Stronger

When I was 19 someone I trusted took advantage of me. We had hooked up before. He gave me and ultimatum about letting him take my virginity and I honestly believed that no one else would ever be attracted to me and so even though I wasn’t ready, I let him have sex with me. He put a towel down on his living room floor and had sex with me. Before we hooked up he was sweet to me and always texted kind sweet messages. After we had sex the first time, he only texted me asking when I was going to come over again to have sex. After hooking up a couple times I told him I wanted to try new things and maybe get a little kinky. We never had any discussion about what I meant by kinky I guess he just assumed. So one time when we were hooking up, it had started out consensually but all of the sudden he flipped me onto my stomach and started anally penetrating me. I told him to stop and I started crying because it was so so painful. I kept saying no and stop and I tried to crawl away multiple times but he just pulled me back in each time. He was so much bigger and stronger than me and I couldn’t get away. 

After he finished, he left the room and I sat on the bed confused and upset. He came back into the room a couple minutes later and told me that he was going to hit me if I didn’t join him on the couch. I went to the bathroom to get dressed and ran out of his house. 

I don’t remember the date it happened which I know is part of trauma but it’s so frustrating. He texted me multiple times and there sually ignored him. One day he texted me and threatened to rape me again and have me details of what he would do. He knew where I lived and I was so paranoid he was going to come after me. I don’t really know when it hit me that he had raped me. But when it did I was so confused and ashamed. I didn’t report because I thought for sure no one would believe me and nothing would get done. I also felt like everyone who looked at me would know. A huge secret that was written on my forehead. 

Now I can see that there were red flags, like ultimatums, controlling behavior, and ridiculous jealousy. But at the time I was just okay that someone was interested in me. The log ally part of my brain knows it wasn’t my fault but I still feel ashamed sometimes and that I got myself into that. But then there’s also part of me that feels like I don’t deserve to be upset because others have had it worse. The logical part of my brain knows that those are unhealthy thoughts but sometimes I can’t shake them. I’ve since told my friends and boyfriend (who isn’t really that supportive/understanding sometimes). But I haven’t gotten up the guts to tell my family because I want to protect them and I’m ashamed to tell them. I hope all of this makes sense. Ugh. I’ve had other assaults but this is the most severe and I just hate that my life has been altered because of what he did to me.


I have since gotten my masters degree in counseling so that I can help others and I have more good days than bad. I know that I’m stronger and more brave than I’ve ever been. I will continue to stand up for survivors and make sure that our voices are heard. We will not be silenced. Assault is never okay and we deserve to be heard and our feelings deserve to be validated. 


Join the Conversation

60 comments

  1. Brianna W Volunteer Volunteer

    It’s absolutely amazing you earned your masters in counseling, you deserve it. You are so brave and strong to over come everything you’ve gone through. You deserve happiness and joy in life. Keep on pushing forward and staying strong. If you ever need anything please know that you can come back and we will be happy to hear from you again.

    Brianna

    1. Dogscoffeebooks

      Thank you!!

  2. Hannah

    Hi there,
    I’m sorry you had to experience that with someone you initially trusted. Intimacy is something that should be given, not taken, and you didn’t deserve to be treated like that at all. You’re such a strong individual for being able to ignore him and get yourself out of that situation. I can’t imagine the strength that took. Don’t feel bad for not having told your family. It’s your story and you decide who gets to know. Don’t be ashamed of what happened to you, it wasn’t your fault.

    The fact that you went on to get a masters in a career that will help others is absolutely amazing. It’s so inspiring to see people channel pain into something inspiring and helpful to others. People are lucky to have you around and I’m so glad you found us.
    We’re here for you. Let us know if we can connect you with any resources.

    1. Dogscoffeebooks

      Thank you so much 💜💜💜

  3. mkyuellig Volunteer

    Dogscoffeebooks,

    First of all, WOW congratulations on earning your masters in counseling. That is truly amazing how you were able to take that terrible experience and become and advocate for others. I am also in the mental health field, and I think it’s kind of funny that even though we know the reality of how assault works, and how trauma works, we are extra hard on ourselves. I want you to know that what he did to you was not okay, and it was rape. I’m so sorry that you’ve been plagued by feelings of guilt and shame, because none of that was your fault, and no one deserves that. Thank you for taking to time to help others, but also remember to be kind to yourself and practice self-care.

