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_Survivors_
A safe space to share stories and ask questions
Intro with situation explained. 
10th-May-2006 02:23 am
Zoe
Hello, I am Tigress, and I just joined this community, becuase I really need to talk to someone right now, and my next therapy session isn't for another two weeks. I also don't want to keep leaning on all of my real world people too much.

The first time I was assaulted in any form I was ten years old. I had a computer/gym teacher that physically pushed my and made me run around the building in front of my classmates until I started throwing up blood. He also used to verbally berate me in class, telling me things like, "No girl like you would EVER make it into a Private High School, you're too fat.

I changed schools, and endured more torment as the new kid from classmates. I began to have anorexic tendencies. For three years I did well in junior high, modeled, and was a general over achiever. I made it into that private highschool I so desperately wanted to go to.

When I got there, I met a guy who was a teen peer minister in a youth group when I joined it, and he befriended me. I was fourteen and he was ninteen. He raped me after mass one day, taking me to a house he was house sitting and did all sorts of things to me. He cut my right hip with a knife, and I still have scars there. Before this, I had never even been kissed.

I dealt with these issues on my own for three years because he threatened me in many ways, to hurt me, my little sister, to get me expelled from the School. I hid it until halfway through my junior year. 

When I finally told the school, they assured me he would never be allowed in again, but three weeks later his Youth Band played for an all school mass, and the school counselor questioned my truthfullness about the incident. 

I went to confession, and was told by the priest it was my fault, that I had seduced him. I quit my faith for about a year.

I graduated from The School, and am now studying Opera in the same city. I moved into the dorms my first year, and I was put with a lesbian room mate who did NOT respect my boundaries at all, and my second room mate dealt drugs out of our room. I moved home.

At the time, I began to date the man I had loved since I was thirteen, who was so good in my eyes, I felt I would be worthless in comparison, so I never thought he would actually love me. I dated him for one wonderful year, which ended this past new years.

We discussed marriage, and the next evening I had a new year's party. He was home sick with a headache, but his best friend, the guy who would have been our best man, stayed to help me keep things in control. I drank a lot that night, and in the morning when BM offered to take me to breakfast, I didn't even see it coming. 

He sexually assaulted me, forcing me to suck him off in his car before breakfast. I don't remeber too much of it because of the alcohol and the flash backs I started to have while he was forcing me.  I was so frightened I couldn't resist him, I just did what he told me to do.

He took me home and I cried for hours.

When Ed got home from work, I talked to him about it. He insisted that I cheated on him. We had a chaste relationship, which was hard for me to stick to, and he asked if a warm cock was better than his love. I couldn't call it rape because I had quietly acquieced while crying inside, showing nothing on the outside. 

We had sex for the only time in our whole relationship then. He forced me to go to confession to his priest (he's very catholic, and I was trying to get back into it), and I was fully convinced at the time that it was my fault. After that, we went to the hospital, but first my mother forced me to take the Morning after pill. I took it, figuring that if I didn't take the second dose, I could preserve any life that could have been within me. 

I filed a police report, but he talked to the police in the hallway, and the report was never followed up on. He asked for some space to think about where our relationship would go, and I gave him some time. He said we were okay, but then a day later he left me a message, asking me to meet him and the BM for coffee to get everything hashed out, resolve our differences.

I wouldn't do it. That week I almost sttempted suicide. Instead of taking me to the hospital, my mother locked me in the house for a week, and I languished in my sorrow. 

My best friend recently found the man of her dreams, the guy she might marry, and we're almost like twins. So it figures that her guy reminds me of Ed in so many ways. I've been having these horrible dreams lately, and I have no one to talk to about them. I posted an LJ entry to our old community while I was drunk the other night. I hate myself even more for still loving him, even though I know he's abusive, controlling, and doesn't deserve me. 

