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Love and stress (tw sexual assault)

My ex-girlfriend was recently sexually assaulted and I don't know how to deal with it.


We dated for a while and then broke up because she wanted to be alone, when she called at 2am I drove out to get her from a party because she cried and said she wanted to leave. I never questioned it because I never stopped caring about her. When I got there the incident had already happened and life was changed for her. She did what she's done in the past for this (she has had this happen a few times before but never this badly) and she blamed herself. 


I convinced her to report it and I told her id stay with her through all of it no matter what and she said that she didn't want to hurt me because she knew I still felt for her. Over the past two months we've been talking and hanging out and I would do anything to help her. 


We've gotten very close again and at this point we're pretty much dating without the label. She doesn't want the label which I support entirely because she knows sometimes she'll want to be near me and other times she's disgusted by the thought of being touched. None of this bothers me and I will support her no matter what, she means the world to me. 


But she feels disgusted in her own skin and my response is something like you are your mind and you are more than your skin, you're a beautiful soul and nothing could ever change that. I know that I can't fix things for her in a night and that it'll be a long process but I don't know what to do and I am so afraid of getting it wrong. I just don't want to hurt her. I listen and I'm there but talking never seems to ease the pain, she says that she can't get comfortable and what do I say? Taking a shower never helps because the pain never washes away and she always feels dirty, so I tell her to distract herself with her favourite youtuber to relax but it won't work and I know that she will do it and sit there in discomfort, I just can't bear to keep replying with empty words that mean nothing. 


She has self confidence issues and it pains me that she can't see the beauty that I do, the absolute majesty that takes my breath away.


Its a cycle and it doesn't get shorter, it doesn't stop, it just goes around and around and when it gets to the point of self hatred and disgust it makes me feel terrible, its a core discomfort and I only want to take away her pain. I know however that I cannot so I make plans to see her and I try my best to help her to see the outside world, to drink, to eat. I never tell her what to do, never take away her power, I never dominate or use force, I don't raise my voice and none of it is difficult because I wouldn't want to anyway; but it is never going to be enough and it makes me feel as though Ive lost my own control, as though I can't help the ever moving emotional rollercoaster and that Ill never be able to alleviate her pain. 


I cannot tell you how much it took out of me not to return to the party and find the man responsible myself, the thoughts of him never leave my mind and the dreams of him violating the woman I love are far worse, I never saw his face and so I see only a shadow of a man and that helps me. From just the drop in the ocean that I feel I cannot even begin to imagine what she feels and it tears me apart every day to know that she feels that way.


We found out that a boy in the year above me killed himself this morning and it made me think of some of the past times I've thought about the same thing (I'm not going to do it so don't worry), I don't know why people cannot see the same value in a life that I can, how people can ruin a life for as little as sexual pleasure. 


The thing about all this is that I love her, all I want is to help and I don't know the best way to do that, I don't know how to tell her that I'm there and that its all okay because its not.. its not okay. I don't know when it will be okay but I want for her to feel the way she should, happy and content and like a teenager should be able to feel. She's growing up, she has dreams and aspirations and I want her to pursue them with vigour. I just don't know how to get her started again.


Re: Love and stress (tw sexual assault)

Hey @Teenageratlarge, thanks for sharing. It seems as though you are going through a lot - supporting someone who you really care about, and obviously doing an amazing job of providing care, love, and a safe space for her. From everything you've described, it seems as though your ex needs some professional support in the form of a counsellor / psychologist. The aftermath of something like an assault is big and needs professional attention, and it's important that the role of 'carer' isn't entirely on your shoulders. Is this something that you have discussed? Jess-RO


Re: Love and stress (tw sexual assault)

Maybe you could get her on this site? She could have her own account and make friends and discuss with other wonderful women how to feel better about themselves. I am sure that she is an amazing person. Do you mind sharing her age? If you don't want to share you can just say she's in between 15 and 19 or something like that. Maybe you could ask her what she is comfortable with you doing when you are with her. Say a few jokes or try to make her smile. If I had a boyfriend and he was feeling depressed, I would make him laugh and try to start a conversation by complimenting him. Take her out on a nice date or to the movies. Spend time with her and keep waiting- patience always wins. I have had a bit of what she has had and I just fought it and my family supported me all the way through. I found it easier to talk to people if someone I trusted was with me- like a best friend or my parents.


Re: Love and stress (tw sexual assault)

Its been months, were dating now and living alone im still her only carer and idk what to do, I made a new post and maybe that will help. thank you for your response.