I didn't have a great 2011, most of it was blurred by depression and a relapse of PTSD and I found myself thinking a lot about death and how it would finally put an end to all the emotional pain and suffering I'e been struggling with for years now. I know that these thoughts and feelings will be ones that many of you will unfortunately be familiar with, and I wanted to say a few words about a wake-up call I had recently.
In November, our local news printed a story about a man who had been found "requiring medical assistance". It was like slow motion over the next few days; they released his age, then they confirmed that his injuries had been fatal and finally they confirmed his identity. He was a man I'd been friends with as a teenager, we hadn't been in contact for years as we'd gone our separate ways, but it was a shock. Eventually, through word-of-mouth, speculation and so on it emerged that he had committed suicide. He had been such a happy, cheeky, bubbly, popular character and it just seemed impossible that he had been so down that he had donw this. It made me feel really sad that he felt that he had no-one in the world he could talk his problems through with and that suicide was his only way out.
Since his death there has been an outpouring of love and support for his family, and from people saying that they wished they could have done something to help before it was too late. What a shame that no-one managed to say the right thing, offer the right support, or ask the righ question to help him to open up to them.
I've come to the point a couple of times lately where I've felt so alone, so desperate and so sad that I've thought about suicide. I've cradled the phone in my lap and found excuses for not calling every single person in my phone list in case they were busy. In reality, if I'd have called any one of those people and told them how low I was, they would have talked with me, stayed with me, done anything I needed to make sure that I got through the tough times. I know that at the time, it's almost impossible to reach out to people but please, if any of you find yourselves feeling this way, just pick up the phone to somebody, anybody. Even if you don't feel you can talk to anyone you know, there are helplines and there's no shame in ringing them. You won't be inconveniencing anybody and they won't mind if you can't speak for crying, they will be there for you. And, of course, there's always PWP if you want to talk to people here.
Attnding my old friend's funeral and seeing how many people were there, how many lives he'd touched, made me imagine my own funeral and how many people might be there. I realised that I couldn't put my loved ones through that and that they'd be devastated if I ended my own life without asking them for help first.
I hope that no-one ever feels as alone and in despair as I have, but please, if you are feeling this way, talk to someone and if you would like to, message me and I'd be more than happy to talk to you and offer any support I can.
Take care of yourselves, you are worth it.
It's been a really long time since I've been here, and I hope you are all doing well. I decided to log on tonight to share with you something that I've been struggling with for some time, and which I think I've overcome, in the hope that it might help even just one person who's in a similar situation to me.
Some of you will know that I've been dreading the time that my son asks why he doesn't have a daddy like everyone else in his class. Until recently I've managed to get away with a simple answer, which was that all families are different and that some people have both parents, some have one or the other, some are raised by other family members etc. and that this was just the way our family is; just me and him. He turned 8 a few months ago and last week he told me that he wanted to know more about how our situation came about.
I found a book online that is called "Why don't I have a daddy?" and I ordered it to read along with him. The book was based on the circumstances of donor conception, in that a "very kind and generous man" gave a doctor one of his seeds, and the doctor gave it to me so that I could use it to make my baby. The man wasn't allowed to tell the doctor his name, because he wasn't in a position to look after a family, but he was so kind and generous that he wanted to help another person to have a family. He doesn't know that the seed was given to me, and that I used it to make my son, and we are not able to find out his name, because he didn't tell the doctor, so we will not be able to meet him. It's a bit like when a very rich person gives a lot of money to a charity to help other people who are very poor, but the rich person doesn't tell the charity that the money is from them, because the important thing is that the money is used to help the people who need it; it's not important who gave it to them. In the same way, it's not important who gave the doctor the seed, the important thing is that mummy was able to use the seed to make a precious child.
I know it's not ideal to have to tell untruths to a child, but I think that this approach was the kindest and most gentle I could come up with, to protect him from finding out that he was conceived through his mummy being hurt so badly. I desperately hope it was the right thing to do, and I feel in my heart that it was. I feel such relief having had this discussion with him and now being able to stop worrying about what to say, and I feel that in a way I have achieved some sort of closure.
Take care everyone, and thank you all for your support
I haven't been here for such a long time! I decided to log on tonight for one last time, to wish you all well with your journeys to healing and closure, whatever stage you're at. This has always been a great community to talk with people who understand and I sincerely hope that it continues that way, providing hope and support for all members, new and old. For those I was privileged enough to become friends with, and who offered me advice and comfort via this site, a huge thank you. At times, I honestly don't know what I would have done without you. To those I have never spoken to, I hope that you find the wonderful people here like a surrogate family, as I did.
Several months ago, I met a wonderful man. He helped me to get back in touch with the "me" that had been lost inside for so many years, and I will always be grateful to him for that. I had come to a point where I accepted that I would always be a victim, and should live my life as one. I hated who I was, I felt disconnected from my body, and from the people around me. Over time, I came to realise that the "old me" was still inside, I just had to unlock her. I surprised myself for doing, and saying, things that I'd never dreamed possible, and suddenly I was filled with hope for my future! I made a conscious decision to like, and to love, myself again. And I really do! I am a good person! All the hatred and disrespect for myself, that was the way "he" felt about me, not the way I should feel about myself! I thought about how much I love each and every one of my friends and family, and how it would make me feel if they felt such hatred for themselves. I knew I couldn't bear it. I then thought about how much they all love me, and I decided to love myself in the same way. At first it felt a little strange, but it feels so great just to feel good about myself now!
