Monday, October 26, 2009

Anti- Social Since The Rape

I really don't know if anti-social is the right word for what I am going through but I think people get the picture.

Ever since the rape and the events that followed it, I really have no desire to talk to anyone. Of course, I do, but I go to lengths to avoid having to. I simply have nothing to say.

I was never much of a social butterfly anyway but I did go out with more people and strike up more conversations. I guess words are just not that important anymore, things said can be changed in a second.

Also, I believe a trust issue may be the culprit behind why I don't want to speak to anyone. The rape in itself is a trust breaker, but the people that I thought would be there as a strong support simply were not.

It doesn't matter to me whether they knew how to deal with it. There are many things I can't deal with but do anyway. You figure out how to deal with things, whether you like it or not. I don't think anyone has any excuse for not being there.

I know this is a pretty pessimistic post but I really feel this way ( at least I do now).

I have been referring to myself as the "old" me and I know that is damaging. However, that is how I see it much of the time, the old me was more outgoing, put together, and more conversational.

I know the right thing to do is forget about the old me and focus on now and the present, but it creeps up on me when I least expect it.



Victoria Placeo



Sunday, October 25, 2009

Seasonal Changes After Rape

I have read and many people have said to me that the rape anniversary date is the hardest for many people.

I personally have found that the season changes affect me more then the actual rape date. It seems that when a new season comes around that a plethora of memories come rushing back to me and they are hard to get rid of.

This fall is extremely difficult for me. It seems that things are getting worse then better. I am constantly thinking of the rapist, but the sad thing is it is not so much in a negative way. Don't get me wrong it is not in a positive way either.

Many already know that I new the rapist before the rape. I met him in the fall of 2007. We had good times together. However as things progressed I noticed behaviors that were unhealthy and at times scary so I ended our relationship.

During this fall I am constantly reminded of the rapist and the good times. When I bear down and think about him I then remember the unhealthy times and the rape. But prior to remembering the negative, I remember the good times.

The good times are not necessarily just about the rapist, however he was a part of my life at that time. I think I remember the good times during this season because I was where I wanted to be in life and now I am not.

Due to this season changes and memories I am bogged downed with depression. I am learning new skills to deal with the depression, but the pain is unbearable. It seems that as soon as I get used to memories of a new season, then a new season rolls around.

The feel in the air, the weather, the sites associated with the seasons all affect me.

Winter is coming and I hope and will try to cope with the new season the best I can. The good news is that fall is the hardest for me because it was when I was the happiest prior to the rape.


Victoria Placeo

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Hopelessness After The Rape

I am not about to say that all my current pain and depression is due to the rape. I have suffered from a bit of depression all my life. However, it is much worse then it was before the rape.

I am still functional, working, doing daily tasks, but I cry daily. I really don’t have a bad life. I just feel so alone, ugly, worthless, etc.

I know rationally there are good things going on in my life. I am not ugly, nor am I worthless. I feel like the little egg in the anti-depressant commercials. The cloud keeps following me.

This time of the year since the rape oddly enough reminds me more of the rapist and the rape then the actual rape anniversary date. At this time the year before the rape, I had just moved to the new town and was starting a new job.

I was in a place where I knew no one and was excited to start a new life. That was taken away within months. Perhaps I am not so depressed about the rap e as I am about the life I lost.

I know that moving forward and having forward thinking is my only choice. I have started using the self help tool that I used to get over my fear of people. With a bit of time I am sure it will help just like it did before.

In my past depressive times, of course I felt bad, but never this bad. Remembering a life I was so excited about is hard.

I am mad at myself for looking back, forward is the only obvious way to look. Looking back at losses will get me no where, but it feels so automatic.

Victoria Placeo


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Need For Structure After Rape

I have found since the rape, that I need to know what is going on at all times. I become extremely uncomfortable if my imagined schedule changes.

