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My friend raped me and I don't know how to move on.(148 Posts)
I’ve name changed for this because I just need to get this out somewhere. I can’t access counselling or therapy at the moment so I’m hoping taking a big deep breath and talking about it will help. It’s outing, I’ve fudged a few details, but if you’re someone I’d told you’d know it was me.
It's an essay I'm afraid...
In 2019 myself and my now-DH got engaged. My closest – male – friend started withdrawing from me, being standoffish etc. We had known each other for a number of years, pre-dating my knowing DH, and I was also friends with his wife. I went around to his house one evening to hang out, had what I thought was a nice time, and then the next day received an essay-length WhatsApp from him saying I wasn’t the same anymore, I never made time for/didn’t care about him, he felt neglected in favour of my relationship etc. (If that sounds familiar, I wrote a thread about it at the time.)
The whole thing stunk of jealousy, and his wife ended up sending him round to see me like a child to “make up”. The whole thing was utterly bizarre. I Have Issues from things that happened to me as a teen and found it all very upsetting – I have a deeply ingrained fear of being disliked/am terrified of people I care about being upset with me. It’s something I’m aware of and am working on, but at the time this incident completely blindsided me.
We were ostensibly still friends but didn’t speak anywhere near as often as we had before, but after the above incident I was okay with distancing a bit. The incident was around April. In December that year, he started texting me more again, wanting to hang out etc. I was pleased – I thought maybe he was wanting to get our friendship back to how it had been before, which I would have liked. Due to Christmas we couldn’t meet up until the New Year but it was nice speaking again, just texting about shared interests and our lives etc. I was reluctant to talk about DH so as not to set him off, which I look back on now and am so upset for myself walking on eggshells.
In the January we met at his house, his wife was out. He was touchy-feely in a way he had never been before – we had always kept a respectable physical distance. Joking about me sitting on his lap, playing a computer game that meant being cramped close to each other in close quarters etc.
At the end of the night he told me that he and his wife had opened their relationship. Before DH I, too, had been in open relationships, and he seemed to think I would jump at the chance to make our friendship physical. I said, probably overly nicely, that I wasn’t interested, and went home.
Over the next 2 weeks he assured me repeatedly that our friendship was the most important thing and he was totally happy that I’d said no.
We went out for a quiet drink at a pub – my suggestion, neutral and public ground – and had a lovely time. I thought it was Back To Normal. At the end of the evening we walked halfway home before each going our separate ways. We hugged goodbye (normal), but then he grabbed my bum and squeezed. As I pulled away, he also grabbed my breast. I kind of froze, tried to laugh it off, said goodnight and left.
From this point on it’s a mess. I was repeatedly raped as a teenager by an ex who acted in much the same way – seeming to prey on my inability to upset people and taking advantage of that. He told me he loved me and I didn’t want to hurt him; my friend was saying he loved me (platonically) now and I didn’t want to cause a drama or hurt anyone. I’ve had a lot of counselling in the past to deal with it, but I really wasn’t expecting to ever be in a similar situation again and it totally blindsided me.
My ‘friend’ invited me over (again a couple of weeks later) and I went, having told him again that I was in a monogamous relationship and not interested in more. He said again how being friends is most important etc. I didn’t want to lose him as a friend – we had been so close for a few years and nothing like this had ever happened before. I wanted to believe things would go back to normal and I would have my friend back. This friend knew about my history. Now, the cynic in me wonders if he used that playbook against me intentionally, knowing how I would likely react.
We were watching a movie together – normal activity for us – but when I went to get up to go to the loo he pulled me into his lap. He started touching me, kissing my boobs etc, and I just froze. I stared at the wall behind his head and froze. Eventually he stopped and I went to the loo and the night carried on like nothing had happened.
I knew deep down that I needed to leave and never see him again, but the pain of that loss combined with my existing trauma responses meant I was frozen. It felt like I was on autopilot. I didn’t want to let on that anything was wrong so I carried on as normal.
