I didn’t really know where to turn to when I was raped, but I looked online and found SurvivorsUK. It helped me to know that they had been running for a good few years so I thought that they’d know a lot about what happened to me, so maybe they’d not be shocked.
I’d not had counselling before, so I really didn’t know what to expect and felt really nervous when I turned up for the first appointment to see a counsellor. I was worried about telling the counsellor what had happened and how. Even though they’re experienced I just assumed that they’d not believe me, or they’d be shocked in some way.
It took me a while to tell my counsellor what had happened, I found it hard to talk and wanted to avoid telling her the details, but I also knew I’d feel a lot better once I’d said it. I didn’t feel any pressure from her, she told me to take my time so I didn’t feel like she needed to know in a way, which made it easier to tell her.
Basically I’d gone on a date with a guy who I’d been chatting to online for a bit, it was our first date. We’d had a few drinks together and were getting on fine I thought, but then things just turned nasty. I keep on getting flashbacks to that night and can’t really believe that it happened; he’d seemed such a nice guy. I find it hard to find the words to say what happened, it’s hard to use the word rape… I just know something happened that I didn’t want to.
It was really hard for me to tell anyone because I’m 24 and only just come out as gay to some of my friends. This guy was one of the first I’d met from an internet dating site. I guess I feel like it’s my fault, if I’d not gone on the date with him it wouldn’t have happened. I took me a good six months to contact SurivorsUK after it had happened.
I felt reassured by how my counsellor responded to me. I know that I was really hard on myself and kept blaming myself, but I felt my counsellor was kind and supportive and let me talk at my own pace to explore how I was feeling. I had counselling for about 8 months which really helped me to turn a corner and get out of a dark place. I hadn’t really been coping well by myself and had started to drink a lot more.
Since I’ve ended counselling I’ve noticed that I’ve been able to reach out and ask others for more support and have started to trust people again. Counselling really helped me understand what happened to me and to realise that although I still have bad days, I’ve been able to move on and embrace life.