41 – The Journey to heal – Mind

I write this today. Almost four and a half years after the rape accident. Healing the mind was the hardest of all wounds to actually heal. It never healed a 100%. The scare is there, deeply and clearly. The mind is no longer the same. I no longer assume goodness in people. I also do not mistrust everyone. But the level of doubt is now higher than ever before.

The healing of the mind is the longest process. First, let me describe how the mind was wounded. My mind was attacked in its core: Sense of security, and the alertness is higher than ever before.

A human being that I knew harmed me with the first opportunity to stay alone with me. My mind was fully damaged. The sense of danger was extremely high, and resulted in all types of panic attacks with every trigger. A lot of small things act now as triggers and throw me back immediately to the day of the rape. Seeing a man with a similar figure in the streets makes me freeze in place, and all my senses became alert. Riding in a car with a male friend alone makes me quite frightenend that he might harm me. Seeing a man with the same first name captures my attention with a full readiness to run. Seeing a camera in a store makes me feel the same fear and all the environment disappears. I only see the fear, the panic and I lose ability to live the present anymore.

The therapist once explained to me that my brain captured the pain, and it created a defense mechanism to protect my mind from such pain again. Many things became automatic triggers to that night. It might make sense, and may be not. But it is now how my brain works. Until I figured out a great way to heal……. Training!

Training is a very long phase, which is still on-going. I train my brain that this event is no longer a scary one. Seeing a surveillience camera in a store is not a scary thing. It does not harm me, and I should not fear it. I went to hundreds of stores selling those cameras. I froze every single time. Until recently, I became stronger. I can now see those cameras without freezing and without panicing. However, I still remember the pain and the night. But I do not react to it. This is huge success.

Training also included watching movies. Some scenes with some sexual violence were always ending up with a panic attack. I would burst into tears and loss of breath. I decided to watch 13 reasons why series on netflix. It is a terrible horrific series about rape and drugs culture in high schools. It killed me. I watched each episode with tears and with so much trauma. But I decided to continue it. I finished the whole series. My mind was trained to that type of scenes without losing conscious. I was stronger after those trainings. I felt stronger and largely healed after such a tough training.

Training went in the same way in every single direction: riding a car with a trusted man alone, taking a night walk with someone, having sex, seeing a person with similar face, hearing his name somewhere, hearing other rape stories, catching a dentist clinic smell, or just seeing a common friend who knew the rapist on social media… The examples are endless. But each one of them took a certain level of training.

I sometimes talked to the people I trusted, or accompanied that I have a certain level of panic attacks and I would just need their patience with me. In most of the cases, they were quite helpful and understanding. Those who failed to understand, were placed aside for a while. It required a huge level of understanding to actually get it.

Training also extended to another dimension!

Training my brain to actualy protect me!

I was advised to go to another training where I experience some basic self-defense mechanisms. I learned that I can scream! I had to scream in that session to see that my voice can actually be quite loud. I learned that keys and bags can be used as defense tools. We also built pictures in my mind how to “act” if something happened. How to hit a man in his balls, or kick someone on his face, or even hit in his eyes. It was a non-imaginable picture. I cannot hurt anyone. But I had to built those vulgur images in my mind and imagine if someone I knew was doing this to me, how to act. It is still hard to me, but my choices were: Fear harming the attacker, and accept rape, or harm the attacker and save yourself!

It was a wakening moment. How to accept rape! I would never accept it. But I need to embrace the choice I might end up doing, to protect my body and myself. If someone is really going to harm me that way. I would do anything.. ANYTHING.. to protect myself from that pain.. again.

Mind healing journey was quite long. It is still on-going even after all those years. But it is really important. Without it, life would stop at that night, and no further progress would be expected.

I am proud I could go that far.

I survived rape. I did the impossible, and went through the long healing journey, and would help anyone to stand up again.

40 – The journey to heal – Spiritual

I searched for God in all paths. How this whole experience shaked my life and my well-being. I had to start looking for more meaningful connection to God. I read about Karma; what comes around goes around. I read about God, and His love. How hard the lives of the prophets were. How many troubles and unfairness they faced in their lives, and how high they were treated in the Holy books.

I had to look for another source to fill my spiritual gap. The rape accident made me quite fragile, quite broken, and losing faith in humans. Humans represented pure evil during that period, and I had to seek other higher powers to find some peace.

I read the Holy books, and I listened to many channels talking about the love of God. How the tired mistreated humans are in tests from God to be softer. This mindset helped me heal spiritually. I was very sad that God was punishing me that way with the rape and the pain from rape. However eventually, I found a way to believe this was a tough test from God to tame my soul. This was a way to make me look for God, and to get more connected to Him.

I found my way to God, and I linked to every painful experience as a taming exercise from God for my soul to connect spiritually to Him.

I found a way to love God more, and to connect more to Him. He showed me a hundred ways of helping guiding hands from God. He put me through this tough test, and aided me in another thousand way by finding the way to Him…

39 – The Journey to Heal – Soul

I am normally a strong person. It was hell hard for me to accept being the victim that way. It was close to impossible to move on on my own. In the beginning, I needed some guidance how to deal with such tremendous amount of pain. I tried talking to my trusted best friend. He was quite accepting, and he did a lot of readings in the background to know how to better help me. He was mostly by my side. Also, I tried to talk to a couple of my friends, but they were all helpless. It was very hard for them to understand how to help me, and so I stepped back. Meanwhile, I wanted to heal. I hated being that weak and broken.

I wanted so much to be normal again. My soul was quite broken, with all those negative thoughts and flashbacks popping up out of the no-where, I had to heal. I had to find a way to get some help. My vision was so short. I could barely think what I would do the next hour. It was hard to plan the following day. Needless to mention, it was a fairy tale to look one week ahead!

So, I found here where I live an institute / organization which helps women psychologically, especially victims of violence, either domestic or sexual. So, I had that consultant to talk to. She was very very VERY helpful. I met her 5 times over 5 weeks. First two sessions, I was mostly talking about myself, and she was helping me sort out my feelings. I was also doing a lot of readings with the help of my best friend to sort out my thoughts. The third (or fourth session), my husband (my ex now) joined me, since I wanted her to explain to him what I go through, I was hoping he could understand and stand beside me. But in the last session, she said he is one big obstacle for me to heal. So, I was even stronger that I left him and found my path to heal. That lady helped me get rid of the “harming myself” feeling. She helped me accept myself. She told me it is okay to be hurting, and it is better to accept the phase I am in. She was quite helpful. She also told me, “the stronger I am, the longer it will take to heal“. I was worried how long it might take. In the beginning, the days were so slow, then the weeks were also adding and counting. Until I could reach the 6 months mark, where I was still in so much pain, but started to feel some light ahead.

The lady helped me first of all accept what has happened. What happened, has happened, and it is time to think how to deal with what we have today. She focused with me on accepting that this happened, and that it does not make any less of myself. She guided me by showing and telling few similar stories of such victims. She confirmed that regardless my reaction (freezing), it is totally normal for some humans to freeze when feeling danger. She stressed on the fact that one day, this story would feel like someone else’s story. I would not live it that deep like those days. And here I am, after 3 years, feeling detached from this story. I totally relate to it all, but it does not feel like myself anymore.

The key factors for finding the path to heal my soul was through:

  • Acceptance of what has happened
  • Not shaming myself of my reaction – freezing or not, does not change the fact that I was a victim
  • Don’t blame the victim, and anyone trying to blame me for the rape, does not deserve being a friend
  • Disconnecting my body from what has already happened. What happened is quite bad and tough, but it does not define who I am or who I am meant to be.
  • I have to save my soul, myself, my body to be able to take care of my family afterwards.
  • A rapist, is a criminal.
  • Not reporting it is not a crime/guilt. It is a tough topic, that sometimes tough choices could be made. It does not change the fact that he is a criminal and a rapist.
  • Whenever I dwell into thoughts, I have to push myself to return to the “now – moment”. Focus on what is surrounding me, and pull myself out of the sinking thoughts. I have to focus on the present moment, the ceiling, the walls, the chairs, the floors, the wind, the air. Be here, now.
  • I have to acknowledge my pain. It is a very strong sign that I have a pure alive soul. If I weren’t hurting, then there must have been something wrong with me! This made me feel relieved that I am truly alive.
  • My soul will need time to heal, and become my new me. It is totally okay to follow the flow of the day as long as it makes me feel comfortable.
  • It is okay to avoid people, and it is also okay to be with them when I wish that.
  • Listen to your heart. If your heart says not now, then not now. If your heart is ready to go for that walk, go for it.
  • Get connected to your soul. It is all about you now.
  • Listen to music.
  • Meditate.
  • Go for long walk in the nature, and feel all the surroundings.
  • Listen to the birds, or watch the fish floating in their own world.
  • Start to draw.. Paint.. Write.. Go to art, to dwell into the art, and connect to your feelings. I did all of them, I started painting acrylic, and I wrote this diary. It did help me see things clearly, and connect more to my wounded soul.

After all that time, I can say, I found the path to my soul, and I healed. I listened to my soul, and it feels amazing. I can even now help others connect to their souls. It is one of the powerful beauties of being human, our souls. Connect to it, and it will guide you how to heal.

38 – The journey to heal – Body

The journey to heal was never easy. It had a lot of uncertainty and a lot of fears.

First, the desire to feel better was hard to find. In the beginning, I had a lot of self-disgust, and a lot of shame for what happened. It was extremely hard to not hate my body and my soul. When you are raped, it becomes close to impossible to accept your body immediately. It does not feel that this is your body anymore. It feels that this is a body which witnessed too much pain and shame. It is the skin which suffered unwanted acts. It is the cells which made me feel what I never wanted to feel.

When it goes to sex, sexual rape, it becomes even harder. The link between the sexual desire, orgasm and the link between the painful tragic feelings become quite confusing. The desire to have sex – which is quite normal on ovulation days – becomes a source of pain. It triggers unwanted memories, and flashbacks to the scary night. I was always trying to avoid feeling aroused. Until I read on some websites how to ease my access to sex after such tragic accidents.

It stated that I could start being a friend to my body again. Many things one can do to break the ice with own’s body again. Few steps, in this order which could help.

  • A quiet bubble bath with relaxing music, a sensual full body scrub, or a tranquil body lotion.
  • A look to the mirror to one’s own body while being fully dressed. Look to your body, and feel each and every part of it. Love your body, and embrace all what it went through.
  • Undress yourself in front of the mirror. With each and every cloth piece that you take off, embrace yourself. It might be not easy in the beginning to stand naked in front of the mirror after such a trauma. But one by one, train yourself to look to your body, and accept it.
  • Allow yourself to look beautiful. Put on make up, wear a perfume, and put your favorite pants or dress on.
  • The more you embrace your body, the more you would be ready to accept more of yourself.
  • Touch yourself. As much as this might sound silly, but actually it is the first step to embrace your sexuality. Touch yourself, feel your body, dressed or undressed, but accept the feeling that you are aroused. Love and see the beauty inside you. The problem with arousal is that now, it is linked to pain and it triggers a lot of trauma flashbacks. When you touch yourself, slowly, you train your brain that it is safe again to feel aroused.
  • Finally, if all the previous ones went well, masturbate! Yes, masturbate. Even if you do not do that in the normal case. But this is now the only available training where you have full control to your feelings, and your body. You know when to stop, and where to touch. The first few times, it would be close to impossible. It would be very hard, very painful and very scary. But one by one, you would train yourself to separate the feeling of arousal from the feeling of shame and disgust.
  • Hug a trusted friend. If you know someone that you fully trust, ask them for a hug. A long deep sincere hug. Allow your body to be touched in a friendly way by someone you trust. The hug is a huge bridge to your soul. It transfers a lot of acceptance feelings. It secures your fears that you are still wanted. A sincere hug does wonders.
  • Go to a thermal pool. This is a place where you stay in a warm pool, with beautiful scenes, light relaxing music, a few drinks and just feel the warm water flowing on your fragile skin. It makes you love your body, and gives you a chance to feel accepted in a swimming suit.
  • Get a back or shoulder massage to relax. Once you feel more secure to be touched again. Go get a relaxing massage by someone from the same gender (or a lady). This is to eliminate any mental confusion, that this is pure relaxation and no sexual interest. Any relaxing massage will help you accept your new soul and new body, and promote your healing journey.