For example, if I am planning to do some things after work, I become very agitated and demanding if a change occurs. If The Rock informs me that something is going on and I did not plan on it, it throws into a whirlwind. I have to know what time, where, and who is going to be there. I need to know these things immediately, and don't do well with vague answers.

Before the rape, I was pretty easy going about where I was going to be and if it changed it changed, no big deal.

I have been trying to figure out why I need to know the specifics so frantically. Why was I so easy going before and now I need to know exact details.

Before I go into the answers I found I want to elaborate on trying to figure things out. It is my belief that there is no real reason to try and figure things out. It does you know good I believe to find the cause, because the only thing you can change is the present and the future. I am not saying that finding the cause may not be beneficial to other people, I just don't think it is good for me.

You know what..........I do it anyway..........a habit I am trying to work on. Trying to focus on the present and future not the past.

Now onto what I discovered while wondering why I need so much structure. I came to the conclusion that not only the rape but everything preceding it was unexpected.

I of course was not expecting someone to break down my door or rape me. Also, I did not know what to expect during the entire legal proceedings, the job loss, who would help me etc.

I had not constants, nothing real reliable to count on, except The Rock. I am not trying to diminish The Rocks support, but that support is all I knew. I did not know where I would be from day to day.

That is my little take on why I need structure. I firmly believe that after a rape or any type of violent crime, a victim must have some daily structure. Unfortunately, for some it is not that easy.


Victoria Placeo

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Forgiveness After Rape

I know that I have written in the past about forgiveness after rape. I wrote mostly regarding forgiving the rapist. I know that many people were shocked when I said I forgave the rapist. What I meant was I forgave the rapist and not the action he did. There is a very big difference.

By holding on to hate, I was not hurting the rapist at all, just myself. Hate makes you sick, it keeps memories alive. For me forgiving the rapist was a way of saying " ok there is this very sick and twisted individual who committed a horrendous act, and act that I can do nothing about anymore, I did my best."

I look at the rapist in two conflicting ways, a less than human way and and humane way. The less than human way allows me to view the rapist as being sick and not mentally right in a horrible way. The humane way is sick people make mistakes and "let he who has no sin cast the first stone." Depending on the days I was having I would look at the rapist in one of these ways.

This post was not intended to rehash any previous posts about forgiving the rapist. However, since so many struggle with it, I thought it needed to be said. The purpose of this post was to forgive others that were in some way associated with the rape.

I am speaking of family, friends, officials involved etc. The fact that I looked at the rapist as a sick person made it more difficult for me to accept those whom I did not consider sick who were not the best support.

I have written hateful words about my family especially. It is true all that I wrote and it is true that they were not the best support. However, I would like to address how I feel about their actions now, outside the whirling mix of emotions.

Some of their actions downright shocked me yet others I can understand now. After the rape, I felt I would get more support from The Rock then from my family. Throughout tough times with my family that was a logical and correct choice and I do not regret it.

However, at the times I wrote the posts about the pain my family caused me, I was also in a great state of mixed emotions. I can only speculate on why my family acted like they did and they did and my speculations are these:

They did not know how to handle the rape. Me going to The Rock vs. them may have caused them pain. Perhaps they were hurting and just didn't know how to express it. We have all been there in a situation where we did not know what to say or do and perhaps that was where they were at.

So I would like to publicly apologize for my words in past posts and say to my family that I forgive you and love you regardless of what happened.


Victoria Placeo

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

First Restitution Check From Rapist

Yesterday I received the first restitution check from the rapist. I would have to say my feeling were mixed. I am not getting alot from him just the amount I had to pay for the door he kicked in when he broke in.

I guess I should feel lucky that I get anything at all. Many people do not even get a conviction. I am blessed that I did.

As I was saying I received the check yesterday. I had an instant uproar of emotions. I was of course glad to get money in the mail. Then within seconds, it dawned on me why I was getting it.

It did not make matters better that the rapist's name was on the check stub. Just a waterfall of memories came rushing back and I burst into tears. Why I was crying, I don't actually know.

