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Guest westermaid

How about the top ten . . .

41 posts in this topic

What a wonderful thread indeed.  You know, this is a horrible thing we've all gone thru and are going thru.  Still, I sit and read these threads and I ponder on the wonderful people I have in my life who show me gentle understanding, and I thank God because He sends "angels" to help us along.  We don't have to go thru this alone.

The following is a "copied and pasted" email I recently got from my very best friend and "big brother". Someone had just hurt me by saying something stupid and I wrote him. I had apoligized for always whining to him but he is beautiful and never turns me away.  I met him in a Christian chat room three years ago right after I was raped and he took me under his wings.  He's carried me thru many storms, from my depressions to self injury.  I know I couldn't have survived without him.  He is a precious gift from God! **********************************************************

Now, onto the email:

Lis...
Sweetie, I am in no way frustrated with you, or tired of hearing about it, or any of that junk. The only frustration I feel is my inability  to do anything about it. You're so far away from me and all I can do is listen and chat and pray for you. I wish I could make it all go away for you. I wish I were close enough to protect you.
I see you in my mind as this little lamb standing on a hill, surrounded by snarling wolves, with their teeth bared, just looking for a chance to tear you to pieces. I see a storm raging all around you, with winds blowing the little cries you manage away before they leave your lips.I can see your legs trembling, and your eyes filled with tears...and then I see the form of a shepherd (Jesus) standing over you. With huge arms and shoulders, and blazing eyes glaring at the wolves and causing them to look away in fear. I see this staff of iron in his massive
scarred hands. And I am reminded that even if I were there with you 24 and 7, I could not hope to match the comfort He can give you. Nor the protection. Lisita, I cant begin to think I know how you feel. I can understand the feeling of being bullied, and humiliated. I have had to live with that. I have even suffered that at the hands of the opposite sex, but not to the extent that you have. I have been pushed around pretty much all of my life. And I can understand that feeling. And its hard not to hate. Not to wish them pain, not to visualize their payback.  I know it hurts Lis. Why are people like that, you know? Why hurt
someone just because you can? Cant they put themselves in our shoes, even just for a minute, and feel how much we hurt because of them? Dont they know that the damage is so very much deeper than what happened at that moment? That it tortures us, time and time again, over and over? That it has been there for years now, and even seems to be worse because of how deeply ingrained it is in us?  How can people be like that?  It will all come back to them one day.  I am going to be praying for you, beloved.
I speak healing to you, to your heart from mine. You will be okay, know that. Jesus loves you more than I ever could, and I would save you if it were in my power. How much more will your Father in heaven save you, knowing that you want him to? He is for you Lis, his word says so. And if he is for us, who can be against us?  

**********************************************************
I'm sorry if this was really long.  I hope it brings someone hope.  
(((((((((((((((((((((((((((safe hugs)))))))))))))))))))))))

Lisita

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Although I hadn't intended to tell a guy I've been dating, I also wasn't going to avoid the topic, which ended up coming up in a roundabout way.  This is from the email he sent me the next day:

"I was thinking about what you told me and why you told me.  Both of which are very clear.  Thanks for being honest.  Let me know if there's anything I can do to help.  I didn't ask questions because I didn't think that any questions I had at that time were edifying to you in any way.  Only to satisfy my curiousity.  And I think that's a lousy reason to ask.  
Well, your honesty is infectious.  I hope your cold is not as contagious.  
I'll see you soon."

I thought that was pretty great--which is why I'm seeing him again this weekend. :)

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This is gonna make me cry ...

I was so lucky, in so many ways.  Nearly everyone I've told about the rape (and that's lots of people now) was really good to me.  But here's a few of the toppers:

1. Paramedic at the scene: Do you want us to take you to Nyack (hospital) instead of Good Sam(aritan)?  They can do emergency contraception; Good Sam won't.

Something I never would have thought of at the time; grateful for that later, at the time just so grateful that he actually asked my opinion like I was still a real human being.  First sign that the stereotypes of how rape victims are treated might not be as bad as I feared.

2. My dad, later that day, referring to when he met me in the hospital: I was afraid you wouldn't want to hug me.

This broke my heart, and just proved to me that his heart was in the right place.

3.My boyfriend (dozens of times): No problem.  When my muscles froze up that first night and I needed a massage at 3:30 in the morning.  When I initiated and then stopped intimacy more than once in the next few weeks.  When I asked him always to call out 'it's me' when using his key to my apartment or walking into a room I was in.  And for still doing it 3 years later.

4.The Ramapo police department, for treating me with total respect.

5.The judge at the sentencing hearing (to the rapist): Maximum sentence.

6.My mother, afterwards: I'm so proud of you.