Those basic steps were how I started. It was not very easy for me to go through them all. But it took me around 6 months to be at ease with those steps.

There are more about the healing journey, I will write in the next posts.

37 – A Suicide Vision

I have never dared to write about this. It was March 2018. It was one week after telling my husband – my ex now -. In the first week, he was trying to support me and help me get over what happened. Then, out of the blues, he got a full rage on me. He accused me of prostitution, and disrespect. This broke me MASSIVELY.

At that day, it was a Sunday, he went out. I was all alone at home. I was sitting on the couch, not able to move. Pain was filling me from top to toe. I tried to quiet my brain, but nothing worked. It was so loud inside that my brain was about to explode. Then, I had this very urging thought to hit my brain in the wall. I wanted this endless pain to stop.

I had this vision that my head is full of blood, with a huge blood stain on the wall. I saw myself hitting my head in the wall strongly. Then, I was terrified of the picture. I felt terrified of my image full of that amount of blood. So, I pushed this image away. Then, another scarier picture came to my mind. I saw myself walking to the kitchen and holding a knife. I saw myself cutting into my arms, to feel pain somewhere else.

That picture of me in blood scared me. I was terrified of my mind pushing me to get up and injure myself. I called immediately my best friend and told him to stay on the phone. I told him I am scared of my mind. My brain is exploding of tremendous pain, but the defense mechanism is pushing my thoughts to harm myself.

I stayed with him on the phone until the thought was muted. This is when I urgently called a psychological help center. This is when I found a way to get some help. I found that place which helps women – victims of sexual assault or violence accidents -. This is where my healing journey started.

That unconscious image of my head hitting the wall, full of blood, with a huge blood stain on the white wall.. made me stop and take stronger actions to get true help.

I am proud that today, this is all in the past tense. But it still scares me, that one day, I had that strong urging push to do that. That time, my faith and fear of the image made me stop. But it made me also understand quite well, why some assault victims lose interest to live. It explains their many attempts for suicide. The psychological pain is not compared to any physical pain.

36 – Time to help others

In the past, I wrote this blog for me to heal. The weight was hell heavy to make me able to move a step forward. So, I poured it all out, and it did help me heal.

Now it is time to give back. I know many ways to heal. I have learned along the way about trauma, about rape, about post trauma, and about dealing with pain. I have learned along the way to empower victims, to empathy for them, and to feel with them. It has been a very long journey, but it showed me all the ways to connect to humanity.

I have decided to look for ways around me here, to help similar victims. I have decided to help with tools, ways, methods, or languages. It has been quite hard to go through it all alone. But now, after all the strength I have gained. After all the indifference about the accident, or similar accidents. I have learned that we are humans. What makes us stronger is only our social intelligence.

It is time.. to help and give back.

35 – PTSD Confession

Man’s hand holding a woman hand for rape and sexual abuse concept, Wound domestic violence rape, concept photo of sexual assault, International Women’s Day

It does not seem to get any easier. I still suffer from PTSDs (post trauma stress disorder) in some situations. It is already more than 3 years now. But I still fear many things without a meaningful explanation.

I fear being in big crowded places in that city where the rape happened.

I still cry without control if I stayed without sex for more than a month. I lose control, and my tears flow nonstop. My body shivers. My heart aches. I feel bad that I am enjoying sex, and I push away my husband unconsciously.

It is still hard to trust a man.

It is close to impossible to not be scared whenever I know that I have to travel to that city again. I have to go there at least once a year to visit my family. But it is always a very heavy trip.

PTSDs got me deep down there.

If I ever felt the need for a sexual intercourse, I am always feeling that confusion inside. My heart aches of fear of my potential bursting into tears. My body is filled of joy that my need will be fulfilled.

I never imagined that after three years after the rape, I would still be having remains of this wreckage. It was hard. It seems it will still live inside for a few more years.

34 – Life after rape

It is now 3 years after the rape accident. For some reason, my memory before the accident became blurred. Life stopped at that moment, and it restarted again. It started with a new me, a new person, a new character.

It is definitely now 3 years after the rape, but I can barely feel that all that time has passed. I am definitely now over it. The remaining traces would probably remain for the rest of my life.

The flashbacks.. Those are now over. I barely go back to that night again. When I do, it feels like someone else. That girl with all those feelings, it wasn’t me. It does not feel like me anymore. I can relate to her pain, but I do not feel it myself anymore..

The fear of people.. This is quite strong still, but only when I am there.. I fear my shadow anytime I am that city again. I scan all faces, all eyes, all figures whenever I walk anywhere. I fear seeing him again. I fear being seen there. I fear my shadow, and it is quite hectic to be outside on the streets anytime while being there. I am scared to see him again in a way I cannot explain. A thousand what-if, with one result.. F-E-A-R.

The wish for a revenge.. It is still here. I will not be able to do anything myself again. I just wish to see one day the result of his deeds. I wish to see him suffer. May be he already does, may be not.. But it is a wish that I will not be able to witness.

It is quite strange how I feel that I was a different person, different soul before the rape and after it. I can barely recall many details of life before rape. It was mostly helplessness, and some small achievements, but nothing more…… After the rape, I became stronger when coming to problems, more fragile when it comes to people, and more open when it comes to mistakes. I also became stronger when it comes to my limits. I do not allow it when my limits are touched or my boundaries are endangered.

I am writing this down to encourage myself that I have survived whole three years after the rape, and became a much stronger happier person. Before the rape, life was full of anger and stress. Rape was only an incident to free me from all those darkness. It made me flourish and become the person I always deserved to be.

33 – Revenge Dream

Deep down inside, I still crave revenge. That rapist ruined my life. I am now more than 600 days after rape! But I still suffer from endless fears. I fear being alone with any man. My husband has to be with me in every situation where I meet a man. I fear driving a car alone with any man. Even with my husband, I have trouble having sex with him on top. I have to feel I am in control, otherwise I get lost in flashbacks and I cry without control.

I still fear traveling to the city where the rape happened. I keep looking for him in all the streets, in all the faces. What if I saw him by chance! I fear my shadows the whole time I visit that city. I cannot stand being in crowded place, where I cannot see all the faces. The rapist caused a scare, that no matter how well it heals, it still leaves a bad mark.

Sometimes social media suggests a link to his wife, or his sister. I see them happy, and it breaks my heart. Someone did an act which ruined a life, and they just live their lives as if nothing is there. I know that social media is fake. It does not imply anything about reality. But I cannot help it. He ruined my life once, and I believe in Karma. Revenge will take place on its own. I do not need to do anything. It will happen….

I hope to have the power to get over those remaining scars. I hope to have the strength to not fear the people in that city anymore. I hope to get over that habit of looking for him in each and every face passing by. It is not over yet. But I do believe, that I am almost there.

32 – Two Years

It is whole two years now. Two years have passed since the night my whole life turned upside down. Two years since my soul was torn apart. Two years since the life I knew, is never the same again.

I have many victories that I managed to go through those two years. They might sound trivial and silly for anyone who did not go through that. But it also sounds huge and unbelievably courageous for anyone who experienced anything similar.

Now, after two years, I manage to have sex again with only 10% of the times breaking apart. I still have flashbacks with intercourse. I still recall the fear, the shame, the guilt, the disgust feelings. I do not recall the rapist nor the person. But the feelings are still captured inside my body cells and my brain. I still – sometimes – burst into uncontrolled tears and loud sobbing when I lose control. The more I let go in sex, the higher the chances I break apart.

Such a weird feeling, that I fear having sex even though I want it so much. I fear the fear that I feel when I let myself feel what I wish to feel!

One more victory is that I almost stopped stalking him. I kept him blocked on all social media all those days and months. Until a couple of days ago, I found him trying to call me. I was shocked. I woke up not understanding how and why. It has been two full years of struggles. It has been two whole years of progress, until I found a missed call of him. Was he really trying to call me, or is it just a coincidence and a mistake? I lost a heart beat, and I looked up his profiles again on social media. It seems that he went blank for few months after the accident. I wonder if this was a way for remorse.. But anyway, I am not willing for any contact. I still struggle.. It is minor.. very minor.. But it is still there.

One more victory is that I am now more relaxed about violence scenes in movies. I am not taking it personal anymore. I am able to stay intact when a woman screams on a movie. I am not actively trying to watch violence scenes, but when it comes in a movie, I am less impacted. I do feel huge empathy for the victim. But I managed to stop taking it personal.

31 – 13 Reasons Why

A series on Netflix is called 13 reasons why. It is about a girl who was raped, and committed suicide. Then, another few girls who faced the rape, and in the last season, a boy was raped by another colleague at high school! It was quite violent, and hard. Some scattered thoughts, after being able to finish the whole season. It was a tough training for me to watch a full series about rape and suicide. Looking back to the last post few months ago. I find myself making huge progress.

I hated the feeling.. that a body is being violated.. used.. without permission.

Regardless the physical damage and bleeding, the feeling of shame was bad.. was hard.. that your body isn’t yours.. That your body is a bathroom for someone else to use.. the way they want.. regardless any consent

Another girl, who was also raped, convicted the rapist, and he was sent to trial, and even murdered afterwards by another guy, but it wasn’t enough to heal her. That girl despite the endless strength she had.. and how open she was about her being raped.. She said, some things in her would never be the same again, no matter how much she hurt him back. The hurting she has.. at one point of time.. never stops.. In some situations, she still feels it … regardless how much pain she caused the rapist..

Another thought, about being a “survivor”, so was it called in the series. It wasn’t surviving the rape.. It was surviving the shame, the consequences, the fear to face anyone, the fear to have sex again, the DESIRE TO DIE, and even making an attempt to die either for real, or in their thoughts… The survival of daily struggle.. hour by hour, day by day. That boy survived, by having his friends with him – doing shifts – so that he NEVER stays alone.. Even though they didn’t know what was wrong with him.. they did it to help him not suicide for real. And only after 2-3 months of those shifts, he told one of them about him being raped.

Looking to my best friend, I always look to him, recalling how I know by heart.. I wouldn’t have been able to be who I became today without him.. So, regardless what words I say.. I am grateful for whatever reasons that made him be there.. and made him my friend. I am also grateful that this is all back.. as if it is someone else’s story.. not even mine..

A year and a half has passed. I am today able to finish a series about rape. I could relate to the characters, and see their fears and feelings. I managed to have no flashbacks. This is a huge success and progress. What I still need to work on, are my fears of being followed. My fears of traveling back there, or driving in that street again. I do not get flashbacks, but I recall the memory of how I felt. The feeling itself I still have, of being scared, shame, and the picture of me hitting my head to the wall. That suicide picture I was full of, even though I never did it. But the fear of having that picture was terrifying.

30 – A Year has Passed

A year has passed since that accident… I call it “accident”, I avoid using the word “rape”. Rape is a very tough scary word, that dries my mouth, increases my heart beats, and freezes my brain…

The “accident” word has a lighter impact than the abstract word “Rape”. But still up till this moment.. I do have flashbacks.

That night last week, I went to my friends to watch a movie. It was a war-movie. Of course, there was one scene with a woman being raped. Until that day, I could not dare to watch any movie with minor sexual violence. I could not tolerate to watch any sexual violence scenes. Unfortunately, at that particular moment that rape scene popped up. I was with friends, but I lost contact to the reality. I was sent to that night again. I found myself seeing pictures of the rapist, feeling the fear coming back, having cold hands, racing heartbeats, and suffocating throat.

I felt the smell, the pushes, the helplessness and the fear. I saw his naked ass from the side preparing to sit above me. I felt his weight lying above me paralyzing my ability to push back. I recalled the shame and disgust afterwards. I recalled the camera that I noticed in the ceiling, with full fear to be taped. I had a thousand picture trailing on my mind nonstop. The movie was still on-going with whatever scenes, but I was totally disconnected. I could not see anything, but the rape.

My best friend was sitting close to me, and he looked to me. He saw my fears, and he understood how that bloody scene froze my brain. I told him before, that I do not want to see any rape scenes or any slight sexual violence scenes anywhere. This kind of training, I cannot handle yet. So, that night… It was my first time to see that scene ever since the accident. I saw the actress lying down there.. with a soldier raping her. That brought all my fears at once and endless flashbacks.

