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No, rape doesn’t ruin your life neccessarily

I have been raped twice and the first time it was society’s perceptions of how awful rape is and that it ruins someone’s life that made me think of it in such a devastating way and almost end my life in a way in which I would never come back from the suicide attempt before I ended up in the psych hospital.

But no, rape hasn’t ruined my life; I now have a very healthy sexual relationship with my darling boyfriend and thanks to great therapy I have incredibly minor PTSD .

Also, I am still the strong and determined person I have always been and I am determined to become a successful professional.

Yes, this is not without discounting the many suicidal attempts I have had, most probably directly caused by my last rape which I haven’t had therapy on in 2016 but now I am overdose free and happy.

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Just because someone else hurt you so bad doesn’t mean you have to end your life to show them what the consequences were

Last night my father domestically abused me and gripped his arms so tightly around my shoulders.

As I sit here drinking another cocktail I tell myself to not rise to the occasion of hurting him so badly back and I remind myself that I am more likely to succeed because I’ve been drinking.

So no, I’m not going to overdose even though I want to because I don’t want it to go wrong and mean I actually end my life.

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Bipolar disorder and substance misuse

I have bipolar disorder but I am also a recovering alcoholic.

It was a gradual process. When I was 18 and going to clubs I drank so much I ended up throwing up the next day.

Then at university I would have one bottle of wine for pre drinks and then multiple rum and coke doubles or tequila shots and I was more drunk than everyone.

Once I had two bottles of wine at a party and threw up and then left with my best friend Will and continued to drink lots at the students union.

A fellow student told me he was concerned about the amount I was drinking.

Then when I came home from university I ended up drinking multiple doubles of gin and tonic about four times a week whilst my mother was out of the country.

I once ended up going to the GP after having drank six doubles and I was very drunk.

I stopped drinking for three months once I got depressed and then only had a drink this week as I have been manic and could not control myself.

I know my hardcore drinking also got worse after I was sexually assaulted.

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Feminism, Human Rights, Rape, Sexual Violence, Uncategorized

Suicidal Thoughts And Rape

I think by making this post I can lay things to rest. When I finally accepted I had been raped I immediately came out of a hypo/manic episode and went into an extreme low to the point that I was suicidal. I almost jumped in front of a train which is at which point I went to see my GP and was hospitalised. It seemed to me that life was just not worth living and nothing positive in my life like my family and friends were enough. 

Thankfully I am now out of that terribly dark place after having the hospital treatment and therapy whilst in hospital but unfortunately some rape victims do end up taking their lives and it can be very difficult to get out of that dark place. It is estimated that about 33% of rape victims have suicidal thoughts and 13% attempt suicide. 

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Feminism, Human Rights, Journal, Rape, Sexual Violence, Uncategorized

Date Rape Is Rape

It seems to me from what I hear about in the news when it comes to rape and sexual assault that the people who open up about rape or are unwillingly exposed to whole communities often experience a whole torrent of victim blaming.

Many people victim blamed me by saying that I couldn’t get half naked with a man and not expect him to want sex. The funny thing is, do men normally stay half clothed like you are and just walk towards you on the bed slowly and at the last minute penetrate you without saying anything ? When it happened it was a total surprise and I was in complete shock to begin with before I was just confused. Luckily, I pushed him away after a bit. Yes, I feel I consented to the rest of the sexual activity before that but just because I consented to everything else before the rape doesn’t mean the penetration wasn’t rape. 

Someone also referred to stranger rape and said that if a stranger had forced themselves on me it would have been rape but because I was dating the guy and really liked him there was no way it could be rape.

Someone also said that they think I have a skewed idea about rape before I even told them what happened. 

People also need to be aware that just because he stopped if you pushed him off you or something doesn’t mean it wasn’t rape if you didn’t consent at all to what was happening before you pushed him away. 

