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If you've been raped - how did you come to terms with it? (possibly some upsetting details sorry)

(12 Posts)
SaltOnTheWind Sat 08-Nov-14 18:39:50

I left my husband last year. I have always known that he was emotionally and financially abusive but it's only just dawned on me that he was sexually abusive as well.

A few weeks ago I chatting to a friend. I mentioned that my sex life with ex had often been rubbish. She asked how and I said that when I didn't want to have sex he would sometimes carry on anyway. She said 'so he raped you?'. It was a lightbulb moment because, oh shit, he did didn't he?

I was married for 10 years. This happened dozens of times and I can't get my head around it. I have no idea how to deal with this. I've had some flashbacks. I remember lying in the dark crying while he had sex with me. I remember it hurting and trying not to make a noise because I knew he would be angry. I remember hobbling to the bathroom afterwards to clean myself up and just staring at my tear streaked face in the mirror for ages.

I don't understand how I can not have realised that what he was doing was rape. We also sometimes had consensual sex which I enjoyed. I can't get my head around that either.

If you've been the victim of a sexual assault, how did you come to terms with it? Do you think some form of therapy is always necessary? I just don't know how to even begin to process this. I already know I will not be reporting to the police. I cannot remember all the details of specific incidents and have no idea of the dates they occurred. I know I would not make a good witness and I simply can't face it.

I don't particularly want to see my GP about this. Is there anywhere else I could access counseling? Or is this better managed by myself? I'm not a wreak all the time and am doing OK with the DCs and at work. It's only sometimes that it hits me again and then I feel shaky and tearful for a bit.

GinAndSonic Sat 08-Nov-14 18:43:51

Oh Salt im so sorry, will try to write a longer answer in a moment but have a look at rape crisis website, and womens aid / freedom programme or local equivilent.

GinAndSonic Sat 08-Nov-14 18:50:33

I was in an abusive marriage, and the sexual abuse was the worst part for me. Before my marriage, as a teen, i was raped by my then boyfriend. Its been about 10 years since my first rape. I sort of coped well with my first rape, although it was violent and horrific, because i sort of buried it, but the abuse in my marriage brought the trauma out i think. I left my marriage last year, and im now having rape counselling with rape crisis. They gave me a good leaflet about flashbacks, i think it might be available to download on the website. I also recently read a book called "the courage to be me", its available to read for free online.
I dont know how to word what i want to say, so i will just think for a bit.

Rinkydinkypink Sat 08-Nov-14 18:52:20

Firstly you recognising what happened can be both devastating but the best way forward.

It sounds like you had a horrible time with him and he does sound horribly abusive.

Rape crisis is the place to go. They are well trained, supportive and understand!

I'm so very sorry this happened to you salt. I think your an incredibly brave woman to have gone through what you did. You have nothing to be ashamed of, you've done nothing wrong and this should never of happened to you.

There is a future for you. It doesn't have to be defined by your past and your future can be ok.

I wish you luck, courage and I have a lot of admiration for you. I hope one day you can walk forward with your head held high. thanks

melb14 Sat 08-Nov-14 18:54:15

Don't give yourself a hard time, salt, for any of the huge number of confused emotions you're no doubt feeling. It's not a bad thing to have enjoyed consensual sex with him, by the way, just to clear that up - the bad thing is him then having sex without your consent at any point. Don't worry. Take your feelings one step at a time. And no-one is going to tell you to go to the police against your will - you should do nothing against your will - that's why rape is so fundamentally wrong. So. Don't worry about how confused you're feeling at the moment. GinandSonic is right; have a look at the Women's Aid website - www.womensaid.org.uk/landing_page.asp?section=000100010018§ionTitle=Contact+Us - this is the phone number. Just call them. They will know exactly what do to help you, and will not make you do anything at all you don't want to. The important thing right now is to make you feel better. That's all. Sending huge hug. You don't need to do this by yourself. OK? smile smile smile flowers

Joysmum Sat 08-Nov-14 19:40:43

I haven't sad

For years I minimised, I wasn't raped he was just sexually selfish. I didn't want to be a victim, didn't like the thought if how weak that I thought that would make me.

Then I realised it was rape. I've tried to deal with it by myself for years and then when I couldn't cope, I confided in my DH who thought he was doing the tight thing by not bringing it up, but I really needed to talk.

It put strain on him because he couldn't give me the support I needed. I was always used to him being able to make everything right and was upset and angry he couldn't.

Eventually he suggested I seek professional help, it was a relief to both of us.

I'm still struggling though, more from the guilt of not reporting. I've always tried to make up for that and it's never going to be enough.

In the meantime I go through cycles of punishing myself, not feeling worthy, guilt etc.

For me, I believe I'd have less to work through if I had sought help sooner, rather than only when I couldn't cope.

AnyFucker Sat 08-Nov-14 19:44:21

these people will help

Fallandfly Sat 08-Nov-14 20:02:08

There isn't a right way to deal with it. Acknowledging it is the first step. I spent years suppressing it and when I finally told someone earlier this year the relief was enough for a while. I have flashbacks as well so I realise I haven't processed it. I don't have an answer, I looked at rape crisis and their website is good but I'm not ready to actually discuss. Go at your own pace. Don't feel you have to 'do' anything if you are not comfortable with it. It wasn't your fault, be kind to yourself flowers

SaltOnTheWind Sat 08-Nov-14 20:25:18

Thank you everyone. I have looked at the Rape Crisis and Women's Aid websites that posters linked to. I'm not sure I'm strong enough to phone them yet though. I really can't imagine talking about it yet. It simultaneously feels unreal and very raw.

flowers for the others who have also had horrible experiences. Thank you for posting - it does help to know I'm not alone.

AnyFucker Sat 08-Nov-14 20:56:02

That's ok

just read around until (if ever) you feel ready to speak to a professional

just understand this : it was not ever your fault

RobbStarksBitch Sun 09-Nov-14 00:09:04

I'm sorry I don't have any advice.

Just wanted to offer some hand holding and to let you know that I also have experienced similar to you. My ex p and father of my eldest acted the same was as your exh. I didn't realise it was rape until after the relationship and I have only ever told one person about it, my fiancé. It still doesn't feel real. I feel like I'm over reacting about everything. I wish I could speak to others about it but I fear they wouldn't understand.

campervandreams Sun 09-Nov-14 00:40:20

I think different people deal with it in different ways. I was also raped by my ex (although in different circumstances, I definitely was aware at the time what was going on). I did report it to police at the time, which in my case I think actually helped as it gave me a chance to describe what had happened rather than bottling it up. It never went to court due to lack of evidence though (which is very common).

I have never had specific counselling for it, although I've had therapy for other issues. Gradually, with time, I've come to terms with it (the incident was 15 years ago now) and have gone on to have good sexual experiences, enjoyed relationships both casual and more serious, and now I'm happily married. It hasn't had a lasting impact on how I deal with relationships and sex and I have to admit I don't think about it much at all these days.

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