Thursday, May 8, 2014

You Asked, I Answered, What It Feels Like To Be Raped

Two posts ago I answered the most asked question, "what happened to your sister" when I opened the floor to you guys in the post "Super Fast Post" and gave you the opportunity to ask me anything you wanted. Today we are going to tackle the most debated question;

"What does it feel like to be raped?"

This question caused some controversy in the comments section. I appreciate those of you who were concerned of how the question might affect me, I know you guys are always looking out for my best interest and it is heartwarming when I can plainly see that. I did say that you could ask me anything though, so in all fairness I'm going to try and answer the question.

Please be aware that the emotions that I will be referencing are from the perspective of during and immediately following the rapes. Obviously I have come a long way since then and my viewpoints have changed drastically as is evidenced by this blog.

For those of you dealing with your own issues of trauma, I want to put out a big TRIGGER WARNING right here.

TRIGGER WARNING


What does it feel like to be raped? It feels horrific.

**Every rape is so different, I couldn't possibly tell you what every person felt during each individual situation. The best I can do is give you an outsiders glimpse of what I felt. As I said PLEASE BE AWARE THAT EVERYONE FEELS DIFFERENTLY. I do not want to offend anyone whose feelings are drastically different than mine and please do not assume that everyone who has been raped will feel the way that I did.**

I'll be honest, this might be the hardest post I've ever written. I'm not kidding when I say I've written and deleted it completely multiple times over. I just can't seem to put down in words what the worst moments of my life felt like. There are no words, no phrases that can accurately capture and display what trauma feels like. There have never been words invented for feelings that should not exist. Situations that should never be allowed to happen, can't be explained in ways that people will understand because they surpass human comprehension.

Can you imagine if you were just minding your own business and some guy came up behind you, physically overpowered you to the point of leaving you completely defenseless, and then started doing things to your body that in and of itself are very private? How do you think you would feel?

It makes you feel weak. You realize that you are completely at the mercy of someone larger and stronger than you are, and that person's intentions are not in your best interest. You realize that the only thing in this world come wind, rain, fire, flood, the single only thing that if you are still alive you are guaranteed to be in possession of, your body, now belongs to someone else.

Someone else that wants to hurt it.

Hurt, hell yes it does. Its like the force of a thousand pains coming at you in ways that you can't even describe. Not only the pain of the rape, but the restraining, the choking, the hitting, all hurting in ways that no one should understand. In ways that I don't want to remember.


Eventually pain is overcome by fear, and fear is overcome by a primal need to survive. Your brain is screaming "we are actually dying" and its too much to bear.

No one wants experience their own death.

If you are anything like me, you mentally check out completely. Even though your body is very much present in the horror of the moment, your brain, your being, is a million miles away.

When its over, you don't even know what happened. That in and of itself is a shameful feeling. What happened? Did I let it happen? Should I, could I, have fought more? Could I have stopped this? Did I give up too easily?

Is this my fault because I didn't fight more?

I should have fought more.

I should have stopped this.

I could have stopped this.

I can't tell anyone. What will they think of me?

I let some guy rape me.

I let some guy have sex with me.

I had sex with a stranger.

I can't tell anyone that I had sex with a stranger.

This is my fault.



It's seems absurd, but what happened was so incomprehensible that your brain will try every way, ANY way, to understand what happened.

You cannot make sense of trauma. Trauma is a situation consisting of elements that go against what our brains are capable of comprehending.

So what are you left with? You are left with a broken body, a broken spirit, and no way of understanding what happened.

Rape is not understandable.

But wait, some of you might say, as people have said to my face, "but if you were married, it's not really rape right? I mean, you know him, sex is a part of marriage, it's totally different than a "real" rape."

Yea, its different. Honestly, its worse.

Because I signed up for it, right? I signed up for the marriage and the sex and the pleasing my husband. I put myself in this situation, right?

I chose to walk down the aisle and give my heart away to a man I trusted. I let him in, I let him glimpse my soul, and what he saw, he deemed worthless.

If I don't want to have sex with him, there is something wrong with me, right? How can I tell anyone what is going on? It's my job to have sex with my husband, right?

How shameful that I can't please my husband the way he wants, the way he needs. How shameful that I am so terrible at giving him what he needs, that he must forcefully take it from my very flesh.

The shame overwhelms you and as the days go by you realize fighting is fruitless. You will never be big enough, strong enough, to protect your body in the ways you wish you could. You resign yourself to giving in, convincing yourself that if you just give in to avoid the beatings, it will only hurt half as much.

