But It Happened So Long Ago: The Rape of Years Past

Monday, January 12, 2015
But It Happened Such A Long Time Ago


The trauma of years past can still hurt today. This is not the time to start beating up on yourself. This is a time to be proud of your ability to remember and feel. It may seem confusing to still have feelings and fears about a rape that happened so long ago. You sometimes wonder if anything is wrong with you. Sometimes the face staring back at you from the mirror seems to have sorrow etched into it and you wonder why.
Sometimes your smiles do not feel as happy as you would like. Sometimes your joy seems clouded. Rape is an event that can alter your life. It can change your view of you and others. That can be hard to accept. But you can. You survived the physical assault a long time ago. You can survive the emotional assault as well. Maybe you are still afraid. Maybe you blame yourself. Please remember - you are not to blame.
Be patient. The rape hurt you physically and emotionally. It is normal to still feel upset.
The fact that the rape still upsets you does not mean you are going crazy. It means you have not had an opportunity to understand how you feel and why you still feel that way.
Allow yourself to experience the fear, the pain, the anguish, the astonishment ... and all the emotions for which there are no words. The longer you try to ignore or deny your reactions, the longer it will take you to put the assault behind you and get on with your life. Talking about your feelings may not take them away, but it may help you to understand them and feel better.
It is okay to cry. It helps. This may be the first time you have allowed yourself to be angry with the rapist. It is all right. The rapist deserves your anger. Getting angry is part of feeling better. You have taken a very big step. If this is the first time you have remembered the assault or told anyone about it, congratulations.
Find someone you can talk to - someone who can listen.
You are important. The rape has not diminished your worth as a person.
There may have been times when you talked to friends or family and because they did not understand, they said things that hurt you. It is important now that you find someone who does understand.
Something bad has happened to you, but that does not make you a bad person.
If you need help, reach out. You are not alone. Many people like you have been silently carrying the burden of a rape experience.
There are people who care. There are people who understand.
There are people who can and want to help you.
At the time of the rape, you were a victim. NOW you are a survivor. Celebrate your strength. Celebrate you.
This was written by a rape survivor.
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