Some Words of Understanding and Support
You have just experienced a terrible trauma. You are in crisis and you may have emotions, thoughts, and physical symptoms that are normal reactions to an abnormal life event. Initial reactions can include shock, disbelief, and dismay. What may follow in the first few weeks are feelings of self doubt, humiliation, and guilt as you begin to deal with the reality of the rape. Sometimes physical symptoms emerge such as sleep problems, gastrointestinal problems, and headaches. Again, these are normal reactions to rape.
After a few weeks many women return to their usual activities and may seem to have dealt with the trauma successfully. Often times this is a coping mechanism until they are ready to face fully what has happened.
If you are going through the same thing, then eventually your original feelings and thoughts may begin to resurface. Something may be happening in your life, such as a police line-up for identification of the assailant, a relationship challenge, or constant thoughts of the rape. It is not unusual to begin having nightmares, fears of being alone or of being in a crowd, or a sexual fear. You may feel alone and out of control and have a need to begin dealing with why you feel this way. It is often helpful to allow yourself to feel whatever feelings arise. If you try to fight “bad feelings” you may end up only feeling worse.
There are ways to cope with these consequences of rape. You can learn skills for living well and making your own choices. Fortunately, you do not have to go through this alone. Talking about it with someone who understands can be very helpful.
Free Confidential Anonymous
* 24-Hour Crisis Hot Line
* SEXUAL ASSAULT SUPPORT GROUP
Rape Crisis Outreach
Lake Charles, LA