Jes

Who Deserves to Be Here?

238 posts in this topic

This was another thread I made that gotten eaten, so I've reposted :)

So many survivors have expressed to me that their wounds have been minimized by friends and loved ones, who may have told them to get over it, since it happened so long ago, or that it was not a big deal. Other friends may have asked questions like "Why didn't you fight" or "Why were you walking there in the first place?" These doubtful statements and questions only serve to minimize our pain and make us feel as though we do not have a right to feel as we do. It is unfortunate, but sometimes when we reach out for help, we find that our friends and families are not there.

Some of us struggle with minimizing our own experiences. Validating ourselves can be difficult. It's hard to admit that what happened has affected us. Sometimes we look at other people's experiences, judge them to be worse than our own and think we should not feel as badly as we do because othes have had it much worse than we have. I've talked to other survivors who doubt their memories of abuse, which makes the healing process more difficult for them.

Each of our experiences are unique and our reactions to them are just as individual. A friend of mine gives the wise advice, "Honor your process." Honoring our processes is to accept our feelings as legitimate and justified. If you are here because you are healing, I hope that you will honor yourself and your feelings. We all deserve to heal.

Who Deserves to Heal

If you were gang raped, you deserve to heal.

If you were raped once, you deserve to heal.

If you have been raped more than, you deserve to heal.

If someone has sexually assaulted you, you deserve to heal.

If it was attempted rape, you deserve to heal.

If it was your husband, wife, boyfriend or girlfriend who raped you, you deserve to heal.

If it wasn't rape, if it was unwanted and inappropriate touching, you deserve to heal.

If you did not fight or scream, you deserve to heal.

If you were drugged or too intoxicated to give consent, you deserve to heal.

If you did not say no, but indicated through your actions that you were unnwilling, you deserve to heal.

If you are a man who has been sexually assaulted, you deserve to heal.

If it happened ten or twenty or thirty years ago, you deserve to heal.

If it was incest, you deserve to heal.

If you barely remember it, you deserve to heal.

If you were sexually harrassed, you deserve to heal.

If you are someone who supports, you deserve to heal.

That's all there is to it.

I've met people who have the feelings that their rape was not a particularly "bad rape". My rape was not a physically violent rape. I was only conscious of being raped for a few seconds and when I realized it, my boyfriend violently beat my rapist. He was the only one who got hurt.

It didn't make any difference to me. I had still been raped. It still hurt on the inside. I needed to heal.

The degree of the rape, abuse or assault doesn't matter. We feel many of the same emotions. And we all deserve to heal from them.

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Hi everyone, this is my first post here...

Thank you so much for that, it really helped me see the light...

It happened to me less than a week ago (Sunday morning) I had no idea how to respond or how to even comprehend what had just happened. I think I was in a state of shock. I don't know. Sunday afternoon I started blaming myself (which is normal right?) and I really thought it was my fault. But the weird thing is that when Monday came around (I was expecting to have nightmares or something and nothing happened) I didn't feel like anything happened. It almost felt like a dream or that it was my imagination. It's hard to explain...because I knew it did happened but... I don't know. I guess what I am trying to say is that I didn't "feel" like a "victim" so what happened couldn't of been wrong, and if it was, it was my falut. (is that normal? :confused: ) I'm just so new to this and I just never thought it could happen to me...what a eye opener. Why does it take a tragedy like this for people to understand better? (I admit to being one of those people) Even today I was saying to myself that it didn't really happen, it was just a dream or my wild imagination. Then I read this poem(?). I just started to cry (It felt so good to cry though, it was the first time that I did cry since it happened)

Sorry if I'm writing a lot, and if you heard this a million times before, but this is actually the first time that I "told" someone what happened. Right now, no one knows but you guys. I really want to tell my friends but I know I'm not ready. I started telling one of my best friends (she was at the party with me) but even before I could say anything she said, "I hope you didn't do shit with that guy, that would be so fucking disgusting." The only thing I could say to respond to that was that I didn't do anything with him...I just left out what he did to me.