But it hurts more.

Now you have betrayed your body as well. You have given up and stopped protecting something that is so precious to you.

How can you let someone do this to you?

Because you are just as weak, insignificant, and stupid as he says you are. You are nothing and even you don't respect you anymore. You don't matter. You aren't even real anymore.



Shut your eyes and it will all go away. Wipe away silently falling tears and pretend you are somewhere else.

You can't tell anyone. You have given up. The years go by and you don't even know what's going on. You are a million miles away from reality.

You don't understand it because you can't.

You don't understand it because no one should understand what it's like to be raped.

You can't understand a situation that was never designed to exist.

What does being raped feel like?

I don't know.

It's incomprehensible.







Photo credits
Warning
Girl in mirror
Hand up
Pointing

71 comments:

  1. What was he like before you married? Was there any indication or did his behavior suddenly change after you got married?

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    1. Maybe you should read her intro - the "if you are new start here" part.

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    2. Thanks Emmaline :)

      Hi Anonymous! Yes, if you click on the "if you are new start here" part that should probably answer all your questions. In a nutshell no, he wasn't physically abusive before we got married, but yes there were some big red flags that looking back, I should have seen.

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    3. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. We can't know what will happen in the future based on what's happening in the present. There may have been red flags that you see looking back, but please don't blame yourself for either not seeing them at the time (loads of people don't - myself included at various points), or not acting on them for whatever reason (again, including myself here - there were totally times when I was concerned about someone's behaviour but ignored my concerns because I either didn't trust myself or didn't value myself enough...or both).

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    4. Very true. I think I saw more red flags than I was willing to admit at the time, but I so desperately wanted what I'd never had, love, that I was willing to risk it. You live and learn and sometimes make horrible choices in the process!

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  2. What a poignant post. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. This is me. Giving you hugs.

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    2. Hi you :) Giving you super giant hugs right back!

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  3. Bless you! That was a really tough question to answer and you handled it like a true hero.

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    1. Ha, I don't know about "hero," but I tried my best. Its like explaining colors to someone without sight, its just so abstract...

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  4. I think you did a wonderful job with this post. I don't know how anyone could answer this question because i don't think everyone would give the same answer but you did great.

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  5. Very brave response to a very tough question. Well done ♡

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  6. Wow, I went on XOJane and read your post. There are some haters out there!! I am a married mom of 35 years with now grown children but had some of those feelings myself at times. No one should condemn you for your true feelings, which, if they are moms and honest with themselves, they've had themselves on occasions. Nights up all night with sick kids, etc.... whether or not you can tag off with a partner... are hell and make us all feel that way. Mother's Day is a celebration of mothers. You could and should use this day to celebrate yourself the great mom that YOU are.... AND doing it all by yourself. Happy Mothers Day Eden.♡

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    1. Sorry, meant to post this on your 'mothers day' post.

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    2. Eh, I don't care where you posted it, it was great to hear. Thank you for taking the time to write that :)

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  7. You did such an awesome job explaining your experience of this terrible event. Your writing is amazing! I am happy you are recovering though I well know that these traumas never truly leave us as they do put a lasting mark on our psyche.

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    1. Aw, thank you!! This was a REALLY hard one to write. I just kept crying and deleting, crying and deleting, and so on.

      Yes, it obviously has left a permanent mark on me :( As was apparent by all the crying while typing lol...

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  8. It isn't necessary to use an apostrophe before an "s" to create a plural.

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    1. Of all the things you can comment on this powerful and intense post is picking at grammar? Seriously, WTF.

      Eden, thank you for writing this, and being so willing to share such painful events. Your blog and writing is so amazing.

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    2. Thanks for your sweet words Ana :) I don't think I've seen you around here before, welcome to the blog :)

      *hugs*

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    3. Thanks! I've been reading for awhile, but this is the first time I commented. I found the blog through XOJane. Love your writing and willingness to be so open.

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    4. I'm glad my openess has not scared you away :) I'm also glad you finally decided to comment! :)

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  9. Eden, are you able to delete posts that you don't care to see? I have learned from experience that the best way to deflect people like this is to ignore them or take them out of the picture. I am not really advocating censorship but I do think that when it is someone whose sole purpose on this blog is to be nasty and cause trouble that a push of the old delete button may be in order!

