Girlfriend told me she was raped as teen

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Spitfirewho
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Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:41 pm

Girlfriend told me she was raped as teen

Post by Spitfirewho » Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:12 pm

Hello. First let me say I love my girlfriend very much, if she asked I would move the impossible for her and if she asked I would move it back again. I am 33 and she is 29.

With that a few months ago, May I think, my girlfriend told me about a very bad and dangerous person that abused her as a teen. She told me that when she was 14 this guy and his 3 brothers gang raped her as she was modeling a bathing suit for them. When she told me this a part of me died, it killed me that this happened to the one person I loved more than anything in the world. Worse was that with tears in her eyes(I'm not even sure she knew she was crying honestly) she shrugged said, "that's life, when you hang out with the wrong people bad things happen." This killed me even more because she had just filed it away under "that's life". She told me she had never told anyone this before and had come to push what had happened away I to the back of her mind. She also told me this guy killed 2 people in front of her, threatened her with a gun, stuck a knife through her ear, abused her at every turn and she did not directly tell me this but I have the feeling he raped her more than just the once.

The next couple of days were tough for me, dealing with my own depression and issues over the years, I wanted to kill myself again because of this. I hate the world and when I met my beautiful girlfriend and her 2 amazing daughters I felt like I had been saved, had a reason to live. I fell in love with all 3 and wanted to enjoy life again. But after this I was reminded why I hated the world, that if something like this can happen to such an amazing, beautiful, kind, angelic person, why bother. I did not sleep for 3 days after, could barely touch her, was afraid to touch her, like I was gonna do something wrong. Finally we talked about what she told me and I told her how much it had haunted me, I told her I loved her wanted our future together to amazing.

Now 5 months later things still haunt me. I have waking and sleeping nightmares about the things she told me. I wonder about the rough sex she enjoys, much of the sex she enjoys I have to wonder if its connected to her abuse, rough sex, BDSM, climaxing inside her and more. I worry about her never talking about such things to anyone before or openly dealing with what happened. I have had a tough go of things of late know such brutal things happened to someone I love more than anything.

Just looking for some advise or help of any kind. I love my girlfriend, she's the only woman I have ever loved and the only woman I will ever love frankly. I love her daughters as if they were my own and would do anything for them. There is no doubt in my mind that I am gonna marry her and adopt her daughters if I am able. Nothing that happend to her in the past keeps me from loving her now or in the future but I still worry about my own nightmares and hers.

the husband
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Re: Girlfriend told me she was raped as teen

Post by the husband » Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:03 pm

Hey Spitfirewho

You've come to the right place! I won't give you advice, because that's not what we do here, but I can tell you my experience and knowledge:

Your girlfriend must have a lot of trust in you to have been able to tell you about her experience, and she must be in a fairly safe place in her life to even contemplate it now.

When my wife told me about her abuse, she didn't really respond to my tears either. I think that's just part of dissociating from a traumatic event. Once she told me, she then let me know she was worried about me and what I might do with the information she had given me. Specifically she was afraid I might retaliate against her abusers. She said that would put me at their level, and that she would lose me too if I went to jail. After that I was very careful to manage my response and comments so that she wouldn't stop telling me things out of concern for my well-being and freedom.

I know what you are saying about the sex, and I have had similar thoughts about avoiding things that may be connected and so forth. Ultimately I just make sure my wife is comfortable guiding what we do, and I try not to get hung up on it. We were pretty "vanilla" for quite some time, but recently she has expressed enjoyment of some mild "Shades of Grey" type things - which I would not have expected. I don't think that only people who were abused enjoy things a bit rough - just look at what's for sale on adult toy websites and you'll see that the BDSM stuff is pretty mainstream these days. Your girlfriend might be working with the whole balance of power in the bedroom thing as an avenue of healing.

