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Guest westermaid

How about the top ten . . .

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I added to the list of top worst things people have said,  and it was good to know I'm not the only one who runs into cretans.

But, and not because I'm a polyanna,. .  I like to remember the good things to. How about a list of what good things people have said.

My favorite was from this friend who has always been my 'safe' friend. No matter what, I've recognized that I'm safe with him. He knows it all, and went to some therapy with me when it was scary and I needed support.

Anyway, I was returning to my 14 year old self, scared and curling up, and he put his arms about me and said: "Stay with me, because [abuser] no longer has claim on you. I claim you."

He then went on to claim as much of me as he could, my creativity, my agressive side, my femine side. All while holding me close.

Any one else??

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(((((((Westermaid))))))))

What a splendid idea. One of the nicest responses I got was being overwhelmed by memories, and my best friend cooked me dinner. She didn't dismiss it as being "past", she just listened and nurtured me. I felt as if, while I had to struggle in the past and get meals, etc. here was somebody offering me the chance to just be traumatized, and who would support me as I moved through it.

My dear husband....I showed him a detailed writing of my rape at eight years old and, while he admitted he didn't really know what to say, I think he did because he emailed me the following:

morning sweetheart , i know you have been hurting about what happened to you when you were 8 years old ,i just want to say that i love both you &that beautiful 8 year old,tell her for me that i will protect both of you,now &forever   love your protector kenny

And another:

sweetheart hope i did this right . i love you my darling i may not understand sometimes your pain but i will always be there for you in the long run .I DO LOVE YOU WITH ALL MY HEART                          LOVE YOUR HUSBAND KEN    

And of course, some of the responses I've had here at Pandora's Aquarium are the best that can be had anywhere; they have been absolutely life-changing.

I guess I'm pretty lucky.

Love to all

Lou xxxxxx

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You know, when my boyfriend and I were driving home from the police station, he asked if he was driving too fast...I just thought that was so sweet and considerate.

I'll think of more later.

Excellent thread!

Jes

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My fiance has stood beside me from the very start. We have shared triumphs and tears together. I think the sweetest thing was when I realised just how much he cares about me and feels for me when my story made him cry. And, when I am my seven year old self, he tells me that he will protect me, that I am beautiful, that it wasn't my fault, that he is my angel, and that he and God love me. That means a lot to me, especially considering he is an atheist. :)

If you ever read this sweetie, thank you and I love you!

flautist

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This is a great thread!

In the days following my rape, I was questioning what kind of person I would be to have had this happen to me again.. and a friend's response was to drive me to a place that over-looks the ocean, and we stood there in awe at the view, watching the sunset.  It was such a nice moment.  And then he said 'see, you always see the beautiful things in life, no matter what you're going through.. and THAT's the kind of person you are.'  This sweet gesture helped me in so many ways, and it definitely reminded me of the good things in life, and of the compassion of others.

Kristy.

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This is a really great thread.

I have been pretty lucky in that most of the responses have been very caring and kind.  Mr Pen has always been known for good responses but one that sticks out was when he planted a rose bush in the alley where I was raped by a boy I knew.  The following spring on the anniversary of my attack he picked a rose off my survivor bush and mounted it in a frame with the statement a Rose if forever printed below it.  (Actually this story also has a quite humorous part to it too because he planted the first rose bush and the lawn crew cut it down and he was very traumatized :))

The other great response I had was from my best friend from high school.  I finally told her three years after my attack, and she immediately believed me and truthfully said she really didn't know what to say except that she loved me and that she would find out the right thing to say.  She really would have liked me to call the number for the crisis center right then but I refused.  So that Monday, she set out and became a volunteer at the crisis center.   She brought me all kinds of booklets and learned the right thing to say.  It took three months of her volunteering there three times a week, but she made me comfortable enough to make the call and get into crisis counseling. (Oh and as she reminds me she was doing REALLY boring things like stuffing envelopes for fundraisers and cleaning the waiting room) She just graduated with a nursing degree and is going into training to be a SANE nurse.

And of course I love reading the wonderful and amazing words provided by everyone here.

Thanks for reminding me of the positive things.  The negative things said to us tend to push the positive things to the back of my mind.

~pen

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Awwwwww ((((((((Pen)))))))). The rosebush thing has put a lump in my throat. How gorgeous! Sisters, if only there was more of it....

Love

Lou xxxx

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This is a wonderful thread!

Unfortunately, I'm short on wonderful responses of the verbal sort, but when I told my sister (who I later learned had also suffered rape), she just reached out and held my hand...

And my husband...when I told him about the abuse I went through -- we were lying in bed in the dark and I was crying as I told him.  He held me and he petted my hair and he said, "It wasn't your fault."  I'm not sure anyone could have said anything more meaningful at that time -- I was certain, you know, that it WAS my fault...

