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I am.


I admit it.


I took off that ring my boyfriend bought for me, the one he doesn't take seriously, the one he constantly reminds me cost $0.99.


I took off his cross that he gave me, that I've worn everyday since I asked for it and he gave it to me.


I'm asking him to give me these things right.

Because I want to wear something everyday that belong to him.

I love him.


But what does that have to do with anything.


Maybe without those things I'll feel alone in the world.


I washed my hair, it was pressed, straighted then curled, and I washed it.


I have really thick, soft, curly hair...why don't I wear it that way?


What's wrong with me.


All this time I was trying to think of a way for my boyfriend to get me a new ring.

(I promised him/myself that the only ring I would wear on my left hand would be a ring that he'd give me).


I couldn't just ask for it because I didn't want him to spend more than $30 on it.


The ring I want is $395, but I feel guilty asking him to get it for me, why???


Because he already does so much for me....poor messed up Grace. The one that has issues, the one that jerks in her sleep at night.


Silly huh.


Well, why should I be dependent on him getting me a ring?

Are the rings I buy for myself no longer of any vaule?


And they are my hands, I mean he hasn't proposed to me yet.

Why can't I buy the ring I want and wear it on whatever finger I want?


It's my hand on my body, it doesn't belong to him right?


And then, the wedding ring, who cares if it costs a lot, I mean his wedding ring cost a lot.


What's wrong with me.


It's good the wedding hasn't been post-poned.


Would I want to marry me? No.


I'm not a full person. I don't know who I am anymore.

How can I get married if I'm not a full person.


I don't know myself, and it's an awful place to be.


I can't even do things anymore.


I work more slowly, things are much harder for me to do, and I feel slow.


I'm not a happy person.

I smile, I talk to people, I'm kind to others, but I'm not happy, not at all.


I'm trying my hardest to face the facts instead of run from them.


My hair not straight, it's curly.


I want a diamond cross one day.


I want to wear a tanzanite ring I my left hand on the left finger even though I don't know if I'll ever get married.


Why don't I feel like I'm good enough.


I'm starting from the bottom and no one around me understands that.


I'm starting from the bottom, re-learning and struggling to do everything that was once so easy for me.


And I'm tired of pretending to be something I'm not to please others.


They get upset and frustrated with my stuggling. They believe I'm being lazy, that I'm not doing things just because.


But I'm trying, I'm making progress, but it's not good enough for anyone else, and I've cared.

I'm tired of caring.


You either like me or you don't.


I can't really turn to my parents, not even my boyfriend completely. I have no friends that complete relate.


I try to talk to others to cheer me up, but I'm met with sarcasim (spelling?) and impatience.


[with E not alone being the exception]


I think I'm just going to be me now.


I want to be silent you know.

I used to always be silent.


I used to keep everything inside. I used to take it all.


Part of me wants to be silent again.

But when I was silent I got stepped all over.


But there's comfort in being that quiet person.

Hiding behind a smile.

I felt safe there.

Really safe.


I've been focusing on everything else but me.

I stopped looking at myself as a person that matters


I view myself as a burden to everyone and everything, a person that doesn't measure up, a person that never measures up.


And that's me.


Sometimes I feel that if I were in a world of my own, I could set my own standards and I could actually measure up.

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It seems like you want it all and you want it now. Why do you NEED to have a ring from him? What does it matter? Also asking for things wouldnt you rather they offered them out of love for you not because they feel pressured by you to give it up?

Perhaps you need to focus on you and not all the jewelry you speak of and if your hair is straight or curly.

Just my two cents.

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I just saw this book on Oprah. It is called "Lies at the Altar". It is about women who go into marriage, not comfortable with themselves, and not sure how what to expect going into marriage.


like has been said on Oprah many times before, 'most people spend more time planning the wedding than they do the marriage.'


you are worried about rings and your hair, but don't you think the larger issues are about if you are happy with yourself, and what kind of partnership will you have with your husband?


you should maybe post-pone the marriage and wedding until you sort your feelings out. you shouldn't go into a marriage not knowing who you are...

