I’m new to this site but lately I’ve just felt that I need to let this out, to tell someone what happened, and I’m not ready to tell anyone in my life. Two months ago I was assaulted by two men in a park a kilometre from my home. I thought that’s all it was, but a few weeks ago I did some reading, and discovered that what one of the men did was legally rape. The moment I read that I fell apart. Up until that point I’d been an assault victim and nothing more. I feel like once I read that everything changed. I can barely even say the word.
Only my psychologist, GP, the Police and some Nursing staff know that anything happened, and I only told them part of the truth. Part of me wants to tell someone what actually happened, but another part of me wishes I had never said anything at all. If I hadn’t told anyone I could pretend it didn’t happen at all. But I feel like I’m falling apart, and rather than getting better with time it just seems to be getting worse. The nightmares were initially only once or twice a week, but are now most nights, sometimes multiple times a night. I’m having flashbacks and seem to be triggered by everything.
I’ve had self-esteem issues for years and have never felt good enough to be with anyone, so up until now I was a virgin. I always imagined that when I lost that label, it would be with someone who cared for me, who loved me. Most importantly, it would be my choice. I feel dirty and used, and although I know that virginity is only a social construct with no biological meaning, it’s heartbreaking to know that it no longer applies to me; to know that my first time, that rite de passage in my life, was against my will. That anonymous man stole that from me, taking along with it what little pride and hope I had left.
I can still feel them touching me; everywhere, inside. I’m a runner and my long runs used to help, but even they can’t block out the thoughts anymore. I can’t live with this secret, but I also know I definitely can’t live with the implications of letting it out. I don’t know what to do. I feel like I’m reaching the end.
I hope it’s okay that I’ve said all of this. I just needed to let it out. I don’t know if it will help, but I’ll try anything at this point.
— Survivor, age 24