Recently, I've been very sick, and I might have cancer (the conclusive test is thursday). I don't want to die with him not knowing the truth, not knowing everything. I'm having lots of nightmares, counterbalanced with some intense insomnia, and I'm afraid I'm slipping into severe Post traumatic stress disorder.

Is this all my fault? Am I crazy, or should he have stood by me? Could all of this be brought on by my interest in a new guy? Am I punishing myself for being ready to date again? Am I as worthless as I feel? ::sigh:: I hate to ask this of strangers, but I need an objective source; Am I an evil person? Did I really betray him? Am I to blame for flashing back while drunk and doing those things with his friend, or am I just a victim yet again? Am I really such a horrible person?

Lately I keep getting these images of suicide in my head, wistful thoughts wbout being dead and not having to do the chemo and other stuff. I keep thinking how nice it would be to not have to get up tomorrow and go take my exams. I can't handle my life right now, and I'm afraid to face it.  I'm afraid I'm losing my mind.


Sorry if it's a bit much for just joining, but I'm really, really having a tough time right now.
Comments 
10th-May-2006 02:51 am (UTC)
You are not crazy, just have a lot shit to deal with. Anyone who has been through what you have would feel the same. I really suggest you get a hold of your counselor and get a therapy session right away, or get a hold of a suicide hot-line or a professional to help you get through this. You have too much to deal with right now and really need that help that they can give.

My suggestion is to back off of anything that might cause you stress right now, like trying to date and focus on yourself, and your physical and mental wellness. Talk to your doctors, they should have referred you to specific counseling for dealing with your medical difficulties.

I can totally understand your feeling of not being able to handle your life right now, because it sounds like it's controlling you. Please do what you can to get help.
10th-May-2006 02:12 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't actually commit suicide, I just get really depressed sometimes, and last night was one of those nights. Thank you for saying I'm not crazy. No one around me seems to understand, they think it's all over and done with, and that somehow I'm supposed to just move on and act like I'm ok.
10th-May-2006 03:18 am (UTC)
I just asked a friend who's mother is going through breast cancer treatment. He suggested seeing if there was a Gilda's Club in your area, since you need support even if your test ends up being negative.
http://www.gildasclubseattle.org/Info/OtherGildasClubs.htm

He also suggested contacting the American Cancer Society
http://www.cancer.org/docroot/home/index.asp
they have support groups and counseling

sincerely hoping that things straighten out for you, because you do have options, no matter how bad it seems. You are strong enough to ask questions about what has happened, and to seek help.
10th-May-2006 02:14 pm (UTC)
yeah, the cancer idea complicates things, and I think it might be the last straw for my tolerance right now. Thanks for the links, I'll look into them whether or not I actually have cancer.
10th-May-2006 04:16 am (UTC)
No, you're not crazy. No, none of what happened was your fault either. Not one bit of it. You didn't ask that jerk if you could give him oral sex in his car...he made you. You didn't ask that teen minister to rape you. Never, ever, ever think it's your fault. It wasn't, not even a little bit of it. You are not a worthless person, either.

Since you are interested in a new guy, I'd think that might be triggering a lot of it. I think you probably have doubts about if he's a "good" guy instead of the "bad" ones you've dealt with in the past. I'd say that's pretty normal considering the crap you've been through. If you really do like this guy, go slow and easy. There is no reason to rush. And, if you worry about being alone with him until you find out the true fiber of his fabric, don't be alone with him. You have the right to feel safe. Protect yourself now with that knowledge.

You are NOT a horrible person, just a victim of circumstance and people with no boundaries or respect. You didn't cheat on Ed, either. It's not like you wanted to do that. If Ed can't or won't see that...that's Ed's problem.

One thing I can think you could do is to sit and write a letter to Ed about everything that happened and how you feel now and how you felt then after it all happened. It's up to you if he ever gets the letter, but it might help get some of the stuff out so you can work through and beyond it. It might even help to write the letter and, if you don't want to send it, burn it or rip it up and flush it. It's one way to symbolicly banish things from you life.

