Thought Catalog

28 Things People Don’t Tell You After You’ve Been Raped

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Lisa S. / (Shutterstock.com)
Lisa S. / (Shutterstock.com)

1.

Some days are horrible. You’ll let it run through your head over and over again until you feel sick to your stomach and you want to curl into a ball in your bed and cry all day long. But life goes on whether you’re ready for it to or not.

2.

Some days are so great you’ll forget it happened. You’ll smile with your friends and live your normal life.

3.

At the most random moments, you can have a panic attack or a flashback to the moment. It could be a noise or a smell, something small and insignificant. But nobody tells you how debilitating these attacks can be.

4.

When you walk into a party or a bar that’s full of drunken boys looking for a quick lay, you will panic. Remember that not all of them are like him.

5.

The first time you start liking a new guy you may feel guilty, since a guy is what got you here in the first place.

6.

Having sex again can be hard and nerve-wracking but so fulfilling at the same time. You will feel proud once you get to a point where it’s pleasurable.

7.

Guys you hook up with won’t understand how much power it took you to open yourself up to a man again, so they have no place to judge you if you draw the line at some point.

8.

You don’t owe anything to anyone. Draw the line where you want to and never feel guilty for not reciprocating. If you’re uncomfortable, it’s not your job to make sure that they’re satisfied.

9.

Some men you meet will think your rape is baggage and won’t know how to “handle” someone like you. Remember that trusting will always be hard but that you will one day find a partner who can support you emotionally, will read articles to better understand how to help you, will be there for a shoulder when it becomes too much, will be cautious during sex but not focus on it during sex, and will love you unconditionally because they couldn’t believe that someone would ever do that to you.

10.

Don’t settle just because he treats you better than your rapist. Find the perfect one.

11.

You’re not damaged. It’s just something that happened to you. Everyone has problems.

12.

You are resilient, strong, courageous, powerful, brave, and a fighter. You will get through the bad days.

13.

Life moves on and your friends move on, too, and sometimes they won’t get it and you will feel very alone.

14.

No one tells you that sometimes being raped can become the focus of your life right after it happens. You may fall behind in school, at work, or in your friendships. It’s frustrating because not only did your rapist take away your choice, he’s taking away your focus from other things. It’s frustrating that he moves on and you can’t.

15.

Chances are that a friend or family member will doubt your story, think you’re exaggerating, or say you brought it upon yourself for some reason. Those are the people you don’t need in your life. You need those who will support you.

16.

People will say you can’t feel guilty and you can’t blame yourself. Fuck that. You can feel however you want. It happened to you and no one can tell you how to feel.

17.

Some people say that because you didn’t report it, you’re allowing that person to hurt other people. It wasn’t your choice to be raped, but it’s your choice as to what happens next. Rape trials are called the “second rape” because you have to relive it over and over again in front of the person who raped you, as well as in front of your family, a jury, a judge, and a lawyer. A lawyer who will rip your story apart. A lawyer who will talk about your past sex life, as if sleeping with other people in the past gives someone a right to rape you.

18.

People will ask you what you were wearing, what you were drinking (or smoking), where you were walking, whether you went home with him, if you fought back…why the fuck does that matter? You didn’t give anyone permission to fuck you. There’s a quote that says it best: “Blaming a girl for getting raped based on what she is wearing is like blaming a bank for getting robbed based on its contents.”

19.

No one tells you that during your rape, you might feel pleasure, which is horrifying to you. No one tells you it will take months of therapy to understand this, and it may be a reason why someone didn’t report it. No one tells you that pleasure is an automatic response your body has to sex and that often, a woman who has been raped felt pleasure during it. People will say it isn’t rape if you enjoyed it. People are also idiots.

20.

Some people believe that you can only be raped by a creep in an alleyway. Many times people are raped by a friend, family member, boyfriend, husband, or acquaintance. More often than not, the victim knows the perpetrator.

21.

People make jokes about rape. It’s not funny. It’s never been funny. It never will be funny. But people will laugh.

22.

There are people like you—people who understand and care and want to help you. Let those people in.

23.

There are people who haven’t been affected by sexual assault but will walk for you, fight for you, stand up for you, and try to make sure it never happens to anyone else.

24.

People will say that because you didn’t say “no,” this somehow means you said “yes.” That is bullshit. Being unconscious, asleep, drunk, or not saying “yes” every step of the way doesn’t mean that you give someone the go-ahead to have sex with you.

25.

Believe it or not, you will move forward and be OK.

26.

Just because you let it affect you doesn’t mean you’re letting it define you. What happened to you was horrible, and you are an amazing person for being able to continue living.

27.

Dammit, you are not a victim. You are a survivor. Wear it with pride.

28.

These are things that you don’t get told. Some days it will hurt, but you’re alive and strong and you will get by. TC mark

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