Anonymous asked
help. firstly is there a legal difference between molest and rape. when i was a kid i was forced to have sex and it was actual SEX but when i recently finally reported it the police report says it was 'molest' and that he 'touched me against my will' but he didn't he tied up and fucked me when i was really young and idk its been years i didnt tell anyone, but now that i did im feeling like people arent understanding/taking it seriously enoug but im afraid im just being an attention whore ugh

I struggle with people’s language for what happened to me too. Molestation just seems so mild when I consider what happened. But i try to remind myself that legal terminology and reality are not always connected. In fact, they often aren’t. Like, in New York, what happened to me is termed coercive conduct with a child. That’s… like… what??? Way to clean it up, New York.

So that’s why at SCaR, we support people defining their experience themselves. I was raped. So were you. Period. While the world should validate that, we don’t need it to. But I am telling you right now that your experience is valid. You are valid, and by god, you are free to call it rape.

Please take care.

-M

Rape tw
Confinement tw

Anonymous asked
What does it mean to 'be groomed' by a man? I've seen it twice in the asks and I couldn't find an answer through google. Could you please define? Thanks

selfcareafterrape:

It doesn’t have to be a man, it can be anyone! A groomer is someone that builds an emotional connection with a child or young person so they can sexually harm them. Grooming is when the abuser gets close to the ‘target’ and often their families, gaining their trust and manipulating them into doing things for the abuser’s gain.

It’s often used in an online sense, seen in chatrooms and on social media where abusers can adopt an anonymous persona and pretend to be the target’s friend, saying they have similar interests.

In real life groomers can be friends, family or another young person; sometimes promises of gifts, or threats or intimidation are used to isolate the target and make them comply to the abusers needs.

Many children and young people don’t understand that they have been groomed, or what has happened is abuse.

If I’ve missed anything mods/followers feel free to add to this,

Hope this helps

Hannah

Hey there. I’d just like to add that grooming existed long before the internet. The internet has just afforded people with anonymity during the process, making it easier to get away with it.

Also, grooming is done by, frankly, nearly everyone who abuses young children. Including family. My father engaged in grooming regularly. So did the teacher who abused me. Basically, the purpose of grooming is to make kids compliant with the abuse. Single abuse incidents and stranger abuse incidents are typically the ones that do not include grooming. Prolonged abuse pretty much requires it.

It’s interesting to note that this often results in survivors being keenly aware of manipulation in adolescence and adulthood. Depending on where they are on their personal journey, they could become compliant with many manipulative situations in life. They could also become defiant. I see this a lot with the kiddos I’m working with in alternative care.

In addition, grooming can also create disruptions in one’s belief and values system. For instance, if the abuser uses self-hatred and shame to control their target, the child will often take on these traits as they age even after the abuse has ended. When I was being abused, my father told me that he made me and my entire purpose was to be used by him sexually. Because of this, I still struggle with believing that I only exist to be abused and with believing that I have no other value. Logically, I may know these things are not true, but deep down inside, I still believe them. I’m working on it.

So if you are evaluating the ways in which you may have been groomed, I encourage you to consider how pervasive this can be and all the domains of life that it can affect.

Good luck.

-M

Anonymous asked
The TV show Sherlock triggers me because the main guy looks identical to one of my rapists. My boyfriend knows this but yesterday when I was at his house, he had the show on anyways. I tried to deal with it, but I couldn't and asked him to turn it off. He replied with "You need to get over it. It's a TV show, not him." It felt like he was being mean, but maybe I'm overreacting? Should I really just get over it?

penanna:

selfcareafterrape:

selfcareafterrape:

Trauma triggers aren’t something that you can just “get over” and no one, especially not your partner, should demand that from you.

Your boyfriend was being mean. Or at the very least, not at all empathetic or caring. It’s true that people who haven’t experienced trauma often don’t have any concept of what it is like to deal with on a day to day basis, but if  you’ve explained that you want to avoid something, he should respect that.

In general, people who don’t “believe in trigger warnings” and shit like that, use the argument that “exposure helps people process trauma, so having your triggers around isn’t a big deal”. 

Nope. Terrible argument, go directly to trashcan. 

