I was 17. Grew up in a small town, so when the doorbell rang I didn’t think twice about opening the door even though it was in the evening, and nearly everyone who I’ve told what happened told me “well why did you open the door?”. I asked myself that for years. What if I didn’t open the door. What if I fought harder. What if. I felt like it was my fault. Still do sometimes.
One thing that I cannot stress enough is not aimed towards rape survivors themselves, but the people around them. Your support matters. It can make the difference between life and death. I can only imagine how hard it must be to see someone you love hurt like this, but please be patient.
And to my brothers and sisters who have lived through the same nightmare. It will take time to heal. You will heal in your own way. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re taking too long, you’re weak, just move on. Only you can heal you. And you will.