I wished the night would end, I crawled to my bed. Cried my soul out, I cried myself to sleep.. I slept and all my nightmares haunted me…

It is now one year… I am MUCH MUCH MUCH stronger, and I feel I am almost over it. But again, there is this word “almost”. I avoid using the word. I fear TV scenes containing sexual violence. I even have nightmares. I fear traveling there. I fear seeing him anywhere. I rarely stalk the rapist and his family. But I still do. I cry once every couple of months.. The fact that I still cry… hurts. It makes me feel weak, which is not who I am.. Not anymore.

It is one year now… I am almost healed.. But still not yet….

29 – Flashbacks

Flashbacks are still hunting me.. Out of nowhere, out of strange triggers, I go back to that night..

I was that day at the electric store, where they sold survaillance cameras. I recalled that device that I saw on the ceiling that night, and my whole memory was filled of it, and its details. That little tiny green light, and those round white circles all around the eye of the camera. They bring me lots of fear, and I recall the full memory.

I remember that day, and the days after it. I remember that day when his friend threatened me. I brought back a lot.. which still exists somewhere in my memory.

Here I am, 8 months after the accident, alive, happier and stronger.. much stronger than I ever knew I can be. When I feel trapped in those flashbacks, I just take myself back to the present. I force myself out of my mind, and get back to reality. This is the only way to get over those torturing flashbacks. Getting back to reality and being in the present.

Flashbacks still hit me, unexpectidly. But with much lower rate, where I do not feel that terrified like the first few months. Also, the time between flashbacks is much longer. So, I know I am healing, and I am willing to heal. I will heal…

28 – Divorce

Now… After all the unevitable events. Divorce is the only option. It is happening… starting.. on-going…

After all the pain I have gone through, I do not think anything will ever be equally painful. It has been painful because people cannot relate to my pain. They cannot understand what it means to be raped. They cannot comprehend what it means to be forced to strip off, and show what I do not want to show. This pain of being forced to surrender. This was one of the most painful incidents that I have experienced. It took away my will to know anyone again, my sexual desire, my interest in people, my safety, my psychological sanity, and it doubled my fears few thousand times.

Divorce became inevitable. I have no interest to try anything anymore with anyone who caused me pain. With my husband, he was the reason why I wanted to suicide. I could not forgive him for that. His kindness, later empathy, and support could not omit the wound he caused me. His wound was deeper than rape itself. Rape caused me a deep wound, which is still bleeding until today.

However, my husband, my future-ex, did not stop pushing that bleeding wound ever since it happened. He was thinking that he helped me, but it only got worse.

Divorce is the decision that I had to take for all of us. It wasn’t only because of the rape, but in a dying marriage, when rape happens, it definitely dies without any hope to rescue it.

27 – Strength

Strength is here and back. More than what I ever had or felt. Nothing stops me now. I found the point where I found my strength and became the unstoppable.Nothing will stop me.I found peacefulness to what happened. I kicked his ass. I threatened him back. I had the strength to face the whole world and stand up on my feet. I identified what I want, and hunted it. Nothing will stop me again. I am proud of this strength. Today after 5 months of the rape…. I can proudly announce that I am free, and willing to grow like that. With this extreme strength that does not allow my feet to shake.

The End

This is the end of a phase.. where my life was turned upside down. The end of a story where my life stopped. The end of an era of nonsense. This is the end of all stories which ate my soul and ruined my body. This is the end.. when nothing else would be able to stop in front of me.

26 – PTSDs

Trauma is still here. Life after trauma is not still the same, but I believe it will come back again. I wish so hard to have the chance to be the same again.

Slowly now, after almost 4 months, I started to look forward to book a vacation somewhere in summer. I was so desperate before that I did not want to leave home. I see it as a positive sign, that I am looking forward for a couple of months away. It hasn’t been the case for a while now. 4 MONTHS! I cannot believe all that time passed.

Now, I still freeze at certain situations. Few days ago, I was walking down the hall at work when I noticed that guy who was 30 meters away. HE HAD SAME EYES AND NOSE of the rapist. I froze for a bit of a second, and I took the other way not to get closer to him. I did not like my response. I knew it is unreal. But this is how PTSD works, the brain creates naive self-defense mechanisms out of the illusion that it is protecting itself from danger.

Then that other night, when my best friend helped me carrying many things to my apartment. So, we spent less than 3 minutes alone in my place. But once he got closer to see one of the paintings on my wall, my brain froze again. It perceived the situation as danger. As the therapist told me, this is what my brain perceived: “Alone with a man in a room… DANGER“. Which was not true. It took me a fraction of a second to realize that this is my sincere best friend that I fully trust. This is not a dangerous situtation. He will not harm me, and I calmed down my terrified mind.

I hate those moments of unexplained fear. I hate that they were never there before, but now they come pretty often. I hate how I see the rapist in many of the faces, which ends up me avoiding those people. I hate all of those consequences of PTSD. Meanwhile, I am glad that there is progress. I am looking forward for the near future, because I believe I can still feel happy again with those little plans….

25 – Backfiring

I fired back.. and I am relieved………….

I backfired that so-called friend who threatened me with the video. I got extremely angry and I insulted him. Assholes are all-around…

I asked him to forward my backfire to the rapist. However after a couple of days, I was still burning with anger and rage. I decided eventually after consulting my best-friend that I would send my threats directly to the rapist, just to make sure that he understood it. The goal of my threat was to make him stop any more stupid actions. I wished that he calms down that I would not do anything anymore and move on. Instead of spending the rest of his life scared and hiding. He can hide without thinking to harm me.

I threatened him that I can ruin his career, because I can ruin his reputation. I warned him that no one would come to him as a man who messes around with girls, who betrayed his wife, and who turned his back on his 1 month old baby. I threatened him that I have nothing to fear. I warned him that Karma exists, and even if he did not see me pushing strong enough on that video, my “No” was clear. Even if he wants to fool others around that I did not push strongly enough.

I told him in front of people may be he is only a coward, a betrayer and a bastard. For me he is a rapist, as well as for God. If he does not know it, so here I am stating it again. He is a rapist who stole something which does not belong to him.

I fired back that asshole. Now I am relieved. This is me, the strong survivor of such a crime, firing back my rapist with all the tools I had. Apparently, I managed to scare the shit out of him. I guess after all, I won my fight…

It is a matter of time, until I full heal.. I hope!

24 – Threats

Today, after almost 3 months, I received that phone call. A common friend between me and that rapist, telling me that he watched the video.

The rapist showed him a video of me being raped. He saw my reaction, my frozen weak reaction. He questioned my story. He said my story has no ground to prove it. He threatened me to leak that video to my family, which frustrated me.

I told him I do not care what he saw. He has no clue what psychology is. He shall tell that to God. He should be honest with God about what he did to me. I asked him whether he saw me saying No. He said that he did see that no, but he did not see me pushing anyone away. So, it seemed that I enjoyed it, which is so stupid, so frustrating and so unfair.

I find it unbelievably strange to find a friend telling me he saw me being raped, and he does not believe it. I find it even stranger that he finds me fooling around. I find it shitty that the rapist knows the truth, and he is convincing himself of his innocence. He is a coward asshole, who damaged my tempers, and drained my patience.

23 – How I feel…

Now it is almost three months since the rape. I feel more stable, but still, that part of me is lost. It does not seem to be repairable. I cannot re-connect to my soul again. I feel that part of my soul died during that rape, and there seems to be no way to get it back.

I have lost interest in people. I am no longer eager to stay with humans. Any male is a potential threat. Any female is a potential judge. I hate them both, so I decided to keep myself on a large safe-distance from everything and everyone I know – including my husband-.

Today, I was googling, when I stumbled upon those paragraphs, they all related to me, and what I have lost after that day…

“I just don’t even know who I am anymore” is a statement I often hear while working with domestic abuse victims — one that saddens me, and is reflective of an issue that no one seems to be talking about. The girl uttering those words was a rape victim, and I was leading a support group for assault survivors. Someone stole her body, and with it, they took part of her soul.

I know what that feels like — because when someone used my body against my will, they took a hell of a lot more than just what they were after. They took pieces of my identity, pieces that I needed back. Because, you see, it wasn’t just my body that was stolen, but my entire sexual identity.

Who was I now? I thought I had known who I was before my assault, but now, afterwards, I didn’t have the slightest clue.

Day after day, I would avoid the mirror, and resist looking at my flesh while I got dressed. I didn’t want to see my body, because I didn’t want to remember what someone had done to it — and to me. If I didn’t look, it couldn’t hurt. And eventually, it no longer hurt, because I barely existed. I detached from myself, just as many rape victims do, severing the mind and body connection; I existed, but existed more in the space around me than within my own skin.

This kind of detachment is so common, in fact, that it’s actually listed as a symptom for PTSD (post-trauma stress disorder) in all the rape crisis manuals. I understood what was going on, and because of that, I did everything that I was supposed to do. I saw a counselor, I went to the support groups, I read the books. And although I finally came to the understanding that what happened to me was not my fault, I still couldn’t get back everything that I had lost.

Walking through my day-to-day life, my confidence was gone, and my sense of security shattered — and with it had gone all the parts of me that I trusted. I tried to move on with my life, and pretend as though everything was normal. But inevitably, the reality of how wrong everything felt would come crashing back to earth in the most inopportune moments — moments that usually involved a male partner.

I was more than awkward during those moments. I found myself fumbling through the motions and as my clothes would come off, the shame I felt inside would take over. With each layer of clothing that was removed, I found myself building a mental barrier that carried into the bed. I didn’t want my partner to know my body, because I didn’t know it anymore. Someone had done things to it that I didn’t want done, and while I had been working hard to process that on an intellectual level, no one had talked to me about what that meant on a physical level.

Sex after rape is a whole new ballgame, and the first step — reconnecting with your own body — is the hardest one to take. Learning to reconnect with something that was so badly hurt is painful. Unfortunately it’s a process that many women struggle through alone, just as I was doing.

Then one night, after a particularly uncomfortable evening with a man I was dating at the time, I found myself standing alone in front of the mirror. I let my clothes slip to the floor and for the first time in a long time, I looked at myself. The person staring back at me seemed more like a childhood friend than the woman I was now. Someone I used to know, loved even, but after so much time and so much change, I wasn’t exactly sure who she was anymore.

But I didn’t stop looking. I’m not sure why and I can’t really explain it, but I knew that I wanted to get to know her again — to find her, wherever she was, and to remember everything she used to be.

I wanted to get to know me again.

Original post here: https://www.bustle.com/articles/80961-i-am-a-rape-victim-who-tried-stripping-as-a-part-of-my-recovery-and-it


Emotional State Ripples

On the healing process… In the beginning, mood swings were so strong, one moment extremely happy about a minor event, the next moment full rage about a memory or a word.

Lately, those rippling emotional states are starting to be more stable. They tend to be longer waves of sadness, or longer waves of happiness, but with less frequency. So, I am not easily changing my emotional state suddenly. But still, with some triggers, the emotional draining is inevitable.

Perhaps this is now one small step to heal. It is exhausting to stay in the down-phase longer periods without being able to quickly change the mood. But I guess this is how ripples stop. First they have less frequency with longer waves. Then, they become lower in intensity, where the effect is much less than before, and longer waves.

Now, I am only in the phase where the intensity is a little bit less, and a little bit longer cycles. I get stuck in negative emotional state easily. But I hope it changes along time… I stay in that negative state for a few days, and regardless what I do, I cannot change it. Also with happy moments, it is now harder to suddenly change it to a negative state. I guess this is my way to heal.

Freezing During Sexual Assault and Harassment

People often say “I froze” when trying to describe or explain why they didn’t fight or flee during a sexual assault—or school shooting, military ambush, or very stressful experience of sexual harassment.

At first glance “freezing” seems like a simple enough idea. It’s a common word with a meaning that we seem to grasp right away because it conveys what wasn’t done.

Yet what’s meant isn’t always clear, and scientists have discovered not only complexity but active brain processes underlying freeze responses. (As I’ll discuss in another post, scientists distinguish freezing from other states of immobility under attack, including “tonic immobility,” in which one can’t move or speak despite trying to do so.)

We needn’t make things too complex or simple, but we can understand different forms of freezing and the basics of their neurobiology. Then, by applying that knowledge to sexual assault and harassment, we can better understand the experiences of those who’ve frozen.

