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for those who didn't call it rape


Guest choirgirl
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I think if I had called it rape to his face he would have hurt me worse. I also think if I had realized how bad things were and attempted escape I might have gotten hurt worse. Stockholm Syndrome develops for a reason. Mine was meant to protect me.

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Guest Hutchy

If I had acknowledged it sooner, I think it would have been better. I would not have spent so many nights in tears without knowing WHY I was feeling so awful. I would not have felt guilty without knowing why, or fallen deep into depression very suddenly. I would not have spent two years blaming myself for all these things, or thinking I was somehow crazy or defective because I couldn't figure out what the reason was for all those horrible things I was feeling. And maybe I wouldn't have developed PTSD, and maybe I would have been able to pursue recovery before my denial of the event damaged me so much. Maybe I could have confronted him before I cut contact with him, too. I don't know if that would have accomplished anything, but I still wonder about it sometimes.

I think that I could have saved myself a lot of pain if I knew that what happened to me was indeed rape, and if I called it that from the beginning instead of waiting for two years to acknowledge it. Instead of lying in bed at night, crying, thinking "Why am I so upset? Nothing bad has happened to me" I would have been concentrating on healing and moving forward. But at the same time I think I might not have grown in the same ways that I have. It's a lot of work to undo those two years of denial and backwards thinking, but I'm learning a lot about myself and growing as a person now that I finally have the courage to call it what it is: rape.

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  • 4 weeks later...

if I said it out loud i would have to own it,so I shut my mouth for a long time

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  • 2 weeks later...

When it happens in a marriage and it's a "marital duty" and it's supposed to be a wonderful perfect family in a perfect one-ano-only right religious way on earth and I can't say no or I am suppressed into "you are becoming too independent, you need to be obedient and submissive", one doesn't call it rape. Now that I am out of that marriage and out of that religious group, I realize what it was. I admit it now. I am not wanting therapy for it tho because as I read about therapies it's like having to relive it...and I don't want to face it. This summer I started having panic attacks when courts ordered me in the same room as ex for parenting conference, and I couldn't do it. So because of the timing it looks like I am possibly "faking it." I hope I have found a safe place to let this out it...

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  • 3 weeks later...

I didn't want to call it rape. I didn't what to admit it to myself. I tried to forget it. Then that it was just that I regretted it. He only pressured me not forced me. I guess it didn't help that I was drugged.

Even now I prefer to be numb.

~Angel

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It took me two years to admit that maybe the incident was rape. I'm in counseling now and am continuously told that it was rape but I still have a hard time accepting that it wasn't my fault and hopefully in time I'll be able to. If I had labeled it as rape from the beginning I think I would have spent a lot less time hating myself, denying it, and confused by my angry emotions. Because I thought it wasn't rape and I was told it wasn't, I didn't believe I deserved to heal from it because after all "I brought it on myself."

Sometimes it's really hazy whether or not the incident can be labeled "rape." But what I'm realizing is that, regardless of the definition, if we feel traumatized by it and are experiencing serious emotional distress because of it then it was rape. Because if we had consented and wanted it then it wouldn't be bothering us and we wouldn't feel this pain. That's just my thought, but either way, we deserve to heal and we deserve to know and for those around us to know that it takes time.

Stay strong!

Jane

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  • 1 year later...

I can't bring myself to use that term. When I think of that word, I think of strangers taking advantage of a jogger. I think of someone who is battered and bruised, left to die. I think of people on tv shows. I think of someone who is not real.

It's weird to say it happened to me, even after all this time. I'm not some girl you hear about in the news, and yet it still hapened to me. I think I'll always have a hard time using that word describe what happened.

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  • 1 year later...

TR***<p>

 

 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

Happened to me too with my dad. He never used force just threatened me that would tell if I didn't do it. Then he said if I'd tell he'd tell about something bad I'd done once to my mom. He held that against me, and tried pressuring and talking me into sex from time I was 16-17 to time I was 20.

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  • 3 months later...

I called it rape once, just after it had happened, and then not again for about fifteen years, not even in to myself. If I called it rape I would've had to have faced it, and I just couldn't. Even when I started talking to my T about it, I could only refer to it vaguely, "When IT happened", etc. I've been practicing typing it out instead of calling it R lately. I feel I need to be able to call it what it was. Having said that, my T has said "after the rape" and "when you were raped" (which I want to her to) and I've physically recoiled in horror and my heart's starting thumping like crazy. I think it would have been so much easier if I'd had someone to talk to about it when it happened, a friend? a T? someone, I don't know. I think I needed to hear it back, that it was rape. I'm only just getting my head around the other rapes, that I would have, until recently called 'bad experiences'. Ugh. Oh, well. Baby steps.....

