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I think I was raped 16 years ago

(40 Posts)
chitofftheshovel Sat 14-Nov-15 22:34:32

The subject heading says a lot of it.
At the time I was 18 and was living/working in a city far away from where I'd been brought up. I went out with a colleague after work on a Friday and woke up in my own bed the next day around 2pm - I recollect that as I was very very late for my overtime shift on the Saturday. I have hazy recollection of the actual night. Partially due to it being a long time ago and partially because I was very drunk.
I think my colleague and I met some blokes, paired off. I took one back to my flat to get changed. (I can picture the blue checked dungarees I changed into) Nothing happened between us. Went to a night club with him. At some point we argued, I'm pretty sure I'd lent him money and he was refusing to give it back.
I was chucked out by the bouncers.
Hazy becomes clear at this one point. Bouncers would not listen to me. I'm on the street outside of the club and a car pulls up. Occupant asks if I'm ok and suggests I go with him. Which I did.
Hazy memory again. Only one memory is playing pool in this guy's house, it's like looking down on myself. I can see a translucent drink in my hand and me trying to keep the pool table between us. And then nothing for 12ish hours. No idea how I got back to the place I was living at the time. Nothing. But I did know I'd had sex. And I had 50 quid in my pocket.
I am almost certain it was not consensual. But obviously can't be 100% on that. At the time I buried it, totally. I was working in that city to go travelling, which I did for over a year and the incident didn't come to mind.
Roll on 16 years and I'm in bed with a newish bloke, someone I trust implicitly and have known for some time. Very drunk and, apparently mid sex stopped, rolled away and said "I'm not a victim". But would not say anymore.
So, it reared its ugly head in a way that made my bloke pretty weirded out, understandably.
I just don't know where to go from here. Sorry it's been long, just wanted to get all the facts, as I recall them, in.
Any ideas?

Pandora97 Sat 14-Nov-15 23:59:27

I do think you were raped. It certainly sounds like you were extremely drunk, to the point you wouldn't have been able to consent to sex. I think these kind of things can come back to haunt you years later and most people's instincts are spot on. If you're troubled by something, it's usually because you know deep down that what happened was wrong.

Have you spoken to your partner about it at all? Hope you're doing okay. flowers

chitofftheshovel Sun 15-Nov-15 00:35:20

Just ouch. It hurts at the mo. Hurts more cos it was my own doing. Partner is only new but have spoken to him a fair bit about it. Thank you. X

AcrossthePond55 Sun 15-Nov-15 00:41:29

If you were too drunk to understand and give consent, and it sounds like you were, then you were raped. I'm so sorry.

AcrossthePond55 Sun 15-Nov-15 02:44:48

It was not your doing. Please don't blame yourself. You were taken advantage of by someone in a terrible away. It was not your fault. A decent fellow would have left you alone.

SkyWasMadeOfAmethyst Sun 15-Nov-15 03:49:49

I think speaking to a sexual assault counsellor would help you. I experienced something similar and it followed me around for years and really messed me up. There's a group called The Havens in London you could try. I am sorry this happened to you. It is not your fault, and it isn't too late to heal.

SkyWasMadeOfAmethyst Sun 15-Nov-15 03:51:27

the havens if you aren't in London they might be able to refer you to a service in your area.

diggerdigsdogs Sun 15-Nov-15 04:04:16

Just flowers

I believe you.

janaus Sun 15-Nov-15 04:51:45

Hypnotherapy might help too. I hope you are soon back on track. And do not blame yourself. Take time to heal.

ppandj Sun 15-Nov-15 07:30:23

None of this was/is your fault op. thanks
I think talking to a professional could be really beneficial for you. Hypnotherapy for analysis could be useful but I would caution that it can be quite an emotional experience so I think accessing some counselling first would be better. I wish you all the best and am so sorry x

Lovelydiscusfish Sun 15-Nov-15 08:47:13

It was not your doing. Women have the right to get drunk, to go out, to meet people etc, without fear of rape. This was in no way your fault.
Speaking to Rape Crisis may be a good starting point? A good Rape Crisis volunteer will be supportive and will help you talk through what, if anything, you want to do next, in terms of counselling or therapy, telling people etc.
So sorry that this happened to you.

Wishful80sMontage Sun 15-Nov-15 08:51:35

Please OP- this was not your own doing. I think talking to someone about what happened to you would help. It might be painful to work through some things but honestly I had counselling for health issues and it really helped me organise my thoughts and how I felt about the situation which meant I could be in control of it to some extent.
Wishing you the best OP x

Cleansheetsandbedding Sun 15-Nov-15 09:05:26

Op you are welcome to PM me and have a chat if you like as the same has happened to me possibly twice. I've done th acting weirdly/strange in bed too

I've had counciling but to be honest with all the other baggage I was carrying (that I didn't even realise) it didn't even scratch the surface. The drinking excessively was a symptom of other issues I was burying

I've had to massively cut my drinking back as my mind can not cope and I could easily switch back to black out/scared/confused mode.

Be kind to yourself. It doesn't define who you are flowers

Emmmder2015 Sun 15-Nov-15 09:40:10

Definitely not your fault. Definitely.

No matter where you were, what you were doing (or wearing), you can't make someone rape you.

It's a horrible realisation when it comes, but now it's here don't feel guilt or shame for someone else's actions.

