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Uncovering a truth


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#1 Guest_Jasmine 8104_*

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Posted 09 April 2002 - 02:54 PM

My story is similar to Cherry's.  Not quite as extreme, maybe.  I've always seen myself as "pretty but not pretty enough" if that makes any sense.  So when I was raped, sick as this may sound, at first I almost took it as a compliment that maybe I was so pretty that he just couldn't resist.  That sounds so wrong and sick to me know, and I've never told anyone that before.  But I've also never had anyone blatantly staring at me, or it doesn't happen often.  If it did, I would be so incredibly uncomfortable.  It's unfortunate that I am sometimes afraid to smile at a stranger that I pass somewhere because I don't want to send the "wrong" signals.

Just my two cents.
Jasmine


#2 Guest__*

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Posted 10 April 2002 - 08:25 AM

(((((hugs to all)))))

Well, I guess I didn't expect the opposite responses from my post but it makes sense.

It makes me mad. For me to deny that this was what it was because of my "unattractiveness" and for you to believe that it was your attractiveness that caused it. Neither is true.

I am sorry that so many of you feel that because you are pretty you had it coming so to speak and that it was why it happened. This is not true but I know how hard it is to believe.

The fact is, these things happened to us because we had meetings with horrible people. THEY are to blame. Not us. I am mad that my own insecurities and self-esteem issues had such a big part of me keeping quiet.

What scares me is those things that you, the pretty girls, often speak of have happened to me too. A lot of it. I can't believe that it would not be taken as seriously because I am not pretty or that it would be considered ok because you ARE pretty.

I am not making any sense now. I am sorry if this thread hurt anyone. That was not the intention. I have been getting great comfort in learning to express my feelings here and in writing things down. I confess - it IS all about me. But I don't ever intend to hurt people in the process.

I'll try to shut down the ramble-mouth now.
Still so confused.
Michelle


#3 Louise

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Posted 01 May 2002 - 03:20 PM

Cherry

I just want to echo your sentiments about what society can do. Only my butt ain't bony!

;)

L xxxxx


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Posted 26 June 2002 - 04:03 PM

I have avoided replying to this thread since I first read it, because it has stirred up something that I can't really name and that I have no words to express...

I think this will just turn into a long confusing ramble because I will try to get some of the random things out that are floating in my head.

I've never seen myself as beautiful, but other people -men- definitely have...and of course I had my share of stupid comments, random touching by strangers, once even a man offering money to sleep with him (I must have been about 13 then)
It was annoying, uncomfortable and kinda scary sometimes, but in a weird way I took it as a compliment then...

In the beginning of my abusive relationship, my ex would often comment on how beautiful and irresistible I was and how he was going crazy because he could not do what he wanted with me in order to pressure me into things....with time it changed...he knew my weak points...he knew i didn't feel attractive, he knew I had problems with my weight and he used that against me...giving me the impression that I was so ugly I could be glad I got a guy's attention at all...which pretty much sent me into the "why would anyone want to do this to someone like me" thoughts too.
(I feel horriblw for this, but think I need to share it...after I broke up with him it actually felt *good* to see that his new girlfriend was overweight and that in spite of all the times he told me I was ugly i was prettier than the girl he was with then...it's a sickening thought...)
I've been on both sides of this and today I know that it is crap...it didn't even matter how I looked, the problem about the abuse was *him* being an abusive bastard!

Another thought...for years I have not dared to wear anything sexy...I wore long jeans and oversized shirts all year...when I was 18 I finally discovered tight and "revealing" shirts and short skirts...and there was no difference in being teased and touched or whatever.
XXL shirts did not hide or protect me from that, and while I'm feeling uncomfortable again right now when I wear sexy clothes (does it ever happen to you that you are dressed sexy and think "if I was raped now, how would that look? wouldn't eople think I was asking for this?"), I know that it doesn't really matter what I wear.

