1 mo

Living, not Existing

Three years ago, I was sexually assaulted. Don't worry, this is not a sad boo hoo, I need sympathetic comments to help me through this type of myTake. This is about my experience with this life-altering event which spun my life into a whirlwind of amazing circumstances.

Living, not Existing

I was one of the girls who planned to wait until marriage to have sex. I was a conservative Christian who was not interested in chatting with people who were sexually promiscuous. I thought I was better than everyone else because of my choice to stay chaste....Until that night I'll never forget and often try to. I had been dating a man for 9 months who had been fully warned about my decision to stay chaste. One night, as we were camping I remember waking up to something foreign in my body. It was him. I was shocked. Didn't know what to do or how to react. I started to cry and then he stopped. "Sorry" he said as he removed himself from inside me and went back to sleep. I cried myself to sleep that night because I knew what he had done. Long story short, we broke up due to other selfish decisions he made.

Growing up, I was taught (in the cornfield church I attended), that my biggest asset was my virginity. My parents even gave me a purity ring for my 16th birthday which I wore even after I had been raped. But I felt dirty, ashamed, and full of rage. In other words, I was royally fucked up. The following year, I took a job in Washington state in one of the most beautiful national parks the US has to offer. I had to get out of Arizona because everywhere I went there, I couldn't escape him. Not physically escape but psychologically. The moment I came here, I knew that this is where God sent me to mend. The trees, moss, wildlife, and friends I made reminded me that my worth was not in some social construct that people made up to give a woman value, it was the skills, knowledge, and willingness to jump outside of my own selfish world that changed me forever.

I had seen forgiveness at a distance growing up but had no idea how to tackle it. I assumed one could just forgive my saying the words "I forgive you." But its not all that simple. Forgiveness is a constant state of mind, its where you take that person's wrong doing and essentially absorb it into yourself. You can no long point a finger at that person, you simple just let go and move on. Let me tell ya, letting go is not easy. There were times I wanted to kill him for what he did. What was even worse was when I would find him on Instagram and find pictures of his new perfect girlfriend and how incandescently happy they looked together while I, so messed up, couldn't let a man close to my heart.

My forgiveness finally came naturally once I learned how to be a better person. I've traveled the world, joined a Search and Rescue team in the park I work in, and have gained many skills that are used to save lives. I became a life giver, not a drowner. This is of course, not how everyone forgives but it CAN happen when you seek it out. My sex life is also very healthy now. I never sought out to "become a virgin again" because that just sounded silly.

I don't have a question for you, I have a statement for those who know how I felt. There is no one in this world keeping you from living but you. Blaming someone for your sorrows and sadness only gives them more power over your life. Most likely that person will never come back to ask you for forgiveness so you have to stand up and do it yourself. It will take all the strength you have and more, but also recognize that you CANNOT do it alone.

La Push Beach, WA
La Push Beach, WA
Living, not Existing
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Most Helpful Girls

  • TinawAllison

    That’s was a terrible ordeal. i feel that he should have been in prison. A 16 teen yr old is still a minor child. . forgiving someone really takes a lot of courage. By forgiving someone your seeking peace. Yes you can forgive someone but you don’t forget. It’s best to try to pickup the pieces & try to move forward. I know it’s never easy. especially after what happen to you. Ask Jesus for wisdom. Don’t give No one any power over your life. I’m glad you your out of that bad situation. The key is to put in the rear view mirror & don’t look back. That’s what I’ve told people that are going a rough patch in there live. I know it’s Easer said then done. Life is short. I know it’s rough. Believe Me. Everyone has at some point in life made mistakes. I know I’m not perfect I’m far from it. I’ve made some mistakes. But I’ve learned from them. It’s not your fault. God will give youall the courage & wisdom & strength to go on. Hang in there. Just believe in Jesus. There’s a lot of rape victims don’t ever walk away I’ve heard & seen really bad things happen. Sometimes the outcome is not pretty it can be ugly. I’m glad you told him to stop. I still think he should have been locked up. That’s how I feel about it. There’s times I’ve had to forgive people. By forgiving your freeing your self of those who wronged you. & yes it shows good character. I’m only trying to be of good courage. There was no call for what happened. He will answer for it. He never gotten away with it god sees everything.

