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I Humbly Request Your Input

It is difficult to ask this of a woman who has suffered through rape, but I'm not sure who better to ask for input. First, let me put this out there: I am a male. I am not looking to be turned on at the expense of your pain.

So here's the situation. I am in the midst of writing a novel about the lives of a man and woman who were a couple in their teenage years. She was gang raped while he was forced to watch. This happened right before they were to go off to college.

She was going to study art, but abandoned it for a career in law. She dedicated herself to prosecuting sex offenders, which enabled her to at least direct her rage. At the same time, she never allowed herself to really deal with, or process, or .... her own pain, and it is beginning to destroy her. She has physical problems related to stress and overwork.

He has other issues, but that isn't really where I need help.

Anyway, I've struggled with the healing process for her for several years now. I have written a scenario in which the process is triggered by her return to her home town for her mother's funeral. Many things during this trip force her to confront what she has been trying to escape for her whole adult life. The actual process is eluding me, however.

If you can find it in your heart to help a guy who is presumptuous enough to even write about this topic, I would be forever grateful. I'd welcome your thoughts on:

* whether this whole scenario is even realistic
* what the sort of central step in healing might be (re-establishing self respect, addressing any sense of guilt, allowing one's self to fully experience the pain - rather than running from it, confronting the guilty, etc.) How could it work? How could she overcome this?
* do you think that she could enter a healthy romantic relationship before she has gotten through this? Could such a relationship help her?
* prior to her returning home, her sex life is almost cruel. She uses her own power as a woman to satisfy her physical need, while experiences an emotion toward men that amounts to loathing... or, at best, ambivalence. Is this total crap, or could this be real?
* how does one re-establish a healthy sexuality after this horror?
* how did you process your experience, and move through/beyond it? I know its effect lasts a lifetime.

I am not looking for the physical details, unless you feel a need to share them. I am interested in what you felt emotionally and thought mentally.

This story has been trying to be written for years now. I don't know why. While no one has ever come right out and said, "You have no right to even try to write a story about this subject," I have sort of sensed that unspoken reaction. If you feel that way, too, please tell me. But this story just won't leave me for some reason.

I am genuinely humbled in the face of your strength and courage, and hope you might see fit to help. Anything by way of your insight would be so very much appreciated.
Thank you!
Sharpie7 Sharpie7 51-55, M 9 Responses Oct 18, 2012

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why dosn't anybody write about a boy getting raped? users. consumers. they take what they want. who cares if the boy's life is destroyed? it's more important to protect the bad guy. "an accusation like that could destroy his life, wreck his career." it's always up to the one molested to "get over it. stop living in the past." or "not that again. let it go already." even God wants you to say your sorry. nobody bothers to say sorry to the boy. EVER! Bollix to him! what he needs doesn't matter. let's protect the bad guy, HES gotta family. but I NEVER GET THAT. i hope he dies and goes to HELLLLLLL.

I am so very sorry for your pain. I wonder how often this scenario happens. Do you feel that the perpetrator in such a scenario is less likely to be brought to justice than in cases in which the victim is female? You really have me thinking...

Scenario could indeed happen.

My thought would be that she's overcompensating...that she shuts out ANY attempts to help her. That her whole being is armored on the outside. Look up typical PTSD symptoms-hypervigilance-she would have it and hone it.

The arrogance and razor-sharp sarcasm is a projection she put on to survive.
On the inside she's still at the age she was raped, so you'd expect to catch glimpses of that hurt, frightened teenager....in moments of weakness that she'd later be ashamed of.
She'd still make artwork, but be embarrassed to show anyone that more fragile side of herself.

You might expect her to be dominant; to want to be in total control of any relationship, to possibly be into BDSM topping...her lovers are not a threat when tied up.

I'd suggests her healing starts in a somewhat-involuntary way...a guy that is really kind and really in love with her turns up, and at the same time in her professional life she's prosecuting a gang rape...and the triggers start getting inside her head.

Thank you for your insights!

I agree with Hylie on this one, but I have to say: please don't use the "Top in a BDSM dynamic" thing, it adds to a wrong stereotype for people with BDSM feelings.
Some abuse survivors get into BDSM, but then again: A LOT of people get abused and plenty of people are born with BDSM feelings, pointing those 2 together -again!- would be a negative stereotype.
So yeah, please don't do that, it doesn't create more acceptance of people with these feelings.

And 1 more: the relationship with her partner will not be likely to survive, if he was forced to watch, that creates a huge tention.
He will feel probably feel ashamed for not being able to help her and she will probably feel like the same from the opposite direction.

Your idea about 'becoming a sl*t after abuse' happens a lot, but it's not compatable with the relationship of course, this is another motivation to not have the relationship survive.
These things are so complicated, so take your time with the research: the 'becoming a sl*t after abuse' thing has to be spot on, psychologically, because it's technically counter-behavior, wich is very specific.