In fact, I have made the experience that it depends a lot on *how* you wear your clothes...how you present yourself. I have made the experience that when people see that I am uncomfortable/nervous/not confident/... I are more likely to get nasty comments etc...in fact, last summer when I celebrated my new body image, when I dressed in very revealing clothes, I would get the stares etc but i would *not* get in really uncomfortable situations...because from the way I moved, talked, behaved... I looked like "don't mess with me"
I think -at least for me- it is more about an inner strength than about beauty, if people sense the victim part in me, it doesn't matter how I look, they will treat me like crap.

Last summer I have learned to like to dress sexy from time to time, to wear make-up...just for me! I like looking good and i *know* that how I look is not an indicator for how I am being treated by men...but recently i get caught a lot in this trap again and I try to be invisible...without success though.

I am not sure if I made sense, I'll just hit submit without rereading it now.

Art


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Posted 09 April 2002 - 06:31 AM

Hi all,

I had another therapy session yesterday where we talked about another aspect of my night with HIM (the attempted rape). It was the part about when he cornered me in a room and pushed my down on my stomach on a bed and then licked my back all over. It was gross. I was in total shock. He tried to do more but there was a knock at the door (incidentally, I was sitting on the bed looking at cassette tapes to change the music when he came in).

Telling my T this was incredibly difficult. It suddenly hit me WHY it was so tough, when I already told her the rest. Even though she is a wonderful therapist and never once doubted anything I said, and I knew that belief would not be a factor, my MIND was saying something totally different. It said something that kept me silent all these years.

(I think someone, maybe Cil, touched on this a little while ago - I apologize if I have the wrong person)

My mind was telling me - "Why is she going to believe you because who would WANT to do anything to you? You are not pretty, not attractive. WHY would this happen to someone like YOU?"

So, my mind has believed that this only happens to people who are beautiful. Only people with nice smiles, gorgeous hair, pretty eyes, etc would be victims. Not me. No way. It couldn't happen to someone like ME.

I can't believe that this MISINFORMATION in my mind has kept me silent ALL THESE YEARS!!! I am so angry! I know this is not true but my mind works alone these days, not really caring what my heart is saying. Even yesterday, at age 32 when I am old enough to know better, I felt these feelings come to the surface.

It is amazing - I blamed the shame all these years - and I know there is still a degree of shame that I still battle with but it reality I think it was the I-am-not-pretty-so-why-would-anyone-believe-me feelings that REALLY kept me silent for so long.

Any thoughts on this wise Pandy brothers and sisters? This was quite an experience for me and something that I think I can work past. But how do you recover from being bit by a virtual ton of bricks?

The always confused,
Michelle


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Posted 09 April 2002 - 09:03 AM

(((((((Shelly))))))))
I had that same problem for a while.  No one believe someone like ME would have this happen to me. Im not pretty Im not this that and the other thing.  But truth is all women are beautiful, including myself (HA I CAN SAY IT NOW! AND BELIEVE IT!) and all different kinds of people are abused, raped, or hurt.
((huggles sweetie))) love you
Amanda

#7 hdsmith

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Posted 09 April 2002 - 05:40 PM

Cherry, I completely understand!  Guys never noticed me until one day (around 17) I was all of a sudden beautiful.  I was not ready with what came with that at all.  I had no idea how much I would learn about how little control males have.  All of a sudden it seems like every guy was howling, grabbing, touching, or rubbing (A LOT OF MY BITTERNESS COMES FROM THIS)

I'm also SO tried of guys saying yea well being a pretty girl means that you get away with anything.  Yea everything except your dignity.

My friends also get jealous and say things like "yea she always gets hit on" I'm soooo #### tired of being violated all the time because I'm pretty.  I can't get past the rape because it doesn't seem to end.  It seems like every time I go out some guys are after my body.  It never matters what I say or do.  The random guys usually hide it the crowd and get away with usual butt grab or worse.  I actually had a guy put his hand in between my legs and pretty much finger me on top of my pants.  I was in a Halloween costume (thin loose pants) walking in a crowd I have NO idea who it was.