    Stay strong and be gentle with yourself,
    Keight

    1. Dogscoffeebooks

      Thank you for the support.
      I am extra hard on myself because being in the mental health field makes you very aware of when your thought process isn’t healthy and then that causes more negative thoughts. It’s a tough process. Thank you for validating my experience. I will work on my self care 😊

  4. Bluebell13 Volunteer

    Dear Dogscoffeebooks,
    Thank you for sharing your story with us; it takes courage to tell others about something so painful, especially when you are trying to work through feelings of shame. I admire your path of turning your trauma into something helpful to others. I recently read Daring Greatly by Brene Brown and she discusses shame throughout the book. It really helped me to understand myself and what I can do to be “shame resilient” in my life. This may be something helpful for you as well…at least with addressing the emotional part of shame that overrules our logic. As for whom to tell, that is completely up to you; there is no right or wrong and no one can tell you that there is. Only you know the whole story and all of the personalities of those you may or may not tell. Whatever you decide, it will be the right thing because it is right for you in the moment. I hope that the issue with your bf is resolved before it causes further hurt to you. Any way that things go, you’ve got this because you are strong and amazing!!
    Sending you love and strength,
    Roxie

    1. Dogscoffeebooks

      I’ve heard great things about that book. I might check it out!
      Thank you for the support 😊

  5. Jordan L Volunteer

    Hey there,
    I am so sorry that this happened to you. I want you to remember that none of this is your fault, he is completely responsible for his action.
    I also hope you don’t feel ashamed anymore. Your assault does not define you. You are so much more than what happened to you. It makes you so much stronger as a person. Everything you feel is valid.
    I’m happy to hear that you turned your pain and trauma into helping others. Victim/survivors supporting other victim/survivors is so empowering.
    I agree with you assault is never okay and we do deserve to be heard. Thank you for trusting us and sharing your story. We are always here for you.

    -Jordan

    1. Dogscoffeebooks

      The shame is still hard. It’s not there all the time but some days it’s just hits me hard. Thank you for validating my feelings. I appreciate everyone’s support very much.

  6. bjames1121 Volunteer

    Good Evening Dogcoffeebooks –

    Thank you for sharing your story. I am soooo sorry for what happened to you. You are truly brave and I commend you on getting your degree to help others that have been through sexual assault and abuse as you have. Trusting in someone you care about and then they become abuse towards you is wrong on all levels. Are you getting counseling as well to deal with what you’ve been through? Remember, you need to take care of yourself as well. You are not the blame for him abusing you and your friends should of been more understanding and supportive. When the time is right, you will find the courage to share you story with your family. Please know that we are here if you need to talk or just need a listening ear.

    God Bless……..

    1. Dogscoffeebooks

      I am getting counseling, but our focus has mainly been my relationship. I think we will dive into the assault at some point.
      Thank you for the encouraging words.

  7. Kailey2298 Volunteer

    Hi Dogscoffeebooks,
    I’m so sorry for what happened to you, you didn’t deserve an of it. Those feelings of feeling ashamed even though you logically know it isn’t your fault is completely valid and understandable. I know what your going through and I know how incredibly strong you are. You are so strong and its amazing that you are want to help others. What you went through is never okay. It also is not okay that your boyfriend is sometimes not understanding, he should respect you and how you feel. You also don’t need to tell anyone you are not ready to its your story to tell. We are hear for you and you are never alone!
    Kailey

    1. Dogscoffeebooks

      I appreciate your kind words. I’m feeling a bit frustrated lately about how he changed my life. But I will keep getting up and fighting every day!

  8. andyspringer Volunteer

    Dogscoffeebooks,

    Your last paragraph is a testament to everything that should be the result of someone’s stories- I am so very thankful that you have turned what must be a personal hell into an act of charity and support for others. You are amazing.

    I am so sorry this happened to you, of course I hope you understand that none of what happened is your fault. It is okay to have not seen the red flags in the moment- obscurity in vision does not indicate blindness. Thank you for standing up for survivors and know that we all stand behind you.

    Warmest regards always,
    Andy

    1. Dogscoffeebooks

      Your words were so kind and I truly appreciate them so much.
      I know that all the above statements are true and that I’m not at fault and that I shouldn’t fee guilty. Some days those thoughts are very hard to shake.
      I appreciate your support.