Take care,

Amy

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Mine is a therapy story and ends with something I say here...

My last round of therapy, I finally decided that I had to give EVERYTHING I remembered a voice and chose to tell my therapist what I knew about both the csa and the rapes.  It was also a time when I desparately wanted to cry, but there were no tears to be found anywhere - I just couldn't cry.

During most one particular session, I could not bring myself to look at his face, but at one point, certain that I would see disgust on his face, I looked up and his eyes were red and there were tears streaming down his face.

It almost took my breath away - this man, that I had grown to respect and valued his opinion, was breaking all the rules of emotionally neutral responses and he was crying for ME.  Here he was able to cry tears that I could not.

I made some comment about how easy it would be to interpret those tears as disgust towards me, but that I was jealous and grateful that he could do what I could not at the moment...

He replied, "what keeps you from offering to yourself the grace that you offer to others so easily."

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Good thread! :)

In the weeks preceeding our wedding, I paniced.  I had tried everything to drive my husband away.  One night he told me no matter how hard I pushed him away, he wasn't going anywhere, he was going to love me with all his heart.

*insert warm fuzzy feeling here*

Laney

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nice nice nice! u guys are lucky to have such nice ppl in your lives.  

Well my friend and i rented the movie "Where the Heart Is" (great movie BTW)and i was having a really rough night with flash backs and all...and there is a part in the movie where i just snapped.  And left the room.  When i came back they said some amazing things which my friend later that night said to me in return.  "Our Lives can change with every breath we take"......then she said"don't dweel on the past, you have to take the good with the bad, b/c those bad things that happen are what make us who we are...and that my dear is a beautiful beautiful person." let me tell u how i just cried for like the first time in forever.  

again those other response and things said just bought me to tears...well almost your friends and famil are so loving ((((((((((((((GROUP HUGS)))))))))))))*XoXo*

~Col*

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Well, i have a very good friend i guess she  is one  of my best friends. She knows a little that something happened when i was young, not about the men now. She is great, and she never rejects me, but i can't tell her everything, as i am afraid she will do.. I even know she won't...but it's hard. She's 7 years older than i am but we understand eachother always. When my ex drugged and laterr*ped me at April 6, i was in Amsterdam all night, waiting at a policestation as i was afraid outside, and i felt sad as they didn't let me report him, stupid police. So then i finally got a change to take a train at 7am, and i hadn't slept for a long time..

And i felt really bad, so i called her that early, and 7 am is early for her, as she always works late and sleeps till noon and we usually make jokes about it (when i call her at 3pm:'Did i wake u????lol)

Well now i called her, and she was the only person i could call, and i asked  her wether i could come to her  house before we would have dance-lessons (we are at the same musicalgroup together) And she was like'Sure u are always welcome', and she called a cab to pick me up from the trainstation, and that was very sweet.

So i arrived at her house, and she brought me to take a shower, as my bodytemperature was very low. I got out of the shower, she gave me some warm clothes of her, and got me alot of warm tea as i was still freezing. We sat on the couch together and she let me cry, and tell me about what happened that night. And she didn't hated me and even got angry at him!!

That day we had to be at our dancing class at 11am, and we drove there  together and i could hardly dance as i was too tired, so she just told the others i wasn't feeling too well as i had the flue, and i was very grateful, as i didn't had to explain..

She's i guess my best friend, i know she won't leave me, and she's so strong.. She's the first one in real life who did something like this to me..

Sorry this is so long, i just wanted to tell what a wonderful friend i have..

Hugs Maaike

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the only thing that came to my mind is what my friend said to me last year when i was "cycling" through thoughts.  (you know, when your mind spins around the same thoughts over & over again and you feel like a hamster stuck on a wheel?)  anyway we went to coffee and was sitting there stuck in my head, staring at the table, when he said, "let's go to boosha.  it smells good."  boosha is a cute little shop filled with all sorts of knick knacks, candles, incense, journals, etc.  it totally helped me snap back into reality.

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I really like this thread idea, and, in light of the bitterness of my last post, I thought it would be good for me to remember the nice responses I've gotten from people, too.

Honestly, some of the sweetest and wisest responses have come from survivors here. I've received nothing but encouragement, inspiration, and empathy...which has helped me to regain the courage to keep digging for more strength.

But I have also been fortunate enough to have supportive friends whom I see. I can't think of the best examples of specific words they've said to me...but I do remember some responses--especially after telling my story for the first time.

