The First Time I Told My Mother About My Sexual Assault

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When it happened, I didn’t think much of it. I’d never been one of the popular girls, and I’d kissed only one person before, although I was seventeen. I was drunk and we kissed, and then it was more and I said no, and asked him to stop, and I cried, and he held me down with his knees and forced his penis into my mouth.

The next day, I saw him and he didn’t even look at me. I’ve never seen him again, and I don’t think he’d recognise me if he did.

He was a year or two younger than me, and dating my a friend of a friend: I hadn’t known he’d had a girlfriend, and I felt guilty. I woke up and vomited and blamed myself, and I felt guilty for years. I put it down to stupidity and regretted it and I thought I got over it. But I started thinking about it the year before last, when I was twenty two, and I started to think about the occurrence differently.

I spoke to friends about it, and went to a therapist, and eventually, when I felt like I was dealing with it , I told my mother about it.

She told me she thought I was overreacting. That people make mistakes. That it would be better if I just forgot about it.

And part of me knew she was right. But all I’d wanted was a hug.

We’ve never spoken about it again.

It could have been so much worse and I feel guilty even dwelling on this, as though I’m making a bigger deal out of it than I ought to, because it could have been worse.

4 thoughts on “The First Time I Told My Mother About My Sexual Assault

  1. That is, and was, a big deal! Seriously, a similar thing happened to me, and the only way that I dealt with it adequately was to see it for what it is! Don’t let anyone dictate how you should feel about stuff! You deserve a hug and even more than that, you need understanding and support.


  2. People’s reactions can be so flawed – that you should move on, snap out of it, try to forget it….and so on, mostly because they feel too uncomfortable / ill equipped to talk about it with you. But it was YOUR body he assaulted, and you who has to then pick up the pieces. You sound like you’re looking after yourself in a positive and healthy way – through therapy. At the end of the day you’re not the one who should be feeling guilty, and there’s no set time-frame for recovery, no ‘right’ way to feel about it.


  3. I have quite a similar story, first I dismissed it as “a strange guy”, “a bad date”, “he was bad in bed”… A few years later it came up again and I worked to accept that it was rape and that yes I was asleep until he woke me up with his dick inside of me after I had told him I wasn’t interested, and went to sleep. I also saw a counselor for depression and was able to start working through a lot of what I had been ignoring.
    I wanted to tell my mother, I wanted to tell a version of my mother that I know does not exist…
    I was visiting home and a rape had been in the news and my family was asking the cliché “where was she?, was she drunk? etc.?”
    At this point my experience was on my mind and I told them as if it was the story of a close friend of mine and not me…. and the response from my mother, “Well, if she’s letting men fall asleep in her bed, I’m sorry but that’s not rape, that’s foolishness on her part”

    I will never tell her or anyone in my family. Thank you for sharing. I know the feeling that as her daughter I want her to be there while I am healing.


  4. It was not your fault. You weren’t overreacting, and people, loved ones or just friends or even strangers, shouldn’t down grade something as serious as rape, even if they “don’t know them”. Rape is not something to joke about or lie about, it’s a serious thing that happens and will tear people apart until they are nothing left but an empty shell.
    It is not something that can be easily forgotten or something to just get over, no one should tell anyone who has been through this to “get over it”, this just makes them feel worse and lost and makes them second guess what happened to them.
    People who this horrible thing has happened to become depressed and angry and disgusted with themselves. Please never, ever down play something as serious as rape or any form of sexual molestation, what you say could be a small bridge crossed between life and death.
    I am sorry. I know how it feels to feel helpless and scared and angry and worthless being of an ass who has no respect for the human state of mind or life.
    It will never be your fault.


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