Sufferer Coming to terms with what happened to me (sexual assault/rape)

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runner

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Hi all, I'm new here. I hope this is the right place to post this? Sorry it's long—I'm not sure how else to tell it. I figured I needed to talk about this somewhere. I have no idea who I could discuss this with in real life without making a decision I don't know if I'll ever make.

I met him as a college freshman. We became best friends, hung out every day. He was there for me a lot. He knew I had a history of sexual assault. I thought of him as someone I could rely on (although in hindsight, I think some of this was forced, that he wanted me to rely on him). We almost dated but I had hesitations and I caught him lying to me a lot. I told him I'd rather stay friends and he agreed. Then one night I fell asleep on the couch next to him and woke up briefly; I could feel something. He had lifted my skirt to look at my underwear. I was horrified but pretended not to notice. I don't know why—I froze. In my foggy mind, I had trouble remembering it for a while. I'm also afraid to lose people even if I should. Because of past abuse, I think I endure a lot before the idea of cutting ties even pops in my head. We kept on like we were, talking and hanging out, and I still thought he was kind. In the summer I dated a man who physically abused me. I dumped him when he shoved me down the stairs. My best friend supported me through it. By sophomore year, we had gotten to a strange place. We made out a lot, though we didn't have sex. I didn't want to date him. I caught him lying more often, about bigger things. We fought every now and then. I went through a depressive episode (about other issues) and drank a lot that semester.

The night it happened, I don't remember how I got to his dorm. I was drunk in my dorm and I guess we walked over. He told me I was stumbling so badly in the hallway of his dorm building that I was clinging to the walls for support and kept falling to my knees. Where my memory begins, I'm lying in his bed drunk out of my mind and I'm very depressed. This part makes me sick. I was the one who suggested we have sex and I can even sort of remember. I had never considered it sober—never. I don't do hookups, maybe partially because of my past; I have to be dating them, have to feel in love. Has to be special. He knew that. He was sober. I remember him getting on top of me and a lot of pain. I was crying and telling him to stop. He was rough and didn't look at me. It seemed like ages before he seemed to start hearing me and pulled out. I think I was in shock after. Anything between us ended after that. I couldn't decide if I had been raped or if I had been immature, gotten absurdly drunk, proposed something to my friend, and was now trying to villainize him for it. We have all the same friends and we share a best friend. I had flashbacks and still do. I didn't tell anyone; I felt completely alone. I tried to kill myself.

Eventually I began hanging out with him again because he lives with our other best friend, because everyone I know hangs out around him. All one group. I can't avoid him or I lose everyone. In my head I was saying that nothing happened, nothing had changed. He was still a good person. We all drank that night in my dorm and I went to my room at some point, again very drunk. Closed the door. I got into my bed and sobbed. He came in to check on me and ended up getting in the bed next to me without any invitation. When I woke up the next morning, he had his fingers in me. I asked him what he was doing and he stopped.

I don't know how to describe my reaction. I didn't cut him off and we continued speaking after an obvious pause. But something was wrong with me. I got into a relationship for the next seven months. He backed off during that time, but then the person and I broke up in September of last year. Immediately he started being touchy again, not sexual but unwanted regardless, even if I pulled away. If other people came in the room he would pull away and go back as soon as they'd gone. A week ago he invited me to his and our other best friend's dorm. I was anxious because there were lots of people there (which he lied to me about) and he kept telling me to drink. I did to ease the stress. When everyone left or went to bed that night, he asked if I wanted to watch a TV show we both liked in the living room. I said sure. Then he kept asking if I wanted to go watch in his room and gave some dumb reason. Kept asking. I was drunk, I said yes, he got into the bed without asking and tried to put his hands on me.

And I felt...angry. So, so angry. I left right then and ever since, I can't pretend any more. Everything I buried came back. The reality of it, the fact that this is my best friend. The fact that I factually know an intoxicated person cannot give consent even if I still blame myself. I still wonder if it's all on me because I let everything happen. I wonder all day long. My heart has been pounding nonstop for a week. He told me he deeply regrets what he's done, cried in front of me, told me he hates himself. But he said all this before and cried then too and things continued happening after. And it's bizarre because...I live with five of our friends and one of them was sexually assaulted by a guy we all met last semester and had been welcoming into our friend group. She told one of us, then the rest. We all stood by her. He was directly confronted by at least one of my roommates. All of us shunned him, there was no more contact. Only disgust. But the person I'm talking about? They care about him. They have for three years. I can't do that to him. We all consider each other family at this point and if I were to say something, I can only see more nightmares. If he lost everyone, I can't see what good it would do for his mental health. What would that do to them, how would everyone else react knowing something so f*cked up had happened between two of their close friends? And what good would it even do? It feels like it would just be punishing him.

But the longer I sit with this the more I can't function and my health is starting to worry me, but I can't focus on it or anything else. My heart's been pounding for a week straight. I can't eat, sleep, I have flashbacks, once in class my vision went completely black. I'm an artist, drawing is what I love and I can't even draw anymore because my hands won't stop shaking. Sometimes my mind separates from where I am and I don't really notice. But everything feels far away. And I feel a vague sense of panic, as if I can see suddenly that I've taken the wrong path and I'm so far down it there's no hope.
It's funny because I always thought I'd have a support system here if I was sexually assaulted again, but I think it was rape and I can't even tell anyone I know. I don't know where to go from here. There is no peace anymore. I think I'll seek therapy, and I'm trying out the forum to see if it helps. And if I can help, put some good in the world. I'm exhausted—I just want to heal.
 

RecoveryGuy

Confident
I'm sorry to hear this happened to you. I hope you can find someone there to talk to about it. Does your university have a mental health center for students? I am not going to act like I know what you "should" do. Only you can figure out what is best for you. But I am glad you are talking about it hear and hope you can continue to find support. You did not deserve this.
 

Dutchman

New Here
I am so sorry this happened to you! I'm fairly new here myself, but want to extend a welcome and I hope you find support and encouragement here.
 
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