  9. zoeyb

    Yes, although your life has been altered because of what he did to you, I truly commend you for turning what you experienced and the painful aftermath into something that reinstills your power. Making that choice couldn’t of been an easy one but you did it, and you have the courage and the compassion to be there for others who went through similar situations- you are so incredibly resilient. Just recognizing that the thoughts and emotions you will go through as result what has occurred in your life is a great step towards healing. Maybe another resource/outlet could help you further assess and process what you’re feeling in the moment. Thank you for sharing your story with us, and being willing to share your heart with others. Stay strong, I believe in you.

    – Zoey

    1. Dogscoffeebooks

      I think I had known since high school thst I needed a profession that allowed me to truly help other people. I was not going to let him take that from me. I find it very hard to be vulnerable sometimes and then other times I’m an open book.
      I truly appreciate your kind words and support. It really does mean so much.

  10. Natalie M Day Captain

    Hi there,

    You are so strong for sharing your story here today! I am inspired that you took this negative experience and turned it into helping others. That is truly inspiring. You are right that assault is never okay and that your feelings are validated and your story does deserve to be heard! I want to validate your emotions after all you have been through. What happened to you was not okay. I am truly sorry that this happened and you deserve to be treated better! You are amazing! The passion you have to help others is inspiring to many. Keep doing what you are doing. We are here for you, we are on your side, and we validate you always! Stay strong. Let us know if there is anything we can do for you

    Sending love,
    Natalie

    1. Dogscoffeebooks

      Thank you for your response 😊
      It feels nice to be heard. I sometimes feel like I would burden my friends if I talk about it too much. It’s hard to explain how many different areas of life are impacted by trauma to people who have never experienced it.

  11. Amysue43 Volunteer

    I’m glad you felt comfortable to share your story with us. We believe you and we support you. I’m so sorry that this all happened to you, and you should know that you did not deserve this nor was this your fault. What happened to you does not define you; meaning, reaching out to another resource about this – if you chose to do so – would be there to support you and give you comfort. This guy’s actions were absolutely disgusting and you are right to say he took advantage of you. We stand by you in your decisions to share or not share your story; however, we hope that you find yourself confident in sharing your stories here as we are here for you. We love you and want to be here for you. Feel free to keep us updated on your feelings and thoughts regardless of the time or day, if it’s short or long. We would love to hear from you.

    Stay strong!

    1. Dogscoffeebooks

      Thank you for the kind words 💜 sometimes I’m angry at him for messing up my life. But more than my anger is a passion for helping other people and no matter how bad of a day I have, that passion will always keep me going.

  12. Ashley Day Captain

    Your story makes sense and I believe you, Dogscoffeebooks.

    Following the first sexual encounter, it sounds like there was a shift in his demeanor and I’m thinking that was difficult to comprehend. He had no right to penetrate you without your consent; it’s heartbreaking to hear that he disregarded the fact that you weren’t okay with what he was doing. It’s unacceptable that he sent threatening text messages and it’s understandable that you felt paranoid.
    When you say that it’s not your fault, you are absolutely correct. Coming to terms with what has happened can certainly cause feelings of confusion to emerge. I’m sorry that there are moments when your friends and boyfriend aren’t supportive; please know that we have your back.
    None of us are going to pressure you to confide in your family. If you reach a point where you would like to tell them, we’re more than willing to support you.

    Thank you for making the decision to obtain your master’s degree in counseling 🙂

    1. Dogscoffeebooks

      Thank you for supporting me💚 some days it’s so hard to come to terms with what happened. I stared being more open about it last year and it lifted a huge weight off my shoulders but some days are still tough.
      I hope one day he can become more understanding.

  13. Megan Volunteer

    Hey dogscoffeebooks (love the name by the way, those are some of my favorite things),

    I’m sorry that this happened to you. You didn’t deserve any of this. When we’re young and just starting to feel out the relationship and the sexual worlds, it can be very hard to recognize what is ‘normal’ from what is too controlling, etc. It wasn’t your fault that you got into that situation, you just didn’t know at the time (which isn’t your fault either). The fault is all on him for treating you like that. Also, just because others have had it worse doesn’t mean that your experience didn’t still suck and your feelings aren’t valid. I know how hard it can be to shake thoughts like that. Like even though in your head you know them not to be true you still can’t get the feeling to go away. Something that has helped me work through that has been going to therapy. If you’re not seeing a therapist already I would suggest trying it out! If not, maybe you could try doing thought records for when those things pop up? (I’m guessing you’ve seen those before from your counseling courses).