I'm sorry, I really am getting off track, I really wanted to talk about the poem and got distracted....I'm really sorry. :blush: What I really wanted to say about the poem is that it made me realize that it did happen, it wasn't a dream or my imagination, and that knowing that will help me to get on the path to heal and I want to thank you so much for it. :D

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Hey Jes thanks for reposting this thread. I loved it when you first wrote it and I love it now :)

samealdo - welcome to the board. I am so sorry you were recently hurt. It sounds like you went into some kind of shock afterwards which is totally normal. In fact whatever you are feeling right now is normal - there is no right or wrong way to respond. I am glad that you have found the board and I hope that being here will help you as you begin to process what happened to you. I hope also that being here will help you to realise that what happened to you was not in anyway your fault.

Take care

Steph

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(((((Jes)))))

Thanks so much for reposting this! I really need the reassurance right now.

Dawn :puppy:

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needed to be reminded... thank you.

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thank you, that has made me feel much better...thank you

kate

xx

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That's a great post. Thank you for it.

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Thanks for the reminder. Sometimes I need it. Love,slgctrs

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thank you for this post.

i'm new to pandy's. in the the week since i've joined i've felt that i have no right to be here, that i'm just wasting everyone's time with my minor story.

slowly i'm starting to see how wrong that is.

i didn't move. i just lied there while my ex-bf at the time did what he did. i never yelled or screamed or kicked or scratched. i just lied there with my eyes closed. it hurt then and it hurts to think of it now. i always imagined my first time would be special. almost like a young girl imagines her wedding, that it would be this magic moment...that it would mean something. it didn't mean anything then. and it didn't mean anything any of the other times it occurred. all it was was satisfaction to him and another knock on my self-esteem.

i've been avoiding talking about my experience or seeking counsel for over a year. it happened about 3 yrs ago. right after i broke the relationship off i wanted to forget about. i tried to rationalize it. i met someone very quickly after the relationship. i'm currently still with him. i made my first step towards healing last august when, about 1 1/2 yrs into our relationship, i told him of my experience. he's been supportive of me since the moment i told him. he took me to get tested and examined and has been encouraging me to get counseling since last august. i always said i would, but then never did. there were other stressors in my life, i was in school, i was having family problems. so i put my own healing on the back burner.

i started feeling really bad about two months ago, exactly 1 yr from when i told him. i started to let go of my health, i started to engage in destructive behaviors. i cried out to my boyfriend a week ago in a letter. that is the same day i joined pandy's. he ran right to my side and grabbed me, even though we are miles apart i still felt him close. he's encouraged me to keep using the forum and seek counsel once again.

today i made my first counseling session apptmnt. it was alot harder than i thought it would be. i've tried so hard to convince myself my experience was nothing and that it shouldn't keep me from being strong. today i realized how weak i was actually being. although it was one of the hardest steps i've had to make so far, i feel so strong for taking it.

thanks again for the post. i need reminders like this and encouragement that my pain is real and it deserves to be healed.

keep strong

nnkey82

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thank you for that. :)

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Nice Jes. I liked it. Now I just have to find a way to make myself believe it.

Dagny

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thank you for this.

it's been 2-4 years since it happened, but it was only in the past week that i finally said, okay, i'm ready to heal. i was at work and i googled survivors of sexual abuse and your site came up, surviving to thriving. immediately i felt so much better knowing that there is so much out there, at least online, in the way of support. i clicked on the link and found your poem ~ it broke my heart. i remembered how long it took me to say, yes, i was raped, i was hurt, and i deserve to heal. it struck me in particular when i read the line "if you were drugged or too intoxicated to give consent..." ~ i have a friend who recently shared her story with me ~ we went out for valentines day, just the two of us, and she asked me about my survivor bracelet. i briefly told her my story, and she said, i think, no, well... and stumbled through a story where she was too drunk to remember most of it, only that she'd passed out in an empty bedroom at a party and woke up with some guy on her. she said, but what if i was blacked out and gave consent? :tear: i copied that line and emailed it to her with a link for your site. i pray that it touches her as it touched me. (ps that's what brought me here to pandora's so thank you :wub: )

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I just went to my counseling appointment today. Because I have been having a clinical depression for the last 20 years, I have been going to counseling most of this year.

Today, my counselor said something that hurt, but was interesting at the same time. She said that she didn't believe it was r*pe. She said it was a bad decision on my part. Actually, I believe it was both. If I hadn't let this acquaintance inside my house, he couldn't have manipulated me into having s*x with him in here. However, in my defense, my need for certain household repairs was great, and I didn't and still don't have the money to do them. I am on a fixed income, and that barely leaves money for bills, rent and food. This person was willing to do what repairs he could -- for a price. I am willing to trade work for work, but not s*x for work. This person caught me in a moment of great need and used it for his desires.

