Post # 1
Hi everyone, and thank you for listening to my very personal story. I didn’t realize how much I was still affected by this until I started writing this post.
I was raped three years ago by the man I was dating. Before this I was celibate, and I still am, but I am a very sexual person and have been looking forward to my wedding night since I was a teenager.
Well, now that night is finally a month away, and the joyful anticipation I built up all those years has been reduced a lot by bitterness and fear. I am afraid that when my husband touches me, my body will remember my rapist. I did go to therapy right afterward, and the therapist talked to me about not putting myself “in the position to be hurt” (i.e. You brought this on yourself). So I’m a little wary of going to another therapist about this.
Anyway if any of you have experienced anything like this and would be willing to share thoughts that were helpful to you, I would really appreciate it. I welcome PMs if you don’t feel comfortable posting. The reason I posted this on the Christian board instead of the Intimacy board is because I find prayer to be the most healing thing I’ve experienced in general, so if anyone has particular prayer ideas to share please do. But any helpful/healing thoughts are welcome.
Post # 3
@desthebride: Hello, thank you for sharing your personal story. Very courageous. I also am a rape survivor. Many years ago. The best resource I could recommend is a book called, “Mending the Soul”. Another book I found helpful is “Real Marriage” by Mark Driscoll. He is a Pastor whose wife was raped before their marriage.
My first question is whether your fiance is aware of the rape. He should be told. Then he will be able to be sensitive to what you are facing.
The next question is whether you are going through pre marital counseling?
I promise you, there is total and complete healing, through Jesus Christ!
Praying for you 🙂
Post # 4
Aside from the great advice and questions from @MOB1time: I really think you need to find a new therapist. Your old therapist doesn’t sound very professional.
I am sorry for what has happened to both of you.
Post # 5
I’m so sorry…I’ve also gone through this, and although I did not hold off till my wedding night to be intimate with my Darling Husband, I have experienced the horribleness of having all those memories brought back when my husband and I are together. I think it’s good you’re prepared for the fact that it could happen, but try not to dwell on this concern too much, not where your mind should be leading up to your wedding or on the day/night of, and worrying about it will definitely not make it less likely to happen. For me, the most important thing is that my husband knows what I have been through and knows what to do if I do have a flashback. Basically, he knows that if I ask him to stop or just totally freeze up and stop being..not sure how to put this, but I guess when I stop being an active participant in what we’re doing, he stops immediately, gives me my space, and lets me cover up. Then after a minute or so will hold me and comfort me till the feeling passes.
Everyone is different in how this sort of thing affects them, and it may take you a bit to figure out exactly what you need to do in order to stay present in the moment, or realize what triggers your memories and how to lessen them. But it does take time, so try to be patient and make sure to keep your husband involved so he can help, and try not to let it ruin the whole night for you if it does happen. Just remind yourself that he cannot hurt you anymore, he doesn’t have the power to ruin this for you.
And I’m sorry you had such a shitty therapist, mine was great and I would definitely recommend seeing another who is a better fit. No one ever does anything to bring this upon themselves. Rape happens because of rapists, end of story.
Post # 6
Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your stories and advice, they really mean a lot.
@MOB1time: I will definitely look into those books. My fiance does know, but I haven’t spoken about it for a long time. So I think he’s either not thinking much about it or maybe he thinks I am “over it.” I will need to bring it up again so he knows that I’m still trying to heal and need his help. We went through a long season of pre-engagement counseling since we knew we wanted a short engagement, but we didn’t talk much about sex except as part of our “love languages.” Thank you for your prayers and encouragement– I have been healed of so much in Jesus, so I know this is another thing to lay at his feet.
@j_jaye: Thank you, I think I will go ahead and try to find an affordable one who can squeeze me in this month.
@Wonderstruck: Thank you so much for sharing that, and giving me a realistic and practical picture of how a husband can help. It makes me feel prepared and still hopeful.
And yeah, I have become really passionate about changing the way society blames women for rape. I will never let another survivor feel the way I did.
Post # 7
@desthebride: Check out RAINN – they have a great hotline and they might be able to refer you to counselors in your area who specialize in (or who are at least competent to treat) rape survivors. rainn.org / 800.656.HOPE(4673)
You obviously already know this, but the shrink who said that is a giant asshole and doesn’t know what the fuck s/he is talking about. (excuse my language. reading that made me so angry for you!!!)
Post # 8
@mightywombat: Thanks for that resource. And yeah, thankfully I recognized that she was wrong, but it’s infuriating how much that kind of thinking pervades women’s experiences.
Post # 9
@desthebride: I have often heard the “You put yourself in that position” phrase, by many people that weren’t talking specifically about me, that had no idea I was raped as a very young girl.
