linnea

A rose by any other name?

59 posts in this topic

I'm struggling at the moment with whether what happened to me was actually rape. I know I didn't want to do it, but I was a little scared of him and quite mentally fuzzy due to drink, so I didn't put up much resistance at all, and I didn't say the word 'no'. I just said that I thought I was going to be too drunk (he said I wasn't) and 'I don't know what you expect to happen' in a kind of 'nothing is happening' tone of voice.

But I think the main thing that makes me think it definitely was is that I actually feel better if I call it rape in my head, because anything else feels wrong. Surely there's only one situation in which it's better to think of something that happened to you as rape than not - when it actually was.

I don't know.

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Hi Kseudonym,

It can be really hard to define and name your experience sometimes. One thing that has helped me was to ask myself this: if what happened had been freely given consensual sex, would I even for a second be pondering if it was rape afterwards? Hell no, I'd probably be feeling great and quite happy with myself! That what happened has led you to joining a rape survivor site makes me think that quite possibly, what happened was on the opposite end of the scale from consensual. It's important that YOU are the one to name your experience - when somebody is raped, they have had their control taken away. For some survivors they can feel that their control has been taken a second time if people define their experience before they are able to do it for themselves. So I won't label this experience for you, but it doesn't sound to me like what happened was freely offered - you were drunk, cloudy-headed, he answered for you and decided for you that you weren't too drunk (how could he possibly ever know that??), and he acted dismissively of what he was doing, making out "nothing's happening!" even when it is, leaving you feeling like you can't really make a fuss because after all, "nothing's happening". That really does not sound like freely offered, respectful sex to me. Take as much of my opinion as you want, and leave what you don't, and know that somebody who has had a great sexual encounter, or at least a sexual encounter where the boundaries of all involved have been respected, don't need to ponder the next day "was that rape?". The fact that you feel better when you call it rape is a guide, and perhaps a sign that while your perception of what "real rape" is may be influenced by what society tells us it is (rape by a stranger in a dark alley, that kind of scenario), your mind is telling you something else. Listen to what your mind is telling you, and you will find what is right for you.

Take gentle care of yourself,

Kate

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For some reason, I find myself looking through the discussion boards and I found myself staring at this title "A rose by any other name". Before I even clicked on it to read the posts, I knew exactly what it meant.

I can't say "those" words. I can't. My therapist says them and I cringe. Just like some of the individuals posted on here, I say the words in my head, I see the letters very clearly in my mind. The letters and words are almost life-like. They take over me. They make me panic. I freeze with fear. Hopelessness washes over me. Tears begin to build...but I refuse to let them fall. Control. Saying "those" words mean I have no control...they mean I had no control over what happened and that is something I am still struggling with. I have been in therapy for 2 years to specifically deal with these abuse I encountered...I go once a week and sometimes even twice a week but I still feel responsible. I still think I could have stopped it..."If I wouldn't have gone in the bathroom nothing would have happened".

I have bipolar disorder and am going thru a hypomanic episode right now. Which means lots of racing thoughts...and unfortunately, tonight, they are not the "happy racing thoughts" I crave but rather my thoughts consist of self-loathing panic. I was doing so well...but when I feel this frenetic energy trapped inside my soul I feel like a massive failure.

I want all of these memories to go away. I want the fear to go away. I want the words, meanings, images and feelings to go away. How ridiculous is it that mere words evoke so much. With my mania, words repeat at rapid fire in my head...it is so overwhelming. I want it all to go away.

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This is my first post other than an introduction. I think I was drawn to it because I am working up to telling my story and that involves words and words have power.

These posts remind me of how difficult it is for me to truly put myself out there. I worry about what people will think and so what words I choose to describe my experiences matter - for how I think of myself, how others think of me.

I used to hate the word "survivor" - saying it was because I didn't want it to define me, but I believe it was more because it meant there was something to survive.

So for me the thought of having a choice of what to call what happened to me is a positive. I remember when I first admitted to myself what had happened and that I needed help. I rang a service and used "inappropriate touching" - it was clinical and distant. My first contact with a therapist - she named it "abuse" - i couldn't say the word but it gave me strength to believe something "real" had happened and that I wasn't being weak or wimpy to start believing it was wrong.

So now I can at least hear and say "abuse" with my T and have even said it out loud. What is still an issue is what other people understand when you say such things - others have posted "terror" and "trauma" as possibly more meaningful for those outside this group who understand - food for my thoughts.

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Real words can be hard to say. Perhaps that alone is a sign that it's important to eventually come to a point where we can say them.

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It's OK to say I was raped. I was still just a child, and it was brutal, un-welcomed, unwanted, repeated and vile. It stunk of ego, dominance and control.

Saying to a nurturing and supportive group "I was raped" is a very difficult, painful, baby step. It has opened a door though to a bigger world, where I can and should -as an adult - take complete responsibility for what happens to me.

Edited by johnfinster

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Hi I am a new person here. Not sure where to start with stuff like this but here it goes. In high school I was avictim to rape while at a friend's house where she had a party I went to a bedroom to escape from the party and go to sleep I woke up to a stranger on top of me taking my clothes off. I got through that with help from friends and family and counciling. Recently I was a victim of sexual assault I have a fiance and two kids when I explained to my boyfriend what happened he chooses to not believe me because I chose to be out at a bar with my friends having a couple drinks instead he thinks I cheat and asked for it to happen. To me no one asks for that to happen to them n just bc I was out having drinks doesn't mean I wanted that. I guess I just don't understand why he does that n then throws that night in my face like I don't deal with it enough on my own and the one person I need the most chooses to not believe me and does this to me. What should I do? I try to tell him it's not right but he still won't see the truth

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TRIGGER WARNING

I trend to see the word rape very differently at different time some times I'm to scared to say it, other times I get enraged and will yell it (HE RAPED ME!!!), which in turn leads me to feel empowered by being able to admit what happened and not feel shame for being raped after all I couldn't control the situation, some times it's a crippling sorrow over innocence lost, some times the word rape is just numbing void of everything, I know there's more but "I" don't know them all right now.

Edited by Azriel

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My T helped me say the words. Before that I denied, denied, denied. I looked up the definitions, I tried to say the words but they wouldn't form. I heard my T use them but I still needed time to process them. I think hearing my T say them helped me to validate what I deep down knew was the truth. Saying them would make me confront reality. first I had to admit the truth out loud, that It did happen, then I could use the the words, molested, raped, groomed. At first, I remember feeling deep shame. Now, I say them with no shame but sometimes I still feel a panic and some anxiety that this is really part of my story. It's a journey, this path to healing, isn't it?

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