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I can’t move on from being raped 15 years ago

(34 Posts)
Ellalovescake Sun 07-Apr-19 01:04:33

I’m sorry I’ve posted this in mental health too and I realise that this is the wrong place but I really wasn’t sure where to put it and I’m feeling really awful tonight and was just wondering if anyone’s awake as it’s pretty quiet over there. I was raped 15 years ago (February 2004) when I was 14 and as a result of this my mental health has never been great ever since. The man who raped me died last year and I initially thought that it would bring me closure and allow me to move on but if anything it’s made things worse. I think about him all the time and still have nightmares about it. I have had so much therapy throughout the years and have taken so many antidepressants and sleeping tablets over the years as well as an antipsychotic drug last year. Nothing has helped me to move on. I have only had one long term relationship and even then I didn’t have sex until 3 years into it and I often went through periods where I cried constantly about it. I tried to report it soon after it happened to my school but I went to a very rural school and it was all a bit brushed under the carpet. I genuinely don’t know if I’ll ever be able to move on. I also have special needs (and was diagnosed with bipolar last year but that has been overturned by another psychiatrist) and the doctors that I’ve told have said it will make it much harder for me to process what has happened. Every time I look at a photo in the last 15 years of when I was happy I always think to myself that it’s in the background and even when I’ve been at my most happiest moments it’s still hung over me. Does anybody know how you move forward from this? Thank you x

BadPennyNoBiscuit Sun 07-Apr-19 01:06:16

flowers
You don't mention Rape Crisis. Have you had any counselling with them? Sometimes a specialist service is better than a general one.

Ellalovescake Sun 07-Apr-19 01:09:55

Thank you so much for your reply, I’ve spoken to the rape crisis helpline quite a few times but haven’t had counselling directly through them, I’ve had private specialist counselling before and it felt like it was helping but I still couldn’t shake the feelings of overwhelming sadness

BadPennyNoBiscuit Sun 07-Apr-19 01:13:54

Unfortunately we don't pass through the stages of grief in one neat pass, we can move back and forwards. Its understandable to be sad when you have been through something so traumatic.
How do you feel about having intensive counselling with Rape Crisis? Would you be willing to try it? Or an alternative would be CBT, that doesn't involve going through past events in any detail.

Intohellbutstayingstrong Sun 07-Apr-19 01:15:33

I would urge you to keep having counselling. I am so sorry you are feeling liker this. MY DD was raped so while I cannot fully understand what you are going through I have an inkling based on my DD. She has her bad days and I imagine this will continue but she gets regular counselling which is helping but I think it is a long process

Meandwinealone Sun 07-Apr-19 01:17:14

I would really think about putting this in relationships
It’s just the most sensitive area. Regardless of its title.
flowers to you. But I really think you’ll get much more help from people that can genuinely help you there

Ellalovescake Sun 07-Apr-19 01:18:18

Thank you for replying again, it is a very good idea- when I have spoken to them in the past it has only been if I have been particularly distressed and in desperate need of someone to calm me down. This might sound silly but how do I go about getting the counselling- do you think they’ll definitely have counsellors in my area? Thank you again, I really appreciate it

Ifigotherewillbedouble Sun 07-Apr-19 01:20:14

I just wanted to say hello and say how sorry I am that you are feeling this way. I agee that specialist counselling would be worth considering. Were you supported by anyone at the time? What supports do you have around you now?

Ellalovescake Sun 07-Apr-19 01:20:51

@intohellbutatayingstrong I’m really sorry to hear about your daughter. I hope she’s able to come to terms with it and be happy. My mum is also very encouraging of me to continue counselling

BadPennyNoBiscuit Sun 07-Apr-19 01:21:42

Its easier if you live in a city or large town, if you are rural they might not have someone close to you. Give them a ring in the morning.

0808 802 9999
Open between 12:00 -14:30 and 19:00 - 21:30 every day of the year.

Find your nearest centre;
rapecrisis.org.uk/get-help/find-a-rape-crisis-centre

Info;
rapecrisis.org.uk/get-help/not-sure-where-to-start/it-happened-some-time-ago/

Meandwinealone Sun 07-Apr-19 01:23:47

And also don’t blame yourself for not neatly dealing with it. We all deal with things (I would say grief) in different ways and in different time frames. There is no magic strategy.

If you can afford it I would look up specific therapist in this area. Honestly it will be worth the money

BadPennyNoBiscuit Sun 07-Apr-19 01:24:36

Also, I don't know if you are aware, but recently MH services have realised that complex PTSD can be mistakenly diagnosed as bipolar disorder. If you get the right treatment for PTSD it will help.

Ellalovescake Sun 07-Apr-19 01:27:17

@ifigotherewillbedouble thank you for your reply- I wasn’t particularly well supported at the time, my mum has always been incredibly supportive and has tried to help me in every way that she can- the child protection officer at school back then was quite keen for me not to go to the police about it (the man who did it had nothing to do with the school) as I didn’t really have any evidence that it had happened. Only my mum, my best friend from school and my ex partner know about it now

Ellalovescake Sun 07-Apr-19 01:28:39

@meandwinealone thank you, I will post it in there too

Marinated Sun 07-Apr-19 01:30:20

I'm so sorry for what has happened to you. I was abused as a child, and it still impacts today. The worst part from me (apart from the nightmares) was feeling like I was knocked out and away from the person I could have and should have been; if only he hadn't come in to my life. I really found intensive CBT useful. It helped me reframe it into - 'I get to decide how I'm defined.' He doesn't. The people that minimised it don't. It will always be a part of me, but it will not be the sum of me.
Please be gentle with yourself. You are having a very normal reaction to a very fucked up situation - but do look into Rape crisis and obtaining specialist counselling. Wishing you a lot of love and strength.

