Everyone reacts and feels differently after going through a traumatic event. You might have lots of different feelings all jumbled up inside you, or it might seem like you’re feeling nothing at all. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ feeling or reaction.
Remembering and believing it happened
Sometimes it can seem easier to pretend that the rape or abuse never happened. Although it can be painful to re- member and accept that it did, it can be the first important step towards healing.
Discovering and accepting your feelings
To go forward it’s important to take your time discovering your feelings and accepting them.
Throwing away the guilt
It’s very common to feel guilty after being raped or abused. Remember that you are never the one to blame, nor should you feel ashamed about what happened.
Making yourself ‘Number One’
You might have been too busy worrying about other people’s feelings that you forgot about yourself. Learn to like yourself again and put yourself first.
Create a safe space for yourself where you can be alone if you need to, or have someone who cares there for you when you need some support.
Have comforting routines that you can do when you’re feeling overwhelmed such as listening to your favourite music, having a bubble bath or making yourself a warm drink. Take care of your body, and make sure you eat well and get enough sleep and exercise.
Talk about it.When thoughts stay in your head they can feel all muddled and overwhelming. It can be a relief to be able to talk about them to someone who believes and supports you.
Write it down. Get yourself a diary with a lock or use scraps of paper and throw them away when you’re done.Write a letter to the person who abused you.You don’t have to send it.
Draw or paint. If talking is difficult, sometimes it helps to use art to express yourself. Don’t worry about how ‘good’ or ‘bad’ it is.
Asking for help
It can be very hard to just forget about what has happened, no matter how hard you try. As part of the healing process, breaking the silence and talking about your thoughts and feelings can help. Even if it happened a long time ago, your feelings are still important.
Speak to someone you trust. If you don’t’ want to talk to your family members or friends about your experience you can contact us on 0300 365 2001 or check out the other support available.
We will listen to you, believe you and support you! Remember, you don’t have to go through this alone!