A Rape Victim Who Buried Her Pain: Emotions Hitting Like a Freight Train 12 Years later

When your emotions hit you like a freight train 12 years later. A glimpse into the world of a rape victim who buried her pain.

Over the past few days, media coverage of the Brock Turner conviction and pathetic 6 month sentence has caused a flood of emotions to hit me like a tonne of bricks, and I have come to realize that I never truly worked through the effects that the rape I experienced 12 years ago had on me. I thought I was ok but it turns out, I'm not.

A Rape Victim Who Buried Her Pain: Emotions Hitting Like a Freight Train 12 Years later

I suddenly find myself questioning a lot of the choices I have made over the past 12 years and wondering how much the trauma of having my virginity stolen from me while I was passed out drunk impacted those choices.

I find myself dwelling on the pain and the loss that I felt when I awoke that night to find someone I thought I could trust penetrating my limp, lifeless body. I have found myself crying several times over the past few days.

I find myself realizing that for all these years I've been running away from what happened instead of dealing with it head on. I've been avoiding it and hiding it away instead of processing my trauma. I'm terrified of opening this wound but I don't think I have a choice. I don't think I can keep it buried anymore.

I want to tell my boyfriend about it but I don't know how much I want to tell him and I don't know if I'm prepared to lay that kind of pain and sadness on him.

Part of me wants to shout from the rooftops what happened to me and how much it hurt me, but part of me is terrified of what people will think of me, especially how many people will question my motivations when I've hidden this for over a decade. I'm also afraid of people asking who did this to me, because I'm not prepared to put that out there. I'm not prepared for the repercussions that naming my rapist will have on people I have known for most of my life and who I love a great deal. I will take his name to my grave, despite how much it hurts me.

This isn't the first time it has come back to haunt me. But I'm finally realizing it won't be the last. I've got to get help and I've got to put this away for good. I can't just keep burying it every time it makes its way back out of the shadows of my mind.

A Rape Victim Who Buried Her Pain: Emotions Hitting Like a Freight Train 12 Years later

A letter to my rapist.

Below is a letter I wrote to my rapist 5 years ago. I have never actually sent it to him. It illustrates a lot of the pain and confusion I've experienced in waves over the past 12 years.

Hi *****,

I know this is very out of the blue. This is probably something you never anticipated and, maybe, you don’t even understand why I would write this. Maybe you don’t think anything “wrong” ever happened, or that you did something wrong. Maybe you’ve never thought about how that night completely altered my perception of myself, of sex, of men. Maybe, because I went back for more, you assumed after-the-fact that you had not, in fact, raped me.

You did.

If you believe yourself to be a good person, perhaps you rationalized it. Perhaps you’ve convinced yourself that it wasn’t rape – it was just unplanned, drunken sex.

It was rape. Let’s not kid ourselves about that.

I convinced myself for a long time that it wasn’t. I convinced myself that I made a terrible, life-changing drunken mistake. One that I can never take back no matter how badly I want to. I made excuses for you. Because of our family ties, I did not want to believe that you were/are a bad person. Maybe you’re not a bad person. But when you took advantage of me, there was no good in that. What you did was very wrong, on many levels.

First of all, I was under age. Sure, I was one month away from being 18 – but I was still, by legal definition, a minor.

Second, I was a virgin. You may not have known that, but at the age I was it was a possibility that should have crossed your mind. You should have asked. At the very least, you should have sought enthusiastic consent for intercourse. You didn’t.

Third, I was drunk. Very drunk. In fact, as far as I can recall, I was passed out. We made out earlier – and to that end, I was willing. I wanted to make out with you. I did not want to have sex with you.

I don’t know how you recall that night, but this is how I recall it.

A Rape Victim Who Buried Her Pain: Emotions Hitting Like a Freight Train 12 Years later

I had a teenage crush on you – something totally normal for a 17 year old girl. I thought you were cute, and funny and, of course, mature – you were a man. Every teenage girl wants a man. I never expected that you would even look at me in that way. I assumed you thought of me as a kid. When it turned out you found me attractive, I was wooed.

