Common feelings associated with rape

Did you know rape is the most second horrific thing that can happen to a person other than murder? You and your loved ones will most likely go through the same emotions as grieving the loss of a loved one. They are shock and disbelief, anger, bargaining, depression and then acceptance. All of these emotions might not be felt or in the order listed above, but the majority of them are. Not only do most experience these emotions, but the victim also has the initial “shock” or “numbness” to get through, which typically comes first before other emotions. Other common feelings that might occur right after the rape are shame, scared, guilty, dirty and powerless. All of these are understandable to have but doesn’t mean they are warranted. A lot of survivors feel shame, guilt and dirty but it doesn’t mean they are. What it means is you are taking on the assaulter’s dirty shameful guilt because that is what he is trying to do to you through rape and control. DON’T LET HIM! Survivors also deal with the fear of rejection through friends and family. This sometimes means there is a communication problem because the friends or family just don’t know how to handle it or what to say. Refer to my page “Advice for loved ones of survivors”. They may also have problems with their sleep or eating patterns. Most survivors encounter many of these feelings and it is all part of the healing process. I like to say, “You need to feel in order to heal”. You can not mask the pain with drugs and alcohol because the less you feel the longer it takes to heal. The more you keep it inside the bigger the issue will get and come out when you least expect it. And depending on how long you keep your feelings regressed the bigger it’s ugly head is when it does surface. I always say if you feel like crying, no matter where you are or how long ago it was, let it out. Eventually, you may even want to talk about it. If you can’t talk about it, write it down. The more you let your feelings out, the more room you have to heal. The most important reason for this is because THE ASSUALTER DOESN’T DESERVE TO CONTROL YOUR LIFE ANYMORE! As long as you are regressing, the longer they have control over your life.

121 Responses to “Common feelings associated with rape”

  1. Lynn says:

    Denver. Please call your local crisis center, please. Not only can they help you with counseling but they can help you with food, a place to stay pre-natal care.. so many things. And please stay as far away from this guy as possible so he doesn’t have a chance to hurt you again. And think about going to the police since he has hurt you so badly. But whatever you do call the crisis center for help. Stay strong! Lynn

  2. denver says:

    Got raped 2months ago..I’m 15 n now I’m pregnant… again this is the second time he raped me n second time carrying his baby… killed my baby first time… just want to die my mom left me for drugs my dad is dead in n out of foster care but now on the streets alone..don’t know what to do… can anyone hear me…

  3. Lynn says:

    M. I’m so sorry that you are having to deal with this especially at your age. But I’m so glad that you were finally brave enough to tell your parents and stop this from happening! You have no idea how you changed your life for the good by being strong enough to do this. So as much as I know that it hurts you to loose some of your family members because they don’t believe you I want you to concentrate on you and the fact that you broke this cycle. Maybe after he gets prosecuted your family will come around but even if they don’t, think about the fact that this isn’t being done to you anymore. Every time you get upset I want you to turn that thought around and think how great it is that you have set yourself free from being raped anymore. Because it doesn’t really matter what anyone thinks, what matters is that you are safe now and not being raped anymore. I’m hoping your parents have put you in counseling but if not please ask them to help you get counseling. Again, so proud of you and I promise once you get through this your life will be a lot brighter. Leave all those people that don’t believe behind you and focus on you and your freedom. Stay strong! Lynn

