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How can I move on from this horribl experience?

(32 Posts)
badheadache Wed 09-Jul-08 19:05:44

I'm a regular mumsnetter (been around since 2004) with a namechange, asbolutely not a troll. I hope you understand why after reading my post (sorry sounds a bit slef important, not meant to). It has taken some nerve to write this so please don't be too judgy.

I haven't told anyone about this except my best friend and more recently my new partner for reasons which I will explain later.

Around this time last year, I suffered a really horrible assault at the hands of someone who I thought was a friend - I can't really bear to recall the details of it even now. I had no intention of reporting it then and I don't feel able to now, because of the circumstances. We had already slept together before you see and I had been quite promiscuous before which I know some people would judge me for. Also I couldn't bear to face him and talk about what happened because I think he is the sort of person who would enjoy reliving things IYSWIM

Anyway my attitude was to try and just put it behind me, not smart I know but I really wanted to try and forget. Well that has come right back to bite me on the bum because I can't forget - I don't think I ever will

I have started suffering flashbacks which are very upsetting and quite intense. I don't know how to deal with these.

Also as I have got closer to my new partner I have started feeling intensely angry with him and I think it may be related to this. I don't mean I behave nastily to him but I often go quiet and don't talk to him - he is lovely, very kind, and does not deserve it. After one of these episodes I plucked up courage (?) to tell him as I felt he deserved an explanation for my weird mood and he was understanding, didn't blame me, although was angry on my behalf.

I don't know what I want but I needed to put this down in writing, to make some sort of sense of it because I want to try and move on. I want to deal with things and not feel so angry. I don't want it to spoil my new relationship. (Sorry what a lot of I's - how self centred!)

Reading back I see that I have gone a bit more than I intended to. Has anyone been through this? How have you dealt with it?

Thank you very much to anyone who has read through that.

helips Wed 09-Jul-08 19:10:32

I haven't been through this experience myself but how horrible for you. Do you think it would help if you spoke to a counselor? Hopefully someone with some experience of this will be along soon to give you some advice. I hope writing it down here has been some help to you and maybe this will be the beginning of working through this terrible incident. All the best x

luckywinner Wed 09-Jul-08 19:12:28

I didn't want to read this and not answer as it must have taken a lot of courage to even begin this message. I haven't experienced anything like this so I don't think I can be of much help but despite what you think, being 'promiscuous' is in no way a reason for someone to assault you or for you to be judged. i think you should not be so hard on yourself. Your history is irrelevant to what that person did to you. I am guessing it was a sexual assault by what you have said but he is in the wrong, not you. You absolutely did not ever ever deserve to be treated in such a way. I just wanted to say that and to say you are very brave and it must be really hard and I am sorry you have had to bear this by yourself. sad

badheadache Wed 09-Jul-08 19:13:15

Thanks for replying helips. Just writing it down has helped a bit.

I know talking to a counsellor is probably a good idea but it's so hard to talk about and I don't know how I would beging to tell a stranger when I could barely tell my best friend ( I had to write it down then too). Sorry, that is not meant to sound whiney or self pitying just that 'writing' it is easier than talking about it.

prettyfly1 Wed 09-Jul-08 19:13:27

hey there. i know you dont want to keep reliving it and i totally get your whole need to not give him power of any kind but i think a little councelling to help you deal with your remaining feelings might be helpful. I am so glad your new partner was good about it and supportive and noone ever needs to apologise for coming on here and being brave enough to talk about how they deal with something like that.

I really hope you get some peace from it soon!

badheadache Wed 09-Jul-08 19:16:31

Thank you luckywinner you bought a lump to my throat there

I really do blame myself for it you see. I invited him into my home. I should have known he did not just want to talk which is how he suckered me in angry

ginnny Wed 09-Jul-08 19:17:41

I haven't ever been through this, but I have had counselling and it really does help. Just talking to someone neutral can make it seem smaller in your head (if that makes sense?) and put all to rest. You don't have to pay, go to your GP and asked to be referred. It would be a shame to let this monster cloud your new relationship.
I agree with LW it was not your fault, the fact that you had slept with him (and whoever else) before is totally irrelevant. Nobody deserves to be treated like that, not least by a so-called 'friend'.

badheadache Wed 09-Jul-08 19:19:36

And yes it was a sexual assault.

God, I can't describe how much I hate this man. I hate that he has the power still to make me feel that way.

badheadache Wed 09-Jul-08 19:21:54

Thank you by the way for your kind words everybody it does help to read them! Sorry if I sound a bit intense.

helips Wed 09-Jul-08 19:22:12

Ditto at what luckywinner said about being promiscuous, there is no excuse for someone to assault you. I'm glad writing this down has helped but really think you should speak to someone. Sometimes its easier to open up to people we don't know rather than tell people that are close to us. Hopefully then you can begin to move on and enjoy your new relationship.

luckywinner Wed 09-Jul-08 19:23:15

I really feel so angry on your behalf. I think what you have said "I should have known he did not just want to talk which is how he suckered me in" completely proves that he knew exactly what he was doing, took advantage of you and did not listen to you. It is soooooo not your fault, you must never think you asked for it. He knew what he was doing when he weedled his way in. You have a lovely new partner, who you clearly think a lot of. Imagine you saying no to him in similar circumstances. I imagine he would stop in a second. It was not you, you did not ask for it, some bullying w*ker forced his will on you. I know it must have been so difficult for you to tell your friend and then write it here, but I think you need to keep on that flow of talking about it. Repressing it has only meant it is coming out in other ways. It will always be there, it has happened, there is nothing you can do to change that. But if talking about it here or with another professional helps to ease the pressure of keeping something like that secret, then you should keep doing it.

helips Wed 09-Jul-08 19:24:10

Don't blame yourself, you invited him into your home to chat not to assault you.

prettyfly1 Wed 09-Jul-08 19:25:35

also agreeing with what the other girls said promiscuity was your choice and yours alone. it doesnt mean you wear a sign that says take it whenever you like. This was not and will never be your fault. Please dont blame yourself!

badheadache Wed 09-Jul-08 19:28:42

I have the number of a helpline and I am going to ring them. I know I might not get through straight away (it's a charity) but you lot have given me the impetus to phone them.