It was not because I feared the rapist any longer, nor was it a flood of trigger memories. I think it was just a slap in the face realization that it did happen, and although it is over, I will still have things come up over and over again to remind me.

Instant memories that flooded my mind were images of the rapists face, the life that I lost, and events that proceeded the rape. Oddly enough I did not really have to many vivid memories of the rape.

The check was a small amount and the door did cost a bit so if I continue to receive checks it will be for months or even years. Upon that realization, I came to the conclusion that the checks were just one more thing that may be a reminder, and I better get used to it.

Money can not make up for what happened. I lost alot during and after the rape. Not only the the emotional and mental losses but thousands of dollars after job loss and other expenses.

Even with all that monetary loss, I begin to wonder if receiving the restitution for the door is worth it. A bit of money in exchange for a constant reminder? I am not quite sure if it is worth is.

As I said I do feel lucky that there was a conviction and that I received even some sort of restitution. However, in the long run the money cannot make up for the losses that I have been working so hard to overcome.


Victoria Placeo



Sunday, October 11, 2009

Rape Victim Vs. Rape Survivor

You here everywhere about rape victims. You hear about them on the news, in the paper, on websites, everyone seems to be a victim. While I am not arguing that people that are raped have been victimized I believe that perhaps the word victim and the connotations that go with it may be a problem. Even I have slipped numerous times and written victim in my posts.

I learned very early on after the rape, that calling myself a victim would not help my mindset. One definition I found for victim was this "an unfortunate person who suffers from some adverse circumstance." While that definition is not inaccurate, imagine if everyday after the rape I thought of myself that way.

The word victim is true, the person was victimized. However, if they are alive they survived. One definition I found for survivor was this "one who lives through affliction." Isn't that a more positive way to view an "unfortunate" circumstance.

The definition and meaning of survivor carries more empowerment then the word victim. That is what a rape survivor needs after such a horrible experience. They need to feel empowered, safe, and in many cases lucky that they lived.

I have always viewed myself as a survivor, if I didn't I may be in ruins right now. I could imagine myself now if I focused on my victimization. I would think the world was against me, that I deserved something from people. I am not saying I don't deserve respect and caring from people, I am saying I could not drown myself in the negative or perhaps I could not get back up.

Of course, I was victimized, but that does not mean I have to see myself as a victim nor does in mean that I have to focus on all the negatives that come with being a victim.

By reframing my thoughts as a survivor I can focus on other things. Things such as I get to see my family and friends still, I get to see another birthday, Christmas, etc. I lived.

What are your opinions on this?



Victoria Placeo

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Raped By Someone You Know or Don't Know

I again was watching Dateline last night, I probably should stop doing that. Last nights episode was about a rapist who raped many woman during usually when it was raining and if they lived near a forest. They could not find the rapist for many years. He was well hidden, and preserved the DNA evidence well.

These woman went on for years not knowing who the rapist was. Being a survivor myself, I know that every rape is different, and has different symptomatic problems afterwards.

However I can help but wonder how these woman felt, not knowing the rapist. I can imagine in my mind that they were wondering with every man that they saw "could that be him"? Not knowing who to fear and who not to.

I knew my rapist and in know way expected such a violent act from him. I know who to look for, what name to type in to find which prison he is located in. I find some safety in that. However, there comes a different sense of distrust by knowing who it is.

Unlike the woman who could really not know who to trust. I knew someone who raped me that I did trust at one time. I learned after the rape that even people you know cannot be trusted. At least that is what I taught myself.

The distrust continued when I lost friends and people I thought would be there for me in a time of hardship. I believe to some extent that if you know your rapist personally at one time or another, that people may be less apt to before you. That of course is speculation but it may be true.

The women that did not know there rapist in this dateline special could not even identify whom not to trust. Knowing the rapist neither could I. What it boils down to I believe is this:

To get through a rape whether you know or do not know the perpetrator is to think of them differently. Put them in a subcatagory of humans.

