Sexual assault

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,769,851 The Mix Honorary Guru
Does anybody have any experience of what it was like to have sex after being sexually assaulted or acknowledging being sexually assaulted without realizing it had happened? If so, what was it like? Were there any organizations you contacted for help with the traumatic event? I'd really like some advice but clueless where to begin.
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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,769,851 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I really recommend the book Healing Sex by Staci Haynes as it is for people who have been sexually abused/ assaulted and is really positive about having sex and goes into quite a lot of detail. Even if you have nobody in mind to have sex with it's worth reading as it relates to sexuality more generally.

    For me sex has been difficult. I've had two relationships where sex was a part of that and whilst it was good sometimes it was also difficult at times. The most annoying thing was often my body wouldn't respond in the way I wanted it to. The first relationship I had the guy must have known I was a bit messed up when it came to sex as I used to cry (before, during and after the sex!) but I wasn't ready to talk about what had happened to me. The second relationship I told him what had happened to me before we had sex and he read that book as well and found it really helpful.

    As for organisations, I am currently being helped by 'Into The Light', I'm doing a course there at the moment. We did a bit about having sex and I realised one of the things that has caused the most problems for me is sexual ambivalence - one minute wanting sex and the next not wanting sex, being hot then cold etc. My partner found this very rejecting, especially as I would often change my mind part way through penetration.

    It's not all dome and gloom though, I have managed to have some good sex in my time. I think the key is finding a patient partner and being as honest as you can be.

    One tip I got from my course is to keep your eyes open when you are kissing as you are much less likely to trigger a flashback and it helps you stay present.

    I hope this helps.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,769,851 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Randomgirl wrote: »
    We did a bit about having sex and I realised one of the things that has caused the most problems for me is sexual ambivalence - one minute wanting sex and the next not wanting sex, being hot then cold etc.

    I don't think that I'd ever have sex if I didn't actually want to do it but I can relate to what you've said entirely, sometimes I've been so confident that I want to do it, and decide just before, that I can't do it. It's upsetting sometimes, especially as I blame myself entirely for it, it just destroys any confidence I have. I've forgotten what it feels like physically to have sex too; maybe that's just weird?!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,769,851 The Mix Honorary Guru
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,769,851 The Mix Honorary Guru
    From my own personal experience, it isn't always easy. Sometimes I totally forget, have a whale of a time and feel postively AWESOME. Other times I have pain/flashbacks/horrible weirdness that I just can't explain/cry during sex. What I have found is its really crucial to be having sex with someone you really trust, to be relaxed and to maybe talk about it with your partner if and when the time feels right.

    Books wise - there are soooo many. I swear by the Staci Haynes, but I find that working on the issues to do with the abuse naturally helps. For that it always helps to have a caring and understanding therapist, but I'm well aware thats not always possible. Courage to heal and the work book to go with it by Ellen bass and Laura Davis is pretty good (but seriously heafty!). The penny parks book is also good (rescuing the inner child). NAPAC have amazing information downloads, a brilliant helpline, and a huge database of support groups across the country. They are well worth giving a go!

    I hope this helps!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,769,851 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I had nightmares last night, I feel awful, quite fragile, tired, want to cry. I shouldn't have thought about it. I shouldn't have even begun to think about sex. I don't know what to think about anymore. I want to think about sex without being afraid of it, but I just hate the thought of people touching me. Why am I doing this?! I don't know if I want sex just because it's sex, or if I want it just to build my confidence again. Or both?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,769,851 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hi Unflithen,

    Sorry to hear about how hard this has been for you. Being worried about eventually having sex is inevitably stressful and upsetting. It's a really good idea to post here as you can see some people have gone through similar feelings so remember you are not alone.

    Having a look at our video on Help and support following a sexual assault and article on Surviving sexual assault could help.

    Are you currently talking to anyone about this? Have you had therapy since the incident? Perhaps getting counselling could be something to think about - The Survivor's Trust can guide you to different counselling centres around the UK and Ireland specialising in sexual assault.

    *hug*
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,769,851 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Unflithen wrote: »
    I had nightmares last night, I feel awful, quite fragile, tired, want to cry. I shouldn't have thought about it. I shouldn't have even begun to think about sex. I don't know what to think about anymore. I want to think about sex without being afraid of it, but I just hate the thought of people touching me. Why am I doing this?! I don't know if I want sex just because it's sex, or if I want it just to build my confidence again. Or both?

    Wanting to have sex is a perfectly normal feeling - regardless of the motivations behind it. Unfortunately it seems that flashbacks and nightmares are a way of your body processing what happened to you - and getting support is a good idea, but I know from experience that its not always that easy so just bare in mind that we are hear and very willing to listen to you and help you all we can. Havee you looked any any of the downloadable material from NAPAC yet? That might be a start :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,769,851 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Miss_Riot wrote: »
    Havee you looked any any of the downloadable material from NAPAC yet? That might be a start :)

    No I haven't, I really don't know where to begin. I don't want to do anything about it, too frightened of the consequences, feel like I'm not going to believed and that I'm just making a mountain out of a molehill.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,769,851 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Why would anyone not believe you? You're not making mountains out of molehills, disclosure is often the start of the healing process. Have you spoken to anyone about what happened?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,769,851 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Miss_Riot wrote: »
    Why would anyone not believe you? You're not making mountains out of molehills, disclosure is often the start of the healing process. Have you spoken to anyone about what happened?