The abuse? I'm only just starting to think about that. The CSA? Um, well, that's still 'CSA' on here, and "the bad stuff that happened when I was a kid" if I'm talking about it. I think I have more trouble naming it cos it was so impossible to when I was little. It's much more difficult to deal with than the more recent stuff. *sigh* I'll get there....

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  • 3 months later...

I too call it "the stuff that happened when I was little" (I don't know how to add the word "bad" yet).

I don't know what to call what happened to me. My parents minimized it so much that I have felt like I was exaggerating, as if all that was just unfounded attention seeking and I was to blame for being so childish and selfish.

My T is the only one who took me seriously and he did call it rape. Assault, rape, I don't know.

At the same time I am beginning to realize, like a slap in the face, how serious "that" really was, and all the damage it did to me. I should be able to call it rape. But I still feel like I don't deserve such a "status", maybe because somewhere, I still feel like I am to blame.

I'll get there...

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I actually did not call it r*. I called it incest. I realized just resently (about 1 or 2 years ago) when there was a public discussion on "why did you not report" - than I realized that actually what happend to me was r*.

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Thank you for this thread.

With my ex, I didn't realise it was rape (over a period of years) because my idea of what that meant was incomplete. I could torture myself with the notion that, had I realised, I might have left. In reality, I think I would just have been more traumatised, judging by the state I get into when I'm triggered around that. I suspect I would just have found it harder to cope as I really couldn't leave due to all the psychological abuse and gaslighting. I don't think it would have been safe for me to see it as rape at the time. I had that realisation after I started therapy, and it meant that, when I realised, I was in a safe place.

Having that realisation was terrifying. Absolutely terrifying. I knew I'd had no say over our sex life, that my ex refused to use condoms, that he had all the power, but because he didn't physically hold me down I never thought to call it rape. The day I realised that certainly wasn't healthy, consensual sex and therefore it was rape, I freaked out. I got really triggered and sat on the bathroom floor whimpering and shaking. I called my T for an extra session, and had intrusive visions that my ex would be on the steps leading up to the entrance of my therapy centre. I found it so frightening to realise that was what he had done to me.

I can't hear the word rape in relation to me. I don't want other people to say it. I rang the Rape Crisis helpline recently and I explained I was dealing with: "some feelings around the fact that a male parent did the thing that begins with R," and the telephone counsellor said: "Your father raped you?" and I hung up the phone. I didn't want to hear that in a sentence. It's my sentence, to say when I'm ready, and I can write it but I can't say it out loud yet. My T and I talk around these things and do not use the words. I think she meant well, but it was insensitive to just say that, just like that.

However, when I realised what the male parent did was rape, I started calling it that immediately - in my head, on Pandys. I felt it was important to name it properly from the start, even if I couldn't say it, because terms like 'sexual abuse' cover so many things and this was rape, repeated rape. Naming it at the time wouldn't have helped because I blocked it all out and I still don't have any full, clear memories, just fragments. I struggle with feeling that I'm being melodramatic, attention-seeking, making a big deal out of it, that I'm calling it rape because I'm being a drama queen. But you know what? It IS a big deal. And if it feels important, to me, to use that word, then that's probably what I should do.

Pandys has empowered me to look back at my life and call things by what they are called: abuse, assault, rape. My nasty inner voice tells me I'm doing this to make people feel sorry for me, that I want attention, that I'm making a fuss about nothing. I think that's exactly why we need to use the right names, because these things are a big deal, they are not nothing, and naming those experiences makes it harder to minimise them.

It has been shocking for me to look back and realise how much abuse, assault and rape there has been in my life, when I used to think I was lucky because I had never been messed with in that way - a belief that stopped me seeking therapy for a long time, but which also protected me and allowed me to live through those situations, yet also kept me in them.

Something I have a harder time with, though, is calling the people who did these things rapists. I can write that my father raped me. I find it very hard to call him 'a rapist', which makes no sense.

Edited by tinyrabbit
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  • 1 year later...