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    1. Hi hun! I do have the option. In the beginning I was deleting them but it seemed to just infuriate the haters more. I'd delete one and then I'd get bombarded with 20 more. I have the option of making the comments need approval before they publish, but I really don't want to start a censorship war. As much as it hurts me to read such hurtful things, if its really what people believe, than so be it. I started this blog as a place to be at my most honest and vulnerable so other people could heal along with me, and I guess some people are just going to hate me for it.

      I love that you guys all have my back, thank you :)

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    2. This is what makes you beautiful, Eden :)

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  10. This would be a really tough question for any survivor to answer, but I think you did a great job. I don't know how I would even begin to answer this. I've had my share of insensitive questions (my sister asked me to tell her exactly everything that happened, in detail, in terms of the sexual abuse and rapes I went through, for years - there was no way I was going to do that) I didn't even know what the hell to say. I don't know how I would begin to answer the question of what it feels like to be raped. This has got me thinking, though - what might my answer be.

    I hope you don't feel pressured to answer any of the questions people asked, though. Particularly if it is this difficult and upsetting to write it. It's ok to put yourself first, it's ok to take care of yourself - whether that means not answering something because it's so upsetting and painful to do so, or whether it means deleting the haters (however many turn up) so that you don't get hurt. This is your corner of the interwebs, there's nothing to say that you're not allowed to make it Eden-friendly and civilised/respectful commenters only. Up to you of course, I just don't want you to feel like this is about censorship, when it may be about assholes, you know?!

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    1. Thank you hun :) I'm just going to take it day by day, question by question, hater by hater lol.

      One day I might not care what they say and the next I might delete all their asses!

      I'm really glad I have all you guys though :) Thank you so much for showing up day after day and cheering me on when I'm feeling low :)

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    2. I need a "like" button for Windmill's post!

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    3. That's so funny, I often catch myself thinking "I need a like button" as well :)

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  11. I came across your blog I for this reason I guess to read this entry. This is the first time I have seen someone write words I've said and things I've felt myself. Its comforting to know that even though I do not know you, that you understand. You understand the thoughts and feelings I've tried to make myself understand for awhile now but there are days my mind just cannot grasp the realness of the situation and everything I should have or could have done tries to play back to me. In the end I know there was nothing else I could have done. I want to say thank you for being willing to answer the question that was asked in the most honest of ways.

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    1. Well first off, I am SO sorry that you have been through this as well, my heart breaks for anyone who can actually understand. I am glad thought that you did find your way here and that you have been able to find some sort of understanding here. I wish you nothing but the best and I hope that you stick around here for a while, we would love to have you.

      Just always remember that it was not your fault. Nothing. Ever.

      Sending you a great big hug.

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  12. Eden this post was so touching I don't even have words. The feeling of being raped is incomprehensible and whoever asked should be so grateful that it was a question that they needed to ask. Your willingness to answer at all let alone in such an open way is amazing. Many hugs to you.

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    1. Thanks Emmie.

      As always, thank you for your kind words, I'm so glad you are here.

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  13. Thanks for the trigger warning- I thought it would be best if I didn't read this one, but I read the comments and it sounds like once again, you wrote an awesome post. Hope you're having a good Mother's Day with your sweet little ones, Eden <3

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    1. Aw sweetie, you are so sweet to leave a comment when you haven't even read the post. Take your time, maybe one day you will be ready, and if you never are that's fine too :)

      Love ya lil internet sis

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    2. Eden, you brought tears to my eyes, you glorious ray of sunshine. You're so supportive of everyone, and that's just wonderful. Love ya too, big sis. I'm always rooting for you :) <3

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  14. I've never been raped, but I have been molested. All I have to offer on is this:

    Dear Prudence, won't you come out to play?
    Dear Prudence, greet the brand new day
    The sun is up, the sky is blue
    It's beautiful and so are you
    Dear Prudence, won't you come out to play?

    Dear Prudence, open up your eyes
    Dear Prudence, see the sunny skies
    The wind is low, the birds will sing
    That you are part of everything
    Dear Prudence, won't you open up your eyes?

    Look around round
    Look around round round
    Look around

    Dear Prudence, let me see you smile
    Dear Prudence, like a little child
    The clouds will be a daisy chain
    So let me see you smile again
    Dear Prudence, won't you let me see you smile?

    Dear Prudence, won't you come out to play?
    Dear Prudence, greet the brand new day
    The sun is up, the sky is blue
    It's beautiful and so are you
    Dear Prudence, won't you come out to play?
    ~The Beatles

    This song has brought much comfort to me - I hope it does also to all of you...

