Guest choirgirl

for those who didn't call it rape

93 posts in this topic

I think if I had called it rape to his face he would have hurt me worse. I also think if I had realized how bad things were and attempted escape I might have gotten hurt worse. Stockholm Syndrome develops for a reason. Mine was meant to protect me.

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If I had acknowledged it sooner, I think it would have been better. I would not have spent so many nights in tears without knowing WHY I was feeling so awful. I would not have felt guilty without knowing why, or fallen deep into depression very suddenly. I would not have spent two years blaming myself for all these things, or thinking I was somehow crazy or defective because I couldn't figure out what the reason was for all those horrible things I was feeling. And maybe I wouldn't have developed PTSD, and maybe I would have been able to pursue recovery before my denial of the event damaged me so much. Maybe I could have confronted him before I cut contact with him, too. I don't know if that would have accomplished anything, but I still wonder about it sometimes.

I think that I could have saved myself a lot of pain if I knew that what happened to me was indeed rape, and if I called it that from the beginning instead of waiting for two years to acknowledge it. Instead of lying in bed at night, crying, thinking "Why am I so upset? Nothing bad has happened to me" I would have been concentrating on healing and moving forward. But at the same time I think I might not have grown in the same ways that I have. It's a lot of work to undo those two years of denial and backwards thinking, but I'm learning a lot about myself and growing as a person now that I finally have the courage to call it what it is: rape.

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if I said it out loud i would have to own it,so I shut my mouth for a long time

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When it happens in a marriage and it's a "marital duty" and it's supposed to be a wonderful perfect family in a perfect one-ano-only right religious way on earth and I can't say no or I am suppressed into "you are becoming too independent, you need to be obedient and submissive", one doesn't call it rape. Now that I am out of that marriage and out of that religious group, I realize what it was. I admit it now. I am not wanting therapy for it tho because as I read about therapies it's like having to relive it...and I don't want to face it. This summer I started having panic attacks when courts ordered me in the same room as ex for parenting conference, and I couldn't do it. So because of the timing it looks like I am possibly "faking it." I hope I have found a safe place to let this out it...

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I didn't want to call it rape. I didn't what to admit it to myself. I tried to forget it. Then that it was just that I regretted it. He only pressured me not forced me. I guess it didn't help that I was drugged.

Even now I prefer to be numb.

~Angel

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It took me two years to admit that maybe the incident was rape. I'm in counseling now and am continuously told that it was rape but I still have a hard time accepting that it wasn't my fault and hopefully in time I'll be able to. If I had labeled it as rape from the beginning I think I would have spent a lot less time hating myself, denying it, and confused by my angry emotions. Because I thought it wasn't rape and I was told it wasn't, I didn't believe I deserved to heal from it because after all "I brought it on myself."

Sometimes it's really hazy whether or not the incident can be labeled "rape." But what I'm realizing is that, regardless of the definition, if we feel traumatized by it and are experiencing serious emotional distress because of it then it was rape. Because if we had consented and wanted it then it wouldn't be bothering us and we wouldn't feel this pain. That's just my thought, but either way, we deserve to heal and we deserve to know and for those around us to know that it takes time.

Stay strong!

Jane

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I can't bring myself to use that term. When I think of that word, I think of strangers taking advantage of a jogger. I think of someone who is battered and bruised, left to die. I think of people on tv shows. I think of someone who is not real.

It's weird to say it happened to me, even after all this time. I'm not some girl you hear about in the news, and yet it still hapened to me. I think I'll always have a hard time using that word describe what happened.

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TR***<p>

 

 In my case it was during my teen years till I was over 17 and there was no violence so I was so majorly Brain-washed that  it was only when he threatened my life that made me tell - I was like so stupid...saying "I had an incestuous relationship with my dad "(it was over more than 4 years time period)....no one knew that I really was not understanding or registering the idea of this "relationship" like they did....I had been convinced by him that since he never"forced" or "made" me do any of it that I had made choices that it took me so many years to realize that he had really given me No choice...he knew I might be able to be under his control-he did not realize my fear of being abandoned by him again (he abondoned me and my mother and my brother when I was 4 and after that my mother got married to an alcoholic controlling wife hitter who SA my little brother -she did leave him and he then he died - a couple of yars later dad showed up wanting to see us 7 1/2 years since he had any contact) That was what was making me do everything I could to keep him in my life - to the best of my ability (because at one point he told me he wasn't sure if I would be "too old" for him to do it when he was considering his approaching me - bleck....I was"too old" under normal circumstances.....but was not because of "fear"......) Anyway it took me 5 years -after it was over- to Really really realize it was not a "relationship" and so far I have not come as far in my recovery because I never went thru with therapy because I do not trust my RL support system(ie my hubby) to help me if things get rough for me in painful parts of my counseling (this weekend I was honest with him about this ).....I never blocked or "forgot" the abuse so recovering memories is not something I need(unless I was abused before he left and I don't know it-something I never really thought about till I joined Pandy's )....Anyhow for my own good "they" should have helped me to really realize  if they could...(he always told me they would mess up my head and make me see "our realtionship" as wrong and that the reaction of the "do good church types" is really what makes people get tramatized  so "they" would have had to break that idiotic gem into pieces before I would begin to have a clue on connecting it all mentally).....

