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My therapist says my fears and background don’t make sense?

Roland

MyPTSD Pro
I was molested by my dad when I was three. He continued to be sexually harassing such as grabbing my butt, kissing, hugging, constant touching, making comments, etc.

To my knowledge, nothing else happened sexually besides that sort of thing. But I had and have an intense fear of being raped. When I was like 10 or 11 I watched a show at a neighbors house that was some kind of true crime thing where it was talking about women and children getting abducted, raped, and killed. It messed with my head so badly that I was terrified the rest of the summer that there would be men hiding in my room going to pop out and get me. I avoided going to bed. I was afraid my dad would rape me, and that if I started my period, I would get pregnant from rape and no one would believe me.

When my husband and I have sex, I sometimes get very afraid he would rape me (this one being completely just triggers, he would never, I always have the choice to say no or stop him). I don’t say anything when I get triggered though because with my dad if I said no he was more harassing. With my husband, and my ex, I feel almost like I should always consent so it would never be rape, or something like that, I can choose to say yes, where if I choose to say no I could still be violated…

My therapist basically said this doesn’t make sense. She said “Why would I be that afraid of something that hasn’t happened to me?” and implied that perhaps more shit happened that I blocked out (which is entirely possible since I don’t remember too much). But I’m kinda clapping back, because if your dad is essentially raping your mom everyday, and he molested you, and continuously to you and your sister crosses boundaries and sexualizes you, isn’t fearing he could rape you relatively understandable?? I’m taken aback by her reaction.
 
I totally disagree with your therapist. I don't think you need to have had PIV rape to fear PIV rape. Triggers are triggers.
Running in the heat is a trigger for me. No logical link to that (in my mind) to rape (although T says it's the pressure on my body). Triggers don't need to be rational.
And anyway: I totally understand that you would fear PIV when the person who was meant to keep you safe sexually abused you. Nothing is safe then as a child. So for me: it's logical.

This is such a good question. And depends how you define it. In the US rape is penetration by anything. Which I think is the right definition. But in the UK rape is only by a penis.
She must not really work with “CPTSD” then. She’s kinda showing a lack of understanding of what it’s like to be a child going through all this.

I didn’t know the UK had that definition. That’s odd because then it’d be impossible for a woman to rape a man, but if you’re raped by something besides a penis I’m pretty sure it’s the same experience except potentially more damaging physical if the object isn’t designed for being inside someone.
 
Agree. There's nothing unusual about having a fear of rape after being sexually abused. Her claiming that this somehow represents blocked memories (without any indication from you that you're even concerned about this) is extremely irresponsible. This is how patients wind up with false memories.
That’s what I was thinking. She kept saying “I’m not saying it did or didn’t happen” but continued to strongly imply it by saying things like “Why would you be so afraid of something that didn’t happen to you” and “Why would after learning about sex would you know what rape was and fear it thinking all sex was rape”.
 
She must not really work with “CPTSD” then. She’s kinda showing a lack of understanding of what it’s like to be a child going through all this.

I didn’t know the UK had that definition. That’s odd because then it’d be impossible for a woman to rape a man, but if you’re raped by something besides a penis I’m pretty sure it’s the same experience except potentially more damaging physical if the object isn’t designed for being inside someone.
I am questioning her ability here , given the questions and things you have quoted her saying. They are very odd things to ask/say by a therapist. I would expect that type of conversation from someone who knew nothing about childhood sexual abuse. Not a therapist.

Yeah, in the UK only someone with a penis can be a rapist. According to the law.

And I agree with you. the event for me that sends me into orbit is one where a penis was not used. But that wouldn't be classed as rape here, "only" 'assault by penetration'. Yet, that event is the one that f*cked me up the most. I understood a penis raping me as that made sense to my (messed up!) mind (in terms of a man having an orgasm). It didn't make sense to me what this guy did, and that made it even more cruel/sadistic.
 
I am questioning her ability here , given the questions and things you have quoted her saying. They are very odd things to ask/say by a therapist. I would expect that type of conversation from someone who knew nothing about childhood sexual abuse. Not a therapist.

Yeah, in the UK only someone with a penis can be a rapist. According to the law.

And I agree with you. the event for me that sends me into orbit is one where a penis was not used. But that wouldn't be classed as rape here, "only" 'assault by penetration'. Yet, that event is the one that f*cked me up the most. I understood a penis raping me as that made sense to my (messed up!) mind (in terms of a man having an orgasm). It didn't make sense to me what this guy did, and that made it even more cruel/sadistic.
Yeah…

How does the law treat penetration by objects? Is it a separate crime?
 
Just wanted to add that I agree with others here about it being a bit odd your therapist labeling your thoughts and feelings as odd and not understandable... I think it's VERY understandable given your experiences... and actually, if i were in your position, I may well feel that my T doesnt consider my experiences "enough" to cause the issues I'm dealing with now, which for me would be quite destabilizing... given that a lot of SA trauma leads to some people feeling it wasn't enough, or bad enough, and given this can cause huge barriers to healing, Im surprised your T has said what she has... I think she probably has done so without out realising the potential impact on you... but still.... and the idea that you would have repressed memories is something which should never be driven by a therapist.... ever...

