would have give me closure.
    It’s affecting my relationship now . I don’t know how to deal with my past . I have only told my closest friends and my partner . I kept it to myself for some time x how do I move on from it x

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    1. L. I understand why you have told your friends and partner, for their support BUT the only people that can truly help you heal is a professional counselor. Rape doesn’t go away as you can see after all this time and it’s still affecting you. So find a counselor/therapist (preferably a woman) and get the counseling you need. I promise it isn’t as difficult as what you been through all these years. Stay strong! Lynn

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  33. hi Lynn, i was 17 at the time and this happened this February for 3 months. I met this guy who was 21 and was a mates brother and he started texting me asking if i wanna got to his house to watch a movie. I went to his house and he started making me do things to him when I shouted at him saying no but he told me to stop acting weird. I tried to leave but he grabbed my arms hurting me and shoved me into his room not letting me leave and he hurt me so badly. He raped me a number of times in that day but it didnt stop there.

    He found out where i lived and for 3 months he kept inviting himself into my house, even if i locked the door, making me do things to him and hurting me when i screamed and shouted him to get off me. He just laughed and bruised me. I only have my dad in my life but i feel like i cant speak to him as hes over protective.

    I have no friends as i recently move to get away from him and i have no money for counselling. I feel like its my fault as i let him do this to me for so long and I start shaking when ever i think about it. When im working if a guy touches even my hand i totally flinch. I need to know what to do and if this is really rape as i never thought it would happen to me.

    Many thanks

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    1. S. Yes most definitely is rape. Rape is about control not you. And when the rapist gets away with it they typically do it again because they feel they are in control of the situation. It’s very common that victims don’t tell/report for a number of reasons (and I understand why as I didn’t report it either) BUT that leaves the rapist feeling in control. Sometimes it happens to the same person again, sometimes it’s a different person and becomes a vicious cycle. Unfortunately this happens way too often because more people don’t report/tell than do. I’m just glad you were strong enough to get out of the situation and are safe now. I would still try to obtain counseling. You can contact some and let them know your situation and ask if they can work with you. I called about 12 and finally got one and it ended up being the best thing and the best counselor and she worked with me. You can also try your local crisis center, they should be able to give you referrals or even a church. Group counseling is really good as well and there not only will you build friendships but you will be surrounded by people that completely understand and can help you. Just don’t give up because you deserve a happy life. Stay strong! Lynn

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  34. Okay so here is my problem. When I started high school in the first year there was a boy who always asked me out but I found him creepy at the time I didn’t know why and I never remembered his name as he was in year 10 almost his final year than the following year just before we broke up for Christmas I went to the bathroom and he followed me in that was where he and his friends raped me. After that incident I became severely depressed and started cutting myself it didn’t help that I was also being bullied a lot when I turned 18 I decided I would try telling my mom but she had a massive heart attack that year and has been I’ll ever since I am now 24 and I feel really bad about myself and have no one to talk to about it I also feel very frustrated because I have never had a relationship because every time a guy gets even the smallest bit close to me I panic and push them away I have been trying to get professional help for a whole now and feel like I’m stuck in a catch 22 what would u suggest because it has taken me 10 years to even admit that it happened to me because I tried to bury it all?

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    1. A. I’m glad you found the strength to ask for help, that is an amazing first step. I know you feel weak that that is really a huge sign of strength. It also means that you are ready for counseling because you need to let it out. The more you let out the more room you have to heal. If you keep it locked up it just festers and affects you in so many ways. And it’s ok that you haven’t been with a guy because you haven’t healed yet. You need to take care of yourself first so you can move forward in a good positive relationship. You said you’ve “been trying” to get professional help. If this means you have but it’s not working then try someone else. If you haven’t for whatever reason, make it happen. You deserve a worthy and happy life. This has been going on for 10 years, it’s already taken enough of your life, yes? Think of it this way, minute, day, year that goes by that this is controlling your life, your rapist are still in control. Take back control and your life by getting the professional help you need and don’t give up. Counseling is a lot easier than going another 10 years of this controlling you. It can also help to derive the relationship that you want to have going forward. So if you can afford it or can go through your health plan do it. If you have to change counselors to find the right one, do it. If you can’t afford it call your local crisis center for referrals. Go to rainn.org to find a counselor near you. Just don’t give up because you are ready to let it out, I can tell. This is a sign by you coming to this site that you are ready for help. Please accept it, I promise it will help and you deserve to be happy again. You’ve given up so much time already. It’s not easy but it’s totally worth it. Stay strong! Lynn