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Hey there. So have you and your bf decided to wait before getting married for sure then? I'm a little confused: are you engaged or not?


Ok, well, I relate to the hair straightening and your focus on jewelry right now.

I have curly hair - I used to always straighten it, dye it, or otherwise try to make it look different than what it was. Part of it was for fun, but part of it was bc I couldn't accept that what I have is beautiful and fine naturally.

Letting my hair be what it is: it means something to me. It's a statement now after many years of trying to find self-acceptance. Here I am and I am beautiful. Exposed.


And jewelry, I LOVE jewelry. For the symbolic value (jewelry is passed down from generation to generation of women in my family), because it is beautiful and makes me feel beautiful. It reminds me of the person who gave it to me.


But you know...these are all outward expressions of qualities that start inside you. Don't get distracted overly with it - it's tempting, bc that keeps the mind off the real pain and struggle inside, but it needs to be faced.

The 'outside'' stuff will fall into place after the inside is taken care of.


Instead of the ring to remind you of the bf when he isn't around, how about a shirt of his or something? If you're after that soothing physical reminder of him, clothes are good bc they carry the smell of the person. I used to wear my bf's t-shirt to bed when he wasnt around and I needed that extra security. It does help.


And remember you aren't alone! Yeah, it's frustrating feeling like the ones we closest to can't understand 'this thing'. But there are others who do. Try your hardest not to let this come btw you and your friends, family, and bf.

Remember to have good times when you can. Savor them.


Take care.

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Sometimes I feel that if I were in a world of my own, I could set my own standards and I could actually measure up.

You are thinking and realize much more about everything then years ago.


At school and at work one measures up to applicable professional standards.


You are your own person, you ought to measure up only to your personal standards, please accept that.

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I have followed all of your threads very closely,


And you are in a great deal of pain,


It's very evident by how you discuss wanting the world to be by your own standards, etc.


You are focusing on physical things, your jewelry, your hair, to distract you,


But now it's time to deal with the heart of the matter,


You need to face your rape head-on and tackle it,


Don't hide from it anymore, pop it out of that black box,


And face it with all of your might,


You believe that if you can control your life, you can finally measure up,


It's the control that is the problem here,


I went through the same thing,


My rape crisis counselor made me realize that the first step in getting over the rape,


Is to stop controlling yourself and others,


I really recommend reading The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker,


The book is phenomenal in that it discusses how rape victims reacted during the rape or attack,


You need to understand that you had no control over the rape,


No matter what you had done, if you had fought harder, screamed louder,


He still would have raped you, no matter what,


It was beyond your control,


So you need to understand that, so you can accept yourself,


Rape is BEYOND your control,


And for that reason, you cannot control yourself now,


Accept yourself for who you are,


Don't control yourself by trying to change everything about you, hair for example,


It's a protective mechanism that we use to cope,


I have been in your shoes, it's not fun to say the least,


But I need you to work on that,


Have you gone to rape specific counseling,


I remember you posted about getting some counseling in the future,


But you need to get rape specific counseling soon,


It's free and confidential, go to: link removed

to find free counseling in your area,


Or you can call: National Sexual Assault Hotline • 1.800.656.HOPE • Free. Confidential. 24/7.





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Hey There Everybody!!!

Thank you so much! Um, I know, things are hard for me right now.

Thanks for all of your advice.

You're right, rape is out of my control.

I've always wanted to be able to control things around me.

When I was younger I used to think of all these uncontrollable things that could happen.

And I would think of exactly how I would react to them.

It made me feel good because if there was one thing I could control, it would be my reaction.

But I was wrong.

I've matured now.

I don't know.

Washing my hair is my way of making me look at myself for who and what I am.

I want to force myself to like myself again.

It's so hard to face rape head on ya know.