I've made some life-changing decisions to help me get back to the person I want to be. After all, as my dear friend told me, I can be whoever I want to be. If I don't like who I am, think about the things I think/say/do that I dislike, and change them. It's actually not that difficult if you believe you can do it; all it takes is a deep breath and a little courage. For example, for years I believed that if I made myself as unattractive as possible, I would be less likely to be attacked again. About a month ago, I cut down on junk food and joined a gym, and really started taking care of myself. My family and friends have been so much more supportive than I could ever have imagined, and I'm so grateful. They don't even know the real reason I'm doing this, and they're still being great! Also, I identified an area of my job that was placing me under an enormous amount of stress long-term, so I plucked up the courage to talk to my manager about it, and he has sorted it for me. In the end, all I had to do was ask, instead of hoping he would realise on his own! If I can make changes like this, you can too and I hope you believe that.
For me, I have forgiven myself. I know I wasn't to blame for what happened to me, but for the guilt I carried around for so long and for the way I let it affect not only my life but the lives of the people close to me, I forgave myself. It feels like such a huge weight off my shoulders! I have put all the books I amassed about rape and abuse in a box and tucked it away out of sight. I removed my links to websites for survivors. Not seeing constant reminders has definitely helped to get back to the person I was before, which is why I haven't been here for so long. And this is why I'm making this my last message to you all. I want to be the person I was before, and she deserves a chance!
About a fortnight ago, "he" friend requested me on Facebook. My immediate reaction was one of terror, and seeing his photo sent me into shock. But after a while, I looked at his profile page, read messages between him and his friends/family, looked at his photos, and realised that at the end of the day, he's just a person. For years I've been building him up as some kind of monster in my head, and he's just a small, insignificant person. Just to be sure, I declined the request and blocked him, but later I was talking to my Mum about why on earth he would friend request me, and she suggested that perhaps he either didn't remember or didn't think of what he did as wrong. Maybe. But I doubt it. But at that moment, having realised he was just a person, like anyone else, I forgave him. Everyone makes mistakes, and I don't deserve to have the rest of my life ruined because of his mistakes. Finally, I felt closure! I never thought I would understand the concept of forgiveness in this situation, but I do. It's not about him, it's about me. It's about who I want to be. And I don't want to carry around any hatred or stress any more. That's not who I am.
I'm coping much better with my panic attacks now. They're usually triggered by the rain (not helpful in the winter when it rains a LOT!) and someone very kindly taught me a couple of tricks to help me work through them. When there's a chance of rain, I wear an elastic band around my wrist or around the palm of my hand, and if I feel myself beginning to panic, I snap the band against my skin, to create a little pain to bring me "back in the room". If I can ground myself and remember where I am and that I'm out of danger, I can usually prevent the panic from taking over. Also, I was encouraged to think of a different, much happier memory, where I was out in the rain. Every time it rains I think about that memory, every little detail of it, even talk it through with someone if there's someone available, and gradually I hope that the rain will trigger happy memories of that time automatically, instead of triggering bad memories of the attack in the rain. It's all about training the brain, and I know I will get there. I think the key is believing that you can make that change, because I feel so different now that I actually, genuinely believe!
I hope that this post gives you hope and inspiration for your own journeys to healing. If you'd read my posts from around a year ago, you probably wouldn't believe it was the same person talking, and I do feel like a new person now. Or rather, I feel like I'm back to the old me! I like her!!!
Please take gentle care of yourselves, each and every one of you deserves it! And remember to love and appreciate yourselves like your friends and family love you!
Over and out
I just wanted to write a quick note to the member/s who are repeatedly posting spam entries here and ask them, respectfully, to stop. I find it inappropriate, irrelevant, insensitive and disrespectful for people to be advertising products, services etc. here given the nature of this site. If these members are here for genuine reasons and would like to reach out to fellow survivors and supporters to give and/or receive helpful advice, we will welcome you with open arms, but please do not continue posting spam entries onto the forum. If, however, these members have signed up purely for a place to advertise their products/services, kindly find somewhere more appropriate to achieve this. Every time someone signs up to this site a dot is added to the portrait in their honour and I object to having my dot next to that of an advertising campaigner who has no compassion for survivors. I'm sorry if anyone takes offence to this entry, I'm just tired of logging on to find multiple entries about Ugg boots and high-heeled shoes! Thank you for listening.
I just feel I need to vent about an "incident" that happened last night. I know it's not that bad compared to what I, and we, have been through, but if you think you may be triggered please read with care. I don't know, maybe I'm overreacting and maybe I'm too sensitive about this now, but I would like to think that I can be in control of my body and who touches it. Is that so much to ask? I don't understand why some people think it's ok to do these things!!! Grrrrrrrr!