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    1. Thank you for sharing with us :)

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    2. Thank you, for sharing with us, Eden...
      Nathalie
      xoxoxox

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  15. You are so very strong. I can tell this was extremely hard for you to write - of course it was. Nobody should ever have to write something like this because nobody should ever have to experience something like this.

    Many hugs to you.

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    1. Thank you, both of you. I hate that it happened, but I'm appreciative of the opportunity to bring awareness.

      *hugs(

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    2. You're welcome my Dear :}

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  16. Eden... I know you're a martyr and a rape and abuse survivor, but it seems to me like so are a lot of other people reading this blog. Why are your experiences more profound? Who says you have suffered more than the many abuse survivors who comment on your blog? I see that a lot of them also have their own blogs on rape or abuse, but you don't read or comment on those. I'm not trying to bash your blog, it's intruiging, except I feel kind of bad that you get so much attention, and everybody is focused on the details of your action-packed life, while a lot of people suffer from ongoing abuse and perhaps aren't as naturally attractive or have as interesting lives as you do. Not to be a sourpuss, but what about some respect for (not abuse survivors), but those with current difficulties, and not just the one instance of the woman with an abusive boyfriend/husband?

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    1. I can see where this person is coming from, but I disagree wholeheartedly. It couldn't be more obvious from the way that Eden responds to the comments that she really cares about her readers. As for not reading their blogs, maybe she only has time to manage her own. There probably is an element of self-promotion in her blog, but it's a blog! Eden never says that her experiences apply to everyone. She tries to help people by putting her experiences out there. That may be egocentric or insensitive to other people's suffering, but one person shouldn't be expected to take on everyone else's pain, especially since she has a lot of her own. Unfortunately, only other abuse survivors are aware enough or sympathetic enough to want to help others through it.

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    2. To the original commenter, I think that's a very rude assumption. I've posted questions on here and gotten very thoughtful responses. I've also emailed her before and she ALWAYS responds, asking how I am doing, taking the time to communicate with me.

      Where does she say she has suffered more? She spends her life helping other abuse survivors. Why would you think she doesn't respect them?

      This is HER blog, she is writing about HER life and it is us who choose to read about her life on a daily basis. Most writers don't respond to the comments at all, yet she always does.

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    3. Who says she doesn't read or comment on them? I always.see her talking to people about their experiences. Scroll up, I see her telling.a.woman how sorry.she is.for what she went through. She has never said she had it worse. It seems like you are jealous

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    4. To the original commenter, I'm sorry you feel that way.

      This is my blog, where I write about my life, so I don't really know how I could write about anyone else's life. As for you feeling bad that I "get so much attention," I don't really know what to say about that. I choose to share my life and my struggles and I welcome people to join along with me, but I don't think that I am stepping on other survivor's in order to do that.

      I do go out of my way to respond to every comment on this blog and every email that I receive. There are over 3,000 comments on this blog alone, 95% of which I have replied too. I may not always have time to get in depth but I do acknowledge the person that took the time to write it. There are also thousands of comments on the other sites that I write for, many that I have responded too as well. I personally don't have time to read many other blogs, but that in no way means that I don't care.

      I don't think that I have in any way portrayed my abuse incidents as worse than anyone else's and I'm sorry that you feel my appearance may have garnered me any unfair attention. I guess I don't really know what you mean by "how about some respect for those with ongoing abuse and not one incident of abuse?" I've definitely had more than my share on one incident and I guess I'm not really sure how I'm not respecting anyone. This is a blog about my life, so it's kind of assumed that I write about me, but in no way am I discounting the struggles of others.

      I'm sorry if I've made you feel bad in any way, that was not my intention.

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  17. oh my gosh that was amazing! I never imagined that that was everything going through someone's mind at a trauma. Thank you for sharing your story, most people are not strong enough to relive the horrors of the worst time of their life. This was the best post I've read in a while (I'm writing a book and desperately need the information!!). Thank you I love your blog :)

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  18. I don't know who else to ask this. When I was a young girl, around nine or ten years old, a man had me wrap my legs around his his waist while he pressed his boner against me (now that I am older I understand what a boner is). Is this some form of sexual assault? I can't remember most of what happened. If it WAS like some form of sex assault, being young somehow helped because I didn't understand what anything meant and there was no pain.
    I am so sorry for what you went through! I wish I could have rescued you.

