I don’t know how I feel about today. 

I saw my assailant after a few weeks. At first it was painful, but I felt it less than I have in the past few months. Then I had to take communion, and he was standing right next to the priest – less than a foot away from me. After that, I couldn’t stop shaking for the rest of the service. I couldn’t breathe for a while. I was badly affected by that. What made it worse was that I could almost feel him looking at me throughout the service. 

Then I reached out to my guy friend, and I told him today was rough. He told me that I might have to tell him what happened because he didn’t understand. It’s fair. I knew this was coming and that I would have to tell him more about the incident. I’ve talked about it in abstract terms for a while.

Yet I was scared because I didn’t want him to think I was blowing it out of proportion. I know that it affected me and that’s what matters, and I know that he’s been supportive so far. However, it’s still a fear I have when I tell people the whole story. 

I told him and he was understanding. That’s not what’s bothering me. I’m just wondering if I told him before I was ready. I know it was my decision to tell him in that moment, but I still feel this frustration. I’m not sure who it’s directed at. 

I think I would have been more open to telling him if it was in the middle of the week. That’s when I have some distance from Sundays and the feelings associated with church. Yet the wounds were opened today, and I didn’t really get a chance to heal. I guess that’s why it hurt more. 

One part of me really wants to talk about it. The other part of me wants to pretend I didn’t tell him anything. I don’t know what to say or do at this point, and I’m ready to break. I don’t know who to talk to about this. I almost don’t want to bring it up to anyone because it feels so heavy. It’s exhausting, and I don’t want to talk about it too much and drive people away. Yet at the same time, it’s so hard to cope with the pain.

I don’t want to handle it on my own, but I think I’m falling back into that fear of trusting people. I’m scared and tired, and I want a hug. 


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27 comments

  1. eagle206 Volunteer

    Hi music2799,

    Thank you for coming back with an update on your story. I’m glad you were able to tell your friend about what happened and that he was understanding when you explained the whole situation. He sounds like a really good friend and you deserve someone who will listen and understand what you have been going through. I’m sure if you don’t want to talk about it further he won’t press you about it. It’s hard to tell someone something this big and not feel a bit uncomfortable about it. Know that he is there for you and he seems to be very open to helping you work through this. Sending you a big hug! We are all here for you, you are never alone in this!

    Stay strong,

    Tyler

  2. Ashley Day Captain

    I’m sorry that the close distance caused you to feel uneasy during the service. I’m hoping that you’ll continue to reach out to your friends and/or AVFTI for support; you certainly don’t have to work through the difficult feelings and thoughts on your own. If you’re still feeling frustrated, I encourage you to be patient with yourself.

    I’m sending hugs your way <3

    Ashley

  3. Harton.13 Volunteer

    music2799,
    I’m so sorry you had a particularly bad day and had to be in such close proximity to your assailant. It’s okay if you don’t have to have a complete understanding of your emotions right now because you’re still trying to figure some really tough and complex things out. It makes total sense that you left the conversation with your friend feeling unsettled. When we share really personal stories before we’re ready, it can make us feel like we’re reliving some sort of violation all over again, no matter how supportive that other person is. It’s good that you reached out to someone when you were struggling because now you know that if you do end up wanting to talk about it again, you have someone who you can confide in. If you’re not quite ready to talk about it with him again, that’s okay—we are always here, too!

  4. Jevati Volunteer

    Hi music2799,

    Thank you for coming back and sharing more with us. That’s definitely a lot of stuff going on. It makes total sense that you would have conflicting feelings about when to tell, if you’re ready to tell, and how to tell. It’s also totally valid that it’s easier when there’s more distance from Sundays — it can take some time to recover from the nearness of something like that.

    I’m glad that your friend was understanding, but it’s still totally valid for you to have lots of different feelings about telling him. I know it’s really difficult to trust people and be open about things, but if it’s possible, maybe you could try telling him how difficult this is for you. It might help to get things out in the open and be like, “I know I told you, and it was my choice, and you handled it well, but I’m still feeling upset about everything and it probably won’t make sense to you or might seem weird. I just need some time to process.” It’s okay for you to take time. And it’s also okay to be scared to trust people. It’s a big step that you told him, and it’s understandable that it will bring up worries and fears. Only you get to decide how much you share in the future, so sometimes that can help to know that you’re in control and you can always change your mind moving forward.

    I know this is online, but if it’s okay, I’m sending lots of gentle hugs your way. You’re incredibly brave, and we care about you and are here for you.

