More common reactions
You might also be feeling:
- Guilt or self-blame: No one deserves to be raped and it is never your fault - even if you were drinking, wearing sexy clothes, or if you agreed to some sexual activity like kissing.
"I wanted to come to school in the city. For a while I blamed my rape on that decision. When I talked to a friend who had been raped at her school in a tiny Midwestern town I finally stopped believing it was my fault."
- Avoidance: You may want to avoid anything that reminds you of the assault. Don't let avoidance prevent you from getting help.
"It wasn't until my 3rd or 4th counseling session that I finally admitted to myself that talking about the problems I was having helped me."
- Anger: You might feel angry - at the person who hurt you, the world, yourself, and even people you love. Anger can be an important part of healing.
"Anger is a difficult emotion for me. I was raised to think of other people's feelings before mine. At some point I realized that all that pent up anger was making me a very sad person."
- Mood swings: Feelings from a sexual assault can be intense and overwhelming. Most survivors experience a lot of ups and downs in their healing process.
"One day I feel normal, like the 'old me'. The next day I am annoyed and frustrated with everyone, especially myself."
- Numbness: No feeling at all is a feeling that helps many survivors cope with the crisis of a rape.
"At first I would go numb all the time. In counseling, I learned to be aware of it and control it."
- Flashbacks: Nightmares, flashbacks, or constantly thinking about what happened can disturb your concentration, your sleep, even your appetite.
"I wonder sometimes if I will ever be able to sleep through the night again, but I have been working on it. It is getting better, just slowly."
You can call our 24-hour hotline and speak to someone right now about any of these reactions. Our counseling services can help you with any feelings that you may be having.
24-hour hotline: 800.841.8371