    I have done it, but it's difficult to know if I actually want to do something about it, or just acknowledge that it happened, and that there isn't anything I'm able to do about it anymore.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,769,851 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You can always make a statement to the police and never sign it. Thats what I did. Its still there if i change my mind, but just making that disclosure really helped.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,769,851 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Miss_Riot wrote: »
    You can always make a statement to the police and never sign it. Thats what I did. Its still there if i change my mind, but just making that disclosure really helped.

    How would I do it? I'm not convinced they would believe me; I'm a man.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,769,851 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Unflithen wrote: »
    How would I do it? I'm not convinced they would believe me; I'm a man.
    Men get sexually assaulted too. How long ago did it happen? You can just call the local police where you live (even if it happened in a different location) and tell them you want to report a sexual assault (however long ago it happened you can report it) and they will arrange to take a statement from you.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,769,851 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I still think that that wouldn't be worthwhile, not for me, but for them.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,769,851 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Do you mean the police or the person who did it?

    It's very worthwhile because you might stop it happening to someone else and it gives you the space to tell them what happened and for you to stop carrying it all by yourself. They can also point you in the direction of people who can help you.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,769,851 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Miss_Riot wrote: »
    Do you mean the police or the person who did it?

    I meant Police Officers, I just don't want to be a nuisance and have them do work that isn't going to be of any use to them.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,769,851 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It may be of use and they would never see you as a nuisance. I thought that I would be because I know that there are no witnesses to what happened to me, so a case couldn't be brought against him but it was helpful to me and they said that it's helpful to have something on record invade he does it again and then they have further evidence to back up a new case. Even if the perpetrator has since died they said that it's helpful for them I have these things on record.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,769,851 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I lost my virginity aged 15 through sexual assualt and fell apart. I had heard he was part of a gang and he knew where I lived so for about a year I couldn't sleep. To be honest I didn't actually get any help as at the time I felt it was my fault and my head was all over the place I got a bit of counselling at college but heavily relied on my family's support. After a while I mean a long time I felt much better but just had the mindset that sex was sex and felt I could have sex with anything and it didn't really matter until one of my teachers was doing a sex ed talk and said something like "sex is meant to be a beautiful thing between two people heavily in love not something to be rushed into" and it really sprung a bright light in my mind. Just because I was sexually assualted doesn't mean I don't deserve to have a beautiful boyfriend who I love and actually want to have sex with not just some idiot I don't care about, so from then on I only have serious boyfriends and sex with them and I feel now that the rape was part of like some old life and it doesnt feel it really happened to me anymore.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,769,851 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Miss_Riot wrote: »
    What I have found is its really crucial to be having sex with someone you really trust, to be relaxed and to maybe talk about it with your partner if and when the time feels right.
    I hope this helps!

    This. When I first started having sex after it happened (which wasn't long after) I was insanely promiscuous- I think in an attempt to prove I still could have control in that type of situation/ disregard or devalue what happened. It was a very very long time before I could trust a man again or really enjoy sex, and while yes it will take time, I think that a lot of it was a result of the denial I was in; I didn't deal with the emotions. So what I'm trying in a roundabout way to say is that even though its really horrible, it's really good that you're addressing how you feel- it's the first step to healing and building trusting relationships again.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,769,851 The Mix Honorary Guru
    How do I go make a statement without actually making a statement? Or am I? I'm confused! :nervous:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,769,851 The Mix Honorary Guru
    you talk to the police, you make the statement but you don't have to sign it. you basically maker a disclosure to them - i.e. you tell them what happened and they record it, but they can't go and use what you have said to them in a case unless you decide to then sign it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,769,851 The Mix Honorary Guru
    But do I actually have to make an appointment? What about a lawyer or a solicitor?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,769,851 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You can just call the local police on the non-emergency number. You don't need a solicitor, at least I didn't have one. Just tell them you want to report a sexual assault and when it happened on the phone then they will sort out taking a statement.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,769,851 The Mix Honorary Guru
    So I don't have to go myself? Or do I?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,769,851 The Mix Honorary Guru
    No you can take someone with you
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,769,851 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I was recommended to talk to the police by myself but have someone else there to talk to before and afterwards but it is up to you.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,769,851 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Just to give a little guideline, have a look at this answer to a similar issue involving reporting sexual assault, including a few links on how to do that *hug*
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,769,851 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm really not liking anything today, I hate being touched by anybody, it just makes me want to cry. Why is it so difficult for people to understand?!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,769,851 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't think speaking to someone about it would help me, but I get afraid of people touching me, so the thought of trusting someone enough to have sex with is terrifying sometimes, not always though. Is there someone I could go to to try and make physical touch and feelings less distressing?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,769,851 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If you are talking about non-sexual touching then I have found Shiatsu (which is similar to a type of massage with all your clothes on) to be quite helpful in getting used to being touched in a non-threatening way and this helped me go on to have relationships.

    I don't think you should rule out talking to someone though. If you trust enough to be able to pm random people on here about it the way that you do I would think you could trust someone who actually has training in what to say to you and might find it more helpful. You come across like you really need to talk about it with somebody.
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