I had the number before but put it off making excuses (I'm too busy, it happened in the past, not bad enough, my fault etc), I won't now though.

Thank you all

coolbeans Wed 09-Jul-08 19:30:02

Talking to someone will help as hard as it feels, because it won't go away and you need some help to process this horrible experience.

I don't know where you live, but these people
are really helpful and know how hard it is to seek help.

I wish you peace.

Amphibimum Wed 09-Jul-08 19:31:46

god, its amazing to read your op because it would appear that its not an unusual pattern of behaviour at all.
16 yrs ago (i was 16) i was raped by a 'friend' who i had flirted with. i had also had a few sexual partners before, and assumed that would mean i was not beleived. i couldnt face him either.
i blanked it, tried to pretend it hadnt happened.
a year later i started to have flashbacks. and it started to occupy my thoughts really quite a lot and affect my then current relationships and life.

i tell you that becuase its exactly the response you had... which says to me that we both behaved in an entirely normal and understandable way. i hope that is of some comfort.
its a long time since my thing happened and mostly im pretty ok with it now. but i do regret never really doing anything about it. a bit. even though i utterly forgive myself for not doing!

please believe me, you wont forget it, but it will lose its power to hurt you.

i became determined not to carry on being hurt every time i thought about it, because i felt that it was granting him more power than he deserved.

so sorry to hear youre in such a hurt way right now, i really do empathise. be kind to yourself, and honest with yourself. get some counselling if you think you could bear it, i really think it could help you deal with this and put it behind you in less time than it took me.

luckywinner Wed 09-Jul-08 19:31:53

I think that's a good idea, Good luck, let us know how it goes. smile

prettyfly1 Wed 09-Jul-08 19:37:36

thats a really brave and positive thing to do headache and i think i speak for all of us when i say best wishes xxx

Amphibimum Wed 09-Jul-08 19:41:19

yeah, good on you. the more i think aboput it the more i think; go, get counselling, process this and move on from it asap. dont waste a minute more of your time than necessary in pain over this wanker, he doesnt deserve it.

badheadache Wed 09-Jul-08 19:51:33

It means a lot to me that you shared that Amphibimum. It is of some comfort because I've been feeling so 'alone' with it. Thank you.

Im saying thanks a lot here but I mean it! Hearing other people saying 'it's not your fault' does make a difference, it really does.

Thank you (there I go again)!

cyteen Wed 09-Jul-08 19:59:55

Hi badheadache I haven't been through anything like this but just wanted to reiterate what others have said - it categorically WAS NOT YOUR FAULT, and I'm so glad that you are starting to feel able to seek some help in dealing with the horrible legacy this shitbag has left you with.

Just wanted to comment on your initial mention of starting to feel angry with your current partner - I think this might be because you feel safe with him and thus able to 'act out' the anger you feel towards your attacker in a safe environment, iyswim. This is total conjecture on my part of course, but ime the reason we often hurt the ones we love is because it's safe to do so, because we trust them to keep holding on to us once the hurting impulse has passed. I'm glad you have an understanding partner and best friend to support you through this. Good luck

spicemonster Wed 09-Jul-08 20:03:59

I was going to namechange for this but then though fuck it, it wasn't my fault (but there you go - still part of me thinks it was hmm). I was raped by someone I'd just started seeing, he came back to my house after an evening in the pub (said his car wouldn't start), I made it very clear that there was nothing happening and woke up to find him raping me. I didn't report it as I decided there was absolutely no point but I did have counselling afterwards. I was in a bit of a state - couldn't bear to have anyone close to me (on the bus or tube) and it certainly mucked up the next few relationships I had. But the counselling really, really helped and I have never had flashbacks, possibly because I got help soon after it happened.

I'm really glad you've told your partner because it's a really big step towards forgiving yourself for what happened to you. But I cannot emphasise enough how talking about it to someone who has probably been just where you are helped me.

I hope you find what you need to move on x

tigermoth Wed 09-Jul-08 20:15:19

I agree with what cyteen has suggested about you feeling safe with your partner so able to act out your anger.

I am glad you have a helpline number to phone and are thinking of doing this. You have only recently spoken about this to anyone and never to a stranger, by the sound of it. It could do you a lot of good, simply just the sheer process of talking about it and verbalising your feelings, helping you begin to work it out of your system.

I hope you make that call - you know the person who listens to you will not judge you as they will have heard many similar stories. You are not to blame, this friend took advantage of you. Anyone who is a friend would know when to stop.

Amphibimum Wed 09-Jul-08 20:18:12

and i thank you badheadache, for sharing with me too. your response to your experience 'validates' my own response too, and thats always nice, eh? its spooky just how similar the stories are.. i do hope you find some peace soon x

badheadache Wed 09-Jul-08 20:25:45

Well..I have just come off the phone to the helpline. Decided to phone now - strike while the iron is hot kind of thing and I'm so glad I did

They are going to refer me for support and are sending out some literature about how to cope with the flashbacks, and a contact line for more help. I wasn't expecting them to pick up straight away but they did!

Spicemonster and Amphibimum, do you know what, I am really angry and upset that there are men out there who will do this and get away with it . It really does make a difference to know that you have 'been there' and got through it.

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