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How should I respond to this?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
Well, just the other day me and my girlfriend were spending the day together, and later on in the night we began talking about things that we normally can't talk about, and mind you i'm only the second guy she can really open up to about this kind of thing. Apparently, when i was talking i touched on something pretty touchy, but she wouldn't tell me what, and several minutes later, while we were on a different topic, she blurted out something that i never would've expected to hear. She told me that a little over a year ago her cousin had raped her. I felt so bad for her, but at the same time im sure i didn't do much good for her as my reaction was one of just staring blankly for several minutes trying to make sense of it. Finally I just hugged her and cried a little bit for her, but her way of dealing seemed even less worthwhile than mine, as she suddenly appeared very hyper, acting sort of the opposite of what you would expect in that situation. But anyway, this event scarred her very badly, as she admitted that even to this day she feels very dirty. In fact, just a couple months ago she relapsed into her originial way of dealing with it: shower upwards of 6 times daily and eating very little (now this relapse was not brought to my attention and i believe was before we were together). But anyway, this is nothing i would've expected, and frankly i didn't know/don't know what to say or how to deal with it, as i probably don't know the full extent of how it affects her. If anyone has had any experience like this or can offer any little pieces of advice it would be greatly appreciated.

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    o god i dont really know wot to say. i cant even begin to imagine how she feels. wot i do know is that you should show her that you are there for her and dont try and make her talk about it. she obviously trusts you a great deal to share this secret with you and may open up to you more in the future. but in the meantime just support her and be there for her as thats the best you can do
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    wow!i sympathise with you as well!it a lot to put on someone i may not be much use to you but i fotr one stupid reaon or another hav been involved or in contact with this kinda topic a lot.(not the family thing though)i would like to say well done for consoling her so well (the hug)you wouldnt belive how many people find this emensly hard to do when shocked and things anyway this im sure unintentionally has put some wieght on your sholders but your doing you best i can see why you find it hard its not an easy issue any way make the point to her that you are always there for her (dont try and bring it up if she doesnt sometimes they can switch on you) and i would suggest you spoke to or visited websites concerning these issues.they may have advice more proffessionaly to help people like you. how much help,conselling or medication was she given?it can take a long time for people to recover and she is still finding this ordeal devistatingeverone copes differebtly.unfortunately when some gang of boys tried to rape me i got over it quickly but took it out on a few people first my cousin has never got over her rape.not trying to scareyou everyones different.and remember that she feelt she could confide in you its soooo hard to even try and tell anyone something like that i think it shows her trust in you.i wish you luck man but remember theres onlyso much you can do for her you not trained to deal with this. <IMG alt="image" SRC="http://www.thesite.org/ubb/eek.gif"&gt; <IMG alt="image" SRC="http://www.thesite.org/ubb/frown.gif"&gt;
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I've never been in this situation so naturally this is untried advice!

    Just be there for her. Be caring but not overly attentive, be a "nice guy," if she's worried about going somewhere/doing something don't push her, talk about it if she wants to. Has her cousin been prosecuted at all?

    This is the first day of the rest of your life.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks so much for your comments, i'll look into websites about that sort of event. An in response to something you said in your comment along the lines of 'how has her family dealt with it'...well her family doesn't know, which makes it all the more awkward for me because theres noone else i can turn to, there are 4 or 5 people (including me) that know of the event. She said that because it was her cousin (although not blood cousin, from a step-father's family) that she didn't tihnk people in her family would believe her or offer the right kind of assistance. It was also very traumatic for her because there was a third-party there witnessing the event, but all three there were under the influence of drugs, so nothing was done to stop or remedy the situation until a 4th person showed up...such an out-of-the-ordinary thing to happen. There was something else when she told me the story that made me feel worse: I was sort of aroused from talking to her for a while before, and when she mentioned the rape i didn't know how to feel towards her sexually, and for a while later that night I still didn't know how to feel towards her in that manner. Eventually, of course, i decided that it didn't matter and that in sexual situations if shes not pressured and is consenting that it doesn't matter, but im just afriad in those circumstances that i may think of the rape and not feel right...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    personaly i think its too complicated and could backtrak her i would keep sex stuff out of the relationship untill shes sure she is moving on from the rape thing and ready.sure the feelings from u wil stil be there but hers are a bit too vunerable and confused right now plus itl make sex better when you do have it make sure before you do shes talkd about hows she feels having sex with u so u know where u stand when she can disscuss where you cum into this youl know shes getting better or healing.shes still sensitive and you may not even feel comfortable wait til your sure and it could bring you closer