I was on a hen party - one of my close girl friends is getting married in a few weeks. Usually I wouldn't go to hen parties because people tend to get a bit too drunk, draw a lot of attention to the party, talk a lot about sex and men, and generally be a bit risque, which is totally and completely out of my comfort zone! But as it was one of my closer friends and this group of girls is usually not too lairy on nights out, I thought it would be ok. The party was on one of the islands close by, so we had to travel by ferry. This immediately makes me nervous, because it's a really small island and there is only one boat back home in the evening - my fear is that if "he" were to be there too there would be absolutely no escaping him, no way to get home safely and I'd be stuck on a boat with him! Anyway, that's not what happened but this is why I was on hyper-vigilance mode all evening.
As expected, everyone was drinking quite a lot and there was no disguising that we were on a hen party given the fairy wings, flashing tiara, sache etc. that the bride-to-be was wearing together with the abundance of... novelty items... (uuugh!). Just to give you an idea of how claustrophobic this place is, there are 3 restaurants on the island, all next door to each other with a shared courtyard, and all were packed. As well as our party there was a wedding, a 21st birthday party and a few other parties - probably about 350 people packed into 3 venues, spilling out into the courtyard. We were in a conservatory next to the courtyard and taking up most of the patio was a group of 25-30 biker type men - all dressed head to toe in leathers, long hair, long beards, quite intimidating (sorry to stereotype!).
At the end of the evening, on our way through these men to get back to the boat, a couple of them mentioned that we should have had a stripper since we were on a hen party, and they offered to oblige. We laughed and kept walking. We were the first group on the ferry and their group followed us on and surrounded us. The rest of the girls thought this was hilarious and started flirting with them. I felt uncomfortable and sat in the corner. The boat journey took about 20 minutes, the girls were randomly sitting on these guys' laps, dancing with them, etc. No-one really noticed me in the corner. Then, one of the guys in leathers came up to me - staggered up to me - and asked if I wanted to dance. I didn't. He asked me if I'd like a "private show" since no-one was looking! Of course I said no... politely but nervously. He grabbed my hand and put it on his... you know... and he said I needed to be "less uptight"!!! I was just so shocked, I didn't know what to do! I pulled my hand away quickly and he sat down next to me, backing me further into the corner so no-one could see, and he started complimenting how nice my boobs looked in that top... before I knew it he had his hand in my top... in my bra... touching me!
I don't get it!! How can someone think that this is ok?! This guy was, like, almost twice my age! Do I have some kind of sign on my head saying "Easy Target"?!
What do you do when you can't sleep at night?
The darkness is cold and lonely, time seems to slow down.
Your eyes are heavy but your mind is still racing,
And each time you close your eyes you see his face
He is standing over you, ready to pounce.
What do you do when you're hurting so much on the inside
And the only way you can cope with the pain
Is to hurt yourself on the outside?
What do you do when you have friends who understand
Exactly what you're going through and how you feel,
And you would give anything to sit with them, and talk with them, and cry with them,
And yet they live so far away you fear you will never have that chance?
Meanwhile the friends and family you have close by
Don't understand or don't even know;
They don't want to talk about it and don't want to hear about it,
Even though it's the only thing you can think about.
What do you do when you desperately need something
So simple as a hug?
Someone to hold you, to comfort you, to tell you that everything will be alright,
And it breaks your heart every time someone asks, "How are you?"
And you reply, "I'm fine"
And no-one can or will see through your mask and ask how you really are,
When your voice says, "I'm fine"
But your eyes scream, "Please help me!"
It's so loud inside my head.
There are so many noises;
Some real, some not,
But all infiltrating my mind.
People, I hear people.
Ordinary people talking about their ordinary lives,
Bustling about. Bustling and talking.
In reality, they're probably not talking particularly loudly,
But in my head they circle around me
Talking into megaphones, at close range,
All at once.
My head spins from the noise.
I can feel the circle closing in on me
And the voices in my head start talking too,
Trying to be heard above the voices on the outside.
A car alarm penetrates the commotion;
Louder and louder, a constant beeping of the horn.
I feel my chest tighten,
I can't breathe.
I feel light-headed.
I need to get out!
But out of where?
This is all playing out in my head.
It's not real but I can't escape it.
The panic intensifies
My head is hot and I can't focus;
Everything is spinning...
I hear sirens getting closer and closer
The noise is unbearable
People, voices, bustling, beeping, sirens,
And then everything goes black.
I have just come through one of the toughest weekends of my life and I wanted to share this with you all. It really sums up what the last few days have been like for me.
"Last night I had a dream. I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord. Across the sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand: one belonged to me, the other to the Lord.
After the last scene of my life flashed before me, I looked back at the footprints in the sand. I noticed that at many times along the path of my life, especially at the very lowest and saddest times, there was only one set of footprints.
This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it. “Lord, you said once I decided to follow you, You’d walk with me all the way. But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life, there was only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.”
The Lord replied, “My son, my precious child, I love you and I would never leave you. During your times of suffering, when you could see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”
One of my friends just posted this on Facebook and I wanted to share it here...