In this way, greater clarity can help promote healing and justice: supporting survivors, conducting fair and effective investigations, and increasing the odds of holding perpetrators accountable.

Defense Circuitry in Control

As I’ve explained before, the brain’s “defense circuitry” is a network of regions that constantly scans incoming sensory information for signs of danger and, once an attack is detected or stress otherwise escalates, can rapidly dominate brain functioning.

That circuitry includes the amygdala and several other structures (e.g., specific brainstem areas). That’s why it’s called a circuitry. And it can trigger many responses in the brain and body—much more than could ever be conveyed by the phrase “fight or flight” (or the newly popular “fight, flight, freeze”).

Some of those brain responses are parts of any reaction to danger and being attacked, including all freeze responses. Others are unique to particular types of freezing.

Three Types of Freezing

Scientists broadly define freezing as a response to threat characterized not only by immobility but also inhibition of behavior. In the laboratory, researchers evoke freezing in different ways, some involving the ability to escape and others inescapable. (To dig into the leading research, use the references below.)

By reading the scientific literature closely, and listening carefully to people describing responses they’ve had to sexual assault, severe harassment, and other attacks, it’s possible to differentiate three types of freezing: detection, shocked, and no-good-choices.

As we’ll see, someone who says “I froze” may have experienced one, two, or all three forms. And for neurobiological reasons, if more than one happens, they typically unfold in a set order.

Detection Freezing

In sexual assaults and severe harassment, there’s often a critical moment when the attack is detected and brain and body instantly and automatically enter a completely different state.

In detection freezing, movement instantly stops and brain and body are primed to receive potentially life-saving information.
Source: Pexels

Up to that point, the person may have experienced what was happening (even if it was unpleasant, unwanted, and somewhat stressful) as basically normal and consistent with their expectations of how things go in such situations: how people tend to kiss and touch each other in (awkward) romantic situations, how pushy dates can act, and how boorish bosses can be inappropriate.

But then something happens that flips the script or massively escalates the stress, and the brain’s defense circuitry not only detects an unexpected attack, but automatically and involuntarily triggers strong brain and body responses.

This is detection freezing, and to describe it people often say, “I froze for a second.”

I’ve heard accounts of this freezing response many times, like anyone else who talks with people who’ve been sexually assaulted or severely harassed. I’ve encountered it as an expert for legal cases, in police reports and in recordings and transcripts of investigative interviews. Military and law enforcement personnel report this freeze response too, especially to ambushes and other unexpected attacks.

People can have this detection freeze response at different times—some when they first sense something’s wrong, before clear aggression, and others not until the fourth or fifth time their resistance is ignored or overpowered. It can happen when an arm is grabbed, a shirt forcibly unbuttoned, or a rapist flashes a look that says, “You can’t stop me.” Or when someone getting a massage is inappropriately touched the first or second (definitely-no-accident) time.

The potential triggers are limitless, but the detection freeze response is basically the same: Instantly and involuntarily, sometimes with a jolt, everything stops and everything changes.

This response can be fleeting, and may not be recalled later—at least not initially, especially if more disturbing experiences happened right before and afterward, or the person is generally avoiding bad memories. Often investigators don’t ask the right questions, or even know it’s a common response and a key moment in many sexual assaults. (It’s a key moment because—from then on— brain, body, attention, thinking, behavior, and memory processes are all dramatically altered in particular ways.)

The detection freeze response doesn’t happen in every sexual assault or incident of severe harassment, especially if escalation and recognition unfold gradually. But when it does, a variety of other brain-based processes tend to follow.

Stopping Behaviors and Thoughts

Obviously, the detection freeze response involves stopping all movement (aside from breathing and visual scanning). That’s why it’s called freezing.

Immobility helps prey avoid the attention of predators. Just as importantly, stopping whatever behaviors were happening just before attack was detected also makes room—literally, in terms of brain network functioning—for new and unplanned behavior options that could prevent injury or death.

Over millions of years, evolution sculpted a specific defense circuitry pathway which carries out that stop-movement or “behavioral inhibition” component of freezing.

Simultaneously, the defense circuitry also instantly stops any thought processes. Research suggests this happens via rapid chemical and electrical changes in regions underlying verbal and visual thinking.

Those sudden cessations of behavior and thought can be understood as a “network reset” (which is initiated by a brainstem area, the locus coeruleus). That reset prepares the brain to receive new and potentially life-saving information—and generate options for responding to it.

Shocked Freezing

The sudden stopping of all movement and thinking may last a fraction of a second, a couple of seconds, or even longer. When it lasts a couple of seconds or less, that’s the detection freezing response.

But when it lasts longer than a couple of seconds, additional brain processes are involved, and it’s a big deal. People tend to remember it.

Aleksandr/Colourbox, used with permission
Shocked freezing, which often immediately follows detection freezing, is a massive “reset.” The mind is blank and no behavior options are being generated (yet).
Source: Aleksandr/Colourbox, used with permission

That’s why many people who’ve been sexually assaulted or severely harassed say that, at some point, “I was in shock” or “My mind went blank,” and of course, “I froze.” Again, some military personnel and police officers say the same things about having frozen in this way (although understandably they seldom admit such things).

I’ve named this remarkable, disturbing, and memorable state the shocked freeze response.

It usually comes right after the detection freeze response, as a continuation of that “network reset”—and a massive amplification of it. For several seconds a person may feel shocked, dumbfounded, their mind utterly blank, at a loss for words and actions. Trying to describe it later, people say things like, “It made no sense,” “It just didn’t compute,” “I couldn’t even think,” or “I had no idea what to do.”

Basically, in this form or phase of freezing, no options for responding even arise in the brain or awareness. It’s not that people experience themselves as having options but can’t decide among them (we’ll get to that). Instead, their brains, at least for a time, are literally not generating any behavior options to choose from, let alone execute.

Research suggests that the strength and length of this shocked freeze state depend on how much norepinephrine the defense circuitry (i.e., its locus coeruleus) has just released into brain regions that generate thoughts and behaviors.

Whatever the exact brain causes, it’s a helpless and horrifying state of being, especially when unwanted and disturbing things are being done to one’s body.

It’s a state that people commonly describe later as having been “frozen.” And like the other two freeze responses, it’s a state that can be listened for, explored with non-leading questions, and put together with other information and evidence—whether to conduct a more effective investigation or simply to validate the experience someone who feels safe enough to share it with us.

Co-Activating the Autonomic Nervous System

I hope you’re appreciating this fine-grained analysis of what often happens in the first few seconds after freezing has been triggered by a sexual assault or another attack. It gets more interesting and illuminating.

As movement and thought cease and brain networks are reset, the defense circuitry simultaneously activates the autonomic nervous system by slamming on its sympathetic “accelerator” and its parasympathetic “brake.” Scientists call this a “co-activated mode of autonomic control.” (The parasympathetic brake is almost always on to some extent, not just during rest and relaxation – otherwise we’d have resting heart rates of around 110 beats per minute.)

The parasympathetic (vagus) nerve has an insulating sheath (of myelin) that speeds its input to the heart. So when detection freezing kicks in, parasympathetic input is the first to reach the heart, and when it does it slows it down. Once the sympathetic signal finally arrives, over a second later, the heart still doesn’t speed up much, if at all, as long as that parasympathetic brake stays engaged.

In all forms of freezing the parasympathetic branch plays a dominant role. The heart massively accelerates only if the defense circuitry (i.e., the amygdala’s central nucleus) releases that super-fast parasympathetic brake, letting loose full sympathetic activation and surges of oxygenated blood to the muscles.

If you’re heading for a deer in your headlights and the deer’s brain doesn’t snap out of it and let off that parasympathetic brake in time, there’s going to be a crash. And if you’re in shocked freezing during a sexual assault, your brain is not cueing up defensive behaviors, let alone unleashing them while yanking off the autonomic brake.

If you’re in shocked freezing, that assault is going to continue, and later you’re likely to say, “I froze.”

(What about that “adrenaline surge” people talk about? It takes much longer, 2-3 minutes(link is external) from attack detection or stress onset, for the adrenal glands to release adrenaline into circulation and reach the heart with another wave of sympathetic activation on top of the sympathetic nerve’s direct input.  Thus any adrenaline surge has nothing to do with detection freezing, which kicks in instantly, or shocked freezing, which happens within a second or two.)

Impaired Prefrontal Cortex

So the defense circuitry stops all behavior and thought, and slams on the autonomic accelerator and dominant brake. In addition to all of that, it’s also simultaneously unleashing a surge of stress chemicals that can rapidly impair the brain’s rational prefrontal cortex.

Nature Publishing Group, used with permission
With an impaired prefrontal cortex, only very simple thoughts arise, about reflex and habit responses that are extremely reactive or passive. (Image from Arnsten 2015; see references.)
Source: Nature Publishing Group, used with permission

To engage in rational thinking our brains must draw on memories and plans, weigh options, and make informed decisions. But that takes time—precious time that could mean life or death in dangerous situations. Evolution has selected brains that can quickly shift control away from the rational-but-slow prefrontal cortex and to fast-acting circuitries that run well-programmed habits and hard-wired reflexes.

Within just a few seconds of attack detection (or stress becoming extreme) the prefrontal cortex can be massively impaired, even effectively taken offline. That’s why the military and police repeatedly train and drill. When they come under attack and their “rational brains” go out the window, habits and reflexes are all that’s left. So their training must burn in effective habits they can access later (although even the best training is no guarantee).

That’s also why, when thoughts do begin to arise again—after detection or shocked freezing have passed—they’re usually very simple thoughts, not complex rational ones.

Not only that, they’re usually very simple thoughts about extreme behaviorsthat the defense circuitry has just cued up but not yet released into action(just as it hasn’t yet released the parasympathetic brake).

No-Good-Choices Freezing

Many sexual assault survivors recall how, just seconds after registering the perpetrator’s behavior as an attack or upon emerging from a brief state of shock, their thinking was severely limited.

They remember having few thoughts of any kind. They recall, “All I could think was…,” and complete that sentence with a thought or two that—later, from the perspective of a relatively functional prefrontal cortex—seem remarkably simple, even useless or ridiculous.

In no-good-choices freezing, with an impaired prefrontal cortex and only extreme options in mind, no resistance happens. It’s a dark place and no one should be judged for getting stuck there.
Source: Videvo

Some remember being fixated on a singlethought. All they could think was, “This can’t be happening, this can’t be happening…” or “It’s almost over, it’s almost over…” or “God please help me…” They had no other thoughts in their minds. Indeed, they had no ability to rationally generate and then choosefrom other thoughts (about how to respond effectively).

Other survivors find themselves thinking only of two completely opposite responses—both extreme and horrifying: Scream and bring people running to a humiliating scene in my dorm room vs. lie still and quiet. Jump off the massage table and run naked out the door vs. wait for the violations to end. Fight back and risk even worse violence vs. offer no resistance at all.

In short, an impaired prefrontal cortex leaves many people—whether within seconds of the initial detection freeze response, or upon emerging from the shocked freeze response, or otherwise being extremely stressed or terrified—with thinking that’s been reduced to extreme lose-lose options, to “choices” that are no real choices at all.

This is the third form and often the final phase of freezing during sexual assault, severe sexual harassment, and other experiences of violence and trauma. For the reasons explained above, I call it no-good-choices freezing.

As explained in a 2015 article in the Harvard Review of Psychiatry, all freezing is “fight-or-flight put on hold.” The no-good-choices freeze response, with prefrontal cortex impairment and fight-or-flight options cued up but on hold, corresponds to neuroscientist Karen Roelofs’ phrase, “freeze for action).”

What’s held back from release into action? Habit behaviors and survival reflexes that have been automatically cued up by the same defense circuitry that’s also impaired the prefrontal cortex (thereby ensuring that only habits and reflexes are available).

More rational and potentially effective thoughts and behaviors—assuming that any are possible, which is unlikely if the perpetrator is bigger, stronger, willing to escalate the violence—don’t even arise as options in the brain or mind.

Unlike well-trained soldiers, who learn effective habits from extensive combat training, most people being sexually assaulted have no effective habits for responding, because they’ve had no good self-defense trainingspecifically for resisting sexual assault, especially by someone they know. With brains that have no effective habit behaviors to automatically call up and choose from, it’s no wonder they do nothing.

