Thursday, October 26, 2006

The "test"

I have so much to write about, I'm not sure where to start!

In my last session with T I didn't write about something that was eating at me and now that I've talked to C and T about it, I'm OK writing about it...

When talking about the rape and telling T how it started and then happened, T said that he sounded very calculated, that I probably wasn't his first or his last victim (I HATE that word... victim)

This sent me into a tail spin... I felt so guilty for not reporting it and protecting any other women from him. I still feel somewhat guilty, but now understand that I wasn't in the place to report it... I was a wreak emotionally. I think I'm OK with that... and I know I did what I needed to do and that I'm looking back at it with regret because I wish I had handled it differently. But I am going to do something...

T told me that recently the laws have changed to allow a person to report a rape or sexual assault to the police and the police will keep it on file for 5 years. During that 5 years if a rape that is similar or is allegedly committed by the same person they will have the report to help their case. So I may not have reported it at the time, but I sure as hell am going to report it now and leave it at that.

I tested T during this weeks session. I printed off what I had written on my blog back in February about the rape and I let her read it. I wanted to see her reaction and if it was a safe environment to talk about the things that hurt the most. I discovered it is a safe environment, T is an OK person to trust with all of this.

I also asked her a few questions... if and when we go over the rape in detail, could we go for a walk while talking about it? She agreed and said it's a great idea. I told her I need to move around to get out the nervous energy and that's what I do when talking to C, I pace... but it lets me talk. I also asked her if we could go back to weekly sessions, T agreed but not until November 7th. I'm fine with that. Twice I asked for what I needed and it was well received... I was kind of uncomfortable with that because it's not something I'm used to, asking or receiving... kinda cool...

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi there-

I've been reading your blog ever since the Sexual Assault Awareness Carnival a few months back. I'm a survivor of multiple events and relationships that... well, I know other people have had it worse, but I'm suprised I'm still alive.

I just want to let you know what it means to me to read what you write. In this place where hope feels so difficult, hearing about your experiences really helps me to deal with my own. Flashbacks, for example, are so much more terrifying when you don't know what's happening. When I know that other people have to deal with this too, it helps to take some of the edge off.

I'm impressed with your resilliance, and I know you are like me. So I thank you. You telling your story is an ongoing source of support for me.

Thanks.

Occasional Expositor said...

This sent me into a tail spin... I felt so guilty for not reporting it and protecting any other women from him.
Survivor, please don't feel guilty about this. I get so angry when I hear people talk about how a survivor "should have reported it and it would have preventing him from raping more women".

The conviction rate in Canada (and in the UK) is 6% of reported rapes. The justice system does not protect women from rapists. It's beyond reprehensible to blame survivors for not "protecting" other women, when reporting does not = immediate and permanent incarceration for the perpetrator, which is the only way reporting a rape could ever protect other women.

Not only that, it also joins the chorus of second-guessing "should haves". "She should have fought back", "she should not have fought back", "she should have left earlier". Bollocks to that. Sometimes it's all a woman can do to hold on after an assault, let alone decide to take the often painful route through the court system.

The responsibility for him assaulting other women is not yours, it was, has been and always will be his. Please don't take on this undeserved burden of guilt.

Lynn said...

I know what it's like to have this kind of regret. I know you don't know me, but I support you in making your report.

Lynn said...

I think there is something for us in what Occasional Expositor said in the above comment. It is good that we do what we can to help others, but rapists and abusers are ultimately responsible for their own behavior. I understand from first hand experience how difficult it can be to keep hold of this knowledge.

After I posted that last comment this morning, I noticed that you linked me in your sidebar. It made me weepy when I saw that. You see, I've been reading here for some time, long before I posted the first comment. (It always takes me a while to get up the nerve to begin leaving comments.) I was touched to know that you have read in my blog as well.

There have been (and continue to be) many sleepless nights for me. Sometimes at night, I would be unable to sleep or would wake from a nightmare. The thoughts, feelings and experiences that started come up around the rapes and abuse at these times were beginning to make me believe that I was crazy. Many nights I sat at my computer when I was terrified, nauseated, sweaty and shaking and I searched for ways to help myself. I read in your blog. I found that I was not crazy. This connection and knowing talked me back, away from the edge of the abyss of despair and hopelessness. You and the words of your experience were available to me while the rest of the world slept peacefully around me as I suffered. I wonder, while you were writing to help yourself, did you ever imagine that you would help a total stranger, thousands of miles away, in the middle of the night? Well, you have, and I thank you.

cheesemeister said...

It's great to finally receive what you ask for! But I agree that it makes me uncomfortable when it happens, too. Like "What's the catch?" I hope it becomes the norm for you!

Fallen Angels said...

(((hugs))) to you if you want them...a quiet ear if hugs are not ok.

Sera

cheesemeister said...

I didn't report either of the times that it was done to me. I know I wouldn't have been believed because both were "date rapes."

Wanda's Wings said...

I think it is wonderful you can ask for some things that you need. It shows what a strong person you are. I found that in our past we did what we could at the time. We have no reason for guilt or shame. We did what we could, so never beat yourself up over what you did. I think you are doing an excellant job!

jumpinginpuddles said...

sounds like your T is an awesome listener and observer and supporter :)

Sa'de

survivor said...

Anon - I'm glad reading my blog is helpful for you. Hang in there...

OE - your words are very powerful, thank you!

Thanks Lynn

I hope the same for you too Cie :)

Thanks Sera... nice to see you back, hope all is well.

Cie - I understand, date rapes are the hardest to prove which is sad and makes me very angry...

survivor said...

Lynn,

I wanted to reply to your comment seperately because I found it incredibly touching and it brought tears to my eyes. I spent a long time reading it over and over again before publishing it...

I'm sorry you have experienced such horrible things, I wish you hadn't. I wish none of us have nor anyone else ever will.

I want to thank you for sharing how my blog has helped you. I started this not only to help myself but to help others who may be experiencing similiar feelings or thoughts. My heart lifted when I read that my words and experiences reached you and comforted you.

While I was feeling such immense guilt and shame for not reporting him, your words talked me back, and for that, I thank you

jumpinginpuddles said...

im sure i commented now where did it go still walking beside you

survivor said...

Thanks JIP...

survivor said...

Thanks Wanda, and how right you are about doing what we could... thanks for reminding me!