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  35. I’m 17 I was raped only a few months ago I’m scared to tell anyone I didn’t tell anyone one my friend had a small party and this guy I didn’t now approached me and told me I was beautiful I was a little uncomfortable but I said thank you throughout the party I realized he was watching me it was weird I started to get dizzy a while later it was odd because I only drank a soda he offered to bring me home she insisted on going but my friend will said he would show him where I lived it wasn’t until he drove past my house that I knew he had drugged me I was so stupid to not have realized it before i thought will was going to tell him he drove past but he didnt he parked his car and him and will climbed in the back seat with me as one held me down the other raped me they took turns it lasted for 2 hours they made me drink alcohol they dropped me off at my house and told my parents I was drinking when I woke up didnt remember much so I went along with the story that I got drunk because I wasn’t completely sure but now that I am I couldn’t believe that my friend would have done this to me I see will all the time and I don’t no what to do

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    1. R. First and foremost you need a safety plan. It scares me that you see this guy all the time. See rape is about control and by you not telling anyone the rapist still feels in control and it will most likely happen again. To prove my point, these guys knew exactly what they were doing meaning they’ve done this before and by not getting in trouble you became a victim as well. Another point is sometimes they will come back to the same person because they know you won’t tell, so again a safety plan like carry pepper spray or something. Also, I truly think you should tell an authoritative figure, like your parents or a guidance counselor (especially if you go to school with this guy), just someone that can help you and believe you. Your parents can help you get counseling and by you just asking them for that I’m pretty sure they will believe you. I just wouldn’t turn to a friend, especially if they are mutual friends with this guy. But whatever you do a safety plan is a must. Have you thought about maybe going to the police just to ask if he has a record of rape or anyone else claiming they were raped by him? You might have a case if anyone else has said they were drugged and raped. Sometimes it’s your word against theirs and hard to prove but if more than one person steps forward it builds a very good case and could possibly stop this from happening again. Just a thought. Stay SAFE! Lynn

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  36. Hello, well…this is difficult. I was molested by my step brother for a while when I was young. Being 21, now I have to my ability handled that very well with several short term counselors.

    One weekend a few months ago, my “best friend” and I decided to have a girls night and go to a bar walking distance from her and her husbands apartment. We drank and every thing was fine, I don’t remember walking back, but I remember sitting down on the couch with her on my lap, her husband and a few of his friends inside.

    I had met this guy twice before and was told he thought I was extremely attractive. Months before that, I had started dating my current boyfriend.

    Upon meeting said guy and being told about his crush on me, I told my “best friend” that he was an attractive guy. But I clearly am in a happy relationship. Nights later after meeting him, he left a voicemail calling my boyfriend (whom he’s never met) a “penis”, and saying I had won the prize to have sex with him. All while my friend was laughing in the back ground.

    So, back to the girls night out which was probably 2 months after meeting this guy, I don’t remember anything other than flashes of him on top of me, and waking up in the morning in my bra and pants. I knew something had happened because he was there, staring at me.

    I didn’t say two words to him and brought my “friend” outside and told her I had sex. She started laughing and I started crying. I felt hungover in a way I couldn’t possibly think was possible. I left, and felt like dying.

    My friend and her husband do not believe me. She says it’s just guilt I have felt for “cheating”. She laughs and wants me to hear his side of the story. She tells me all the time how hot he thinks I am. I am not a cheater. I am in love with the man of my dreams and every time I look at him I feel disgusted when “the guy” crosses my mind.

