Sex and meaningful relationships after rape(28 Posts)
I have a lovely, caring, intimate relationship with my new bf. To be honest I have never fallen in love like this - we are both trying to take it slow and have not introduced our children yet but we will do it gradually and put them first above anything we might feel.
So why do I dare want more?
Long before the rape (vaginal and anal and quite rough, 6 months ago now) I remember normal sexual relationships. I want him to have the sexual satisfaction that I honestly believe is necessary for anyone in any sort of long term relationship. Yes, me included.
So how do I get there? I am realising I would do anything for him. But not anything actually, because the flashbacks utterly stop me. Anything that makes me feel I am being held down and I panic. We have talked about it, more than I talk to anyone. He has realised what it is and takes things gently. I am that lucky and in love.
Does counselling have the answer? Or time? Or going to the police? We have sexual differences too - he is slow and gentle and enjoys a very gentle build up - not typical for a man I guess - and I just want him a lot and quite fast - not typically feminine. We do talk a lot about it and compromise.. I do worry though that it is me.
Hope it is ok to ask this here....
hang in there mousie
your subject is a difficult one, but I am sure you will get some replies, possibly from the late night crowd
Thank you AF - get emotional once I have posted - you are right I should be sensible about it a bath, I think!
try bumping later on
sorry, I have no advice, but didn't want to see you unanswered for a while
do you think talking about it with someone trained in rape counselling would help?
some find talking therapies are helpful but I personally couldn't bring myself to talk about details of my experience (not as violent as yours, I think)
Time is a good healer too - it's a cliche, but it really does help.... you obviously trust him implicitly and are doing very, very well seeing as it's only 6m down the line so congratulate yourself on that.
I have absolutely no experience in this at all, but my feeling is that Time will be a great healer. This chap sounds lovely, caring and patient. Even sexually speaking he sounds exactly the right kind of approach that you would need. You can vary things in time, when you have recovered and emotionally healed a little... gives you a ton of stuff to look forward to!
Perhaps your need for speed is to rush through it a little? That, to me, would make sense.
I don't see how the Police could help, perhaps I'm missing something there.
Try taking things really slowly at first, don't rush anything and keep talking to your DP. It sounds like you have all the ingredients to make this relationship work, now it's just taking the time for it to develop naturally.
If after a period of time you find yourself blocked, unable to progress past this on your own, perhaps counselling would be a good idea. Have you spoken to your GP about this?
What other professional bodies can help out in situations like this? Aren't there rape counselling charities? Perhaps one of the other MNers can suggest places to talk to.
Good luck, you deserve it.
Thank you. The local helpline and SARC were all about going to the police and a descriptive reliving of the experience for ANYONE is still beyond me. I worry if I try again - to see if a different individual is different in approach - they'll think I'm being difficult. I had the physical screening done including HIV.
Maybe it is time and I might start to 'journal'/ write again - even the words seem hard and wrong, does that make sense?
I have been through a similar experience (more thean 2 years ago now) and one things that really did help me was getting some counselling through Rape Crisis.
Would that be an option for you?
And yes, you are doing fantastically well for 6 months.
Thinking positive thoughts for you over here. Sorry for the therapy type speak, I hope YKWIM.
Yes a journal makes sense, if it would be helpful to you then do it.
Rape Crisis would not try to persuade you into doing anything you were not comfortable with, like going to the police. HTH.
x post, GRC - thank you for the lovely support. I don't know what I would do without complete but well thought out and caring internet strangers.
He is probably very right. I find it hard to know what is me, pre-rape (I always liked it a bit faster and maybe rougher and kinkier but I am talking about consensual here) and afterwards (remembering that but not knowing what to want). Maybe TMI but I do wish I could get my head round this. I guess psychosexual counselling may help. What kinds of people go into it though? Maybe I think too much.
I do think he is special, hence wanting to get it, me, right. Thank you all again.
Janos, I'm sorry you have been there too. Can you do a link for me of who specifically you mean? Thank you for your reply, it does mean a lot.
Time will help, but also, from reading your OP, I suggest you remember that you want to have enjoyable consensual sex for your own benefit as well as doing it 'for him'.
ALso, have you been in touch with the havens which is supposed to be a very good service to help survivors of sexual assaults.
Havens are SARC but in a nicer name(!). I had a job offer as a clinician there, would you believe it - honestly the experience is so different to anything anyone even very empathetic might imagine. You are right, SGB, and thank you for being gentle with me and I know you've replied to me before and are maybe irritated, it's just taking time. I do enjoy sex... so maybe it's a natural mismatch, it's easy to blame everything on one harrowing experience...
I guess I think I have "issues" so it will take time but he "shouldn't" so it should be immediate. It's good to have your/one's/my assumptions challenged.
notevenamousie: I think you might just be rushing yourself a little, it's OK, it doesn't sound like this lovely man is going anywhere, and of course you want it all to be super right for him, but you know what? i think that all this going slow at the beginning will be more fruitful in the long run.
Speak to the RC people, have a chat with your GP, keep talking to your DP and give yourself some time, you will get there!
