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Guest Jasmine 8104

Uncovering a truth

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Hi all,

I had another therapy session yesterday where we talked about another aspect of my night with HIM (the attempted rape). It was the part about when he cornered me in a room and pushed my down on my stomach on a bed and then licked my back all over. It was gross. I was in total shock. He tried to do more but there was a knock at the door (incidentally, I was sitting on the bed looking at cassette tapes to change the music when he came in).

Telling my T this was incredibly difficult. It suddenly hit me WHY it was so tough, when I already told her the rest. Even though she is a wonderful therapist and never once doubted anything I said, and I knew that belief would not be a factor, my MIND was saying something totally different. It said something that kept me silent all these years.

(I think someone, maybe Cil, touched on this a little while ago - I apologize if I have the wrong person)

My mind was telling me - "Why is she going to believe you because who would WANT to do anything to you? You are not pretty, not attractive. WHY would this happen to someone like YOU?"

So, my mind has believed that this only happens to people who are beautiful. Only people with nice smiles, gorgeous hair, pretty eyes, etc would be victims. Not me. No way. It couldn't happen to someone like ME.

I can't believe that this MISINFORMATION in my mind has kept me silent ALL THESE YEARS!!! I am so angry! I know this is not true but my mind works alone these days, not really caring what my heart is saying. Even yesterday, at age 32 when I am old enough to know better, I felt these feelings come to the surface.

It is amazing - I blamed the shame all these years - and I know there is still a degree of shame that I still battle with but it reality I think it was the I-am-not-pretty-so-why-would-anyone-believe-me feelings that REALLY kept me silent for so long.

Any thoughts on this wise Pandy brothers and sisters? This was quite an experience for me and something that I think I can work past. But how do you recover from being bit by a virtual ton of bricks?

The always confused,
Michelle

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Being hit by the virtual ton of bricks is never an easy thing.  Having those revelations so to speak can be very troubling.  I hit one of those a couple of months ago, and the feeling put me in a pit for a couple of days.  Then I got mad at it and didn't want to let it beat me.  I've tried to silence myself in regards to my feelings, trying to make myself believe that no one would want anything to do with me because I felt I was so ugly.  I don't think anyone should believe me because I am so not worth anyone's time.  But the more people are involving themselves in my life, the harder that becomes to believe.  But the important thing here is that you have realized what is keeping you quiet and you are getting out ... for that congrats :D  

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(((((((((((((Michelle)))))))))))
 phew.....it knocks the wind out of you when realisations kinda hit you head on huh?  
  I had similar thoughts of 'why would anyone believe that someone would want to be with me and therefore would rape me?' but I think it still boils down to the whole 'why would anyone believe you' idea.  It makes me angry...Why shouldn't people believe us?  However we act or think or look, we should be believed...
    I wish you could have felt able to be believed, I wish you could have felt like you could tell someone.  Sometimes its not til someone believes in you that you believe in yourself is it?  Someway or another validation by another (when we dont feel confident in ourselves) helps us to start to heal.  I just wish it could have come sooner for you.
     ((((((((hugs)))))))
       Love JellyB
PS - if you're half as beautiful as the woman I know you to be here at Pandys, then you're one #### of a beautiful woman!!!!!!!!!!
   

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(((Michelle)))

Thinkin' of you sweetie...and hoping you come to trust all your feelings and experiences as your OWN.
It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks or feels about your situations...they happened to you, and that makes them worth exploring and talking about.

Love to you~
Dionne

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(((((((Shelly))))))))
I had that same problem for a while.  No one believe someone like ME would have this happen to me. Im not pretty Im not this that and the other thing.  But truth is all women are beautiful, including myself (HA I CAN SAY IT NOW! AND BELIEVE IT!) and all different kinds of people are abused, raped, or hurt.
((huggles sweetie))) love you
Amanda

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((((Shell))))

I was thinking of you yesterday and wondering how therapy was for you!!  Mine was very intense but good...I'll email you later. :)  I'm so glad you had this breakthrough with your therapist.....I have struggled with this same problem through the years as well.  I have even been too embarrassed to ask a guy to walk me to my car at night at work, for fear that he's looking at me and thinking, "what the #### is SHE worried about?"  It's so hard, these feelings.