It took me 6 years to realize it was rape. I didn't understand that it was not reasonable for someone to ask continuously will you x now? what about now? how about now? or now? for an hour or more and saying me no every time until I was just so exhausted that I couldn't hold out any more. Most of the time that meant they just did something else that I didn't consent to either for a while and then went back to asking me continuously even if I asked them not to. I realize now that actually it was very clear that I didn't want to do it and they should have accepted that. It was rape.

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  • 1 month later...

What happened to me was technically consensual and very brief. I had wanted to do it, but we had agreed not to do it in that way. I told him to wait over and over. It was a very confusing night and I was drunk while he was sober. Eventually I gave up telling him that I wasn't ready. I hoped it wouldn't hurt, but I knew it would. Later, I discovered what an awful person he was. But it took a while to realize that it was a form of sexual abuse and that it had affected me so much. Even later, I had to come to terms with how deeply it had hurt me. I can't quite call it rape, but I pretty much feel like that's what happened. Which is really shocking but also explains why I felt the way I did. I still go back and forth about what happened.

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There is power in words, power in the word rape. It is such a very stark word. It says so much with just four letters. It is such a naked word. There is no hiding from what is meant when you say the word rape. Other words, can be blurred and are subject to interpretation, abused, taken advantage of, etc.

But rape...there it is. It was done to you.

For me, it was easy to call what happened to me rape. It was violent. It was by someone I hardly knew, so that part was easy.

But for people who knew their rapist, who should have been able to trust their rapist, a family member, a parent, it must be much harder because the feelings are so confusing and so mixed up.

My trusted boyfriend who abandoned me, that was almost as bad a being raped. I was crushed, disappointed, felt alone abandoned, awful. I guess people who were raped by a parent or loved one have all those feelings wrapped up in one person, I had them split into two people.

Either way, rape is sucky, traumatic and not easy to come to terms with.

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There is power in words, power in the word rape. It is such a very stark word. It says so much with just four letters. It is such a naked word. There is no hiding from what is meant when you say the word rape. Other words, can be blurred and are subject to interpretation, abused, taken advantage of, etc.

But for people who knew their rapist, who should have been able to trust their rapist, a family member, a parent, it must be much harder because the feelings are so confusing and so mixed up.

My trusted boyfriend who abandoned me, that was almost as bad a being raped. I was crushed, disappointed, felt alone abandoned, awful. I guess people who were raped by a parent or loved one have all those feelings wrapped up in one person, I had them split into two people.

Either way, rape is sucky, traumatic and not easy to come to terms with.

This is so true. I still struggle and so I am coming to realize, naming it, putting words to it, expressing it and even sharing with others never can convey the actual experience. The little things that go in in the physical experience. There are so many things happening all at once that you can't even explain it all, even to yourself. You just remember. In all these years of trying to get better at defining things, I realize how much words, written and spoken, fall short.

It is confusing and still is, especially when I have these days were I feel like I am slogging through an invisible biowaste sludge. I can see that it is sunny, a beautiful day and enjoy it: At the same time, I don't want to feel or experience anything consciously. The only thing that has changed is that I am better at minimizing the impact of these days and I know that they will pass. I have had good days and they will come again. On off days, I do what I can to practice self-care.

I am sorry that you were abandoned by your boyfriend. I wish you hadn't been raped. Thank you for sharing. Rain

Edited by Raingirl
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  • 6 months later...
photo_girl01

I'm still not 100% sure it was rape but i want to cry everytime I think about it. I said no. But I stopped saying no after while. I gave up. I didn't know what to do, I was scared, I liked him. He made me feel guilty. I don't know how to cope with this...

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  • 2 years later...

Hugs to all of you who want them!

What a big question, to call things by their name. The power of language, and how naming things make them real.  

A friend of mine also told about how it was easier to first put words in another language that is not your mother tongue, it sounds so different even if the meaning is the same. 

I feel sad when I read so many of you blaming yourself for not naming it before. I believe that what happened for me is also true for many other people, I mean that I could name it SA when I was safe enough to be able to face it and cope with it. To not look at it earlier was somehow a way to protect myself, to try to keep going on with my life and I understand it as part of the mechanisms to survive. Of course, it has to be temporary, the aggression still needs to be addressed, but it is okay to wait until I am safe enough -for me that meant half globe away for one year. You can take your time to go work on it when you are ready, it is hard, and it is worth it. Stay kind to yourself and trust your perseverance, you already made it until here so you're on the right way. I believe naming what happened to you is part of the process of facing it and healing, and it is fine if it comes some days, weeks or years later, just when you are strong enough and in a safe enough environment to deal with it.

