Rape and sexual abuse survivors - Dancing In The Darkness resource for rape and sexual abuse survivors. help and support for rape and sexual abuse survivors
rape and sexual abuse survivors share their thoughts rape is NEVER your fault aftermath of rape and sexual abuse
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Date Rape

Date Rape

In many cases of rape and sexual abuse, the predator is a man the woman is dating. This is commonly called Date Rape or Aquaintance Rape. These are the most common type of rape committed.

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Dancing in the Darkness
While my story included sexual assault, it began with physical. My dad was physically and emotionally abusive for as long as I remember. He was the worst to my older brother. There were 4 years between us, and a sister in the middle. It all began with my dad. Without knowing it, he was conditioning me from the time I was born to accept, even expect abuse. He was the one that taught me to equate pain with love, to accept that people who love you often will hurt you. Because of him I formulated my survival technique. Never show weakness, never say mercy, never cry. Very early in my life I found myself locked in a battle of will with my father. Proving to him I was stronger than him, because I never gave in, never let him have the satisfaction of seeing me hurt. Over and over in my head saying to him, spiteful and almost laughing, 'you think this hurts me? You honestly think you can hurt me?!?' He was the one who taught me that it wasn't discussed, and my mom helped too. Every time that she looked away or left the room while he was beating us. Of course he told us that it was because he loved us. Of course he told us that this is what God expected of us.
And of course I forgave him, without him even asking. I've never been mad at him for this, held him accountable for just how much he damaged me, and paved the way for further trauma.
I was 9 when my older brother began raping me. He was never violent, always gentle, but he would never listen to me, never let me go when I said stop, always just holding me down. He bribed me with money, gifts, and protection from my father. There were many times when he got between me and father, took beatings for me. He stopped when I was around 12.
I began drinking, smoking, self-mutilating. Anyone who felt like sleeping with me got to. I never said no. I was too afraid to. So I just let them, hating it all the while, playing mad mind games and disassociation games to keep myself from freaking out. I spent all of my teen years consumed with hate and anger, mostly self-directed. For being so fuc*ing week all the time.
From 15 to 19 I had a boyfriend Travis. Just after a month into out relationship I was gang raped at a party Travis wasn't with me at. More men were there than I bothered to count. Sometimes now I wish I would've, just so that I would know. Sometimes I know that it was right not to. It went on for hours. We were outside, it was April there was still snow on the ground and real cold out. They were extremely violent; they beat me up a lot. Two or three of them would be on me at once, they raped me vaginally, orally, and anally. They cut me several times with a knife they had. They penetrated me with whatever was handy, sticks, flashlights, whatever. They laughed a lot. I can still hear the sound of myself screaming that night in the woods. Years down the road, at 19, I found out that hell was an act of retaliation, not intended to punish me but to punish Travis. At the time of the rape I knew that to some degree, but couldn't figure out how or why. I didn't tell him what happened. I was afraid of how he would react, what he would do to them, and how it would affect our relationship. So I told him what the rumor after the party was, that I had hooked up with a guy at this party, that I had cheated on him. He forgave me but punished me for it. Calling me a whore, refusing to touch me and calling me diseased. I tolerated this for two years and finally broke down and told him the truth, about that night and the shit from when I was little. During the two years after the rape, we never had sex, though we had been sexually active prior. After the rape I stopped drinking and therefore became completely frigid. Travis would try to touch me and I would shake so violently that he couldn't even get a good hold on me. After I opened up to him we began to work on repairing me sexually. Progress was slow, so somehow, I really don't remember how, we decided that he would just do it. Even if I was upset or crying or fighting him, he should just keep fucking me. So he did that, and while was he was he would whisper in my ear that he loved me, that I didn't need to be afraid, this was because he loved me. Somehow this actually worked, at times I did have really good sex with him.
When I found out not only that he was the cause of the rape, but that he had assumed all along the truth and still gave me shit for two years over me "cheating" on him. And that he himself was a rapist, I had to break up with. I felt so betrayed. I thought back on the "sex therapy" we'd had and realized that it wasn't for me, he didn't care about me. In all likelihood it was what he wanted, he was turned on. I thought he was trying to help me, to heal me, but it was for him, for his pleasure.
My next boyfriend was bad from the start. We were heavy into drugs together, we had lots of threesome and group sex. Always me and men, never other women, usually mock rape, always degrading and demeaning, but whatever. Soon I was sleeping with men for drugs, unable to afford as much as I wanted to ingest. Kevin snapped the camels back one night when we were in a fight, about some guy that he wanted to see fu*k me that I didn't want to fu*k. This arguement was going all night, towards dawn I headed to bed, leaving Kevin with a bunch of his friends, still partying. A while after I fell asleep I woke up to the door opening. Kevin and his friend, and Kevin held me down so that this other dude could do it.
I saw Kevin only once after that. I entered rehab but was only sober for about two months. Last October I was raped by a man I met at the bar. I was leaving with him to go get high. I knew it was stupid, and knew I was putting myself in a bad situation, but I did it anyway. It probably was the easiest of all the rapes to deal with. It was the shortest in duration, it was only one person, he was stranger, not someone I'd have to see again, and compared to all I've been thru seems so minor.
Obviously, I am unable to talk about this. My parents found out about the childhood abuse, and gang rape at 15 when I was 16. We had exactly two conversations about it. They asked me if I was alright, if I felt I needed therapy. They believed me when I said it was fine, that I was fine, that I didn't need help. I am pretty estranged from them at this point.
So I am stuck in this cycle. So angry, addicted to drugs and alcohol, and sex. I can't have normal loving sex with my boyfriend. I finally have one that is a decent person, who I know could never hurt me like these other men did. He's the first man I've been able to say "No" to. But I make him hurt me in bed. I can't get off unless I am in pain, so I make him hit me, choke me, slap me around. And I am so mean to him but can't help it. I have to remind myself constantly that he is not all those other men. Force myself to look at him with kind eyes and not the stone cold defensive look I usually reserve for men.
He knows there are things wrong with me, knows that I have "issues", but I refuse to even name the traumas to him, tho I know he connected a dew dots on his own. I still self mutilate. I have nightmares, hallucinations, panic attacks. I forget to eat and take care of myself, so I am beginning to have quite a few physical problems.
For over a decade now, this had been my life. Rape has been my life. And I hate the hard and cold and bitter person it has made me. I hate the way any morals I had were thrown out the window while I tried to run from myself and my past. I hate that I walk around saying, 'better living thru denial', honestly believing it. I hate knowing that it will always be this way. There is no answer, no solution, no light. I've turned myself into this thing, so mute and weak; I can never get back to what I was. When I reflect on the years all I see is more pieces of me that were lost, that died. One by one I can see the where the pieces fell.
I know what lead to what, I know why Seth hurt me and why I felt the need to let so many other people hurt me. I know the role my dad and mom playing in contributing to this paralysis. I understand completely the cause and effect, where the dominos started to fall. But it doesn't help. It doesn't change anything. And I can't.
I read stories of people and how they've made the move from victim to survivor. That their liberation came when they realized it wasn't their fault. Newsflash, every one of us are victims, and will be as long as we are alive. You can't refuse to be a victim. You were made into one. And that is a status all of us will have for the duration of out lives. Strictly based on definition.
As far as placing blame, my true enslavement began when I realized that it wasn't my fault. That's how weak we are and that's how strong they are. No amount of willpower will ever best muscles or guns at the moments when it really matters. When it comes down to it, "they" can fu*k you whenever they want to. That's how small we are. And it's not our fault, it's the way it is. And that's where my real frustration comes in. For the rest of my life I know that if a man gets a notion in his head that he wants to fu*k me, he will, and that's that. Regardless of whether or not I decide to say no. I am only safe as long as a man allows me to be. I'm only safe until they decide they want to hurt me.
I am 22 years old. And all this doesn't come close to completing my stories.
by Angel Longsleeveson 16 Aug 2004

