Sexual Assault Was this rape?

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Really happy to hear you have had the medical care you need. And that you clearly have a husband who loves you a lot.

(Don't worry about triggering people here. The 'rules' are that it is impossible to know what will trigger someone, so there are no trigger warnings. We all just take responsibility for our triggers and disengage if it is too difficult. So no need to sensor yourself of you don't want to).

Shock , trauma: can be both you are feeling right now. It is a really tough time realising and accepting what happened. Totally can knock you sideways and overwhelm and feel utterly freightening.
But: cling on to the knowledge that it won't always be like this.

If the words don't come out right now: that is ok. It really is.

If you feel you want to tell your T something. Maybe writing? Maybe asking if you can share something written down? Doesn't have to be the whole story. Could be one or two words that don't come out verbally right now.

Whenever I am at a real low like this, I need to remind myself: this feeling will pass. And sometimes it might shift and this living hell and emotional pain merges into some level of peace. A transition from fear and denial /survival, to acceptance.
 

Mee

MyPTSD Pro
If using the word rape is difficult how do you feel about adjacent words? Personally I prefer sexual assault as I feel the term is more inclusive and covers a spectrum of violations of the same type of crime and to different people regardless of jurisdiction overview of what is what - for me sexual assault is a socio political choice and I use the other to refer to my personal experience.

You can talk to your therapist how you are talking to us if need be- or be silent while your therapist addresses ways forward if you write them an email addressing the recent understanding and impact.

you might find your way to one word answers . Or body language feed back :)

you are doing what feels safe to you right now by being silent. Hopefully with your supportive safe partner more will feel safe soon and hopefully the same with your T and then maybe an expanding circle.
 

ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
Hello. Very sorry for what happened to you, it is indeed awful and extremely difficult to compute. I remember having surrendered after saying no two times very clearly, and even telling myself let's say I consented otherwise it's a r... And taking more than a week to be able to say it after having understood that it was very real. I couldn't see a therapist at that point. Happy to hear you have the care around you. If you shut down for a moment, it's normal and in a certain sense desirable. Sleeping and rest in these situations help to process and buffer the shock of realising. Be gentle on yourself 🙂 if silence feels right, it's okay. It's a lot to process.

Sending you warm hugs, if you accept. Welcome to the forum. Things do pass and evolve. 🌻
 

justasimplecat

Policy Enforcement
Not Active
Thank you for further replies.
Tried to message my therapist to explain what has happened, including my loss of voice, and she responded saying “it will be very difficult for me to give you therapy over our video calls if you can’t speak, you need to find a way to get yourself to speak again. Communication is very important in a therapist & patient relationship. If you’re unable to communicate it will make our sessions very difficult. Please try to get yourself speaking again.”
HOW?! I have no control over this. Every time I try to speak I just clam up completely. I seem to have just gone mute! It’s definitely not by choice, and now I feel like I’m being blamed for it 😢
I’m so shocked tbh, she’s usually so fantastic. I can’t believe she said that!? 😢

That on top of the blame I already feel.
Just feel so alone.
 

Sideways

Moderator
I was friends with a lady that used to go to the same hospital as me. She had an abusive partner, and on one admission, for no apparent reason at all, she couldn't speak.

It took 4 days of relaxing somewhere she felt safe. And then it came back of its own accord.

Are there things that you can do to make yourself feel a little more safe where you are? Are there things that you can do that distract you, even for short periods of time? Or relax you, even for short periods of time? Anything from watching old movies to sitting by a creek to curling up in bed and just plain old sleeping as long as possible?
 

justasimplecat

Policy Enforcement
Not Active
I’m not sure, but by the sound of it, I don’t think she’ll go for that. She’s made it clear I need to vocalize in our sessions 😞

I have slept as much as humanly possible, and as for going out into nature, I live in a city so unfortunately can’t do that, and my whole province is on a shutdown due to Covid anyway, so I can’t go out for unnecessary reasons...
I’ve watched episodes of my favourite sitcoms Netflix but am finding it hard to even focus on those. I am a head chef but of course I can’t go to work right now either. I have tried cooking at home, but my fragile mental state means I keep screwing things up! So husband has taken over the cooking. I just feel like everything I love/am good at is slipping away from me now, too. I can’t seem to function like a human being anymore 😞
 

ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
@justasimplecat I feel you. Moments like this are extremely hard. But they are moments, and it's a normal response. What happened to you is extremely difficult to process, on top of already dealing with the bodily and identity transitions that isn't a piece of cake neither. For what you write it is evident that you are a person with energy and have so far fought for getting where you are, which is very remarkable!! A lot of courage here!

