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Lovestrong. Offline
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Why am I being punished for what he did? - March 31st 2016, 11:24 PM

I've not used this website for a long time but I think there's a few things I need to get off my chest.
I was raped. I was 16 years old, not long before my 17th birthday. He was my boyfriend at the time. We'd been together 3 months. I found out he was cheating on me the whole time. But being stupid and naive and scared of being alone I didn't leave him there and then like I should have. I let him stay and he took advantage of my vulnerability and convinced me that to be close again we had to have sex. But I changed my mind before it started. He didn't listen. He just did it anyway. I feel like it was my fault, like I shouldn't have stayed with him and then I would have been ok and honestly I've been paying for this mistake ever since.
I found the courage to leave him about a week after this happened. Since then I've pretty much had sex with anyone who asked. I've recently come to the conclusion that I did this for a few reasons. Firstly because I was too scared to say no. Secondly because I wanted to be normal, I wanted to enjoy sex and want it like most people do and I thought if I did it enough times then that would happen. It didn't work it just made my hatred for sex worse.
It's been 2.5 years since the rape happened. Literally only today did I finally realise I have a serious problem, I'm scared of sex. I can't enjoy it, I dread it, I don't get sexual urges or anything like that. The problem is that now I have boyfriend and he's wonderful and fully understanding about what happened to me. But I can't be a normal girlfriend and have sex with him and I feel awful about that. I want to be able to feel close to him. I'm currently trying to find ways to be normal again, to finally be able to want sex. It's hard though. I feel like I'm being punished for what somebody else did to me. He's probably living life just fine and I'm spending mine cleaning up his mess and being punished for what he did and it hurts, especially now it's getting in the way of the best relationship I've ever had. I'm sick of living my life in fear, do I not deserve to be happy? Did I do something bad to make this happen? I just want to feel normal and happy for once.
I'm not sure what I'm asking for by posting this I just feel the need to finally say what's been haunting me for so long.
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Re: Why am I being punished for what he did? - April 1st 2016, 12:14 AM

I am glad you posted this. I know how hard it can be to open up like this but you're courageous in doing so. It is really frustrating to be harmed by someone, and then have to clean up the mess that they made. It's completely unfair and I am sorry you're experiencing this. You most definitely do deserve to be happy. Everyone deserves happiness. You'll just have to work a little harder than most people to get it because of your past experiences.

It is not your fault for staying with him. You did not consent to the sex. You said no, and he violated you and your body when he forced it onto you. The fault belongs on him, not you. You did absolutely nothing wrong. I know that can be hard to believe, but try to keep reminding yourself that you're not at fault for this.

After being raped it's understandable to not want to say no to sex, because you said no before and you were violated. It's hard to feel like someone will listen to you. It's also understandable of you to force yourself into sex because you wanted it to be the positive experience that other people have. Some people use sex as a punishment after someone has harmed them. And, I think you might have been punishing yourself in doing that because you thought it was your fault. I could be wrong, but it is definitely a possibility.

I have never had sex with anyone after my own experiences, so I do not know what that feels like and my advice is limited. But I think it might help to move slowly. Is there anything sexual or intimate that you're comfortable doing? Maybe you can start small and go slowly until you're comfortable. And, when you're more comfortable, you can move further along until you feel completely comfortable with things. Try to stay open with your boyfriend as well.

For maximum improvement in regards to how you feel about sex, it is worth looking into counseling so you are able to work through what you've been through. I understand that counseling is not always available and it is also a long and tiring journey, but it is something you can consider looking into at some point in time.

Hang in there.

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Re: Why am I being punished for what he did? - April 1st 2016, 02:48 AM

Thank you so much for your response. It's really helpful to finally hear somebody say that.
I do think I have been using sex as a punishment, I don't want to do that anymore.
I really appreciate your advice, I will certainly give it a try.

Thank you again
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Re: Why am I being punished for what he did? - April 1st 2016, 09:13 PM

Hey Georgia,

Iím really glad that you posted this too, and I really hope that it helped being able to talk about it here.

You werenít stupid for staying with him at all. You didnít know that he was going to rape you. You couldnít have done anything to have prevented it-you rightly said Ďnoí but he didnít listen- it was his actions and his fault, not yours.

Rape can have many effects, particularly when it comes to sex. It can be hard to see sex as a loving action done by two consenting people, when you were violated. It does make sense that you wouldíve tried to find ways of seeing sex in a positive way, even if it meant that you ended up using sex as a punishment.

Donít feel awful about not wanting sex when you have a boyfriend. You were violated and a trauma like that can definitely distort your view on sex. Itís really good that you have a supportive boyfriend who is understanding of what you have been through. I havenít had sex after my own experiences either, but I have done a little reading on intimacy after being assaulted. The general advice is to take things slow and only do what you feel comfortable doing. Remember that there is more to intimacy than just sex. The book I had been reading suggested taking time to explore each otherís bodies (as a whole, not just focusing on the sexual parts) and which areas you prefer being touched and different types of touch.

I totally understand the feeling of being punished for something that someone else did. But you do deserve happiness. As itís been said, the best way to help you overcome your past and to be able to enjoy sex, is to have counselling. I noticed that you are in the UK. Are you in college or university? You could talk to a counsellor there. Alternatively, you can visit your GP and ask for a referral for counselling. This will be free as it will be on the NHS.

Take care

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Re: Why am I being punished for what he did? - April 1st 2016, 11:11 PM

Thank you so much for your response. I've been feeling like my response to what happened makes me seem abnormal and crazy so it's reassuring to know that it's ok to react the way I did
I can now work on finding a healthier solution.
I am at university. My problem with counselling is that I saw a doctor regarding my depression and was treated like a joke, I was turned away from counsellors due to 'not being suitable' whatever that means.
I will definitely try your advice to go a lot slower and actually learn one anothers bodies, I think that could be the answer for me.
Thank you very much
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Re: Why am I being punished for what he did? - April 3rd 2016, 02:52 AM

GPs and mental health are not a good combination. Don't get me wrong, doctors are very qualified people, but unless they have chosen to specialise in psychiatry (psychiatrists) they seem to know very little about mental health and psychiatric treatments.

And I'm sorry but I still think that there is a stigma surrounding depression and that many healthcare professionals (including doctors) are cynical about it. They see a lot of people who suffer from it and I can't help but feel as though they think that it's not a serious problem and that people can shake themselves out of it if they try hard enough. Not very helpful or productive.

Okay, so that's my rant over. But the point I am trying to make is that you shouldn't let the response of your GP discourage you from seeking help. If you are at university, there will be a counsellor on site, so you don't even need to visit your doctor.

I would strongly advise you to make an appointment with them. I think you will find that they are much more sympathetic than your doctor was.

Be kind to yourself.
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