Rape is a trauma that lasts with you a lifetime.
This is her story:
About a year ago, my best friend was really into this older guy, and I didn't want to be around him; he gave me the creeps. But she always said, "Come on! I don't want to go alone," so I'd give in and hang out with them.
She'd always been a horrible friend, but I suppose I didn't care (don't worry, because thanks to my current wonderfully supportive, long- term boyfriend, I've since gotten her out of my life.)
She'd accused me of wanting him, which, for some reason, made me want to prove her right. He suggested, through text, that we have sex. I thought, "Hell, she deserves it," and went with it, even though I knew it was wrong.
He asked to hang out with me alone, and I said "sure," but to make it abundantly clear that I didn't want to have sex, I followed that up with, "I DON'T want to have sex with you."
He replied, "Okay, I don't have sex on Sundays anyway; it's a sin."
I'm so stupid - why would I believe such a bullshit excuse? I don't know, I'm young and naive.
We were watching the movie Saw, just as friends, so I wasn't expecting, or hoping for anything sexual. He was.
He started kissing me. I was semi-unsure of what was going on, so I went with it for a moment. Then, he rolled on top of me and started to unbutton my pants.
I was confused.
I pushed up on his chest and asked as quietly and calmly as I could, "What are you doing?" He ignored me. I must have asked at least five more times getting more and more anxious when he didn't reply.
Things got a little blurry - after he put on a condom, I accepted what was about to happen.
I knew no one else was home and I was afraid to run home and telling my parents because I didn't want to get in trouble. So I just laid there with my arms at my sides; I didn't really know what else I could do.
I thought I was okay. I really did.
I felt guilty and for a while I convinced myself that we'd just had sex. Soon, though, I began to feel ashamed and disgusted. The tears came and I realized, I had been raped, violated, assaulted.
After I realized I'd been raped, I went into a very deep depression.
I managed to keep both the depression and the rape to myself, though I came clean to my friend. I was happy that she believed me, because she's the type who thinks people get what they deserve. Soon, though, she began to use the rape against me in arguments. That hurt. A lot.
I told my dad about the rape.
We talked about the rape and decided together not to report it to the police as my rapist had just been arrested for raping and statutory raping a number of girls, so he was in jail for over twenty years.
I became suicidal and I didn't believe it had anything to do with the rape
I went to the psychiatric hospital for a five day stay. Now that I understand the stages of grief after a rape: depression, regret, anger, and guilt you go through it makes sense.
I'm currently working through the guilt stage following the rape. I know logically that the rape wasn't my fault; that he should have taken no for an answer the first time. But still, I feel I need to go back and change the past; like it was all my fault.
I was raped.
But I have a voice and I intend to use it to help myself and anyone else who has been through a rape.
Have you survived a rape? How did you cope?
Traumatic injuries can cause mental stress that can make it hard to heal physically and emotionally.
This is her story.
I feel useless. Worthless.
On January 30th, I hydroplaned off a country road and into a tree at nearly 50mph. I'm a damn good driver, but when your brakes are so coated with water they refuse to work at all, there's just not much you can do but pray and say oh shit when you realize you won't miss that thing hurtling toward you at high speed.
I was very lucky.
I got out of it with only two broken bones and a crapton of bruises. Unfortunately, one of those broken bones was my tibia. I had my foot so hard on the brake when I hit that I managed to break the very bottom of my tibia vertically.
Imagine pulling apart string cheese but stopping just short of the middle, and that's basically my bone. Split right up the middle from where my ankle joint is almost halfway up. Originally, they thought I'd need surgery. I avoided that, thank god. Lucky again. So why do I feel so bad?
Because I've become a burden.
No, the accident wasn't my fault, no I didn't ask for it. But the results are the same. My poor girlfriend is left to care not only for me, but our three young girls, one dog, three cats, three bedroom home, and all the shit that comes along with all of those things. Sometimes literal shit.
I cannot walk.
I cannot put our children to bed.
I cannot do most of the daily/weekly household cleaning.
She is left with all of it.
I watch her struggle knowing I cannot help, and knowing that 95% of what she does cannot be put off or ignored entirely. It has to be done, so she has to do it. I've priced out hiring a maid service to help her while I'm down and out -- our budget just can't stretch that far.
Doing so much for such a prolonged time is killing her body. She goes to bed in more pain each night. I can't even hold her while she cries at being overwhelmed, because between my ribs being so severely bruised and aching and having a club of a cast attached to me, it's just plain impossible to find a position that won't hurt one of us. She goes to sleep at night and I cry. If I cry when she can see me I only add to her stress.
I feel useless.
I'm a burden.
And I can't fix it.
Dear Former Neighbors from that one apartment complex in Kansas City circa 1999,
You probably don't remember me. At least I hope you don't remember me. Then I'll just have to carry around more guilt about this little incident. I'm hoping by apologizing on the Internet I'll be able to get rid of some of that guilt.
I should've apologized at the time, or at least made you cookies. But I'm not brave like Al Roker. It's very hard for me to discuss my poop issues with anyone, whether on national TV like Al or face-to-face like I would have had to back then.
Also, my story is a little bit more embarrassing.
I have ulcerative colitis. And this one time? When I was living at that complex you lived in? I had a flare. Flares cause really uncontrollable diarrhea, in case you weren't aware.
I was driving home from work and I got stuck in horrible traffic on I-35. You can probably guess what happened.
I was wearing tights, neighbor. Tights are not very absorbent, FYI. It was horrible. Painful and truly disgusting. All I wanted to do was get home.