    I am terrified to tell him. It has been months. Only my parents believe me, and know. I don’t think I should tell him. But if he hears it from someone else, even though he knows she’s not a credible person, I just don’t think my heart would be able to take the pain of something I really didn’t cause.

    What, in the world, do I do.

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    1. M. First stay away from your so called friend but don’t ever piss her off because who knows what she is capable of as far as telling your boyfriend. Secondly start counseling immediately. Not only to help with your rape but also how to move forward with your boyfriend. If he finds out from someone else and your back up is “look I’m in counseling for my rape and how to deal with you because you are the love of my life”. Your boyfriend will most likely believe you instead of him thinking you cheated on him and he will also know that the situation was serious enough for you to seek counseling. The other point to this is you do need to take care of yourself so you can move forward in your relationship in a healthy way. Also, if/when your boyfriend finds out is isn’t going to know how to help you and will probably feel helpless, by you going to counseling this takes that burden off his shoulders and he can just be your rock. Counseling is also going to help determine how you want to tell him or if you want to tell him. I’m sure since your parents know and believe you they will help you and also feel glad that the burden of not knowing how to help is off their shoulders as well. Hope that helps! Stay strong! Lynn

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  37. this is an interesting read mainly because so much of what people are saying makes sense. I was abused from a young age and eventually learnt to deal with my life and started to try to find the positive in any little thing possible which gave me some sort of life.
    Until last month when i was raped i hate that word and i very rarely use it, especially out loud, but that is it that is what happened so now i feel like i have to deal with it all over again! Except no one can fool me no one can make me believe its going to go away and that i wont have to have flashbacks about it because i ve already been there i already know that it messes you up for life. The only difference when i was little is that although i knew it was wrong i knew it was bad i was too young to fully understand what was going on so its like i had to deal with it when i got old enough to understand what happened to me and was still trying to get on with my life up until when this happened. But with this now its like my whole world is smashed apart. I honestly stupidly thought that no one could hurt me again that no one could ever do anything that would come close to what happened to me whne i was little but now i know how dumb that was to think. Because it has happened again and for all i know it will happen again. I havent told my family because im worried about there responses worried that my brothers well do something to the guy an they will end up in more trouble then him. But most of all my mum worries me, when i was about 17 i tried to tell her about what use to happen when i was little she basically didnt believe me and we never spoke about it again. This is nearly ten years later and all i can think about is how hard it was to tell her before and the way she reacted or didnt react by leaving me to get on with it. I was drunk at the time it happened recently and out walking on anight out by myself which i shouldnt of been so obviously i csnt help blame myself about what happened thinking if only i wasnt so drunk i wouldnt of been so vulnerable if only i wasnt walking there on my own if only id of just got into a taxi at the end of the night!! But none of that matters now because its happened nothing i can think can change it nothing can take it away and im really really trying to convince myself that it was not my fault in anyway what so ever but i fully know that if i tell my mum she well straight away go on about me going out being too drunk etc etc which is not what i need right now i just need my mum to give me a hug and tell me its going to be ok! i know its not ok i know its definitely not ok but i think i just need that comfort just for a min to make it all go away. When i was little he made me believe that i was bad and that i would get into trouble if anyone found out because i was bad and i think ive only realised how messed up all that was lately like all whats happened lately has brought back the other stuff a milllion times and i just dont know what to do what to think i want to die but i dont i only want it to go away and there is nothing else that can do that nothing else can take it away no drugs no drink nothing!! The police havent found a link to his dna so now they want to speak to people i was out with before it happened and my mum who saw me when i got in and is fully unaware but obviously for them to speak to my mum i need to tell her and i just dont know if i can if i should im just so conflicted. Its makes me wanna drop the case so that i dont havr to deal with that part of it but then i feel guilty that if he hurt anyone else whn i could of stopped him! Ive always had the guilt from when i was little and in a way this is a way for me to put it right even though it should nt be up to me. None of it is fair. People dont understand that its not just what physically happened that you have to deal with but soo many other things its ridiculous!! Why do we have to be put through so much when we already had to go through it they dont have to go through the way it makes you feel the way it changes your whole world its completely messed up. Let alone all the stuff you have to go through with the police and medicals and video rec its sucha horrible process i dont even know why i came on here i guess i was just looking for someone to understand looking for a way to get some my feelings out