Later, others may ask or think, “Why didn’t you _______?” The answer: Because it never even occurred to them. Again, in response to that “why didn’t you” question, sexual assault survivors commonly say, “I froze. All I could think was…,” and complete that sentence with a simple thought or two about potential behaviors that were not even good options.

(Sometimes in no-good-choices freezing, the parasympathetic braking influence on the heart is outgunned by the sympathetic nerve and a late-arriving surge of adrenaline. People say things like, “my heart was pounding out of my chest!” or “I was in a total panic!” But even then, even if the parasympathetic brake came off, in no-good-choices freezing those cued-up extreme behavior options were still inhibited from release. The body was still “frozen.”)

For these biological reasons, we should never expect people to behave rationally and strategically in such states. We shouldn’t be surprised if they froze because they were stuck on simple thoughts about extreme behaviors that were either wildly over-reactive or totally passive.

Freezing Responses: Keys to Understanding Many Incidents of Sexual Assault and Harassment

Freezing happens in many sexual assaults and incidents of severe harassment.

In all three freeze responses, the brain’s defense circuitry orchestrates massive shifts in brain functioning that have huge effects on experience and behavior. Later, attempting to understand and explain what happened, survivors say things like, “I froze,” “I was in shock,” and “All I could think was…”

In detection freezing, all movement and thinking suddenly stop. In shocked freezing, there’s a blank mind and no behaviors to choose from. In no-good-choices freezing, the brain has cued up only extreme behavior options and there’s little or no prefrontal cortex capacity for rationally choosing among them or coming up with potentially more effective ones.

Sure, some people immediately fight or flee when sexually assaulted or otherwise attacked. But many don’t.

Many victims are suspended for critical seconds in frozen shock, with no thoughts at all—but plenty of terrible sensations bombarding them. Others are stuck with simple thoughts and useless “choices” of extreme behaviors—as the parasympathetic brake stays on, no decision is made, and no action is taken. In many cases, only after one or more of these freeze responses does fight or flight happen, if either happens at all.

Like the brain of every survivor, every incident of sexual assault or severe harassment is unique, and people’s responses can unfold in unique and complex ways. In the aftermath, it can be hard to figure out what happened, especially when memories are incomplete due to the effects of stress, trauma, alcohol or other drugs.

Confronted with that complexity, understanding the three different freeze responses can be very helpful—whether we’re supporting some who’s been sexually assaulted or harassed, trying to make sense of our own experiences, or investigating or prosecuting such violations of others.

While it may take some time and effort to absorb and apply this knowledge, including through study, training, and practice, it’s definitely worth it. This knowledge can help all of us to listen with less confusion and more understanding, with less judgement and more empathy. And those are keys to supporting survivors, conducting effective and fair investigations, and holding perpetrators accountable.



Amir A., Lee S. C., Headley D. B., Herzallah M. M., & Pare, D. (2015). Amygdala signaling during foraging in a hazardous environmentThe Journal of Neuroscience, 35, 12994-13005.

Arnsten, A. F. T. (2015). Stress weakens prefrontal networks: Molecular insults to higher cognitionNature Neuroscience, 18, 1376-1385.

Aston-Jones, G., Rajkowski, J., & Cohen, J. (1999). Role of locus coeruleus in attention and behavioral flexibilityBiological Psychiatry, 46, 1309-1320.

22 – The Explosion

Sunday, this is the day when I had nothing more to lose. I already lost my soul, my friends, my purpose in life and my interest in life. I already told my husband who was the hardest obstacle for me to fire back. Now that he is informed, I have nothing more to fear. So at the evening, after returning from that restaurant with my friends. The decision was made. Now, I fire back.

I tried to call his wife again, but she did not answer. So, I found an online website which anyone can send anonymous messages. So, I created an account, and texted her what he did. I told her that her husband raped me in his clinic one week ago. I told her that I tried to call her to warn her. But she never picked up the phone. I told her that her brother and dad will be as well informed, so that they cover her back. She needs to know who her husband is, so that she takes full precautions.

After that, I felt extremely sad for the amount of pain that she will go through. She has just given birth to a 1 month old baby, and now comes this. It must be extremely painful for her. But there was no other way. The rapist did his crime, and left many victims behind. I am not the only victim, his wife, daughter, and whole family are also victims for that crime.

Then, I opened my fake Facebook account, and started to text the family members that I have found. I texted his mother and his sister. I told them that their son and brother is an asshole, that he raped me in his clinic, and he betrayed his wife with such an act. Then, I opened the account of his brother-in-law and father-in-law. I told them what happened. I warned them that this guy is unsafe for their daughter to live with. I informed them that he betrayed her by raping another married woman in his workplace – the clinic-. I told them I can call them and tell the whole story if they want. I texted everyone I found since I had no phone number except for his wife, who did not answer me.

Later that evening, I found that her brother left me a phone number…. His phone number! I was terrified. I told him I will call him, but the next day since my daughter is beside me. So, I promised him to call, and I felt calmer that tomorrow is my big day.

Next day in the morning, I opened my old whatsapp number, and I found a text message from him, the rapist. “Hello hello”. I found it very provoking. Why would he tell me a hello! Then, next message was: “Please let us talk”. I found it a funny message. It showed nothing but an irresponsible asshole texting an exploding bomb. So, I decided to ignore him. Then, I turned off my caller ID, so that it is not shown when I call the brother. Then, I received another message from the rapist: “I have cameras in my clinic, let us talk. I am not that bad guy!”. Then, he pulled the trigger. I was very angry and burning of hatred. I wanted to kill him with my bare hands. But I decided that I will fire back. So, I called the brother, and waited for him to answer…

21 – My Husband.. Me Paralyzed

This is the day when I should tell my husband. I felt literally paralyzed. I could not think or talk or eat. Everything seemed senseless. Nothing had a meaning. I watched my child playing, wondering if she would ever face the same. I was even thinking that no matter what I do, it is impossible to fully protect that innocent child, neither now nor later. What is meant to be, will be…

I have then gathered my strength, and told my husband that we need to talk. I knew that he will need to pass through the same three phases of the shock. He will be in denial, then he will doubt me, and then he will get angry and rage for me. I will wait for all three stages, and guide him if I can. But first of all, I need to gather my own strength to tell him the whole story. He is the only who can calm me down, and help me heal. I have no other choice, but to tell him. Despite what my mum and friends told me that I should not tell him. I made a choice to face him with the ugly hard truth. There is no way to get his help and support to heal, unless I tell him. So, I finally made up my mind, and asked him that we talk…

We went to our room as our kid slept, and I started to cry. He was wondering what happened. He kept asking me questions: “Are my parents okay”, I nodded yes. “Is our child okay”, I nodded yes. “Are you okay”, I declined. “Did anyone harm you”, then I nodded and burst in tears. He hugged me so strongly. He kept murmuring how much he hates me traveling to my home town. He kept telling it is okay now, I am okay. “What happened..?”, but I could not say anything. I stayed silently sobbing.

“Did anyone steal something from you”, I said no. “Did anyone harass you”, I nodded. “Was it bad”, I nodded. “Did anyone beat you”, I was unsure what to answer, so I nodded and declined at the same time. “Did someone rape you”, I screamed in tears. I could not say anything, but I cried my soul out. I felt that I am full of shame and guilt. I felt that I deserve death. I felt terrified of the whole world including myself. I was so weak, helpless and broken. That I did not know what else I might do or how. But I only knew that my whole life was paralyzed. Time stopped at that moment of the rape, and nothing else happened after it. I was still in that after-bomb effect. I was paralyzed, hardly moving through the day.

He was worried so much about me, this is when he started to try to ask more questions. “Did it happen in the street”, I declined. “When did it happen”, I answered that it was on my way to meet my friends. “Was it a stranger”, I declined and further sobbed. “Was it someone we know”, I nodded replying the rapist name. This is when he also froze…

He hugged me, patted on my back, and tried to calm me down. But I was wreckage. Everything was already broken. I looked broken, and of course, he felt a deep wound being stabbed to his heart. Seeing me that way, helpless, and wounded must have been a very hard scar for him as well. He tried to clarify for more details, about when, how and why. I told him what I could tell at that moment. But it definitely wouldn’t answer all his questions. It was a hard day for us all. I stayed staring at the ceiling that day. I said nothing that day. Later on, we had plans to go to pray together. So, we went, and I cried a lot to God. I spend hours praying and crying. He could see my fear of all humans. He stayed beside me, trying to calm down my fears. Since at that point of time, he was the only army I had.

After our prayers, he asked me if I like to eat in our favorite restaurant with some friends. I was terrified: “WHO”. He told me our close friends, including that girl who dreamed about me in trouble two days after the rape. So, I nodded that we can meet them. I chatted with her not to comment on how I look like, because I look terrible. Nevertheless, I gathered my strength and went.. with him.. He was my only army, and I hid behind him the whole time…

20 – The Flight

Saturday.. My big day.. of Escape…

Today is my flight. Saturday. Going back to my husband when I know that the world will definitely end. I am escaping my home town and all its horrifying memories. I am escaping half-men who doom every girl being a victim of their ugly beliefs. I am escaping my past and present, where no more good memories left.. where no meaningful connections left.. where no justice exists.. where my once-so-called home became my nightmare.

I packed in the early morning, and my parents drove me to the airport. I hugged them goodbye without tears. I was so numb to feel that I am leaving them. I was focused on the escape, more than the goodbye. So, I finished my papers at the airport, and seated myself heavily on the front row at the gate. This is when my tears flooded non-stop. I was terrified of the moment I have to meet my husband…. What shall I tell him!

This is when a passenger sitting beside gave me a tissue to wipe my tears. That was nice of him, and I tried to hold my tears a little. But it did not work. After a while, they called our flight, and I took my place in the plane. Things went almost fine. I was distracted by the action around. Until I glimpsed the screen of the front passenger… It was a old movie having a woman fighting some guy who tried to kiss her. I FROZE. My tears flowed again non-stop. I avoided looking to that screen. I was even about to throw up, but I fought that feeling so hard. I leaned back, closed my eyes and drowned in the music I chose to run on my screen. It was impossible to watch anything. All what I needed at that moment was the strength to face what was about to come…

The flight arrived, and I picked up my bag. Then, it was time to walk for my husband. I walked heavily to him. He was terrified to see me. He asked if I am sick. But I gathered my strength to say no. I hugged him as much as I could. I shivered between his arms, and we drove together home.

For the first time since ages, I kept myself busy emptying my bag, doing the laundry, showering and cleaning parts of the house. He was surprised that I had still some energy to do anything home. Then, I crawled on the couch beside him, and I slept. I slept like I never slept days before. He took me to bed, and hugged me to continue sleeping. Then, I thought it would be okay to wait one more day. I do not need to blow the bomb before we sleep. May be we can sleep, and tomorrow would be a new day, with a new chapter in our lives… This is when I slept, and again, my nightmares came to me…

19 – Last Friday

This is when I cried my soul out. I felt defeated and terrified. I felt I was fighting the whole world. My Mum was against telling my husband. My female best friends told me to not tell my husband at all. My dad was feeling I was not okay but he was clueless why. My coach was in so much denial. I was unable to meet his wife in person. I felt badly defeated by the whole world.

I was even worried about my next day when I should meet my husband. Nothing was easy. Fears and loss feelings were filling my soul and body. I was terrified and eager to leave this place. Meanwhile, my fears about me being pregnant were enormous. I spent this Friday with my parents during the day and my friends in the evening. I cried when they hugged me goodbye. But I was helpless and weak in front of those mountains of pain.

Friday was a day when I wished that tomorrow never came.. and yesterday was never true. It was another day passing before the real phase of pain started. It did hurt a lot.. full of shame, unexplained guilt and defeat.. I was wishing to hide between someone’s arms.. But even that was not possible. I was dreaming to cry between my husband’s arms.. but even that was not guaranteed..

18 – Another Day

Thursday.. two more days before I return back…

I started a reverse counter for the day that I meet my husband. Fears grew vigorously. I woke up at my in-laws that day in the morning. I had breakfast with them, and tried to distract my thoughts by talking about the concert. But I could not. I left the breakfast table and hid in the bathroom and cried.. A lot.