  4. Lynn says:

    AJ. First and foremost YES this was absolutely rape both times, you need to try and let go of that burden, guilt and shame. Your kids were in the house you knew he wasn’t going to let you go. You were in fear of your life and what might happen to the children so you let him do what he wanted the second time so you could get out alive and take care of your children. This is very common when people are in fear of their lives. Your mind is telling you you would rather be raped than dead. Second, as far as your attempted suicides I NEED you to think of your children. What would happen to them if they lost their mother? You say you aren’t the best mom that you can be BUT you are at least their mom and you are there. I want you to think of 2 things to help you cope with this situation. The first is what turned me personally from a victim to a survivor and that is the fact that I am alive and not dead. So the day I started looking at it that I had a life and a future, I moved outta my past. I knew it could not be changed but I did have control of my future and I started realizing that I can live and I’m blessed to be alive!! I was a survivor not a victim anymore. Granted it took a while to get there but I did thinking like that. The second thing I want you to think about is God forbid this happened to your child, the exact same thing. Would you blame them? Would you think it was their fault? How would you feel if they tried to commit suicide and/or succeeded? I know that you would support your child and help them get the best help that you could and you would not blame them. Which is exactly what you need to do for yourself. So start talking to your therapist, it’s not easy but it’s not as hard as what you are putting yourself through. I really hope by you thinking of it this way that it starts to turn into a healing process. The first major step is to truly believe it wasn’t your fault and I promise you 150% it wasn’t! Stay strong! Lynn

  5. M says:

    I was raped by my cousin from age 14-17. It has been over six months since I faced my attacker and told my parents. Trial dates are coming up soon and I’m so emotional. I feel like I need to eat all the time and I feel so alone. I feel like no one truly understands my pain. I have not went a day without thinking about being raped since I was 14. I get mental images all the time. Crying is the only ways I know how to express my feelings. I don’t know how to trust people or my family. I have a hard time with affection. When I spoke out I feel as if I lost all of my extended family. People are disgusted when they here about what happened. My aunt (mother of my cousin, the rapist) is so disgusting that she had the audacity to confront me saying I’m a liar. The people on my mothers side of my family have mainly sided with the rapist. They talk about me. I can no longer go to my grandmothers house. She practically raised me, but now she wants nothing to do with me. I don’t know how to pick up the pieces.

  6. AJ says:

    Last year while my husband was deployed, i reconected with some friends from high school on Facebook. One of them we’ll call ‘j’ were catching up. I invited him & his wife to church for new years service but they couldn’t make it but would come by my house later on a different day. That different night came but only one showed up, him. I regret opening my door ever since. Long story short when he made me go in my basement he said he just wanted to talk. I complied because my children were in the bed asleep (which he asked about prior to going in my basement).so as soon as we get to my basement, he picks me up and slams me on my back and by this time I’m freaked out, scared, worried, shocked and I’m thinking What am i going to do. So he holds my arms above my head with one of his hands, while fighting with my legs to get my pants and panties are and at the same time I’m reminding him of what he said earlier which is he wasn’t going to try anything or hurt me. So he put his mouth on my mouth and his nasty funky tongue down my throat. He then proceed to rape me but the stops, and lets me up.

    So i get up but then he told me to take off the rest of my clothes. I just looked at him and he said stop effing playing and take the sh** off and not only smacks my hand but snatches my shirt before i said ok stop. Then i took it off and he just sat back on my couch just staring at me as i was standing nude. His eyes..i think he was high because they were so red he just wouldn’t leave so i said hurry up and just do what you’re going to do. You did it once, i know you’re going to do it again and he said you’re right, made me turn around, grabbed my neck and pressed it deep in my couch seat and did it again but couldn’t finish then he finally left. About 2 weeks later i tried getting him to confess what he did but he said I came on to him, he denied any sexual contact and he also denied being in the USA. he also said he has more important things to worry about than having to worry about me too. But 3 months later he sent me an apology text. I never did reported it. I told my husband about it. No one else, including my own mother supported me. My mom blamed me, my own pastor blamed me and all rape victims.

    My question is, was i raped the 2nd time around because i told him to just do it because I know he’s goig to do it again? I’ve been living with nothing but shame and guilt for a year and a half. I feel like because I was so submissive and didn’t put up a fight and even told him to just get it over with the 2nd time that I cheated. I have flashbacks, nightmares. I’ve gained 100lbs since then. I just can’t function. I’ve attempted suicide 4 times and almost succeeded the last time. I just can’t keep living with the guilt and shame.