Trained professionals can help patients through exposure therapy, but that’s an intensive and *consensual* process. Knowing your triggers and avoiding them when you want to is healthy and normal. It’s more than reasonable to want your boyfriends house to be a safe place for you, and you’re not overreacting at all. He needs to respect your boundaries. What he said was unacceptable. 

Be kind to yourself (and don’t feel obligated to be kind to him about this),
-Michelle

Comment: The character jesse in breaking bad is EXACTLY likewho raped me. style, mannerisms, use of language… everything is terrifyingly identical. but i pep-talked myself the same way op’s boyfriend did. the character nor the actor are NOT my rapist.

This is something I didn’t address in the original post, and I should have.

I don’t mean to make it sound like triggers are a lifetime sentence to either avoiding something or being terrorized by it.

SCaR’s Masterlist has a lot of good resources for dealing with the immediate aftermath of being triggered, and also longer term emotional self-care

But it is really unfair to call what OP’s boyfriend said a pep-talk. It clearly was said with the intention of getting rid of the inconvenience of his partner’s emotional distress, and directly contradicted their previous conversation’s about the OP’s needs as a survivor. It was flippant and rude and a huge breach of trust.

You’re right, that there are ways we can work to overcome triggers and the lasting vestiges of our trauma. But even in your comment, you say that you made the choice yourself, on your own time. 

The person who asked the question has a right to avoid, process, and overcome their triggers, and the way that worked for you, doesn’t have to be what they choose to do.

I can’t tell if your comment was meant to be supportive, and I want to give you the benefit of the doubt, but it comes across as invalidating and disrespectful of the OP’s autonomy, and I can’t let it slide without some comment.

This blog is not for survivors who invalidate other survivors. (But it totally is for survivors who give well-intended advice and sometimes get misunderstood, I’m still not sure which you are.)
-Michelle

In relation to the OP and response: See I don’t understand people who do this. If you have no triggers, no traumas, you don’t get to dictate how someone manages theirs. A person I previously dated asked me why I got so angry at being triggered, why I couldn’t just tolerate it, why exposure to my triggers wasn’t desensitising me, why did I have tumblr savior. They very quickly got it after I told them - unless they had exactly my triggers from the exact same things, which no-one does - that they had no right to dictate how I manage them or try to recover from them, or even if I try to manage at all, if I completely try to avoid being triggered at all costs, which I do. Ironically the person in question now has triggers of their own, and while I’m not happy that they now have triggers, I’m glad they finally now realise what it’s like to have triggers, and to have people dismiss them.

If you have triggers, people need to respect how you wish to deal with them. If they don’t, then they have no respect for you as a person, and you should either give them a serious stern talking to, or get rid of them.

Bolded for emphasis.
-Michelle

Anonymous asked
The TV show Sherlock triggers me because the main guy looks identical to one of my rapists. My boyfriend knows this but yesterday when I was at his house, he had the show on anyways. I tried to deal with it, but I couldn't and asked him to turn it off. He replied with "You need to get over it. It's a TV show, not him." It felt like he was being mean, but maybe I'm overreacting? Should I really just get over it?

selfcareafterrape:

Trauma triggers aren’t something that you can just “get over” and no one, especially not your partner, should demand that from you.

Your boyfriend was being mean. Or at the very least, not at all empathetic or caring. It’s true that people who haven’t experienced trauma often don’t have any concept of what it is like to deal with on a day to day basis, but if  you’ve explained that you want to avoid something, he should respect that.

In general, people who don’t “believe in trigger warnings” and shit like that, use the argument that “exposure helps people process trauma, so having your triggers around isn’t a big deal”. 

Nope. Terrible argument, go directly to trashcan. 

Trained professionals can help patients through exposure therapy, but that’s an intensive and *consensual* process. Knowing your triggers and avoiding them when you want to is healthy and normal. It’s more than reasonable to want your boyfriends house to be a safe place for you, and you’re not overreacting at all. He needs to respect your boundaries. What he said was unacceptable. 

Be kind to yourself (and don’t feel obligated to be kind to him about this),
-Michelle

Comment: The character jesse in breaking bad is EXACTLY likewho raped me. style, mannerisms, use of language… everything is terrifyingly identical. but i pep-talked myself the same way op’s boyfriend did. the character nor the actor are NOT my rapist.