Then, I gathered my strength to pack my stuff and prepared to leave. On my way back, I have discovered a way to call anonymously from my own number. So, I tried multiple times to call his wife from my different phone numbers, but I could not manage to reach her. Perhaps that 1 month old baby is preventing her from getting any calls. Still, I did not have any of her family’s phone numbers neither did I have his family’s. It was very disappointing.

I wished that day to meet his wife in person. She needed to know the truth… personally. I drove back helpless and arrived back at my parents where I continued staring at the ceiling.

In the evening, I met a friend of mine and we talked.. a lot. She is my third best friend there in my home town. She witnessed my first cry on Monday at the pizza store. I gave her a hint what is destroying me, but I never mentioned it literally that I was raped.. to the end. However I trust her, I was worried to tell her full story. It would be a burden that she cannot handle.

Thursday was a normal boring day, when I had plans to beat him through his wife.. and I failed. It was a day when I cried only in the car and on bed.. when I cried only few hours.. when I was terrified to return back to my husband.. which was going to happen in 2 days anyway..

God give me the strength…

17 – The Pantie

I will skip going through the flow of the story for one chapter. This chapter is about today: the present. Another memory, which happened today…

I have opened my closet in the morning, picked a new underwear in the dark. Then, I went to shower, like I do every single morning. It was that white pantie.. from the assault. This is when I froze. It was my once-upon-a-time-favorite white pantie from that day…

I have never tried to search for the torn part ever since the rape. I heard it, but never searched for it. But today in the morning I did. I locked myself up in the bathroom, and I turned on the light. Then, I sat on the floor and tried to search for that torn part. It must be a few missing stitches, I have heard something around 5-6 stitches being torn during that fight on his couch (Link: The Fight). My breath was getting louder and louder. My vision was slowly getting blurred. My heart was pounding strongly that it almost broke my chest willing to escape that moment. I took a closer look where it could be. Then, I found it. Down there, it was a clear small cut. It was a small tear in fabric, but a deep wound in my soul. It took me back to that assault with all its painful memories and struggles.

I lied down on the ground for a while, gathering my strength to go out again and grab another one. I thought it might even be an evidence. But I do not need to prove myself to anyone again. It is already too painful. I threw it in the trash, never to remember or see it again. I let go of another source of pain, which was lying in my closet and my subconscious memory. I let go of it, and dumped it in the trash. It witnessed too much negative emotions, and it deserves another life out of my perimeter…

16 – Him.. The Rapist

This is one of the hard stories to tell.. Who he is, how he was, and how he left me behind…

He was a friend of mine more than a decade ago. I have known him since I was a teenager, he is 4 years older than me, so he was the only of the team who had a drivers license and a car! Our coach counted on him to drive us – the younger ones – around when needed because of competitions, and for other training. At that time, he was someone reliable, and trustworthy…

Then, I started my studies. He was an acquaintance, but a trusted one.. He had a sister, that he used to tell a lot about. It always made me feel that he is strongly attached to her. He was also very caring for everyone in the team, which gave me the impression that he is quite reliable. Then, after few years of training came my marriage. This is when I stopped training for a while. Then, I became pregnant, and had my baby. By then, the whole team came to visit me at home.. And he was one of them…

So heavily I write down what comes to my mind. But it is a weight which I cannot carry anymore. He is someone who proved that people massively change along years. That people turn to different versions of themselves, and in some cases, they transform to animals. It is a heavy memory, but I should get it out. I am unable to keep it anymore inside alone…

After that visit a decade ago, I never got the chance to see him again. I was never keen to, so, I did not try to! Until that day when my coach told me that he had a new baby, who is one month old. Then, I was excited to see his baby girl. It must be an important event for him. That is when the coach offered that we all meet, to congratulate him for his newborn, and a good chance for me to catch up with old team members. This is when we decided to meet that bloody Sunday at our usual meeting point.

That day, I got his number for the first time, and we agreed on the time to meet. Nothing sounded weird. He talked in his normal tone, and his normal words. I had no doubts, which is one of the worst things I hate about that day…

Ironically, after that weird chat of him the next day, he fully disappeared. He did not try to call, or apologize. He did not try to reach me or text me. He proved each day after the other, that he is the asshole. He destroyed my theories about humans and what they can do. He damaged my understanding about humanity. He also killed my belief about any good long-lasting friendship. Humans can change.. and mostly to the worst. Humans are a curse, having the choice is a doom and being one of those humans is a terrifying fact about who I can become.

Ever since that rape, I could not identify who to trust anymore. My heart was pounding of fear every time I saw a man. I was terrified to meet any girl, so that she would not see the deep scar inside of me. It was too deep that I could not even dare to look to it myself. I cut off all my connections the few days after the rape. I could not talk to anyone I barely knew. I was scared to answer any phone, or walk in any street. I looked broken, my eyes were swollen the whole time and my face was pale. Anyone who saw me thought that I had cancer, but actually, I was emotionally in pain which affected my whole body.

I wished sometimes to see him, to beat him to death. Some other times, I wished to never see him, not to freeze again. Regardless what I wished for, there is one concrete fact: I hate him. He deserves to receive an ugly death for what he did. He deserves to be punished by a long life of suffer and misery. He ruined my life, and my soul. My life, and my soul before the rape are never going to be the same again after it. Every thing has changed, and definitely he deserves to suffer after what he made me go through.

I did not dare to call him again after that attempt Monday night. Remembering him, or seeing any of his pictures brings so many mixed feelings of fear, doubt, anger and hatred. He unleashes a storm within my soul, which broke me down to pieces along days. But here I am, after almost one month. Here I am able to speak about it. I am writing about what I have seen, on a blog, to the world. I am writing that I have faced him, and fought him. I am writing to heal, and to let go. May be I will be able one day to get over him.. and may be not…

Whatever happened along time, one thing will never change… That the rapist is a beast living among us humans. He deserves a long period of hard-times, misery, shame and pain. This is what Karma will do to him. What you give, is what you take, this is life! Moreover, he will always be someone who strikes my soul with all negative feelings, which I will learn to use to beat those who step on my way… I hope to have that strength to face all that, and get over it.

15 – The Musical

Wednesday, the third day..

Somehow time stopped. I do not feel it, or notice it anymore. I cannot recall the exact dates, but I do know the flow of incidents by heart. I know what happened, but never when. It felt like a bomb exploding.. A Strong one.. Usually after such explosions, one stays a few minutes or hours deaf. One cannot hear anything but the sound of a distant whistle. One cannot see anything around but dust. This is how I felt the first week after the assault. Time does not make any difference anymore. I was hearing that constant whistle in the background. However, my whistle was the constant painful striking flashbacks…

I opened my eyes Wednesday morning on a message from my friend, the other side of the world. She texted me asking me if I were okay. I was wondering what reminded her of me. It has been a couple of weeks since we talked. But she picked a strange timing to ask such a question. Then, I replied back asking “Why”. She told me that she dreamed of me, running. She saw both of us scared, and running away of something.. Something scary. She knew that it was true, and she was making sure I am fine. I told her I am nothing close to be fine, and asked her to pray for me. Then, I surrendered to tears.

That day I promised my in-laws to stay with them. So, I got up, could not eat anything. I still puked while washing my teeth, then I packed and drove again to them. I was determined to stay distant from my family. My mum knows now, but still, it does not feel comfortable staying around them. So, I escaped..

I arrived there at my in-laws, and stayed on the couch staring at the ceiling. Nothing seemed reasonable anymore. My mother-in-law asked me if I am okay, I told her “Yes of course, just I had many sleepless nights”. She asked me what I prefer for lunch, then I asked for any salad. I told her I cannot eat, and my stomach hurts that nothing stays. Salad would be a good option to save my deteriorating health. I believe I looked pale and weak that I made her worried…

Staying there whole day made me feel lonely and defeated way more than I expected. I temded to distant everyone I knew away. So as mmy in-laws were pushed out. I was physically there but emotionally absent. Staring at the ceiling or hearing their stories imcreased that painful void and loneliness. I drowned into voidness until I could hear nothing or see anything. I had to go to the bathroom to cry myself out. I needed to feel that I am still there, and crying was my escape.

After lunch, it was planned that I go to a musical with my friends. So, I gathered my strength, and went by a taxi. I thought it would be a good chance to escape the world. So, I went, took my place, which turned out to be a very good spot. I listened to the music running in the background until my friends arrived. I was glad that I do not need to spend time alone again. Until the lights turned out.. and the singer started to sing… Loneliness crawled back to my heart steadily.

I drowned in his music, his sweet deep voice, and the sad touching lyrics.. I cried.. My tears flowed non-stop the whole concert. I could not control them, but I did not sob. I just sang with him, and cried my soul out. The concert was beautiful, but I was exhausted. I was extremely tired and burned out. Every sad word hit me hard. I hated myself, my life and my timeline. I hated those I knew. I loathed the whole world, that such criminals exist among us and we usually never know unless it is too late. I feared telling my husband or facing people anymore. I was even more worried because my vacation was ending, I will have to face my husband few days later. This was a giant beast of horror building up. I felt unexplained guilt and shame, which felt like a huge mountain building over my shoulders.

The musical ended, and my friends drove home. I chose to walk to my in-laws. I walked beside the water for long enough until I started to feel my legs again. I was walking like a zombie in a dark night. The streets were full of people, but I could not see any. It was already late, but I could not comprehend the time. I was exhausted since I spent 3 days without food, but anger and fear were my engines. I lived on them. I wished to call my male best friend. I texted him to answer his phone, but he could not, he was with his friends. So, I texted him a… a lot. Until my tears stopped flowing. They were long continuous 4 hours of tears.

My tears dried out but did not stop. I was already injured deep down inside. My soul was scattered all over the place, that there was no return back. I knew from that moment on, that there is no return point. It is endless pain that is increasing every single day…

14 – My Coach

He is like my older brother or my younger father. He saw me that day after the rape incident. We sat altogether and talked. I was in so much denial that day, that I acted as my normal me. I was just quieter than normal. But it would be very hard for him to realize it…

I gathered my strength on Monday evening around 11:00 pm (after 24 hours) and texted him wondering if he was awake. But he did not reply. He was definitely sleeping.

He called me back Tuesday morning while I was driving to my in-laws. I asked him that I need so much help, I need advice what to do, and how to do it! He asked me if I could talk, but my voice was already trembling. It got so weak, so I asked him that I would call him later that day, around 6 pm. I did not want to damage his day at work, and I did not want to start crying before seeing my in-laws. If I started crying, I would not stop. I knew it. Also, I wanted to gather my thoughts what to tell him, and how. But I was so determined to tell him. I was still clueless, and I was terrified that I might be pregnant. My parents were still unaware, so as the rapist wife…

So, the day passed with my in-laws, then I visited my mum who gave me the pills. Then, I left her and drove to my friend there. On my way, he called me back. I was feeling strong at that moment. I felt partially safe after taking those pills. Then, I was determined to tell him that that other guy is an asshole. He deserves to know who people grew up to be.

So, I picked up the phone, and I told him that now I feel a little bit stronger, I am fine. I have figured a way out and that I have talked with my mum and agreed on what to do (which was another lie)…

I told him that he however deserved to know who that person was. I told him that he is an asshole. He asked me whether he did something to me that day in the car, but because I was not able to tell anything, I told him: “Yes, that day he harmed me”. He stayed silent for a few seconds, then he said that I should be more careful regardless how much I trusted people. I should be glad that it did not take get worse (Well Captain, it actually DID). I should be grateful that it ended, and that I am safe. I really hoped to believe him, but he was all wrong. I was not safe, and he did harm me.. to the end.

I warned him from trusting that asshole again, he was planning to take his children to his clinic. But I warned him. He is unfaithful to his wife. He betrayed our friendship and he abused me. So, I did one step further by telling my coach. I made one more step in this long planned revenge chain.

I felt relieved that I told him. I felt empowered that I could tell. That was another hard obstacle achieved that day. First my mum, second my coach were informed.

I wished to believe that I was safe… but it was not yet possible.

13 – My Feelings.. The Victim

I have been talking about everyone in the past chapters. But I never mentioned how I felt or how I dealt with my feelings…

Actually, it is very hard to describe or shape my feelings at that time. I was experiencing constant changes in my thoughts, feelings and plans.