BadPennyNoBiscuit Sun 07-Apr-19 01:31:33

I don't know how you feel about this, but its possible to report it as a historical event. The police can then check to see if there have been any other reports about the same person.

Ellalovescake Sun 07-Apr-19 01:36:23

@badpennynobiscuit my ex partner suggested reporting it as a historical event a few years ago but I always felt that I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to know if there were other girls or just me. I made a lot of mistakes as I got myself into situations where it was just me and him and i hope other girls may have been wiser than me

Ellalovescake Sun 07-Apr-19 01:40:15

@marinated I’m really sorry to hear you were abused as a child. The thing you say about wondering what your life could have been if it hadn’t of happened really strikes a chord with me. It does feel like it’s changed the events of my life completely. I worry that it’s all I will be able to think about for the rest of my life

Meandwinealone Sun 07-Apr-19 01:47:44

Oh totally what someone says about ptsd
It’s really a good idea to look into that.

Meandwinealone Sun 07-Apr-19 01:48:53

I would seriously think about what @BadPennyNoBiscuit has said. It sounds very useful

Generalchaos Sun 07-Apr-19 02:46:22

I was abducted and raped when I was a bit younger than you were. I have always felt that same sense that nothing was ever the same again. My parents didn’t deal with it at all well but I think they just didn’t know how to cope/ product of their generation. Even now, 40 years later, things can trigger that overwhelming sense of grief and loss. I can’t offer any wisdom OP but at my lowest I realised that I had to accept that I was never going to be the same, never going to feel or react like other people did about stuff, and that some stuff was always going to scare me more than other people. I guess I just learned to be kind to myself and let myself off the hook and not try to be ‘normal’ in my head any more. I also decided to be grateful that he let me live because it was definitely a situation where it could have gone either way.
I agree with the poster above that putting a name to what happened to you, and a name to yr feelings helps sometimes to get it back in its box. Allow yourself to grieve. Know that you are not alone.
Would talking about your experience in a group therapy session help? For me realizing how many other people, men and women, had gone through something similar, helped. Many refugees that walked across Europe or Africa in the last few years to arrive here has been raped at least once as its often part of the price of the journey.

Marshmallow91 Sun 07-Apr-19 04:17:41

I wish I could offer some more help, but this is my story.

I was raped at age 12 which triggered a complete mental breakdown. Since I have attempted suicide on more than a few occasions. I have had extensive intense therapy and have dysthemia, anxiety, and emotionally unstable personality disorder.

I'm now 27 and still find myself thinking about him (he was 45 at the time)
I never told my parents, who were too wrapped up in their own lives getting divorced etc and when I finally told the police at age 21 I felt like I wasn't believed. I still harbor enormous guilt that I went back to see this man a second time, where the same thing happened, but worse. (I had put an ad in the paper to earn extra pocket money cleaning, making teas etc)

This set in motion a lifetime of distrust in men, a hatred for myself and spending my teens and early adulthood sleeping around because I had been quickly conditioned that it was the only way to get any attention from adults.

I only realised this after 10+ years of therapy, and going on to study psychology actually helped me most of all. It helped me talk through my feelings in my head and begin to make progress in my life.

I still feel like that little girl in a lot of ways and I'm still a long way away from "better" but for me, understanding why I was feeling the way I did helped me through certain situations and got me through some bad times.

You are stronger than you give yourself credit. You are still here and you're a survivor.

Sending love OP, and if you ever want to talk, I'm here. I really really mean that. flowers

Ellalovescake Sun 07-Apr-19 04:50:38

Thank you all so much for your replies, sorry I haven't replied, I fell asleep. @marshmallow91 thank you for telling your story, I'm so sorry to hear what you've been through. I can't even begin to imagine going through it twice. I get what you mean about distrusting men, i often thought that because I could eventually trust my ex partner that I must be further on in the healing process than I thought.

Ellalovescake Sun 07-Apr-19 05:05:45

@generalchaos I'm so sorry to hear what happened to you. I had group therapy about 2 years ago- it was an all female group and they had all been through a lot more than I had but I appeared to be coping the worst out of the group! They were all able to analyse the things that had happened to them and understand how it had impacted their lives and they could identify ways to help themselves. During the therapy I constantly looked to others for reassurance that I was doing ok and that things would get better- I dont think at that point I was ready to explore my feelings around other people. however, group therapy is definitely something that I would do again as I am a few years further down the line and perhaps able to discuss things more.

Ellalovescake Sun 07-Apr-19 05:09:29

@meandwinealone @badpennynobiscuit thank you for the suggestion about PTSD, I hadn't thought of that- every time I've discussed my behaviours with psychiatrists they've linked it to current diagnoses but I think it would definitely be worth exploring- I will ask my psychiatrist next year time I see her

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