Saturday, June 20, 2009

Guilt For The Rapist

I have many days like today, they happen time and again and I cannot associate a rhyme or reason to them.

I feel remorse and guilt for the rapist and what it must be going through.

I feel like I need to get the organism released, make it my mission to get it out of prison.

The reality is I did nothing wrong, nor do I think that it did anything right but, the feelings are still here.

Although I am not 100 percent and have lost almost everything, there is an element of guilt I feel for the freedom I have.

Many would say do you have complete freedom and the answer is probably no, but I have physical freedom, the rapist does not.

Sometimes I believe that I feel this way because I knew the organism before the rape. Maybe it is easier on the mind to remember times that were not possessive or violent.

Other times I believe I feel this way because I really do not believe in hate. I do not hate the organism.

And still other times I believe that I feel this way because I don't believe I was punished by being raped or any other negative thing. I can choose how to deal with it and no one else can.

When I really recall possessive times and the rape itself, I know what the organism did was it's choice and that it was wrong.

I may never know why I personally feel guilt but I think the main reason is that I still have physical freedom.

Victoria Placeo

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Coping Skills For Rape Anniversary Dates

Today is 13th months since the rape. Instead of looking back at all that I have lost, I have decided to spend this rape anniversary date focusing on the ways I have coped.

Some sexual assault anniversary dates have been harder for me then others. One of the main things I have noticed is that there seems to be no rhyme or reason to why the dates are better or worse.

I must admit that some were so bad that the coping skills that I list below did not work at all, however other times many skills did help.

The skills I used are as follows:

- Look at what I have not want I do not - by trying to make my main focus of the day finding the things I have, did redirect my mind. Instead of dwelling on memories I had to search to find what was good in my life.

- Humor movies that did not involve sex- I have heard it many times that laughter is the best medicine. Although it was tough to laugh on certain rape anniversary dates, others times it seemed to be a great benefit.

- Self-help books, that are not about rape or sexual assault- although I am not an avid reader and at times have trouble focusing on a book or audio book, if I did read excerpts of certain self-help and positive thinking books I was able to change my thinking.

- Practicing "NOW" thinking- Consistently bringing myself back to the now and what is going on in my currently helped my brain stay busy, it seemed to help quite a bit.


I know the are few suggestions, but I am a bit knew at this type of coping. I hope it helps someone.


Victoria Placeo

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sexual Assault Survivor and Family Issues

I went to a wedding this weekend with my entire extended family. Only my immediate family knows about the rape. I really don't know why they have not said a word. If someone gets sick, laid off, etc. everyone knows.

I wonder if they are embarrassed of me or if they are trying to protect me. It hurts a bit that I am kept a secret.

Back to the wedding, it actually went okay. I had a relatively decent time, and only the unexpected noises bothered me, until the end of the night. By that time I was on overload. I couldn't handle anymore people or noises.

During the day on the way to the wedding a funny thing happened. The Rock and I were driving to the wedding and one of my family members that was with us asked if I was coming to an upcoming concert. A concert that was taking place in the small town where the rape occurred.

I told them know and they questioned me. I heard The Rock mumble under his breath "are you kidding me." I wanted to burst out in laughter, and I was shocked that he said such a thing to a family member without barely knowing them.

I brought it up to my therapist just to let her know what my last week had been like. She stated it was a good thing to have the person I am with the most be supportive. She stated that a lot of the time it happens the other way, where the family is supportive and the individual the rape victim is with is not supportive.

I am grateful for that, however I still have a tremendously difficult time being around my family. I love them but I don't understand them.


Victoria Placeo

Monday, June 15, 2009

Nightmares, Fear, and PTSD after Rape

I have not written much, it seems I am getting better and worse at the same time.

Noises are starting to bother me more then ever. They do not have to be loud just unexpected. I also had a nightmare last night, one of the more frightening ones I have had.

I dreamt that the organism was having a parole hearing and I had to go. I was fearful in the beginning but not horrified. Then the police officer that was helping me after the rape appeared in my dream. Apparently, he was part of the hearing.

Then it happened, there were only two policemen in the room and they left me. They left me alone with the organism. I was terrified, the organism came near me quickly. I wanted to run, but I could not I had to hold the organism back. I was able to, but no one came back, they left me.

I awoke at 3am and then again at 4am and then a few hours later.

I saw my therapist today, and she told me that my fear of the organisms release, which could be 1 to 3 years from now, could be the reason for the noises, dreams etc.

I have also been very depressed lately about my circumstances, I want to move but am unable to now. I think that may be adding to the symptoms. I want to distance myself from where the organism may be upon release.

I am fearful and have these worsening symptoms, but yet every time I am down or scared, I pick a bright side out of all of it.

That is why I say I am better and worse. I sit on my pity pot for a while and then realize that none of the negative feelings do me any good.

I am just scared sometimes,and as you can tell from my lack of blogging that I have become less interested in life.

I know it will pass, I hope it is soon, because this startle effect is scary, embarrassing, and feels like it is out of my control.


Victoria Placeo

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Family Frustrations After Rape

I really don't get my family, although I am like them of course in many ways, I cannot understand their insensitivity or lack of thought.

I realize that it has been a year plus since the rape, but that does not mean I don't remember, or still have some issues regarding it.

Last night I received a text message from one of my family members, who now is residing in the town I was raped in.

The message was asking me what bars I went to when I lived there. WHAT? COME ON, USE YOUR HEAD! Odd that I would say that because she is one of the smartest ones in the family.