The next day, as I talked to a counselor, I resolved never to let myself get that needy again. I will look for people willing to contribute work before I go to the neighbors. And if I can do things myself, I will.

I made a police report and got a restraining order. Now, I am about to take the second half of my counselor's suggestion and use my "great" (as she put it) talents to get myself out of this mess. I can begin by tutoring college students in report and term paper writing.

Please wish me luck.

((((((Hugs,))))))

Princess

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Hey Princess, thanks for sharing that story.

I must admit, though, that I have a lot of concerns with what your therapist said, based on your post here.

We make hundreds of choices each day. Some are clearly good (wearing our seatbelt) and some are clearly bad (eating potato chips for lunch instead of an apple). But some choices we make end up being bad only because of an intervening factor. For instance, one day last summer I parked in the surface lot instead of a covered garage, on a day that happened to bring a huge hailstorm, and my car sustained $2,000 in damages. "How stupid," I thought. "If only I had parked in the garage."

But how was I to know that we'd get the worst hailstorm of the decade?

For rape survivors, we often think, "Why did I get in the car with him?" "Why did I go to that party?" "Why did I get drunk?" This is risky business, this second-guessing of our actions. We can second-guess all day long, but the bottom line is that we would not have been raped had our rapist chosen to be decent instead of an asshole. The buck stops there.

While not all choices are "good" we have the right to make bad choices without anticipating someone else will take advantage of us and rape us. We have the right to have a drink or go on a walk through a park. But NO ONE has the right to rape us, ever, no matter what we say or do.

Princess, I don't know the full story. But in my book, someone using extortion to get sex sounds like rape to me. Would it survive legal muster? I don't know, that depends on the statute and definition of duress. But it seems to me like this guy saw that you were vulnerable and took horrible advantage of you.

Were there choices you could have made that would have protected you? Of course. You could have not gotten out of bed that day. You could have not moved to that town in the first place. You can spend an eternity making a list of the choices that would have saved you from being raped.

But the absolute bottom line is this:

Only one person makes the choice to rape. There are things we can do to protect ourselves, but the only person who can prevent rape is the rapist him or herself. Bad decisions, good decisions, to me it doesn't matter. We should be able to live our lives, we should be able to trust our neighbors. Rapists should not rape. Period.

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((((((((((((shannon))))))))))))))

you have no idea how much i needed to read that today. while your words weren't directed at me, they apply to everyone. everyone blames themselves at some point, everyone feels they should have/ could have prevented.

but what your wrote is so true, the only person responsible is the rapist... isn't it weird how i can believe it coming from you, but not from myself?

Edited by Lara

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Thank you so much for posting this! I often doubt myself and my need to heal. I was only raped once and I was really drunk when it happened and I was already fooling around with the guy. Although I told him that I did not want to have intercourse, I just wanted to fool around, I realized that he had not listened. Since I had put myself in the position of fooling around with a guy I had just met and since I drank so much, I often blame myself. I just had my 5 year anniversary on Feb. 16 and the self-blame is still there, but getting better. I definitely needed to be reminded that it was not my fault and that I deserve to heal. So thanks!

Laura

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((((((Thank you, Shannon.))))))

Part of the problem was that I let this person into the house at 2 AM. You see, I have no problem with men or women who work the night shift. I am a writer and editor, and I prefer to work late at night. Also, I have two neighbors who work nights. One is a sheriff's deputy, and the other is a tow-truck driver. These are both honorable men. Also, my neighbor with whom this person stays insisted many times that he is trustworthy, even though I know he has a violent temper. That night that I was so desperately in need, I decided to take her word on that.

So, now that it appears to this counselor, who is a trainee in the office, that I am merely whining over a bad choice, how do I move on to better choices. I have a clinical depression that I have had for twenty years, and I have worked very hard to bring myself back up from that level. This act set me back at least 5 years, that I know of. So, moving on is now that much harder. How do I quickly get healed enough to move on? :beatsme:

Thanks.

