That others will blame or reject you, or may not believe you.
At the rapist
Perhaps at yourself or others for “allowing it to happen”
At your feelings of powerlessness
At the unfairness and senselessness of it all; generalised anger and hostility may be directed towards the gender of the person who abused you.
Feeling that there is something basically wrong with you, that you somehow deserved what happened
For not having reacted as you would have wished.
Feelings of powerlessness and being out of control of your life
Inability to make any decisions.
Feeling responsible, a long list of “if only”.
For the loss of the belief that the world is safe and predictable
About human destruction and loss of every kind
For loss of the life you had before the rape changed everything.
The Behavioural Effects of Rape
These are some of the common effects on behaviour that can be expressed in many ways and in various combinations.
More easily startled, general agitation (physical and/or mental).
Inability to sleep, thoughts that prevent sleep, replaying the event
Wanting to sleep all the time
Dreams/nightmares of the rape, or other vivid and frightening events.
Of the place, reminders of the incident
Of the gender of the person who abused you, or even people generally
Of going out of your own home
Of being alone.
Intrusive Memories and Feelings:
Flashbacks which interfere with concentration and daily life
Attempts to shut them out which leads to deadening of feelings and thoughts.
Frequent mood swings.
Loss of interest in life, a sense of meaninglessness
Wanting to be alone
A reluctance to talk or associate with anyone.
Tiredness, palpitations, tremors, breathing difficulties, headaches, tense muscles, aches and pains, loss of appetite or over-eating, loss of sexual interest, nausea, diarrhoea or constipation, and many other symptoms.
These reactions are common. Acknowledging and expressing them allows nature to begin the healing process.
If you allow this to happen they will usually last only for a short period of time, and gradually diminish in intensity and frequency.
If you have any similar situations in your past which were not resolved, the rape may trigger memories of these and the feelings may be compounded.
Any of these effects may occur after months or even years of satisfactory emotional adjustment. These physical and emotional symptoms are normal.
They develop in people facing stress, threat or loss, and are responses which help the person adapt. They may be, however, unpleasant or distressing to those affected and those close to them.
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