Be confident your courage and function will come back. A friend of mine once told me it's important to listen to your body. If it's telling you to curl, it might be a good idea to do it so. If it's telling you silence, it's okay too.

When I was so confused and bzzzted that I couldn't compute anything I just watched bird observation documentaries. Or any nature related things preferentially without a voiceover or music. Just the nature shots. I lived in a city too and am not much an outdoorsy person, so the TV did it for me. And I could crawl in and out of sleep with the vague background sound of nature and animals. It's soothing, not entirely distracting because it's very few information. Perhaps it can do it for you if you find that watching shows is already mobilising too much energy.

I'm sorry your therapist doesn't seem to understand your situation! If it carries on like this do you think you'd like to change and find another one? At least here you have a space to express your struggles. I hope you're having the softest and most agreeable day possible.
 
The effects of a toxic relationship can reverberate for years to come. To answer your question from a non-legal perspective, let's say what you have described was a violent and forceful sexual assault.
The guy is now in prison and - although it's not much consolation - it is hoped he will not be part of your life anymore.
The encounter was not only a vicious, cruel sexual assault but also a betrayal of the very essence of a loving partnership. That is one of trust and respect.
You've asked the question....Was it rape?....Let's say that what you have just been through constitutes a forced sexual assault against your will. You were also treated in a sexually degraded manner.
You may benefit from legal advice or contacting the police because this incident could be legally classed as rape or sexual assault. You were the victim (now survivor) of a violent, sexually motivated crime and - although in prison - your ex could still be held accountable.
Although dwelling on our past misfortunes can leave us feeling more depressed, some reflection can help us to understand and move forward.
This relationship you embarked upon when only a teenager. You've not mentioned your former partner's age but that alone does not define how a person treats others.
One thing for certain. Your ex-partner saw an opportunity to take advantage of someone who was at a vulnerable stage in their life.
Being a teenager is hard enough - with it's rollercoaster of emotions and the challenges of discovering adulthood - let alone committing to a relationship.
Added to this, there will have been your other personal challenges regarding the understanding of your gender identity, sexuality and the journey of transition.
It's likely you were vulnerable at the time of first meeting your ex. He will have sadly seen - and seized - an opportunity to take advantage.
Your ex-partner will have felt a sense of power when hurting you.
Yet there could have been something deep underneath all that cowardly behaviour. Maybe a deep, secret hatred of himself.
He decided to take advantage of your situation and use it for his own personal gain. The only way he could feel that he really had some power in his life.
With your self esteem destroyed by this man, you will have found it very hard to leave his side.....
However.....Perhaps - if the real truth be known - he couldn't leave you. Why?....
He felt he couldn't face his own sexual dilemmas? He secretly loathed himself for what he had become?
Maybe he felt that he really needed to prove to himself that he was a 'real' man. Sadly. The only way for him to deal with this....Abuse someone vulnerable.
The incident you described was a way for your ex-partner to express his own secret hatred....Himself.
From the instigation of the sexual comments to make you feel uncomfortable - all the way to the final, horrible conclusion - this was a form of punishment. Your ex could only see what he couldn't be - or admit to.
Much of your ex-partner's nastiness will have emanated deep from within himself and he took the opportunity to 'objectify' you for this cruel incident. This was how he expressed the true conflict with his own identity.
The chances are, this nasty incident was the culmination of this man's built-up, yet confused emotions.
There's the issue of having to 'prove yourself' to your ex when he began this encounter with you and his friends. He was actually finding a way to prove something to himself. His own self-worthiness.
Maybe he was trying to find a way of proving to himself that he was a real man.
Your ex appears to have an issue that could have stemmed from resentment within his own early life. Perhaps his family.
Having to sexually abuse someone who is vulnerable in front of two equally unpleasant people - and derive pleasure whilst they touch themselves....Who's proving to who?
Going all the way to the forceful, violent sexual intercourse with a vulnerable, young person - and with the help of these aggressors.....
There must be something deep inside your ex that harbours some kind of hatred. That secret knowledge that he'll never prove to himself (and maybe his family) that he is really worthy of respect.
Although the differences between you and your ex are many. There is one specific, significant difference between him and you.
The courage to face, accept and be who you really are inside.
You describe how you responded to this by 'freezing', being dazed and 'out of it'. All of this will have been caused by the shock of what was happening to you.
Often, survivors of abuse blame themselves.
There's that question in your mind...."What if....?"
What happened to you was not your fault. You were coerced into this and overpowered by your ex and two others when at your most vulnerable.
What you are describing in your posts is a delayed reaction to the incident, caused by the initial trauma of the assault. When the assault happened, you 'froze in shock' and are now experiencing the following (delayed) trauma.
You may later experience feelings of depression, anxiety or even 'flashbacks' - and experiences such as you not being able to speak. Self-harm (as you mentioned) will be your way of dealing with the trauma.
All of this can be delayed, then come out later on in life - as you are now experiencing.
You may need to bear in mind that there could be powerful emotions associated with your transition. This can be ongoing, even after your surgeries.
At the moment, you are very limited with regard to counselling services because of coronavirus restrictions.
Perhaps the online therapy is not the most suitable for your needs. Life's harder because of the Covid lockdowns.
Counselling will help you to deal with the trauma of your experience and because you'll still be dealing with issues concerning the re-assignment/transition of your body.
Hopefully...Eventually...When things can get back to 'normal', you may find it more beneficial to use the services of a counsellor/therapist with a deeper understanding of your trauma. It's worth doing some research.
For you - the counselling (preferably one-to-one and in person) will be more beneficial if the therapy was ongoing for a lengthy period of time.
As the therapy will be over a long period, you'll benefit from a counsellor who actually understands and can relate to the traumatic after-effects - such as not being able to speak and so on.
This can be the delayed post-trauma of PTSD, so a counsellor in that field will be more suitable.
You may also find it helpful to research organisations that can offer services connected to sexual assault/domestic violence and abuse. They could help.
You may want to seek legal advice or involve the police regarding this assault as your ex-partner is already doing time for rape.
At present, neither he - nor the other two - have been punished for this particular assault. There's a chance that your ex may co-operate with the police as he could face further charges. He may even want to 'take down' the other two - rather face further punishment alone.
This is of course, subject to dealing with the police or seeking legal advice.
Understandably. It's up to you. Do you want to pursue this further?....
You may want to put this all behind you and move forward. As most importantly, it's your own physical and mental well-being that needs to come first.
You mention your husband - who seems to seriously care about you - which means you are taking steps to move forward with your life.
Hopefully. This caring, honest and loving relationship will help you to focus on your transition and the rest of your recovery - and leave behind the cruel treatment you received in the past.
 