"Depression is NOT a sign of weakness, it is a sign you have been trying to be too strong for too long. Copy and paste this if you know someone who has, or has had depression. Most people won't, but as 1 in 3 will suffer at some point in their lives.... Show your support xx"
I'm feeling so lost and confused right now. I'm hurting and I feel so lonely. I want to talk but I don't know what to say. I'm afraid of what might come out if I do talk but I'm also afraid of what might happen if I keep it inside any longer. I want to scream and shout and tell the whole world what he did to me, yet I don't want anyone to know what he did, because he did it to me, and I don't want people to judge me for what he did. Because they will. Not people here; people here understand, that's why I come here to talk. But people on the outside, they will judge me. I must have been asking for it, I must have deserved it. I had it coming. I guess it's a way to convince themselves that it could never happen to them. That doesn't make me feel any better, though.
Normally when I feel like this I can have a good cry and I'll feel a little better afterwards. Sometimes I'll harm myself, and that will take the edge off. But right now, I can't cry. I don't know why. I just feel numb and vacant. I've harmed and that hasn't helped. I've binged and purged and punched my pillow and written a poem and I still don't feel better. I'm running out of things to try. It's raining outside and I'm having flashbacks. The reckless, destructive side of me wants to go outside and stand in the rain and see if it jolts me back to life, but I know I mustn't. Not after last time.
Where were you that night when the rain was pouring down?
When I needed your support... where were you?
Where were you that night when I stepped out into the rain?
Were you warm and cosy? Where were you?
Where were you that night when he pushed me to the ground?
Were you curled up on your sofa? Where were you?
Where were you that night when he unbuttoned his jeans?
Were you relaxing after a hard day's work? Where were you?
Where were you that night when he forced himself inside of me?
Were you sipping on your cocoa? Where were you?
Where were you that night when I screamed out in pain?
Were you climbing into bed? Where were you?
Where were you that night when I was dying inside?
Were you drifting off to sleep? Where were you?
I needed you!
I hope no-one minds, but I just wanted to say a few words about a dear lady called Hazel who passed away earlier this week at the age of 88. Hazel was my neighbour and she was a wonderful woman, I feel privileged to have known her.
Hazel and her husband Roy were originally from the island I live on but they were evacuated to the mainland UK during WWII and ended up settling there. They moved back for a few years and Hazel taught at the local girls' school, where her pupils included my grandmother and great aunts. She told me great stories of their school days and we would talk in the garden for hours about life on the island all those years ago and how much it has changed.
Roy and Hazel bought an apartment next door to me when they retired so that they could split their time between here and the mainland. Of course, they moved in long before I did... I looked forward to their visits every couple of months and they absolutely doted on my son, who is 6. Roy would teach him how to look after the different plants in the garden and showed him how to water them and pull out the weeds so that I could have a little time to myself. Hazel would talk to him about how school was going and encouraged him to show her what he was learning at football club.
Being a young single mum, particularly when my son was first born, I'd endured a few years of disgusted looks from the older generation, who obviously thought badly of me for being "careless" enough to get pregnant so young... Hazel was the complete opposite. She never knew that my son was conceived by rape and yet she never once judged me for my situation. Every time I saw her she would tell me what a great job I was doing, taking good care of him all on my own, and she always commented on what a polite, bright boy he is. This meant such a lot to me, because no-one else ever tells me that! She taught me that children are a joy and a privilege and that I should enjoy every second I can spend with my son, because children really do grow up fast. So today, I started listening to her advice. I've been hurting a lot lately and I haven't spent time with him at all, I've just wanted to be alone as much as possible. Tonight, I read him a bedtime story for the first time in weeks and it made him so happy. It only took a few minutes but it made such a difference. And I have Hazel to thank for that insight.
It's going to break my heart when Roy visits for the first time alone in a few weeks but I will be sure to tell him how much she was loved and will be missed. I'm thankful that she passed peacefully and wasn't ill for long.
Please take good care of Hazel for me; I know she is in a better place now with you, free from pain, resting peacefully. Please hold your hands over Roy and their children and grandchildren at this difficult time and guide them through their grief. I trust in your power of healing and comfort and pray that you will also look over all of those who are ill, or are caring for loved ones who are ill, all over the world.
I've been wanting to talk about what happened to me about three weeks ago but I haven't yet been able to find the words. I can't describe how I'm feeling, other than lost and confused, and I'm having trouble reconciling some things in my head. I'm trying to untangle all the things that are going around and around in my mind so that hopefully, by identifying what's bothering me, I will be able to find a way to work through these problems. If anyone has any advice or suggestions on how to deal with these things I'd be really grateful!
Firstly, I've been struggling with regaining a sense of control and safety. After he first attacked me, I did everything I could to remove myself from my life, as it were, so he couldn't find me and hurt me again. I moved back in with my mum until I felt comfortable moving into a place of my own in a different area, I changed my car and my phone numbers, made sure I wasn't listed in the local directory, coincidentally my work moved offices around the same time, and I made sure my name was removed from the company website so he couldn't look up where I worked. In my new home, I had my Dad install a double-bolt lock and a peep-hole on my front door just in case. I avoided the places I knew he frequented and I avoided generally going out as much as I could, in case I saw him. Even after all of this, he still found me and hurt me again and I can't imagine I'll ever feel safe again. What more could I have done?