    Although my husband is supportive, he seems a little different towards me. He’s deployed again. He takes deployable jobs. So I think he is having a hard time dealing with it but isn’t telling me. I’m in therapy but she doesn’t force me to talk about what happen. Church folks keeps telling to let it go because I cry daily. I’m hurting but feel alone and rejected, i just don’t know what to do anymore. This isn’t living. And i’m not being the best mom i can be for my 3 children.

  7. Lynn says:

    thetruth01, STAY away from him!!!!!!! You say you like how he made you feel then go with your feelings with someone else that is a good guy and won’t take advantage of you or even consider putting you into that situation. It’s called a guy that you can trust and RESPECTS you! If you see this guy again it’s like giving him a green light! DON’T DO IT. Stay strong! Lynn

  8. Lynn says:

    C. Let me start by saying he absolutely knew what he was doing and that it was wrong otherwise he wouldn’t have told you not to tell and threaten you. You were so young and vulnerable and he took full advantage of you. NONE of this was your fault, NONE of it. So please stop feeling ashamed. I understand why you do but the first step in healing is truly believing it wasn’t your fault and letting go of the shame. Put the blame where it belongs on him. I’m assuming by not telling anyone that you never rec’d counseling which I suggest you do as soon as you can. Not only for you but also to help determine how and if you want to say something about what he did to you in order for this not to happen to his daughter or any other girl for that matter. Seeing as he isn’t 15 anymore and a grown man with a child, things are different now. Not saying better or worse just that things are in a completely different state than they were so you need to be cautious how you approach this. But one thing I can tell you for sure that rape/molestation is about control and when they know they can get away with it, it most likely happens again, which is exactly what happened in your case. So get into counseling and discuss all these issues, I promise it will help you now and help with your future. Stay strong! Lynn

  9. thetruth01 says:

    I have a situation where I wasn’t raped because I fought the guy enough so he wouldn’t penetrate me, but I liked how he felt on my body and how some of things he did to me made me feel good. What advice would you give me because I want to talk to him again, but not be alone with him right away at least.

  10. C says:

    I don’t really know how to write this properly but I have some questions I need answered.
    When I was around 5 years old a family member who was 6 years older then me told me about a game we should play that had to be a secret. Our games involved him touching me, having intercourse and making me give him blowjobs. These ‘games’ would happen frequently when I was visiting with his side of the family, always late at night or when no one was around and they continued for a time period of around four years. I was constantly told to not tell anyone and that if I did then my family wouldn’t love me and I would be alone. I had previously been molested and told my mum, not fully understanding what had happened and because of the immediate disturbance to my life and a period of time in which both my mother and I feared for our safety I didn’t want anybody to know or have that happen again. No one in my family knows about what happened and I’ve been too scared to say anything in fear of what would happen.
    I guess what I need to know is was he at 11 years old able to understand that what he was doing was wrong? Is this even defined as rape or have I turned myself into a victim? I feel like by the end of the abuse, when he was around the age of 15 he surely would have known that what he was doing was wrong. I’m conflicted because he now has a young daughter and I worry that this could happen to her and if it does and I say nothing then it’s my fault. I feel ashamed and dirty for what happened and feel like this must have been my fault, is that normal?

  11. Lynn says:

    M. Why hasn’t the school called the police????????????? You need to go straight to the police for yourself, younger brother and sister. You are the only one that can control this right now and if you don’t go to the police you will so regret it later and your brother and sister will always wonder why you didn’t.. Even if they don’t understand now. YOU MUST go to the police, ask for a lady officer and tell her what happened to you and what you know about your brother and what you think is happening to your sister. They probably know something isn’t right but aren’t old enough just like you to also necessarily know it’s wrong. They probably have been threatned. All I can say is if you don’t tell someone that cares or can help these people will CONTINUE to do this because they can. Someone has to stop them and that someone is you! If you have a person or family member that you trust 110% then ask them to help you go to the polie. Even if it is a friend of yours that has been through this. I’m leary about a family member because it seems they stick together. What about a friends mother? Even if you can’t find anoyone you still need to go. Don’t tell them or threaten them just go. And yes they might take you 3 out of the house but that IS EXACTLY WHAT YOU NEED. I would rather you be safe with loving helpful supportive people than in the hell hole your and your siblings are in now. I pormise you if you don’t help them and yourself you will regret it for the rest of your life. It won’t be easy I’m not gonna lie but it’s better to be safe than what you are going through now. And there is no way that your younger siblings can or should be staying with this family that is torturing you mentally and physically. Ask yourself if this was happening to your best friend, what would you tell her to do? Stay strong! Lynn