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    1. JT. I apologize for the delay and I’m glad you found a way to vent and get out your feelings. You obviously need to and are ready to get them out. I’m know it is extremely difficult but you are doing the right thing! I know it doesn’t feel like it right now but you are being so strong not just for yourself but for other possible victims too! I’m so very proud of you!! You do need someone you can turn to and I understand going to your mum is difficult, so my suggestion is going to a counselor immediately! Hopefully the police has given you referrals because you probably can get some counseling for free since you reported the rape. If they haven’t ask for some. It is SO IMPORTANT especially now since you are obviously ready to let this out. The more you talk about it and let out the more room you will have to heal. Counseling can help with your mum too! Maybe also consider group therapy because you will build life long friendships with people who understand you and what you are going through. People that will be there for you and can hug you and support you. I promise you can learn to deal with this and be happy again but you have to go through the right motions and you have a lot you’ve kept in and tried to deal with so let a professional help you, please!! Stay strong like you are! Lynn

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  38. hello, I dont post online, ever. i have been sexually abused as a child but, not as an adult.. i was a victim of a sexual assault that almost left me dead,, i was drugged and do not recall the rape.. but he was in my bed in the morning.. a person i trusted and knew. .i did a full rape kit with every antibiotic necessary and still ended up with trich and a massive concussion, lacerations, tie down mwrks and bruises everywhere eetc.. i would like resources to remain anonymous and get mental help.. i filed charges.. then backed out. its been 4 weeks and im out of money and must return to work. if i can.. i was fired last week ..im terrified to go outside..any help appreciated . thanks

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    1. L K I’m not sure of anyone online that you can receive mental help from, pretty sure you need to go to a therapist. I will give you a resource to contact and you can ask them and it’s rainn.org. If anyone would no they would. Also, if you did file charges I would ask the police because they typically give you a referral for counseling so check with them because that might be free. If none of that works try calling your local crisis center because they usually work a sliding scale with your income, which you have none. Or at the very least they should have referrals as well. I understand you are scared to go outside but you have to take care of yourself. And I know you are thinking about everything that happened to you and that’s understandable, but I want you to turn that around and start thinking that you are alive and not dead. You have a future that you are in control of and getting help is a huge step towards that. So don’t give up because there is someone out there that can help you and will help you. I don’t even remember how many calls I made before I found my counselor but I did and she changed my life for the better! Stay strong! Lynn

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  39. When I was 6 years old it happened to me. I wasn’t exactly sure what just happened, only that it was wrong, it hurt, and all I wanted to do was cry. He told me if I said anything it would rip the family apart, and it would be all my fault. That was nearly 15 years ago, and to this day I have not said a single word about it to a living soul……and recently it has happened to me again. Only this time I might have Chlamydia. I feel like 15 years of anxiety and nightmares are hitting me all at once, repressed memories and feelings are flowing through me like blood and I am still too scared to say anything. My parents think so highly of me, and their pride in me makes me feel so humiliated about this situation. I know at 21 I should know what to do, talk to a therapist, file a police report, but the only thing I can conjure to do is think back at when I was 6 years old and feel what I felt then. I feel like a scared helpless little child all over again and it really really sucks because even when all the answers are staring me in the face, I still don’t know what to do. I do whatever I can to avoid seeing my parents, and the shame is just building and stirring inside of me. I just want this feeling to go away.