I went to his house one final time before lockdown, thinking it couldn’t possibly get worse than it already was and wanting things to be “fixed” and “normal” again. He did the same thing again, but this time kissed me. I let him. I felt 17 again, confused and hurt and betrayed and not wanting anyone to hate me. I was dying inside, but I let him. I know – believe me, I know – that my trauma response to this is beyond fucked up. I hate myself for it. He kept pushing for sex, and I just felt dead inside. I couldn’t leave to walk home, it was a long walk and late and dark, and I couldn’t call DH to collect me early because he would ask why. Most of all, I couldn’t handle the thought of the hurt and confrontation, I didn’t know what to do, so I basically played dead. I let him lay me down on the floor, where he raped me. I pretended everything was okay while inside I just curled up and died.
It was just like my ex when I was 17 – he was using it to claim ownership of me when he felt jealous. Exactly the same. I knew it deep down when it was happening but I didn’t want to believe it was true. I do know it fully now. It feels like it all played out in slow motion around me.
DH picked me up not long after, then lockdown happened. I spent the next 4 weeks a hollow shell, in so much pain, just broken. I kept acting like I was okay. ‘Friend’ kept texting to say how much fun he had had, I kept acting like things were fine, until one day I just couldn’t anymore. I went for a walk one evening and called my oldest friend and just broke down. I cried my eyes out to her in a field near my house. Then I went back and I told DH what had happened.
DH has been nothing short of unfailingly supportive; he knows my past and my issues, and I am so lucky to have him. I also confided in a couple of mutual friends who were also amazing. I told my ‘friend’ what had happened from my perspective and both he and his wife went apeshit. I didn’t use the word rape in my message but they knew that’s what I meant by how I felt and went on the defence in a huge way. I removed them both on my social media, blocked their numbers, and haven’t seen or spoken to them since.
But I just… can’t get over it. A lot of the time now I’m doing okay, until I’m not. I’m scared of being alone with men now, even colleagues, because I don’t trust what they might do even when they’ve been completely innocent up until that point.
It’s affecting how often I want to be intimate with DH; on bad days, I feel physically terrified of sex or even being kissed. I feel trapped and suffocated and like I can’t escape, just like I felt in that room. I feel like part of my mind is still there. I have flashbacks about it just like I have about the rapes when I was 17. Those have never gone away, but I’m numb to those ones now as it’s been so long (very long, we are all in our late 30s). These ones are so raw still.
I don’t want to keep talking to DH about it; we got married at the end of last year as planned (a tiny wedding within the restrictions) and he is so wonderful, I am so happy in my relationship and I don’t want him to have to deal with this burden, even though he is so understanding. I wish I could fast-forward to feeling numb about it like the other times. That just feels so far away right now.
TL;DR my friend raped me and I don’t know how to move on.
Please don't tell me how stupid I was to return to the situation after the first incident because believe me I know and I hate myself for it every day. I wish I was a strong person, the type that could have told him to fuck off and just walked away. Things in my past have broken me somewhat, and I though I was so much better but all it took was one incident and all that strength that was 15 years in the making just shattered instantly.
I don’t even know what I’m hoping to get out of this thread.
I guess I just needed to write it down.
I am sorry this has happened to you.
Please contact the Rape Crisis Centre for your area and they can help you.
OP my heart goes out to you . I know you said you can't access counselling right now, but could you maybe reach out to an organisation like Rape Crisis over the phone?
I'm so sorry you are having to deal with yet more trauma because of the actions of your supposed friend.
You don't need to apologise for a long post. You are trying to deal with something awful and traumatic. It's OK to post here.
Speaking to people in real life and on here has taken guts. I think the next step should be specialist rape counselling, as another PP has said. There are resources available and you deserve to use them.
You poor love. I’m so sorry he has done this. I second the recommendation for rape crisis. I am also having counselling for the same thing and sessions are being offered by phone or zoom while the current restrictions prevent face to face meetings. A good counsellor will help you get through this.
Something similar happened to me (sexually assaulted by someone I trusted and thought I knew, didn’t see it coming). I definitely recognise the wanting to talk about it over and over but, you’re right, ultimately this won’t help you resolve it.
