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Please help me!! sexual trauma & blame

Hello everyone, 

This is two seperate occasions which led to my struggles. Its very personal and I am struggling deeply with feelings of self hate, blame and regret. 

First of all I am 20 years old. Ive never been on a date (only ever 2 boyfriends who were long distance), no physical intimacy before. Im very shy and quite reserved.  I want to reserve all of this for someone who I love and am in a relationship with.  

My cousin (who I am not related to but see as family, he is my stepdads, sisters son.) is the same age as me. We connected and became friends, and were grateful for each other. We were quite lonely so having someone to talk to especially being family meant a lot. It was his birthday and I invited him over so we could watch dramas, anime, play the nintendo switch and watch movies together. My parents were away for the night camping. Long story short, we ended up drinking quite a lot. I was borderline tipsy-drunk but still self aware. He however....was very..very drunk. He got very..touchy, kept complimenting me, saying gross things about me, hugging me (in an uncomfortable, somewhat intimate way) and kept kissing my cheek. (this is the first time anyone has touched me like this and is very uncomfortable for me). He talked about and asked me so many disgusting, rude, uncomfortable questions but me in my drunk state I just answered! Im so ashamed of myself…when Im drunk I will just accept anything that’s happening to me because I cant think straight. It was horrible……..He said so many gross things about me, and was so touchy…I remember as I was sobering up I was beginning to become scared and worried about what he might do. He was showing me nude pictures of past ex girlfriends and kept complimenting me on my body and things....He then proceeded to violently spew everywhere to which I had to clean up.  This is my cousin!!! Although not blood related someone who I saw as family and I feel so uncomfortable, ashamed and disgusted. I havent talked to him since. It was traumatising. 

Not long after, a friend from work who is 37 years old (could be my fathers age lol) we went out to a restaurant together. We were quite close - as friends!! he has a wife (their situation is complicated) - but anyway, we are friends. I found comfort in him as I have always longed for an older brother and that is exactly what he was to me. I cant even remember everything that happened but whenever I do I panic and feel so ashamed and disgusted with myself. We were so drunk…I remember I was so tired, I just wanted to sleep. He took me to a motel room while I was crazy drunk, i cant even remember getting there...and I fell asleep right away but, after when I woke up only an hour or so later…He wanted to…..have….sex…….Words cant describe how ashamed I am over myself because of that night. We didn’t go all the way and he didn’t…put it in…, (he kept trying but wasnt able to) but he still did everything else to me and I hate it. (for like 35-45 minutes I'd say? im so sorry i cant go into detail. I cant handle the stress when I remember/think about it) I let him do it. He asked if he could do anything he wanted and I said yes…I was so drunk and tired I couldn’t think properly, I didn’t even really know what was going on. I just remember thinking, ‘hes my friend, so its okay’. He touched me everywhere and and im so ashamed of myself. Whenever I remember everywhere he touched and the things he did to my body my anxiety becomes horrible, i freak out and start hyperventilating. It terrifies me and I feel so disgusted and ashamed of myself. Later he confessed that he loves me and wanted to be in a relationship…I was so upset. This person who is 37 years old…and my best friend who I saw as my older brother….the same situation happened as my cousin but worse.  

These are my fault as I was drunk, and with the second instance I consented at the time. I am so ashamed of myself and feel so..disgusted. Im not the type of person to do these things, even the thought of a kiss is an important moment to me to be shared with my significant other!! not to mention all the other physical things >< ... My first time being touched and my first kiss was stolen in horrible ways.

Now im terrified of everyone I get close to, that they have an ulterior motive, that I cant trust them and I become so scared to be with them. Im now scared everyone at work sees me in a different way to what I was expecting and are going to try to do things to me. Im scared of making friends and going out with people in case something happens again. But mostly the hatred i feel for myself is so strong, im so ashamed of myself for allowing it. I feel so annoyed with myself because Its all my fault and I know i have no right to feel these ways over something that is....my fault!!

Please, I am not comfortable with seeking therapy at this stage which is why I am coming here. I would appreciate your thoughts/opinion and anything to comfort the turmoil I am in with these situations that recently happened. Writing this itself is making me feel absolutely horrible with my anxiety however I feel the need to get comfort and this is a big first step for me. 