I see my rapist as a sick person. Someone who needs help and hopefully can get it. If not he must stay behind bars to protect the rest of the world.

When I look at a rapist whether it was mine or someone else's all I see is sickness, a sickness that may never be cured.

By putting them in this subcatagory, I am able to realize that not all are sick and that people can be trusted



Victoria Placeo

Friday, October 9, 2009

Seeing People Differently After Rape

I often wonder at times while at work or out and about, what people see when they look at me. Not much I suppose, no different then anyone else. Which is good. However, I have seen some people who have found out that I was raped act a bit differently around me. Not in a negative way, they just seem so cautious.

This has not happened often, but I am not surprised by the response. I am sure people wonder things such as "how violent was it", " was I injured", and even " did it really happen'?

The point of this is not what people think whether they know I was raped or not. The point is that it is really very sad that it would take knowing to perhaps see a change in a person and their attitude towards me.

Since the rape, I see people differently. I have know idea where they have been or what they have been through and I try and keep that in mind. Treating each person with kindness. Of course, I am human and I do judge at times automatically.

When I do judge it seconds but no more then minutes to remember that I don't know this person and what they have been through. I have no right to every judge anyone. I end up beating myself up because if I were to find out one thing, it may change my entire perception of a person.

This goes for negative things as well as positive. However, I am no angel, so if I did find out about a negative issue, event, etc. about another I still would have no place to judge.

Things that occur in life either bring out the positive or negative in a person. I have never walked in another's shoes and they have not walked in mine. The rape was a horrible thing, and I live with the negatives of it often.

What I try to do is take note of these positive things I have learned from it to combat any issues I may have. So far it is working well.

Victoria Placeo

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Loss After The Rape

I have stated, fear really is not a part of my life. I have overcome it using some great self-help tools. However, an extreme sense of loss still hovers over my life some days.

I know it does me no good to look back but there are situations that cause me to look back. It is almost like an automatic button in my mind. This was prompted from something that happened last night.

I visited my parents who live in the town where the rape occurred. When I first moved to that area just 8 months before the rape, I lived in their house before I got my own place.

Being there I had memories of when I lived there before. How excited I was to have moved to a new place to make new friends and to start a new job. It was there that I met what I now refer to as the rapist.

At the time I met him I would have never thought he had such a negative behavior in him. I looked out the window of my parents house last night and saw the traffic. I recalled when the rapist and I were friends and I would look out that same window and wonder if one of those cars was his coming to get me.

I felt the feelings I had when I lived there. I felt the self esteem I used to have, the joy of being in a new place, the independence. Then I brought myself back to now.

My now is not bad, but I felt that I was much stronger back then. If I step outside myself, I suppose from an outsider's perception I might be stronger now. It doesn't really matter I guess. The bottom line is that what is done is done and I need to focus on the present and future.


Victoria Placeo

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Seeing The Rapist In Other People

There are many issues associated with being raped. One bothersome one that I have been experiencing is seeing the rapist in other people. I am not scared when this happens, it is just a reminder of him and the rape.

I do not see the actual face or form of the rapist like a delusion. I am speaking more of the rapist's features. If I see someone that is broad across the chest, has the same eyes or facial features, or his stalking build. When seeing this features I am instantly reminded.

I see people everywhere and almost weekly I will see some feature that will remind me of the rapist. I hate to even say this, but I am reminded even when I see some children. If a child has eyes like the rapist or other features, I am reminded.

I hate even saying that but it is true. Now I do not believe any child or any one else is the rapist or will be a rapist, they just have features that remind me of the rape.

Seeing a child with similar eyes and then having a memory breaks my heart. I automatically have a memory then scold myself because it is an innocent child and tell myself they have unique features.

Although, this is good to remind myself of the innocence of children and the uniqueness in everyone I see that reminds me of him, I sometimes think the scolding is a bit to hard on myself. None the less I will continue to do it in the case of children.

Someday I hope not to be reminded of him when I see others with similar features. However, currently it is not the case.


Victoria Placeo