I have been seriously sexually assaulted but not raped on many occasions whilst intoxicated before the rape. The response of many people is to tell me to cut down on my alcohol intake and stop drinking so much on nights out. Drinking doesn’t cause rape, people do! (Yes, women sometimes rape too) I completely disagree with them and think if anything what has made me more vulnerable than others to sexual violence is my naivety and tendency to trust people too easily.

This post just shows how  rife victim blaming is from my experience at least. Victim blaming is sometimes considered by rape and sexual assault survivors as worse than the rape and I completely agree. I was thinking of writing a suicide note to someone I really needed help from to deal with the aftermath of the rape because she completely disbelieved me and blamed me for my actions. 

In conclusion, I think societal attitudes really need to be changed as at least from my own experience it seems people still blame people for rape if they have some kind of sexual relationship with the person before or if the victim has been drinking. I also think it is really vital that everyone is taught about consent and the definitions of sexual assault so that we can work on preventing rape and sexual assault. 

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Why Am I Participating In #RedMyLips2015?

The main reason I am participating in Red My Lips is very personal. I was never raped by a penis but I was ‘digitally raped’ on a few occasions as it is called in America and I had two almost attempted rapes. Therefore, sexual assault is something very close to my heart.

Furthermore, I want to challenge rape myths and victim blaming especially as I experienced a lot of victim blaming myself with people blaming me for being drunk, not saying no and even telling me that I wasn’t even assaulted as there weren’t bruises!

I am getting involved with Red My Lips because I never reported what happened to me and by taking a bold stand against sexual violence I am gaining some of the power back that they took from me!

I am getting involved with Red My Lips because I think sexual violence should be prevented by the teaching boys and girls about consent and men not to rape. We need to stop viewing sexual violence as something inevitable that can’t be prevented!

I am getting involved with Red My Lips because boys and men everywhere think it is okay to make jokes about rape and people laugh at these jokes. Only recently a Democrat was laughed at when she disclosed her rape!

I am getting involved with Red My Lips because many people believe that most rapes are committed by strangers and are surprised when I tell them that only 10% of rapes in the UK are committed by strangers to the victim.

So don that red lipstick ladies and get talking about sexual assault!

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To All Those People Who Trivialised My Sexual Assaults

After disclosing to people the multiple sexual assaults I experienced I had some responses that really hurt me.

Two people thought that they had the right to tell me that I hadn’t been assaulted. One said that I must have been looking back on things differently and another said that because I didn’t have bruises and didn’t say no it wasn’t assault. I may not have had bruises but I didn’t tell them that my mouth really hurt the day after one of the assaults and that one of them really hurt me when they assaulted me. Any non-consensual sexual activity is assault and I did not consent. Someone also told me that because it was not strangers who did this to me apart from one of them that it must have not been as bad as other people’s assaults by strangers. Rape is rape and all the different kinds of rape are not comparable to each other. Every person is affected differently by rape or assault and no one should have their experience trivialised and downplayed.

Yes I was drunk, yes I didn’t say no and yes they were not strangers and I wasn’t held at knife point but there is no doubt that I have been extremely traumatised by what happened. I now have post traumatic stress disorder which means that you have symptoms such as nightmares, triggers, exaggerated startle response and panic attacks.

To the person who thought that the men’s reputations and lives were more important than mine think about this: I have had suicidal thoughts and urges as a result of what happened to me. Also, without very expensive EMDR therapy that my parents had to pay for I would not have been able to drastically reduce my symptoms and get closure and move on with my life. I also experienced depression as a result of what happened to me.

I was unable to go back to university this year partly because I got so suicidal when I went back there because of the assaults that happened there. I also was unable to breathe for an hour a day before I went there.

Although it has been extremely hard, I have ploughed on through and managed to get myself through these very difficult months with my inner strength. However, I know how hard it is and understand why some sexual assault and rape survivors end up attempting or dying by suicide.

I am trying to express through this blogpost that rape is rape and it doesn’t matter how it happens, all rape is traumatic and can cause post traumatic stress disorder. I think people should stop thinking about how the perpetrators’ lives are affected and think about the rape and sexual assault victims.

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