Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Was this ok? **Sensitive trigger warning - added by MNHQ**(23 Posts)
Ok so I need to finally write this down. I think it would help me to get some opinions on what happened.
When I was 15 I had an enormous crush on an 18 year old family friend, M. I was a bit besotted from afar. Just as I was starting to move on from the crush I went to a party and he was there too. I remember feeling quite pleased with myself as I waved and smiled at him that I didn't feel as strongly about him as I had. I spent the evening with my mates drinking cheap alcohol and dancing (and kissing) another boy.
Later, after quite a few drinks I sort of wobbled off the dance floor and stumbled up a step and M happened to be there and he caught my arm. He said something to me but I couldn't hear over the music so he steered me outside (countryside). We chatted a bit as we walked down the road away from the party. I asked him where we were going and he said he wanted to go somewhere quieter. Not really sure what I was thinking but I went with him. He climbed over a gate and I followed but sort of fell off the other side as I had had too much to drink and he caught me, we stumbled and fell over.
At this point he kissed me. I was shocked but I remember being quite pleased. Then he started pulling at my jeans. I reminded him that I was only 15 and told him I was a virgin. He told me that most of the 15 year old he knew had had done it. I said I wasn't ready. At this point he tried to pull at my jeans a bit more but I think I said no again.
He got up and led me further down the field. I honestly don't know why I went with him. I think I hoped he would just continue kissing me. Next he is laid on top of me and my boots are off (I don't remember how, maybe I did it?) and then he is inside me. I let out a scream as it hurt so much and I think I said no again at this point. He carried on and I didn't really say anything else. I didn't try to push him off or fight him.
When he finished we got up and he walked me back to the party and he walked off. An lad I vaguely knew found me sitting on a step, shaking and helped me tie my shoes up.
Two weeks later I saw him at another party and went over to talk to him as I hadn't heard anything from him (ffs!). He took me by the hand, out and to another field. I said I just wanted to talk. He pull my jeans off, actually ripped my knickers and carried on again. I said no but I didn't walk away when I had chance and I didn't fight or even push him off.
So what happened?
This was rape, I'm sorry. Have you ever talked to anyone about it?
You were 15, you liked him, he was a total shit who took advantage and raped you twice.
It was not in any way your fault. I'm so sorry
The thing is at the time it didn't even cross my mind that it was anything other than a rejection by the guy I quite liked. I thought the events must have been normal.
From his point of view I wasn't pushing him off. He was drunk too I am sure.
Even during the events I was thinking "gosh sex hurts more than I thought it would". I didn't think it was rape even as it was happening.
It's common for women/girls not to recognise rape in circumstances like you describe. The idea that rape is a stranger dragging you into the bushes is very prevalent.
And men push and disrespect women's boundaries all the time. It's situation normal for us, so recognising when it's goes beyond just 'being a bit forceful' can be hard, even for adults. And you were a child.
It's also common for victims to try to maintain friendships and relationships after a rape, to try to make it all normal and ok because the alternative is facing what happened. The fact that you approached him again doesn't make it your fault. He knew you didn't want it.
Have you ever talked to anyone about it? Would you want to?
From his point of view I wasn't pushing him off.
You did not give enthusiastic consent.
You also said no. You weren't bring responsive physically.
Men are perfectly capable of noticing the verbal and non verbal signs that a woman isn't consenting.
So sorry that happened to you OP, yes it was rape and he was absolutely in the wrong. Something very similar happened to me aged 13 with a 17 year old lad I really liked. I blamed myself for a long time because I wanted to kiss him, wanted him to like me but I didn't want it to go that far and, like you, told him no more than once. It took years for me to fully accept that it was rape, I knew deep down but kept telling myself that because it wasn't violent as such and because I knew him I must have been at least partly responsible. I know now that I wasn't, he was absolutely wrong to do what he did and so was M, you were young and vulnerable and he totally took advantage of that. I hope you have some RL support with this OP but if it helps you're welcome to PM me
I have talked to my husband about it. He has gently tried to convince me it was rape.
It's difficult to hear it confirmed like that I know because we minimise it in our own minds to make it easier to deal with. Do you feel it affects you, your relationships etc? Your DH sounds supportive which is a great start but do you feel this is something you need help to process and come to terms with?
Rape Crisis can be very helpful if you want to talk about it or access support.
Thank you everyone.
That is exactly it Fern (so sorry you went through the that) I wanted him to like me.