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    1. RJ. First and foremost you need to let the shame go. You didn’t do this, it was something done to you. This does not define you and who you are it only defines the people that did this to you as scum bags. You need help, people aren’t going to judge you I promise. Those who love you will give you the support you need and a counselor will give you the professional help you need. I can promise this isn’t going away. We can’t run from this it is something we MUST learn to cope with. But you have to put the work in otherwise it will eat at your soul and affect your entire life. Let me put it this way. Rape isn’t about you it’s about control and everyday that goes by that you don’t get help or tell someone this person still control you. I don’t believe that’s what you want. Everyday that you live in limbo scared to say anything they are still controlling your life. You need to take back control by asking for help and getting counseling, then they don’t control you anymore. They don’t deserve another minute of your life because it is yours NOT theirs. this has been very deep rooted from the age of six so of course you have these feelings brought on again because again you have been violated. Just know you can do this, you coming here is reaching out because you are ready to talk. And the more you let out the more room you have to heal. I truly believe you are ready to take back control so just do it! Stay strong! Lynn

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  40. Its not that i need someone to relate to. It is just that i don’t know how to cope. I was hurt so many times and all i can do is relive it. I hate when people to try to compare or say they “understand” how i feel. I just need to know how can i keep living. How can try to make myself feel like i am not a useless void on this planet.

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    1. Help. I truly think group counseling would help you. You not only would build friendships for life with people that truly do understand you but would find ways to cope that have worked for others. This will give you hope I promise and you won’t feel so alone. You also have compassion for others and others have empathy for you. All this combined helps lift your spirit I promise! You can reach out to your local crisis center and ask if they can refer you to any rape group counseling. And hopefully you read through this site on ways to start coping now and daily things to do. Stay strong! Lynn

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  41. I was raped two days ago, I reported it to the police but I felt so judged and ashamed. I know my attacker, he used to be my friend…I’m thinking of dropping the charges, I don’t know what else to do, I don’t think I could handle going to court and reliving the situation again. Please can someone advise me.
    Thanks.

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    1. Z. If you have proof I would follow through. Hopefully you had a rape kit done and any other proof like pics of injuries, bruises etc. If you have these things then it is a strong case and you are standing up for yourself to let this guy, the police and women everywhere that this is NOT ok. I would look at it as a challenge to those who judged you!! To prove to them that you are not weak, even though I know you feel that way. If you don’t have proof it will be difficult I’m not gonna lie but with the right proof I would follow through and get this creep off the streets. The reason most aren’t reported and more than 50% of rapes are by people we know is because either they think you won’t tell because it’s your word against theirs or they are trying to control you, meaning if they get away with it then it is more likely they will try again because they got away with it the first time. I don’t want this to happen to you OR anyone else. AND by you going to trial you are immediately taking back control of your life. Rape is about control and that is what he is doing to you. So find your inner strength, know this doesn’t define you (only him as a rapist) and stand up for yourself and don’t let him control your life. Also, get into counseling immediately to help you through the process. You might be able to get it for free since you reported it. Stay strong! Lynn

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  42. Hello, I live in a place where the law doesnt do much about anything, the thing is that Ive been raped twice, first at 24 and then again at 27 while I was pregnant…and this gave me Hpv, Im not used to talk about this because it really hurts, it was perpetraded by total strangers in two different states of the country at gunpoint and the second time they put a knife to my throat while my family was tied up upstairs, the first time It happened I did go to the police but they never got caught, Ive been running from it ever since, I think is keeping me from getting a job and exploring the world, you know? I dont feel guilty or anything along those lines, I just cant deal with the fact thar it happened yet again (at 27, Im 28 now)
    Thank you for creating this website, sorry if my english is weird, Im a spanish speaker.

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    1. S. I’m so very sorry that this happened to you twice especially while you were pregnant, that is horrible! I understand completely how you feel and your concerns. It is still very fresh and it will take some time. Hopefully you and the baby and your family have been able to get through this ordeal. My best suggestion is counseling and the sooner the better especially dealing with a baby and being sleep deprived already (just doesn’t help when your emotions are running high). I would also suggest yoga as a calming factor when you can, it will help improve your sleep as well (when you are getting it). I really hope some of the info on the site has helped but just know that counseling is a priority for you and your baby’s happy future and it CAN be happy, but it will take some work. It doesn’t just come, you will have to work at it BUT you are already on the right track more so than others because you realize it wasn’t your fault and you don’t feel guilty so that is AMAZING. Now get the counseling you need.. and asap because the longer you wait the longer it takes! Stay strong! Lynn

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  43. Thank you Lynn, you dont know how much it means for us that you do reply and actually take the time to read and care about our situations.
    I´ll try doing yoga like you suggested and also go to counseling, I hate talking about what happened but I guess theres no other way, luckily my baby is safe and thats what matters.
    Again, thank you so much!