 Anyhow....yes....more help...sooner.....Therapy before I was 4 kids 3 serious relationships(on second (final!)marriage),plenty of self-help and numerous "errors in judgement" 20 years out from the "end of the abuse"...... Am not currently in T but should be and Pandy's ya'll gonna be part of my support system when I do because I have been sitting here for 3 years...with only 1 attempt at therapy during that time peried and 2 very short p/t jobs....uhg....those are my choices get a job(what hubby "needs" me to do) - get therapy(what I "should" do) or sit here and wish that everyone would just "leave me alone" (what I hav been up to)....good topic....ty

Happened to me too with my dad. He never used force just threatened me that would tell if I didn't do it. Then he said if I'd tell he'd tell about something bad I'd done once to my mom. He held that against me, and tried pressuring and talking me into sex from time I was 16-17 to time I was 20.

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I called it rape once, just after it had happened, and then not again for about fifteen years, not even in to myself. If I called it rape I would've had to have faced it, and I just couldn't. Even when I started talking to my T about it, I could only refer to it vaguely, "When IT happened", etc. I've been practicing typing it out instead of calling it R lately. I feel I need to be able to call it what it was. Having said that, my T has said "after the rape" and "when you were raped" (which I want to her to) and I've physically recoiled in horror and my heart's starting thumping like crazy. I think it would have been so much easier if I'd had someone to talk to about it when it happened, a friend? a T? someone, I don't know. I think I needed to hear it back, that it was rape. I'm only just getting my head around the other rapes, that I would have, until recently called 'bad experiences'. Ugh. Oh, well. Baby steps.....

The abuse? I'm only just starting to think about that. The CSA? Um, well, that's still 'CSA' on here, and "the bad stuff that happened when I was a kid" if I'm talking about it. I think I have more trouble naming it cos it was so impossible to when I was little. It's much more difficult to deal with than the more recent stuff. *sigh* I'll get there....

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I too call it "the stuff that happened when I was little" (I don't know how to add the word "bad" yet).

I don't know what to call what happened to me. My parents minimized it so much that I have felt like I was exaggerating, as if all that was just unfounded attention seeking and I was to blame for being so childish and selfish.

My T is the only one who took me seriously and he did call it rape. Assault, rape, I don't know.

At the same time I am beginning to realize, like a slap in the face, how serious "that" really was, and all the damage it did to me. I should be able to call it rape. But I still feel like I don't deserve such a "status", maybe because somewhere, I still feel like I am to blame.

I'll get there...

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I actually did not call it r*. I called it incest. I realized just resently (about 1 or 2 years ago) when there was a public discussion on "why did you not report" - than I realized that actually what happend to me was r*.

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Thank you for this thread.

With my ex, I didn't realise it was rape (over a period of years) because my idea of what that meant was incomplete. I could torture myself with the notion that, had I realised, I might have left. In reality, I think I would just have been more traumatised, judging by the state I get into when I'm triggered around that. I suspect I would just have found it harder to cope as I really couldn't leave due to all the psychological abuse and gaslighting. I don't think it would have been safe for me to see it as rape at the time. I had that realisation after I started therapy, and it meant that, when I realised, I was in a safe place.

Having that realisation was terrifying. Absolutely terrifying. I knew I'd had no say over our sex life, that my ex refused to use condoms, that he had all the power, but because he didn't physically hold me down I never thought to call it rape. The day I realised that certainly wasn't healthy, consensual sex and therefore it was rape, I freaked out. I got really triggered and sat on the bathroom floor whimpering and shaking. I called my T for an extra session, and had intrusive visions that my ex would be on the steps leading up to the entrance of my therapy centre. I found it so frightening to realise that was what he had done to me.

I can't hear the word rape in relation to me. I don't want other people to say it. I rang the Rape Crisis helpline recently and I explained I was dealing with: "some feelings around the fact that a male parent did the thing that begins with R," and the telephone counsellor said: "Your father raped you?" and I hung up the phone. I didn't want to hear that in a sentence. It's my sentence, to say when I'm ready, and I can write it but I can't say it out loud yet. My T and I talk around these things and do not use the words. I think she meant well, but it was insensitive to just say that, just like that.

