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for those who didn't call it rape

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#1 Guest_choirgirl_*

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Posted 04 May 2003 - 12:17 PM

I wasn't ever raped, it was only attempted rape.  I still don't think of it as rape since it wasn't.  but I did underestimate how much it would affect me, since I was only 11 and didn't think he did anything wrong, it was all my fault.  I think if I had realized that it was a big deal, I would have told someone, since I didn't for five years, in which time I let it fester in me and slowly change my life for the worse.

#2 Stephanie

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Posted 05 May 2003 - 04:38 AM

Thank you for your replies - I really just wanted to know if this was an issue that needs addressing.  Kala - you summed up what I felt - that I wasted so much time in which I could have been protecting myself and concentrating on getting better.  Also what you said about knowing that no one has the right to touch you if you don't want them to.  I do think that being able to name your expereince - what ever it is - is really important.  Charly you said it to - wasted 20 yeras of your life because you couldn't name what had happened to you.  I Think young ppl need to be taught about this so that ppl can name their expereinces properly and so ppl around them can support them.  It just goes to show that not recogniseing can go so deep by what you said jaandoe.  I think as well that I let it fester in me choirgirl and really did not help me at all.  Thanks again for all your replies I do think that maybe this is an issues that needs to be looked at. - STeph

#3 bailey

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Posted 06 May 2003 - 06:41 AM

for me, i'm coming at this from the other side: i called it rape almost immediately, before my brain even had time to process it. i over rode all my mental objections: it was just something that happened, i wasn't careful enough, i should have known better, i'm smarted than that, why didn't i leave, how do i always get myself into situations like this.....

by labelling it rape right away [which it WAS, i <i>know</i> that, i just still don't <i>believe</i> that]] i think i hurt myself more, somehow. i don't think i can explain it, but i feel more damaged by calling it rape than by calling it "something stupid i did"...

i guess, deep down, i really don't think it was rape. i put myself in that situation, it was my doing, so what right do i have to call it rape?

does this make any bit of sense to anyone?????


#4 Chehalis

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Posted 06 May 2003 - 11:30 AM

(((love to ALL)))~

this is definately a thinker... good question Stefka!

i've had a couple different experiences with this so its hard to get my thoughts straight.

at 16, after being raped and sodomized, i escaped to the main high way and a 7-11. i used the pay phone to call my best friend. i can still hear my voice to her on the phone "he raped me". it sounded so harsh and brutal to my own ears that i wasn't able to say it again for weeks. i was taken to the hospitol and treated for cuts,abrasions, bruising and swelling but i couldn't call it rape. the paperwork says 'patient states "attacked"'. the adrenaline of my immediate escape had given voice to my truth, then it was frozen in the deeper workings of escape, the blocking of reality. now ,after years of doubt, there isn't another word i can think of to describe what transpired between us.

almost three years later i passed out at a new year's eve party and woke up with a man inside of me. for the extent of the time that i was awake, i moved myself into a position which recreated my first rape and passed out again. there is NO WAY i gave consent to this man. some part of my subconscious recognized it as rape and wouldn't allow me to feel the pain. i went on a very strange search for the truth that was ultimately EXTREMELY damaging just to find out what i had already locked away inside my brain. five years later, i know it was rape.

in present times, my therapist calls what my bf has done to me "rape". she argues that eventually i will be able to see it for what it is. this is a strange concept to me now, that she should think this, cuz i KNOW it is wrong what he has done... but he had my consent when he started. i prefer to think of it as abuse of power. when i told her this, her next question was, "isn't that what rape is?". left me feeling kinda floored.

i guess what i am trying to say is that i think SOME doubt is almost INEVITABLE... even under the most obvious of circumstances. i think that external danger causes us to recognize the truth and once we are in a safe place again, we try our best to protect ourselves from the reality of the experience. basically, and Bailey asked this, i understand that even when we KNOW it is rape... sometimes it just hurts TOO BAD to let it in. healing is required before the wound can be explored and named for what it is. Bailey, in answer to your question, i think it is possible that you feel wounded by your early recognition because it is at odds with this very basic and overiding survival mechanism we call denial. that it just a thought but i hope that it helps some. i look forward to reading more perspectives on this subject. Stefka, thankyou once again for opening the discussion~

all love,

#5 Stephanie

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Posted 07 May 2003 - 03:49 AM

I'm secretly a bit proud lol

#6 Guest__*

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Posted 08 May 2003 - 06:32 PM

Wow, Stefka--absolutely!  Use whatever you want from that post (or any other, for that matter!) for your research!  Absolutely!

And let's hope it helps someone out there...

