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Am I being a complete idiot?

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I'm not diagnosed with PTSD - I think I just have some kind of post-trauma effects that don't really add up to full PTSD, they're just a pain on their own. Just figured this was the best board for this.

[Trigger warning for mention of rape]

I was date-raped less than a year ago and endured both that and an unproductive trip to the police station that was almost worse, so I'm dealing but there are still issues. I'm also a 20 y o in my first year of Acting at University, drug-controlled depression and all that.

My best friend has really helped me get desensitised to physical positions and to the location of the event itself. I still hate going into the room where it happened but I don't feel like I can't breathe so much any more, so that is an improvement. i still read my feminist news blogs but I tend to avoid stuff that is too rapey, they help me by including trigger warnings. I have fainted at a play before because there was a rape scene, and I actively avoided sex and dating etc for a good seven months afterwards because I couldn't deal with it.

I've just signed up to be in the Arts centre production of the Penelopiad. This is optional, I don't need to do this for my course. And the play, while feminist and everything, is way rapey. I have spoken to the director and we agreed that I won't have to actually portray a rape on stage as a victim, but I may well have to be on stage while this is taking place. I wonder whether I'm taking a risk for no reason, but more freaky than that, there was a part of me going, 'You should just go for it, and portray the rape, it will be good for you' and I'm wondering what the hell is up with that. There's no way it would be good for me right now.

Also I finally had sex again, nine months after it happened, and I felt good about it, but I'm kind of concerned in that it is a friends-casually-having-sex type relationship with a guy with a 'bad boy' persona, a tendancy to refuse to say what he means, and alcohol and drug issues - exactly like the guy who raped me. I don't know maybe this is incoherant I guess I'm just worried that I'm doing stuff for messed up reasons that I don't fully understand. To be clear, the new guy is absolutely Mr Enthusiastic Consent in the bedroom, even when he's had a few. It's just that when I first met him, he even reminded me of the other guy for while. I don't know.

I also can't convince myself to go to counselling. I keep deciding to go and I can never follow through.

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  • 2 weeks later...

i can't express how important and wonderful it has been for me going through the process with a therapist. it took 9 years for me to get up the guts to try, and it hasn't been easy all the way, but i've been taking power over my life back. i wish that for you as well, but you have to ask for help.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have been in your shoes and I can see that you are working oh so very hard to overcome the trauma. However, I do think that being in that play will trigger you all to hell and back, so I think you are setting yourself up for re-traumatizing. I suspect that this desire to be in this "rapey" play is an expression of your desire to examine and work through your trauma.

As you know, date rape is no joke. The after-effects can stay with you for many years. I believe if I had had counseling available to me when it happened back in college, I would have healed in a much more thorough and timely way, so I hope you will look into it.. make an anonymous call to the counseling center and ask them for information. What's it like? How long does it last? What kind of training do the counselors have? Ask if they have training on this topic in particular. I think gathering factual information is the first step. Listen to your heart.

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