We made out. Several times. It was exhilarating – you were a grown man and you were into me. More than that, we both knew there was an element of wrongness to it – you were my brother’s fiancé’s brother, after-all (and the massive age gap). It made me feel good. It made me feel sexy, the fact that you would want me despite all the reasons not to. But I did not want to have sex with you.

We went to your car after everyone else had passed out, left or vanished in some way. We made out some more. But then I passed out.

When I woke up, you were penetrating me. I was horrified. I’m sure you remember my reaction. “Oh my god!!! I was a virgin!!!!”

I felt dirty and used. I felt like something was stolen from me that I could never, ever get back – because it was.

I hated myself.

Two weeks later, we were all drinking again. I was so horrified about what happened that I needed to justify it – I needed to make sense of it. So I slept with you again – willingly this time. I felt dirty the whole time.

I have never hated myself more.

A Rape Victim Who Buried Her Pain: Emotions Hitting Like a Freight Train 12 Years later

After that, I couldn’t think of myself as anything other than some dirty, filthy whore. As far as I could tell, that’s exactly what I was. So I acted like one. In the months following I had sex with two more guys. I didn’t enjoy any of it. I was crying inside the whole time with both of them – just like I had been when I went with you to your tent two weeks after you had raped me.

You can never even begin to understand the shame I felt from the day it happened.

After those two guys I had horrible, self-loathing sex with, I didn’t have sex for a year and a half. I couldn’t stand how dirty I felt when I had it.

Then, my first summer in [city I now live in], someone turned that around. I met someone who taught me to enjoy sex. With him I learned that having sex didn’t make me a whore. I learned that I was in complete control of my sexuality.

I had never felt so liberated.

I thought I was finally over it.

I wasn’t. I never will be, I’m afraid.

This will be with me for the rest of my life. I hope like hell it will be with you the rest of yours. Nothing hurts more than the idea that you haven’t hurt over this, that you haven’t questioned your own self-worth over this.

You have no idea what it is like to know deep down that you were wronged, that someone violated you – your body, your dignity, your self-worth, your everything, and yet be stuck blaming yourself.

A Rape Victim Who Buried Her Pain: Emotions Hitting Like a Freight Train 12 Years later

For years every time I thought about what happened, instead of being able to focus on the fact that I had been wronged by a grown man who knew better and that I was a victim, I thought about all of the things I had done that lead to the most painful thing that has ever happened to me. I thought about the fact that I had “seduced” an older man. I thought about the fact that I had been drinking. I thought about the fact that I never explicitly said “no” and my actions up until the point that it happened had indicated “yes”. But as I have gotten older and as I have spent more time in self-reflection, I have realized that I was lying to protect you.

I hate myself for that. I try not to, but I do.

You violated me. You stole my dignity. You made me question my worth and even actively engage in its destruction. But all I ever focused on was how dirty it made me. I never wanted to believe that you were capable of such a horrible, life-altering crime.

The truth is you were capable of it. And you did it. I allowed myself to believe for years that you just didn’t realize I had passed out. Now that I am far more sexually experienced it is plain as day that you knew. How could you not? How could you honest to goodness not realize that the person you were having sex with was passed out cold?!!!

You are a rapist, *****. You stole so much from me that I can’t even begin to explain.

Still to this day my sex life is affected by this. I’m 26 years old and I have had sex with far more people than I am proud to admit. Only two of those were meaningful. I am a slut. Maybe I would have been a slut even if I’d made it to college with my virginity.

Maybe I’d have had more respect for my sexuality than I have had over the years. I don’t know that. What I do know is that, for some reason, I have a really hard time having sober sex with anyone. Of all of the sexual experiences I’ve had, only three people have had sex with me while I was sober.

A Rape Victim Who Buried Her Pain: Emotions Hitting Like a Freight Train 12 Years later

I love myself and I have learned to accept what happened. I have learned to take ownership over my sex life – though I do wonder if that first experience has something to do with the fact that out of over twenty partners only three have had sex with me while I was sober. I don’t know how far the impact goes. I don't think I ever will.