At one hour, I would feel strong and ready to beat the whole world. I would be ready to call his wife, meet her in person, call my parents, the police and everyone. I would feel extreme strength, that I hoped it would take away my pain. But it did not last long enough…

At the next moment, I would feel broken, vulnerable and my tears run like a flooding river. I would feel so weak, so sad, so depressed. I would be full of fear and horror. I would be worried what others would think of me. Then, I remember my husband, and my fears are multiplied many hundreds of times. I would think of how it could get worse, how God would be angry of me. This is when my willpower vanishes. This is when my whole soul felt like crushed on a muddy filthy soil. It would leave me cry for hours, not knowing where to go, or what to do…

One other moment, I would seek acceptance. I needed to believe that I am still alive, and accepted despite what happened. These were the moments when I talked to my best friends. They were my strength and backbone. There were long moments of shame and guilt. I was ashamed of my present, my past, my body and my timeline. I was ashamed of what happened. I felt guilty for trusting that asshole. This is when I searched urgently for acceptance within my close circle of friends. This is when I got more isolated. I feared talking to anyone I did not know, and I feared talking to any acquaintance that I coincidentally knew.

At that point of time… My main feeling was pain, fear, and vulnerability. I was too sad to think, too shocked to act, too hurt to move and too scared to get out in the light.

12 – My Mum

This was the second day after the assault.. Tuesday.. I decided to drive, it was unsafe to not drive anymore. I arrived at my in-laws, and I felt relieved. I will not be revealed, that’s what I thought. I can hide, and try to be myself for a couple of hours. I lied on the couch most of the day. Until we had lunch together, but I could not finish my plate. In fact, I almost threw up.

My ex called me during lunch, that is when he let me down. This is when I blocked him, and I could not finish my plate afterwards. I felt terrified afterwards. I remembered that I was ovulating. If one sperm managed to escape, I would definitely be pregnant. I was terrified.

I called my best friend again, he has been my guide in the past few days. So, he told me I should call my mum. She knows better! She must have seen such cases before. She is the most relevant trusted doctor I could talk to. But I was terrified. I did not want to tell her anything.. yet.

I contemplated further that he did not use a condom, he did not ejaculate, but he had that fluid in the beginning. It could have few sperms! I cannot take the risk. So, I decided to go to a random gynecologist near by my in-laws. I needed anyone to write me a flushing pill which prevents the risk of unprotected sex within 72 hours. I found online some medical articles explaining the names and doses of such medicines. I wanted to take any, only if my follicle was released, only if I was really truly ovulating. So, I wanted to receive an ultrasound to check the status of my ovulation, then

So, I booked an appointment after 1 hour, and went. I took a cab to the hospital where the clinic should be located. But when I saw the building from outside, I felt it was extremely dirty. I would never allow anyone inside to touch me. I felt lost more than the beginning. I called then my best friend again, telling him I fear going to an anonymous doctor who might even harm me more. I am terrified…

So, he told me that I should really go to see my mum. She is actually my doctor! I should gather my strength, talk to her, and she will help me like no one else. So, I listened to him, I called her, asking her to meet me at the clinic. I went back to my in-laws, told them I need to see my mum, and I will come to sleep over the next day.

I drove for my mum. She thought I have some shooting pain in my stomach. Well, it was another type of pain. Pain that is not seen, not felt and not measured. I went to her, and my friend kept pulling me together to have the strength to talk to her. I went upstairs waited in front of her door. When she came, my heart skipped a heart beat.

She went to her room, asked me where do I have the pain. I said it is not normal pain, but someone harmed me. Someone we both know… Then silence spread among us. She was full of panic, and horror. I told her that I was raped, and I was ovulating. I told her he did not ejaculate. But I really want to be safe. She was in complete denial, she checked me up. Then, she went with me to the pharmacy, and got me medicines.

Then, she told me to forget about this whole thing, and enjoy my time. I am there for vacation, so I should live a vacation. Her reaction was a typical pragmatic solution with full denial to the size of the incident. She could not relate to my pain, my fear or my worries. She helped me with pills. But she could not emotionally help me.

So, I left, and drove to meet my best friend again. She promised to spend time with me after her work. Since I drove, I went to her, and we spent the rest of the evening together running errands, and talking.

11 – My Ex

I woke up next day, planning to visit my in-laws. So, I got up, got prepared, packed to sleep over and left. It was a good chance to stay away of my parents a little bit.

On the way, I agreed with my best friend that I would call my coach to get real help. So I did call him, but he was busy then he called me back when I was not alone. So, I asked him to ping me after 6 pm. By then, I should be alone and able to talk.

Meanwhile, I decided to text my ex asking him to give me the rapist brother-in-law number. He asked many times why, then I told him because someone raped me. I need this guy’s number, he is his wife’s brother. My ex promised me to provide me the number that day later.

He asked me to call, so he called me and he talked to me shortly for 10 minutes. He was shocked that such a person existed in this life. But he calmed me down, and he promised to help me with what he could. I did not want to sound nagging, but I had to get that phone number. I waited until night, and reminded him again.

He apologized, and promised to provide it the next day. However, he did not. I texted him later to provide the number, but he procrastinated.. a lot. So, I gave him 2 chances, and he failed me. So, I blocked him, forever.

He had an easy choice to help me. But he chose to runaway. I was not going to bring his name in anything. But he chose to escape, like before. Cowards remain cowards, no matter what.

So, my anger rose, I blocked him from all social media, deleted his contacts, and blocked him forever. One more criminal is down. However, I stayed determined, I will GET my revenge.

10 – The Stalker

It was still the first day after the rape incident… After talking to my best friend, I considered option calling his wife. So, I started to stalk him, I searched on his Facebook account, who he really is. Who are his friends, family and links. I found some matching photos for his wife. I found some links, that made me know who she was…

Then I tried to search for common friends who can provide me phone numbers. I found some! Then, I managed to have her phone numbers. Afterwards, I looked up her parents, her brother and his wife. They were all anonymous for me. However, I managed to get their accounts, names, jobs, companies, and relationship. Meanwhile, her brother, he was the closest connection, he knew my ex! That was scary!

I found also his mum’s account, his dad’s and his sister.

I was ready to fire back. I was ready to call them, or text them. So, I disabled my account on Facebook. I took all precautions. Then, I went to visit that doctor with my parents, and was waiting for the minute to be free, to fire back.

Meanwhile, I asked my girl best friend to bring a fake phone number. She told me she had that one from work. So, she will have it with her, recharged. Then, I finally met her and we went together to the spa. Then, once we finished, on our way to get the pizza. I dialed first number..

The wife’s number.. Then my friend told to me think again. She might act weird. She might tell the world, or figure out who I am. I was terrified. She had a 1 month old baby, she must be having another messy storm of hormones blowing her life. I felt sorry for her, and myself. But I felt the need to warn her, who her husband truly is.

So, I listened to my friend, I hung up before she answer. Then, I dialed him, the rapist. I wanted to insult him, to scream to him and to shout out very loud. So, I called him. But he did not answer. I tried again, and once again, not a single answer. So, I dialed the wife. But she also did not answer. So, I missed reaching them that day. But I was determined to ruin his life like he ruined mine.

This was the end of a day, when I started to realize what happened to me. When I started to understand what is about to come. When I did not know anything except that I am in so much pain, horror and emptiness.

I went back home to my parents, lied on bed, and cried myself to sleep. I cried until no more tears could come out. I cried the hell out of me. I was in incomprehensible pain. It was invisible, hard and abusive pain. It hit every part of my soul. It left me unwilling to move. I was terrified.

My male best friend kept telling me that I am safe.. But actually I was not. I was fully surrounded with threats. Only then, I realized that I might even be pregnant. He did not ejaculate, but still, he penetrated me. He had that foreplay fluids, which MIGHT HAVE SEMEN. My fears tripled a hundred times, and I cried until I slept…


9 – First Chat.. With him

I returned home shortly before midnight.. feeling lost. I changed, stayed at bed. Then I texted him: “Are you awake? Please say yes”. But no reply came back… I laid down in bed for so long. I also set my phone to silent. I did not want to hear anyone or anything. This is when the void started to crawl into my soul.

I woke up at couple of hours later, it was around 2:30 am. Then, I found that he actually replied that he is awake. I was sure by then that he was sleeping, but I just went on writing.  “I want to return back, I do not want to stay here. I do not want to see anyone. I do not want to tell anything, but I am scared and angry”. Then I left my phone, he was definitely sleeping.

He finally woke up at around 7:30 in the morning. I trust him so much, so I just poured out words. I told him that I think that I was raped the night before, I do not understand it, and I cannot comprehend it. I also told him that I do not want to tell anyone. He asked me to explain more, what actually happened…

Then, I started from the beginning of the story, as I mentioned it here (1 – The Start), but with fewer details. I was not sure how he will take it. I was not sure how to explain it. But I just decided to tell what comes to my mind. Still, I lied to him about the first part – like I did with my girl best friend -. I told him that I went to the bathroom, when he locked the door. I could not explain how I was just standing in the middle of the hall, grabbing my bag, and watching him tell the carpenter good bye. How I could be that naive. But this is what happened, at that particular moment.

He listened to me, carefully. He kept telling me “Go on, you are safe now”. I wished to believe him. But I could not feel safe at all. I felt terrified, of the whole world. I felt scared of my husband, my parents, myself, him as my friend, and my circle of friends. I felt threatened, violated, vulnerable and terrified. He listened to me until I poured out all flashbacks that came to my mind…

Eventually, he told me that ideally I should report it to police. But he knew that police would not do anything useful, especially that I am not staying there. Moreover, telling the police implies that I inform my parents, and family. Which – so far – I was terrified to tell.

At the end of a very long talk, he told me that I should inform his wife. The best revenge he might get, is to have his wife knowing what he did to me. Perhaps there were others. This might protect other girls in the future. But I was terrified…

8 – First Chat.. With the Rapist

He woke up finally.. It was noon. He read my message that I said “No is a No”.

– Rapist: “Hello, how did you wake up that early?”
– Me: “I did not even sleep, I am very angry from yesterday.”
– Rapist: “Oh, let us have lunch today together.”
– Me: “Of course not. I said no the whole time. No Sex.”
– Rapist: “It is okay, no more, I promise. So, when do you have time today?”
– Me: “I translate what happened as rape.. Imagine.”
– Rapist: “Your translation is weak then.”
– Rapist: “On my way home, the car stopped. It was a bad night for me as well.”
– Me: “Aha, good.”
– Rapist: “So, I have to see you, otherwise, I will shoot you. Lunch today?”
– Me: “Forced sex is rape. I said no the whole time”.
– Rapist: “We still have lunch together.”
– Me: “If I calm down. Otherwise, you are in trouble.”

That was the end of a hectic chat with an delusional rapist.

7 – First Chat.. With her

I opened my phone, texted her: “Are you awake?”. She is usually an early bird. I texted her that I feel bad. She asked me what happened.

I was thinking what kind of a story to tell her. What exactly should I tell?! It is very hard to explain, and even harder to believe. I have never told her about sexual story before. Would it be too much for her to know? Would it affect our friendship? Would she even understand?

A lot of questions went through my mind. But I have finally made up my mind. I would write some vague headlines. “I am shocked, something happened yesterday”. She asked me what happened.

I told her that he locked me in his clinic after the carpenter went out. I made up a little story that I went to the toilet first. I told her that he came to hug me, so I hugged back. I told her that he kissed me, and did not stop. I did not tell any other details. But I told her that we stayed half an hour until this was all over. I told her I could not keep it inside, or handle this fact. I mentioned that he pushed me to the wall, and that I lost power. I even told her that I went afterwards with him to our meeting point and met our coach.

She was shocked, and angry. She said that she would have killed him many times, and he is an animal. She told me to go meet her in a cafe right then. But I asked her not to. It was planned that I go out with my parents. But I stayed on that chair for the whole morning… not seeing anyone, not talking to anyone, and very angry.

She also told me to report him, since this is a sexual assault. I said I could not. I was not staying in that place anyway. Moreover, I have no real network in the police. She told me he might think I was fine with all what happened, due to my reaction afterwards. But it was all wrong. She told me to text him back that I am not fine, that I am shocked, that he exceeded his limits, and that he was wrong.

