6 days ago my daughter told me she was raped. The conversation came about because I found that she has been using pot and smoking cigarettes. It wasn't an argument, I simply wanted to know why she would choose to do these things when we've had so many conversations about it. She started to get upset and said she didn't want to tell me because I would want to ask more questions. I said well I know it's definitely not because you want to get lung cancer - is it because you want to look cool? fit in? lose weight? (she is not overweight at all, but teenage girls always think they are). She just started to cry and said that it helps her feel calm with the anxiety she gets. I started to tell her that I know that it may make her feel ok for the moment, but in the long run smoking cigarettes or pot actually increases anxiety and that's when she blurted out that she was raped about a year ago! She didn't want to answer questions although I couldn't help but try to ask a few like when? who? She said it was someone her age and that she went to a campus ministry person about it. She said she didn't want to talk about it and relive it, that she just wants to forget about it. All I can remember is feeling shock, numb, frozen. I hugged her and swallowed back my tears. I told her that it was not her fault and asked if she had felt that it was in any way and she nodded yes. I reassured her that no matter what the circumstances - if she didn't want it to happen, it is NOT her fault. I told her that if she doesn't want to talk to me about it she doesn't have to, but it is in her best health if she would be open to talking to someone - a counsellor of some sort. That holding it all in is like a shaken bottle of pop and she may have relieved some of the pressure by saying what little she did to me, but the pressure is still there and she's smart enough to know that smoking or doing drugs are not healthy choices. She agreed to consider counselling which is good. The next day was her scheduled time at her dad's house and she had planned to spend a few days there since he has a pool and school just let out for the summer. This was good in a way for me because it gave me a few days to try to wrap my head around things. I know this is not about ME and I am working at building my strength to be there for her. I cried so much. Couldn't go to work. Missed an important deadline and don't even care. Feel like I am OK, go out, suddenly feel an overwhelming urge to cry out of the blue. Having disturbing mental images of doing violence to some unknown male. I feel so helpless that I can't rewind or take it back for her. My baby girl. She's so precious and wonderful and beautiful and someone hurt her in the most private way. She was a virgin. How will she ever have a normal relationship? I don't want her to know how deeply upset I am because I don't want her to feel like she's the cause. She is not. Someone I don't even know who is the cause of this. She doesn't want me to tell anyone else. Thought I don't really speak with my ex-husband I feel like he should know - I would be furious if he kept such important information about my children from me, but that would be breaking her confidence and trust. I have avoided my sister, my mother, my friends because they'll know that something is deeply wrong. I have never experienced depression, but I am pretty sure that's what I am feeling. I just want to do what's best for my daughter. I love her so much and my heart is shattered - I can't even begin to imagine what she's gone through since the time it's happened! It's shocking that she never told me because we are very very close! It must have been a year of emotional hell for her and in hindsight it explains so much. Lots of illness, missed school, moodiness, anxiety (I did bring her to counselling, but she refused to continue saying they were stupid). I figured it was the age and not entirely unusual behaviour for her - she's always been a high spirited child and a challenge to parent. I spend lots of time with her and she's very close to me, but I also don't take her crap and she knows her boundaries with me where she walks all over her dad or others around her. My head hurts - I need to try to sleep - work is going to be hell tomorrow.