    Is this still revelant?
  • Nada_hemida

    I feel power and v. good from ur words.. at beginning i feel so sad.. but i wanna say u are so owsome to move on and know ur feeling it's not that easy to live easy life or act like nothing happen but whatever happen u don't go to search about easy way to finish ur pain by suicide.. no u feel weak but try to ask lord forgiving then complete and the most good part that u help others ♥ that make u move on.. u are v. bravery

    Is this still revelant?

Most Helpful Guys

  • ChurchOfIron

    Personally, I don't see much value in virginity. Makes more sense to me that a somewhat experienced woman would be better in myriad ways.

    Forgiveness is magic. For the forgiven and the forgiver.

    " I became a life giver, not a drowner." I love that. My experience is similar. Err, not the whole waking up with a guy inside me part. :O Thankfully. Wellllllll, you never know. I've blacked out every now and then. Okay, I'm making light of a serious situation. My bad. >.>; All I mean to say is that I know what it feels like to have a guy inside you.

    ...

    Dammit. >.<

    I'm sure that was a difficult thing to conquer. Much respect. I find I have the most respect for people like you. Anyone can be a victim. It takes strength to say "Yeah, some bad shit happened to me. But I'm not going to let that define my life."

    Man that last paragraph. 100%. It seems to me that for the most part only people who've gone through some shit get to that point. Or people who were just raised that way.

    Keep on keepin' on, buddy. ^-^ I really love your post.

    Is this still revelant?
    • R_Cakes91

      Thanks a lot! I appreciate the feedback. And yes, people who have done through hard shit get to this point because there is no where to go but up. If you ever want to talk about your experiences, please PM me 😊

    • R_Cakes91

      There is no value in virginity in my view. I spent my entire childhood and adolescence believing it was the most valuable thing about me, boy was I wrong. I always encourage women to see past it because it’s just a social construct used to control people.

  • lightbulb27

    Forgiveness has been my hardest spiritual subject for me and I'm going to read a book on it soon because of the tentacles I find inside of myself.

    Do the old feelings and memories crop up and still mess with you at times? Or is it forgotten? What I noticed is I can forget, but at times the memory and ensuing emotion will come back up, and with it the rage, anger, etc..

    In the end it is this I think: someone imposes upon your person or life making an emotional impression. Forgiveness is letting go of that emotion so that it does not control the person.

    Do you think to forgive, it is essential to have understanding of that person as a flawed human, to reframe the memory? Even when I understand it, and not everyone can gain understanding of the imposition, still doesn't put it away completely. Yes I'm Christian:)

    I wonder about the statement..."all of your strength".

    I'm glad you rose above the incident.

    Is this still revelant?
    • R_Cakes91

      Yes, forgiveness is a hard one to peg because it’s different for everyone. I read a book about it some years ago which left a huge impression on me which is this: it means you can’t blame that person for the impression/ damage they have left you. It is now your responsibility to how you’re going to deal with it. Forgiveness doesn’t mean it does hurt, it just means that the guilt and responsibility has been transferred all to you so you can entirely remove the wrong doer from the picture.

    • R_Cakes91

      Doesn’t hurt*

    • That makes sense, well said. I'm responsibile for the impression and believes I allowed the other to project onto me, which in a sense are often lies (e. g. my value, my worth, etc). The rest then is recognizing they are a wounded person acting out of their own best interests (e. g. boundaries are required in the world). the antidote is responsibility for the feelings and thus, need to tune into the feelings and correct them!

      just playing back what I hear, ty!