 

Re: Please help me!! deep regrets and trauma

Hello @Marina0012 , 

 

First of all, I just wanted to say how sorry I am that this happened to you. Having your trust broken like that by both of those men is a really terrible thing to go through - I can hear you saying that you're feeling really disgusted and ashamed, but it truly is not your fault. It sounds like both of those men violated your boundaries, and it's completely understandable that you're feeling upset about what happened - but it is absolutely not your fault. It must feel like even more of a betrayal when you are someone who wants to reserve physical intimacy for someone that you're in a relationship with. 

 

When you're drunk like that, you're not able to give consent, and what he has done is not ok- you being drunk doesn't mean that it's your fault. It sounds like you're feeling a lot of guilt and blame about what's happened, and I hear you saying that you have no right to feel this way because what happened is your fault - it can be really common for us to blame ourselves in these situations, but you have nothing to feel guilty for. 

 

It must have taken so much courage in opening up here and writing down what's happened to you - do you feel like it's helped a bit to write this down here? It's totally understandable if you're not ready to seek therapy at this stage, but if you do want to talk through what happened to you there's some great services that can help you, that you can access over the phone. 1800 RESPECT

offer phone counselling and online chat with counsellors who are experienced in dealing with trauma and sexual assault, and rape and domestic violence services australia  also 

offer phone and online counselling. If you do decide you're ready to chat with a professional about what's happened it can really help you move on and heal from the trauma that you've experienced. If you don't feel ready to do that, you may find it helpful to look at some self care strategies-  we have a huge list here of different well-being activities that people have found helpful in the past. What works best is different for everyone, but it really can make a difference focusing on ways to be kind to yourself. 

 

The community here is also a really safe and supportive space, and we are always here to chat. It must have taken so much courage to open up here and you should feel really proud of yourself for that. 

__________

Check out our community activities calendar for November 2020 here

Re: Please help me!! deep regrets and trauma

@Janine-RO  

Hello! I firstly just wanted to express how thankful I am that you took the time to read my post and respond. Its very much appreciated!!! really, thank you!!

I truly feel like crying, your words are so kind and so helpful to me. I still cant help but blame myself as I shouldn't have allowed myself to become so drunk like that and should have said no. I thought I wouldn't be so effected by what happened as I feel like I am exaggerating over situations that aren't that big of a deal. I feel traumatised over experiences that aren't that bad and cant help but feel a little pathetic over it. But I appreciate your understanding so much! I truly trusted them a lot which is why I think when I was drunk I allowed them to do anything. It wasn't until afterwards when I could actually think for myself I realised how stupid I was. Thank you so much for your response and the links. It has helped a little bit being able to write everything down here! I do feel stupid for reacting this way (not being able to get over it) to these minor experiences so I apologise for that. Thank you so much again, it truly means a lot to me! 

Re: Please help me!! deep regrets and trauma

Hi @Marina0012, I am so sorry to hear that other people have put you into this position. It sounds like it has left you feeling like you are to blame for what happened. It must be so difficult to feel that weight on your shoulders. As Janine-RO mentioned, you are not able to give consent when you are at that level of intoxication. This is because it has been established that people are unable to think clearly or make decisions in this type of state. Someone who realises you are intoxicated should not be attempting to engage with you sexually.

Your feelings are completely valid, your reactions are not stupid or silly. What you have been through is very difficult and upsetting - you are allowed to feel impacted and traumatised. Everyone reacts differently and there is no right or wrong way to go through something like this Heart I am wondering whether you have talked to anyone about this in your life? You also mention feeling anxious about what has happened. Is there anything that helps you get through those moments of anxiety? You were so brave to share your story here, it sounds like it was really hard for you to do.

Re: Please help me!! deep regrets and trauma

Hi @Marina0012,

I just wanted to echo what Janine and Taylor have said, it is so brave of you to open up about such traumatic experiences. It must have brought up a lot of really difficult feelings, but I hope it has been helpful to receive some support from others? I'm so sorry you've been through these experiences, they sound so scary and violating Smiley Sad What happened is definitely not your fault, you weren't able to give consent. I hear you also blame yourself for becoming drunk in the first place, but you were with someone you thought you could trust and you couldn't have predicted the future... These definitely aren't minor experiences, they sound really really traumatising Smiley Sad You shouldn't be expected to 'get over' this, it's a such an awful thing no one should experience. I hope you keep reaching out if you need, remember you deserve to be heard and supported! ❤