Ok, I'm not Catholic and I don't know many Catholics and I'm not sure if all priests are like that but...the priests had NO right to tell you it was your fault. Damn the Bible and it's teachings if that's where they got that idea from. Men are not animals led around by their genitals and unable to control themselves. They have as much responsibility for their actions as a woman does.

Wow, the possiblility of cancer would be enough to make anyone suicidal but you've got all this other stuff, too. I'm very, very sorry that life is dealing you a crap hand right now. I hope things will get better and the cancer tests are all negative.

It might be a really, really good idea to get to a therapist as soon as you can though. Not only do you need the support about the cancer, you definitely need it to deal with all the other stuff. Especially since you're considering suicide. Please, keep yourself safe and alive. Get help.

We're all here to help and to listen in any way we can. Take care of yourself, ok? You are worthy of a good life. *hugs*
10th-May-2006 02:20 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much. I needed someone to say those things, and the letter thing is something my therapist has suggested, but I can never finish it off. I just keep writing.

And no, not all priests are like that. I guess I should say that by the time I went to his priest, I had myself convinced I should take responsibilty for what happened, he was actually really nice. He tried to talk me out of blaming myself, and he even said that if god intended for me to continue in the relationship, Ed would be strong enough to stand by me, and he had total faith that he would.

And about the new guy, I've only just started trying to date again, and I'm going to take this as a sign that I'm not ready. I'd only been Planning on going on ONE date, and it upset me this much.

Thanks for listening to my rant. I really appreciate your response.
10th-May-2006 03:38 pm (UTC)
Well, you never have to finish the letter off until you get it all out and talked about. There's no pre-determined length it has to be. Just write until you can't write about it any more. Even if you write a whole book, hey, that's cool. That's just what it took to get it all out there.

I'm glad that at least one priest had the common sense to know that none of it was your fault. It's so easy to blame yourself though. I think all survivors have that emotional backlash.

I think you're right on about listening to yourself about the whole dating thing. If you still don't feel comfortable about it, then good for you for recognizing this isn't a positive step for you right now. You have time to get things in order.

You are more than welcome for the response. That's what we're here for, to offer support and another point of view. If you need to talk, we're here.
10th-May-2006 06:00 am (UTC)
Jesus Christ. I'm so, so sorry for everything you're going through. We are all here for you, with open arms, this is a safe place and you will recieve only love, support, and understanding whenever you post here. I hope that can help, in some small way. To re-iterate the point the others have made: you are NOT crazy, far from it, you are an incredibly strong person. Everyone in this community deserves immense respect for still being alive and fighting, and you are no exception: you're an amazing person. All the sexual incidents you described were rape/assault. There is no such thing as rape being "your fault": it is not possible for rape to be anybody's fault but the rapists. I really would encourage you to seek a therapist asap. With everything you're dealing with, you need as much support as you can get. What's more, you DESERVE that support. No-one should have to feel like this. I'm rooting for you honey, just like everyone here roots for one another. Welcome. Violet x
10th-May-2006 02:22 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I'm glad I found somewhere where people seem to understand just what is entailed in the pain of the victim. I do need a place to get support, because I'm just not getting it from the real world.

I know I tend to blame myself, and it's just good once in a while to hear that I'm not to blame. I hardly discuss this with anyone around me, because they seem so happy, and in control of their lives, I don't want to mess them up.
10th-May-2006 06:09 am (UTC)
No, it's not your fault, none of it. It was rape, each time, even though one of those times didn't involve penetration.

You are not crazy. It's horrendous that the priest and your exboyfriend and others are blaming you for it. It was not your fault. None of it was your fault.

You do deserve better than what you had in your exboyfriend. That's ridiculous to take advantage of you by having sex with you right after you'd admitted to being assaulted. He's selfish and ignorant, and it's abusive to do that to you.

