It’s a very conflicting disease: PTSD.
A part of me is angry at myself for allowing myself to get raped in the first place, but how often do you expect to by someone you trusted?
Another part of me is confused, sad, wanting to tuck away from the world.
The other half is telling me it could’ve been worse.

Do I regret the relationship? Not really, but as said, I didn’t think it would’ve happened, but it did. Maybe I should’ve fought him off, or at least said something to him afterwards, or maybe I should’ve just sucked it up and pretended it didn’t happen.
Because at one point, I was in love with him. I loved him.

It’s still an odd feeling calling him my “rapist” especially since he more than likely wasn’t aware of what he did, despite me saying “Stop” or “Slow down.”

Why can’t I just admit it to myself instead of having various emotions? It’s exhausting…

Would it be right to tell him? My new therapist says it wouldn’t do any good, and his ex fiance knows (whom I’m friends with), but it’s just completely draining day in and day out still trying to come to terms with this.

Why do I feel guilty still? Why do I feel I did something wrong to get raped in the first place? Could I have prevented it?


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21 comments

  1. Ashley Day Captain

    Jamie Marie,

    After a traumatic experience, it can be easy to fall into a vicious cycle where we reflect on what we could have done differently.
    You shouldn’t have been placed in a vulnerable position – Fighting or confronting the people who harm us are two things we shouldn’t have to do. That harm should have never occurred. If you were to tell him, how might you feel?

    You are NOT to blame for what he did.

  2. CarmenR Volunteer

    It’s completley natural to feel what you are feeling. Please don’t feel guilty though, as you are not to blame, and you did nothing wrong. It’s normal to think about the “What if’s” and “What could I have done differently.” There are some days I still ask myself the same question. It’s important to remember that this is a part of the healing process. I know it’s difficult, but try not to focus on the what ifs, and instead focus on what you can do now, in this moment to help yourself heal. Please continue to come back to us! We are hear to support you and believe you. You aren’t alone, and you are so strong. Thank you for sharing. Sending love your way!

    Carmen

  3. enimsaj

    I want to start off by saying all of your feelings are normal! It is okay to be angry, sad, and confused. I once saw a quote from a therapist who said a lot of her clients of trauma always said it could have been worse or someone else had it worse than I did. It is a way for them to cope. Everyone’s story is different and how each person feels about their story is different too. None of this was your fault. He should have know better and the blame is 110% on him and him only. I am so sorry you were hurt by someone you loved so much. Thank you for sharing your story

  4. Natalie M Day Captain

    Jamie Marie, I am so sorry you are having these feelings. Most importantly, this was NOT your fault! You did nothing wrong. It is okay that you loved him and there is no need to be ashamed of that. I think it is great that you are seeing a therapist for this to help you work through these emotions. It is completely up to you who you share your story with or if you confront him or not. But, it might be best to work on yourself first. You come first, you are most important. I understand it can be draining but you are so strong! Hang in there and keep pushing through. We are by your side.

  5. MinZRivers Volunteer

    I’m sorry you were violated by someone you thought you trusted. Many of us have been, it’s more common than you would think. What you are feeling is normal in this situation, but please try not to blame yourself for the horrible actions of another. I want you to know you are not alone, you’re not the only one. And in saying that you will also be standing among the rest of us who have fought through and found a way to heal. It’s not easy but we are here. I appreciate you trusting us enough to share your story. That was so very brave of you! I ask you to please consider some type of counseling to help you get through this pain. If you are in need of resources, please let us know. We are always here for you. I wish you much success and love?-Kia

  6. Gavin Bonar

    Jamie,

    I’m sorry this happened to you. You deserved to be treated better.
    Guilt is such a normal feeling to have. Sometimes we second guess every little action we took in thinking that anything would be different. But the malintent was there from the start. This was in no way your fault. He made a conscious effort to harm you. What you feel is completely valid. Give it some more time with therapy. It takes time to heal. I’m glad you’ve come back to chat with us. It’s often times freeing to get this off your chest. We’ll always have your back!