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    1. H.S. You need to go to the police. Take any type of pictures you can of bruising, injuries. Keep any evidence you can, clothes you were wearing when it happens, text messages etc. If you are too scared to go to the police call your local crisis center and ask them for help. Or just go there. Whatever you do stay safe and don’t let them know about evidence or pics. Just wait for a time where you can either go to the police, a family member, the crisis center, something/someone. The longer you wait the more they will continue because they know they can. Call 911 if you can, just do something to get you out of harms way. Then get counseling, the crisis center can help with that too! Please take care! Lynn

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  44. hi, I am 36 yrs married and have 3kids, been raped by this guy, he wanted to do business with me which I agreed and told me to go to his place and have some talk, I wasnt expecting it but it just happened, I feel very bad, cried and still am, want to tell my husband but not sure howbhe will feel about, im scared it might ruin my marriage, I cannot stop crying, I thought to my self let me face the guy who raped me, I might just feel better and forgive, as when he sends me sms’s he acts as nothing happenned, he just tells me he likes me, and i’ve been telling him that im not a cheating type would not do that to my husband, I managed to face him but its making me worse, I cannot eat or sleep properly I cry myself to sleep, my husband is working away and I only see him once a month and only speaks to him over the phone, it feels as if I have betryed him and my family, how do I get the pain away?

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    1. T. First of all this was NOT your fault! Secondly I seriously suggest counseling, which not only will help with getting a handle on your emotions but you should also discuss why/how/when you should tell your husband. If you do decide to tell you husband the longer you wait typically the worse they take it. So get in counseling immediately and talk to the counselor about how to discuss with your husband. The fact that you are in counseling will definitely look good in your husbands eyes because you are getting the help you need and to appropriate action. then you can also tell him you were so distraught that you didn’t know what to do and didn’t want it to ruin your marriage so you got professional help for all of the above. This typically draws more empathy than anger. Stay strong! Lynn

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  45. I would you like you to tell me if I was raped or not. So it was a night out with my friend, we bought drugs and alcohol. I took two bars (Xanax) and then one of the guys we met up with whom we’ve hung out with before bought us a fifth of fireball whiskey. So I had already taken the two pills about two hours before we met up with the two guys. I was 17 at the time, one guy was 17 as well and the other was 21. I drank a lot after I took the pills and after I started drinking I only remember giving oral sex to the 17 year old and the 21 year old started fingering me and that is all I remember. My friend said that they were taking turns fucking me but I don’t remember because of the pills and alcohol. It makes me sick to think about it because I could have gotten pregnant or an STD or killed because I drove home and don’t remember. I thought it was my fault because I took the drugs but I was incoherent so did they take advantage of me? It makes me cry whenever I think about it and it was not one but two black guys that fucked me and I just don’t know what to think. Please help

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    1. S. Yes this is rape if you didn’t give your consent while you were coherent. Where the hell was your friend? Your friend saw them and didn’t do anything, that’s NOT a friend. Hopefully you are staying as far away as possible because if they are getting away with this I don’t want it to happen again. When guys get away with this it probably wasn’t the first time and probably won’t be their last. So keep yourself safe and try to get into counseling. Stay strong! Lynn

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  46. When I was 3 or 4, I remember my cousin telling me to go in the bathroom and he took my pants down slowly and I did not know what he was doing, I thought it was fine cause I did not know. and my girl cousin saw what my boy cousin was doing and told my mom, then I did not see him for a while and now I think it’s my fault cause I was there and did not say nothing….

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    1. J. By NO means is this your fault! You were way to young to know what was going on. I’m just glad they took him away from you. Please let the guilt go because you should not be caring around the guilt. This is something that happened to you and you are not to blame. Stay strong! Lynn

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