You're not losing your mind, you're just dealing with some really intense shit right now, and that's never easy.
10th-May-2006 02:32 pm (UTC)
The sad thing is it's the only time I've ever had sex with someone and not compartmentalized my emotions, so I almost feel like his friend raped my body, but he raped my soul. It's almost as if I know how to handle the physical aspect, but it's the emotional part that hurts so much more, because the person I opened up to entirely, who knew everything about me, still thought I would cheat and still thought I would actually want to hurt him like that.

But now he's gone, with the last vestige of my innocence. I had never willingly let a man do some of the things I allowed him to do, and he left me. I guess it's just my catholic guilt getting to me, but I just feel so used and disgusting, like there's nothing pure about me anymore. Like I gave it all away, and now I'm just trash.

And actually, that seems to be how the men in my life treat me. I think the only reason why they do, though, is because I let them. Maybe if I believed more in my own self worth, others would too.

Sorry, didn't mean to cathart all over you, you just hit a nerve.
10th-May-2006 07:54 am (UTC)
None of this is your fault. None of this is your fault. None of this is your fault. These are men that chose to take advantage of you and assault you in horrible ways.

I am really glad that you reached out here. We are not strangers; it's very supportive here. We're like a family, and you are always willing to lean as much (or as little) as you'd like on us. I am glad to see that you are in counseling; that is so important. If you need additonal "live person" support, I am a huge fan of the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800-656-HOPE).
Welcome, welcome. Thank you for being brave enough to be here and get support.
10th-May-2006 02:40 pm (UTC)
thank you thank you, thank you! It's so easy to blame myself, because I thought that just because it had already happened once, I thought I had to have done something wrong for it to have happened again. I even had serious martil arts training (budo taijutsu), which went out the window as soon as I started flashing back. I keep thinking I could have prevented it, but I'm afraid that those are just self-defeating thoughts, which aren't going to do anyone any good.
11th-May-2006 01:42 pm (UTC)
::big hugs:: You are definitely *not* an evil person. None of this was your fault. It sounds like many people, including role-models within your church let you down.

So few people understand what rape truly is. They'll look at a robbery and be able to identify it as such - they don't ask "Well did you fight off the robber? Did you dress too well-off? Have you ever given people money before?" But asking questions like that about rape are commonplace. Blaming the people who were raped is commonplace. I assure you, that's not because there's anything wrong with you

To be so betrayed, and then to have your almost-fiance blame all that on you??? I'd be in the same space you are. I'm assuming he never even so much as told off the man who raped you - but said that you were horrible for cheating on him? ::mutters and swears:: That is 100% an issue with HIS head... he's about as far off from correct as he could be.

Try to take some deep breaths when you feel that panic rising. It's hard to fight - I know you have so much spinning around in your head that it's hard to keep it all in check... but know that we're here for you, we're sending you lots of love, and that this was not your fault
11th-May-2006 05:33 pm (UTC)
Oh no, I think what my ex did was worse; he told him off, but the renegged and FORGAVE HIM because I took the morning after pill and how I explained it to him was totally wrong. Therefore, I must be a liar because I didn't have full knowlege about how Plan B worked. Ultra-conservative Catholic man + woman's rights to her body= recipe for trouble. He acted as if I had aborted "our child", and that's a whole other line of psycho-emotional pain I had to deal with. He ultimately decided we were both lying, and that we were both horrible people, me for "cheating" and "murdering", and his friend for "facilitating my self-destructive behavioral patterns".

The more I think about it, the more I order my ex as the worst perpetrator of abuse, above all those who have physically and sexually abused me.
11th-May-2006 07:10 pm (UTC)
::nods:: Yeah, though I try my best not to knock any faith, I have a lot of trouble with the no contraception ever thing of the Catholic Church. I understand where it comes from, I just don't agree with it.

Your ex sounds like he was so caught up in everything between his beliefs and what happens that he didn't stop to think at all. ::hugs:: He sounds like a pretty heartless guy - I can't understand his mindset.
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