    I’m happy that you are stronger and braver than ever and I am so proud of you for that! Keep being amazing!
    Megan

    1. Dogscoffeebooks

      It’s nice to hear others validate my experience.
      I am going to therapy thankfully 😊 but my relationship with my bf has been our focus so far..

  14. Lizzi G Volunteer

    Hi Dogscoffeebooks,
    I’m so sorry for what you went through. It was not okay for him to force you into anything you didn’t want to do and weren’t ready to do. Sex should always be consensual and if at any point someone isn’t okay with something, no means no. I wish he would’ve respected that. But even more so, it must have been terrifying to receive those threatening text messages and not even feel safe where you lived. A boyfriend should never make you afraid like that and should definitely not threaten to rape you. It must have been so hard to want to tell someone but not trust that it would be taken seriously or believed. I’m so glad that you’ve been able to go into counseling and help others, even if you’re still affected by what happened with him. I know you’ll make a difference in so many people’s lives and be understanding and helpful as they go through painful things because you know what that’s like.

    Much hope,
    Lizzi

    1. Dogscoffeebooks

      Thank you for your support 💙 I do my best to be sure I can help anyone else who might be going through something hard. I don’t want others to have to endure the loneliness of carrying such a heavy secret.

  15. Edjay Volunteer

    Hi Dogscoffeebooks,

    Thank you for sharing with us. What happened to you was awful, and you didn’t deserve to go through any of that. It’s great to hear that at a part of you knows that what happened to you wasn’t your fault. It’s also great that you are also able to recognize your unhealthy thoughts, even if it definitely sounds like it can be hard to shake some negative thoughts off. You are so amazing for wanting to help others, and advocating for their voices to be heard. Stay strong.

    Edjay

    1. Dogscoffeebooks

      Thank you for your support 💙

  16. Thomas Volunteer

    Hi Dogscoffeebooks,

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. I am so sorry that this happened to you. None of this was your fault. You deserve to be treated with kindness and respect. It’s so great to hear that you have gotten your MA degree in counseling and are helping others. Your resilience is incredible. You are so strong. You’re absolutely right. Assault is never okay and everyone deserves to be heard. And I have no doubt that you will do a ton of great work in helping others and imparting those values onto our world. Thank you for all that you do.

    Thomas

    1. Dogscoffeebooks

      Thank you for your support. I really hope that I can positively impact other people’s lives.

  17. candyappleb Volunteer

    Hi Dogscoffeebooks,

    I’m so sorry that you went through that experience. Thank you for sharing your story with us. That’s awesome that you’ve achieved your masters degree. Please feel free to post again as much as needed. We’re always here to listen and help you continue through your healing journey.

    1. Dogscoffeebooks

      Thank you for reading my post and sending me kindness💙

  18. Alyssa Day Captain

    Hi Dogscoffeebooks,
    I am so sorry this happened to you. You are so strong. I’m happy you could get out after what happened, even though you shouldn’t have to have it happen to you in the first place. This is not your fault.
    I’m proud that you did not let this define you and that you were able to recover and move on. Helping other with this kind of thing is great and I think it is amazing that you got your masters in counseling. If you need anything let us know. Thank you for trusting and sharing your story with AVFTI. Continue to stay strong.
    -Alyssa

    1. Dogscoffeebooks

      Even though I know logically that it wasn’t my fault, it’s nice to have that validation from others.

  19. Northlane1991 Volunteer

    What happened to you was so horrific and wish noone expereinced whaht you just experienced. I hope your family can support you through all what happened to you. Its amazing what you have done and recognizing that you are stronger and you are standing up for survivors to make sure their voices are heard. I think that is amazing of you and i hope you to continue to stay strong and stand up for those who can’t.

    1. Dogscoffeebooks

      I just feel this need to protect my parents. Especially my dad, he’s very emotional and I know he would lose it.