I mean, it is freaking scary to say to oneself " I get raped", of course at first it is easier to say "I made a bad decision and had very bad sex" (it was not your decision to get raped, but your rapist's only.)  So it´s fine to just first keep on with your daily life and give you the time you need...

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  • 1 year later...
Guest Healing1.0

For me, absolutely! 

Having terminology to go with what you feel or are going through has made all the difference to me. I couldn't describe my situations due to my disassociation tendencies, its hard for people to understand what you went through when all you remember is a plant in a room, or what the wall looked like. Knowing that coercion is not consent, understanding what all sexual violence entails, flying monkeys and sexual manipulations. I was gas lit so much that it literally made me feel crazy. How could something continue to happen when I know its not what I want, I must've wanted it....WRONG! Also talking about prior assaults and seeing the connected dots and red flags you ignored because you didn't want to believe. Finally, with the help of my trauma therapist I was able to tell myself that what I went through is valid, that my feelings and experience matter. 

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Guest Angry Girl

TRIGGER WARNING, childhood sexual abuse, domestic violence, all the stuff.

 

Since I can remember myself I was aware of sex, its an uncomfortable position to be in looking back. I grew up with a very abusive father who hit my mother all the time. Our home environment was incredible unstable and toxic so I focused all of my energy on surviving childhood and moving away. I felt like I had to make sure my mom was ok and took on the role of peacemaker in the family. My father is a very narcissistic man, absorbed in his power and status. I always felt he was creepy and inappropriate and was generally afraid of him but also sought love and care from him cuz thats what kids do. 

When I hit puberty he would grab my butt or touch by breast and when I became 15 things got worse, he would ask to see me naked when I came out of the shower, in front of my mom. One day he groped my genital area when I leaned over to plug in a cable, again if front of my mother, she divorced him shortly after and we moved away. I believe it was his attempt to normalize his behaviour. I dont know if anything else happened in my childhood but I have vague memories of inappropriate touching and I understand that this man cannot comprehend boundaries. I know something happened to me.

I never considered this as rape or the terrifying term incest(!!!) until half way through university when this somehow came up and my friends blatantly told me that their dads don't squeeze their butt whenever they get a chance and this is wrong. This triggered a whole lot of memories for me. I realized that my hypersexuality and a lot of the symptoms I was exhibiting as a child indicate an unhealthy environment. When I was six, an old man approached my best friend and I and offered us money for a blow job. My friend immediately yelled "run, he's pedophile!" but it took me so much longer to click in, probably because at some point I was conditioned to this kind of behaviour, I was totally confused and ran away. I was exposed to R rated movies when In was little, there were no boundaries in my home, and it scarred me. This made me incredibly vulnerable and I was raped again by an older guy I knew when I was intoxicated and underaged.  This kept happening, attempted gang rape at 12 by friends of my then boyfriend, and I dismissed these as my general promiscuity or teenage things due to my hyper sexuality and how I come across.

All these things compiled and I was ready to end my life at 25, I went into sex work and through meeting other sex workers, I realized many of them were survivors of rape and molestation. I hit my rock bottom and decided I have nothing to loose, I went back to university since that was my only way to access therapy, and I found a counsellor who was immensely helpful. I finally said it. I was raped. I was molested by my father. I was raised by a man who felt entitled to touch my body and rob me of both my adolescence and my sense of self for years to come. Keep in mind, I was also in deep denial and kept visiting him but never wanted to be alone with him until my early 20s. During therapy, I told my mother, I told my family, confronted him when he tried to contact me and I recently got a secondary wounding after a family member asked me to tell her what happened right before she reiterated that my mother put these ideas in my head and its all her fault - denial, victim blaming, triangulating, all the classics. I grieve the fact that I might not be able to talk with her from now on because I get deeply triggered by this and she's not a safe person. 

Anyway, I was raped. It sucks, it tarnished my soul and I hope that I'll be able to recover.

 

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You can recover, and talking about it, naming what happened, can be an important step on the journey.

We are here to support you further, should you wish to join us more fully.