  12. M says:

    I dont honestly know why i am doing this but i am. I hate telling people my story but lately its seems like a i need to. I am 16 and when i was about 5 or 6 my older cousin ha raped me (on Christmas). It was only recently that i have realized this because i have blocked out most of my childhood bevause of the sexual and physical abuse i went through but i have been talking about this too my boyfriend so more memories have been coming back . One that i am definetly not sure about. When i was 10 my own father may have raped me. I say may have for a reason. It started out as he called it a “tickle fight “. (Mind you my grand mother had just died so i was very upset). His hands went up my nightdress that use to be my grandmothers before she died. He went to put his hand in my panties and after that i have blacked out. I told my babysitter and she got me out of his house because i was to scared to tell my mother. Only a month after she went to prison for a year and a half. Ive never had any help except for guidance office at school. BUT they havent known how to help because many of my male family members have sexually abused me. Or made very dirty comments at me. Recently my uncle said to me that if he was 1 or 2 years younger he would have done and tapped that and been out the door wether i wanted it or not. I have told none of my family members this. Also recently i have saw my cousin who raped me on christmas and he mad some very sick and degrading comments to me about me and what he did and wants to do. He had also told me of how he raped my younger brother also… My brother chooses not to talk of this , he is 12 and was 10 when it happened. What scares me also is that my 10 year old sister goes to see my father and lately she has been becoming distant and acting more and more like me. NO one in my family talks of what has happened to me , they actually pretend it never happened and recently my step father has said some things to were i now live with my grandparents. After all of this i feel dirty and useless and lately its caused problems in my relationship with a guy ive been good friends with since i was 12. He knows what has happened just not every thing thats happened. Its been causing alot of problems because i dont trust everything and i feel ugly and shameful that this has happened to me. My own mother usually acts like it is my fault. me and him have been fighting over little things but its actually pretty big to me because it means something bigger and usually i dont know how to tell him and right now its all over my sister because im scared and dont know what to do. Ive been trying to forget about this stuff but now im scared because she seems to be becoming deppressed , dosent want to be around my father that much any more and most boys of guys she cringes from when they get to close…. i just dont know how to help her when i am still so lost myself….

  13. Lynn says:

    K. First and foremost if you work at a restaurant I would change jobs immediately. If you don’t feel you can confront him or tell anyone else then change jobs. Another reason to do this is for your relationship. If one day this comes out and you stayed working with this man it will be difficult for your boyfriend to believe. At this point I would not tell your boyfriend but instead go to counseling and ask for guidance on whether to tell him or not and how to go about telling him BUT after you change jobs. You never know what this asshole will try and do again with you if you stay. From flirting to possibly something else. And when you change jobs you don’t need to worry about anyone that works there you have a fresh start. But the counseling is not only going to help you deal with these feelings but also help with your relationship. Stay strong! Lynn

  14. Lynn says:

    NC, so sorry for the delay in getting back to you I just became a grandmother for the first time and have been helping my daughter and my site has suffered a little. If you get this I want you to know how PROUD I am of you!!!! Very few go to the lengths that you are and I know you feel weak but YOU HAVE AMAZING STRENGTH to do this. I know you were probably put through the ringer but you need to know that you are STANDING UP FOR YOURSELF!!! And that is AMAZING! I hope it went in your favor but if for some reason it didn’t just know it doesn’t really matter what anyone else thinks about you as long as you know you did the right thing! And that goes for your bf too. Going forward if he can not give you the support you need then he is NOT the one for you. Because you will need this support for the rest of your life and if he can’t give it to you now it won’t be there later. Stay strong! Lynn

  15. K says:

    Oh and I would like to mention,
    recently people at work having been acting a little different towards me, so I think the asshole told at least one person anyway. My response to this rejection that it ever happened and I (try) to act as normal as I can. I work at a restaurant and have to work a shift with him every week and to keep up this charade is becoming harder and harder.