Secondly, after my first attack, I used my eating disorder at first to cope. I already had an ED, but never this bad. I soon convinced myself that if I used my ED to control my weight I could make myself look as unattractive as possible, and this would have the effect of ensuring that no men would want to be with me and it would protect me firstly from unwanted male attention, which I was terrible at dealing with, but also from being raped again. I thought he would be so repulsed by my size that he wouldn't even want to force me again. I was wrong, and I am really struggling to get my head around this. I know rape is supposed to be about power and control rather than sex, but the first time he did it because he wanted to get together with me and I declined; surely he wouldn't have wanted to be with me now? Not looking as fat and ugly as I have intentionally become!!! Maybe I should do the opposite and start starving myself now... maybe that's the answer?
Thirdly, I am exhausted from trying to carry on with my life as if nothing's happened! I am forcing myself to go to work, I've seen my family and friends a couple of times since, and not one person has noticed that there's anything wrong! It's like there's a real split in my life - when I'm out, I have my "happy mask" on, smiling and making small talk, and as soon as I get home and close the door, it's like everything turns black and I just cry until I can't cry any more. I so wish that I could just shut myself away until this feeling passes, but I know that if I do shut myself away it will last a lot longer. It's a constant struggle and it's exhausting.
I'm also feeling sick to my stomach at the moment because... it horrifies me to even say this, I'm so embarrassed and ashamed... I mentioned in one of my recent entries that he... he put "it" in my mouth. I'm so disgusted with this, I can't tell you. I can't get that feeling out of my head, it's just vile. And to make it worse, I think he may have given me an infection from it... I have an appointment tomorrow afternoon to have it checked out and I'm absolutely terrified! I can't bear even talking about it, let alone letting someone look... I didn't even want to go but my friend at work made the appt for me because I wouldn't (she doesn't know about what happened) and I completely freaked out, ran to the ladies room and vomited! I had a panic attack and just couldn't stop crying and she spent about 3/4 of an hour trying to calm me down. I still didn't tell her why I was so scared and to be honest I don't know if I will keep the appointment, I don't know if I can do it. I feel sick again even just thinking about it.
There's something that he said to me that night that really bothered me. I mentioned it in one of my other entries and I can't get those words out of my head. He said he wanted to make sure I was "damaged beyond repair". That's exactly how I feel. I know I shouldn't, and I know that I've told a couple of the members here about that and they've told me I'm not, but I really, really feel like I am. I don't feel like I have the strength to pick the pieces up again this time; I spent so long getting to a stage where I was beginning to reclaim my life after last time, and for what? Now I'm further down than I ever was before. What's the point in trying to pull myself together again when I'll get to a certain point and he can just hurt me again and I'll have to start all over again? I don't feel like I'll ever be able to have a relationship with a man again, I won't feel comfortable trusting again and I won't feel comfortable being physical again. Ever. So what's the point?
Right now, I know I need to stay alive for my son. I love him and he needs me. If I didn't have him, I honestly think I would have given up this time around. I'm getting through, day by day, sometimes hour by hour, by self-harming. It's the only way I can feel alive, and I need to feel physical pain to validate my emotional pain. I'm finding it so hard to make sense of all of this, and the hardest part is that I know there is no sense in any of it, so looking for it is futile. I know that.
I heard a great quote on TV today, "I would give anything for my heart to stop hurting". That's how I feel right now.
This used to be my favourite time, curled up warm in my bed, listening to the storm outside; the rain against the windows, the wind whistling and gusting between the houses. I used to feel cosy and sheltered, untouchable.
When the rain started tonight I climbed into bed, hoping to feel safe and warm and secure like I used to. But this time it's different. This time I feel the rain prickling on my skin, the wind slapping my face and I start to shiver. Just like that night.
Then a loud clap of thunder rattles my windows; like pathetic fallacy, the storm is raging outside but there is also another storm raging. There's a storm raging in my head.
A clap of thunder awakens the anger within me. Anger at him, anger at myself. Every bolt of lightning creates another wound on my arm. Every rumble of thunder is a drumroll to the next.
The clouds in my head are heavy and dark. They are filled with anger and hatred, guilt and despair. As the thunderstorm passes, the rain takes over. Tears of shame fall from the skies and from my eyes.
My whole body sobs as the storm subsides, and all that is left are the tracks of my tears and a hazy feeling in my head where the clouds are re-forming ready for the next storm.
My life is divided into two parts; "Before" and "After". Before you and after you. Don't let this give you the impression that you're important to me. You're not. It's just that this is how my life is divided.
Before, I would spend hours on the phone talking with my friends, laughing, smiling. Before I would socialise with people, going out for meals, eating, drinking. Before, I was happy and affectionate, holding the people I love close, hugging, kissing. Above all, I loved to sing. Singing made me happy.
Now I am filled with shame and repulsion. I had been coping with the things you had done to me, but now you've taken that to a whole new level. I have never felt so sickened or degraded.