This is something I didn’t address in the original post, and I should have.

I don’t mean to make it sound like triggers are a lifetime sentence to either avoiding something or being terrorized by it.

SCaR’s Masterlist has a lot of good resources for dealing with the immediate aftermath of being triggered, and also longer term emotional self-care

But it is really unfair to call what OP’s boyfriend said a pep-talk. It clearly was said with the intention of getting rid of the inconvenience of his partner’s emotional distress, and directly contradicted their previous conversation’s about the OP’s needs as a survivor. It was flippant and rude and a huge breach of trust.

You’re right, that there are ways we can work to overcome triggers and the lasting vestiges of our trauma. But even in your comment, you say that you made the choice yourself, on your own time. 

The person who asked the question has a right to avoid, process, and overcome their triggers, and the way that worked for you, doesn’t have to be what they choose to do.

I can’t tell if your comment was meant to be supportive, and I want to give you the benefit of the doubt, but it comes across as invalidating and disrespectful of the OP’s autonomy, and I can’t let it slide without some comment.

This blog is not for survivors who invalidate other survivors. (But it totally is for survivors who give well-intended advice and sometimes get misunderstood, I’m still not sure which you are.)
-Michelle

Anonymous asked
This will sound crazy, I always feel like my abuser is watching me even though he is dead. He told me during the years he raped me that he had people watching me everywhere to make sure I behaved. Im going crazy arnt I. Im scared he knows I told.

Hey anon,

It’s not crazy. I feel this all the time. Even though I know he’s dead, I don’t always believe he’s dead, and even if he is, well there are other people and that’s not the end of it. I have to keep reminding myself that it is the end, that I’m safe, that I’m okay, and no matter what, hell doesn’t last forever.

What helps sometimes is this: 

This is really important to remember. 

You’ve been so brave (still are so brave) for telling what happened to you, and keeping yourself safe, for carrying this with you. He has no power over you. I think it’s a bit of facts/beliefs, in that, it doesn’t feel like he’s powerless but it’s a fact that he is, if that makes sense. And it’s okay to feel that he still has some sort of control over you (but he does not. he does not. he does not.). There are some things you can do to make it feel this a little less: 

Sometimes you’ve got to repeat these kinds of things (that he’s not here. he’s not here. he has no control over you. it’s okay that you feel this way. that there are going to be tough days but you will make it through. that not everyone will believe you, but you know what’s true and that can be enough.) until you’re so full with these truths there’s no room for questions or doubt in yourself and your feelings, no room for these ghosts.

Grounding exercises are really good. Anything that awakens your senses and are completely different from back then, to help you stay in the now. Feeling the grass beneath your toes, or sand in your hands from a playbox, or listening to new softer music, or music that’s so heavy it pumps your blood, just anything that can make your body understand the newer, better things can take place of all the terrible unforgivable. 

When I feel like he’s around me or that I’m being watched, I do something that I know he wouldn’t approve of or something that convinces me that I’m still me regardless of whatever is happening. I take a shower and sing at the top of my lungs, I make tea or something really hot or really cold so I can feel myself as I am now, not feel like I did then

I write and say all kinds of things so that if someone is watching or listening, they know to leave me the fuck alone.

I talk to someone who I trust and know believes me and I just say all the terrible things I think are happening and whatever comes to mind or I just ask them to hold me so I know know one else can get to me.

Sometimes it’s good to have your super secret safe place. Where you know no one else can get it and stay there for a second to get yourself together.

Music and movies and tv shows that make you feel better make you feel alive that allow you to give your body and mind a little rest from the nightmares he keeps giving you. Sometimes it helps to escape for a little while and recharge (as long as you have something or someone to help you come back).

I’m sorry that this is so hard, that its making you feel like you’re losing your mind. I hope this helps. I hope it gets better.  

Hope this helps. If you need anymore help don’t hesitate to ask!

If any followers have any input, I’d appreciate it!

~Lee

Anonymous asked
My rapist was my uncle, I see him every single holiday. It's been four years I can clearly remember it was on July 23rd 2010 at 8:22 PM. I always get very traumatized, he's apologized, should I forgive him?

Do you want to forgive him?

