Sexual Assault Interacting with my 1st Rapist

Samantha_38

Confident
The first time I was raped was almost 18 years ago. I was in a relationship with this man, though I was 12 and he was 17 initially. I was raped on my 13th birthday and he was 18 at that time.

The relationship and future assaults went on for several years after that. Most consistently for 2 years, but randomly there after for near 5 years. Its complicated as some things I did do willingly, at least in the moment, though often that was because I knew he'd violently do what he wanted anyways so being willing made it hurt less. I also was very stuck needing his shelter and food so I continued going back.

Now several years later. Like I'm in my 30's, I see this man near weekly at activities for my kids. My partner knows about the assault, he does not know he's been physically close enough to touch this guy. The 2 of is mostly mind our distance. How I even get through it without dissociating entirely is beyond me. I do later in that day have an increase in symptoms though.

I found out that the last place we lived in was actually part of the same appartment complexes they live in. I didn't know that at the time. I never saw him in the area, just saw who I now know to be his wife and kids. I unknowingly have let my kids play with his kids. It wasn't until after we moved to our new place that one of his kids started an activity that one of my kids is in and then I connected all these dots.

It's been a year of us seeing but mostly ignoring each other at this activity. I have to think that his wife knows nothing of our past, or even that he knew me back then. All of the kids definitely don't, which is complicated because they know each other, go to same school, and unfortunately for me get along pretty well, so they are happy to see each other at places. I've been able to seperate his kids from him in my mind, partly because they are step kids so not biologically his, but it is hard.

Well last week his wife came up to me and was talking about the kids and apartments we had in common as they still live there. It was awkward and difficult for me, but the same way I separated his kids from him I seemed to some extent be able to seperate her from him. Until anyways, he started chiming in on the conversation. I tried to be 'normal' and play it cool, but obviously that's hard.

I honestly don't know that he's the same person any more. We were both young, even if he was older and had the power, I logically know that 18 is still young. I point that out not to give him thst excuse, but just to say that I think I'm a lot safer around him in the current situation than I was in the past.

Aside from continued fear despite that rationalization, I have pretty intense guilt, shame and disgust that I could ever let myself interact with him in any way. We live in a small area so there are no other offerings of this activity and I won't crush my kid and pull him just because of my past. My kids won't accept staying away from their kids without a good explanation and I'm not sure I want to pull potential friends/peers away from my kids. 1 has Autism so it can be very hard for him to find kids that he can 'mesh' with.

So short of making a big scene to tell him to leave me alone, which will then cause a lot of people to wonder, what do I do? Has anyone interacted with theie abuser? How do keep your symptoms and emotions intact, and how do feel safe and make sure you keep yourself safe too?

Samantha
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
I'm so sorry you have to see him, and also interact with him. That is so challenging.

If you ever decide to say anything to him to leave you alone, that isn't you making a big scene. It's you setting a boundary.

You have decided not to tell your partner that this man is the one. If your partner knew, would that be something that felt supportive to you? I'm assuming not, given that you haven't told your partner. But wondered if that is something to explore?
 

goblin

New Here
The person who raped me when I was 11 (he was 15 at the time and we had a "relationship" for a while after the rape, one that hurt and confused me) is now married, parenting, boring, and couple-friends with a good number of people I know. It's been over 25 years since he assaulted me. I still hate running into him at social gatherings, hate when friends mention him in passing, hate when I've had to make smalltalk with him at picnics, game nights, or weddings over the years. We basically pretend we don't know eachother beyond acknowledging that yes, we've met before.

I believe that I once tried to explain to a friend why I don't like him and I couldn't say it in a way that fit with the seriousness of the situation. It came out more like, "oh, I used to go out with him when I was in middle school and it was *cringe*," which could really mean anything. It was so long ago.

Could let your husband know, not because you want anything to happen or change, but because you don't need to protect your rapist's secrets? Maybe it's inappropriate to let it affect the next generation, but it does affect *you.*
 

anthony

Founder
Kids do stupid shit.... not an excuse, just the reality of growing up. We all own what we do at the end of the day, regardless of hormones, not having a brain, etc etc... but people learn as they age and gain experience in life. Some better, some worse, some no change. I am not the same person I was when I was 18. I do not act the same, I do not do similar things, I do not treat people how I did then.

I think its refreshing that you see these things for what they are @Samantha_38. Not excusing past behaviours, just agreeing that people evolve.
 

Samantha_38

Confident
You have decided not to tell your partner that this man is the one. If your partner knew, would that be something that felt supportive to you? I'm assuming not, given that you haven't told your partner. But wondered if that is something to explore?

Oofta, that's a tough one. My T would tell you that this is typical of our relationship and something we need to work on. I honestly feel that this might be more than just that though.

When I first told him very very long ago we were both young as well. His response was that of many hormonal teenagers that he wanted to know who he was, where he was, and to beat him senseless essentially. Not what I needed...or wanted...but at the time I knew nothing about where he was either.

Now its that reaction I think making me fear an over reaction to this situation. I'm not 'comfortable' in those moments of being around my abuser, but I'm more comfortable with that then having a bunch of overheated interactions between the two of them or my partner frobidding our kids from interacting, etc.

I'm also to some extent embarrassed that I've even knowingly continued this. Almost like some will think I'm protecting him, which I'm not trying to do, I just would prefer to leave and let live at this point...18 years later.

The person who raped me when I was 11 (he was 15 at the time and we had a "relationship" for a while after the rape, one that hurt and confused me) is now married, parenting, boring, and couple-friends with a good number of people I know. It's been over 25 years since he assaulted me. I still hate running into him at social gatherings, hate when friends mention him in passing, hate when I've had to make smalltalk with him at picnics, game nights, or weddings over the years. We basically pretend we don't know eachother beyond acknowledging that yes, we've met before.

I believe that I once tried to explain to a friend why I don't like him and I couldn't say it in a way that fit with the seriousness of the situation. It came out more like, "oh, I used to go out with him when I was in middle school and it was *cringe*," which could really mean anything. It was so long ago.

Could let your husband know, not because you want anything to happen or change, but because you don't need to protect your rapist's secrets? Maybe it's inappropriate to let it affect the next generation, but it does affect *you.*

Thank you for letting me know it isn't just me who has run into this.

I think its refreshing that you see these things for what they are @Samantha_38. Not excusing past behaviours, just agreeing that people evolve.

I am no where near the same person I was back then. Full of teenage drama, hormones, no supervision, and a long history of trauma. I did what I had to do...but it wasn't pretty or anything I'm proud of. I did not throw myself at him initially, those first times were violent, clear rape. It became more cloudy as things went on. I was so numb and already having a lot of PTSD symptoms from home-life. You throw in some hyper-sexual reactions on top of some times where he really did seem to be the only one who cared...it was a mess. Neither of us was fit to be parents back then...adults...anything.

Now we are both parents. I am so far removed from my past at this point that it is hard for me to accept that I did those things for a reason and with lack of other choices that I have become accustomed to now. I have to think that if I'm not still stuck back there, than neither is he. Honestly I have to hope that is the case given his current situation with kids and wife. I really just hope he isn't hurting them, and from what I can tell on the outside he isn't. Not that that says everything, but I do often have a 6th sense about those things because I see the subtle signs I grew up with.
 
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