Hugs, :hug:

Princess

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Oh, PS:

My soulmate, with whom I also work in the publishing biz, just said that he's tired of living in a rented home and tired of seeing me live in a trailer, so he wants to push full-steam ahead with the publishing to get us more money and some freedom for at least a little while. I appreciated that SOOOOO much! :bee: (as in "busy as...")

Princess :hug:

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Hey Princess, thanks for sharing that story.

I must admit, though, that I have a lot of concerns with what your therapist said, based on your post here.

We make hundreds of choices each day. Some are clearly good (wearing our seatbelt) and some are clearly bad (eating potato chips for lunch instead of an apple). But some choices we make end up being bad only because of an intervening factor. For instance, one day last summer I parked in the surface lot instead of a covered garage, on a day that happened to bring a huge hailstorm, and my car sustained $2,000 in damages. "How stupid," I thought. "If only I had parked in the garage."

But how was I to know that we'd get the worst hailstorm of the decade?

For rape survivors, we often think, "Why did I get in the car with him?" "Why did I go to that party?" "Why did I get drunk?" This is risky business, this second-guessing of our actions. We can second-guess all day long, but the bottom line is that we would not have been raped had our rapist chosen to be decent instead of an asshole. The buck stops there.

While not all choices are "good" we have the right to make bad choices without anticipating someone else will take advantage of us and rape us. We have the right to have a drink or go on a walk through a park. But NO ONE has the right to rape us, ever, no matter what we say or do.

Princess, I don't know the full story. But in my book, someone using extortion to get sex sounds like rape to me. Would it survive legal muster? I don't know, that depends on the statute and definition of duress. But it seems to me like this guy saw that you were vulnerable and took horrible advantage of you.

Were there choices you could have made that would have protected you? Of course. You could have not gotten out of bed that day. You could have not moved to that town in the first place. You can spend an eternity making a list of the choices that would have saved you from being raped.

But the absolute bottom line is this:

Only one person makes the choice to rape. There are things we can do to protect ourselves, but the only person who can prevent rape is the rapist him or herself. Bad decisions, good decisions, to me it doesn't matter. We should be able to live our lives, we should be able to trust our neighbors. Rapists should not rape. Period.

Shannon... you have no idea how it felt to read that... Though it makes sense when I read it, i'm not a stupid person... sometimes, it's just easy to forget... It's so true... everything you've said, is just so true... but as Lara said... when it's me reminding myself, i don't believe it... but... coming from you, i do... but.. there's still that little part that holds me responsible...

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Thank you,

I have only just joined this forum but I found your words so helpful.

I was raped as a young girl , not sure of exact age, but I didn't realise until last year- I am neally 49 years old.

I was going through a divorce and started to experience flashbacks - proberbly been getting emotional memories for so long.

I developed an eating disorder following the rape, realised thats where it all began - so in many respects it was so helpful knowing what had happened. However very few people around me understand the pain and as a christian I have been advised to give it all to God - but what about the answers that I so desperately want like ' who ' and ' why '. I don't have the complete memory- well I do but can't remember. I am pretty certian I trusted the person - thats only a feeling.

I can't write anymore right now- so desperate for understanding from someone close, someone who can relate to this pain- thats how I found this forum. I do want to forgive and move on - but how do you let go of something that you have felt for so long, that has dictated so much of your life- ruined most of it, but in reality you have only just expereinced and discovered the truth.

Rita

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As a new user that was a really great post to read. Its reassuring to feel like I deserve to heal from things that I still feel partially responsible for and things I've always felt were somewhat in the ambiguous area of what IS rape. It was great perspective. Thanks so much

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HI PrincessVader,

Shame on your Therapist!

If we ALWAYS made the right choices we would always know who we could trust, we would never pass by a shadow on the street without being prepared, we would always have a real inner-warning device when danger was lurking, and we would never listen to misguided "friends" or therapists who try to lay the blame for what happened on us!

You may have invited someone into your home, you did NOT invite him to violate you.

Great words - "the bottom line is that we would not have been raped had our rapist chosen to be decent instead of an asshole. The buck stops there."

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What a wonderful post. Thanks so much for posting that. I'm sure many will benefit from your words of wisdom.

Take special care of you.

Robin

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The degree of the rape, abuse or assault doesn't matter. We feel many of the same emotions. And we all deserve to heal from them.

I just think this is so important.

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