    – Jev

  5. mikaylaanne11 Volunteer

    Welcome back music2799,

    I want to send you a big virtual hug and lots of good vibes. It sounds like it’s been a hard week, and I’m proud of you for coming to us to let those feelings out. I’m so sorry that you had a particularly rough encounter with your assailant. After not seeing him for quite a while, it must have been unnerving to be so close to him. You don’t deserve to feel unsafe in church, especially since it’s a very big part of your life.

    You’re very justified in feeling uncertain about telling your friend about your experience. There’s always that fear of being invalidated by the people we care about when sharing our stories. I’m glad that he has been supportive. His support might be something to focus on while you’re sifting out your feelings in the aftermath–it could be a small glimmer of hope while everything else feels chaotic. It might also help you determine whether or not you’re ready to share more with him. I’m glad you have a good friend to stand by your side, and you always have us. The people who matter the most won’t turn you away for sharing your story.

    Take some time to do the things you love today!!

  6. Samantha Harris Volunteer

    Hi music2799,
    Thank you so much for continuing to share your story. I’m sorry that you had a rough day. You don’t have to disclose what happened to anyone if you don’t feel comfortable yet. While you’re still unsure about if you were ready or not, it’s good that you have someone you can confide in now. If you ever need anything, let us know. We’re always here for you.

  7. Kailey2298 Volunteer

    Hi music2799,
    I’m sorry about how hard this has been and how its affecting you. You don’t have to open up to anyone you don’t feel comfortable with and you can wait as long as you want. It is your story to tell and no one should take that away from you, its a hard thing to open up about. I think you should try to talk to a therapist it could help work through your feelings and help you in recovery. It’s good to talk about things with someone to work through these situations. You are not alone and you have our full support. You are so strong an will get through this the healing just takes time. If we can help you in any way please let us know!
    Kailey

  8. Knina7 Volunteer

    music2799,
    I am sorry that you had a rough day, and for what happened to you. You are able to self – reflect so I feel as though that is a great first step towards being able to open up. Have you considered Journaling, confiding in a close friend that is a girl, or even a therapist? I think that finding a source to open up to when you are ready of course, is a great way to cope with that happened. We are always here for you at AVFTI, thank you for sharing your story with us and we are always here to listen.
    Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. You are strong. You are brave.

    Sending Love and Hope,
    Kelly

  9. Amysue43 Volunteer

    You are capable of deep self-reflection which is awesome and something you should feel proud of. In terms of your feelings, I think that speaking about the situation will help you in the long-run but I understand that you must be cautious in who you do tell. You are aware of the possibility that this pain might be deriving from the idea of falling back into your experience with trusting people. This is a hard dynamic to pursue after what you have been through, and I don’t blame you to think hard about whether to tell these people you want to trust. I can definitely understand this to be emotionally exhausting for you as you go back and forth between emotions and thoughts. You’ve got this. Perhaps taking the night to yourself and taking bath with some candles and music to just wind-down.

    You got this! Stay strong!

  10. Jordan Volunteer

    Dear music2799,

    I am so sorry to hear about how tough this day was for you, I hope that things got better throughout the week <3 It is good that you have a support system, but it can be nerve wreaking when confining to someone close about the trauma that you have experienced because sometimes friends do not always know what to say, and sometimes friends may mean well but can say the wrong things. Not that I am suggesting that is what happened with your guy friend when you were talking to him, but in general it is a possibility which could be why you are still nervous or hesitate about discussing the details with the people that you trust. You shouldn't feel like you have to handle this all on your own, it is good to talk about these things with those you trust, but don't hesitate to discuss in details with your therapist about everything. Perhaps that would help with these feelings that you have been having. But don't forget, we are always here for you no matter what <3 Sending more hugs your way.

    – Jordan

  11. Lizzi

    Hey music2799,
    I’m sorry things have been so hard since seeing him. I’m glad to hear that it wasn’t quite as painful as it had been, and maybe that’s a sign of healing. I’m glad that you were able to trust your guy friend with your story, and it sounds like he was understanding and could even be a good support person while you’re dealing with these hard days. Only you get to control if you talk more about it with him, so if you decide you don’t want to talk to him more, that’s okay. I understand it’s hard to trust people. Trust is scary when it’s been broken before. Trust can also open up relationships that can be supportive and helpful and make you not have to deal with this all on your own, even if you think you may want to. Having support is so important when life is hard. If you don’t want to talk to him more about it, I’m sure he’ll be understanding and respect that.