I grew up living with my mother and step-father. I started getting abused at age 4 by my father and step-father. My father was alcoholic and my step-father was a drug addict. By age 13 I was raped by more then 20 men because my father would allow his friends to rape me. I have been gang raped more then 15 times in my whole entire life. I have been pregnant 7 times having 6 miscarriages. I am 19 and have been abused by more then 67 men. I am no longer ashamed anymore about. Most people do not believe that I have been abused by this many men. So mostly I keep my mouth shut about my life and what has happened to me. I became a lesbian and have no present relationship. I am afraid to trust many people. I still have nightmares and I hallucinate. I know my father isnt there but he is there....I have moved from TX, to another state to stay alive. I am in therapy and I have DID/MPD as a result of my abuse. I am very afraid to trust men *no offense*. But this is my story summed up. Thanks for listening to me and Hope that this helps someone. ~LaKesha
by LaKesha Sheltonon 15 Aug 2004

When I was 7 I went to my friend's house and my friend's dad know my parents. I go there alot and I go there to play with her a lot of time. But the bad thing is that my friend jenny mom die when she was born and only her dad takes care of her. One day her dad tell her to do some house work and he told me to go to his room. I was little and he was an adult so I listen to him. When I walked in I started to feel weird. Then he closed the door, shut everything and tell me to undress and he wouldn't let me out. So I guess I didn't have a choice. I was confused about what he was trying to do. I undressed, then he took off his pant and his penis come out. I was confuse, I was thinking what is that thing. He told me to suck it, I said no. Then he grabbed my head and forced it in my mouth. He was pulling my hair so I just did what I was told. tThen he stopped and I was crying and confused. Then he opened my legs and I was scared. Then he put his penis on my virgina, it was painfull and I was screaming and crying. I was also bleeding too.

