Several years ago , I was raped. Id say its been about 15 years. Wow. I never really think of how long ago it was, until today.I guess it has just been in my mind but I never stopped to think and review the age I was or what I was doing in my life at the time. I usually remember the good stuff of that time period.
Before I start describing the stages, I'll start be explaining why I say its a "friendly" rape story. 2 simple reasons. 1.) We had become really good friends. 2.)I truly believe that he really and truly did not think (at the time or moment) that what was happening was anything other than something friends do, so to speak.
Denial--- For me, my denial, was more like a "what just happened"? "did that really just happen"? seriously?, and less of a feeling of it wasn't real. I knew that it was real and I knew that I was going to have to deal with it. My denial was very short lived.
Anger-- My anger was very short lived as well. It usually is. I definitely was angry, but not at myself or him. I wasn't angry at myself because I knew that there wasn't anything I did to 'deserve' it. I wasn't angry at him because as I said, I wasn't sure he understood fully. I was just angry about a loss of trust in a friend. A momentary loss of trust in people in general. Just angry that this was something that happened at all. Perhaps just angry because it is a normal emotion in traumatic situations.
Bargaining-- Bargaining for most is a negotiation of sorts with a higher power. It also depends on what your five stages are for. I won't go into detail about my higher power, or my beliefs in one. I will say that the bargaining for me in this situation was just wanting to speak with him. I kept telling everyone that I felt I needed to talk to him and explain to him why what he did was wrong. I wanted to see him and ask him "why exactly did you think that was ok"? Maybe I thought that if I could help him understand, I could understand. In my opinion, a higher power doesn't come in to play in this situation. Maybe it was just trade of understanding.
Depression--- Here is a place I lingered for quite some time. Most often, when someone s depressed, they close themselves off. They hide away and feel they have no one to really talk to, or they just don't want to talk and prefer to be alone. With depression , there is always that feeling of loneliness. However, being alone and feeling lonely are two different things. You can feel lonely with others around.
That was the case with my depression.
I was lonely in my feelings of what happened to me. No one else would understand what this felt like, but I could not stand to be alone. I could not be alone for one second. The moment my roommate left the house for work or run an errand, I was on the phone with anyone who would answer. I couldn't stop crying, I couldn't think straight and had nothing to talk about, but I could not be alone.
I kept the tv on.
I listened to the same dashboard confessional album over and over again.
Sounds, like there were people around, anything not to be alone.
Acceptance--I can not recall the moment I accepted it. I do know that I feel and accept my emotions as they come. I feel them at the moment they arise. I face them head on and feel them with every ounce of my being. I, many times, feel them all at once until they are gone, like I have an emotional acceptance super power. I feel them, face them, deal with them and then they are gone. One day, whatever the experience or situation was, it becomes just something that happened. Something that was. Often I forget it ever was. When they come up I am able to speak of them nonchalantly. It is what it is. I have the memory of what the emotion was like, but I just don't feel it anymore.
These 5 stages are different for everyone. Rape and trauma are different or everyone. Remember that you do not have to feel lonely or alone. There are plenty of places to look for help, condolence, or others that have the similar feelings and stories. It is important not to ignore your feelings and/or pretend they are not there. Feel them, hear, try to heal them, it is the fastest way to recovery and acceptance.
Here is a great article from psychology today about emotional acceptance.
Please feel free to email me if I can help you in any way or if you have any questions
Be Positive. Be You.