Re: Please help me!! deep regrets and trauma

@Taylor-RO @Lost_Space_Explorer5 

Thank you so so much for taking the time to read my post and even respond. I feel so grateful...thank you!!! I feel so much relief hearing that I dont have to blame myself so much for everything that happened. Although I cant help but keep blaming myself right now, It really helps. I felt betrayed by my cousin and friend, and very pathetic. I was desperate for a friend and someone to talk to but in the end it resulted in....bad events. I trusted them a lot and never would have expected something like this to happen. And not far apart from each other either (just recently over the past few months). Both of your kind words made me tear up and I cant be more thankful. I recently told a close friend of mine but that is all. I am not comfortable with telling anyone else in my life (family included) right now. I have quite bad anxiety so when I have flashbacks to what occurred I cant stand to even touch my own hand or body (leg, foot, face) at all otherwise I panic. I felt quite pathetic over feeling so traumatised and unable to move on from something that doesnt feel like a very big deal. So thank you so much for you words!!!!! I appreciate you so much. It warms my anxious heart Heart 

More problems and extra stress

@Lost_Space_Explorer5  @Taylor-RO  @Janine-RO 

Also, any tips?? Please help!! Today I was told that the second older (37 year old I mentioned) guy will be returning to work at some point this month. He hasnt worked basically since this happened so I havent seen him for a while. I was unable to concentrate at work today, kept making mistakes and my mental state was a mess. I feel so anxious and scared to see him again. Although I dont believe he will do anything I am still worried about the awkwardness and tension that will be there and the flashbacks I will possibly have from seeing him again. Im so worried and not sure what to do. Any tips on how to cope?? My work place is very important to me, I feel comfortable, safe and happy there. Its oddly like a second home. Any tips on how to calm my anxiety? I know im going to be incredibly anxious, on edge and worried from now until he comes and who knows how I will feel once he is back again. Sorry to bother you again. 

Re: More problems and extra stress

Wow this is a really confronting and tricky situation @Marina0012 Smiley Sad I honestly don't know what you should do. I don't think it would be good for you to have to be in an environment with this guy around. I guess because he could do it again and, as you said you're really anxious about him coming back. And with those horrible flashbacks you're having, I can't imagine what him being back would put you through. The mods will be better at suggestions than me but they're not back till tomorrow.. Hmm could you talk to someone in charge at your work about not having to be around this guy at all? Have you thought about going to the police about this? Perhaps getting some professional support will help you through this, and process things Smiley Sad The flashbacks sound so scary, I'm sorry you're going through this. I really don't know what the best way forward is, you should not have to be in this awful situation Smiley Sad Do you have any ideas about what you're going to do?

 

With the anxiety and stuff, I think grounding helps with flashbacks? Have you tried this?

 

Reach out has some anxiety management strategies. Do any of these sound helpful?

Re: More problems and extra stress

hi there @Marina0012 , reading your post I just wanted to add to the supportive replies here. It sounds like a really scary and painful experience that has disrupted your ability to feel safe around people. you have every right to feel traumatised, and I just wanted to let you know that I'm really hoping the best for you in getting through this. i'm really glad you had the strength to post here and reach out for comfort and advice, and I hope you'll feel supported by the community here Smiley Happy

Re: Please help me!! deep regrets and trauma

Hello @Marina0012 , I am sorry to hear that you have been blaming yourself and that you are feeling betrayed. I can't imagine how difficult that must be. It is really lovely to hear that you have felt comfortable enough to tell a close friend of yours. That shows that you are really brave and strong. We definitely do not want to force you to tell your family and do something you are not comfortable with, so hopefully there is a chance that you will feel comfortable telling them in the future.

 

Sorry to hear that you were feeling anxious and scared after hearing that the man will return to work. I think it is really nice that you feel so comfortable at work, but it is a shame to hear that you have been worried about being at work because of this man. As for tips on how to cope, I think that there might be various things that can help you. We have an article here at ReachOut that explores some ways to help cope. Here is a link if you are interested. Various strategies work for different people, so you may not find all strategies to be useful. 

 

I understand that you are not feeling comfortable telling your family about what you have been through, so I just wanted to echo that if you ever did want to talk through what happened to you there's some great services that can help you, that you can access over the phone. 1800 RESPECT is a good service that you can call and chat with a counsellor who is experienced in dealing with trauma and sexual assault. I hope that you are able to find some effective coping strategies so that your workplace still feels comfortable and like a second home Heart