    No one has asked me about it. Which is good, considering I am mortified to actually talk about it with anyone but bad because everyone knows I have a boyfriend and now probably consider me a cheater and the one to blame. Which I resent so much. Lately, I have been picturing myself finally letting it all out and punching my co-worker in the face for what he did and letting everyone know what actually happened–but I am too meek to do this. So, I just hope karma get’s him back–which I know is a terrible way to deal with this.

    He also tries to act “friendly” around me, even to the point of flirting and touching–which disgusts me inside but on the outside I try to act like nothing is wrong and just walk away or just play along and tell him to “get a life” or something.

    I must seem insane for just doing nothing–and I feel insane but I just feel like I can’t. I feel stuck and I want to run away. I am literally petrified to speak out about this and don’t know what to do :(

  16. K says:

    Hi, I need to get this off my chest; I don’t know who to turn to and I feel like it’s eating me up inside.
    A few months ago, right after all my exams, I was invited to go out for a drink with a friend from work. We soon later joined other people from work and proceeded to drink quite a bit but I felt like I trusted everyone in attendance, so I felt alright about it–also, I had just gone through a week of extreme stress, so it was nice to let a load off.

    Anyways, one co-worker in particular, who happens to be very outgoing and flirty with everyone, kept buying round after round of shots. I refused after a couple because I have a lower tolerance these days and I stated this. Soon enough the bar was closing but I was having such a good time with my co-workers that I decided to bring the party to my house close by–their were 5 of us(including me).

    From here on in things start to get a little hazy but I remember all of getting in a cab back to my place and then having a dance party and proceeding to drink more. I believe I had two more drinks but I felt safe because I was in my own house with “friends”.

    There was one other female in our group and at some point her and the “outgoing/flirty” co-worker disappeared and I didn’t notice until I had to go downstairs to my bedroom for something and they were literally having sex on mine and my boyfriend’s bed. I freaked out for obvious reasons. But they didn’t stop and when they did, my male co-worker for some reason decided he could walk around naked for awhile in full view of everyone and I had to basically make him put on something. After this point I remember very little, but I do remember providing a blanket and pillow for another co-worker sleeping on the couch and then I went to bed in my bedroom.

    I don’t remember having sex with said flirty co-worker but apparently it happened and I am pretty sure I was passed out. I have confronted him about it and he said I came on to him but admitted I did say no to doing anything–I do not believe I came on to him considering I am in a loving 4 year relationship. My boyfriend would normally be home but he was out of town with some friends.

    This tore me apart when I found out and didn’t want to believe it, so when I confronted him I also told him to “pretend like this never happened” because that’s what I was going to do out of fear that I would be blamed if anyone ever knew. Also, I was terrified this would get out at work and I wouldn’t know how to deal with it.

    I am mortified to tell my boyfriend, considering this happened in OUR bed and I feel like he would be angry at me for “putting myself in that position.” I honestly feel like he would, at the very least, see me in a different view and it would put a stigma in our relationship–which I feel like ultimately end. I feel like if I keep this secret, I will carry the burden and he won’t have to be upset over it.

    I haven’t told anyone else because I’m worried they will see me different and think I’m lying and a cheater. I am typically a shy person, who is nice to everyone and very angry and upset this could happen in my own house and by someone who I know and have worked with for about a year.

    Sorry for the long post, I just needed to get this out somewhere.

  17. NC says:

    I was raped in last year by my ex husband. The trial started yesterday. Today I testify, in 4 hours. I know I can get through reliving it, im more concerned about his defense lawyer, he is a bulldog. I have read the horror stories from other rape victims about getting blamed, or you were asking for it… the list goes on.so, im pretty freaked out by all of this.

