SEX AFTER RAPE

Hailey Allen of Helping SAVE | March 21, 2016

I've learned a lot about sex these past 12 years after being raped. Right after my rape experience I felt that no one would ever want me. In fact that is what my rapist told me, “You’re a sinner, God hates you. No one will ever love you.” That phrase played over and over in my head reinforcing that I was tainted and broken. This horrible state of living attracted men who wanted to abuse and use me for their own sexual pleasure. I accepted the situation feeling I didn't deserve more.

We waited until our wedding night to have sex. I dreaded that moment for months. I was so afraid my body would become frozen as it had with my rapist.

Years later, I married my husband. We waited until our wedding night to have sex. I dreaded that moment for months. I was so afraid my body would become frozen as it had with my rapist. My anxiety was so great that I was put on Zoloft so I could get out of bed, feed myself and somewhat function.

Even though I married an incredibly kind and supportive man, I still spent many years crying after sex. If I enjoyed it then I felt "dirty" and mentally told myself I was a slut. If I dissociated (as I did most of the time), I wasn’t mentally present. This would then make me feel used and broken. I didn't understand how something that was supposed to be so wonderful, and my body naturally wanted, caused me so much pain.

After years of this, I had endured enough. I decided I needed help understanding what sex was supposed to be like, because I hated it. When I did everything "right" I still felt unlovable, guilty and used. I began praying a lot. Then my nightmares, flashbacks, and anxiety drastically increased. I realized what I was feeling in the present about sex was related to being raped over 12 years before. It was then that I felt strong enough to ask for help, and seek out trained rape trauma therapists, and other natural types of healing.

For years I have hated sex and have wished to live in a sexless world, but now I am grateful for intimacy.

Last night was an incredible night for me. After almost a decade of marriage I had completely guilt-free intimacy with my husband. In fact it was fun! I had sex because I wanted to. I didn't worry about anyone or anything else, because we were both fully there together. 

For years I have hated sex and have wished to live in a sexless world, but now I am grateful for intimacy. 

Matt Atkinson says in his book Resurrection After Rape that healthy sexuality is "any expression of sexuality that uplifts the human worth of any person involved, and enhances self-worth rather than diminishing it.” I cried when I read this quote a year ago; I felt it was a beautiful dream that I could never achieve. Now I know it's an incredible truth that I want for me and for others to experience.

Honey1 Comment