The shock of what you have done has silenced the voice that once talked and laughed. My smile has been washed away by silent tears. The sociable girl I once was has become a recluse. She ruins each meal by bingeing and purging in a bid to regain control over her life in any way she can. The people I love, I am pushing away. I cannot bear to be touched, let alone kissed.
The voice that once sang openly and freely has been stifled. Stifled by you when you rammed your penis into my mouth until I gagged.
Could you see my heart breaking as you approached me in the rain? Your eyes flashed with intent and I knew. I just knew. Could you hear my heart breaking as my body hit the floor? That sound was familiar; You have broken me before. Could you feel my heart breaking as you tore off my clothes? You took everything that was mine, everything that was worth taking. You left me with my life. That was not worth taking. My life means nothing to you and now it means nothing to me. You took my body and used it up. It's not worth anything to me now. I don't feel like it belongs to me any more. It's not a part of me any more. You spoilt it. My body is like faulty packaging that was supposed to contain and protect something that was once worth protecting. Me. You mistreated and abused that packaging. You tore it and stamped it into the ground until the "me" that was cradled inside was "damaged beyond repair". "Damaged beyond repair". Your words, not mine. But you succeeded in that. Congratulations.
It's 2.30am and I'm afraid to go to sleep. Afraid to go to bed, even. I can't turn out the lights in case I fall asleep. I couldn't face another night like last night. I let my guard down last night. I let myself rest, and I fell asleep. I shouldn't have done that. I can't do it again. I mustn't do it again. It replayed in my head, over and over and over again. Only worse. I felt the pain, like it was actually happening again. I cried out for help. I cried out as loud as I could, only no-one heard me that night. No-one heard me because it was raining so hard outside. No-one could hear me. But I tried anyway. Just in case. Someone heard me last night. I screamed so loud my downstairs neighbour came up to check on me at 5am. She thought I was in trouble. I was. It's just that she was a week late.
As some of you may know, I don't really have anyone who I can talk to on the outside world about these things, so from time to time I write an entry when I reach the point where I can't keep everything inside any longer. Please don't feel obliged to read this just because I've posted it, I just need to get this out of my system and I'm hoping that this will help.
I've been feeling uneasy for about a week or so now; I haven't quite been able to put my finger on what's wrong, but I had a bad feeling that something was going to happen. I had been picking fights with people and generally being irritable (including with people here, for which I'm truly sorry). I wrote an entry recently about how I was worried because "he" had found out where I live and, well, this kind of follows on from that...
Earlier in the week we had quite a stormy night. It was hailing and raining on and off throughout the evening and at about 10.30pm I was on the phone to my sister and I heard my car alarm go off. I figured it must have been the wind, however it went off about 7 or 8 more times over the next couple of hours. I thought it was odd that it was only my alarm that was sounding, and it wasn't that windy really, plus my car was parked between two bigger vehicles so I wouldn't have thought that the wind could have rocked my car enough to set it off, especially not that many times...
I logged on here and started talking to someone about how I was afraid that he might be out there, trying to get my attention. A couple of my (male) neighbours went out to see what the racket was but didn't see anything suspicious so they just went back in and ignored it. I was really beginning to work myself up into a state, and that's when I start thinking recklessly. I knew I shouldn't go outside, just in case it was him, so it was my fault. Totally my fault. I was trying to prove to myself that I was just working myself up about nothing and that I couldn't let him make me terrified of everything.
The worrying part, for me, is that I also had this little voice telling me that he was going to get me anyway, one way or the other, so why not get it over and done with now? At least I could go out there prepared for a fight, rather than letting him catch me unawares another time, and always looking over my shoulder just in case. I also had this overwhelming feeling that I deserved it. Since the first time he... you know... 7 1/2 years ago, I have been used and treated badly by men, and I believed (and still do) that maybe that's what I'm here for. Maybe by me going through this over and over again, it saves a number of other girls from each going through it once. Or maybe I'm just such a bad person that I deserve it. I know this might sound strange to other people, and I am worried that I got myself into such a state that I listened to and believed that voice. But when I get worked up I convince myself that the most awful things that cross my mind are true and I make reckless decisions. I don't deserve to be alive right now.
I feel broken, so much more broken than before. I didn't think that he could hurt me any more than he already had. I feel lonely because I don't feel I can talk to anyone about this. Some of my friends are coming home for Easter weekend and I had been really looking forward to seeing them (we haven't seen each other since Christmas), but now I couldn't bear to see anyone, to talk to anyone. And I wouldn't want them to see me like this. All I want is a cuddle from someone, anyone, but the thought of being that close to someone physically, repulses me right now. I'm finding it hard to reconcile all of this in my head.
The only thing that is clear to me is that I caused this and I deserved it, so please don't feel sorry for me. I don't deserve your sympathy. I am a bad person.
… Last night I had a meltdown. It’s so frustrating because I could see it coming, and yet I couldn’t stop it. I’d been trying so hard to keep everything together, but now I’m falling to pieces. I feel vulnerable and insecure, and I want to be strong, but I just feel like giving up. I feel guilty because last night one of my close friends needed me, and I tried to help, I really did, but I ended up making things worse and we argued. Now I feel terrible because we both need each other so much right now for support and I’m letting him down.