But of course, when I pulled into the parking lot, I had no idea how to get from my car into the building. I tried pulling the tights off, but that caused other problems. And i didn't have a garbage bag in the car anyway. I didn't even have any hand sanitizer.
So I ran for it.
Like I said, tights aren't very absorbent.
I did not mean to stain the hallway carpet. After scrubbing myself and stuffing the entire outfit into a garbage bag, I did try to clean the carpet. But not for very long, because I didn't want anyone to see me.
People talked about the hallway smell for several days. I had managed to make the stain not so noticeable, but using incense next to my door and spraying Febreeze every time I went out did nothing about the smell.
I'm sorry neighbors. I know the smell was pretty awful. But at least it didn't get into your apartments, right? And management replaced the carpet, right?
You probably don't even remember this incident. I hope. Still, I apologize anyway.
Besides, it's not like I vomited because I was drunk like I did in that other complex I lived in during college.
I guess I have another letter to write.
Such a simple word with such a variety of implications, not a one of them simple.
This month, the Band is focusing upon recovery- from anything. Part of getting through the traumas, the addictions, the mental illnesses is to focus on the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel and focus upon new coping mechanisms, new ways of life, and recovery.
So, The Band, how are YOU recovering? What are you recovering from? How are some ways you cope while recovering?
Part of my recovery and healing has been helping others. I suppose every person who reads, writes, volunteers and comments here on Band Back Together is familiar with this concept as that's what we're doing every day.
An extremist, I've taken it a step further and made it my occupation, so I'm blessed enough to take a paycheck home for helping others.
I've been in full-time ministry for six years, and a chaplain for the past four. Mostly, that means I seek God with other people, listen to their stories, as we all try to heal together with His/Her help.
I want to share one of those stories here:
She was a fragile arm and peeking eyes, a nest of hair on her pillow.
"I'm Joannie, I'm a chaplain, here. Remember me?" I said, as she nodded and wiped tears from her eyes. The slight arm brushed the tangled hair a bit and tears spilled. I sat down close to her and she said, "I'm so scared."
"I would be scared, too. Right now, they are just testing for cancer, they don't know it's cancer yet - but I would be scared, too," I said.
"I feel like a little girl," she sobbed.
I smoothed her sweaty hair back from her face. I felt so helpless; wordless.
"It's okay to be scared. It's a scary thing to hear," I said.
"I did this to myself," she cried. "I'm so scared that God is mad at me. When I was younger... when I was younger, I took a page of the Bible and used it to roll a ... cigarette with."
"Oh, honey," I laughed as I took her hand, "He's a big God. He can handle that one."
"I wasn't as good a person as I should have been, you know?" she said through tears.
"I do know, because no one is. He's the Creator, He's the only perfect One. He loves us anyway and forgives us for all of these things."
"I just think that if I have cancer it's because of what I done to myself, because I wasn't a good person," she said crying and crying.
Fiercely, I said, "That is not true. You listen to me. Bad things happen to good people. Good things happen to bad people. Life is a series of ups and downs, light and dark, joys and sufferings. You did not do this to yourself. This just happened."
She held my eyes with hers, held my hand with hers and we prayed. We prayed that He would shower His love on her and that she would feel His forgiveness and mercy. We prayed against cancer, we prayed for healing and for peace and for comfort.
"I love you," she said to me and my eyes opened with tears of their own. "I love you and I don't even know you," she said.
"I love you, too," I said as I cried with her.
I spend my days praying for the sick, praying for healing, praying for their comfort, for their strength, for God's peace to infiltrate their hearts, for doctors and nurses, for family member's courage.
At bedsides, I seek God as one who should know God. I seek Him or Her as urgently and desperately as those for whom I pray. I speak as one who knows, but I seek humbly as one who doesn't. I speak of the light as one who lives in it, but I live as one who can see it only in the darkness; one who has hope.
In this journey, I am grateful that my Creator has given me these opportunities to serve as I seek, to serve my brothers and sisters who seek alongside me.
I am grateful that as we seek, we know we are not alone.
1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse.
This is her story:
Awhile back, I was reading and re-reading some posts on the Overcoming Sexual Abuse Facebook page.
One commenter spoke about later, when her abuser abused someone else, this brought on nightmares and a sense of survivor's guilt as she hadn't reported her abuser thus preventing others from being hurt by her abuser.
This was my response to her:
...it was when I found out my stepfather/father abused his girlfriend’s daughter that I found myself dealing with a whole new wave of issues, including a newly sharpened sense of guilt for not reporting him and saving her from him.
Although the girlfriend knew about his history of molestation, and I'd told her at one point that “I’d forgiven and had moved on” … (whatever that meant to me at that time) … which was more like wishful thinking or denial or dissociation … or something I have no words for.
I realize at the same time that this guilt is counterproductive to my own healing. Still, I have this fantasy of talking to the daughter someday. I see her in my mind’s eye as angry with me. I accept her anger as I've felt it toward others who played a part in enabling my own abuse.
From what I have been told, hers was an isolated few incidents - mine went on for years and years and years (not to belittle her experience at all).
I suppose that, in a way, she had fewer people who had the opportunity to enable her abuse, and I am certainly one of those people that made a decision in my life that later affected hers.
BUT THE GOOD NEWS IS - she TOLD someone about the abuse quickly and he’s in prison!
That’s the other part of my fantasy - I want to THANK HER for her courage!
Do those of you who've been abused have fantasies about what you'd tell someone who'd also been abused by the same person?
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