Although I have not waited to be intimate with FH, it is absolutely different than the way I felt when I was raped. Although my subconcious does, at times, refuse to allow me to have sex (vaginismus, I believe it’s called? your muscles tighten and won’t allow entrance, of any kind, tampon, etc.). It’s very common with PTSD from sexual abuse, which would be my case. That has NOTHING to do with the fact that FH reminds me of when I was younger; it’s totally involuntary, and I can’t control it. We’re working on it now slowly, because it still is extremely painful to have sexual intercourse. Over time, you can get it to go away, I’m fairly certain.
I wouldn’t worry on the wedding day; just relax, and focus on happy things. If you can’t have sex that night, there’s always the next night..or the next. Don’t rush it; let it happen naturally, I know that helps.
I hope all goes well and you find a decent therapist before the wedding!
Post # 10
@StefLovesJamie: I am so sorry this happened/is happening to you. It is encouraging that you’re going through it patiently, hopefully I can too. And you’re the second person (I also got a PM) who said that it doesn’t feel the same with your husband. Thanks so much for sharing.
Post # 11
thank you for sharing your story, i often have this fear… but my situation was slightly different.
I was abused as a child for about three years before it was stopped. I worry that I will have flashbacks during the marital act with my husband (I used to have flashbacks, but they are almost completely gone by now).
I will pray for you and your future spouse that you may heal and have a wonderful marriage.
Post # 12
It makes me so mad to hear that your therapist even hinted that you brought that horrific experience upon yourself. YOU DID NOTHING TO DESERVE BEING RAPED. You didn’t ask for it and you could not have prevented it. Don’t let yourself believe anything less.
I had a friend at a Christian university who was raped and when she went to the university counseling office, they blamed her. There are very ignorant people in the Christian church, unfortunately, and this kind of ‘therapy’ or ‘guidance’ is false and hurtful.
Definitely find a new therapist if you think it would help, but talk to your Fiance, too. Remember that he loves you for you and he’s marrying the person you are- he will understand and you will both grow closer by working through sex together once you’re married.
Post # 13
I wish you a lot of joy with your future husband and keep drawing from that internal strength you clearly have.
I can only give you an outsider’s perspective, so I apologize if I say anything stupid.
Your body and your sex are yours; God gave them to you only. Your wedding night is yours and you get to joyfully choose to share your body with the man you love. It is wholly your decision and you are in control. I have always read that “rape is not sex” and it isn’t. In my opinion, virginity is an emotional and mental state – not a physical one. You have not experienced sex, you have not yet made love. You wanted to wait and you did. You are a virgin. When you are intimate with your husband it will be the first time you make love. Your husband will be the only man that you experience that with. That is miles away from an act of violence that I hope is a small part of a very long and beautiful life.
Post # 14
I am so sorry that you went through this, and I am absolutely livid at the thought of your therapist trying to blame you for this. He/she should be banned from ever being a therapist again–they sounds irresponsible and dangerous to people who have already gone through so much. Ugh, just makes me furious!
I can understand why you’d be hesitant to find another therapist, but I do think it could be a good idea. There are great therapists out there, and someone might be able to really help you. I wish I had more advice, but I just want to say I’m sorry you’re dealing with this, and it you did nothing wrong.
Post # 15
THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR STORY. I AGREE WITH YOU THROUGH PRAYER GOD HEALS WOUNDS THAT NOBODY ELSE CAN. WHEN I WAS GOING TO UNIVERSITY I READ A BOOK FOR A COURSE TITLED: ON THE THRESHOLD OF HOPE; OPENING THE DOOR TO HEALING FOR SURVIVORS OF SEXUAL ABUSE.BY DIANE MANDT LANGBERG. EVEN THOUGH I HAVENT BEEN THROUGH THIS, I KNOW THIS BOOK HAS HELP MANY PEOPLE THAT HAVE GONE THROUGH SIMILAR SITUATIONS. I’LL BE PRAYING FOR YOU AND CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR WEDDING.BLESSINGS
Post # 16
This is my experience, though not rape, abuse.
Now if SO or anyone yells, my anxiety sky rockets. It’s been three years, so I’ve had a bit of time to examin my reactions to things and try to fix it. And it has worked a lot of good in my life.
You MIGHT remember somethings. I pray you don’t.
I HAVE noticed if I keep myself out of situations that remind me of my ex, It helps quite a bit. I REALLY honestly think if you dont put yourself in the head space or thought pattern of being victimized you will be okay.
Let the joy and bliss of being married and blessed by your God, carry all your fears away.
Pray and meditate on your situation and your God will give you the answers you seek.