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Is it possible to have a healthy relationship after rape?


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Next October makes it seven years since I was kidnapped and raped by a stranger with a gun. As to be expected, I went through a wide range of emotions after it happened.

First I wanted to be tough and stoic, like something like that couldn´t affect me in the way people expected. My whole town knew about it, so I did everything I could to appear strong, like I was a survivor already, even just days after it happened. It was in private that I mourned for the death of my former self, an upbeat college student on the verge of graduating with a high GPA and strong aspirations of becoming a filmmaker. After the rape I lost interest in all of this, and instead developed a love for booze.

I *barely* graduated college. After, I spent time drinking and eating pills and basically doing nothing. After months of this, I was arrested for DUI and spent two nights in jail. I knew something had to change or someone was going to die.

The rapist was sentenced to jail for life. I breathed a sigh of relief then wondered if that was to be my closure. I packed my bags and moved to another state on the opposite coast to be with a boy I met online. He had all the qualities of my savior-type. I needed someone to cling to and forget everything. Well, for a year and a half I did that until I squeezed the life right out of him and we broke up. Truthfully, I wasn´t all the heartbroken about it in the end. I came to know we weren´t right for each other, and we´re still friends now. But I never truly developed my own life and that´s a huge reason our relationship plummeted.

Fast forward another five years. I´m living in my second foreign country. The rape haunts me less and less. I´ve forgiven God and actually thanked him a few times for the experience because I wouldn´t be where I am if it hadn´t happened. Sick, huh? Nonetheless, I´m no longer angry. But I still have my moments, I´m sure others who have experienced rape or sexual abuse can understand this...those days where it just hits you like a ton of bricks and you want to rip the eyes out of anyone who looks at you the wrong way.

Now, I´m in a situation that is somewhat similar to when I first moved away after it happened. However, this is different because I moved here for a job, not for a boy. A few months after I moved here, I met a man that I was instantly attracted to, and since then we have developed a relationship.


My question is...is it possible for me to actually have a healthy relationship with someone after being raped? Before it happened, I had a couple of healthy ones. I wasn´t so needy and i had my own life going on. But, this was also while I was in college, and during my university years i had a LOT going on. But now it´s different. I see myself starting to make the same mistakes I made in the past with my ex boyfriend. Wanting to see him all the time, and being sad if I don´t, etc. etc. I´m so scared I´m going to run him off, and I don´t want to do that this time.


I´m doing what I can to develop a life here outside of my relationship and work. I´m trying to make new friends. I went to a karate class yesterday but it wasn´t my scene. I can´t record music lately (I exchanged the filmmaking passion for this one, and have since recorded two albums) because of my living situation. I´m looking into taking a yoga class so I can exhaust any negative energy I´m still carrying around. But I had a flashback this morning when i woke up...my boyfriend is going on a ski trip for a day with his colleagues, and I was reminded when my ex went skiing for a few days and how upset i was with him that he didn´t invite me because i love to ski. And now looking back I realize how stupid and needy that was of me to be mad at him. But then i felt similar feelings this morning and it scared the crap out of me, like Oh No, i´m doing it again, will i EVER be able to hold onto something and keep it? Just because I was at the wrong place at the wrong time doesn´t mark me unsuitable for a good relationship for the rest of my life.


I´m falling in love with this person and it scares me so much...I don´t want to suffocate him.


Please don´t suggest counseling. i did that in the States, and sometimes it was helpful yes, but where I am now (in a foreign country with a language i struggle with), i can´t really seek that. I have to seek therapy in activity and communication. I felt so isolated after it happened to me and lately I have felt isolated again but in a different way. But I want to thrive, I deserve the opportunity to be happy in a place and to stop running. I don´t HAVE to be tarnished for life just because some mother * * * * er needed control some seven years ago.


I´m sorry for the novel... but I have no one to talk to here. I haven´t opened up about my experience to anyone here because I just don´t feel comfortable yet. It´shard to find folks who understand. So, this is my outlet for now. Thanks for reading. Ok. Bye.

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I don't want this to sound harsh, but do you have any close friends where you are living? Also, are you living in a "western" country or not. (I've lived abroad and culture can make a huge difference connecting to someone). I would try to find friends, preferably ones that are closer to your culture, just because it is a little easier to connect with them. Plus you can also share your frustrations about living in a foreign culture (the neediness might just be culture shock too).


I think not being invited on a trip that you wanted to go on would make anyone sad about. You don't sound broken or damaged. Just find people there whom you can talk to and confide in.


I know you said no to counseling, but it really depends on the therapist. If you're in Europe there will be plenty who speak English as well.



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You don't sound harsh at all (honestly, I'm rarely offended, unless someone tells me it was my fault, then i explode! haha). Before I was raped, I didn't like girls, I had all guy friends. Now I value girl friends more than guy friends because they understand and I can talk to them about stuff. I have two or three girl friends here. I know I could tell them my story and they'd be awesome and supportive, but I just haven't yet. It hasn't come up, and honestly, I rarely have my "bad days"...very rarely. But today it came up.


This time around I"m in a western country, the last time I was far east so the opportunity to discuss my problem was a big fat zero. Here it's more likely to do so, I'm sure....but honestly I want to try yoga first. I think physical therapy is what I really need. I'm mentally a very strong person....granted I probably sound like a freak on this board but that's why I use it, hahaha.


Another factor I must consider is that i started birth control last friday. I didn't take BC for years because i wanted to know that the way i felt was not just a side effect. But i don't want to play with the risk of getting preggo, outside of my "element" (aka not at home in the States, as though that would be any better).


Despite feeling isolated sometimes, I love being here. I feel so, so safe. Never threatened. Get this---I can even walk at night with headphones on. No one has guns here. Sure, things can still happen (i'm the first to remind anyone of this), and I ALWAYS have eyes on the back of my head...but here where I am, I can breathe a long-desired sigh of relief.

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