The guy who raped me wasn't the first guy who tried just the first one who succeeded.  It didn't help that he told me it was because "I was too sexy".  For a while I accepted it was a trade off, I always wanted to be pretty, and this is what came with it.  After the rape, I built my confidence back up by telling myself no guy could control himself around me and they always helped to prove me right.
(as sad as that is it helped me too accept the other constant violations, and feel good about myself again)

Really drunk guy FRIENDS are usually the ones who do things to me.
(my rapist was also a so called friend too, and he was really drunk too)

Here are a few daily violations
While dancing with a random guy, he puts his hand in between my legs and starts rubbing (with no warning)
Always being sexual harassed at EVERY job I have, by the boss or customers.
A guy friend holds me against the wall while giving me a hickey.
A Guy friend puts finger in the cleavage of my shirt.
Shortly after the rape while I was hooking up with a random guy another guy friend walks in on me ON PURPOSE to see me naked.
A guy friend one night threatened he wasn't going to leave my dorm room until I hooked up with him, while another friend dragged him out, thank god!
I spent the night at some guy friends' house they came in the next morning pretended to have sex with me and another friend.  Then pulled of the covers off to expose me in just a T-shirt and underwear while my bra was swinging on the fan.

I don't have guy friends anymore, and my boyfriend's guy friends are dwindling because of these situations.  Am I really that irresistible or are guys just that out of control? Is this common?       WHEN WILL IT END???

I want to be treated like a human NOT an object!

Heather


#8 Alex12345

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Posted 10 April 2002 - 08:17 AM

(((((((Michelle)))))))

I'm sorry that this though kept you silent all these years but I'm glad it came out. I also wondered the same. After my first abuse, I would never dress nice or make any effort to look nice. I would just wear blue jeans and oversized t-shirt all the time. i believe the first time I wore make up, I was 15 but it was only at home, the fist time I wore make up to go outside with people I didn't know was when I was 18 maybe. I wondered why the other abuse happened because I was doing my best to look unattractive. I really believed that men would abuse me because I was starting to having breats or if I was looking nice. Do you know when I started to realize that : only last Spring ( I'm 20 ). For the first time of my life, last summer, I wore a little sexy top because i liked them but would have never wore them to not get any look from a man. I wanted to be invisible.

(((((Jasmine)))))
I think your question very interesting. I would like to be able to dress nice for the people I love but not for other people. During all my teenagers years, and still now most of the time. I make extra effort to dress nice when we're having hosts coming at home. But I would never go out the way I'm dressed at home ...


#9 Elle

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Posted 10 April 2002 - 11:12 AM

I think this is an important thread, Michelle, and while it's led people to write about their hurts, you starting it hasn't hurt anyone. Make sense?

First, I want to say Michelle that you are beautiful. I love to read your posts. Peronally, I find so much truth in what you say, and I relate so well with so much of your experience. I don't know what you look like. And frankly, it doesn't matter to me or, I think, anyone else here. The old saws "beauty is only skin deep" and "it's what's inside that counts" ring true.

It saddens me immensely to think think that you felt you couldn't talk about what happened to you because you didn't think you were pretty enough to merit "that kind" of attention. And I'm so happy to hear that you've broken through that barrier.

It's been hard for me to separate sex from rape, to finally view rape as a violent power play that has nothing to do with what sex really is (or should be, ideally). This whole discussion of I'm not pretty enough/some people think I'm too pretty shows, in my opinion, how big a struggle this is for many of us.

I'd also like to share my experience with the too pretty/not pretty enough side. I was raped when I was 16, at the house of someone who I thought was a good friend. She was extremely competetive with me in some weird ways. She decided that I was pretty and she wasn't, and this bothered her. Therefore she act as though I was good looking but stupid and talentless, and that she was unattractive but extremely intelligent and artistic. I tried to ignore this dynamic, and remain unaffected by her constant cutting remarks, and also to assure her that I thought she was smart, talented, and also quite attracitve albeit in a different way than me.