  12. Alyssa Day Captain

    Hi music2799,
    Don’t be worried about telling your friend about this. If he is really your friend, he will be there for you and understand. He will want to help make sure you feel safe all the time. If he doesn’t, then he isn’t a good friend and it is better that you find out now then later.
    You don’t have to tell him anything until you are ready. This is your story, so if you want to wait until a day when you feel more prepared, then he will just have to wait. Your mental health comes first in your life.
    I think that you should go with your gut feeling. If you want to tell him, tell him what you feel comfortable with. Never do anything out of your comfort zone, unless you are ready to. If you need anything else we are here for you. I hope this helped.
    -Alyssa

  13. Northlane1991 Volunteer

    I’m so sorry you have been struggling. I know it’s difficult and it’s been a long journey. I hope the healing process has started and understand it’s difficult to share. Maybe talk with a counselor to see if that would help? You know you have as well if you need to express yourself in any way we are here for you.

  14. musicislove

    Hi music2799,

    I’m so sorry you’re struggling, I hope you’re doing better today and that you’ve been able to rest and restore yourself. I’m glad your friend was supportive but I understand not feeling great about sharing more with someone, even though you trust them. I hope you’re feeling better about it now. Have you talked to your counselor about what happened and how you’ve been feeling lately? That could be helpful. Of course we’re always here as well and will always listen. Good luck try to be kind to yourself.

    Delaney

  15. candyappleb Volunteer

    Hi music2799,

    I’m sorry that this week was exceptionally rough for you. I’m glad that your guy friend is supportive. I understand what you mean when you say it feels heavy to carry this secret around with you and to keep having feelings about things when others don’t understand. Have you been able to talk to your counselor recently? They might have some new coping ideas to offer in these exceptionally stressful times. Of course you can always come here and share with us. It doesn’t matter if you post about the same thing 100 times. We’re here for you. We believe you and we’re always available to listen. Remember if you need some one to speak with immediately you can always text our crisis line at 741741 VOICE.

    All the best,
    Becca

  16. Jess Volunteer

    I’m sorry to hear that you’re having a hard time right now and I’m so sorry that you had to see him again. It’s retraumatizing every single time to have to be in contact with your assailant. Trusting people with our stories is so incredibly difficult, especially when we are having a hard time. There is often a feeling of guilt or confusion around sharing our stories, especially when we’ve been dismissed in the past. I’ve found that it gets easier the more you actively share. I’m glad that your friend was supportive and understanding, but you are allowed to have mixed feelings about telling him. That is okay. It is your story and talking about it is difficult. That’s valid.

    Remember to take care of yourself. I know when we’re in a rough spot is when self-care is the hardest, but remember to engage in self-care and coping skills, especially when you’re feeling this way. If you feel like you need immediate support, text VOICE to 741-741. We’re always here too and we believe you. <3 Stay strong and keep fighting.
    -Jess

  17. Bluebell13 Volunteer

    Dear music2799,
    I am really sorry that you are having to deal with all of this…it is a really crappy situation and it is no wonder you are exhausted. I am sending you a big virtual hug, some love and some strength.
    Roxie

  18. Breanna Grunthal Volunteer

    Hey music 2799,

    I’m sorry that you are having a hard time and that you had to see your assailant again. I understand why you are feeling conflicted – it’s a tricky situation and you aren’t sure how you feel and you aren’t sure if you were ready. And it can be incredibly difficult to trust others after trauma. It may be helpful to remind yourself of some of the positives that came out of disclosing your story to your friend – he was supportive and understanding. Those are good friends to have. I hope you are kind to yourself during this time – I’ve likely said this before, but self care is absolutely crucial during periods of stress. You got this – you can do this. We are always here for support. Stay strong.

    Sending you love and a virtual hug,
    Bre

  19. kelly Day Captain

    Hey, music2799. I’m sorry you had to see him again. I can imagine how awful and re-traumatizing that must be. I know how conflicting it can feel to talk about it. I can understand feeling regret after telling someone. It’s a really vulnerable moment and it’s scary trusting people after what you’ve been through. I’m glad he was supportive. In my experience, it gets easier the more I talk about it. Support groups and therapy have been a great place to talk it out and get support, but it’s definitely wasn’t always easy. Just remember you have the control over who you talk about it with and if you even want to talk about it. If talking about it drives people away from you, then maybe they aren’t the best people to have around to begin with. You are not to blame for what this person did to you and you don’t deserve the guilt of talking about it.

  20. Marissa Day Captain

    Hey music2799,

    Thanks for updating us. I’m sorry you’re having all of these conflicting feelings. I totally understand the frustration you’re feeling and not being sure if you were ready to tell your friend details about what happened. It’s good that he was understanding and supportive, but you’re still allowed to feel unsure about it. I think you mentioned talking to your parents about speaking to a professional? Maybe you could bring that up again. It’s really not healthy to hold everything in, and I think it would be very beneficial to you to work through everything with someone. Please be kind with yourself. You’re worth it! Stay strong. You can do this.