    From the start of all of this my bf of 11 months has not been supportive.but, I took a chance to talk to him, hoping he would have some kind words and a you can do this attitude instead I got….suck it up, to stop letting him win. Im crazy for being ashamed. Im making it harder on myself. I swear I feel mentally raped after talking to him. How can someone be so uncaring about this. Alot of it is him blaming himself, he sent me flowers,
    ex husband saw them and he went into a rage.

    Im just so lost, scared and I dont want to go today. I dont want to face my exhusband, I dont want to tell all of those people what he did.

  18. Lynn says:

    H. The only person you need to be giving details to is a counselor. It’s ok that you told your boyfriend about the rape because you were looking for support and obviously needed a lot of that, which he didn’t give. The only thing that proves is that he is NOT the one for you. I understand he would be upset however the way he handled it means he didn’t care about your well being which in turn means he is and can not handle this the way you need in handled. My advice, no matter how much it hurts, leave them both behind and start concentrating on yourself. I wouldn’t even consider a relationship going forward until you can appropriately deal with what you have been put through from your abuse at home and your rape. And trust me if you want a happy future for yourself, and a relationship as well as a family you must take the proper steps in healing yourself first. Once you get your mind, body and soul straight then and only then will you be able to deal with the situations in your future and be able to hold your head high no matter what the outcome. You deserve nothing but happiness and to live for the future not dwell in the past because that just means those that hurt you are still in control. You need to be in control of your life, not them! Stay strong! Lynn

  19. H says:

    I had a breakup with my boyfriend and went back to my ex for comfort because at the time I was also dealing with physical abuse at home and I felt he was the only one I could connect to. I was hurt because of my breakup,but I was also numb. My ex took advantage of that and raped me. At first I didn’t know if it was rape or gray rape because I wasn’t drunk, but I never gave him consent. I got back with my boyfriend and told him 6 months later. I understand why he’s upset and broke up with me, but he doesn’t understand what I was dealing with. What a woman has to deal with and how hard it is to come in terms with something like that and accept being labeled as someone who’s been raped. I feel even more horrible because we’re not together anymore and I’m trying to deal with this on my own. He asked me a lot of things in detail which hurt me because I had to replay it in my head, but none if that helped. I regret telling him because I don’t want anyone to know. This is two weeks fresh tht I’ve come into terms with it. I just feel broken about everything

  20. Lynn says:

    K. I need you to understand 2 things. First, finding this person is not going to help a thing, it will only stir up more issues to deal with, I promise. Secondly, rape is about control, not you. And if you are still dealing with it 8 years later then this guy is still controlling you. If you want to stop his control then you have to move forward and stop living in the past where he has control. Counseling is where your future is. You made several steps already that tell me you are looking for help.Telling some friends you trust and coming here. So get it the right way through professional counseling. Someone that can truly help you get control back of your life. Doesn’t that sound good. I’m not gonna sugar coat it ans tell you it’s easy because it’s not BUT it damn sure isn’t as hard as what you are going through now. This person doesn’t deserve one more second of control over your life so take the necessary steps to take back your life and look towards and work for what you want your future to be like. Stay strong! Lynn

  21. K says:

    When I was 6 years old, I was raped by a neighbor who wasn’t much older than me. It wasn’t until recently until I connected with what happened. Thankfully I moved away from there years ago, but I want to know where that guy ended up. I want to question him. I don’t sleep at night because I’m afraid he will find me again. I barely ever really want to get up as a result of not sleeping. I didn’t tell anybody until this July, about 8 years later. my parents still don’t know. For a while, I didn’t feel. I sat in my room and I would cry until sometimes 3 or 4 in the morning because I felt so helpless, and that’s still 8 years later… some of my friends started questioning me why I wasn’t myself and I don’t know what to tell them because only 3 people know and I certainly don’t need the whole school knowing. I also went through a time where I would only eat rainbow sprinkles and sometimes nutter butters. I guess they seemed like something I missed out on as a child. idk. It just really frustrates me because he took my innocence and now I relive it in my head so many times in a day I couldn’t count it with my fingers, toes, and any other limbs I have. I don’t know what to do anymore.

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