What I do know is that for many years you stole my total and complete ownership over my own body. I can never forgive you for that.

I wish I could ruin your life the way you ruined mine for years. I wish I could tell everyone that knows you that you are a rapist. I can’t. I can’t because I love your sister more than words can say. It’s so inherently unfair that I have to live with this. I could never hurt her or the rest of your family, or my own, by bringing this to light. I just hope that this letter causes you to hate yourself and question your self-worth the way your violation of my body did to me. That’s the best I can hope for. It’s all I have.

I am old enough, wise enough and self-aware enough to finally get past this, but no matter how successfully I move on, this will never stop hurting and I know that. I accept that. It’s all I can do.

I just need you to know how much it hurts.

And how much I hate you for it.

7 4

Most Helpful Guy

  • Coming from someone who has been there, dwelling on it is difficult and snapping out of it is even more so. So rather than tell you to simply get over it i will leave you with some advice. Care and love yourself more than you do now. Shutting down and pushing away others based on emotions is counter-productive but ignoring your emotions and stopping from caring about yourself is even more grievous and takes longer to take on. From what i remember, energy is most often put into thinking about it and dwelling on it so everything else is even more difficult more demanding.

    • Fortunately, I haven't shut down or pushed people away. I'm generally a pretty emotionally stable person and I have healthy solid relationships, including with my boyfriend. Thanks for the kind words though and for sharing.

    • Likewise, hope you find whatever you are seeking.

Most Helpful Girl

  • It's called PTSD get help before it gets worse I was severely abused as a child and spent my early life moving forward creating a better life for myself then it hit me in my late 20's I'm 35 and still working through issues I've spent most of my life running away and trying to escape from!
    You cannot hide from yourself or bury it down deep forever - eventually you have to learn it happened it was nothing you did or caused (the why me phase is fruitless and soul destroying) and that it has shaped you in many positive ways as well as bad but please seek help!

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What Girls & Guys Said

7 20
  • If you hold onto the bitterness and want to hate him for it, it's like drinking poison and hoping he's the one who gets sick. You have to let it go, you have to forgive him. It'll be humiliating and fearful but you must do it. I am not saying talk to him or see him, but forgive him in your heart and you will be set free.

    • Hell to the no. I want to work through it and heal from it, but that doesn't mean I have to forgive him. It's a load of bullshit that you must forgive someone to get past what they did. No, I need to work through the emotions, accept what happened, acknowledge the impacts it has had on me, accept myself and the choices I made in the aftermath, forgive myself for them, and then I can move on.

    • I have forgiven people who did terrible things to me. Forgiven people who took everything from me, my heart, everything. Even a person who did to me what happened to you, when I was a child, I am working through it. You have to give up your self righteous attitude, it makes people not want to be in your cause. Yeah, what happened was awful, but you did get drunk, and you did make out with him- what did you think was going to happen? Men are not honorable any more, they do not wait, they just want sex. I'm sorry... My innocence was taken from me when I was much younger than you. I hope one day you can put aside the bitterness, the anger, the hate, the self- righteousness and truly, let go, and move on.

    • I'm self righteous? Really? Says the guy who is essentially telling me that I was asking for it? No. You don't get to call me self righteous. I'm sorry for what happened to you, but just because it's happened to you doesn't make it ok for you to judge me.

    • Show All
  • You ve done pretty well getting where u are now, securing a life partner.

  • I'm sorry. Thank you for sharing, I know it's painful.

  • Recovering from this is going to require facing up to some difficult truths, which I don't think you're willing to do.

    That said, I hope you feel better soon.

    • Yeah i really can relate to how she feels, it is really hard owning up to the truth of what happened

    • @xbutterflykissesx what exactly do I have to "own up to"?

  • brocks a spoiled a spoiled ass wipe and so are all rapists

    • They should all be shot, I'm not even joking,

    • @Waffles731 and @opinion owner tbh i agree... or maybe like mutilate their privates in some way so they have to live with it for life just like the victims and men have to live with it for life

  • I feel for you, no things don't magically get better with time. But putting the story out there does help, at least it did for me. Just know that there are good days, and lots of fun ahead.