Sometimes I feel so sick.

I...sometimes I just talk, you know. I talk and talk, and then I get lost in my words, and I feel safe there.

Because I'm scared, if I stop talking.....what if I lose my voice, and I can't talk again.

Once my ex forced himself on me, I didn't have a voice.

Do you know how awful that is, to be violated and not have a voice?

That was a turning point for me.

And I had a meltdown soon after.

And that meltdown lasted for a few months.

And you know, to be honest, I wasn't quite over it. I wasn't over it.

Then here comes the rape.

I didn't have a chance to get over that other thing I wanted to get over.

And here comes something new. Something UNCONTROLLABLE.

With my ex, I used to think of how I would fight him off he if tried to attack me.

I would plan out how I would escape my apartment if he broke in.

I would jump out of my bedroom window, I was only on the second floor.

I was telling myself that I could make it.

And those were the "good old days", ya know.

I was getting over abuse, falling out of love with the person I knew could kill me during one of his rages.

I felt independent, happy.

I finally had my own apartment, I had a cat.

Then his stalking continued and my parents got scared, they told other people who were afraid for me, and I lost my independence and my apartment and my cat.

Then I get raped.

And you know what?

I'm starting to get angry.

It's always one thing after another.

I start to get up and then something comes right along to knock me down.

Now there is this rape thing and to be quite honest, it is totally and completely over my head.

I'm trying to understand, and sometimes I think I'm doing a pretty good job.

But no matter what happens I just can't seem to grasp it.

When I try, really hard, I'm an emotional wreck.

I feel helpless, which is really strange because I have all of these emotions inside of me.

The other night, I was at my boyfriend's house.

And I was having a rough night.

And I was freaking out, because I kept thinking of how the rapist was inside of me.

And I wanted him to get out, that's all I could think of.

And I'm having a fit! I feel like there is something there, but I know there is nothing.

And I want someone to help me, I want someone to get it out. And no one can do anything for me because it's in my head...but it's there.

And I just wanted to do something to myself, but I couldn't think of what.

I thought about cutting myself, but I knew that would help. And I just couldn't think of anything I could do to "snap out of it".

I wanted my boyfriend to have sex me. But I know he wants to wait until we're married.

And there is no way I would want to compromise him because I wouldn't want to feel like I was raping him by trying to get him to do something he didn't want to.

I can't masterbate, I haven't done that since I was raped. I don't know what to do to distract myself from that weird thought pattern when I get that way.

I feel so depressed right now.

I feel awful, I don't know what to do!

Sometimes I just get so tired of trying!!!!!

I can't stop the feelings! I want to end them all!

I don't know, I hurt so bad sometimes.

And you know what, I do want my boyfriend to have sex with me. I don't know I think that will help.

Maybe I won't think of the rapist being there.

I don't know.

I just want it to go away.

I want to be okay again, I'm a complete mess. What will I do?!

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Hi Grace,


You see the whole picture including what was before the rape and your aims for the future. This shows that you are healing and maturing.


Your mind is freed and has more spare capacity so you realize more and see more and think more and rethink. It's natural. Do not be afraid anymore. You are in charge and control. Give yourself time to find a reasonable path and follow it.


Sex is a tricky issue, for you and your bf. I was sometime going to suggest to make love because it's natural and makes you feel whole besides it is not fair that J. used your body and you can't even masturbate.


Could you sit down with your bf and discuss his feelings about the rape as well (he has to come to grips with it as well) and explain to him that you would feel happy if you could make love together. Also remember to have protection on hand. Give both of you time, be patient and persistent.


If you need more advice (also after you talk to him), please just ask.

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I'd focus on the issues that make you jerk in your sleep rather than rings or hair.


If you wouldn't want to marry you - sort that out before you *do* get married - it wouldn't be very fun for your boyfriend to marry a painfully insecure person! And hey.... YOU deserve to feel more secure in yourself as well.


I agree with ya!

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