It's true, rape and abuse do NOT only happen to physically "beautiful" or "pretty" people.  I am so glad your session went so well yesterday, Shell.  ((((safe hugs)))).

And by the way honey.....you are so beautiful.

Love always,
Tash

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I was always told what a beautiful girl I was. I thought that was the problem.  Guys would stare at me all the time, finding excuses to touch me or brush up against me, making jokes about my breasts (I'm unusually well-endowed in that area.  I really wish I wasn't.) and whistling and howling when I walked by.  And when I told my friends how uncomfortable it made me they just laughed and said "what did I expect?" or else they got mad at me for "not appreciating the attention" or something.  Apparently I was supposed to take it as a compliment that guys eyed my body like I was a piece of meat.

When I wore short skirts or nice outfits I was accused of "asking for trouble" and when I got goosed in the halls or some guys bumped into me and made me drop my books so that I'd have to bend over to pick them up my friends would just laugh or ignore it.  

When I went out at night to a dance club or something, guys would take my smile as an invitation to touch or kiss or rub wihtout permission and all my girlfriends would look at me like they were jealous, like it was something I wanted.  One time I remember, I was out at a club and I had danced with some guy because he asked me and I wanted to be polite.  After a while it became evident that he was a poor dancer and hekept trying to touch my breasts, so I excused myself, saying I was too tired to dance anymore, and went back to sit down by my friends.  The guy was persistant.  He kept coming back every five seconds to ask me to dance again, but each time I said no.  My friends thought it was cute but I was kind of scared.  He kept looking at me strangely.  Then after a while, he came back again, and asked me to dance with him.  I said no, this time not as politely.  He ignored me, grabbed my wrists and forced me onto the dance floor.  He was dragging me into the crowd and I couldn't see my friends anymore, I was really scared.  I twisted out of his hands, injuring my wrist in the process and ran back to where my friends were.  They hadn't moved an inch to help me.  In fact they didn't even mention that I was almost kidnapped by some creep.  I couldn't believe it.  I asked them why they didn't come help me and one girl shrugged and said, "you danced with him earlier.  We thought that was what you wanted."  One of the other girls actually scolded me for being a tease!!

At work it happened to, guests would make lewd comments, touch themselves in my presence, expose themselves, try to grab me, touch me, kiss me.  And when I told they just say "see what you do to guys?  You're too pretty" and laugh like it was all a big joke.  

When I was r*ped, I couldn't help but think it was because I was "too pretty" and guys just couldn't help themselves around me.  It was my fault for being such a "c*ck tease".  Even the therapists and counsellors I saw all told me was a beautiful girl I was, so pretty, the police men said it too.

I don't want to be pretty anymore.

Cherry

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My story is similar to Cherry's.  Not quite as extreme, maybe.  I've always seen myself as "pretty but not pretty enough" if that makes any sense.  So when I was raped, sick as this may sound, at first I almost took it as a compliment that maybe I was so pretty that he just couldn't resist.  That sounds so wrong and sick to me know, and I've never told anyone that before.  But I've also never had anyone blatantly staring at me, or it doesn't happen often.  If it did, I would be so incredibly uncomfortable.  It's unfortunate that I am sometimes afraid to smile at a stranger that I pass somewhere because I don't want to send the "wrong" signals.

Just my two cents.
Jasmine

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Cherry, I completely understand!  Guys never noticed me until one day (around 17) I was all of a sudden beautiful.  I was not ready with what came with that at all.  I had no idea how much I would learn about how little control males have.  All of a sudden it seems like every guy was howling, grabbing, touching, or rubbing (A LOT OF MY BITTERNESS COMES FROM THIS)

I'm also SO tried of guys saying yea well being a pretty girl means that you get away with anything.  Yea everything except your dignity.

My friends also get jealous and say things like "yea she always gets hit on" I'm soooo #### tired of being violated all the time because I'm pretty.  I can't get past the rape because it doesn't seem to end.  It seems like every time I go out some guys are after my body.  It never matters what I say or do.  The random guys usually hide it the crowd and get away with usual butt grab or worse.  I actually had a guy put his hand in between my legs and pretty much finger me on top of my pants.  I was in a Halloween costume (thin loose pants) walking in a crowd I have NO idea who it was.

