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Did you freeze in a room full of people and not know what to do? is this normal?

Discussion in 'Sexual Assault' started by Teleute, May 28, 2018.

  1. Teleute

    Teleute Guest

    I was drunk at a party. My boyfriend was with me. I'm an open, friendly person. I'm talking and laughing with everyone because they're all my friends. This is a safe place.

    There's a guy there. He's my friend. I look up to him. He's taught me a lot about photography. He's helped me refine my skills. Months ago, when I was single, he alluded to us dating. I made it clear in a joking way that I wasn't interested- "it would never work. You're so good I would be jealous and plot to kill you to take your power." Things like that.

    There have been rumors of inappropriate contact/situations with him. I brushed them off. He's my friend. Yeah, sometimes his hugs run a little long. Yeah, sometimes it makes me uncomfortable. But I owe him a lot. He's not trying to make me feel uncomfortable. That's just the way he is. I feel bad when it makes me uncomfortable.

    At the end of the party. I hug people and say goodbye. I go up to him and hug him and his hands lock around my waist. His mouth is on mine and then his tongue is in my mouth.

    I can't believe it's happening. I freeze. I don't do anything. I just let it happen. I'm not thinking straight. I don't think I'm thinking at all. I'm... away. I'm away in my head. Just let it happen. Just let it happen and then it'll be over and how can he do this he's my friend i can't believe this is happening.

    He lets me go. I grab my stuff and leave. My boyfriend is furious. I can't breathe. I keep walking. He asks me what just happened. I can't form sentences. I say "What...happened." I need to get away. I just need to get away from that moment. He keeps asking me questions and I'm sobbing and I don't know what to do. I'm sitting on the ground in the parking lot and I can't breathe. I can't believe someone I trusted did this. And behind it all- what did I do? What did I do that made him think that was ok? I've turned him down multiple times. I'm there with my boyfriend. Why is this happening?

    My boyfriend is struggling with what happened. He saw a guy kissing me and me not do anything about it. I didn't struggle. I didn't even say anything. I was just there kissing a guy. I tried to tell him my thought process- in that, there wasn't one. I froze. I'm away. I'm away as far as I can be in my head. Because that's what I used to do when that happened before. When I was little. When there was no one to help me.

    I don't want to share my life story here. I thought I was over the things that had happened to me. But in the moment, the shock of it, the alcohol, I just...blanked out. And I need to know if anyone understands what happened. I need to know that this has happened before. I'm so embarrassed and ashamed. I hate myself for not doing anything. I've ruined my life. I've lost the trust of the person I care about the most in the world. He'll never look at me the same. Even if we somehow get past this, he'll always think that I'm weak. Or damaged. That I can't take care of myself.

    I just...need to know that it happens.
    AliciaEff and shimmerz like this.
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  3. FragileGlass

    FragileGlass Active Member

    Awww I’m so sorry you were forced into such a terrible scenario by someone you trusted. As a fellow professional photographer (well former life I was), I understand the lifestyle, the energy, the connection, the emotions and borderline questionable comraderie where someone oversteps their boundary that’s par for the industry, there is romanticism to photography that many people use to their advantage. That’s not your fault. Regardless of how your mentor behaved and boyfriend responded. You did nothing wrong here.

    To answer your question on freezing. Absolutely. I have had moments where response should have happened, I should have performed a certain way, I should have said something, done something and didn’t. Regardless of what caused it, it happens. Your shocked response here I find pretty normal and expected for the situation you faced.
    shimmerz and Abstract like this.
  4. Fadeaway

    Fadeaway I'm a VIP Donated

    Oh Yeah, it sure does!!! I hate that about myself. It isn't your fault, he betrayed your friend ship.

    I hope your boyfriend sees this, so he knows it is not your fault. You weren't a willing participate. The freeze response is protective mechanism gone wrong. There isn't anything you can do aside from lots of therapy.

    You were hurt and in shock by his actions and your brain interpreted it as a threat that could cause physical harm if you resisted.

    I am so sorry that asshole did that to you.
    FragileGlass, shimmerz and Abstract like this.
  5. Abstract

    Abstract I'm a VIP Premium Member

    Does your boyfriend know about the childhood stuff. No need to answer and I hear you don't want to discuss that here. Yes freezing is one of the many normal responses humans and animals have to situations when they feel threatened. It is also more likely to happen if there is a past and some element of the present reminds us of that past. Explain your boyfriend you didn't want it to happen. Hopefully he will see the truth.
  6. EveHarrington

    EveHarrington _______ in progress. Premium Member

    Yes, the freeze response is common.

    I suggest not drinking (to everyone who has ptsd).
    FragileGlass likes this.
  7. Scarlet13

    Scarlet13 Well-Known Member

    Freezing does not mean you are weak.
    I had a ton of child hood stuff and when I encountered sexual assault as an adult I froze and left my body and then I was very accommodating.
    Can you explain to your bf that you had the "freeze" trauma response and it does not mean you were ok with what happened?
    If he does not see you and your pain then he is not worth it.
  8. AliciaEff

    AliciaEff Active Member

    I was abused and there were maybe 10x more incidents of my freezing to wait until it ended than physically trying to stop it.

    People talk about “fight or flight” response which can make us believe that if you don’t fight or leave you’re not responding correctly, but really, the cliche got it wrong. It’s “fight, flight, or freeze” they are the common responses to fear or danger.

    What happened to you was terrible, it was not your fault, and your response was normal
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