What Girls & Guys Said

920
  • StingRayxoxo

    You're amazing, chick. Thanks for sharing this.

    • don1970

      So sorry you had to suffer like that I hope god has given you peace

  • Gedaria

    I can see your point of view. It's hard when someone does that. But you have to move on from it, I have had bad things happen to me that nearly crunched me , even to the point of suicide. But , what got me through is help from friends and consentrating on the good things...

    • R_Cakes91

      Same. I almost committed suicide the winter after it happened so I understand the pain and torment. Where I’m coming from is dealing with the situation completely alone. I lived in a very isolated place with no friends so it was up to me to make sure I lived. It was rough.

      I’m sorry you’ve dealt with horrible things. You’re very strong to be here today and should be proud of your resilience.

  • PrudentGuy

    What it takes to forgive is not forgetting but courage. Jesus showed it to us - the courage to carry the cross so that by putting to death the flesh, the spirit may live.

    And your article permeates with an unwavering courage that replaces your hate with love, changing blaming to accepting.

    No. The purity ring is just a piece of man-made article that showed off a front of virtue. God is greater than that pretense. Real chastity emanates from a person who follows His footsteps, loving the enemies, letting the sun rise and the rain fall on the righteous and unrighteous without discrimination.

    Yes, true virtue is not about receiving but about giving. Christ came not to take but to give. He healed the sick, fed the hungry and brought comfort to those depressed. So keep doing the work of the Lord, O virtuous one. By you sweat and blood, many are saved.

    May God show you that you are clean as snow; and your chastity is not that piece of skin, but your fine works that blesses those around you. Be of good cheer and praise the Lord, for He forgives in a way larger than the heart of men. Amen!

  • sean1234

    I'm sorry... but "Camping" as you say is only for married couples. Those kinds of activities that have to do with the "marriage bed" is only meant for marriage, not for people who are supposedly dating. HE was obviously wrong, but then again, YOU put yourself in the spot for it to happen! Going camping is like living together and if you can live together you can get married.

    • R_Cakes91

      You have a right to your own opinion but I have to respectfully disagree.

    • sean1234

      He should have asked for your hand in marriage, not went camping.

    • R_Cakes91

      Thankfully he didn’t

    • Show All
  • Bluemax

    (Standing ovation) BRAVO!!! BRAVO!!! (tossing a rose on stage)
    BRAVO!!! BRAVO!!!

    This was one of the best takes I've read in quite some time! I commend you on your wisdom, which would seem to be beyond your years!

    Two questions:

    Could that national park be Olympic National Park? I've visited there and it truly is enchanting. I've also visited La Push. Didn't see werewolves but saw lots of seastacks.

    Also, have you remained a Christian? Do you believe in God?

    • R_Cakes91

      I actually work at Mount Rainier National Park but I go to Olympic quite often for fun adventures.

      I believe in God and Jesus but have let go of the traditions of orthodox Christianity, I just don’t believe Jesus cake to teach us rules, he came to bring peace and love.

    • R_Cakes91

      Came*

    • Bluemax

      Do you believe that people who believe in God have some sort of appreciation for the beauty of the universe?

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  • Guardian45

    As you know, I have already commented elsewhere about your experience.
    So I will say: What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger!
    And you are as strong as iindividuals come. Bravo! Well-said.

    • R_Cakes91

      You’re very nice and thank you. It’s a very common quote but is so true. I mean, I think the worst things that happen to you can also be the best in a way. They teach you resilience.

    • Guardian45

      Yes, they do.

    • Guardian45

      You give me courage to tell my story, but not yet.

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  • 6ada6ing

    Thank you. This is honestly one of the deepest and truest things I have ever read. Really hit home and tallied with my life experiences. Almost too good for G@G.

    • R_Cakes91

      Thank you! I’ve been wanting to write about this for a while. I think it’s something people don’t talk about. Although people have the right to be angry, they shouldn’t stay angry forever. It’s not healthy and leads to bigger problems in one’s life.