Yep, I'm crying. :)

Ren

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From The Ashes

My right hand holds matches
My left holds my past
I hope the wind catches
And burns it down fast
I'm gonna step into the fire
With my failures and my shame
And wave goodbye to yesterday
As I dance among the flames

So don't try to save me now
Let the walls of my world all burn down
Just stand back and wait 'til the smoke finally passes
And I will rise
From the ashes
From the ashes
From the ashes

For all that I'm losing
Much more will I gain
The hard part is choosing
To change what needs changed
My step will be much lighter
With these demons off my chest
I'm born a better spirit
And lay the old to rest

I'll walk away stronger
I will be flyin'
Higher and truer
Than I've flown before

My right hand holds matches
My left holds my past
I hope the wind catches
And burns it down fast

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Okay - after my last goof I will try to respond to this awesome thread.  I look back over almost four years of emotions, from raw, fresh pain to the beginning of my journey towards healing.  Not too long after the r*pe I received a phone call from a friend who I had not spoken to in many years - we just sort of lost touch with one another.  We became very close again and one night when we were talking about the movie "The General's Daughter" he asked if I had ever been r*ped.  I suppose my silence answered his question.  He was the first person I confided in fully.  Just his picking up the phone that one day was my gift, my gift to open up, to feel safe.  He is my soft place to fall.  We have cried together, laughed together and fought this evil together.  He is always so full of such wonderful, tender advice that there is no way that I could narrow it down to one particular thing other than his reappearance in my life when I needed a friend the most.   Reading these posts in this thread, I have noticed that many of us have some really empathetic male friends.  I just now am thinking how odd it is that I felt that safe with a male.  Any thoughts on that, on why some of us tend to feel safer opening up to men in our lives?  I'd love to hear from you all on this subject!  ((((hugs for healing))))

Love,
Lisa

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My friend opened up her apartment to me so I could stay somewhere that my attacker didn't know about. And my boyfried jumped in his car as soon as he found out what happened and drove 12 hours to get back here to me. He held me for 4 days. He didn't sleep until I went to sleep and he was always awake when I woke up. He held me while I sobbed and rambled and he made himself stay there with me while I told him all the horrifying details. He was hurting but he was strong for me. And his dad jumped in his car and drove all the way to Ohio from Atlanta, GA. So those were the nice things.

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(((((((huggles))))))))
I couldn't read all of this thread, but what I've read is incredible.  Every post has such deep emotion involved- its amazing.

My person is my husband, although at the time when he and I actually started talking about everything we were just boyf/girlf.  We had stayed up half the night talking about nothing, in the pitch black darkness, no lights on.  I let him know how afraid of the dark I am, and he asked the reasons why- I told him a lot about all the csa/r*pe etc.  He cried with me, and held me even though I was shaking so bad.  He told me he would never force me to talk about anything I didn't want to, that whatever I needed, whatever I was ready for was what he'll always be.  Later in the year, after a long gap in between that night, and another night of talking all night-  he said that I am the strongest woman he knows, but that he wanted to be my strength from now on, and protect me in the future.  My heart is truly his.

lots of love
Amanda

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I just read this, and felt a need to reply...because everything I have heard is so beautiful.

A dear, dear friend of mine just reappeared in my life, and, she has a way of getting me to talk about things no one else would ever hear. She's 7 years older than me, and for most of my childhood she was my idol and my hero...she helped me survive. And she asked me to tell her exactly what happened, so I sent her an e-mail, while we were chatting on-line, because I couldn't even tell her on an IM, and she read it while I sat there, and then came back and said to me.

its ok...i know you are probably really scared..but you are incredible.
strong
amazing
i can't believe you have been living with this all alone.....
If you were not strong, you would be dead.
so youare
so just admit it that you are strong
you survived a brutal and terrifying experience that
many women would not have.
You are my hero
for real

after so many years of idolizing this friend, and never being able to accept she cared, and then to have her say I was her hero, was the most beautiful thing anyone ever said to me.

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my sister has said  the kindest things to me and done the kindest things for me....most people wouldnt have thought that some of what she did was great...the morning after mt r*pe i woke up with bruises all over and i had to go out and i asked her how bad i looked and she told me i looked better than usual cuze i was there....then she took me over and did my hair put makeup on some of hte bruises found me something to wear that covered alot of the stuff and the gave me a big hug. that is just one example of waht she has done i will think of some more.

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My second cousin (i think { my dads cousin}) is really great........i just thought of this and i had to post it.
 At the family reunion (that was so so so so not fun.....all of these people i didnt know saying look at how much you have grown since i saw you 13 years ago) when almost everyone went out on one of the 4 boats  and olny some of the really old people didnt go but i didnt go and Cathy didnt go cuze she was sleeping in the hammoc when they left (people in my family have a tendency to sleep alot) and because i just didnt want to go. When she woke up she saw me writing in my notebook ( i wanted to write a novel about a attic that held secrets of other times) on the swing in bettween the two trees and she came over and joined me which totally scared me cuze she kinda just sat down and i didnt notice her. I hadn't really taked to her since before the rape and we started up a conversation about what was going on and  she could tell i was avoiding some topic and she asked me if i was ok and i told her that i really wasnt and she asked me if i wanted to talk and i told her what happened. I started crying and i leaned over on her shoulder and she held me until i stopped....i asked her if we could change the subject ans we started talking about her wedding (which i missed cuze i was in NYC seing a play). When we saw the boats slowly coming back she gave me a hug and made sure i was ok. Ever since then she has e-mailed me almost every day just sending good thoughts and hugs....for christmas she got me lavender stuff...she is a amazing place to get support and has done so much for me.