I went to therapy on my own in order to be a better partner for my wife. Part of that was to be able to process my in-the-moment reactions to what she was telling me. Another part of it was to get help in processing what she tells me afterwards. "Haunted" is exactly the word I have used for the feeling I have had after she has told me something new. With therapy, I am a much better vessel for her to pour some of her thoughts and feelings into, without becoming damaged myself. I would advise all partners of abuse survivors to go get their own therapy (yes, that's advice).

Spitfirewho
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Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:41 pm

Re: Girlfriend told me she was raped as teen

Post by Spitfirewho » Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:04 pm

the husband wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:03 pm
Hey Spitfirewho

You've come to the right place! I won't give you advice, because that's not what we do here, but I can tell you my experience and knowledge:

Your girlfriend must have a lot of trust in you to have been able to tell you about her experience, and she must be in a fairly safe place in her life to even contemplate it now.

When my wife told me about her abuse, she didn't really respond to my tears either. I think that's just part of dissociating from a traumatic event. Once she told me, she then let me know she was worried about me and what I might do with the information she had given me. Specifically she was afraid I might retaliate against her abusers. She said that would put me at their level, and that she would lose me too if I went to jail. After that I was very careful to manage my response and comments so that she wouldn't stop telling me things out of concern for my well-being and freedom.

I know what you are saying about the sex, and I have had similar thoughts about avoiding things that may be connected and so forth. Ultimately I just make sure my wife is comfortable guiding what we do, and I try not to get hung up on it. We were pretty "vanilla" for quite some time, but recently she has expressed enjoyment of some mild "Shades of Grey" type things - which I would not have expected. I don't think that only people who were abused enjoy things a bit rough - just look at what's for sale on adult toy websites and you'll see that the BDSM stuff is pretty mainstream these days. Your girlfriend might be working with the whole balance of power in the bedroom thing as an avenue of healing.

I went to therapy on my own in order to be a better partner for my wife. Part of that was to be able to process my in-the-moment reactions to what she was telling me. Another part of it was to get help in processing what she tells me afterwards. "Haunted" is exactly the word I have used for the feeling I have had after she has told me something new. With therapy, I am a much better vessel for her to pour some of her thoughts and feelings into, without becoming damaged myself. I would advise all partners of abuse survivors to go get their own therapy (yes, that's advice).

Thank you for your words, sorry such events had to bring us to talk but thank you all the same.

Haunted is not even a strong enough word but it seems accurate. It's ironic that her abuse as a teen has caused me such haunting because what she brought her to telling me was because she casually said she used to have very bad night terrors, I innocently asked why and she told me about her abuser and the stuff her did to her. I have never prayed a day in my life but as she started telling me about this person I began praying the abuse she was telling me about would not turn sexual, not that one form of abuse is better than the other of course. Honestly if she had asked me that night I would have driven the 12 hours to her hometown tried my damndest to find the 4 that assaulted her and killed them, or tried at least since the main abuser was a convicted murderer and would have probably easily killed me first, me being someone who has never even hurt a fly.

The sex stuff did not bother me the first 3 months of our relationship. She would tell me she liked the man taking the commanding lead, she had fantasies about her sleeping and me coming in to do stuff, she liked things rougher and other stuff. I am not sexually experienced but all this was kind of very fun and I was open to it all. Now I am more hesitant, if I do something forcefully I later worry I did something wrong. I know rape and sex with someone consenting is different and I know she does not want me to think of her as fragile but I am just more hesitant now than I was before. Which is extremely difficult because she is the most beautiful woman I have ever known and she loves me a great deal and I love her and we have a lot of passion.

I am seeking therapy, finances are tough right now as we just moved in together but I know I have to talk with someone. I have told her I would like her to see a therapist as well one day and she has hesitantly agreed but I am not sure she could actually go when the day came. For now I have been trying to online help through forums but I have had limited success because it would seem there is no place for loved ones to survivors to gather and talk or to talk with survivors about methods they used that could help my girlfriend.
Last edited by Ashia on Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Changed MT to NT, as no triggering content included

the husband
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Posts: 460
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 6:11 am

Re: Girlfriend told me she was raped as teen

Post by the husband » Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:46 pm

Although it looks pretty quiet here in the Loved Ones forum, some of the survivors do keep tabs on us and will chime in if they feel they have something to add. Specific questions are the most likely to attract responses.