  20. Colton Kim Volunteer

    I think that what happened to you is absolutely horrific and should never have to happen to anybody, and I hope that if you tell your family what had happened to you then they will be understanding and caring for you, and I also hope that your boyfriend will understand you more as well. I do think that is amazing that you recognize that you are stronger and that you are standing up for survivors and making sure that all their voices will be heard. I think that that’s amazing of you and I hope that you will continue to stay strong and continue to stand up for those who have been hurt!

    1. Dogscoffeebooks

      My boyfriend doesn’t really understand the impact of trauma. He has said some very hurtful things like that I must have liked it since I didn’t get away, or that my experience doesn’t count as rape because it started consensually, and that when I was assaulted in a bar I should have expected that because I was out at a bar…
      I know he doesn’t say things to intentionally be hurtful but it’s hard sometimes..
      Thank you for your kind words.

  21. Sweetny Volunteer

    Thank you for sharing. I am so sorry that such a terrible person and trauma became a part of your life. It must be hard to talk about this when you kept this secret for so long, and when you opened up to the people around you, you didn’t find the support you needed. I’m sorry that you’ve had this burden, but so grateful that you decided to come here and share with us.

    It’s really incredible and inspirational that you have found strength in that pain and come out swinging. Congratulations on getting your masters in counseling! Your patients are so lucky to be treated by someone who really understands the hardships of trauma, and not only survived but flourished. You are someone that victims can look up to. Thank you for telling your story, so that others may find the same strength you have.

    1. Dogscoffeebooks

      I truly hope that I can help others by speaking out. I at least want people to know that I understand how hard it is and that they are not alone.

  22. rkr18 Volunteer

    Dogscoffeebooks,

    Thanks for sharing your story! I am so sorry you had to go through this experience. I am so excited that you are not only stronger, but are now helping others that have experienced the same trauma by going into counseling. You are going to help so many People. You are truly a blessing!

    -Marie

    1. Dogscoffeebooks

      Thank you for your support I appreciate it very much. 💚

  23. Jess Volunteer

    I am so sorry that this happened to you. You absolutely did not deserve to have this happen to you. You can withdraw consent at any point during a sexual encounter, and that person should have respected that. It’s amazing to hear that you’ve come so far in being able to recognize the signs you missed the first time around and you were able to get your masters in counseling. I’m a therapist, and sometimes it’s hard to practice what we preach – I was actually just talking to a friend about it this week. Sometimes, a therapist may be able to help us see our own faulty thinking and help us process the trauma that we have been through. If therapy might help you process what happened, I encourage you to seek it out.

    Thank you for trusting us with your story. If there is anything else we can do to help you, please let us know. We are always here and we believe you. Stay strong and keep fighting. <3
    -Jess

    1. Dogscoffeebooks

      It is so hard sometimes to practice what I tell others. I often have to remind myself that it’s okay to have problems and get help because I feel like I need to always have it together. I think my biggest struggle is working through shame and fear. But I know I’ll get there one day.

      1. Jess Volunteer

        It is so hard! How you feel is completely normal. It becomes easy to get caught in this trap of “I have to be 100% healthy in order to help people.” But that really isn’t true. Sometimes us therapists/counselors need a little help too. Just keep working on those problems the best ways you know how. If you have more trouble working through that shame and fear, I suggest seeking out a therapist of your own. You know it could be really beneficial, if you need it. <3

        Let us know if you need anything else. Stay strong and keep fighting. <3
        -Jess

        1. Dogscoffeebooks

          I’m glad that you get what i mean. It’s frustrating because I know when the thoughts im having are unhealthy and not rational. But they still decide to make a home in my brain.

          I do have a therapist and I think we will address some of the assault stuff soon.

  24. CarmenR Volunteer

    Hi there,

    I am so sorry for what you went through. What he did was not your fault, and you didn’t deserve it. I’m sorry that he continued to text you and threaten you afterward. I am glad you got away from him

    I know it can be difficult and scary to share what happened with others. I hope your friends are supportive of you, and I’m sorry your boyfriend isn’t supportive all the time. Telling family can be hard, and when and if you are ready you will know. It’s your story, and you get to decide who you are comfortable sharing it with.

    Congratulations on your masters degree in counseling. You are right. You are so strong and brave, and you are doing amazing work. Stay strong, and thank you for trusting us with your story.

