Dear Dr. Patti,
My name is Sandy and I'm 15. I guess I should start at the beginning. I don't remember this really well, so bear with me.
When I was 7 or 8, my best friend was a guy. He was really sweet and all and was a couple years older than me. He would NEVER hurt me. One day I was at his house like usual, and his sister brought her boyfriend over with another friend, Candy. Their parents weren't home, yet. So, Candy and his sister went to do something in another part of the house while my friend, the boyfriend, and I stayed in the back. The boyfriend was at least 16 or 17. He told my friend to go help his sister while I stayed in the back with him. I didn't care. I was really trusting at the time. We sat on the bed and talking when he started talking about my "boyfriend". Then he said something like, "I bet he never does this...", and started touching me and stuff. I really didn't know what was going on, but I knew it wasn't right. I told him I didn't want to do this anymore and he started doing more. He stuck his fingers inside me and kissed me. I was stiff and scared. I started to cry and he told me I'd be in trouble if anyone ever found out. So, I quieted down. He wanted me to touch him and do stuff so, I did. Then, the parents came home and he got up really fast. He reminded me not to tell and seeing an opportunity, I ran out of the house and went home. When I got home, I had blood and semen on my dress. When My mom got worried I told her I didn't remember and must have fallen. She knew I was lying but as she tried to get me to talk, she saw I wasn't budging and told me to take a bath.(She always does that to get me to calm down.) I never told her the truth and soon the family moved away.
Many years later, when I was 13, and after a lot of psychiatric care and no results, my family and I were at a big park one night watching a concert when I got bored. Smart me had to go off BY MYSELF wandering around. Well, not too long after that, a car drove up and the man inside asked if he could give me a ride. I told him I was fine, but he persisted, and I eventually got in the car. He drove a little ways and parked. He started getting all over me, and I quickly got out of the car. He got out after me and chased me. Smart me, again, decided to run into the trees to lose him. But when I came to a dead end, he caught up and I gave up. I told him NO! but he wouldn't listen. I was too tired to fight. We were hidden from view of the road, and I will never forgive myself for not yelling when that one car drove by. He raped me. When he was done, he got up and threw my underwear at me and walked back to his car. I stayed there, making sure he was gone before I went to find a bathroom to clean myself up. When I came out my parents were calling me. A few nights later, I had a major flashback and I told my parents what happened. The police were called, but my mom didn't press charges,because we didn't know who he was.
I decided to get better mainly because of my mother not really believing I was raped, and partly because I was raped. Sounds weird doesn't it? Things have gotten no easier and I still suffer bouts of depression and many flashbacks and nightmares, but at least my mother's on my side now.
Dr Patti responds:
Thanks for writing to Girlthrive. I am so glad to hear that your mother is on your side. You are very young to be dealing with this abuse and there are so many girls who feel better when they process their abuse when they are teens. You do sound as if you are putting yourself down quite a bit and you really could stop blaming yourself. Who would think that walking off alone would bring a rapist to your path?! Both abuses are not your fault. Please try to stop blaming yourself. Of course you have fears and you have dreams about this and you get upset. But it is better to get upset now and deal with all this so that you will no longer be in danger and you will be much stronger. The experience of when you were 13 is particularly frightening, and many girls talk about being paralyzed and not being able to scream when they are being attacked. Thank goodness you got away in the end. Please make a list of the good things you like about yourself and try to appreciate yourself. It will help you so much to have your mother on your side. You may try to get the book "How Long will this Hurt".
...................Best to you, xo Dr. Patti.