After collapsing from crying so hard after a flashback during my high school days, I was sent to the principal's office...and, of course, everyone in the office wanted to "talk" with me. But they seemed more nosy than genuinely caring, so, naturally, I wasn't about to clue them in. I expressed to them that I really wanted to see my friends, but they wouldn't let me because they thought I might be a danger to myself or others...and no one wanted to supervise me. But, then I said, "I'd really like to *talk* to my friends." And they starting hunting down my friends and sending them into the nurse's office (the part of the main office where I was). One friend of mine offered to get me my favorite food and also got my favorite bottled water. She had everyone else go with her except the person I wanted to talk to most, so that I could have some privacy. Then, my other friend that stayed asked me if I wanted to talk and assured me she would keep it completely confidential if that's what I wanted ('cause I knew the staff only let her in if she would agree to report back what I said). I wasn't ready to tell her what was going on, so she just sat there with me for the remainder of her lunch period, and that meant everything to me. After lunch, I made something up for the principal (migraine headache) and got released back to class. Outside, a group of about 20 people--some of whom I barely knew, were waiting for me. Each person hugged me individually and said things like, "I love you," "We were so worried about you," "I hope you feel better soon," "We're so glad you're back. We thought the principal might have eaten you for lunch!" or, "We're here for you," or even just, "Marie..." I was amazed by my crowd of friends. At the end of the day, I was exhausted. The same friend that sat with me through lunch sat with me for the bus ride back. She let me curl up in her lap...and she just held me, gently brushed back my hair with her hand, and watched to make sure I was safe as I slept. I will never forget that day. I have never felt so safe.

Eventually (months later), I called her and told her I wanted to talk about what had happened...but I didn't know how to start. She asked if it was okay if she guessed...or if that was something I wanted. I told her yes, that might be good and answered yes or no to some questions she asked. Some of the questions she asked were funny (one of her greatest gifts is making people laugh) and some were serious. I was finally able to choke out the words, "I was raped." Then, I went silent again. She helped me to feel like it was okay to talk about by sharing that she had several friends who had been sexually assualted and she saw how much it hurt them and that it made her sad. But she also mentioned how thankful she was when they found help...and that healing was a very long process...but she was confident they would gradually reclaim what was taken away from them. She also shared her own story, and told me I didn't have to share what had happened to me if I didn't want to...but if I did want to, she'd be there to listen. I shared what I could and she was so compassionate towards me. We both cried. She didn't hang up on me until we were both ready to go to sleep...which was around 3 AM. After that, she looked out for me a lot just by monitoring how I seemed to be feeling each day. One day, (a really bad day for me, brimming with flashbacks) she gave me a hug, let me cry on her shoulder, and said, "I love you. I'm so glad you're here."  

I think what has affected me the most in a positive way is knowing that it's okay to talk about flashbacks, memories, and other thoughts that sadden and frighten me...and knowing that my friends are always there to listen to me when I want to talk or would be willing to stay with me when I don't. Some of my friends seem to respect my wish for complete confidentiality a little better than others...as I have discovered that more of my friends know on some level that I was abused than I would like to know, but none of them seem to act like what happened is something for me to be ashamed of. And, of course, loving me and seeing me as "the same beautiful person...with even more courage and more strength than [they] initially knew..." also helps. And telling me how the abuse was not my fault--something I can't seem to hear enough--also helps tremendously.

I don't have plenty of friends I can talk to openly about what happened to me and what my journey to heal has been like, but, the few friends I can talk to have been wonderful about showing me that they care about me very very much. Without the support I've received, I would not be alive today.

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Recently, I was feeling extremely defeated.  I couldn't make myself feel happy, and I just felt extremely depressed.  My boyfriend had grabbed me by accident and I started to shake because I felt a little anxious.  I started to cry because I felt so defeated (it had been the first time in awhile I'd felt that way,) and I just murmured, "He won, didn't he; I can't be free of him.  He killed me inside."

My boyfriend thought about it for awhile, and then he said something along the lines of, "If you can still smile, can still laugh, he hasn't won.  If you can honestly say you love me and feel safe with me, he hasn't won.  I didn't fall in love with a ghost, I fell in love with you.  I told you in the beginning that nothing you do, nothing you are will scare me away.  We will get through this - he hasn't won.  You've made it this far alone and now you have me - and I'll never hurt you.  I love you so much."

That was pretty much exactly what he said, lol, 'cause I wrote it down afterwards...it was just so sweet.