Great that you do this research, I bet it will reward you in the form of a good, believable story. :-)
For more insight about the dynamics I mentioned above, you can always send me a PM, it might be too long an explanation to write her (without follow up questions).

Good luck. :-)

Thank you so very much!

Dude, more power to you. That is a difficult discourse to tackle since you are not of the female persuasion. I don't know if you can chronicle such a personally devastating event truly if you're unable to experience it yourself.

That's been a definite concern of mine.

Hey but don't let me stifle your creative endeavor. This could be an enlightening experience even though you are trying to venture into a personally acceptable observation.

Everyone responds to rape differently and may heal or not recover fully in their own ways. There is something called "rape trauma syndrome" which is a model for the process of dealing with a rape that victims go through. Can that scenario happen? Yes, and the horror is that it's happened somewhere in the world. Can she have healthy relationships? It all depends on how you cope with trauma. Some people are resilient and bouce back to normal life, some are affected and scarred and some are dealing with lifelong effects. The question is to know your character and develop her personality. Did she have a support network of friends to turn to when it happened? Did she tell anyone? Did she wait to tell? Does she never tell? The actions people choose have a lot to do with recovery so you may want to think about that.

I do not make any judgement on you for deciding to write about this.
I am a victim of rape and have had to confront this demon. The healing process is still on going though the incident happened more than 35 years ago. We each deal with the trauma in our own way on our own timetable. Some are able to deal with it better than others. I can never forgive or forget and this is what makes rape, in my book, the worst crime that someone could commit on another. I have to live with it until the day I die. Had it been dealt with better and earlier on, it may have helped, but there weren't the resources back then, so the "what ifs" are a moot point. You may PM me if you wish but I won't reveal much else in an open forum.

Sorry tried 3 times to answer. I guess some things you can get over. but still can not talk about. Good luck. and yeah it is ok you asked. I will give you this Trust becomes a very big word spelled in all caps after that. Something that is never ever easily given again to anyone male or female. & no I don't know why.

I think that the story has a really good plot and would love to help in any way that I could. I do not understand why someone would say that you have no right to Write it. I think that is very judgmental and look forward to you completing the book.

I can't personally relate to Rape although I can relate to mental and pysical abuse from my Mother. Abuse that destroyed my future with the love of my life. We lasted over 10 years (I was 12 when I met him and we broke up because of my psychological problems when I was 22). I am now 50 and see what I did and the walls I put up and the fear and mistrust. I can go into more detail about that if you think it is pertinent.

I do know three people that have gone through Rape. One, is my best friend. She was Raped several times when she was 14. She was in a healthy romance and to this day at 50 she is unable to have a boyfriend. She has not faced her demeans. She has had a few boyfriends but hated sex. She also sabotaged each one, yet complains that she is alone. It is all so clear to me what she does. She picks great guys but finds something wrong immediately. She is very attractive but has battled weight since I have known her 30+ years. All she talks about is getting off the weight so she will be a happy person. She has always been angry and depressed. Recently I talked her into getting into her creativity and I see major changes. She has found her inner self. She has chosen photography. She now see's things in her life through a different eye. She started a diet. I then talked her into trying something with me... I have her come over on Sundays and we go into the mountains near my house and Scream! Her screams have become deep primal Screams..Also I am seeing changes. In addition, I have finally got her to Journal her experience. This has been hard, it took me 30 years but seems to be helping the most. She has a timer that I bought her and she is to set it for 10 minutes, pick up a pen and just write...whatever comes to mind. There is more to her process but I will tell you that for the first time I see more improvement than ever, She is seeing that she alone is getting in her own way and wants love more than anything, She may get there.
Another friend was shot and gang raped. She was 16 and is now 50. She dealt with drugs for most of her life, Her father died last year and she said to me that she knows that he is looking down at her from heaven and for the first time is clean and happily married.
This is already really long, If I am on the right track then I will write about the third person. Go ahead and ask me specific questions if you want. Although, I have not been through it I feel that I have because of these three life-long friendships and the hundreds of hours talking about it with them.

Katy

Your approach is worth appreciation
but
I don't feel I am the right person to speak out the mind of my friend.
Yeah ~ she suffered big time.
Time heals much, though.

~ Prayers.

Thank you! I've been away, and not able to attend to these communications, and I apologize. Any input you might choose to contribute in the future would be most appreciated.

I would try my best
but
it needs nerves to stir the wounds, that too severe ones.

Understood. I hope you find peace and joy in life.

I have sat with this open for 30 minutes. I have re-read it three times. There is a part of me that says "how dare you".
However, I have suffered the same (writing a book and not knowing how to proceed).
I have three female alters inside that are 8, 15, and 22 that have been abused in almost every way.
You may message me about this before I decide to help you, as this is a personal thing that goes farther than the stories we have written here. And this may be beneficial to one or more of them.
I will await your reply.