I self-harmed last night. I just got so overwhelmed by everything that’s going on, I couldn’t bear it any longer. I hate myself for being this weak and for still letting “him” affect my life. I hate myself for not being there for my friend when he needed me, because he’s always there for me, no matter what. I just got to the point where I was hurting so much and I needed the pain to be physical, so that I could recognise it and acknowledge it. I needed to feel it. I had been doing so well, I hadn’t harmed for over a year and I thought I was over that part of my life. Turns out I’m not.
It’s been such a long time since I slept properly, I’ve been struggling through on 2-3 hours a night for months and I can’t take it any more. When I fall asleep, I have this nightmare where I dream that I wake up and he’s standing over me, his face inches away from mine. He’s not touching me, just staring, menacingly. It’s terrifying! I can see why they use sleep depravation as a form of torture.
“His” brother has moved a couple of doors down from me. “He” now knows where I live. I had fled from my old flat to live with my mum after it happened, and when I was ready, my dad got me a new place to live where I felt safe and secure. Now I’m hyper-vigilant and constantly looking over my shoulder. It’s exhausting. “He” keyed my car when it was parked outside my house – I guess as a further punishment to me for reporting him to the police. Even if I was brave enough, there would be no point in reporting him for vandalism because there’s no evidence it was him.
Aargh, this is so stressful! I wish I could find a way of coping with this that wasn’t so destructive! Sorry everyone, I just needed to get that out of my system. Thank you for listening.
I hope that everyone is well and that you're all finding the friendships and support you need to aid your healing here.
I'm sorry to have to raise this serious issue but I've been growing concerned about the number of people here who are exchanging personal contact information via this site and the issues this is leading to. This is a special site and, if used in the spirit in which it is intended, can provide invaluable support and advice to survivors from others who have struggled with similar issues, when often it is hard to find anyone who can understand and relate to what we're going through in our day-to-day lives. The beauty of this website is that many people feel safer and more comfortable talking to others whilst remaining anonymous so that "what's said on this site, stays on this site" as it were.
Unfortunately, the very nature of this site means that there are many vulnerable members and there are some sick people in the world who use platforms such as this to prey on vulnerable people, earn their trust, and then abuse it. This is particularly concerning where younger members are involved, who might not be as internet-savvy or worldly-wise as older members.
Of course the purpose of this site is to introduce survivors to other people who can provide support and understanding, and we all encourage each other to make friends here and become a part of the global PWP family. That being said, perhaps it would be best to contain these friendships on this site in order to preserve the safety element and protect the most vulnerable. Adding other members on Facebook/MySpace, giving out personal email addresses or phone numbers can lead to your location/home address being identified quite quickly by someone with less than honourable intentions and the last thing we would want on this site would be for a member to fall victim to an internet predator.
I'm not saying that no-one on this site is to be trusted, because of course this is not the case, but please think carefully before exchanging personal information with other members. How long have you known them and how well? Is there any real need for you to communicate outside of this site? Don't let anyone pressure you into giving out contact information (this would be a red flag right away!) and don't ask for contact info from/give it out to another member unless you are completely, COMPLETELY sure that it's appropriate and safe. Younger members should always ask their parents/guardians before giving out their contact info and it goes without saying that I'm not saying this to be boring, patronising or controlling, but rather to try to protect you!
If you have any concerns please don't hesitate to contact either David or another member you feel you can trust. I'm happy to help with any queries/issues myself and I'm sure that several of the longer-established members are too.
Stay safe and take care of yourselves!
I just wanted to start by saying I'm sorry I haven't been online much for the last couple of weeks and especially to a couple of you who I'd been talking to regularly because I feel like I've been neglecting you! You know who you are :-)
This is always a difficult time of year for me because I was attacked repeatedly throughout July/August/September of 2002. The last time I was raped was seven years ago today. I'm sure a lot of you will understand and empathise with the mixed feelings I have around each anniversary and I don't really know how to describe how I'm feeling right now, which I find really frustrating because I like to be able to put words to everything!
I'm trying to focus on the good things; instead of this being the anniversary of my rape I'm re-labelling it the anniversary of my beautiful son being conceived. I'm concentrating on all the things I've achieved since then that I didn't think I could ever manage again. About 4 years ago as part of my "home-made" therapy I made three lists of places/people/situations - like my own personal risk assessment of everything. They were grouped into things I could deal with on a day to day basis (getting up, having a shower, eating breakfast, the simple things), things I could sometimes do, depending on the day (going for lunch with friends, taking my son to the park, going shopping) and things I thought I'd never be able to do again (being alone in a room with a man, going to places I knew he was likely to be). I risk assessed every person in my life and any new people started with a zero (no trust at all) and worked upwards until I felt comfortable to have a conversation with them, be alone with them etc. I guess it's a kind of control thing; because the control was taken away from me when I was attacked I need to be able to control my surroundings to avoid being attacked again. I revised my list tonight and was really proud to see that some things have moved down without me really noticing. I can now go for lunch with my friends without panicking, I can go to the supermarket on my own, I can even go out drinking with my friends from time to time! But only with at least one who knows, just in case.
