Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Because of what I was told ‘rape’ meant.. I kept quiet for years. (content note)

Because of what I was told 'rape' meant. I kept quiet for years. Now I'm breaking down and I don't know what to do.

I was 14 when I had my first boyfriend. We would mess around consensually at first, but he started to want more from me and became pushy and coercive. He wanted to use his mothers sex toy on me. I said no. He asked me again. I still said no. He kept on telling me he would like it if I done that. That I would like it too. I didn't want to. I had said no. That should have been the end, but I gave in. I done it. I was grimacing through the entire thing. He didn't even notice how unhappy I looked. It's my fault though, isn't it, because I gave in too soon. He would have said no eventually, surely. But instead I gave in, like the weak, disgusting person I am.

The same thing happened again. Oral sex. Inserting a lolipop inside me. Each time I said no. Each time I gave in. Each time I was left feeling dirty and unpure and rancid.
He convinced my friend and I to mess around in a 'threesome' type situation. Above-neck things only, but still disgusting and humiliating. My friend and I don't know why we did it. We didn't want to. We still cry about it years later.

At 17, I got drunk with a boy I barely knew, and didn't like. I just wanted someone to like me. I wanted to kiss and flirt with somebody. He wanted to finger me. I said no, I said I didn't want to. He told me he wanted to. I didn't want to. I wasn't happy, I wasn't safe, I wasn't sober. I was the first one to give up, like always. Giving up is all I do. Then I'm left with the fallout, the crying, the scratching my skin, the feeling filthy and wanting to tear my skin off and get rid of my disgusting breasts, rip my womb out, bleed and die.

I'm 19 now. I have spoken to mental health nurses and therapists. I have told them what has happened and they told me the things I have been through are rape and sexual abuse. I always thought rape meant kicking and screaming and crying. I thought you could only be abused by strangers in a dark ally. It's hitting me now and I don't know who or what to believe. I am receiving counselling and I am on various medications. I have a boyfriend who I love dearly, but his anger kills me sometimes. He tells me I am selfish. That my life isn't hard. He says fuck my problems. His dad is very, very ill. He is stressed out and struggling. But that is no excuse to demean my struggles and feelings. No matter how many years have passed, it's still all too real for me.

Please help. Advice. Anything. Please help.


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8 thoughts on “Because of what I was told ‘rape’ meant.. I kept quiet for years. (content note)

  • Nichola says:

    I get it. I understand. Everything you’ve written makes total sense and your hurt and pain is palpable. Society manipulates us and rape culture tells us not to be so dramatic it couldn’t be rape in those circumstances. But it was abuse and rape. You aren’t unhinged or being dramatic. It wasn’t and never will be your fault. And try and really believe that yourself. We believe you. I believe you x

  • Tracy says:

    Your boyfriend is ‘stressed out and struggling’, but that doesn’t give him the right to “kill you” with his anger. Your ex, who raped you & those who assaulted & abused you; they had no right to do those things to you. None of this is your fault. You are not weak or disgusting, you are a human being who deserves love and respect. I am so sorry these humiliating and abusive things happened to you. Don’t give up. You are receiving help from counsellors & reaching out on here, to women who will believe you and support you. I believe you. X

  • Gemma says:

    If he continues demean you you may need a breather so you could figure things out. Yes he is in stress and struggling but it does not give him the right to lessen your challenges and traumas. It might be wise to tell him it is time for each other to do a bit of growing up and that might mean time away and you have that right to be “selfish” for awhile to deal with your grief and anger so you don’t break under his. Best of luck

  • Lorrie says:

    It’s not your fault. None of what has happened to you is your fault. As women, we swim against an endless, powerful tide of pressure – pressure to conform, to obey, to submit, to please; finding yourself swept along by that tide isn’t your fault. I’ve been there; every woman I know has been there, and I’m so sorry you’ve found yourself there too.

    You’re not selfish – you have a right not just to survive but to live and to deal with the hardships you’ve suffered. Please keep reaching out – talk to other women, talk to anyone you can, contact Women’s Aid. You deserve happiness and peace, and you can’t save your boyfriend from his anger – only he can choose to deal with that. Keep yourself as safe as you can, put yourself first, and know that you deserve better. xx

  • susan says:

    You never will forget what happened, but with the right support and therapy, the pain will lessen. It will take time. No one should expect that after such a long time, you can overnight just erase those thoughts and feelings, but it wont be like this forever. I promise.
    I believe you. Love to you. X

  • herbsandhags says:

    Dump the boyfriend, he’s not a good person to have in your life. Here’s the thing: you have the right to be selfish. You have the right to put YOUR life first. Don’t think for one second that your boyfriend would put your life before his, your interests, your griefs, your needs, upfront before his and yet that’s exactly what he demands from you. He’s the star of his own life and guess what, he’s supposed to be the star of your’s as well. Well you have the right to be the star of your own life, just as we all do and irrespective of the hard time he’s going through at the moment, he is not good for you and you don’t have to put up with people in your life who aren’t good for you.

    I’m sorry for all you’ve been through. None of it was your fault. You can recover from all of it, but you need to dump the demanding boyf and concentrate on your own recovery. Best of luck.

  • Tara says:

    Thank you so much for writing this – it’s really hard to speak out and it is so helpful to see how we all have similar experiences. I contacted Rape Crisis a few weeks ago about what happened to me when I was 23 and have been speaking to their helpline off and on since then. They’ve been so great and I’d really recommend giving them a try if you feel like talking. It can be hard to get through but the number is 0808 802 9999. Good luck with everything. It hurts but it can start to feel different. T x

  • Rob says:

    None of this is your fault.

    My father died last week. My father had been ill for some time. I have been stressed and struggling. But I would not use that as an excuse to be angry at my partner. If he is telling you to fuck your problems and that your life is not hard, he does not care for you. At all. Get him out of your life.

    Are you selfish? No. You have a right to put yourself first. You have a right to put your feelings first. You have been through a number of traumatic experiences, and if someone is telling you that these do not matter, then they do not care for you. Get them out of your life.

    You have a long way to go but you have taken the first steps, and the most important steps. I believe you, and I wish you all the luck in the world.