  7. music2799 Day Captain

    Hi Jamie Marie,
    I’m so sorry you’re feeling this way. Sometimes we do question ourselves – we wonder what would have happened if we did something differently or if this was our fault. But this wasn’t your fault. You’re not overreacting, and how you feel is completely valid. You told him to stop: he didn’t, and that is his fault.
    We’re here for you if you need to talk. Thank you for updating us. We’re proud of you.

  8. kierstrand

    Hi Jamie Marie,
    None of this is your fault, you did not deserve what happened to you. Looking back on the situation and thinking you could of done things differently is a common response, you’re no alone in that. Know that this is a safe place filled with people who are on your team. I’m so sorry that you’re not feeling your best right now. Let us know if we can help you out in any way!

  9. blashea Volunteer

    This was in no way your fault. You did nothing wrong. I am so sorry that you feel this way. You are so strong and I know you’ll be able to get through this!

  10. MH Volunteer

    Hello Jamie Marie,
    Feeling guilty is often a response that many experience- but know that NONE of this was your fault. With time, it will get better. It can be exhausting but you are so strong- you have been through a lot and look at you- you should be very proud of yourself! We are here for you throughout all of this.
    MH

  11. Kristen Eby

    Hey there.

    I understand feeling guilty. I feel guilty often…frankly, it’s still hard for me to call myself a survivor, even five years later. It feels fake. I was involved with him, I didn’t punch or hit him, could I have stopped it? I feel like I should just suck it up and get over it too.

    But love, just because something “could have been worse” doesn’t mean your reaction is invalid. You experienced something that wasn’t okay. When your partner says stop, you stop – and that’s it. There’s no other acceptable action. He made a decision to ignore you, and that is wrong no matter how you look at the situation. The man who assaulted me has no idea what he did either, I am sure. I strongly suspect he’s done it to others, because he told me stories about “exes” that didn’t sit right with me, although he described them as “over-dramatic”. It took me a long time to realize that I wasn’t being “over-dramatic” too…that what he did wasn’t okay.

    You are not guilty of anything, but you aren’t alone in feeling this way. It gets better.

    Kristen

  12. Solongago Volunteer

    Hi JamieMarie,

    Yeah, I understand the guilt-thing. Even if we can work it all out logically, sometimes it takes some time for the emotions to catch up, and we still feel guilty.

    My therapist has told me it wasn’t my fault, all the folks here, my first therapist, my mother and father, my pastor. But I have hung on to the guilt. I need more than to be told it isn’t my fault, I needed to be taught why it isn’t. And even then I struggle with it. I think that it is like a spiral though, and I spiral back into feeling guilty, but each time now, I feel less guilty, and it takes less time to get out of the feeling.

    I think it is the hideous nature of sexual abuse. The secrecy, the guilt, the shame, all of it seems to land on the victim.

    I had some pretty elaborate excuses for being guilty. My therapist told me that once he decided to do what he was going to do, nothing I could have done would have prevented it. I THINK she is right. And then I go feeling guilty some more. It’s one of those things that time alone does not heal. Time tends to compound it, unless you are working, as you are, to understand the whole of the situation and process it. For me, 17 years of trying to ignore it and bury it didn’t work. So now, I am working on not ignoring it and bringing it into the light. But it still is going to take time, and it’s kind of like an onion, you peel away a layer of it and find another layer, and another, and another.

    I am sorry for not being very helpful. I really think the therapy is working for me, and I am not feeling as much guilt and shame about what happened to me. I hope you will have a similar experience.

  13. Alyssa Day Captain

    Hi Jamie Marie,
    I’m so sorry you aren’t feeling better. Please remember that what happened is not your fault. You did not ask for this and you couldn’t control it. I personally think it is up to you if you want to talk to him because it could make you feel better or it could make you feel worse. If you talk to him you have to be in the right mindset.
    Feeling guilty is all part of the process. Everyday is different and you just have to know and remember this isn’t your fault. There is nothing to feel guilty about. In time you will realize this.
    If you need anything else you can always write back.
    -Alyssa