      Thanks for the compliment 😊

    • 6ada6ing

      As someone who used to feel in touch with my surroundings, but who got lost and jaded and bitter based on some bad experiences and/or bad decisions, it feels like the most valuabe wisdom there is. Why do some people seem to be propelled by something good, while others seem shackled to something bad? Why do some people seem headed for better and better things, while the opposite seems true for others? And if you're in the latter camp, what do you do? Can you save yourself?

      Agree that society doesn't seem to talk about this a lot.

      Have read so much self-help without it helping much. Thank you for sharing your inspiring wisdom.

    • R_Cakes91

      I mean. I’ll be the first person to say that I was strong because I’m naturally strong. I’m naturally a leader and very resilient. Not everyone is and sometimes I don’t understand how you can’t be with your life at stake. I saved myself BY MYSELF. I had no friends, I lived in isolation without a soul to talk to and almost killed myself. What kept me going was that voice inside me that told me that I would one day be strong enough to help those who couldn’t help themselves.

      I’m late November, I’m joining the Peace Corps and moving to west Africa. I know it’s scary but other people need the resources I, and my my country can provide. It’s a purpose to live by and that’s good enough

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  • Shamalien

    Virginity is important, and that guy did fuck you up, no avoiding that fact. You took some damage, but of course it is possible to heal. It's really sad what happens to a woman once they have sex out of wedlock though... you say you have a healthy sex life now... what does that mean? If you had the means to kill that guy and bury the memory with him I say do it

    • R_Cakes91

      My healthy sex life just means that I don’t go around screwing guys to feel better about myself. I have a healthy self esteem as well.

    • Shamalien

      oh okay good. Because often it is the case that when someone is raped, they will become kind of a sex addict. To say one has a healthy appetite means they eat a lot, so when you said you have a healthy sex life I almost thought you were one of those unfortunate victims who became possessed by sexual desire after that incident. Happy to hear that you are recovering well, although me personally, I would not be so forgiving about all this. What reason is there to forgive this guy? You can let it go, as in accept that it happened and move on, and don't dwell on your anger, but at the same time, acknowledge that he is a piece of shit that may not deserve forgiveness. For - give, he gave you no reason to forgive him. Once again, if you could get away with it, he should die at your hands or the hands of your allies. Taking someone's virginity in that way is beyond inexcusable... only god can forgive him

    • R_Cakes91

      I used to be one of those weird sex addicts. It took time for me to come around. I spent a lot of time trying to feel worth something again. Such a long road...

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  • Sensmind

    Great take I am glad you found your way to the other side - I had mental health issues to the point where I felt I was existing rather than living - I wish people health and success on their journey forward or back to where they were in whatever form to do it , 99%of the search for me was finding/trying out things till one seemed to work, the other 1% is just being aware and constantly adapting to stay in a good place. My way or your way isn't any better, everyone has their own way, it would be nice to believe everyone could be as successful as you at finding their true path.

    • R_Cakes91

      Yeah I mean everyone had their own way of healing. Mine was by staying active and being involved in something that was more than myself.

      Not everyone can do what I did because that is somewhat unrealistic. I just encourage them to fight for the life they want and for the strength to heal, move on.

  • jeremythedrummer

    Thank you. I have been victim of bullying since i was young, and over time it taught me not to let them rule my mind by fear. I learnt to let things slide, and i told myself to not give a damn about what people did or said to me if it was of no constructive use to me. Thinking about bad things only makes bad things worse. I still live like that and i can still smile.

  • lumos

    I'm so sorry about what happened, and I'm glad you shared your story. And I'm also glad that you didn't let what he did to you define you or stop you from living, even if it took some time to get to that place. It takes a lot of courage and strength.