The guy who raped me wasn't the first guy who tried just the first one who succeeded.  It didn't help that he told me it was because "I was too sexy".  For a while I accepted it was a trade off, I always wanted to be pretty, and this is what came with it.  After the rape, I built my confidence back up by telling myself no guy could control himself around me and they always helped to prove me right.
(as sad as that is it helped me too accept the other constant violations, and feel good about myself again)

Really drunk guy FRIENDS are usually the ones who do things to me.
(my rapist was also a so called friend too, and he was really drunk too)

Here are a few daily violations
While dancing with a random guy, he puts his hand in between my legs and starts rubbing (with no warning)
Always being sexual harassed at EVERY job I have, by the boss or customers.
A guy friend holds me against the wall while giving me a hickey.
A Guy friend puts finger in the cleavage of my shirt.
Shortly after the rape while I was hooking up with a random guy another guy friend walks in on me ON PURPOSE to see me naked.
A guy friend one night threatened he wasn't going to leave my dorm room until I hooked up with him, while another friend dragged him out, thank god!
I spent the night at some guy friends' house they came in the next morning pretended to have sex with me and another friend.  Then pulled of the covers off to expose me in just a T-shirt and underwear while my bra was swinging on the fan.

I don't have guy friends anymore, and my boyfriend's guy friends are dwindling because of these situations.  Am I really that irresistible or are guys just that out of control? Is this common?       WHEN WILL IT END???

I want to be treated like a human NOT an object!

Heather

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This thread has got me thinking, and there's something I wanted to add.  The behavior of some men (not all, but unfortunately it seems to be the majority) no doubt makes all of us not want to be pretty anymore.  The logic is if we're not pretty then nobody will want to do any of these things.  This is not true.  My problem is this:  I want to be pretty for my boyfriend, and I will dress up and put on makeup, etc for when we go out.  When I do this, I get extra attention and looks from other men and that makes me very uncomfortable.  So either I can't make myself look nice for my boyfriend (and for me), or I make myself look nice for everyone.  Did this make any sense?

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(((((((michelle)))))

this subject makes me so #### angry adn SICK, I was reading a site a while ago (cant find it anymore) adn it had a quote from a serial killer saying that attractiveness had nothing to do with it, this thing makes me so angry, i dont have much else to say, i hope u feel better soon
(((((HUGS))))))
cil

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(((((((Michelle)))))))

I'm sorry that this though kept you silent all these years but I'm glad it came out. I also wondered the same. After my first abuse, I would never dress nice or make any effort to look nice. I would just wear blue jeans and oversized t-shirt all the time. i believe the first time I wore make up, I was 15 but it was only at home, the fist time I wore make up to go outside with people I didn't know was when I was 18 maybe. I wondered why the other abuse happened because I was doing my best to look unattractive. I really believed that men would abuse me because I was starting to having breats or if I was looking nice. Do you know when I started to realize that : only last Spring ( I'm 20 ). For the first time of my life, last summer, I wore a little sexy top because i liked them but would have never wore them to not get any look from a man. I wanted to be invisible.

(((((Jasmine)))))
I think your question very interesting. I would like to be able to dress nice for the people I love but not for other people. During all my teenagers years, and still now most of the time. I make extra effort to dress nice when we're having hosts coming at home. But I would never go out the way I'm dressed at home ...

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(((((hugs to all)))))

Well, I guess I didn't expect the opposite responses from my post but it makes sense.

It makes me mad. For me to deny that this was what it was because of my "unattractiveness" and for you to believe that it was your attractiveness that caused it. Neither is true.

I am sorry that so many of you feel that because you are pretty you had it coming so to speak and that it was why it happened. This is not true but I know how hard it is to believe.

The fact is, these things happened to us because we had meetings with horrible people. THEY are to blame. Not us. I am mad that my own insecurities and self-esteem issues had such a big part of me keeping quiet.

What scares me is those things that you, the pretty girls, often speak of have happened to me too. A lot of it. I can't believe that it would not be taken as seriously because I am not pretty or that it would be considered ok because you ARE pretty.

