Sam's Rape in the United Kingdom.

Dear Dr.Patti

My story begins 18 months ago, at Christmas when I was 16. I am now 18.

We were at a party, a whole group of our friends. It was at his house, i had known him for 4 years since we were in the same class at school since we were 12 or 13. He was my friend, i thought i knew him really well, we used to talk, hang out, all the things friends used to do. Never had he shown any sign he was interested in me, and he certainly knew that we were strictly friends nothing more. So i thought nothing of it at the party when he, myself and three other people were sat in his room hanging out at the party. There were people all over the house. We were talking, and although i was drunk/tipsy i certainly knew everything that was going on, even if physically i wasnt quite so together. I left the room to go the toilet, and when i returned i was told that tara and dave (two of the three others in the room) were just leaving. I sat back down, on the floor with Emma (the girl left) this time, and he remained, sat on the bed. Soon, Emma left to talk to a friend upset downstairs.

I thought nothing of being alone with him, and besides other people were around and i presumed Emma would be back in a bit. As soon as Emma left the room he got up and forced himself on top of me, kissing me roughly and undoing my shirt. i struggled and asked what the hell he thought he was doing. i thought maybe he was just drunk, but i was still scared. This wasnt the guy i knew, he was being so rough. rolling, i struggled to a somewhat sitting postion but he just forced himself back on top of me, ripped down my pants and panties, and after i screamed and begged him to stop, covered my mouth with his hand. I still wonder why no1 came, i guess it wasnt out of the ordinary in the drunken atmosphere of the party. i was panicking so much i could hardly breathe. i knew i had no chance. he knew i didnt want it, but i was tipsy and had no chance struggling against a 6ft bloke. and he knew it. he pushed his penis into my vagina, still covering my mouth. i screamed against his hand, tried one last time already somewhat resigned and numb to what was happening to push him off. all i can remember is pain and blood. i couldnt believe how rough he was with me. i was a virgin. that became my "special" first time. i cried silently through the whole thing, tears running down my face, staring at the white patterns on the ceiling. once, he met my crying eyes, and just pushed harder. finally it was over and he left. he didnt say a word. i fixed my clothes - numb and shocked. it was like i wasnt even me. like i was watching someone else walk back down the stairs, like i was watching someone else walk head down past the room i knew was full of people, like i was watching someone else politely say goodbye to him. i mean, after everything, i even said goodbye.

i never said a word to anyone until almost 6 months after. at the time, my father was dying in hospital with brain cancer and my mum was already struggling to cope. i knew that i couldnt cope with both, so i pushed it aside, pretended it didnt happen. but it caught up with me. in nightmares if nothing else. which i still have. i have since struggled with depression, anxiety disorders, panic attacks and self harm. after much failed counselling, i tried to kill myself last year. fortunately i have come a long way since then, and now see what a stupid idea it was. In my first relationship since that night, i shook and flinched everytime my boyfriend touched me because i was so afraid. as a result, we quickly split because of my fear of men.

despite this, i am so much further on now. i am slowly accepting the event, starting to see myself not as a victim but as a survivor - and i am in the process of working through it. I am going to a top university, i have good friends, and i am learning to trust again - slowly. i still cant say the word 'rape' (especially aloud) in describing it, but i have finally told people about what happened, and that was the hardest thing and the first step.

i guess deep down it wasnt my fault, but deep down there is always a niggle that it was, that i am some whore who lead him on and asked for it.

i wanted to share my story, both as a release for me and as an assertion of my recovery, and in the hope that maybe i can provide some solace for someone else who is suffering.

...........Love, Sam x.

Dr. Patti responds:

Dear Sam X:

         Oh my God, thank goodness you did not kill yourself. I speak to so many adolescent girls who have had thoughts of wanting all the feelings to stop, and they don't know how to do that so sometimes they medicate through drinking and/or drugging. Sometimes girls do self harm, and sometimes they could go into a depressions. you had so much going on with your family at the time you did not feel you could share your problems... So you pushed the rape deep down inside and then got very depressed. I know you must have felt some guilt, but how were you to know that this boy you knew from 6 years would rape you. I do hear from girls more often then I would like to say how they thought they knew the guy and did not expect him to rape... You did nothing wrong. He is the one to blame fully. You could not have any idea that hanging out alone in a room with a guy you knew and trusted for 4 years would violently rape you. You had no way of knowing, you will need to accept that it is not your fault one bit. It is also alright that your first boyfriend and you did not work out. Maybe he was not the right person for you. You need someone that will be very gentle and understanding. Please get my book, it will help you even more. You are on the road to recovery and sound very strong to me. Thanks so much for sharing your story and showing other girls that there is good life after rape and that girls can get through trauma and be so resilient.

................................Congratulations!!! Dr. Patti.

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