It got harder to ignore when she started spreading vicious sexual rumors about me which were totally unfounded. I never did figure out where she came up with all that. One night at her house, I was attacked by a man who we both knew while she was not at home. I always wondered if her rumor-mongering contributed to that. I'll never know. I also wondered how my physical appearance contributed to the rape. I'll never know that either. Attention from men since has often been, understandably, really hard for me to handle.

But in the end it's a trap, this questioning about how we look. The people who hurt us are sick. It wouldn't matter if we looked different or wore something different. I think sometimes we're looking for some way to have control over what happened by attributing it to the way we look or what we wore.

Anyway that's my (very long) two cents worth. It's all so complicated. It makes me so sad to read about some of these experiences we all have had. I could climb up on my big soapbox and talk about how I wish society could view us for who we are rather than how we look but this post is already too darn long, and you all already know it.

Elle


#10 Elle

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Posted 11 April 2002 - 10:07 AM

(((Michelle))) You didn't do anything wrong, please don't be sorry. Learning to recognize this society crap can help us overcome it, I do believe that. I have to. I have to make some good come out of all of this, within myself at the very least.  

Elle


#11 Cherry Blossom

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Posted 01 May 2002 - 04:39 PM

This thread is so great!!  Is there any chance we can move it to the wonderful threads section?

::blinks big cute eyes at the mods::

Pleeeeeeeease?


#12 Guest__*

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Posted 24 June 2002 - 07:52 PM

i relate very much to cherry blossom's post... i have been told i have MORE responsibility to be careful because i am beautiful. what the F is that??? what sucks is that even though i dont' want it to be true, i don't want to believe it, i often feel it is true. :(  my rapists saw me as a challenge, some thing to overcome - a pretty girl with an attitude - and made me feel ugly inside, took away my attitude. well, i'm starting to feel truly beautiful again and my real attitude (not the tough-girl defense mechanism) is surfacing again, slowly but surely. it's sad that i avoid eye contact and don't smile at people b/c i don't want them to think i'm inviting their leers or comments. but i'd rather have them think i'm a bitch then let them think in their twisted little tiny minds that i want them.

yes, society sucks. we as a human race have a long way to go. but we have to start somewhere, don't we? we might not change the whole world ourselves, but i'm hoping that eventually our voices will count.

everything else i could possibly want to say, has already been said here.


#13 Louise

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Posted 17 January 2003 - 02:44 PM

((((((((((Amy)))))))))))))

"Sow"...how dreadful for you, my lovely friend (what's his address so I can break his fucking neck - that goddamn irresponsible and stupid teacher too), and how typical, I must say, of somebody who would then try to devalue a girl with sexual violence.

It can be very enraging to recognize years wasted subscribing to myths and lies, darling.

((((((Hugs))))) Amy, I think exploring issues of loks and sexual violence is a key turning point in healing, but it dies hard.

I'm glad you were able to write this love.

You're a wonderful, beautiful woman and it makes me mad to think about what society does to girls.

Love

Lou xxxx


#14 Mary

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Posted 14 August 2003 - 01:19 PM

((((((((shell))))))))
((((((((cathy)))))))))


for what its worth, ive seen both of your pictures and i think you are both beautiful


Mary


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Posted 09 April 2002 - 06:47 AM

Being hit by the virtual ton of bricks is never an easy thing.  Having those revelations so to speak can be very troubling.  I hit one of those a couple of months ago, and the feeling put me in a pit for a couple of days.  Then I got mad at it and didn't want to let it beat me.  I've tried to silence myself in regards to my feelings, trying to make myself believe that no one would want anything to do with me because I felt I was so ugly.  I don't think anyone should believe me because I am so not worth anyone's time.  But the more people are involving themselves in my life, the harder that becomes to believe.  But the important thing here is that you have realized what is keeping you quiet and you are getting out ... for that congrats :D  


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