Hope is Healing.
I am now 40 years old and have spoken not only to the man who raped me when I was 15 but to others who have been through it as well but this will be my first time doing so publicly so will do my best. When I was 15 I was seeing an 18 year old guy and 2 days before Christmas he decided he wanted what I was not ready to give. My virginity. I said no. I tried to get him to stop. I had physical bruises on my arms from trying to get up. None of it mattered because he was bigger and I had not yet learned self defense. We were from a small town so I did not tell any adults what happened until I was 21 and had moved away from the immediate area and he tried to pressure me again (for the 3rd time though he only succeeded the 1st time.) I was scared of being blamed and was scared I would not be believed and I was right to be. When I did finally tell my father he did not believe me because he didn't understand how this person was still around me. He was friends with several of my friends it's not like I told everyone I hated being around this man and that I was terrified of him...my own father had continued inviting him into our home for years after we broke up and ironically he was the only guy my father had actually approved of that I had ever dated. It really hurts when the first person who is supposed to protect you does not even believe you when you tell them something this wrong happened. It doesn't matter if its immediately or years later you can tell when someone is telling the truth about sexual assult. You can see it in their posture, you can hear it in their voice. I know some people make false accusations and it's disgusting because it makes it harder for the survivors to be believed and to get help and justice. It was not until I confronted the man and had messages not only admitting what he had done but apologizing as well (in my 30's) that my father finally believed me. Don't get me wrong there were others that did from the start but the one who should have protected me and believed me didn't. I suffer from ptsd even 25 years later. I still have night terrors. I still find myself with anxiety off the charts in certain situations. I have gone through therapy, learned self defense, helped others who have spoken their truth to me to see that it does get better with time even though I don't know if it ever completely goes away. I am now (for the last 4 years) in a healthy relationship for the first time in my life so it is possible to move on to better situations later in life. The only thing that has ever made anything positive from the things I have lived through is helping others find hope and to know they are not alone. That is my story. I would be glad to answer any questions or talk to others who need to talk. Thank you for reading.