>Kristy, you are most certainly correct about the psychological difficulties
>regarding Rape. In my experience, almost all the Women I have had
>"relations" with, have told me of being raped at least once, many had much
>more heinous stories that I would rather not mention. Richard is definitely
>correct when he states that "We can be happy and successful by choosing the
>attitudes with which we look at the past, present, and future.". I have
>enough experience with rape victims in a personal relationship that I can
>say a few things about it - I will limit my discussion to women with whom I
>have been intimate AND close to emotionally.
You know, that's what I find really disturbing and jolting. The realization that it has happened to MOST people, instead of few. It's bad enough that it does happen in this world, and you grow up thinking that bad things like that happen to *other* people, and at least a minority. But then you become an adult and recognize that it's touched everyone around you. Instead of having a _few_ friends/loved ones that have had horrible things done to them, it's the majority. My point is- whether you are a victim personally or not, rape effects absolutely everyone.
>1> In my experience, about 60% of women I know have specifically told me
>they have been raped.
>2> The 3 responses most common in my experience are:
>a. About 50%: Dealed well with it and improved their understanding of men.
>Fully functional, ready and willing sexually. Still angry and upset but the
>anger is directed.
>b. About 30%: Not-stable. Not accepting of what happened but generally
>"block" the thought from their lives the best they can. Occasional freak
>outs and instabilities that have gotten me concerned. Usually still ready
>and willing to have a healthy sex life. And don't hate "men".
>c. About 20%: Blocked out entirely until emotional explosion did serious
>emotional damage. Dysfunctional sexually and emotionally. Medicated and
>still unaccepting of reality. I am VERY familiar with this situation - too
>much so. Lack of trust in men makes it very difficult for a caring male to
>help, this is the most distressing aspect.
>3> Those in group A are, in my experience, the brightest and generally most
>successful. A close friend "Lisa" experienced the most extreme rape I know
>of or have heard of. When she gave me the details I was aghast and amazed
>what the human soul could handle. With a great deal of admiration, I stayed
>with Lisa for a while, and her courage and strength of spirit amazed me.
>4> Group B is a bit different. "Julie" would go between extremes and
>sometimes was a great burden emotionally. "Julie" is a very religious person
>and had several other "man" related problems - not only that, she has her
>doctorate in Physics. Her and I would argue "god" endlessly and love doing
>it. She was sexually functional and did not seem to associate "men" with
>"rape". Our relationship flourished.
>5> Group C is where I have the most experience - unfortunately. I have spent
>many years with one of these. It has caused so much suffering and pain for
>both this person and myself, that it has nearly cost us our relationship
>several times. I am paying dearly for the offenses of another man from 15
>yrs ago. This problem does not go away, and seldom improves. I know this
>person better than any other person - yet the damage caused by a single
>"questionable" rape was far more than the severe rape case in group A.. I
>love this person very much, but she is philosophically challenged and does
>not have the reasoning tools that most people here take for granted. Without
>these tools, or even the tools to use these tools, I suspect that
>improvement will take a long time.
This really hits home; I'm going through the same thing with two close friends of mine right now. Both are childhood/teenage incest-survivors. Both have had very negative effects lasting into their adulthood. However, one is truly, badly fucked-up and unable to live a normal life, and the other is now healthy, ambitious, and an incredibly sweet and nice person. Although I have explained to her and we both realize the lasting effects and problems that arose because of the past, she doesn't seem "affected" now.
On the other hand, I have difficulty with my 'messed up' friend. Now, her experience was of a worse 'degree', but she really is a LOT more unstable than many other vicitms. It's so hard...I feel like I'm drowning too, trying to save her. She's battled various medications but will not seek professional help. She's still in an abusive relationship, in fact. Most of the time she's the most wonderful person on earth, but when she loses her grip, causes me a lot of pain as well, but then is extremely sorry afterwards. And she won't turn to or confide in anyone else but me. I feel like one person acting alone in lifting a mountain, or trying to single-handedly put out a forest fire. It's rough. ;-/
> My point is - the perspective of the victim can turn an event into
>something positive (even if the event itself was decidedly not positive).
>The pain can be self perpetuating in a mentality that hosts fear well, and
>is inflexible. Those with flexible and thought out philosophies, seemed to
>be far more balanced after such an awful experience.
I fully agree about the unpredictable effects of various degrees of assault. They stress this a LOT in rape-counseling workshops, and make sure to emphasize that you understand not to 'prioritize' pain because different people react in extremely different manners, and it's important not to judge experiences as 'bad' and 'worse'- all are equally bad. I don't know what makes some victims better able to handle it than others, but I know that I feel much better *dealing* with problems (which is why I like to help rape victims), rather than ignoring them. Apathy only makes everything worse.