A lot of survivors jump to the forgiving thinking that forgiving makes the pain go away. It’s not true. Does, after time spent healing, forgiveness sometimes ease some of the pain? yes. For some people it does. 

What you’re going through right now is a traumaversary and I wrote something about them here.

But forgiveness is not a requirement. and sometimes apologies don’t mean anything. my abuser frequently apologized and got angry and hurt me more for not accepting them. Sometimes abusers/rapists apologize but it’s only to soothe their own ego- that they aren’t really bad people. 

Take care of yourself, okay?

Anonymous asked
The TV show Sherlock triggers me because the main guy looks identical to one of my rapists. My boyfriend knows this but yesterday when I was at his house, he had the show on anyways. I tried to deal with it, but I couldn't and asked him to turn it off. He replied with "You need to get over it. It's a TV show, not him." It felt like he was being mean, but maybe I'm overreacting? Should I really just get over it?

Trauma triggers aren’t something that you can just “get over” and no one, especially not your partner, should demand that from you.

Your boyfriend was being mean. Or at the very least, not at all empathetic or caring. It’s true that people who haven’t experienced trauma often don’t have any concept of what it is like to deal with on a day to day basis, but if  you’ve explained that you want to avoid something, he should respect that.

In general, people who don’t “believe in trigger warnings” and shit like that, use the argument that “exposure helps people process trauma, so having your triggers around isn’t a big deal”. 

Nope. Terrible argument, go directly to trashcan. 

Trained professionals can help patients through exposure therapy, but that’s an intensive and *consensual* process. Knowing your triggers and avoiding them when you want to is healthy and normal. It’s more than reasonable to want your boyfriends house to be a safe place for you, and you’re not overreacting at all. He needs to respect your boundaries. What he said was unacceptable. 

Be kind to yourself (and don’t feel obligated to be kind to him about this),
-Michelle

Anonymous asked
Do you have any advice for dealing with feelings of being mis/degendered during an assault? My girlfriend and I are both trans and were assaulted and we both had our bodies touched in not okay ways for our genders. I want to process and help w/ this.

I’d like to start by saying you aren’t alone in this. My assaults were very painful for me in terms of gender identity and my body. I still struggle with the misgendering aspects of my assault quite a bit.

Whatever the person did, your gender identity is absolutely valid and okay. Your body (and that of your girlfriend) exists, though you are not just the shape of your body.

Doing things that generally affirm my gender have tended to help me with dealing with that aspect of my assault. Anything from wearing the clothes I want to just surrounding myself with people who will gender me correctly for as much time as possible. Perhaps it is something you could work on with your girlfriend as well? Interacting with each other (sexually or not) in a safe and affirming way might go a long way. Other types of healing (therapy, for one) would also of course help. I’ve had therapists who don’t know what they’re doing when it comes to gender identity, so finding one that understands how your gender works and what not to say, along with having experience dealing with trauma, can be important. I promise you that they’re out there (especially in big cities) if you wish to go the therapy route.

I hope some of this helped. Take care of yourself, okay?

-Rose

Anonymous asked
What does it mean to 'be groomed' by a man? I've seen it twice in the asks and I couldn't find an answer through google. Could you please define? Thanks

It doesn’t have to be a man, it can be anyone! A groomer is someone that builds an emotional connection with a child or young person so they can sexually harm them. Grooming is when the abuser gets close to the ‘target’ and often their families, gaining their trust and manipulating them into doing things for the abuser’s gain.

It’s often used in an online sense, seen in chatrooms and on social media where abusers can adopt an anonymous persona and pretend to be the target’s friend, saying they have similar interests.

In real life groomers can be friends, family or another young person; sometimes promises of gifts, or threats or intimidation are used to isolate the target and make them comply to the abusers needs.

Many children and young people don’t understand that they have been groomed, or what has happened is abuse.

If I’ve missed anything mods/followers feel free to add to this,

Hope this helps

Hannah

Anonymous asked
I'm the anon who asked about attachment to males and it's comforting to hear that this is common. It's just that I'm in a relationship at the moment and it's so frustrating. I can't trust males or be friends with them, and I misinterpret their friendly actions as flirting or sexual advances. It's just frustrating.

Glad we could help. :)

-Rose