(((hugs)))

Keli

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I've been having a difficult time being around a lot of people lately. Typically I'm social and love to make people laugh, but since the December rape and going forward with prosecuting I've found that my feeling states and reactions are completely unpredictable. Usually whenever we go to my in-laws for big bashes, I feel great as I socialize and entertain. But since December I've found that mostly I just want to run home and hide...feeling the ghost of *him* stuck to my side and I am the only one that knows. The change in me in those situations has been so  profound that people noticed and asked questions. Blaming it on a challenging work schedule felt like a betrayal of myself. After talking with my husband who does not want his parents to know at all, we agreed that I would tell my sister-in-law who would share it with his brother. My sister-in-law, who is going through some of her own stuff which I've been trying to support, was great. We exchange mutually supportive emails. July 4th was the first time I saw her and my bro-in-law since telling them. I felt really awkward. I was able to be more social than usual (albeit not myself) I think having someone know helped. At one point in the party my husband's brother came up and put his arm around my shoulders and said that his wife "gave me the blow by blow and I just wanted to give you a hug of support and say that I'm really glad you are in the family." I put my head on his shoulder for a moment and he offered a gentle squeeze before my husband's mother arrived and 'mum' was the word. But in that moment--when it was difficult to 'be normal' and I felt alone-- it felt really nice to be cared about and helped me not feel so terribly alone. It was touching to feel so welcome in that family. My husband's family has always been truly wonderful to me.

I actually am blessed to have a few wonderful moments... many which stem from Pandy's, actually:

Lou and Zoomy have done more wonderful things than I could ever recount...their support for me through this incredibly challenging time has been unwavering and filled with compassion. It is incredible to feel both understood and cared about after never having had that before...

As I recall Jes and Jackie made a long road trip up here to meet me just a couple of weeks after the rape. While I was migraine-infested and certainly not the hostess with the mostest, their compassion and reaching out meant more than they'll ever know.

Many of you on this board have offered me wonderful moments... The "people of pandy's" take the top spot... give yourselves a gentle hug...

love,

Rain

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I've only told one other person everything that happened to me other than my husband. He's a really sweet guy that I've known over a year now and he's one of my best friends. When I told him everything he cuddled me and stroked my hair and said nothing will ever hurt you that bad again.

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Thanks for all the responses. Sometimes I just need to be reminded there are good times. And that they'll come again.

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this is a really wonderful thread. i have some to share:

this year has been particularly hard in therapy but my therapist just sticks by me and is so gentle and caring.

"You've been such a warrior." :)

"I'm right here, i'm not going anywhere, i hear you." (said while i was curled up in a ball with her arms around me and i was crying.

"Oh my God, michelle." --she was just finding out from a drawing i did about how much abuse there was from so many people.

"I hear you, I'm listening."-- that means a lot.

and of course the bestest things she has done to support me are when i am sharing the hardest parts of my story and she holds my hand or puts her arms around me.

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OOH! OOH! I have another one!!!!!!! :)

This just happened last night... I was just lying around talking to my fiance. I don't even remember how it came up, but he told me that I am beautiful. I have many memories, some connected to the r*pe and some that are not, of people telling me exactly the opposite, including my own family. The sad thing is, I have a total of 1 memory of someone telling me otherwise (before my fiance, of course) and that person simply said that I am pretty. errorlevel is the first person to ever have told me that I am beautiful. I just started crying and shaking my head no. I really don't think I am. He just simply said that everyone else is just shallow and wrong to even think that of me, let alone to say it to my face. He said his opinion should matter more than anyone elses because he is the one who loves me. And, like I said before, he is an atheist, but he even told me that God thinks I am beautiful, too, and that is the one I should listen to. Then he told me he loved me and just held me until it was time for me to leave.

Isn't he SOOO sweet?!?

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Yesterday i was talking with my best friend about stuff like EDs, SI and the like...he tends to be a mother hen and I feel belittled very often so this one thing he said meant the world to me:

"I can't and don't want to appreciate everything, but I do respect the things you do..."

Art

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For me, actions have spoken louder than words. The best response I've ever had was (believe it or not) when I finally decided I should tell my massage therapist (I thought it would have bearing on the way we interacted).

He paused... looked away.... stared out the window for a few seconds with the saddest look I've ever seen... and then he apologized and thanked me for being brave enough to share this with him.

I also told another friend just last night. His reaction was wonderful because he wasn't scared to talk about it. He asked questions, not accusing but really trying to understand how it had hurt me. And then, he thanked me for trusting him and told me he saw it as a true honour (that I had chosen to trust him). He said he will always be here for me, ready to bike or walk to my apartment if I ever need him, any time of day or night.

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When I told my then friend, now husband, in my usual distracted monotone drone (that's just how I do it, can't help it) he seemed really quiet.  When I looked up he was just looking at me with tears on his cheeks.  All he said was "Can I kiss you?"  I nodded, stunned, and he did, on the cheek.  It was so sweet, and meant so much, because usually, if anyone wanted to kiss me, they just did it.  It was nice for someone to ask to enter my space.  Guess that's why I held onto him.... :)

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My husband to me:

'You don't know how unique you are. No-one else would have showed as much courage'.

Will have to think more for others...

:)

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