7 Things That Changed After Being Sexually Assaulted

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Photo by Ryan Stone on Unsplash

1. I Lost a Lot of Friends

By a landslide, this was the most unexpected circumstance that changed after my sexual assault. I particularly didn’t share much about my trauma except to initially inform my friends of what happened. The details I shared with my loved ones about how I was feeling and my coping mechanisms were more a cry for help than they were to just talk about casually, but that got lost in translation.

2. Dating is Terrifying

There isn’t any need to explain this much further in depth. I wrote an article a while ago about what my first relationship was like after my assault. It goes without being said that I had the irrational fear of being taken and raped in a back alley or a stranger’s home, but the fear was also so much deeper than that.

3. Sleeping Isn’t Rejuvenating Anymore

Everyone’s sexual assault experience is different. Personally, I have had frequent nightmares for months. Ever since I started having nightmares, I began sleeping in much later into the day and taking more naps. To others, this came off as me being “lazy”. The reality is, I can struggle to fall asleep due to the impending anxiety I have about what may come in my nightmares. Then most nights, a nightmare would occur and would lead to a vicious cycle of waking myself up, calming down, and falling back asleep in hopes of getting some quality rest (but it never really quite happens).

4. Masturbation is Much Harder

As TMI as it sounds, it is something that pops us as being a difficulty from time to time. Something that was once a personal form of self care and brought a lot of relief now feels taken over by a traumatic experience.

5. Concentration Seems Nearly Impossible

One of the most common symptoms both after people experience a traumatic event and PTSD is a lack of concentration and losing focus. While recovering from my assaults, I was simultaneously a full time college student when realistically I should’ve taken a temporary leave. Most days of sitting in class or at work was just staring at the wall and listening to my professor’s lectures going in one ear and out the other.

6. What Looks Abnormal to Everyone Else is the New Normal for You

After my experience of being assaulted, my social behaviors became extremely erratic from the outside looking inward. About 95% of my time I wanted to be in uninterrupted isolation so I could completely dissociate and unwind. But for the other 5%, I jumped to the polar opposite end of the spectrum.

7. You See Everything in a Whole New Light (Whether it’s Good or Bad)

Even after spending almost a year processing my traumatic experience, I still am not able to put a finger on the person I was before all of this happened. Every perspective I have on society and the world as a whole just feels like an unsettling alteration of my original thoughts.

Written by

College Student in Media Communications. True Crime Fan.

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