You Asked, I Answered, What It Feels Like To Be Raped
Two posts ago I answered the most asked question, “what happened to your sister” when I opened the floor to you guys in the post “Super Fast Post” and gave you the opportunity to ask me anything you wanted. Today we are going to tackle the most debated question;
“What does it feel like to be raped?”
This question caused some controversy in the comments section. I appreciate those of you who were concerned of how the question might affect me, I know you guys are always looking out for my best interest and it is heartwarming when I can plainly see that. I did say that you could ask me anything though, so in all fairness I’m going to try and answer the question.
Please be aware that the emotions that I will be referencing are from the perspective of during and immediately following the rapes. Obviously I have come a long way since then and my viewpoints have changed drastically as is evidenced by this blog.
For those of you dealing with your own issues of trauma, I want to put out a big TRIGGER WARNING right here.
What does it feel like to be raped? It feels horrific.
**Every rape is so different, I couldn’t possibly tell you what every person felt during each individual situation. The best I can do is give you an outsiders glimpse of what I felt. As I said PLEASE BE AWARE THAT EVERYONE FEELS DIFFERENTLY. I do not want to offend anyone whose feelings are drastically different than mine and please do not assume that everyone who has been raped will feel the way that I did.**
I’ll be honest, this might be the hardest post I’ve ever written. I’m not kidding when I say I’ve written and deleted it completely multiple times over. I just can’t seem to put down in words what the worst moments of my life felt like. There are no words, no phrases that can accurately capture and display what trauma feels like. There have never been words invented for feelings that should not exist. Situations that should never be allowed to happen, can’t be explained in ways that people will understand because they surpass human comprehension.
Can you imagine if you were just minding your own business and some guy came up behind you, physically overpowered you to the point of leaving you completely defenseless, and then started doing things to your body that in and of itself are very private? How do you think you would feel?
It makes you feel weak. You realize that you are completely at the mercy of someone larger and stronger than you are, and that person’s intentions are not in your best interest. You realize that the only thing in this world come wind, rain, fire, flood, the single only thing that if you are still alive you are guaranteed to be in possession of, your body, now belongs to someone else.
Someone else that wants to hurt it.
Hurt, hell yes it does. Its like the force of a thousand pains coming at you in ways that you can’t even describe. Not only the pain of the rape, but the restraining, the choking, the hitting, all hurting in ways that no one should understand. In ways that I don’t want to remember.
Eventually pain is overcome by fear, and fear is overcome by a primal need to survive. Your brain is screaming “we are actually dying” and its too much to bear.
If you are anything like me, you mentally check out completely. Even though your body is very much present in the horror of the moment, your brain, your being, is a million miles away.
When its over, you don’t even know what happened. That in and of itself is a shameful feeling. What happened? Did I let it happen? Should I, could I, have fought more? Could I have stopped this? Did I give up too easily?
Is this my fault because I didn’t fight more?
I should have fought more.
I should have stopped this.
I could have stopped this.
I can’t tell anyone. What will they think of me?
I let some guy rape me.
I let some guy have sex with me.
I had sex with a stranger.
I can’t tell anyone that I had sex with a stranger.
This is my fault.
It’s seems absurd, but what happened was so incomprehensible that your brain will try every way, ANY way, to understand what happened.
You cannot make sense of trauma. Trauma is a situation consisting of elements that go against what our brains are capable of comprehending.
So what are you left with? You are left with a broken body, a broken spirit, and no way of understanding what happened.
Rape is not understandable.
But wait, some of you might say, as people have said to my face, “but if you were married, it’s not really rape right? I mean, you know him, sex is a part of marriage, it’s totally different than a “real” rape.”
Yea, its different. Honestly, its worse.
Because I signed up for it, right? I signed up for the marriage and the sex and the pleasing my husband. I put myself in this situation, right?
I chose to walk down the aisle and give my heart away to a man I trusted. I let him in, I let him glimpse my soul, and what he saw, he deemed worthless.
If I don’t want to have sex with him, there is something wrong with me, right? How can I tell anyone what is going on? It’s my job to have sex with my husband, right?
How shameful that I can’t please my husband the way he wants, the way he needs. How shameful that I am so terrible at giving him what he needs, that he must forcefully take it from my very flesh.
The shame overwhelms you and as the days go by you realize fighting is fruitless. You will never be big enough, strong enough, to protect your body in the ways you wish you could. You resign yourself to giving in, convincing yourself that if you just give in to avoid the beatings, it will only hurt half as much.
But it hurts more.
Now you have betrayed your body as well. You have given up and stopped protecting something that is so precious to you.
How can you let someone do this to you?
Because you are just as weak, insignificant, and stupid as he says you are. You are nothing and even you don’t respect you anymore. You don’t matter. You aren’t even real anymore.
Shut your eyes and it will all go away. Wipe away silently falling tears and pretend you are somewhere else.
You can’t tell anyone. You have given up. The years go by and you don’t even know what’s going on. You are a million miles away from reality.
What does being raped feel like?
I don’t know.