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nightmare (triggering: rape and abuse)

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Posted October 13th 2017 at 07:51 AM by Jess~
Updated October 13th 2017 at 06:05 PM by obelus (Adding a more specific prefix.)

it's been awhile since i've been genuinely scared because of a dream. i used to get so scared of nightmares i would wake up crying, but that was when i was a kid. now, of course they still scare me, but i can wake up and know that it's not real.
this one felt real, though.

i had a dream that i was just sitting, at some formal party, with nice table cloths and rich people in fancy clothes. suddenly a man in a suit came over to me and he was holding something big. he just stared me down without making any expression, and tried to jam the big object into my mouth. it was obvious by the way it felt and the aggressiveness from him that the object was meant to be a dick somehow. he grabbed my face while he did it, and i could feel his cold, strong hands never losing their grip on my cheek.
the more i pushed him away and resisted and said no, the harder he jabbed at me and the harder and tighter his grip got. it got to the point where his grip was around my neck and it felt like i couldn't breathe.
this was during a nap, and i had only been asleep for maybe 30-40 minutes, so i wasn't in deep sleep. i started waking up, into that half-sleep, half-awake state. but the most terrifying thing was that even in that state, i could still feel something around my neck, pushing into it. i made a conscious, half-awake effort to breathe but i couldn't, so i woke up in a complete panic only to find that my pillow had been pushed up against my neck, making the dream feel even more real.

i used to get nightmares like this after i was raped. but now combining being choked out by my ex with memories of sexual assault, it's making them that much worse.
watching a video on the weinstein cases right before going to sleep probably didn't help with the nightmares. i think that's probably why the setting was in such a fancy place.

overall i've just really been struggling with the things that have happened to me. my closest friends say my #1 character trait is that i'm strong, physically, mentally, and emotionally, to the point that it's a fault. because i don't ask for help, i don't make myself vulnerable, and i don't want to look weak. so i just keep to myself and push through everything.
it's true that i have a tough exterior, and it's becoming more and more difficult for me to let people in. i tend to brush off personal questions with jokes or edgy humor to make them uncomfortable.
but how can i even believe i'm strong anymore? i've let so much happen to me. and yeah, the rape, the first time, that wasn't entirely my fault. especially as far as trying to stop the attack, i couldn't have stopped it even if i was physically capable of fighting him off, because my mind blanked out and froze.
but getting choked out by my boyfriend? and not being able to do anything about it. i knew i was going to die that day. there was no doubt in my mind. i think i actually felt even more helpless than i did while being raped. at the very least, i felt the same amount of helplessness. because being raped was the most traumatic thing to happen to me. just knowing that this guy was going to do whatever he wanted to me, steal my virginity (which i was taught to place on a pedestal) and there was nothing that i could ever do about it. but i guess somewhat fortunately for me, that experience was so fucking traumatic, that my mind decided i couldn't handle it. so it took me out of the equation the best it could. it's still such a blur, and i don't like going back to it, to try to remember all the little details. having to try and remember, and tell the cops exactly what seat and position we were in, at exactly what time. that was horrifying.
but being choked out, there was nothing leading up to it. no suspicion in my mind like before. ("is he actually going to rape me?") i was completely blindsided by it. to me, i was just spending a happy, comfortable moment with someone who i was sure cared about me and would protect me from ever getting hurt.
then just like that, his hands were around my neck, and i was trying anything to escape. i started kicking the car doors, slapping his arm, scratching at his arms, trying to pry his hands from my neck, gasping for air, trying to scream for him to stop but i couldn't because i could literally feel my throat touching itself closed.
in a way, experiencing the "fight" reaction, as opposed to the "freeze" reaction was even more traumatizing. because it made it all so much more real. even now, looking back on the rape, it's a blur. it's a complete blur.
but i remember every. single. petrifying second that i believed i was going to die and knew for certain that there was nothing i could do in my power to stop it. i remember being able to feel his anger through his hands, and their were shaking with so much rage. i remember his violent breathing, and his snarl of dominance over me.

what if i did die that day? what the fuck would my parents do. they didn't even know i was in a relationship. if i was so blindsided by this, imagine how much of a surprise it would be to them. that their daughter was killed at the hands of her boyfriend whom they had no idea even existed.
how would they even be able to handle that. i know they feel guilty for "not being able to save me" from the rape, as if they could have. but for them to believe they couldn't save me from being killed by someone else would probably, honestly, kill them too.

and lastly, what about the guy from tinder, where when i met him for the first time, with no intentions to have sex with him, he coerced me to have sex within the first five minutes i was there.
was that rape too? surely it can't be. i slept with him many times after that. i remember saying no, and he kept trying to convince me. why does this still bother me so much. why do i keep going back to it.
i know that coerced consent is "technically" considered "rape", but i don't really feel like i want to call it that. number one, that happened in january, not even a year after the rape in march of 2016. so now, 9 months later, to turn around and call it rape would be ludicrous, right? i also wasn't as traumatized by it as i was by the rape. yeah i still felt myself giving up what little power i had. but in a way, maybe, since i was still nowhere near completely healed from the rape, maybe i had nothing left to lose at that time. maybe that's why it didn't have such an impact on me.
i felt more traumatized by this dude using phrases my rapist used to try and coerce me into saying yes than i did by the actual sex act, which i don't remember at all as i kind of just shut my eyes and waited for it to be over.

i don't know why i'm still rambling.
i need sleep.
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