    Carmen

    1. Dogscoffeebooks

      I just want to protect my family…and I try to explain it to my bf but he just doesn’t understand. He makes very hurtful comments and I try to be understanding because he doesn’t understand the impact of trauma but I can be very hard

  25. kelly Day Captain

    Hey, Dogscoffeebooks. Thank you so much for trusting us with your story. I’m sorry that happened to you and you are still dealing with the shame and guilt. I know how it feels to logically understand your are not at fault, but still have those feelings. You definitely deserve to be upset. There is no hierarchy in personal pain. 19 is a fragile age, too, because we feel like we’re responsible adults but are still so susceptible to being taken advantage of. Therapy has helped me a lot in processing my own shame and helped me to gain a little perspective. I don’t know why it’s so automatic to blame ourselves for these things, but know you are not alone. I think it’s amazing that you have a masters in counseling. You are using your experiences to help others. It’s not easy.

    1. Dogscoffeebooks

      I’m finally going to therapy and it is great. A little scary of course but so far it’s good. Shame is my biggest obstacle as well. One day I hope to overcome it.

  26. Gamato04 Volunteer

    What happened to you wan’t your fault. You are incredibly strong for being able to get a masters in counseling, congratulations on that by the way, and for having more good days than bad. I believe you that this happened and you did not deserve it. All of your feelings are validated and the fact that you seem so passionate for helping other survivors is incredibly heart warming. You are an amazing person who will do amazing things in the world. You will change it.

    1. Dogscoffeebooks

      Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate them very much.

  27. music2799 Day Captain

    Hi Dogscoffeebooks,
    I’m really sorry that this happened to you. You’re not at fault for what happened to you, and you didn’t deserve any of it. When we’re in the situation, it can be difficult to know what to do. When we’re out of that situation and we’ve had some time to think about it, we see things more clearly. That wisdom and hindsight can help us understand our experiences. However, since you’re looking at this with a different perspective (than you were back then), it can lead to more self blame. Yet this wasn’t your fault. He should have asked for your consent and respected that.
    I also understand how you feel about not having the right to be upset. But there’s no scale for sexual assault. This affects you, and that’s what matters. Your feelings are valid and understandable, and you can feel how you want about this.
    It can be difficult to tell your family, and it is your choice as to whether or not you want to tell them. If you do tell them, you can tell your story at your own pace. You don’t owe anyone your story.
    I’m so happy that you want to help others, and your last sentence is spot on. Thank you for sharing your story with us. That takes courage and strength. We’re in your corner if you ever need anything. I’m confident that you can help and stand up for survivors, and you’ve got this.

    1. Dogscoffeebooks

      I have a hard time letting myself feel hurt sometimes because even though I know that everyone’s feelings are valid, i feel guilty when I’m upset because I know others have experienced worse.
      I’m trying to remind myself that okay to process my feelings so that I can heal. I’ll get there someday.

  28. Marissa Day Captain

    Hey Dogscoffeebooks,

    Thanks for sharing your story with us! I’m really sorry to hear about what happened to you. It sounds like it was a while ago, but just checking – are you safe? Is he still bothering you? Please let us know if there’s anything that concerns you. We’re here to help however we can!

    You didn’t deserve what happened to you. It wasn’t your fault, and it’s appalling that he had the nerve to text you threatening messages after everything he had already done. That’s sick, but you did the right thing by ignoring him and getting out of that situation. You’re really strong for doing that. Seriously! It must have been really scary, but I’m so glad you stuck to it. Also, I’m super impressed by what you’re doing now! You’re amazing!!

    Please let us know if there is anything we can do for you. We’re here to help however we can. We support you, no matter what.

    Marissa

    1. Dogscoffeebooks

      Thankfully he has not tried to contact me in years and I have him blocked on social media. I am safe, just having a rough week. And sometimes sharing my story just helps a little.
      Thanks for checking in!

  29. Erin O'Callaghan Day Captain

    I am so sorry for what happened to you. You didn’t deserve this, and this wasn’t your fault. You deserve to be believed, and supported, no matter what. Please let us know if there is anything else we can do for you-we are here for you.

    Erin

    1. Dogscoffeebooks

      Thank you for the kind words and support 💙