  • I'm in tears, I can't even imagine what you went through. What you have had to overcome. And even though I do not know you I have to say, I love you and I hope the best for you. Always remember to love yourself, and don't you ever, ever call or think of yourself as a whore because you are not. You are a beautiful human being, who had something ripped away from you and that's not your fault. I send you my love, and I wish the best for you.

  • I am in tears. I was emotionally abused by an ex but I couldn't imagine what it feels like to go through that sort of pain. Go to therapy, exercise, do anything to take your mind off of this event. I hope you get the help you need and feel better soon.

    Rapists are disgusting people and deserve no fucking remorse. Brock Turner is a fucking rat and it infuriates me that people are defending the asswipe.

  • I dont agree with your comments regarding similar isssues, but now i realize where you are coming from. So sorry that happened. I hope you will overcome the darkness that his actions had..

  • I read this in an article:
    "I sleep with two bicycles that I drew taped above my bed to remind myself there are heroes in this story." thats kinda cool way to remember :D

  • Again, I'm so so sorry and really hope you feel better

  • i can't believe you still drink.

  • you chose to escape facing the fact that u were raped , u found that easier and you thought it will make ur life easier. a lot of girls choose that with every raper they meet. but it makes their lives worse . in fact if u had made this one pay for what he did. u may had protected other innocent girls from being raped by him. yea i think he did that again and again. did u give him an impression that u wanna have sex with him ! did u act like a slut with him !! even that , nobody can have sex with a passed out slut ! and iam not saying u are one , iam just going with ur thoughts. only sick persons can have sex with a non moving body ! i understand ur reasons of why u dont wanna say anything. yea ur family, ur brother ! i respect that but who did a mistake should pay. he didn't even say sorry or asked for forgiveness which may made u feel better. he doesn't deserve to be covered and if ur family got sad or angry that would be becoz of him not u. u wanna peace? only justice can bring peace otherwise welcome to the other side of psychiatry world. and sorry if anything i said is silly. i feel so angry when i imagine what happened to u...

  • Rapists need some serious help.

  • I couldn't read ur whole story because I started crying I hope ur life gets a lot better

  • I just came here to tell you that when you write something emotional like this... please change/remove the Mr. Bean profile pic... because Its distracting.

  • Get help. It wasn't your fault.

  • I mean really.. rape is bad but there is the ability to report these idiots or call the police. There is abuse far worse than rape and you're lucky it only happened once. I don't know why people act like rape is like the worst thing on the planet esp when they can report these scumbags and go to court. Not trying to minimize but all this commotion over one experience. Get the balls to call the police and report. You had no ties to the person, they werent family, they violated you. hating yourself b/c someone rapes you makes no sense- also why would it make you a whore. you weren't a child either you were an older teenager.

    I've been raped once anally, and have had some guys semi sexually abuse me, but have had far worse happen. I'm not even sure why one experience like that can lead someone to so much self hate and destruction, esp when you were drunk anyway. Sorry but, there's more to life than someones once rape experience. They haven't been through sh*t if they think that's so bad. Let me tell you what some others have been through and it'll leave you floored, but we dont write long harrowing stories about our tons of traumatic experiences

    • yeah i was anally raped while drunk, by some jerk on a date- im still a virgin. I've been fingered aggressively by one or two psychopaths and abused in ways can't describe. Ok. I could have reported any of them. Ok anyway- compared to the real crap I've been through that is like a nail prick. Date rape happens all the time and people aren't traumatized for life.. its horrible and these people need to be reported and they need to be punished. Any kind of rape is bad but spare the long sorrowful letters of how a one time experience destroyed you.

    • I'm not going to enter into any kind of argument with you. It's clear that you're in a lot of pain that you don't want to process and you're projecting your anger onto me for sharing my experience. I'm sorry if reading about other women's experiences brings up uncomfortable feelings for you. I hope you are able to heal over time and work through the anger and pain you're holding inside.

  • mmmm bad girl ;)

  • Finally i understand why you act like a fucking feminist bitch on this site. Finally i UNDERSTAND

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