  14. Kailey2298 Volunteer

    Hi Jamie Marie,

    Nothing was your fault. I understand how you could think that but its so important that you understand nothing that happened is your fault. Sometimes It’s easy to blame yourself because it makes it easier to understand. Your so strong and you shouldn’t let your thoughts tell you anything other then that. If you tell him make sure you comfortable and safe that’s the most important thing. Thank you for trusting AVFTI and sharing with us! Please keep updating us and if we can do anything more to help please let us know!
    Kailey

  15. jenni

    Hi Jamie Marie,
    thank you for coming here and sharing your story. I’m happy you found a safe place within AVFTI to share such deep thoughts. Please remember that you did not deserve this. Talking about it can help, so please keep seeking out help and thinking of all these questions, but remember to take care of yourself while you’re at it too.

  16. elisabettap

    Jamie Maire,
    I am sorry that you dealing with this right now. You don’t deserve what happened to you. You can decide to tell him if you want to, but make sure you feel safe in the situation. Always remember that you are not responsible for what happened. You said stop. We are all here for you.
    Elisabetta

  17. kelly Day Captain

    Hi, Jamie Marie. I’m sorry you’re going through this right now. There’s nothing you did wrong to deserve this. No one deserves or asks to be raped. The body goes through automatic responses when it feels threatened—fight, flight, freeze, fawn (I just learned about this last one)—that are instinctual and designed to protect us in moments of danger. Maybe if you didn’t react the way you did, it could have been worse. Maybe not fighting was the safest option.
    It’s your decision whether or not to confront him, but make sure you are in the right place to do so. You might not get the response you are looking for. Writing a letter (whether or not you actually send it) can be therapeutic. I’ve personally never confronted my abuser, but I’ve written about two dozen letters in various tones just to get it out. I do want to send one eventually, but right now I’m waiting til I know I’m ready.
    Just remember you did nothing wrong. You did nothing to deserve this. You are not responsible for his actions and you don’t deserve to carry this burden.

  18. Bluebell13 Volunteer

    Dear Jamie Marie,
    I am not sure if this will be helpful for you, but maybe it is worth a try: think of yourself as a bicycle wheel with your core-self at the center and then all of the little spokes going out to make the rest of the wheel. Those spokes are all of the things that make you who you are (what you like, what you are good at, what you have to work at, what you are working on, what you believe in, things that have happened to you, etc). Sometimes, we become overly focused on only one spoke and end up forgetting about all of the other things that we are. I am not saying that you don’t have reason to focus on this, but don’t forget all of the other wonderful things that you are.
    Have you already written everything down in a letter that you would like to tell him? Maybe doing that, but waiting to send it/give it to him until you have a few more sessions with your therapist, will help you be able to work through some of your feelings and help you feel validated.
    I am really sorry that you are having to go through all of this. We are here for you.
    Sending love and strength,
    Roxie

  19. Turnschaosintoart Day Captain

    Hey Jamie Marie,
    You are right PTSD is very conflicting. I can tell your brain is working in over drive asking a million what ifs. You really can’t ask what if this happened. It will drive you mad! You can’t change the past. And I agree with your thearpist as much as you want to say something I can probably do more harm than good. You need to focus on you and what is healthy for you. Dont feel guilty. We can tell you over and over again it wasn’t your fault but I know how hard it is to forget that. But we have to remind ourselves. It wasnt. There was nothing you did to bring it on. Or something you did wrong. It was his choice. It was in his hands. Not yours. And you can go crazy wondering could you prevented it but in reality he wanted it and he was gonna take it. So again not your fault. I am glad to see you are making progress in sessions and exploring more of your ptsd. Keep working hard
    Kristin

  20. Erin O'Callaghan Day Captain

    It is not your fault that someone raped you. It is never the victims fault-but I know that many victims still feel that way. I still grapple with those emotions myself, sometimes. I think if you continue to work on that in therapy, it will be helpful-I hope your therapist is supportive. Is there anything else we can do for you? Let us know-we are here for you.

    Erin

    1. Jamie Marie Volunteer

      I won’t be seeing my therapist unitl May 2nd, so it’s a struggle every day with these antagonizing thoughts.