this is a bit of a twisted 'dilemma'. its not even a dilemma, its a bit of nothing; but its eating me up....
i was raped 20 years ago. i only told someone 9 months ago-i phoned rape crisis after posting on here and realising 1) i was raped and 2) it has massively affected my life
im on a waiting list for counselling and have told 2 close friends
I want to tell another friend BECAUSE a mutual friend of ours was raped approximately 10 years ago, and I reacted really weirdly at the time, said some inappropriate and cold things which were out of character for me. i cant imagine what they thought/said about me at the time
ive lost contact with the friend who was raped but am still close to the friend i want to tell, although i dont see him that often. i only want to tell him so he doesnt think i am a jerk for the way i reacted for ever more. But, i mean, whats the point really? its just going to make him uncomfortable isnt it? it was so longago that it happened. i dont see him often so I dont want a whole visit to be tainted by this lovely news i want to give him
i cant work out if my motivation for wanting to tell him is utterly selfish and stupid and i should just let it lie???
another thing i will never forgive myself for...about 15 years ago, another friend disclosed to me that he had been sexually assualted as a young teenager; we were drunk when he told me and i used that as an excuse to brush it aside; i completely didnt acknowledge the news as important and made sure he didnt talk about it anymore I feel sick with myself about that
Sometimes disclosing to people, can be cathartic. It can help. Sometimes it doesn't. Maybe you need to work out if telling him is about having him feel a certain way (better about your behaviour with the other friend) or whether you want him to know because he is your friend.
Do you think you could wait until your counselling and it could be one of the things you work through with the counselor?
Sorry this happened to you and I hope you work out what is best for you.
I imagine, because the experience was so traumatic for you, that you didn't feel able to offer support to your friend who was in a similar situation ten years ago. Don't beat yourself up about it now; a lot of time has passed.
IMHO you would benefit more from some independent counselling rather than talking to someone you don't see that often. A counsellor might help you make sense of all this and how it has affected your empathy towards the friends who were raped/assaulted.
i dont see her - to tell her though...so its not like i will be telling anything to amke other people feel better...its only to relieve my guilt at my crap behaviour. Can i use rape as an excuse for being crap?
my sister was raped also...i managed empathy for her ...that was shortly before the friend who i had no empathy for....i dunno, maybe i was all out of rape empathy? maybe i was freaking out that so many people get raped??
I think it can be hard to find empathy if you are traumatised. It also means that you may well try and avoid the topic in others, if you don't want to let them know about what you have also been through. I would tell your friend, if you want to. He will understand you better and that can only be a good thing. You could also tell your other friend why you were less than sympathetic about his assault. You sound very brave and a thoughtful kind friend, so you are likely to have good friends who would want to support you if they can.
I think this is all part of thinking about all the issues around what happened to you. There is too much to think about all at once. All of these interactions with your friends happened a long time ago. Because you are now acknowledging your rape, you are having to think about all the consequences over decades. That is too much for anyone to cope with all at once. Self care, then counselling, then you can process your friends' stuff.
Do you think you are thinking about your friends to stop thinking about your own stuff?
You are giving yourself a really hard time. Remember, the friends who have been sexually assaulted or raped may also have had experiences where they behaved the same way as you. Would you think they should be feeling rotten about it? Of course not.
SPsfanjos thanks for sharing that, sorry for what happened; but it actually is really reassuring to me to hear that you reacted in a similar way...i think i felt something close to panic at having to discuss someones rape/assault, and just wanted to change the subject as soon as possible Felt a bit cornered, if that makes sense
When you next see the friend you are still in contact with, as you are close, then yes it is an opportunity to put something right by explaining your reaction all that time ago. It won't be as memorable to him as it is to you - but it is a chance to ask for a little understanding and support. Stating the facts to a trusted friend and receiving a kind and quiet response (without big analysis) can be therapeutic. Save the long version for the counsellor.