The sex stuff is, again, not all that concerning so long as you have good communication. Playing with the power dynamic is pretty common, and some people find it freeing. I'm not into the lifestyle myself, but I understand that the person playing the subordinate is actually in charge in this sort of play. I am told that having a "safe word" for this sort of role play is essential to avoiding consent issues in the moment. The word is supposed to be something that would not come up during the role play.

Good on you for thinking about therapy. I have been pretty hands-off with my wife regarding her therapy (she does go, but sometimes takes breaks), as she has told me that being seen as the "identified patient" pisses her off and makes her feel more resistant. People who go to therapy for themselves generally get more out of it than those who go for or because of someone else. There's a greater commitment. We can only control ourselves, after all.
Last edited by Ashia on Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Changed NT to MT for use of profanity

Spitfirewho
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Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:41 pm

Re: Girlfriend told me she was raped as teen

Post by Spitfirewho » Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:11 pm

I have been in need of therapy for a while but now more than ever I see the need for it. She said she has had bad luck with therapy in the past but from what she has told me it has never been real therapy, only like high school counseling, which is not the same. I have asked if she would go with me, we are both more comfortable talking when the otheris around, she has said yes but again I am unsure if she would and as much as I know it would help I wont push her.

I am wondering how you have handled triggers with your wife. I ask because last weekend we were driving home late from dropping her daughters off with there dad and I had my hand on her back while I drove. We tease and play around a lot, she will scare me, I will scare her, she will goose me, I will goose her, all fun innocent stuff she says she has never been able to do with any of her past relationships. She has already teased me along the drive home so as I had my hand on her back I quickly jerked away causing her to jump in her seat, toss her phone and hit her hand. The reaction, as I saw it was the same as any with the teasing with give each other, fun and playful. I laughed like an idot but as second later i see her with her eyes closed and realized something was wrong. With an apology I keep driving but look at her a minute later and with her eyes still closed see she is crying. I react, freaking out with apology after apology telling her that I am an asshole. I felt like a peice of shot after. Later we talked and I again told her how sorry I was and she said that there was no way to know how she was gonna react, that because it was dark something reacted in a way she has not reacted in a long time. I still feel like shit about this, she knows I would never hurt her or her daughters but a part of me is still freaking out over something that was not under my control. This kind of reaction had not happened before and is now weighing on me a great deal.

I know I can't just hold back interacting with as normal, much like with the sex stuff, we need to continue on but I have this deep fear of triggering something and not doing the right thing.

the husband
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Posts: 460
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 6:11 am

Re: Girlfriend told me she was raped as teen

Post by the husband » Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:58 pm

Hi Spitfire

It sounds like you two have some pretty good communication, which is a huge advantage. You may have to tune it up a bit more for all this, but you are saved some of the early work that many people have to do.

Triggers are a moving target and are subject to change. This is particularly true if she is actively working on processing memories. It doesn't even have to be during active therapy: my wife took a self-defense course with a padded attacker and there were all sorts of triggers there (this was expected, as the course catered to survivors) - we had a good chat early on about not startling her so that she didn't accidentally break my nose. Honestly, we never went back to the the scaring/startling stuff. Pranks can also be an issue: my wife just couldn't handle any violation of trust when she really started talking, even for a moment. Sometimes the triggers lose their strength - I remember giving my wife a gentle little pinch as she went up the stairs ahead of me and she became enraged. Now it's something playful that we both do.

The helpful thing for me was to try to think ahead a little and consider what has already been learned: Is it dark? An unfamiliar place? Is she preoccupied or stressed? Probably not a good idea. I found that if my wife is triggered, it's best just to calm myself down, apologize immediately/briefly/unconditionally, avoid any sort of physical contact unless she leans in for it, and wait for cues as to how to proceed. Over apologizing, trying to physically comfort, and getting upset oneself is just going to exacerbate the situation.

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