Yeah, this is a good one.
For me, I started with "what the #### was that?" and quickly moved on to self-blame, with no thought whatsoever that 'what happened' might have been a crime.
Then, I realized that 'it' was a sexual assault... I added the "...but it wasn't rape" postscript every time.
Now, my brain at least knows that it WAS rape. I'm still working on actually believing it, feeling it.
Everything--every last detail--would have been different if I had been able to call it rape from the beginning. I always thought that rape had to happen in a dark alley, by a scary stranger with a knife. (I intend no offense to those of you who endured such a terrifying reality!) I simply had no idea that a FRIEND could be the perpetrator.
*trigger warning for words*
Likewise, I had no idea that the weapon of rape didn't necessarily have to be a penis. If I'd known that "simply" his hands could have done the same damage, gosh... that would have changed everything.
Had I known that that dreaded word applied to me, I think...I hope...that it would've given me more impetus to seek help. And, to release myself from blame.
The ghastly word 'rape' is still my break-point; my brain knows that it is the truth of my experience, and yet my heart simply will not quite believe it.