:metoyou:

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  • 1 month later...
Guest Jinxy
On 5/4/2003 at 7:35 AM, Guest ravenswing said:

In one way, yes I think it can help but in another, I use it as a wall. For so many years I have been able to say "I was raped" but I am only just beginning to be able to deal with what that really meant for me. Its like saying the word was like some magical formula, I can't explain it really but if I could say it, it would go away and I didn't really have to deal. Hope that made sense :)

This is currently what I am going through. Although it has been two years this august. I knew I was raped and I made a plan that night and left the next day. I am in a state where I can't watch certain scenes in a movie or tv show, because of the verbal abuse and the rape. I can tell people I was raped. But mentally I don't think I have been able to deal with it. I came here to try and tell my story and maybe sort out the things going on in my head. 

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  • 6 months later...

  I didn’t call it rape because it wasn’t but it was sexual assault. And people assume sometimes many times…then it was barely anything. They’re wrong…We’re hanging out after I’m looking for somewhere to go he suggests it’s getting late let’s “just” head back in the house. We’re hanging out he starts kissing me and I kiss back. He starts to get completely on me and press into me a bit and I’m getting really nervous because he’s not pulling away from my face either and I have to physically get up I open my eyes. I get up and use the restroom. When I come back I move away from him on the edge of the bed. I’m saying don’t get me wrong I do like you I’m nervous I’m shaking . He’s just kissing me now and we’re just sitting. I start hyperventilating because he’s marking me really anxious. Then he pulls away and moves away from me ignoring me now and then sighs really loudly irritated. I go ask what’s wrong ? He says suddenly getting really close to me now to my face I want you in a sarcastic tone but smiling to stop and now he’s breathing really heavily when he says this and just keeps kissing me but aggressively asmr gets completely on me again but slowly after I got up from it and not pulling away from my face It scared me how he said this and looked at me so I don’t stop him next time he comes back but I’m sitting up and he’s barely touching me. Then he’d really getting aggressive now with the kissing and I’m just doing it a little because I feel guilty and insecure and scared tbh he’s doing it either way but he lightly grinds on me I open my eyes and look down. He sees this and pulls away and looks down sighs then “playfully “ grabs me and gets on me and flips me over then suddenly when I open my eyes I am being crushed by his legs literally remember screaming it in my head and I freeze can’t talk or moved not doing anything back he waits and goes up further on me in a different position.  He’s barely grinding on me again for a minute and then he gets aggressive and thrusts on me hard I remember thinking it’s getting rough numbly but terrified.I got into tonic immobility and complete dissociation. I can’t move or talk I’m basically paralyzed and numb watching hearing it but I realize what’s going on and what he did forced my body to react against my will to it many times (the thrusting) even leaning completely onto me I feel a hard pressure and it sounds like I’m hurt  way too much stimulation but also horrified by that and moaning a bit barely  but in pain from the aggressiveness it sounds forced and he’s by my face listening.  He’s really enjoying it. I’m lifeless, stuck there. I’m looking away terrified. He does it again even harder after leaning by my face while I’m looking away terrified harder and sounds like he’s enjoying it.He’s grunting…I think it sounds like sex but how is that possible and it sounds wrong, disturbing…It lasted a long time of him doing this stopping going back to my face listening n me looking away the whole time in terror . He finishes when I come out of it looking at him he just leans over me and looks away from me I’m looking up at him he’s still aggressively thrusting until he’s finished. He puts his hand up my shirt stops and says I’m trying to control myself. I have a panic attack telling him about my anxiety he’s like what is that I don’t know what that is sounding tense. Then when I explain he says it’s cool we can just cuddle. I don’t know why I’m laughing but Im nervous and can’t stop and I feel disgusting and wet confused why because my clothes are on which is humiliating and nothing feels real anymore since I came out of the dissociation with him still on me but I couldn’t feel my body anymore… I’m confused why he’s breathing so heavily and it feels like something happened…which is humiliating. That was my first experience with anything sexual and it was assault. He was not gentle. He was aggressive even violent literally completely on me thrusting not gentle at all. But my clothes never came off. Because it was dry sex against my will I get treated like it’s a joke basically. People assume how he did it. They say it was nice…of him to “just” do that. I told him I was a virgin a lot of people say he got the wrong idea because I agreed to go back inside. I had already been over there and we just kissed. I also told him I had absolutely no experience with anything sexual…it wasn’t but it was still very traumatizing. 

 

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