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29 Nov 2005

Ex rape victim?
4 years ago I started a relationship with this guy. We were together for about a month when he raped me. I've never told anyone. Two months later my stepdad died in a car accident. He'd always been a better father to me than my biological father ever had, so it was quite a shock. I became very depressed, gained 34 kgs, broke off all contact with my friends, moved back in with my mom, stopped working, never talked to anyone. I was a mess. Then last year I finally felt I could face the world again. I thought I had dealt with everything that had gone wrong. Got a job, lost the weight. But I had repressed the memory of the rape.I thought I was depressed because of my stepdads death. It's only when I went on a date with a guy that it started coming back to me. Afterwards I couldn't stop crying. Now I can't seem to have any relationships. I've met some really wonderful guys this past year- I actually fell in love with one. But it never lasts more than a couple of weeks. I keep messing it up, keep doing all the things I know will ruin any chance of a real relationship. I started seeing a therapist but haven't been able to speak about what's really bothering me. So I hope you can help me. Why do I keep sabotaging my relationships and how can I get back to normal again?
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Hello Anon,
Sorry to ehar of your plight ---within a short space of time you experienced two very unpleasant and shocking events. You have done well, so far, in staging a comeback from your fallback position. Repression is a didgy and still unproven concept, so I dont think you exactly repressed memories of the rape, rather than avoided them, very understandably. One of the unpleasant aftrereffects of a rape, like abuse, can be a devaluing of oneself, and feling unworthy of the love you so richly deserve. See a good local counsellor, NOT one specializing specifically in matters of rape and abuse, as a more general focus, including these and much more, would work better. And avoid like the plague any therapist who believes in Repressed Memories, as they base their work on highly dubious ideas and can do a lot of damage
You have done well in talking about these matters to me, eloquently and succinctly. And so you will eb able to do so with your therapist. If you find it really difficult to get started on the topics you know are so important to you, try writing a brief letter to him/her --- maybe even print out a copy of your message here, and give it to him/her at the beginning of a session. Once you start talking about this, you are likely to feel relief and find it increasingly easier to do so
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