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i am just adding another wonderfull thing...because i am thinking of so many reading this post...so i guess this will be a bump and a post ;)

-One that really stands out in my mind from recently is from the night i found out they caught my r@*ist. I was again down at my dads cousin (she lives on the beach) and i was totaly freked and stressed and she got out her stuff to do manacures and she gave me a french manacure and then did the same style on my toes. Later that night when i was having horrible nightmares she came over and sat with me till i calmed down enough to go back to bed (that was a long time) even though she had to be awake enough to drive me 2 1/2 hours home early the next morning.
-Closer to the begining of the year

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What a wonderful thread!  (Much needed today...)

I have two that stand out.

The first is when I was finally able to tell my t. about the rapist using the knife and threatening to slit my throat.  I had to close my eyes and choke it out between sobs and then I opened my eyes to find my t. kneeling on the floor in front of me, with one of her hands over one of mine, with tears running down both her cheeks.  Even though I know that her tears may have been more because of the memory of a frightening event in her own life that she shared briefly once, it still touched me deeply.

The second came over the holiday weekend when my SO gave me a Letterman-inspired "Top 10" list... "The top ten reasons that I want you to be my wife".  :shocked:   Number 6 says "Your strength inspires me."  Because I have been feeling so weak and needy and "stuck" lately, this really touched me.

Lora

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It's a small thing... but I thought it was sweet.  

My boyfriend knows that I was raped almost three years ago.  I just now started being able to deal with the rape (going to a therapist, etc).  Under "My Story" in the forums of this wonderful message board, I wrote my story.  I wrote it for the first time.  It was the first time I told all the details that I could remember about the rape... the details that I never told my boyfriend, or anyone else.  I told him that I wrote my story, and he asked if I would mind him reading it.  I was a little hesitant because there was so much that I never told him.  But, he read it while I was laying on our bed.  When he's done reading it, he comes over with tears in his eyes, gives me the biggest hug I've ever had and says to me... "You truly are a survivor." At that moment, I felt safe.
(((Hugs to everybody)))~
Stefanie

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I did have some very positive responses, they were not all negative, gratefully, after I was raped.

The first positive response was from my boyfriend.  He let me know he knows it was not my fault and that he still loves me.  He didn't say that much, but he let me know he cared mainly by being around more, in case I needed him and by being there to escort me when I needed to go out somewhere to the store or somewhere,in the evening.

My landlord, although he didn't offer any kind of verbal support, let me out of my lease without any hassles when I felt the need to move after the rape incident.

In Rockford, where I sojourned for awhile, a counselor who is not trained specifically to deal with rape crisis, said, " You have been seriously violated, you've been through something traumatic.  Go easy on yourself," to let me know she understood the enormity of my experience.

My son said he is sorry someone hurt me and that I am too precious to be hurt by anyone.  He also started being around more,in case I needed him, and he would go places with me whenever possible, to keep me from having to go alone, even during the day.  When he sees I am depressed, he'll take me out to a movie or something.    

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Reading all of these posts has touched me so much that I am almost crying. I just wanted to add a few of my own:  In the early stages of my current relationship the subject of sex came about. I told my boyfriend that I didn't want to and I started to cry, then I told him all about being raped and his reply to me was : "Don't worry babe, I won't ask you to do something you don't want to. I will wait a million years for you if thats what it takes to be with you. I love you." The other one was quite recently and we were talking about sex again because there are things that I physically cannot do and I always worry that he will go and find some one who can satisfy him because I can't. I told him my fears on this and he said " I'm not in this relationship for sex babe. If we never ever have sex again I would not go with another woman. I don't even care if we never have sex again babe, I'm with you because I love you and you make me happy." I thought that was so sweet for him to say and it took a lot of pressure off me and the way I feel about sex. He has been the only person apart from my counsellor who knows everything that happened to me and he loves me despite all that I've been through.

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i love this thread so much. i think i'm going to refer back to this whenever i think people are jerks.

i had two wonderful experiances after i was raped. at it happened to me i told a friend of mine right away. i had always seen this girl as younger and i never completely opened up to her before. when i told her inside of dennys over tea she started crying and held onto my hands and told me that what had happened was wrong.
i just needed to hear right then that it was wrong and for someone to show empathy. that was the most powerful and helpful response.

the following weekend i went to another friends house. this is my very best friend and i knew she would help me. i told her late at night when her husband went to bed, we stayed up and watched the sunrise together, crying, drinking tea, eating cookies, talking, even laughing at times. she just held me. she told me that her home was always safe for me. we live in different states and now whenver we see each other and some point during the visit we hold onto each other, cry, eat cookies, drink tea, stay up till 5 AM and laugh. it is this incredibly draining but theraputic experiance.

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