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The Repercussions of Sexual Assault: Who Am I Fighting Here?

Hi. I'm MoreThanFun, a name I chose to remind myself of my own value. I'm going to tell my story here, even though it's a short one, and ask only for a quick read and, if you have the time, a word of solidarity or advice.

*trigger warning*

When I was in freshman year of high school, I started going to a therapist for the first time. I was having panic attacks (very subtle but panic nonetheless) whenever I was alone with a boy who was interested in me. It became worse if we were dating and I was unable to comfortably touch anyone in a romantic setting at all.

By Junior year, I had a boyfriend who wanted to "help me" with my anxiety. He was pushy and I loved him. One Halloween, he laid on top of me and effectively held me down so that he could kiss me because I was expressing discomfort. He's since apologized for this event but we don't speak otherwise.

I had a messy series of relationship issues and fell into depression very seriously for the first time during my senior year. I had little regard for myself.

One night, I went over to a place with two guy friends to smoke and one of them was able to frustrate me and his roommate into smoking too much until the roommate fell asleep. So did I.

He woke me up by groping me - it took him three separate pretty serious moves to get any response whatsoever - and then took me to a trailer nearby. He blatantly used me for sex during which I laid dormant until he put his fingers around my throat. I went down on him so that he wouldn't have the proper angle to choke me. He gave me scratches and hickies that interfered with my work, not to mention an awful case of strep threat.

The girl who had introduced me to these guys had a crush on him. She told everyone that he was her boyfriend and I had seduced him. I had so much self blame that I didn't bother arguing until it was too late.

I thought that would go away.

Like a bad hookup.

But I have to be sober around the men in my life, or I start to experience panic. Once, I was left alone in a trailer at a music festival and when my friends returned, I was practically climbing the wall, unable to breathe, unable to see.

Sometimes, when I feel threatened by male hands, I dissociate completely. Last week, my significant other whom I've been with for over a year reached out to me while I was in the middle of a depressive episode and a panic attack, and I swatted their arm away before running from the room. I don't really remember that. But the way this has been framed by our roommates is "you abused your significant other, whether you meant to or not".

But I don't feel like it was me. They weren't hurt. They won't look at me or touch me and I'm in crisis about my sexuality because without any affirmation, all I have is self hate.

Please talk to me,

MoreThanFun

2 Replies
oldestnewest

It sounds to me like you're having a very normal reaction to an abnormal trauma in your life: sexual assault.

I'm so sorry that happened to you. It was a terrible thing and not your fault. You did nothing wrong. What happened to you is actually a crime. If you're in the US, it's a felony.

It's natural to have the responses you're having after a trauma like that. Your mind is trying to protect you from ever being assaulted again. It's going overboard to keep you safe.

If there's a Rape Crisis Center in your town, I recommend calling them as soon as posssible. Counselors are usually free there. They can help you without judgment or blame. If you can't find a center, go to the website rainn.org and call their toll-free number. They will help you.

Staying sober around men is probably a good idea. Most sexual assaults happen when alcohol is involved. It's okay to stay sober if that makes you feel safer. It's smart.

As for swatting your SO's hand, does that person know what happened to you and how much it affected you? If not, maybe they can go to the RC Center with you and learn. Your roommates should mind their own business. This is not about them.

Right now you need to feel as safe and supported as possible. I hope you will get help so you can learn how to stop hating yourself for something that is NOT your fault.

Sending you a big hug and wishes for comfort and better support.

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I completely agree with Windy. If you face this and talk to someone about it it can help you heal. I would apologize to your significant other and let them know why. I can see them being nervous about touching you since they don’t know how it may affect you. That’s good. Maybe you can make the first move until you can be more comfortable. I understand how you may not be. Try to remind yourself that you chose them. I know when we get in those states it’s hard to think and be rational. ITS NOT YOUR FAULT. Even with the influence of drugs or alcohol if you say no that’s rape! You were scared and didn’t know what to do. It’s okay! You are worth so much more and I wish I could take that pain away. Have you tried explaining to your friend that he raped you and you don’t want her to get hurt too? I’m so sorry this happened to you. You did not deserve it! My hope is that when you do find the one and take it slow you will enjoy when you get to be together. Much love!

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