  • Hawky_

    What a beautiful share. Thank you. I too have been through life changing stuff and so I empathise and I too have a higher power that I tap into in a daily basis. Something bigger than me. You carry a great message of hope. I wish you well on your journey 😊

  • ctchubbyguy

    I know how you feel and I am proud of you for sharing your story. I was a very conservative Christian and was drugged and assaulted when I was young. It took me so long to even acknowledge that it changed me. I'm so happy for you that you found peace.

  • TrueAquarius

    I am so sorry this happened to you you just need to put this in the past and move on from it because if you don't the anxiety and PTSD can get real bad. This guy is a complete scumbag and I hope he paid for this in some way.

  • MollyTheOriginal

    I've struggled with existing not living too for a long time, and still do. I think sometimes it is out of our hands though. The truth is, it just comes down to luck sometimes. Glad you were able to find it though.

  • Craftsman

    Yours is an eloquent statement of how you recovered. Yours is a strength few that I know have. Responding to trauma as you did seems to be about as healthy as one can get. When I was traumatically impacted, I too became a Search and Rescue technician, then an EMT, then a Licensed Vocational Nurse. Saving lives feels normal to me, yet it is so significant to those we serve. A mentor in my early recovery years said, "It is important work we do." Perhaps the most important work we do is to improve ourselves, our lives, and our abilities. We learn to forgive, though I don't forget; just place into perspective. That way, learning can be drawn from life experience, which helps improve the lives I contact.
    In short, I see in you a strong and loving human being. May you always have success in all your endeavors.

  • I'm glad you ended up finding happiness. Sorry that happened and that your choice to remain pure was taken away from you.

  • zollo

    It takes a strong person to be able to forgive someone like that, it ain't easy.

  • Meditatingsquirrel79

    It's awesome how you passed your bad time. Traveling the world and learning more things. You got more skills now.

  • Thatsamazing

    Good Take. But virginity isn't a "social construct." -- the IMPORTANCE we give to virginity is a social construct.

  • You shouldn't have felt guilty or ashamed. It wasn't your fault and it isn't even a sin if you were raped out of your own will

  • Cuppo_Mode

    I don't exist, I live... Wait how the fuck does that even work?

    • R_Cakes91

      Existing in a sense means that you are just getting by without feeling. Living means that you are feeling everything and enjoying the world as it is. It’s hard to understand this until you’ve had no other choice but to choose to live rather than exist.

  • EmzyX

    Aw): im glad u got through ur better and got better but he was deff in the wrong.

  • Wowgirl30q

    You're very brave for sharing Ms. Thank you

  • 1828avaava1828

    Rock on girlie 🤘 Woot

  • It's sad tho I am glad that you overcome it!

  • kannahot

    Are you show me live

  • Anonymous

    I think virginity in the mind is what matters, if it was forcefully taken from you then you didn't have a choice, you didn't consent to give it so it doesn't matter in that case

    But I wouldn't really mock the idea of virginity 😅 it's more than just a social construct for a girl to hold her cherry for the right guy, it's a sign of patience, self control, purity, and resilience, but if a girl doesn't have it then that doesn't mean she isn't those things, maybe she gave it innocently but was betrayed or tricked after, but what happens next? It's a weird limbo after that, which is kinda why I support sex only after marriage, I'm not religious and I'm western but I think it's still a noble thing for a woman to have

    Plus, it's not a matter of forgiveness, personally I am now working on solving some of the issues that had scarred me as a child, I don't want anyone else going through them and I'm willing to fight for that, whoever did them to me doesn't matter anymore no matter how deep they cut, let them have their sad guilt-ridden lives, I can't punish the predator or get it to beg for forgiveness, so I turn alp that negative energy from them into positive energy to prevent such things from happening to other people and protect them.

    • Great words.. especially that ( virginity in the mind )

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for sharing. I am glad you were able to move past the experience.

    I am just curious. At the time had you thought of telling the police what he had done or did you think it wouldn't have been considered an assault.

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