I just get frustrated at how much control he still has over my life and I desperately want to reclaim it as my own. I am NOT his puppet. I want to be able to trust a man enough to have a relationship with him. I want to be able to have meetings at work where I don't worry about whether I'll be the only woman in the room. I want to be able to go to a pub and not have to scan the room for him first and then face the door the whole time to make sure that he doesn't walk in while I'm there. I want to be able to let repair men into my home without fearing for my safety. I want to be able to talk to people without wondering whether they know, and whether they're judging me. I have a long way to go but I take comfort from how far I've come. I look forward to (hopefully) making more progress in the coming year.
I'm sorry for waffling, I just needed to get this out of my system and I do feel a bit better now. Thanks for listening and I hope you're all well!
I know that there must be a lot of people here who find Father's Day difficult so I feel a little guilty about bringing it up but I don't know who else I can talk to about this!
I was at my Dad's today, we were all having a lovely lunch and playing in the garden in the afternoon... me, my son (who's almost 6), my little sister and her boyfriend. Completely out of the blue, my little boy asks "can we go and see my father now?" and everyone just stares at me, not knowing what to say. My son was conceived during my rape, and has never questioned why he doesn't have a daddy, he's always just accepted that it's just me and him. I never told my sister what happened because I felt like I was supposed to be invincible to her; able to set a good example, give good advice and protect her from anything. I guess she just assumed that I'd had a one-night stand and been careless. My family has always supported me with my son, but my Dad said (not thinking before speaking) that he wishes I hadn't gone ahead with the pregnancy because having a baby ruined my life!!
I'm so confused right now, I guess my generic answer of "some people aren't lucky enough to have daddies" isn't quite enough any more, but how the heck do I explain any of this to a 6 year old? I've recently been getting the usual innocent questions, like "how do babies get into mummies' tummies?" etc. and it's now moved on to "so how did I get into your tummy if I don't have a daddy?"... AAARGH, I could just SCREAM!!!
I'm so frustrated with myself because I've had 6 years to think of what I'm going to say to him... I knew this day would come eventually but now that it has come my mind has gone completely blank. I wish I could just employ someone to tell me what to say!!! I've asked every therapist I've seen and they've all given me non-committal "tell him whatever you're comfortable with" answers.
I love him so much and I just want to be a good mum and protect him from the truth without completely lying to him.
Can anyone help?
A lot of you will have heard about the new self-harm group that Violet has set up and about the project to make a book containing entries by members of this community. I know that not a lot of submissions have been made yet but I decided to write something tonight to kick-start the project, and I hope that my entry might inspire some of you to have a go at writing something too! At this point I would point out that I haven't written poetry since I left school so apologies if this is a shambles (!) and here's to hoping that you will all do better ;-)
Self Harm: Time to Heal
So many thoughts
Can’t untangle them
Can’t slow down
Can’t think clearly
Too much noise
Too many voices
Can’t hear what they’re saying
All talking at once
Faster and faster
Won’t slow down
Need to stop them
Don’t know how
Try to listen
Need to feel pain
To stop them talking
To feel what they’re saying
To feel what I’m thinking
A blow to the arm
Another and another
Again and again
Each blow helps
To feel the pain
To silence the voices
One at a time
To make the pain real
For me to see
To clear my mind
To focus my thoughts
Every bruise counts
Each one tells a story
Of pain I’ve endured
But could not see
Now I can see it
Watch my bruises
And hope that the pain
Inside my head
Will heal the same
My name is Lynsey, I'm 26 years old and I am a survivor of acquaintence rape. I've written my story on a separate post but wanted to send a message to offer my support to anyone who needs someone to listen.
Since the attack I have suffered from PTSD and have self-harmed, as well as developing depression and Bulimia. I also have a beautiful 5 year old son, who was conceived during the rape. I would welcome the chance to speak with other survivors, and especially anyone who has gone through similar experiences.
Take care of yourselves, you deserve it!
I was stalked, beaten and raped over a period of 2 months when I was 19 years old by a man I thought I could trust; an ex-boyfriend. My work colleagues/friends came with me to the police and he was arrested, however there wasn`t enough evidence to prosecute him. There was plenty of evidence that I had been raped, but nothing to prove it was him.
Two months later I found out I was pregnant as a result. The only way to prove it was him would have been to have a DNA test done on my baby, but that would have meant that he could have applied for access or even custody, and I couldn`t bear that. I couldn`t put myself or my baby in that kind of danger.
I dropped the charges and he never found out I was pregnant. I now have a beautiful, perfect, 4 1/2 year old son and I am so proud of him. I would rather have gone through all of that just to have my baby than erase the ordeal and not have my son.
It is very difficult being a single mother, having literally no support from a father figure and being still too afraid of men to enter into a relationship and eventually find a man to be a dad to my son. I`m praying that one day it will happen for me.
I`ve spent the last 5 years worrying about what I`m going to tell him when he asks why he hasn`t got a daddy like all of the other children at school. I genuinely don`t know what to say.
I`ve read too many posts from victims/survivors on support sites where the victims blame themselves for what happened to them. Please don`t blame yourself. You did not cause this to happen and you certainly did not deserve it. Nor did I.