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  1. #1

    My ex, a rape survivor - need help

    Hello. A warning this post contains matters of a sexual nature.

    I have gone thru a very painful process breaking up with my girlfriend, whom I'll call "Sarah". I'm posting because I am struggling to come to terms with our break up and what I view to be, frankly, bizarre and contradictory behavior. I am appealing to anyone here with experience in these matters to give me some insight into the "whys" of her actions.

    A little background on Sarah. Firstly, she was raped at 14. A couple of older boys from her school drugged her. She has gaps in her memory, but knows it descended into a gang rape. Tragically, she didn't receive any help in the form of therapy... instead, she went straight down into a very dark hole. From that point on to the present (she's now 28 -- 14 years later), she has been in a continuous string of relationships... those relationships mostly contained aspects of abuse -- verbal and sometimes physical. She hooked up and slept with numerous low lifes as her life became riddled with trauma and drugs.

    Sarah is one of my best friend's sister. When we hooked up, she had just ended a three year relationship with a man I will call "Jack". Jack had been abusive emotionally and, in her words, she spent "three years in a private hell" with him, which eventually culminated in him smashing her eye socket. Her history wasn't known to me until we got much closer.

    Sarah and I were together for a year. Things were all right for the first few months. Throughout our relationship I was loving, caring and considerate. I fell for her completely and NEVER in my life would I have raised a hand or uttered a malicious word to her. She believed she "finally deserved a nice guy". It was great because as well as our attraction we had a fantastic friendship. Goodness, she even went on to say I was the best partner she'd ever had!

    As we got closer she became increasingly uncomfortable with sex. Either I would have to give her long, deep massages to relax her or she'd have to be slightly intoxicated. There were aspects of sex where she would want me to "talk dirty" and act in a semi-violent way. I discovered she had to conjure up abusive imagery to get off. She found any intimate contact threatening.

    As well as the sexual dysfunction there were other issues. She displayed OCD-like behavior in her household. On some occasions when she'd been drinking a different "Sarah" would emerge. I can only liken it to a juvenile and angry young girl.

    We broke up a month ago when she decided to become celibate. She'd become increasingly irritable with me and kept asking for her space. She believed her issues with sex had to be dealt with and she thought she was long overdue for the single life and some self-discovery. I was upset, of course. But I accepted that and supported her decision. She said that our relationship wouldn't effectively change, given we hadn't really been having sex as it was. She wanted me to be her rock and, in a sense, her pseudo-boyfriend. There were tears, laughs and hugs -- the works. She thought our relationship would actually improve as the pressure of sex would no longer be on her. She even wanted me to still share her bed when I came round.

    The following week we caught up and she seemed all right. I stayed at her place and voiced some concerns -- concerns that I put down to some silly worst case scenario thinking. I was worried she might just jump in with someone else -- as she's always done. She was incredulous at me even suggesting such a thing! Her doing that would invalidate the main reason we ended things, for pete's sake.

    Fast forward to 2 weeks later... she's back with Jack. It was the most gut wrenching thing to discover. Back with this pot-addicted chronic depressive who aint going anywhere in life fast. Sarah was cold with me... she said "you're not going to make me feel bad about this." She then proceeded to say she's "head over heels in love with him and wants to have his children." ???? I'm sitting here in absolute disbelief! Where did the Sarah of a fortnight ago disappear to? A week later I contacted her via text and wished to arrange a time to get my stuff. She was bitter. I sent a few texts outlining why I was so hurt by what had happened - I was sincere. I wasn't nasty at all. Throughout this I have never said anything hurtful, as tempting as it's been. She sent back "STOP HARRASSING ME."

    I don't understand how someone can "turn" so quickly. She's gone and done exactly what she said she wouldn't and doesn't want to have a thing to do with me! I know it's over... what I want is some insight into my messed up ex so I can come to terms with this capricious behavior. If anyone more seasoned in life and with some psychological know how has some insight, I'm all ears? What on earth is she doing?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005

    My ex, a rape survivor - need help

    Hi CM,

    That all sounds like it would be very bewildering! I am a survivor of rape myself and I can identify with 'Sarah' in a few ways so I thought I'd share my thoughts.

    Past betrayal can make trust so difficult. I find it very hard to let anybody get too close to me, speaking both physically and emotionally. I really don't like anyone getting closer than a hug or I freeze up, and I feel a strong need to be self-reliant, to be strong and keep my problems to myself. I wonder if that might be why Sarah is attracted to 'Jack'... you were genuine, kind and concerned which is honestly really great, but maybe it made her feel threatened. This guy might not be so 'demanding' of her in terms of emotional attachment which, while certainly is not an ideal relationship, sadly she may be more comfortable with. Maybe she doesn't think she deserves any better. Just a thought. I can imagine that you would be very hurt after having tried to do the right thing by her. I'm sorry to hear you're going through that and I hope you will feel happier very soon!

    Wishing you all the best,
    "As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being." - Carl Jung

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