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What Happened When I Told My Best Friend About My Rape

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It had been five months since my rape. I told no one but my mom. I felt so alone because I was afraid to say anything, especially to my best friend. The person who raped me was a mutual friend of ours. I couldn’t tell her about the rape without telling her who it was. I was afraid she might not believe me or if she did she might say something to him.

• What is PTSD?

When I told her about it I could immediately see the disbelief in her face but quickly realized it wasn’t what I thought. It’s not that she didn’t believe me, it was she couldn’t believe that I wouldn’t have told her. I explained to her my fears and reasons for not telling anyone. I could see that she understood. And while we didn’t discuss any details or go any further with the topic, I felt a huge relief. I know if I needed to I could tell her everything, but I also knew she understood I didn’t want to at the time. I began to feel not so alone.

I believe telling her was truly the first step to my healing. I don’t have to hide from her what I am going through. I know she has my back.

Talking about the rape and admitting it happened was the first step for me. I have been in therapy for the past three months working through my trauma. It is a hard road to recovery. I have post-traumatic stress disorder. I get flashbacks, nightmares and panic attacks. I know this will be with me for the rest of my life, but now I know it won’t control the rest of my life. I am not alone, and neither is anyone else going through this. I encourage anyone struggling with PTSD or sexual assault trauma to reach out.

If you or a loved one is affected by sexual abuse or assault and need help, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.

Getty Image by oneinchpunch

Originally published: December 7, 2017
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