mumstheword

MyPTSD Pro
The effects of a toxic relationship can reverberate for years to come. To answer your question from a non-legal perspective, let's say what you have described was a violent and forceful sexual assault.
The guy is now in prison and - although it's not much consolation - it is hoped he will not be part of your life anymore.
The encounter was not only a vicious, cruel sexual assault but also a betrayal of the very essence of a loving partnership. That is one of trust and respect.
You've asked the question....Was it rape?....Let's say that what you have just been through constitutes a forced sexual assault against your will. You were also treated in a sexually degraded manner.
You may benefit from legal advice or contacting the police because this incident could be legally classed as rape or sexual assault. You were the victim (now survivor) of a violent, sexually motivated crime and - although in prison - your ex could still be held accountable.
Although dwelling on our past misfortunes can leave us feeling more depressed, some reflection can help us to understand and move forward.
This relationship you embarked upon when only a teenager. You've not mentioned your former partner's age but that alone does not define how a person treats others.
One thing for certain. Your ex-partner saw an opportunity to take advantage of someone who was at a vulnerable stage in their life.
Being a teenager is hard enough - with it's rollercoaster of emotions and the challenges of discovering adulthood - let alone committing to a relationship.
Added to this, there will have been your other personal challenges regarding the understanding of your gender identity, sexuality and the journey of transition.
It's likely you were vulnerable at the time of first meeting your ex. He will have sadly seen - and seized - an opportunity to take advantage.
Your ex-partner will have felt a sense of power when hurting you.
Yet there could have been something deep underneath all that cowardly behaviour. Maybe a deep, secret hatred of himself.
He decided to take advantage of your situation and use it for his own personal gain. The only way he could feel that he really had some power in his life.
With your self esteem destroyed by this man, you will have found it very hard to leave his side.....
However.....Perhaps - if the real truth be known - he couldn't leave you. Why?....
He felt he couldn't face his own sexual dilemmas? He secretly loathed himself for what he had become?
Maybe he felt that he really needed to prove to himself that he was a 'real' man. Sadly. The only way for him to deal with this....Abuse someone vulnerable.
The incident you described was a way for your ex-partner to express his own secret hatred....Himself.
From the instigation of the sexual comments to make you feel uncomfortable - all the way to the final, horrible conclusion - this was a form of punishment. Your ex could only see what he couldn't be - or admit to.
Much of your ex-partner's nastiness will have emanated deep from within himself and he took the opportunity to 'objectify' you for this cruel incident. This was how he expressed the true conflict with his own identity.
The chances are, this nasty incident was the culmination of this man's built-up, yet confused emotions.
There's the issue of having to 'prove yourself' to your ex when he began this encounter with you and his friends. He was actually finding a way to prove something to himself. His own self-worthiness.
Maybe he was trying to find a way of proving to himself that he was a real man.
Your ex appears to have an issue that could have stemmed from resentment within his own early life. Perhaps his family.
Having to sexually abuse someone who is vulnerable in front of two equally unpleasant people - and derive pleasure whilst they touch themselves....Who's proving to who?
Going all the way to the forceful, violent sexual intercourse with a vulnerable, young person - and with the help of these aggressors.....
There must be something deep inside your ex that harbours some kind of hatred. That secret knowledge that he'll never prove to himself (and maybe his family) that he is really worthy of respect.
Although the differences between you and your ex are many. There is one specific, significant difference between him and you.
The courage to face, accept and be who you really are inside.
You describe how you responded to this by 'freezing', being dazed and 'out of it'. All of this will have been caused by the shock of what was happening to you.