I took her advice to text him, and asked her that we meet after my Doctor. She suggested that we go together to a Spa to relax. I told her it would be the best solution. I need to stay out of my parents house for a while. So, this was the plan.

That day, I went with my parents out to buy a bikini, I forgot to take mine with me. So, we bought one, and went to my doctor. Afterwards, I met her finally, in front of her work, I went into her car, and could not hug her, despite needing it the most. I was looking forward to hug her, and cry. But I could not. Then we went together to that spa.

I took off my shirt, and put on my bikini. It showed long red lines along my arms. Also, some blue spots were on my chest. She patted on my arm slowly, and then we went to steam sauna, we could not see anything, I stayed silent. But she just sat right there beside me. It felt safe… for the first time since the assault.

We stayed there for around an hour. We showered, and we were starving. I considered to to get something to eat. So, we went to a pizza store near that spa. When I borrowed her phone to call the rapist’s wife. I dialed, but no one replied. I tried calling him, but also no one replied. I wanted to tell her what her husband did to me. I wanted to go meet her, and explain who she is living with. I also wanted to call him, and insult him for his act, and text afterwards. But he did not pick up.

Then, our pizza arrived, when I called my male best friend. I talked to him for a couple of minutes, he was not having time for me then. I told him that I have another idea, which is to text the rapist that I was fine. I will go meet him for lunch next day, and kick him in his balls with all strength I could, then run. My best friend laughed, which hurt me a lot. He kept giving me other advises, told me how all what I am thinking of did not make any sense. So, I hung up, went back to our pizza table. My girl best friend asked if I am okay, I said NO, and cried. It was the first time to cry after longest 24 hours of my life. This is when I started to understand the damage he left after that rape crime…

6 – First Stage.. Denial

It took me a long time to realize what that was. I woke up, stayed in front of TV, while it was off. I ate nothing. I stayed on that chair for quite a long time. Until it was time for us to get ready to go to my doctor. So, I needed to keep that numb feeling as much as I can. I was not sure what do or how to act.

Usually in such painful situations, the brain delays the comprehension of the shock to the longest possible point of time. Our brains are programmed to protect us. This is what my mind did the first 24 hours. It prevented me from understanding what that was.

That’s why I felt so numb, and so void.

My friend asked me many questions about what happened, and how to translate it. He told me first to tell him what exactly happened. I wrote to him.. a lot. The details. Until, at one point of time, he told me: “You were raped”. Only then, I froze, and I started to cry.

My other friend, she asked me many times in the morning to come to me, and she would stay with me a little bit. But I refused. I thought I do not need it. I thought that is not a big deal, and I would not need it. While honestly, the only thing I needed that day, was a real sincere long hug. Where I can hide, and cry until no more tears would come out.

This is the first stage. Denial…

5 – Denial

We got together into his car, and I was determined to stick to plan. It was too hard for my mind to understand what has just happened.

We went together to the meeting location. I texted our friend, and coach that we are on the way, so that they meet us there. We talked about bullshit in the car. Nothing special. I just kept asking him, “What was that”. “Why”.

His answers were very stupid. He said: “Because I miss you”. I answered: “This is crazy, the last time you saw me, I was not even greeting guys”. He said: “Yeah, so what, I really missed you”. That was the most annoying answer ever. Then he mentioned some ramblings about our friend: “He told me before that he met you, so I was determined to fuck you”. That was one more weird answer. I kept repeating the question, wondering if he fucks/rapes any lady that he missed. His answers were very annoying, and very weak. Nothing explained what he just did.

Then, we went to the meeting point, we talked until the others came. He told me about his marriage, I told him about mine a little bit. Then, our coach arrived, and our friend apologized. They both talked a lot, I stayed silent most of the time. I listened to them both. Then, it was already 11:30 pm, and it was time for us all to leave.

I was hoping that our coach would drive me back home. But he asked the rapist to drive me home. I was so enslaved. I just followed instructions. Nothing mattered anymore. So, I took the car again with him, and he drove me back home to where my parents live. I took the stairways, and crawled to bed.

This night I did not sleep except a couple of hours. I was numb, empty and unable to understand what happened.

In those two hours sleep, I dreamed of the void. I dreamed that I live in a huge black void. There was nothing. Only me watching that huge endless void. I woke up scared. That void was too much more than what I could understand. This is when I got up, and texted back him. That I said “No”. “No is a No”. It was 6:00 am. He was definitely still asleep.

This is the day, when my whole life turned up-side down. My understanding for what humans can do is changed. My definition of pain is changed. This is when the whole universe, mattered no more.

Only then, I reached out to my phone, and texted my girl best friend. I asked her help. I told her someone harassed me the day before. She offered to come over and hug me. But I said no. I still needed to go to a doctor. So, I asked her to not come. I tried to act normal. But I was too numb to be normal.

Then, after a few hours, I reached again for my phone, and texted my male best friend. He was the only escape of that endless void that I was living in.

4 – The Second Wave

After the first wave has ended, I calmed down a little. I cannot identify what feeling I had, but worry and denial were the top two feelings prevailing in my soul. I got up to get dressed, to put on my pantie. But he pulled me to the wall again. I was still half-naked. He got very close, and kissed me. I let him do whatever he likes. I already lost my defending walls. Nothing else mattered that day.

Then, I bent down to collect my clothes, but before I put them on, he pushed me again on the couch, but this time my face was facing forwards. I did not see him, or could defend myself. He stuck my hands below me, and pushed my back very hard. I tried to kick him with my leg, but he stood between them, I could not move out of him.

He pushed my back so firmly, I guess it left some marks. Then, by a miracle, I freed one arm, and tried to push his hands off me. But he grabbed that arm, and locked it behind my back, and he kept pushing. It did hurt me. But I stayed silent. He leaned over me, and asked me: “What do you want, say it”. I said “Nothing”. He asked me three times in a row, “Do you want me to fuck you”. I said “No”. But my voice was already gone, was low, and soft. I was rejecting him, but could not say it out loud.

Then, he said, “Even if I fuck you from behind, it would never go inside, you are too small for me”. Then he fingered me with his fingers instead, from behind, and also in my vagina. I tried to hold my muscles so hard. But I found that nothing helps anymore. He fingered me, and then stepped away.

I lied there for a minute, then when I found him washing his hands, I started to really get up and get dressed. I had to! So, I put on my pantie, my jeans, and my socks. Then he came over to me asking, “You will get dressed every time, stay naked, I do not want to fight you back again”. So, I looked to him with wonder saying: “We have an appointment, we need to leave now!”.

Then, I washed my hands, put on my scarf, and waited at the door to leave. He kissed me one more kiss, and then we left and took the car.. I was in denial..

3 – The Shock.. Frozen

This fight went on four times.. By the fourth time, I pushed him off the couch, he slipped backwards, but I was already terrified.. Many thoughts strolling on my mind.. “What will I tell my husband”.. “What about my best friend”.. “Am I an easy going.. NO!”.. “It will end safely”.. “He must be kidding, he will stop”.. “God.. Will He punish us”.. “MY HUSBAND”.. “It must be a dream, that will soon end”..

By the fourth time, when he slipped off the couch, this is when his strength became unbeatable. He sat over one leg, one hand holding my both hands, strictly forcing them on my chest, meanwhile, my scarf rotated firmly around my neck. Everything was painful, and I started to let go, because I found that nothing is working.

Pushing does not work, begging to stop does not work, holding his penis does not work, lifting my body up does not work.. Nothing did! So, at the fifth round, I let go. I let go the fight. I could not fight further. I was so helpless, suffocating, tired, scared, and losing my powers. I let him penetrate me, because I had no other choice. I wanted this nightmare to end, and the only option remaining was that he penetrates me. May be he would calm down.

He penetrated me, which was so painful. His penis was super huge, and I was holding my muscles so tight. He forced himself on me. He did penetrate me, and after a couple of moves, he went out. I pushed him outside. It was not possible that he continues inside. Then, my memory froze. It is a hard-to-remember memory. But he went out of me finally, and sat beside me. I felt relieved that is it over.

He thanked me! The asshole. Then, I lied down there trying to gain strength back. I took off my scarf, it was tightly rotated around my neck. Then, I knew I will feel a lot of pain afterwards. I thought it will be guilt that will kill me. But I could not understand that it was rape.. yet.

After a couple of minutes, he stood up, then I got up, started to get dressed. I put on my torn pantie, and this is when the second wave started..


2 – The Fight

He started with the hug, then he kissed my cheeks, then my forehead. I thought he was crazy, we never do that. So I hid my face in his shoulders, so he pushed me to the wall. He kept on kissing me, so I focused how to hide my face, and push him away. Then he tweaked my nipples very hard, so my hands went to his, to push them away. He kept on cornering me at the wall, while kissing and grabbing my breasts. I tried to push him away. Next, he unbuttoned my pants. I left my bag on the floor, and told him to stop. I was in denial, I could not comprehend what he was doing…

He unbuttoned my pants, and pushed them down along with my pantie. I bent down to push him away, and lift my pants up. But as I did that, he pushed me to the couch strongly. I fell on my back and he lifted my legs up. I held onto my panties, but it did not work. In a glimpse, he torn a piece of my pantie, took off my pants, and shoes in one move! I was shocked. I started to freeze, but not fully.

I told him; “You are crazy, stop it”, many times. But he just fingered me, his fingers were fully inside me, making me feel weaker, and defeating my powers. I thought he would stop, I did not believe he would not stop. But he did not…

He took off his pants and underwear,  this is when I got up, and was considering to dress up. But he pushed me again.. he pushed me to the couch. I tried to push his body off me, with my hands. But he brought both of my hands together, and with his full body weight lying on them, I was left paralyzed, this is when I started pushing him with my legs…

I lifted my body upwards, where my knees were around his neck, perhaps he would stop. But he did not. He freed my hands, so that he pushes my legs downwards, so I held his penis with my hands to stop him. But it did not work. I kept telling him to stop, because I was ovulating, and I use no pills. He had to stop, but he didn’t…

I pushed him with my leg backwards, but every single time I pushed him, he became stronger… Much stronger…


1 – The Start

I was there in my home town, visiting my parents for 1 week. I usually go and meet my old friends. That day, we agreed to meet. Not just the two of us, but the four of us. It was our coach, my friend, myself, and the criminal.

The plan was that the four of us should meet at 9 pm over there, at our usual meeting point. I had time starting 8 pm, so he asked me that we can meet earlier at the same location. I also do not drive anymore in my town. So, the criminal called me at around 7:30 pm, asking me to pass by his clinic. This is where he is stuck with a carpenter, and he will drive me to the meeting point afterwards.

I felt it was a strange request, but I did not mind. He was my friend after all! Since my main target was to stay with my so-called friends. I went to his clinic, where I found the carpenter. I went through the door and waited for him to finish. Then, he left. I picked up my bag, preparing to leave. This is when my so-called friend approached me, he straightened his arms to hug me, I hug him back. This is when he lost control, and it got ugly…

What is Rape?

Rape is the act of forcing someone to have sex with him/her. Rape does not need to be fought back. As long as the other person DOES NOT WANT sex, then this became a rape.

Rape can exist as part of domestic violence, where any member of the family is being abused. It can exist as part of a marriage, where the spouse does not want to have sex. It can exist as part of friendship, where a friend is being raped by another friend. It can happen as part of a date, where one of them rapes the other one  without being fully consent.

Rape comes in many forms, but the result stays the same. Rape is a rape, it is a crime no matter what or where. It hurts people. It leaves victims behind. It might kills them, emotionally, psychologically or physically. It is a crime regardless all laws around the world.

What is rape from Wikipedia: Rape from Wikipedia

People who have been raped can be traumatized and develop posttraumatic stress disorder.[10] Serious injuries can result along with the risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. A person may face violence or threats from the rapist, and, in some cultures, from the victim’s family and relatives

You are not alone

This is the most important first message. You are not alone. There are many girls around the world who are/were raped. Life before rape is different from life after rape. It is not easy. I will tell my story, how it changed my life, and how I feel about it.

The target is not just for me to heal, but for you to get some help. Some guidelines what to do, and how!

It is the same all around the world. Rapists live around us without us knowing it. They commit their act leaving many victims behind. Not just the girl, but all her circle of family and friends, as well as his circle of family and friends.

By a Rape Survivor