However, when I realised what the male parent did was rape, I started calling it that immediately - in my head, on Pandys. I felt it was important to name it properly from the start, even if I couldn't say it, because terms like 'sexual abuse' cover so many things and this was rape, repeated rape. Naming it at the time wouldn't have helped because I blocked it all out and I still don't have any full, clear memories, just fragments. I struggle with feeling that I'm being melodramatic, attention-seeking, making a big deal out of it, that I'm calling it rape because I'm being a drama queen. But you know what? It IS a big deal. And if it feels important, to me, to use that word, then that's probably what I should do.

Pandys has empowered me to look back at my life and call things by what they are called: abuse, assault, rape. My nasty inner voice tells me I'm doing this to make people feel sorry for me, that I want attention, that I'm making a fuss about nothing. I think that's exactly why we need to use the right names, because these things are a big deal, they are not nothing, and naming those experiences makes it harder to minimise them.

It has been shocking for me to look back and realise how much abuse, assault and rape there has been in my life, when I used to think I was lucky because I had never been messed with in that way - a belief that stopped me seeking therapy for a long time, but which also protected me and allowed me to live through those situations, yet also kept me in them.

Something I have a harder time with, though, is calling the people who did these things rapists. I can write that my father raped me. I find it very hard to call him 'a rapist', which makes no sense.

Edited by tinyrabbit

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It took me 6 years to realize it was rape. I didn't understand that it was not reasonable for someone to ask continuously will you x now? what about now? how about now? or now? for an hour or more and saying me no every time until I was just so exhausted that I couldn't hold out any more. Most of the time that meant they just did something else that I didn't consent to either for a while and then went back to asking me continuously even if I asked them not to. I realize now that actually it was very clear that I didn't want to do it and they should have accepted that. It was rape.

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What happened to me was technically consensual and very brief. I had wanted to do it, but we had agreed not to do it in that way. I told him to wait over and over. It was a very confusing night and I was drunk while he was sober. Eventually I gave up telling him that I wasn't ready. I hoped it wouldn't hurt, but I knew it would. Later, I discovered what an awful person he was. But it took a while to realize that it was a form of sexual abuse and that it had affected me so much. Even later, I had to come to terms with how deeply it had hurt me. I can't quite call it rape, but I pretty much feel like that's what happened. Which is really shocking but also explains why I felt the way I did. I still go back and forth about what happened.

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There is power in words, power in the word rape. It is such a very stark word. It says so much with just four letters. It is such a naked word. There is no hiding from what is meant when you say the word rape. Other words, can be blurred and are subject to interpretation, abused, taken advantage of, etc.

But rape...there it is. It was done to you.

For me, it was easy to call what happened to me rape. It was violent. It was by someone I hardly knew, so that part was easy.

But for people who knew their rapist, who should have been able to trust their rapist, a family member, a parent, it must be much harder because the feelings are so confusing and so mixed up.

My trusted boyfriend who abandoned me, that was almost as bad a being raped. I was crushed, disappointed, felt alone abandoned, awful. I guess people who were raped by a parent or loved one have all those feelings wrapped up in one person, I had them split into two people.

Either way, rape is sucky, traumatic and not easy to come to terms with.

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There is power in words, power in the word rape. It is such a very stark word. It says so much with just four letters. It is such a naked word. There is no hiding from what is meant when you say the word rape. Other words, can be blurred and are subject to interpretation, abused, taken advantage of, etc.

But for people who knew their rapist, who should have been able to trust their rapist, a family member, a parent, it must be much harder because the feelings are so confusing and so mixed up.

My trusted boyfriend who abandoned me, that was almost as bad a being raped. I was crushed, disappointed, felt alone abandoned, awful. I guess people who were raped by a parent or loved one have all those feelings wrapped up in one person, I had them split into two people.

Either way, rape is sucky, traumatic and not easy to come to terms with.

This is so true. I still struggle and so I am coming to realize, naming it, putting words to it, expressing it and even sharing with others never can convey the actual experience. The little things that go in in the physical experience. There are so many things happening all at once that you can't even explain it all, even to yourself. You just remember. In all these years of trying to get better at defining things, I realize how much words, written and spoken, fall short.

It is confusing and still is, especially when I have these days were I feel like I am slogging through an invisible biowaste sludge. I can see that it is sunny, a beautiful day and enjoy it: At the same time, I don't want to feel or experience anything consciously. The only thing that has changed is that I am better at minimizing the impact of these days and I know that they will pass. I have had good days and they will come again. On off days, I do what I can to practice self-care.

I am sorry that you were abandoned by your boyfriend. I wish you hadn't been raped. Thank you for sharing. Rain

Edited by Raingirl
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I'm still not 100% sure it was rape but i want to cry everytime I think about it. I said no. But I stopped saying no after while. I gave up. I didn't know what to do, I was scared, I liked him. He made me feel guilty. I don't know how to cope with this...

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