After that incident between the relative that abused me and my daughter, I started to to have flashbacks of what happened all those years ago. I tried to pretend it didn’t exist. I felt like I had no one to talk to. One day when I was at my Doctor’s office, I told him what happened. He suggested that I go see a counselor.
My first counselor I went to was a lady. For some reason she reminded me of my mother. I never had a good relationship with my Mom when I was younger. First day I went to see the counselor I started to tell her why I was there. According to her, I did not ever have to talk about what happened to me. Okay, if that’s the case then why am I even seeing her if I don’t have to talk about the thing that brought me to her. So once a week I would go in there and talk about everything except what happened. This lasted about 6 months. Since my youngest daughter had graduated from High School, I decided to go back to College and finish my degree that I started over 30 years ago. This gave me an excuse to tell this counselor that I can no longer see her.
A couple of months later, I was having more flashbacks. I decided I should go back into counseling. This time, I decided to see a psychologist that specializes in PTSD. I was nervous going to the first meeting. This counselor was male. I almost didn’t go but I knew I had to. Well after talking with him for an hour, I knew I made the right choice in counselors. Spring 2013 will be two years since I started seeing him.
What I like is he doesn’t push me to tell him what happened. He tells me that when I’m ready I will know. I did recently tell him a little bit about what happened that night. I thought that I would feel some kind of relief when I told him. Instead, I felt confused in a way. A part of me felt sad, I felt angry, scared, lonely. I have read that when a person is raped as a child or teen, it is liked a part of them died. They think of themselves still the age that they were abused, instead of the age they are in the present. It is hard for a victim to think of them living in the present. I guess in a way it’s true. There are times I still think of myself as that 15 year old girl who was raped. i have to remind myself that I am really a 51 year old woman, who has been married 25 years, and has two adult daughter. If you’d rather know, I wish I was younger again, but not 15! My psychologist tells me that I am one of the lucky ones. He said that blocking out what happened to me in the past, has enabled me to have a normal relationship with my husband and to raise my two daughters in a normal way.
Some women and men who have lived in abusive households or raped, have been known to sexually and physically abuse their children, use drugs, practice self-harm, go into prostitution, have serious mental problems, and even try or have committed suicide. Rape and abuse victims suffer from PTSD which explains why we have flashbacks years later. Everyone copes with problems in different ways.
When I first read the story about what happened in Steubenville, all I could think about is how the victim is dealing with this. I never wanted to hear of anyone that young having to go through something similar to what I went through. I also thought of her parents and what they are going through also. As a parent myself, I would never want my daughter to go through this. When Ky Anonymous tweeted that he needed someone to speak at the rally for victims, I volunteered. I did it because I wanted that poor girl to know she is not alone. I tried the night before to get out of going. Fortunately, I was to meet 2 friends for breakfast that morning near Steubenville. When I got to the rally, I weaved my way through the crowd and onto the steps of the courthouse where I told some guy wearing a mask that I volunteered to talk.
I never planned anything to say. All I kept thinking about is that poor young girl. When I started to talk, I looked out in the crowd and thought, I wonder how many of these people staring at me have been a victim. For some reason, I tossed that question out to the crowd. For some reason I asked the women to come up on the steps with me so Jane Doe can see she is not alone. We decided to do a group hug. Women were thanking me and telling me there story when I told the one guy that these women need to talk and tell it to the crowd. I was so proud that these women did this. It made me see that as a victim myself, I am not alone in this world. There are others that know how I am suffering and they know that Jane Doe is also.
Hopefully, we can all suffer together and help each other deal with what happened to us. Letting this subject disappear after the trial ends will only defeat the purpose of making others know, that Rape is not something women cause because they just want to have sex or they dress in sexy clothing.