I am not making any sense now. I am sorry if this thread hurt anyone. That was not the intention. I have been getting great comfort in learning to express my feelings here and in writing things down. I confess - it IS all about me. But I don't ever intend to hurt people in the process.

I'll try to shut down the ramble-mouth now.
Still so confused.
Michelle

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(((((Shell)))))

This is an important thread, sweetie.  I'll ramble a little bit, too, ok?  :P

First of all, I have had friends who were physically breathtakingly beautiful who definitely had to endure the mistreatment spoken of in above posts.  Not only that, but members of their same sex were disgustingly jealous and hateful towards them, too.  However, this kind of lewd mistreatment happens to people who are "not beautiful". (and I struggle with even typing that, because beauty comes from the heart and soul....I have a really hard time with labels.) One girl that I remember so clearly from school was teased mercilessly and called "ugly" by our classmates.  She was in the awkward preteen stage, very gangly and thin with long arms and legs, really bad acne, and her hair had a huge cowlick in the front which would never cooperate....to compensate, her mother kept her hair cut very short.  She had no self-confidence; and my heart aches to remember her and her torment and her fears.  She rarely would make eye contact with anyone.  I spent a lot of time at her house, and I can remember her brother was such a pig....he grabbed her inappropriately, hit her all the time, made comments about her breasts....one time he pelted us with M&M's hard enough to hurt...he was such an ass.  But it wasn't just her brother....the boys at school liked grabbing her too or making sexual comments.  It was as if the mean comments about her physical appearance wasn't quite enough, they had to try to be even meaner to her, so they went after her that way too.  She eventually grew up, her mother took her to a determatologist and got her acne under control, her hair grew....but the thing is, she was never "ugly".  I always saw beauty when I looked at her.  My feelings didn't change when people started saying that "the ugly duckling had become a swan."  She was still the same person, and so were the morons who tormented her.

Ok.  Thinking about this from my own personal experience....I can remember being a teenager sitting at the dinner table, and my breasts being the topic of conversation.  My mother was jealous of me in many ways, and she always made a big deal of really ridiculous things.  She always pointed out my breasts....which really are not spectacular, btw, they're just everyday average breasts....and pretty soon in the family, it was something to joke about, talk about, tease me about, and my stepfather to drool over....my breasts seemed to take on a life of their own.  This apparently gave him or any of his cronies free license to grab or touch my breasts any time they wanted to.  I always dressed in oversized shirts and jeans....always trying to minimize and draw attention away from my body.  It didn't matter though, and it didn't help to save me from being the object of sexual comments or abuse, not at all.  At this time in my life, my stepfather also would make me put on heavy makeup, very short skirts and high heels and go out out with him to a restaurant or bar, as if we were a couple.  I noticed that certain men always grope or feel or whatever innapropriately...the only difference in wearing baggy shirts and jeans or the short skirt outfits was the comments.  I got a lot more disgusting comments, dressed in his whore outfits.  But it seems to me that the segment of the population that gropes, feels, and forces themselves on others and makes these types of filthy comments, will do it no matter what.  Also, a few years ago, I starved myself...literally....and lost 70 pounds.  I did it in 5 months.  I was tired of being overweight, yet afraid that once free of my "fat shell", I would attract unwanted attention from men.  In my personal experience, I didn't really notice a difference, except for one pervert's comment to me in a store when I was wearing a summer dress with spaghetti straps....otherwise, I didn't notice a big difference in the way men treated me.  My personal belief is that sexual predators do not only go after those who are physically beautiful.  That's only my opinion.  I do know how it feels though, to want to hide so you're not noticed.  But in my own experience, there doesn't really seem to be much rhyme or reason to the thinking of a sexual predator.  

And also, I have also had the great joy of knowing that there ARE men out there who are wonderful....loving, caring and compassionate...they are not all scumbags.  I have been very blessed, as I know some of you have, with wonderful guy friends.

This is all just my rambling.  This is a great thread for all of us to think and work through how we feel about these issues.