Thing is wanting someone to like you doesn't give them an excuse to take advantage of you or carry on when you've said no or given other signs it's not what you want. I worried that I'd 'led him on' because I kissed him and felt like it must be my fault for not actively fighting him off but I just froze. I realise now that I froze because sex is supposed to be consensual, something you both choose to do and I never expected that choice to be taken away from me just because I kissed him. If this is something you've buried and are only just beginning to properly deal with years later you may well find what your DH has said and the responses you've had on here will take time to sink in, it can feel like a big shock when that happens though so it's a good idea to have some sources of support in place if you need them. The offer stands if you feel you need to talk anytime, hope you're ok
Thank you Fern. Not sure how I feel right now. A bit of relief maybe. Just from getting it written down and sharing it.
This has been going round in my head all night.
Written down I can see all the flags. I said no etc. But in the actual event maybe it was muddier than that. I think .
Has writing it down helped? Seeing it in black and white should help to reassure you that you were not to blame in any way for what he did.
Perhaps. I think I am still trying to give him the benefit of the doubt.
I'm sorry this happened to you, PearSoup. Something similar happened to me when I was seventeen, and it never occurred to me until many years later that it was wrong. If anything, I blamed myself for making his life difficult because I'd desperately wanted to remain friends, and he just wanted me to go away - probably mostly because my presence was a reminder of what he'd done.
I think when we're young we don't always know how to 'frame' events. I know I assumed that rape was done by strangers in alleyways, and that I'd just know it had happened. Far easier to assume it was just a case of crossed wires, and that everything was normal. I never had any idea about consent either, except that I assumed that because I wasn't screaming at him to get off me, I must have been as 'up for it' as he'd seemed to think. Fancying somebody does not give a person free reign of your body.
When I started processing what happened to me, I gave him the 'benefit of the doubt' too. You need to get out of the mindset that you are in any way responsible. However 'nice' this guy was, however much you want to convince yourself that what he did wasn't wrong, there is nothing that can absolve him of being a shit of the highest order, particularly as you were fifteen.
Thank you and I am sorry you went through the that too.
I keep thinking I am ok with it all. It happened so long ago. Then I saw him at an event last summer and realised I still have some emotions to deal with.
Then I saw him at an event last summer and realised I still have some emotions to deal with.
That's the salient point here I think OP, if what happened was really 'muddy' I'm not sure that would be the case. That was my wake up call too, I bumped into him in a cafe and had such a strong reaction to seeing him I realised what had happened had affected me much more deeply than I'd thought. It all unravelled a bit for me at that point which is why I mentioned you putting some support in place in case you feel you need it. I think it's fairly normal to minimise it in our own minds and convince ourselves we're 'ok with it' but actually it affects things in our lives and relationships more than we realise until something makes us examine it more closely. I'd started to accept what had happened in my own mind and deal with the effects but what really opened the can of worms for me was realising that he knew what he'd done was wrong. I hadn't seen him in years apart from that one encounter I mentioned and then I started working in a shop in the town where we both lived. He came in one day, there was no one else in the shop and he walked up to the counter looking extremely uncomfortable, blurted out 'I'm sorry' and then just walked out again. There was nothing else he could have been referring to and the realisation that he knew as well as I did that what he'd done was wrong had a huge effect on me. It does sound to me as though you might be at the point where it would be useful to talk to someone, pushing those emotions back into their box will only work for so long and, although dealing with them can seem a scary prospect, I've found it easier to move on now I've faced what happened head on and worked through how it affected me. It's a distant memory now, I won't say it hasn't left scars but I can rationalise the reactions I have to certain things now I've acknowledged where those reactions come from if that makes sense? You obviously have to do what you feel is right for you, and at your own pace, but Rape Crisis is a good place to start if you do feel like you want to try and work through how you feel about what happened to you. Hope you're ok, that feeling of it all coming back to the fore and churning round in your mind when you thought it was firmly in the past can be really confusing and upsetting but it does generally mean it's something you need to take some steps to deal with I'm afraid
God that must have been a big shock for you!
Was it better or worse knowing that he knew what he had done?
I do wonder if I try to convince myself that he didn't realise what he was doing as a way of making it easier for me to deal with. In an awful way I wonder if that's because if he knew what he was doing he really must have thought I was worthless.
I guess these are thoughts that might be better explored talking to someone.
It was such a shock I think it did make it worse initially because it brought everything to the surface for me but in the long run I'm glad he knows what he did was wrong. FWIW I think rape is about power more than anything else and it would have been the fact that you were young and vulnerable which motivated M rather than a judgement of your 'worth'. I also think it would be absolutely wrong to allow yourself to ever measure your value in terms of how he might have viewed you, someone capable of doing something that abhorrent to another human being means he was/is seriously warped and in no position to pass judgement on others. But yes, I do think you should consider talking to someone, it helped me to understand that what he did was nothing to do with anything I did or didn't do and nothing to do with me as a person, it was all about him.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.