My experience is that normal counselling doesn’t cut it. You need to process the trauma. I had EMDR, done by a clinical psychologist. After that, we worked on all the historic stuff using a combination of CBT and EMDR. If you are in London I can recommend a psychologist (although she is doing everything virtually at the moment).
This is not your fault OP.
You definitely need therapy in the longer term to process this and realise that none of this is your fault. I just wanted to send you a hug ❤️
How utterly appalling .You have been very badly let down by this friend .Can you speak to a helpline ? Some are closed ATM but many are still open and can provide support .Also to tell the police as well.He has commited a criminal act!
Really sorry this has happened to you again! I think you really must get the help you clearly need this time. Furthermore when your stronger and able to get perspective on this, this creepy bastard friend of yours needs to reported to the Police.
I'm so sorry you are going through this. You were not stupid in anything you did. You were traumatised and vulnerable.
That man is a rapist, which is why he raped you. He knew what he was doing.
It's ok to feel crap, it's ok to need help.
I'm so sorry op. I have no additional advice but wanted to tell you I'm sorry.
Awful - please report this - he knew exactly what he was doing & took advantage.
I''m so glad you have your lovely, supportive DH
. He isn’t a friend. Get some support in rl like Rape Crisis.
Sorry this has happened to you.
It's also ok to need to avoid being in proximity to other men. It's a sensible defence mechanism.
I am so sorry to hear this. Counselling and therapy are available on Zoom/Skype and be telephone as well as through Rape Crisis.
I am sorry you are in such pain.
You have had multiple traumas to contend with, but here you are asking for support. That is remarkable in itself, it can be easy to lose yourself completely into bad coping strategies, so please be kind to yourself right now, you are still conscious and here.
You definitely need to extend this desire for support to some real life help where you have the space and trust to be able to work your way through this trauma.
Personally I am a fan of Jungian Analsyis - these people tend to be Clinical Psychologists with an extra layer of training in Jungian analysis and they really help you thrive and grow despite the trauma you have experienced.
Today though, please be reassured that you are not broken altogether, and commit yourself to allowing and permitting a journey of healing. You can do it
I understand why people are telling you to report it, but it wont get anywhere because you kept going back. After the first visit where he pulled you into his lap and kissed your breasts etc, you stayed for the evening and left.... but then you went back for another night alone with him and the sec occured. That's all the police will see, and all a jury will need to hear before they let him away with it.
He knew your history. He knew the way you had been treated before, and he knew how you would react. He used that knowledge to manipulate you into those situations, and I'm guessing in his texts messages in between he was saying all the things he knew would convince you that you could trust him if you continued to see him as a friend. This was all him. But the police arent going to see that, and if you report it then you're going to be dragged through an investigation which will be traumatic for you.
The best thing is to get yourself some help. Why cant you access counselling at the moment? You need some help to process this, and to adjust your behaviour so you cant be manipulated in the same way again.
I’m so sorry this happened to you
Rape crisis will be able to help as will other counselling services. He abused your trust in the worst way, but please don’t blame yourself
Whether you want to report it or not please look after yourself and get some help for yourself, Ring rape crisis.
This isn't your fault in any way lovely, please don't blame yourself.
He is a rapist that took advantage of your vulnerability.
Oh God I'm so sorry that he did this to you. You did nothing wrong. You are amazing. I hope talking to a professional might help you but I just wanted to say you did nothing wrong and anyone reading your story can see that. This wasn't your fault. You did nothing wrong. You didn't deserve it and it wasn't your fault.
I'm so so sorry this has happened to you and please don't apologise it's cathartic writing something down and getting it out.
I have no experience to offer but please seek some professional support with this
Regrettably, I agree with you.
What a terrible situation. Someone who's been raped won't behave in the same way that someone else might. You've described that really really well. What an absolute bastard that man is.
You are so lucky to have a lovely husband. Try to speak to your GP and ask for counselling - you need someone experienced to help you.
OP, you need to put all your energy into therapy. That is the only action plan and it will help.
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