Not long after, my dad got shot and died so my mom worked from day and night and jenny dad would take care of me and he kept doing that until I was 11 when I got my period. Then he forced me to take some pill and he kept raping me all the time. I was scared to tell him stop becasue he cooked and he did all the work like a father. Jenny knows about it to but her dad tell her to call me mommy. He says he's going to merry me and stuff.
When I was 17, he went on a trip and convinced my mom to take me. I couldn't say no so I went and he took me to his trip at Japan and told people that I was his wife and he would just keep do this everynight but he was alway gentle not violent....but I didnt like it.
by Cindy on 14 Aug 2004

I read a few of your stories and felt such a connection to so many of you. It is like we are talking for each other. I read something and I feel like I am being described. I have been seeing a new therapist, an older gentleman and he is helping some. Most people who know me at times refer to me as delusional, bipolar,paranoid or some other term. The Professionals say I suffer from severe chronic depression, PTSD, obsessive compulsive disorder, all true. I do not believe a term as been thought of yet to describe the hell of being raprd by a boyfriend or a husband.
My first sexual experience was date rape. I married this man and had two children, divorced when the emotional and phsical abuse exculated after he fell in love with another woman. Somewhere in there I was emotional stripped. I met a nice man married him and had two children, been married 20 years. He has sexually abused me all this time. I was brave enough to name it rape after bladder repair surgery, the 6 weeks of no sex he let go by then one night I awoke he was forcing himself on me, he would not stop when I said no he never does, he saw my tears and after awhile he did stop but he did damage and the healing process was much longer, I had stiches in my vagina, I lost bladder control for a couple of weeks and would urinate down my legs. I did not go to the OB_GYN who did the surgery as my husband and him are good friends. I told my sister and she believed me. I was so afraid of not being believed. I told my therapist. He told me I could report this to the police. I chose not to.

I tried suicide once after my first divorce, That would be cruel to my children who continuously give me joy. I have kids that anchor me to this earth and a faith in God. I am slowly getting into an apartment but this transition does not seem real to me some days nothing seems real. I have read a numb feeling after rape is "normal" I have not elaborated on the gory details of all the emotional, sexual, and financial abuse I have lived with. A couple of things in the finacial abuse area is after all these years the house my husband says he built for me remains in his parents name and I have never been allowed access to his checking account. He allows me to live in oppression and rapes me. In my weakest moments I feel so damn stupid for staying. I am an RN but to sick to work, crohns disease and depression. No doubt the stress aggrevates both. I would have to describe myself as a beatiful woman because this is what I am told but I feel ugly and used to wish I was, but now I know it is nothing to do with how someone looks that makes a man rape them, it is about power and control. This is why babies and 90 year old women are even raped. Men are not going to change sexual abuse, woman have to stand together to get tougher laws, especially with date and marrital rape. We are not even believed most of the time when we report it and rape is the most unreported crime of all. We are women with spirits,hopes and dreams, sexual abuse invades evry aspect of who we are.It takes something from us that we have to spend a life time trying to restore. Dignity,trust, our lively hood. Usually with little support. Most of us are on our own to restore ourselves and do not have the slightest idea where to begin. It is like doing self major surgery, we cannot do it alone. If I stay with this husband who says he will never force me again I will never completely trust him and never feel valued and loved by him. I will always ask myself how could he have forced me all these years, when I willfully made love to him often. He seemed to need to force me every so often for 20 years. He has no answers as to why. Anger, power, control? Holding a wives hands and arms down, stripping her and forcing unwanted sex onto her knowing she is afraid of you is not love. It is rape and I am finally brave enough to admit it.
Now I have the dificult work of geting through the pain. It was actually easier before I told anyone about it which is why I am leaving the gory details out. I feel guilty for even talking about it. Is this a normal feeling? I feel resonsible for the feelings of anyone I talk to. Like I have to shield them from my pain.Thanks for this website and may God restore us all.
by Dove369on 14 Aug 2004

I'am thankful to have your site. I now know I'am not the only one to endure such treatment at the hands of those I trusted. When I was 14 I was very alone in the world. My mother was and still is a raging alcoholic.Needless to say she was never home. So I turned to a person I thought I could trust. My High School english teacher.He helped with my photography on a weekly basis. Well in the fall the state fair came to our city and we were to take photographs of the parade.When he showed up that saturday there was no equipment. He told me we would go to his freinds house to get it. Needless to say this never happened.We drove out to a dirt road (no houses for miles). He told me to take off my shirt.I of course refused. He reached across me and pulled a gun out of the glove compartment and put it to my head.Forcing me to undress. He raped me orally and vaginally for 2 hours. Then drove around back roads for an hour more.He stopped the car and repeatedly raped for another hour. After which he drove me home. I was told that even if I said something no one would believe me. He was a respected member of the community and I was a slut. I have never said anything to anyone until now. But I have taught myself one thing. I do not let him take anymore life from me than those 4 hours. He does'nt deserve that much of my time or life. I attended a small private college in the east and graduated with honors. He will never take that or my life away from me. {2 beautiful girls and a husband sent from heaven.} That is my revenge.
by Ryjal on 12 Aug 2004

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This site is offered for support of other survivors, it is not meant to be a substitute for any kind of professional help. I don't have any qualifications or training in therapy, I am by no means a professional. I claim no responsibility for the use of this web site, use of content, or content of any links leading from this site. If you are in a crisis situation I urge you to contact your local rape crisis center or health care professional.

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