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    1. That's definitely sexual assault, or more specifically molestation, and even though you were younger that doesn't mean it somehow helped. Unfortunately not understanding what happened typically creates an even larger problem as you get older. :(

      But if you are doing good, then that's awesome!! But if at some point you feel that it does start to bother you or if you find yourself acting out or holding back in sexual ways, it would be perfectly normal and totally appropriate to need to talk to a professional about it.

      *hugs*

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  19. I stumbled upon your blog... and clearly it's not like stumbling on anyone else's blog.

    I am often asked to help provide training to people who want to work with victims of sex trafficking.

    Teaching someone who has never been abused, raped or enslaved to see and feel the world through the lens and skin and of someone who has-- is a feat I have only gotten close to achieving.

    Your words, however, have the capacity to 'make all the difference.' If it's ok with you, I would like to share this blog with those who seek to serve victims?

    Please know that the pain you endured in peeling back the protective cover of time and hard work, peering into your memory, letting your eyes look back at Hell, and then clawing for words to wrap around it ....and then laying it bare for others -- is a sacred gift we receive. Among them: the gift of clarity and the gift to never be completely unknowing again. To those who have never known the agony of an indelible ache -- your words impart the experience so real -ly. In allowing others to walk in your moccasins, you imbue empathy.
    Your approach to the haters (IMHO) is spot on. Let them talk. In so doing they reveal themselves. No one else reading or supporting you has anything but admiration and gratitude for your extraordinary gifts of courage and self-expression.
    Im hopeful you know the unique comfort your compassionate words and brave disclosures bring to those in pain.

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    1. Wow, so many kind words, thank you! Yes, absolutely share the blog/post, this is what it's here for.

      Thank you for taking time to write all of that out, I really appreciate it :)

      *hugs*

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  20. Just noticed that I can use your link with credit! Will mostly give credit. Youre amazing! Thank you again for being such a profound force for good and healing.

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    1. Share away! Let me know where it runs, it's always neat seeing it spread :)

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  21. Thank you for this.. it's so vivid, it's so true, it's better than i could have done,a and seeing other people go through it reminds me that I'm not alone. I don't know whether I should feel comfort or horror in that.. but i feel both in their respective ways.

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    1. I know what you mean, I don't know if I should be happy when people are relieved that they can relate to this, or sad because they can relate at all. I guess there really is no perfect answer to that one.

      *hugs*

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  22. PS...Love the name of this blog!

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  23. I am using this as reference material for a page I have on why women need to protect themselves. I have been a crime victim and I began to carry a small gun with me. I know the helpless horror of facing an evil person and not being able to fight back, and every man, every single one of them that has addressed me on the subject has responded the same without exception. They call me names, insult me and ridicule me and they have said "I don't care what happens to you and if a few women get raped that's okay as long as they don't all carry guns." It probably wont help but I want to do something to make these things be in some way aware of what violence feels like, maybe one of them in ten thousand might care.

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  24. This had me in tears within a few seconds. Didn't help I was listening to Lady Gaga's 'Till it happens to you'. I feel so bad for rape victims who feel like they can't tell anyone or do anything. It shouldn't be that way. But I know that if I was raped, I would probably not tell anyone either. At least for a long time. I'm so happy you stay strong. You deserve the best life can give you.

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    1. You are too sweet! I'm so sorry I didn't respond to this sooner, somehow I missed it. Thank you for all your kind words and thank you for your support :)

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  25. Hi Eden, :-)
    As i read this, i do believe you just may be the kind of beacon of light so many need after enduring such a horrible event. Your selflessness in choosing to share something so hard to revisit, says a lot for your truly MASSIVE inner strength. I've had 2 friends endure such at different times. Also a neighbor raped my grandmother as she lay dying from colon cancer. He and i have happened cross paths since twice. Both times he sneered & gloated about what he'd done. Let me say, it took a hell of a lot of self restraint not to.. Well.. Ya know. I'd like to applaud you for. Giving so many rape survivors, so much hope with your honesty, rawness, and compassionate vulnerability. As a friend of mine says: Eden, "Nemihotatse Mei Hieno" trans: *I Love Your Spirit*
    Take care, & thank you again.

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    1. Oh my gosh, that poor grandmother and your friend... I can't (and don't) even want to imagine!

      Thank you so much for your support, and all the prayers to your friend!!

      *hugs*

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  26. Lol sorry, i forgot to check the notify me box :-/ if ya can, I'd definitely appreciate it.

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