    [This message has been edited by angel (edited 21-06-2001).]
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    dude, this is never easy.

    i think the best thing to do is to, like stellar said, be there for her. be the loving, caring boyfriend, get her to learn to deal with the event - if she wants to talk about it, talk about it, if she wants to not have to think about anything, be shallow and mess around. be able to read her emotions and keep her happy - the more you love her, the more she will be able to come to grips with whats happened. most of all, be patient. it can be very trying, and it may take time.

    dude, be the the good boyfriend. love her, care for her, protect her, be there for her. she'll love you all the more for it.

    good luck.

    Look into these tired eyes. See something you might recognise.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Another Calvinese comment <IMG alt="image" SRC="http://www.thesite.org/ubb/biggrin.gif"&gt; Suits you dude, keep it up.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by wildchild:
    Another Calvinese comment <IMG alt="image" SRC="http://www.thesite.org/ubb/biggrin.gif"&gt; Suits you dude, keep it up.

    <IMG alt="image" SRC="http://www.thesite.org/ubb/eek.gif"&gt; scary

    but karen, i know this is very very rich coming from me, but i think it best not to trivialise this of all threads. it does strike a bit of a chord.

    Look into these tired eyes. See something you might recognise.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think all the advice that people have given sounds right-on. You also might want to suggest that she goes and gets counceling, if she's not eating very much then she's endangering her health, which isn't a good thing at all.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I have first hand experience with how to deal with this. I must be a real shock for u but think of it as a compliment that she trusts u that much to share something so awfull with u. The fact she has opened up most likely means she cant go on keeping it to herself. I think its really important she see's a professional and talks about it and finds ways of living her life without feeling she is anyway to blame. The best thing u can do is encourage her to do this and be there for her.
    It would be too hard a position for u to be in if she were to want to talk about it with u. You would only feel u cannot help her, thats why she needs to talk to someone who is experienced in this area.
    The best thing to do is be there for her and try and get her to seek further help. She will never get over it or feel happy ubnless she somhow deals with what has happened to her. I think its brilliant she has someone so understanding beside her...good luck!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Turtle:
    i think it best not to trivialise this of all threads. it does strike a bit of a chord.

    Sorry if I offended you arc arsenal, I didn't mean to <IMG alt="image" SRC="http://www.thesite.org/ubb/frown.gif"&gt;



    [This message has been edited by wildchild (edited 21-06-2001).]
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    arc, this hits a home for me as well, so i can sympathize.

    turtle has given you some good advice. what you have to realize is that this something you both have to live with. this is going to affect every facet of your relationship.

    you have to be strong for her, because she's going through a myriad of thoughts and emotions ranging from feeling dirty, to blaming herself, to anger, to lost innocence, to a need to be cleansed, and so much more.

    what's going to get you through this is for you to be the stable force in her life. be there. night and day, if she needs you. talk to her honestly and openly. if you don't understand something, don't be afraid to ask. getting it out there helps her start the healing process, whether she believes that or not. and it will help you understand what she's going though so you don't sit there blankly like you did the first time. but don't force her if she can't answer, either. it will come on her time.

    as for being with her, if you love her, that's the last thing you should think about. you're entering a relationship where sex is seen as a violent and disguting act. the only way you're gonna get her to change this view of sex is to stay with her and make her feel safe and comfortable with you and the thought of making love to you. she is going to have to get over the idea that sex is a bad, dirty and hurtful thing and all you can do is keep her safe until she's ready.

    and you have to be ready for a lot of hard times. she's going to run the range of emotions. when she does, stay calm and don't panic or get frustrated with her. she will need you when she calms down.

    with a lot of love and support from you, she will put this behind her in time, and she will totally love you because you helped her every step of the way.

    good luck and keep us posted. we can definitely help.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Calvin and Lolly and Turtle's advice hit the nail on the head perfectly.