((((safe hugs))))

Lots of love,
Tasha

(Edited by Natasha at 11:06 am on April 10, 2002)

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((((Michelle)))))

I sincerely don't think you hurt anybody with that thread. You didn't hurt me at all. I think you just got many of us to think about the relation we may see between what we look like and what happened. I personally think this thread is a great one because it leads us to think about this relationship. It's certainly why people shared here their negative experience related to the way people see them or they seem themselves with what happened to them. It's certainly why so many people talked about the problem of being classified as attractive.
We all got a different point of view of ourselves. As Nathasha told it, I think beauty is something that you can't define because one person can find another person beautiful and this same person can be seen as ugly by another person. And the beauty comes from your heart and soul. It kind of hurts me you see yourself as a "not beautiful woman" because I see you as a beautiful woman from what I know from you from here.
To conclude this ramble, not matter what you look like, sick people are gong to act sick. If you are very "beautiful" in most of people's eyes, it just give them another excuse, and use that excuse. But they're sick, that's all.

Ok, I'm not sure at all I make sense and I'm feeling too lazy to read what I just wrote to correct it.

(((((Michelle)))))

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I think this is an important thread, Michelle, and while it's led people to write about their hurts, you starting it hasn't hurt anyone. Make sense?

First, I want to say Michelle that you are beautiful. I love to read your posts. Peronally, I find so much truth in what you say, and I relate so well with so much of your experience. I don't know what you look like. And frankly, it doesn't matter to me or, I think, anyone else here. The old saws "beauty is only skin deep" and "it's what's inside that counts" ring true.

It saddens me immensely to think think that you felt you couldn't talk about what happened to you because you didn't think you were pretty enough to merit "that kind" of attention. And I'm so happy to hear that you've broken through that barrier.

It's been hard for me to separate sex from rape, to finally view rape as a violent power play that has nothing to do with what sex really is (or should be, ideally). This whole discussion of I'm not pretty enough/some people think I'm too pretty shows, in my opinion, how big a struggle this is for many of us.

I'd also like to share my experience with the too pretty/not pretty enough side. I was raped when I was 16, at the house of someone who I thought was a good friend. She was extremely competetive with me in some weird ways. She decided that I was pretty and she wasn't, and this bothered her. Therefore she act as though I was good looking but stupid and talentless, and that she was unattractive but extremely intelligent and artistic. I tried to ignore this dynamic, and remain unaffected by her constant cutting remarks, and also to assure her that I thought she was smart, talented, and also quite attracitve albeit in a different way than me.

It got harder to ignore when she started spreading vicious sexual rumors about me which were totally unfounded. I never did figure out where she came up with all that. One night at her house, I was attacked by a man who we both knew while she was not at home. I always wondered if her rumor-mongering contributed to that. I'll never know. I also wondered how my physical appearance contributed to the rape. I'll never know that either. Attention from men since has often been, understandably, really hard for me to handle.

But in the end it's a trap, this questioning about how we look. The people who hurt us are sick. It wouldn't matter if we looked different or wore something different. I think sometimes we're looking for some way to have control over what happened by attributing it to the way we look or what we wore.

Anyway that's my (very long) two cents worth. It's all so complicated. It makes me so sad to read about some of these experiences we all have had. I could climb up on my big soapbox and talk about how I wish society could view us for who we are rather than how we look but this post is already too darn long, and you all already know it.

Elle

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"but you can't seriously think that...you have a disability, theres no way anyone would want you, let alone rape you" -- heard it too many times.  or from my ex-fiance... "well, i think you're beautiful and tell you so... no one else ever would".  he thought saying that gave him the right to take my body whatever, however he wanted.
so yeah michelle, while i didn't really buy into the whole not being beautiful so how could it be rape ( i knew it was rape), EVERY one else did, so i was constantly told i was just being stupid, that it couldn't happen,and "oh, well i know he would never have wanted you, so you have to be lieing"...that sentence sums up what i got told and treated like about this.  even with his confession to a judge in court on paper, i'm still told i'm lieing, because everyone believes that i'm not "good"(atractive, sexual, etc) enough to be raped.
i guess b/c i dealt with the whole self-image issue way before this happened, b/c of the progressing disability, it didn't really change how i saw myself.   as nothing special, but that i could/can look pretty #### good if i put some work into it and wasn't in too much pain at the time (pain does nasty things to your apperance).  and yes, i'm proud of the fact i can pull off looking good when i want... on a general basis, i don't put too much stake in how i look...its not that important to me.

and yeah, as for perverts and comments... they may use the exscuse that someones pretty to rationalize theri behavior, but they will target anyone.

angel

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((((((((((((((Shel)))))))))))))))

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(((Michelle)))

This thread has really had my head in a spin.  I feel like a victim ALL over again.  But this time a victim of society. How did I buy into the media etc telling me how important outside apperences are.  I feel so dumb, like a sell out back to square one.

