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04/24/2012 03:04 PM

My head is a mess - my story

Posts: 1
New Member


My name is Emma, I'm from the UK. A few weeks ago, I was out having some drinks with a friend, I'll call him X from now on. I hadn't known X that long, maybe a few months, and our mutual friends all joked behind his back about how was 'dodgy', but I never though anything of it. Once we left the bar I let X and another friend stay at mine because they lived far away from town. During the night, X came into my room saying he couldn't sleep because my other friend was snoring, and asked if he could stay in my room, and I said yes. Almost immediately, he started trying to kiss me, but I pushed him away telling him to stop and that I was trying to sleep. Then he started grabbing me by my hair and neck, holding me down. I kept trying to push him off me, kicking at him. I don't know how long it went on for. He punched me a few times, and when I tried to scream out he covered my mouth. I remember him choking me with his arm, and thinking to myself "this is how I'm going to die". I couldn't fight him off, he was too strong. I eventually went into shock. He began to rape me, but stopped suddenly, laughed, tried to kiss me again before lying down and going to sleep. I never slept, I sat up all night staring at the ceiling.

In the morning, I got up and started getting ready for work with him still lying there asleep. When I came back into the room, he was sitting up with his head in his hands, and he said "Emma, I'm sorry". I just told him I wanted him to leave now. He got his jacket and left, but not before trying to pat my head and saying "see you later darling". He texted me a few times in the days afterwards, saying he couldn't remember anything, asking what he'd done wrong. I never replied to any of his messages, eventually they stopped, and I haven't heard from him since. I told a few friends, and they've assured me I will never have to see his face again, they're going to make sure of it, which I really appreciate.

Since then I've been feeling so up and down, its driving me crazy. For the first few days I was in shock, it felt like it hadn't really happened. Then I started to feel like it was my fault, blaming myself and my easy-going attitude to sex, thinking it was only a matter of time before something like that happened to me. I kept what was going through his head at the time, what exactly did he think was going on?

For a couple of weeks afterwards I also found myself afraid of men I didn't know. I still felt ok around my male friends, surprising considering X had been a friend, not stranger. But if I went out to bars or clubbing with my friends, I felt unsafe and uneasy. If a man spoke to me I'd shy away, which is unlike me. I'm started to feel more at ease around men, but if they try anything sexual, even just kissing, I can feel myself starting to panic. My self-confidence has taken a real beating, I feel physically repulsive, and I just don't feel like myself deep down. I have always considered myself to be a strong, independent female, someone who can handle themselves. But I don't feel that way any more.

The thing thats getting to me most is the anger. I feel angry all the time. Sometimes I'm just a little bit irritable, other times I find myself feeling aggressive, or shouting for no reason, or going out of my way to be contrary; disagreeing with everyone or refusing to do what I'm asked. I'm finding myself clenching my fists and gritting my teeth at the slightest thing, constantly having to take 5 minutes to calm down.

I hate feeling this way. I'm exhausted all the time. I had started to feel a bit better the last couple of days, then last night I saw a picture of him on facebook and it made me feel physically sick. I then had a dream with a flashback of the incident, which has brought it all back. Today I felt worse than ever, at work I just wanted people to stay away from me. I dread getting out of my bed tomorrow.

I don't know how to deal with any of it. I never reported him, and have no intention of doing so. The only people I have spoken to about it are my friends and my sister, and I hate burdening them with it. Has anyone experienced similar feelings after a sexual assault? I'd like to know if theres anything I can do to alleviate the anger and feelings of hopelessness, or how long I can expect them to last.

Many Thanks.


04/24/2012 03:46 PM
Posts: 883
Senior Member

Hello Emma. Welcome to the group. I am so sorry for what you have been through. Your thoughts and feelings are completely normal. Most all survivors go through this. There is no telling how long it will last. Everyone heals differently and at their own pace. I would suggest trying to find a counselor in your area that specializes in these types of things. To be honest I could not have even begun to heal without counseling. Is it possible for you to do an internet search for a local crisis center in your area? Crisis centers can refer you to counseling and even sometimes help you themselves. I know how you feel and how you don't even want to be around your co-workers. I've had my anger get really out of control in the past and I took it out on the people who cared most for me. It's unfortunate that rape causes all these out of control feelings. You have taken the first step by coming here. We are here for you and most all of us are survivors or have family members that were sexually assaulted. We help each other. It's nice to have somewhere to go and talk about everything. Again, I am so sorry for what happened. Please use the forum to vent as much as you like. You will get a lot of support here.


04/24/2012 11:13 PM
Posts: 2731
VIP Member

My anger was delayed, I didn't know it was rape until two years after it had happened, but what you are going through is quite normal. I am so sorry for what he did to you.

Rape is a peculiar crime in the sense that it's almost encouraged for victims to look at themselves as being the cause, or that having been raped is a reflection of weakness or lack of character.

It isn't. Rape is caused by one thing; the rapist. I don't know any survivor that hasn't had those feelings of self blame, the inner interrogation, all that. That is normal. But I really want you to know, it wasn't you. It wasn't your fault. You did not deserve it, you did nothing to precipitate it. I like to think of it like if your leg had been hit with a sledgehammer...would you think that it was a weakness of your bones that caused them to break? Nope. The wounds a rapist leaves are invisible but real. And like a broken bone, they need treatment to heal properly. Clemaire has some good suggestions for taking a step. It helps to think of it that way too, as the idea of "getting over it" can be so overwhelming! Just baby steps. One thing at a time.

I want to say too, you seem to have an excellent inner compass. I'm glad your friends are supporting you. I have been triggered by my rapist on facebook too, we have a lot of mutual friends. I blocked him, but I suppose if your rapist is not tagged in every picture of him, it would be hard to navigate. I'm very sorry.


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