    Calvin, you are so much like q, it is spooky. With the same outlook, he helped me to reach major turning points in my life when dealing with the after effects of growing up being sexually abused by my mum's brother since the age of 3 (uncle is a word he is not fit for)!

    Q helped me find my inner strength and that is what your girlfriend will need you to do, Arc Arsenal.

    She will need to lean on your strength while she tries to find her own. This may be hard for you sometimes, but you really have to be strong for her.

    I have ended up disowning all my mum's siblings and even my own father over this, because I have become strong enough to realise they refused me the support I deserved and I don't need them. I am thankful that I have Q, our baby, my mum and my siblings and best friends.

    It has been hell for us, the shit we've been through on our journey. but we are proof that there is a way out.

    Your girlfriend will never completely get over it, but she will hopefully find an effective way of living with her scars.

    I am dealing with my issues so well in fact, that I dont even have scary dreams about him anymore! I have learnt to pity him and use my energy for other things. I hope your girlfreind finds the key to this some day too.



    [This message has been edited by GwaiMui (edited 22-06-2001).]
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hi AA

    We have a link here that may be of some use to you as well: http://www.thesite.org/legal/my_girlfriend_has_been_raped.html
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by GwaiMui:

    Calvin, you are so much like q, it is spooky.

    high praise gwai. thank you.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by GwaiMui:
    Calvin and Lolly and Turtle's advice hit the nail on the head perfectly.

    Calvin, you are so much like q, it is spooky. With the same outlook, he helped me to reach major turning points in my life when dealing with the after effects of growing up being sexually abused by my mum's brother since the age of 3 (uncle is a word he is not fit for)!

    Q helped me find my inner strength and that is what your girlfriend will need you to do, Arc Arsenal.

    She will need to lean on your strength while she tries to find her own. This may be hard for you sometimes, but you really have to be strong for her.

    I have ended up disowning all my mum's siblings and even my own father over this, because I have become strong enough to realise they refused me the support I deserved and I don't need them. I am thankful that I have Q, our baby, my mum and my siblings and best friends.

    It has been hell for us, the shit we've been through on our journey. but we are proof that there is a way out.

    Your girlfriend will never completely get over it, but she will hopefully find an effective way of living with her scars.

    I am dealing with my issues so well in fact, that I dont even have scary dreams about him anymore! I have learnt to pity him and use my energy for other things. I hope your girlfreind finds the key to this some day too.

    [This message has been edited by GwaiMui (edited 22-06-2001).]

    (((gwai))))) u have come such a long way and u have done it on your won....thats certainly something to be proud of....I really admire you <IMG alt="image" SRC="http://www.thesite.org/ubb/smile.gif"&gt;

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by lolly:
    (((gwai))))) u have come such a long way and u have done it on your won....thats certainly something to be proud of....I really admire you <IMG alt="image" SRC="http://www.thesite.org/ubb/smile.gif"&gt;


    im with lolly here <IMG alt="image" SRC="http://www.thesite.org/ubb/smile.gif"&gt;
    i completely admire you and i'd love to be just a little bit like you.
    (((((arc arsenal))))) i shouldnt repeat what everyone else has said, so i wont. but it will be difficult for you too, so we're all here for you if you need to vent or anything. good luck sweetie.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    {{{lolly}}} {{{susie}}}

    It just takes time to learn how to deal with these kind of things.

    I still have a really long way to go too. The thing is, as we go through life, more and more shit happens, and piles up on top of you. You just have to learn how to let go of the old rubbish at the bottom of the pile and keep working your way up, lightening the load as you go.

    I try not to think too much about the things in life that I wish had or had not happened, and I really try to focus on all the amazing things I've got here and now.

    You guys are all so strong (and I admire you so much. Just remember, we have all survived whatever they have thrown at us. We are still here fighting for happiness and that just shows our strength.

    Last weekend something major happened in my life where I sat crying thinking, 'How can I cope now?' As time went by and I cried and thought some more, I realised that I have come so far and am not prepared to let another thing no matter how big, push me back down again. Life is too short.

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ((mel)) Hope u r ok with whatever happened. U r really brave u know...wish some of it would rub off on me <IMG alt="image" SRC="http://www.thesite.org/ubb/wink.gif"&gt;
    Hope to chat to you soon...take care
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