:) Trish

#7 Stephanie

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Posted 19 May 2003 - 03:44 AM


You are describing exactly the proces that I went through - and am still going through - over what happened to me at college.  Finding a name was and is important to me too -  very.  I think because how can I get help if it wasn't rape - why do I feel this way if it was my fault?? If you want to talk to me about this pm me or anything - I hope also the book helps - (which one was it?).  Take care - Steph x

#8 Stephanie

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Posted 04 May 2003 - 05:45 AM

most ppl probably know the book I never called it rape and I was just wondering for those who that applied to what the differece would have been if you had been able to call it rape right away.  For me I think it would have helped me to get out of what was to be an on going situation straight away.  Also I didn't get any help for 2 years until a friend took me to the dr and said what had happened.  If I had been able to call it rape right away I could have got appropriate help right away.  So I was wondering if this applied to anyone else - if being able to name your expereince empowers you to get help or to get out of a situation or anything else that would have made your things  better for you.


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Posted 04 May 2003 - 12:56 PM

I was raped twice and denied that for 20 years!!!! Never called it that. I have experienced an attempted rape and I have been abused by men. I always denied this, hiding this deep but it still came out.....and I can only tell that it hurts like ####. I am so mad sometimes at myself that I have denied this for so long. The pain I needed to experience than is here now and I can only say that if I had realized what they had done, or admitted it I would have done a lot of things different....I just know that. I just wasted 20 years of my life. I wish it was different, I wish I didn't feel it this way...but I do.


#10 Guest__*

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Posted 05 May 2003 - 01:57 PM


 In my case it was during my teen years till I was over 17 and there was no violence so I was so majorly Brain-washed that  it was only when he threatened my life that made me tell - I was like so stupid...saying "I had an incestuous relationship with my dad "(it was over more than 4 years time period)....no one knew that I really was not understanding or registering the idea of this "relationship" like they did....I had been convinced by him that since he never"forced" or "made" me do any of it that I had made choices that it took me so many years to realize that he had really given me No choice...he knew I might be able to be under his control-he did not realize my fear of being abandoned by him again (he abondoned me and my mother and my brother when I was 4 and after that my mother got married to an alcoholic controlling wife hitter who SA my little brother -she did leave him and he then he died - a couple of yars later dad showed up wanting to see us 7 1/2 years since he had any contact) That was what was making me do everything I could to keep him in my life - to the best of my ability (because at one point he told me he wasn't sure if I would be "too old" for him to do it when he was considering his approaching me - bleck....I was"too old" under normal circumstances.....but was not because of "fear"......) Anyway it took me 5 years -after it was over- to Really really realize it was not a "relationship" and so far I have not come as far in my recovery because I never went thru with therapy because I do not trust my RL support system(ie my hubby) to help me if things get rough for me in painful parts of my counseling (this weekend I was honest with him about this ).....I never blocked or "forgot" the abuse so recovering memories is not something I need(unless I was abused before he left and I don't know it-something I never really thought about till I joined Pandy's )....Anyhow for my own good "they" should have helped me to really realize  if they could...(he always told me they would mess up my head and make me see "our realtionship" as wrong and that the reaction of the "do good church types" is really what makes people get tramatized  so "they" would have had to break that idiotic gem into pieces before I would begin to have a clue on connecting it all mentally).....
 Anyhow....yes....more help...sooner.....Therapy before I was 4 kids 3 serious relationships(on second (final!)marriage),plenty of self-help and numerous "errors in judgement" 20 years out from the "end of the abuse"...... Am not currently in T but should be and Pandy's ya'll gonna be part of my support system when I do because I have been sitting here for 3 years...with only 1 attempt at therapy during that time peried and 2 very short p/t jobs....uhg....those are my choices get a job(what hubby "needs" me to do) - get therapy(what I "should" do) or sit here and wish that everyone would just "leave me alone" (what I hav been up to)....good topic....ty

#11 Guest_Em_*

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Posted 06 May 2003 - 11:05 AM

I would really like to move this to 'wonderful threads' if that would be ok with everyone. If you would like your post deleted from this, because it's going into a public forum, then please PM me and let me know.


#12 Guest__*

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Posted 05 May 2003 - 10:02 PM

Not being able to label it rape, kept me in that relationship for another 8 months. I just couldn't come to grips with the fact that he could do that to me. And I also thought that if I labeled it rape, I would be admitting to failure and weakness.
After a year, I can say it. At times it is unbelievably easy to say: "I was raped." Almost as if it's just the words that hold the power. But being able to say that has not made it any easier to deal with it. It's so odd, the first time I said that out loud, I felt empowered. But,now I just feel trapped all over again.

#13 Guest_Em_*

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Posted 07 May 2003 - 10:01 AM

As well you should be - it's a great thread.



#14 Stephanie

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Posted 09 May 2003 - 12:36 PM

thank you hon - that is really helpful  - STeph xx

#15 smile4203

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Posted 18 May 2003 - 10:09 PM


Thank you for this post.  This is something that I've been struggling with for a very long time.  I haven't been able to call my experience anything other than "that incident in college".  For some reason finding a name for it is important to me, though I'm not really sure how to go about it because of the confusing circumstances.  I just ordered that book, maybe it will shed some light.        

(((((thanks & hugs))))))

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