Often, survivors of abuse blame themselves.
There's that question in your mind...."What if....?"
What happened to you was not your fault. You were coerced into this and overpowered by your ex and two others when at your most vulnerable.
What you are describing in your posts is a delayed reaction to the incident, caused by the initial trauma of the assault. When the assault happened, you 'froze in shock' and are now experiencing the following (delayed) trauma.
You may later experience feelings of depression, anxiety or even 'flashbacks' - and experiences such as you not being able to speak. Self-harm (as you mentioned) will be your way of dealing with the trauma.
All of this can be delayed, then come out later on in life - as you are now experiencing.
You may need to bear in mind that there could be powerful emotions associated with your transition. This can be ongoing, even after your surgeries.
At the moment, you are very limited with regard to counselling services because of coronavirus restrictions.
Perhaps the online therapy is not the most suitable for your needs. Life's harder because of the Covid lockdowns.
Counselling will help you to deal with the trauma of your experience and because you'll still be dealing with issues concerning the re-assignment/transition of your body.
Hopefully...Eventually...When things can get back to 'normal', you may find it more beneficial to use the services of a counsellor/therapist with a deeper understanding of your trauma. It's worth doing some research.
For you - the counselling (preferably one-to-one and in person) will be more beneficial if the therapy was ongoing for a lengthy period of time.
As the therapy will be over a long period, you'll benefit from a counsellor who actually understands and can relate to the traumatic after-effects - such as not being able to speak and so on.
This can be the delayed post-trauma of PTSD, so a counsellor in that field will be more suitable.
You may also find it helpful to research organisations that can offer services connected to sexual assault/domestic violence and abuse. They could help.
You may want to seek legal advice or involve the police regarding this assault as your ex-partner is already doing time for rape.
At present, neither he - nor the other two - have been punished for this particular assault. There's a chance that your ex may co-operate with the police as he could face further charges. He may even want to 'take down' the other two - rather face further punishment alone.
This is of course, subject to dealing with the police or seeking legal advice.
Understandably. It's up to you. Do you want to pursue this further?....
You may want to put this all behind you and move forward. As most importantly, it's your own physical and mental well-being that needs to come first.
You mention your husband - who seems to seriously care about you - which means you are taking steps to move forward with your life.
Hopefully. This caring, honest and loving relationship will help you to focus on your transition and the rest of your recovery - and leave behind the cruel treatment you received in the past.
Wow, lots of this post speaks directly to my own experience.

Thank you @Paul Shipman Smith for writing out this extensive, informative and compassionate post.

My experience was over a much greater stretch of time and the abuse was sneaker, very machiavellian, and the triangulation involved hurting me through my own children. He did offer me out to another (I recently found out) abusive man, but nothing came of it.

What you wrote fits though. I was very young (16) very, very vulnerable.

Anyway, I need to stop as this is coming across as a thread highjacking. I just wanted to thank you @Paul Shipman Smith. I was very impressed with how much you put into your reply and to tell you I benefited.
 

Friday

Moderator
Mod Note : ETA Post moved to its own thread.

I wanted to start a post tonight, but evidently I cant do that because Im not a premium member. ( I would make good donation but don't have the right app for it I guess)
Anyone can post a thread... it has nothing to do with being a sponsor/premium member... even guests can post threads. Just hit us up over at Contact Us and one of us can walk you through that process or troubleshoot what the problem may be.

Similarly... we can move this post into a thread of it’s own. When you reach us at Contact Us just let us know what you’d like the title to be.

Friday
 
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