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((((Heather))))

I am so sorry, just so sorry, that I have done this. I didn't mean to. This I can't take. Society sucks - it has failed us all.

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My father says things like that to me all the time.  Why would they want to do those things to me.  It must have been my fault.  I did something...When Luis r*ped me he said to me that since i was so ugly, no one would ever want me and i should just take what i could get.

i thought i could do this but i cant

i love you michelle

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((((((Michelle))))))
Don't appologize you didn't do anything wrong at all.
I've know how much our society sucks.

((((stephiedoodle))))

Love,
Heather

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(((Michelle))) You didn't do anything wrong, please don't be sorry. Learning to recognize this society crap can help us overcome it, I do believe that. I have to. I have to make some good come out of all of this, within myself at the very least.  

Elle

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Society can kiss my bony butt and shove their opinions up their ass.  Every one of us is beautiful and NONE of us deserved to be r*ped for it.
((((Michelle)))) this is a great thread, and I love how everyone can be so open with each other here.  Don't apologize for it honey, you're just sharing an experience.

Luv,
Cherry

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This is another Shell thread I've kept in the back of my mind for responding.

((((Women))))) I identify with so much of what you've said. Being raped has made me at times terrified of being seen as an attractive woman. Yet, essentially, when I remember the process of being raped, I certainly didn't feel that any homage was being paid to my "good looks". I felt dirty, ugly. Isn't that odd? I know rape isn't about homage to your good looks, but yet part of me persists in believing it is some sign of being irresistibly attractive.

The ex-partner who battered and raped me, said he was doing so because I was a slut; it was my clothes, it was the way I moved, it was dancing, you name it. He said I needed to be taught what can happen when I "flaunt" myself like a whore. He particularly had trouble with any suggestion of flaunting my breasts; this was seen by him to issue sexual invitations to other men. It took me sixteen years to fully overcome the damage he did.

The most powerful means of doing this was to bellydance (you've seen the pic) in the Aus equivalent of "Take Back the Night". I could expose my flesh, let my cleavage show, be a beautiful, sensuous dancing woman AND still demand the right not to be raped, harrassed, threatened.

The theme has cropped up again recently too, with the rape of a very dear friend. The first thing I felt the morning after she disclosed, was this terrible sense that I didn't want to be a woman, not noticeably a woman.

I deliberately defied it, sisters. I put on the most pink, tight, cleavage-revealing thing I could find BECAUSE I FEEL GOOD THAT WAY AND I'M FUCKED IF I WILL ALLOW SICK BASTARD RAPISTS TO DICTATE WHAT I SHOULD OR SHOULD NOT BE!!!!

I love my femininity. Love it. Sick fucks can make what they will of it, but it doesn't mean they can have it.

My friends rapist thought she was beautiful. She is now naturally afraid....and I hope I'll be able to encourage her into an overcoming of it.

Social ideas about beauty causing rape are a worry because they lead to so much injustice. 2 cases: A woman was raped and walked into a polkice precinct in downtown New York to have the policeman sneer at her and say, "aww, who'd want to rape you?" In the last decade, a rape case was thrown out of court becuase the judge could not believe somebody would attack a woman as unattractive as he believed the victim to be.

Staistics show that a "beautiful" rape-complainant gets more empathy and belief that one who doesn't fit the stereotype; her "ugly" sister is assumed to be wishful thinking or attention seeking. Yet the "beautiful" victim is assumed to have "asked for it" [i]because[/i] she was beautiful!

Can't fucking win, can we? We still have a long way to go, sisters, but we'll get there; we can nsist that the responsibility for rape rests with the perpetrator and that focus is taken away from how the woman looked.

Sorry for the ramble; I feel incredibly strongly about this. As ususal, Shell, you've given me a forum to explode some of my deepest passions.

(((((((Sisters))))))))) find what you want to be and be it.

Love

Lou xxxxxx

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