ABitConfused wrote:Hello, I don't usually come to these forums for advice, but I'm looking for some tips. My girlfriend was violently raped in a past relationship, about 2 years ago. She refuses to get any type of help, counseling, or even see a gynecologist for a physical checkup. I urge her to do it, but I respect her choice not to. After a lot of talking and re-assuring, i've got her to tell me most of what happened, but she suffers from severe flashbacks, specifically after having an orgasm. She has spurts of sexual activity, but can sometimes withdraw due to nightmares for months. I'm a very sexually active person, so it's hard to cope with, not to mention a lot of mood swings and emotional issues that the rape has caused her to have.
I've tried to be very understanding, sometimes going as far as 3-4 months or longer without doing anything sexual, but sex is a big part of a relationship for me. I'm not trying to be selfish, but I think we all can agree that sex is a big part of a relationship. It's usually a factor of how well the relationship is going, but our relationship can go fine and the sex will still die due to her flashbacks. I know it's not her fault, and even she is frustrated because she wishes it would go away.
Do you have any advice for me to help her stop having the flashbacks and slowly become more sexually active? I know she wants to be, but the flashbacks control her life at times. Can someone fully rid themselves of this without professional help? Will this persist forever or fade with time? I would really like your feedback, thanks.
I am also dating a rape victim and I have been for the past 2 years. How long have the two of you been together? Does she want to press charges against her attacker?
What I have done with my girlfriend is I just always reassure her that we can stop at anytime. Typically her flashbacks are triggered by pain so I always go slow to make sure shes not in pain. Reassure her that you would never do anything like that to her. You might want to bring it up in conversation sometime and just talk to her about it. My girlfriend felt that it was her fault because it happened multiple times and she didn't stop it right away. She also felt very embarrassed and ashamed because of it. If your girlfriend feels this way, be sure to let her know that she shouldn't be ashamed and that she didn't have control of the situation.
Just be sure to take things slow and that if you're willing to, tell her you'll help her through her situation until she is comfortable. Yes, sex is a factor in a relationship but let her know that you can wait for sex, that you want her to enjoy it as she should. Try slowly leading up to it. The more you do things with her, the more comfortable she should become with you.
Most likely, the flashbacks will never go away. A trauma like that which she experienced is near impossible to completely overcome. Just let her know you're always willing to talk and help anyway you can. I hope this helps.