Get any help you need (and most people do, so that's normal) and don't stop reaching out for it until you know it's the right help for you.


chitofftheshovel Sun 15-Nov-15 10:07:44

Thank you all.
I do definitely need to get some counselling, I hadn't even thought of hypnotherapy.
Unfortunately I am in the place where I believe it was my fault. My analogy is: if I climb scaffolding whilst drunk and fall off its my fault for climbing the scaffolding in the first place, especially as its not something I would do sober. I know that that is ridiculous, as the scaffolding is an inanimate object. But it is how I feel. I mean no disrespect to others who have had the same/similar experiences.
Yet I'm a feminist and strongly believe that women should have the right to walk/do as they please without fear.
The incident has not defined my life, it was buried almost immediately. And I'm actually the happiest I've been for a decade. But I guess it's the time to get help to bury it properly.

Mandatorymongoose Sun 15-Nov-15 10:23:52

You didn't fall off the scaffolding. Someone pushed you off, that has nothing to do with you being drunk. It was their choice to push you, their action in putting their hands on you and pushing, their responsibility 100%.

Nothing you did caused you to be raped. The rapist who made the choice to assault a vulnerable woman is 100% responsible - that choice is the only one that matters here.

chitofftheshovel Sun 15-Nov-15 10:30:35

mandatory the sensible me knows that what you have said is totally true. But, to continue the analogy, I should not have climbed the scaffolding in the first place.

Again, this is just how I feel now. It is what I need help with and I mean no disrespect to others.

Mandatorymongoose Sun 15-Nov-15 11:08:46

I think that having a sense of guilt and 'I should have done this' 'I shouldn't have done that' is a normal and protective response.

I'm no expert but I think maybe it gives and sense of control? If there was some way you could have stopped it then there's something you can do to protect yourself now, to make sure you never have to have that awful experience again.

If there's nothing you could have done how do you protect yourself now?

AcrossthePond55 Sun 15-Nov-15 14:19:48

Your analogy is 'off'. Trade a cliff for the scaffolding. You were out walking and saw a cliff that looked interesting (went out and were drinking). You walked to the edge of the cliff to see the view (you drank past the point of ability to consent). Someone walked up behind you and pushed you off (someone took advantage of your drunk state and raped you). Who is to 'blame' in that scenario? Obviously the 'pusher', not the 'pushed'. Would people say "Oh, she shouldn't have walked over to the cliff to see the view, it's totally her fault". Oh HELL no! There would be 100% universal condemnation of the person who walked up behind an innocent person just out for a walk (i.e. a night out with friends) and pushed them.

Everyone has the right to get stinking drunk. No one has the right to take advantage of a drunk person. If a man got stinking drunk and I stole his wallet, I would be arrested and prosecuted no questions asked. But if a woman gets stinking drunk and a man actually invades her body, she is made to doubt herself. It's so wrong there are no words for it.

YOU ARE NOT TO BLAME. I can't shout it loud enough. flowers

mum2mum99 Sun 15-Nov-15 15:02:22

OP flowers. Hope you can get away from feeling guilt. You are not responsible for this. Hope you heal too. A lot of this has to do with our society, and men understanding and respecting consent.
Pandora97 I am shocked and concerned that you think it is not rape. If someone is not in the position of giving consent, like clearly the case here, it IS rape. Please check your facts about consent.

Lovelydiscusfish Sun 15-Nov-15 15:18:14

I think Pandora is saying it was rape.
OP, I've worked with lots of survivors, many of them feminists like you, and sadly it is all too common for them to feel it is their fault, even though this is not a judgement they would apply to any other woman ever. These feelings are one of the (many) things that can make it so hard for survivors to move forwards.
In time, and with help (if you want it), you definitely can move on from these feelings. And, just to reiterate, IT WAS NOT YOUR FAULT! Sending you all possible best wishes.

Gabilan Sun 15-Nov-15 15:20:27

"Pandora97 I am shocked and concerned that you think it is not rape"

That's not what Pandora said. Clearly she said "I do think you were raped"

mum2mum99 Sun 15-Nov-15 16:18:23

misread Pandora shock

pocketsaviour Sun 15-Nov-15 16:32:07

Chit it's one thing to believe something with your head (logic) but another to accept it in your heart.

We know, rationally, that the only person responsible for a rape, is the rapist.

But we are still products of our environments who grew up believing the messages given to us by the newspapers, books, magazines, films, our parents, the rapist.

I agree with PPs that speaking to a counsellor who has experience with sexual assault/rape, or perhaps with a local Rape Crisis centre, would be very helpful.

BTW from my own experience, it's when you feel happy and supported that these things can start to creep back out from the well you threw them into. It's like your mind says "OK now we are in a safe place, can we please deal with this thing I've been pretending not to worry about for the last X years?"

chitofftheshovel Sun 15-Nov-15 17:21:52

Thank you all so much for these messages. It has helped enormously but I also recognise a need to go down the councillor route as well. mandatory I'm still trying to get my head around your post, I'm quite sure it makes sence, just will take a bit of thinking about.

lovely you are right. I would never, ever, think it was another woman's fault. Just need to change my mindset for my own situation. I view this thread as a bloody good starting point!

pocket very interesting last paragraph. I'd been questioning why it had reared its ugly head now and think, along with another couple of factors that I've identified, you are correct. I'm in a better place than I have been for a decade, and I guess I have the head space to actually put this shit to bed properly.

This may seem drip feedy, but it's not meant to. The issue did arise about four years ago when I was with a dick of a partner (why do we do it to ourselves??!!). He basically didn't believe me at some points or made me feel like it was my fault...dick! And thankfully an ex!

Anyway, huge thanks guys. I really appreciate it.

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