Sorry, I don't want to T bash but I also want you to know other people reading your experience can see it in a totally different way to your T.

What you think, feel it's normal and explicable by your history to date imo.
 
Regarding the whole definition thing of rape, it's quite complex! There are multiple definitions out there... when I was struggling to understand what my experiences were to be seen as, I did quite a bit of research to go into it in more depth... in the UK the definitions are a bit limited


In the US there are multiple definitions and I think I'm right in saying it depends on state law as well (someone else can verify or correct?!) ....


Here's one I'd saved from earlier

"Sexual penetration crimes include the penetration of the vagina, anus, or mouth by the penis or other body part, and
also include the penetration of the vagina or anus, or, in rare cases, the mouth, by an object.

Vaginal penetration occurs, under the law, when the penis, other body part, or object enters the vulva or between the labia majora, which is the outermost part of the female genital organ. Anal penetration occurs, under the law, when the penis, other body part, or object enters the anal opening; at least one court has determined that penetration of the buttocks is insufficient to establish anal penetration under its jurisdiction’s definition of sexual intercourse. Oral penetration occurs when the penis, other body part, or object enters the lips of a victim’s mouth, and has also been found to occur by the act of licking a penis".

Hope that's not too graphic/ difficult to read
 
Just wanted to add that I agree with others here about it being a bit odd your therapist labeling your thoughts and feelings as odd and not understandable... I think it's VERY understandable given your experiences... and actually, if i were in your position, I may well feel that my T doesnt consider my experiences "enough" to cause the issues I'm dealing with now, which for me would be quite destabilizing... given that a lot of SA trauma leads to some people feeling it wasn't enough, or bad enough, and given this can cause huge barriers to healing, Im surprised your T has said what she has... I think she probably has done so without out realising the potential impact on you... but still.... and the idea that you would have repressed memories is something which should never be driven by a therapist.... ever...

Sorry, I don't want to T bash but I also want you to know other people reading your experience can see it in a totally different way to your T.

What you think, feel it's normal and explicable by your history to date imo.
Thank you
 
Regarding the whole definition thing of rape, it's quite complex! There are multiple definitions out there... when I was struggling to understand what my experiences were to be seen as, I did quite a bit of research to go into it in more depth... in the UK the definitions are a bit limited


In the US there are multiple definitions and I think I'm right in saying it depends on state law as well (someone else can verify or correct?!) ....


Here's one I'd saved from earlier

"Sexual penetration crimes include the penetration of the vagina, anus, or mouth by the penis or other body part, and
also include the penetration of the vagina or anus, or, in rare cases, the mouth, by an object.

Vaginal penetration occurs, under the law, when the penis, other body part, or object enters the vulva or between the labia majora, which is the outermost part of the female genital organ. Anal penetration occurs, under the law, when the penis, other body part, or object enters the anal opening; at least one court has determined that penetration of the buttocks is insufficient to establish anal penetration under its jurisdiction’s definition of sexual intercourse. Oral penetration occurs when the penis, other body part, or object enters the lips of a victim’s mouth, and has also been found to occur by the act of licking a penis".

Hope that's not too graphic/ difficult to read
I heard at some point recently that oral sex could be rape and that surprised me because I had thought it was only penetration in the genitals.

I also thought fingers weren’t enough, which that’s a hard one for me because sometimes I think that happened to me and sometimes I don’t. I don’t think most people understand these definitions thoroughly.
 
All of this is correct. In the UK, the legal definition of rape requires a female being unwillingly penetrated by a penis - men can never be rape victims. In the US, as of 2013 the official definition of rape according to federal law for the collection of statistics must include the unwilling penetration of a person with an object or a part of the body - before this change, legally only women could be raped. However, some state laws define rape much more narrowly. Other non-penetrative sexual assaults are still against the law but may have lesser or no penalties depending on the state.

Obviously this is a ridiculous situation and runs counter to the way of lot of individuals define "rape." It basically requires us to define what we mean by "rape" before we start taking about it and can lead to misunderstandings if we don't.

In my opinion a therapist who questions why a client might be afraid of being raped (any definition of rape) outside of formal cognitive-behavioral work is not an effective trauma therapist.
 
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All of this is correct. In the UK, the legal definition of rape means a female being penetrated by a penis - men can never be rape victims. In the US, as of 2013 the official definition of rape according to federal law for the collection of statistics must include the unwilling penetration of a person with an object or a part of the body - before this change, legally only women could be raped. However, some state laws define rape much more narrowly. Other non-penetrative sexual assaults are still against the law but may have lesser penalties depending on the state.

Obviously this is a ridiculous situation and runs counter to the way of lot of individuals define "rape." It basically requires us to define what we mean by "rape" before we start taking about it and can lead to misunderstandings if we don't.

In my opinion a therapist who questions why a client might be afraid of being raped (any definition of rape) outside of formal cognitive-behavioral work is not an effective trauma therapist.
Yeah that’s kinda crazy and complicated.

She mentioned that she may refer me because she knows someone that specializes in sexual abuse and those issues that go with it, and that she really only specializes in ptsd and emdr. So sounds like she was right to refer me.
 
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