    Marissa

  21. Natalie M Day Captain

    Hi again,

    Thank you for coming back to give us an update!! I am sorry that you had another rough day at church. I can not imagine how difficult that must be for you. I hope that you know I think you are so strong for surviving these moments and working toward healing. It can be super scary to tell someone the whole story of what you have been going through. It will always be your decision who you tell and when you tell someone. But, I do want you to know that you do not have to feel ashamed of what happened. You are a survivor! If you decide to tell him, just remember that no matter what how you feel is completely valid and you thoughts and emotions matter the most! So I would encourage you to try opening up, maybe slowly to this friend. Always put yourself and your needs first! Know you have AVFTI in your corner!! We are here for you – you are not alone. You can get through this!!! Stay strong!

    Sending a big hug and lots of support to you!!

    -Natalie

  22. Kayla Volunteer

    We are always here for you to listen. I am glad you were able to tell your friend, it sounds like he is genuinely concerned for your well being. Telling your story can bring the memories more to the surface, physically, mentally and emotionally. It’s almost like re-living what happened and can cause lingering pain afterwards. Be gentle with yourself. I’m sending you hugs.

  23. brodie_james Volunteer

    Hey, friend,

    Thank you so much for sharing this update with us. I’m so sorry that you had a really rough time at church yesterday, and that you’re feeling so many things all at once. I’m really glad that your guy friend was supportive and understanding when you told him why you were struggling. I’m really proud of you for talking about it with someone in your life who can support you, and also for being in the same room as your assailant for the whole time that mass was going on. Those are two things happening in the same day that probably felt really vulnerable and terrifying, and those can take a lot of strength and energy out of you.

    I’m wondering if finding a therapist is something you’ve explored or done before. There are lots of different kinds of therapists out there, even some who focus on working with survivors like us. If you haven’t explored finding or working with a therapist before, seeing someone can help you process the things you’re feeling. Their job is to help you feel heard, no matter how heavy the topic or story may feel, so if that’s something you feel would be helpful, that’s definitely an option!

    Either way, please take care of yourself! Do something nice for yourself, whether that’s getting a treat like ice cream or pie, watch your favorite movie, or simply just take some time to breathe. You’re incredibly strong and resilient, and it’s absolutely okay to take some time to recharge when we feel tired and scared.

    Cheers,
    Brodie

  24. Shannon Volunteer

    Hi music2799 ,

    I’m so sorry you’re having all these feelings at once, it’s a lot to deal with. But you are so brave for being in the same room as your assailant, and you should be proud of yourself. I know it must have been hard to open up to your friend, instead of thinking about if it was the right time, the right day to tell him, think about how he was understanding of your story and how much strength it takes to open up to someone like that.

    Shannon

  25. zelda Volunteer

    I’m sorry that you’re going through a rough time. It’s okay if you’re sad or scared, those feelings will eventually pass. As for seeing your attacker, I can’t tell you how much respect I have for you. I don’t think I could even be in the same room as my rapists, let alone stand less than a foot away from them. You have real strength and bravery.

    Even though you have mixed feelings about telling your guy friend, I think that it was a good idea to open up to him, no matter what day of the week it was. Now that he knows, maybe he can help you too. Try not to dwell too much on the fact that you told him. If you’re feeling bad about it, it will only make those feelings worse. However, I really do hope that you feel good about your decision to tell. It can be very freeing to open up to someone, especially someone we trust.

  26. dzreid Volunteer

    Hi there!
    I’m sorry to hear this. I am however glad that you decided to trust us with your story. Thanks for sharing. I’m sure seeing your perpator stirs up a whole bunch if stuff. Shame is paralyzing & holds us captive. Be proud of yourself. You have already shared (even if it was brief) I know I struggled with trust & trying to find someone you can trust isn’t easy. I searched for awhile & finally found a therapist in which gained my trust. (Also a few good friends). Take one day at a time. You can do this. Healing & things like building trust takes time. Come on here anytime!
    Dawn

  27. Erin O'Callaghan Day Captain

    I am so sorry for everything that happened, and all the pain you are experiencing. I have not been in your exact situation, but I know how difficult it is to continue to see your abuser. And how difficult it is to never want to bring it up and yet also needed to talk about it all the time or you might explode. You can always come here to talk. And you can also always text our crisis text line, VOICE to 741 741. You deserve to have in-person support as well, and anyone who does not support you doesn’t deserve your time. Let us know how else we can help-we are here for you.

    Erin