It may have been a year plus, but............DO YOU THINK I WANT TO REMEMBER WHERE I HUNG OUT OR ANYTHING RELATED TO THE RAPE?!?!?

Then today I got another text message from a different family member. It was a joke text about different sex things. Now it did not really offend me the joke itself but.............WHERE IS YOUR FREAKIN HEAD, DO YOU BOTHER TO THINK THAT MAYBE I AM NOT THE ONE TO BE SENDING SEXUAL JOKES TO?

People don't think and people don't understand the trauma of rape ( I did not either).

I am in such shock of those who find out and are indifferent, insensitive, and just plain stupid.

For such an advanced world we sure have some stupid people, or maybe it is just my family and friends. Perhaps stupid is to harsh, I should have said insensitive but...........IT IS MY BLOG SO I'M STICKING WITH STUPID.


Victoria Placeo

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Secondary Victim of Rape - Victoria being heard

The Rock, my main secondary victim of rape, sent this to me. Please Read Below:

As we have lived together a point of contention has arisen. That is interrupting. It’s a common occurrence that people do and have had done to others. I am very guilty of that practice. My intent is not to be rude, but it stems from my desire to have the person talking to me know that I am with them in their discussion and to let them know that I understand what they are saying. At least this is my thought on why I do it.

In actuality…. It stems from my know-it-all personality. I tend to devour information which is mostly useless to the general public. I’m a trivia junky and love to be able to tell people, for example the names of the two Muppets in the balcony from the Muppet Show (Statler and Waldorf). These little tidbits of knowledge have given me a false sense that because I know certain things, that I can know it all. In living with a survivor, I’ve really need to watch myself.

That night, Victoria was not heard. It is one of many things that we as secondary survivors need to be aware of as we and our loved one go through the healing process. They need to be heard, they need to be listened to and they need to be loved.



He is so right and I could not ask for a more understanding person to help me through all of this. Thank you!


Victoria Placeo



Saturday, June 6, 2009

Characteristics of My Rapist

One thing that has begun in the past two to three months is that I have been seeing my rapist face and having to double take individuals to make sure it is not the organism.

Logically I know that my rapist is put away in prison and is not out wandering around. However, men with similar features such as eyes, hair, or face structure, stop me in my tracks.

It is amazing how people look alike or how the imagination of a rape survivor works. I simply will be walking along, see a man, and freeze. I am embarrassed because I look back at the man several times. I look back to calm myself that it is not the organism and also see all the similar features.

I look in fear and in amazement when I check out these individuals. I honestly cannot tell if I am imagining the similarities or if the certain features are just triggers.

I really feel for rape survivors that do not know what their rapist looked like. It must be very fearful walking around wondering if anyone close in proximity is their rapist.

I hate to claim them that way but I just don't know how else to say it. I don't know if I will ever stop seeing my rapist, it is a part of my life that seems to be an unconscious reaction. My hope is one day all the unconscious parts will stop or perhaps the EMDR will make them less traumatic.

Victoria Placeo

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Rape and Depression

I have been extremely depressed lately. I don't know if it is because of the rape, but I really don't think so.

Memories have been coming back, nightmares and dreams of the rape, and life proceeding it have begun again, and I am just so sad.

I know that I stated that I don't believe that my depression is because of the rape, it could be. What I do think is causing the recurrence and memories is my unhappiness now.

I am not thrilled to live where I live. I do not have enough money to move yet. I have no friends here, my family hardly calls, and my car just blew up. Put all of that together and that leaves one sad, lonely, isolated girl.

It would be nice to blame all of this on the organism. Unfortunately, it only played one part in my sadness. Other individuals, situations, and circumstances have added to this sense of purposelessness ( is that a word?).

I have done no real research on if external stressors can lead to recurrence of memories etc. I try no to do research to often, I don't want to put things into my head. However, I am sure that it may play a part. I would really like to know the answer to that, I have thought about researching it, just have not had the energy.

Perhaps I will ask my counselor on Monday, if I can borrow a car to get there:(

YES I AM FEELING SORRY FOR MYSELF!


Victoria Placeo

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Immediate Reactions After Rape

An issue I did not ever touch on were my immediate reactions and behaviors following the rape.

The days proceeding the rape I was very anxious and erratic. This continued for about two months.

Instantly I wanted to change my hair color, get a new car, cut off my long finger nails, and change my last name. I did not want anyone to recognize me.

I was very serious about those things and am still considering changing my last name. Many people may say that is ridiculous, and in some cases, as I look back, it was. However at the time it was very real and I was very serious about the changes.

When searching for answers recently about my immediate reactions after the rape, I found some information on Rape Trauma Syndrome (RTS). While reading through the symptoms I found this:

"persistent symptoms of increased arousal, which involve irritability and outburst of anger, troubled concentrating, hypervigilance, exaggerated startle response"

I also found information regarding quick decision making. With both of these I guess it shows that I was experiencing (or still am) RTS and PTSD.

I am one of those people that hate to admit that something affected me like this. However, I cannot remain in denial about all the reactions I had after the rape.

For others (so you don't feel so alone) below are thoughts and actions I did for a few months after the rape:

I did dye my hair
I did cut off my finger nails
I did look for a new car
I did apply for jobs everywhere
I did think that I was in danger and had to hideout
I did think my family was in danger
I did cut off friends
I was rude to people who got in my way
I was confused
I was scared
I did do my makeup differently


I am sure there are more and if I think of them I will let you know.


Victoria Placeo