A huge hug coming your way.. (((())))
Sorry to hear this has happened to you.
I don't have first hand experience but from what I know of this, from having voluntered with an advice line...what you are experiencing would come under post traumatic stress disorder. Certain types of therapy/counselling are not considered useful for this, especially not ones that might enourage you to focus on and talk over the details of the event itself.
NHS guideline would suggest trauma focussed Cognitive behavioural therapy or something called EMDR - Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. Not everyone benefits from these methods but there is evidence that many do.
Depending on where you live, your GP could hopefully help you access such services.
The other thing you talk about, wanting sex faster, kinkier etc. is something I went through when I was avoiding intimacy. That's a whole other subject and maybe too much to think about at the moment....?
I have heard of EMDR, will definitely look into it.
And regards the suggestion that 'kinky' sex avoids intimacy... maybe. Maybe I have never really got what intimacy is. Sounds crazy I guess.
I don't want the "rape survivor" (victim, etc,) to define me. I had sexual feelings and wants and needs before and I have them now. It's so hard to talk and think and read about though - have no girly friends I can talk to about this. I could talk about the rape to a few of them but discussing normal sexual feelings seems out - is that really strange?
I guess when the "in love" phase passes (not that I ever want it to but I know it will) then we will find out if it is love that lasts and I might be able to find the right path through this - you are all right that I have found an amazing man that will help me through this stuff. I am really grateful for the thoughts and support.
I have no real advice mousie, but want to offer my support.
I think council ling will help you.
BF sounds fantastic, I know what you think of him. together you can work things thru.
Having had unwanted sexual experiences myself, I can sympathise with what you're going through. I do think some form of counseling/help would be a good way forward. By dealing with it in a way you can control, you can move on from being a rape survivor as you say and focus on being the person you are. It won't be quite the same as the person you were before, but all experiences change us.
EMDR and CBT are recommended, as is counselling because there is clinical evidence that they work. Maybe the reliving it element of CBT means that it might not be the right approach for you. But the best thing to do is make an informed decision - take back control.
The faster/'kinkier' thing is also one I can identify with - I always used to be quite up for it and a bit more on the raunchy side of things. I can no longer remember what consensual sex is like, so I don't know how it will be in the long term for me. But your point is correct - this is about consensual sex and liking it a bit on the racier side is fine. Obviously rape isn't and I think that is the fundamental issue here.
Okay - this is going to sound really odd and I am the first to say that. But bear with me ...
After I was raped I really struggled with any close contact. It took me a week before I could get on the bus. I went to see the counsellor that I had seen for about a year 18 months previously and she referred me to a healer (this is the odd bit). I was massively a bit sceptical and I still am in lots of ways but I went for 4 sessions with this woman. And she held her hands above me and drew out the negative energy or something and after that I could move on physically.
I know, it sounds absolutely barking doesn't it. But it really, really worked for me.
Where you go to find a healer though, I have no idea.
Notamousie I have been through similar difficulties (although the incident was very different in nature) with sex and have come to the conclusion that for a long tim I projected a lot of the bad feelings from the incident onto "normal" sex - i'e' it was bad/shameful/destructive because the incident, involving sex, had been all those things....It took me a few years to untangle all of that and to relaise that sex i chose to have was completely different and needed to be disconnected from those feelings of guilt and shame.
I am totally over that now and can separate everything out but for a long while I felt like you seem to be describing. In my case counselling helped to sort it all out and make me work out what feelings I was projecting onto new relationships.
Strangely for me the final stage in recovery I think was having my first child. I felt "cleansed" as sex had a different meaning and that made me feel whole again.
It's a very complex issue as the one thing that creates intimacy, new life and cements a relationship is also something that can profoundly hurt and damage you, and it's normal that it's so hard to overcome the tangledness of it all. But you will get there in the end and DP sounds like he's creating a very good environment in which to work all of this out.
I am so very grateful both for the support and the sharing of personal experiences, I can imagine how hard that must be.
When I was walking to work today after dropping my dd at nursery I realised that I do think of the rape every day. Probably several times. And I am a 'survivor' - I have a full time job, a good relationship with my girl, a bank balance that is mostly in positive numbers... so many truly can't do any of these. But, I was also thinking that one day I won't think of it. I will get through a whole day with my girl - and I hope, my new and lovely man/boyfriend/partner and not think of it either. So I guess I am saying, I have come so far which is great and realised how far I have to go.
My dd and I are moving next week to cut my commuting hours, and dd's nursery hours. My plan once we are moved is to find a GP and then find what services there are. I won't have lost anything. And I will just give myself, and my lovely NM, time to explore and learn sexually. If I learn what I want is ok to want, and intimacy (without either performance or pain) is ok, then even in that, I am healing. Thank you so much for letting me think and vent.
Sorry spicemonster I missed out what you said, which can't have been easy to say.
I would never be negative about what people feel has helped them... if sleeping upside-down in a cave has helped, then that is surely a good thing?!! I have had a friend's specific "medium" prediction come true in great detail... I may have a healthcare background, but what do I know??? Your experience will certainly help me keep my eyes open, thank you so much for sharing it.
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