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Aftermath of Assault

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Old 06-02-2009, 12:57 AM   #1
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Default Aftermath of Assault

Hey all,
Im new to this site, but I thought this would be the right "section" of the site to open up about my issues regarding my weight. I was sexually assaulted a year a go by one of my "best" friends. Ive gone to therapy and have made a lot of progress, but Ive gained 60 pounds in the past year. I think I ate to keep men away and protect myself, but now Im 21 and feeling like Im trapped in an old womans body. Im tired and out of breath a lot, so Ive decided the time has come to drop the weight. I just need support so I dont fall into old patterns. Im still pretty skittish around men I dont know, which I know is to be expected for sometime. Has anyone here experienced a similar situation or other trauma and have any advice?

Thanks!
Chrissy
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Old 06-02-2009, 01:04 AM   #2
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Chrissy,

There is a wonderful support board for sexual assault survivors at:

http://www.pandys.org

You might want to check that out for support on that particular topic, though I know that some here have, unfortunately, had that experience as well. And eating to become less attractive/provoke less attention from men is a common reaction.
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Old 06-02-2009, 12:24 PM   #3
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Chrissy,

Count me among the ranks of those that got fat to avoid attention from men. I was also assaulted when I was younger, and that's when I started gaining weight. It felt safe to be big, but I know now that it's purely self-destructive. I've learned that I can't live my life and make my decisions based on fear, which is what I was doing by getting fat. It's no kind of life, worrying all the time about the what if's and being afraid of every man you meet. The truth is that the vast majority of men are good people and would never hurt you. I'm sorry that you (and I) had an encounter with one of the nasty few. I'm glad to see that you're going to therapy, and I encourage you to check out the site that mandalinn suggested. Private Message me if you'd like to talk further.

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Old 06-03-2009, 12:17 PM   #4
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Chrissy
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Old 06-03-2009, 06:23 PM   #5
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i was sexually abused for 3 years as a child by my brother and father so i get it.. since i've become an adult i've been on many medications to control my depression/anxiety/anger etc... all they do is lead to weight gain, so i go to a therapist now and like you i kept myself on the bigger side also.... men can be jerks, you just have to stay on edge and learn to take care of yourself... good luck to you and i hope everything gets better
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Old 06-06-2009, 11:36 AM   #6
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Old 06-07-2009, 01:10 PM   #7
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Like you I was assaulted and then put on weight. I was your age when it happened too. I applaud you for posting about this. times a million!
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Old 06-07-2009, 07:52 PM   #8
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Thank you all for responding! Your advice is so so appreciated. It never ceases to amaze me how many women have experienced sexual assault, and it helps to know Im not alone in having gained weight as a result. I did join Pandys, so I think that can only help me continue on the road to healing. Also, Ive stuck to my diet for a week, which is the longest Ive stuck to one in over 2 years.

So, thank you all again for your support and for sharing your stories

Chrissy
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Old 06-09-2009, 04:50 PM   #9
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Hi, I'm a little late in posting, but I just wanted to say hello and that I've had a similar experience. I was sexually assaulted by someone I would've considered a friend at the time when I was 14, and have been battling with weight issues since.

I've been feeling really good and attractive lately, but today I was in a store and guy I didn't know passed by me and said "Hey, good looking." And I completely panicked. I consciously thought, "maybe losing weight was a really, really bad idea."

To be honest, when I get in this place, I think about how if it ever happened to me again, I'd much rather be skinny and in shape so I could A. kick his *** and B. successfully run away.

Anyway, good luck with your journey and know you aren't alone.
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Old 06-10-2009, 06:06 AM   #10
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Hi Chrissy,

I don't really have answers for you but I can at least tell you my story. I was sexually assulted by a man I knew when I was 14...for years I denied to myself it happened and I too ate with the intent of keeping men away. It worked! Its a strange thing...I just woke up one morning when I was about 25years old and 244lbs and decided that I was choosing to be a victim and enough was enough. I lost 84lbs, gained incredible confidence and made some major life changes....I quit my job and went travelling by myself for a year in South America. I gained some weight back while away but its all in hand. life is good, male relationships are still incredibly difficult for me but I'm getting there.
I admire you for getting professional help - thats something that I think I need too.
Now, at 28, life is good. Things get better - but only if you want them to. Choose life.
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Old 04-01-2010, 12:09 AM   #11
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Hey all,
Its been about 10 months since I first started this topic. But, I think its high time for me to re-comment on it. After I posted it, I got involved in very psychologically abusive relationship. I dated a man who constantly talked about his ex-girlfriend and complained about his own depression and rarely cared about what I was going through. 2 and 1/2 months into our relationship, he broke things off with me, and 5 days later he was dating a girl he had been talking to throughout our entire "relationship". After that, I started my senior year of college with such a f*ed up and jaded outlook on men and relationships. I wouldnt let anyone in. I didnt trust anyone. And I continued gaining weight. At my highest weight, I reached 247.2 lbs, and Im 5'8", so thats REALLY not good. My feet and ankles were swollen. I was out of breath ALL the time. I was miserable mind, body, and soul.

2010 started and I vowed to change my life, and I have. I've decided to stop feeling sorry for myself and get proactive. I vowed to NEVER let a man treat me that way again. I joined Weight Watchers on January 12, 2010, and as of March 30, 2010, Ive lost 30.6 lbs. Ive neverrrr in my WHOLE life stayed on a program this long, and Ive never in my life had this much success. With weight loss came a regained sense of self-esteem and self-respect that I lost when I was assaulted. Every time I go to the gym and I feel myself slipping during my work out, I think of my rapist and I get so freakin angry that it motivates me to work harder to regain my life. I cant wait until Im back at the weight I was when I was assaulted. I feel like that will be such an amazing accomplishment, and I also want to lose more weight on top of that. I still have a long journey ahead of me, but for the first time in almost 2 years, I feel like me again, and for any girl recovering from a sexual assault, know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. statistics report that every 1 out of 3 women are sexually assaulted in some way by 25. if you are one of those women, know that you can find empowerment and peace from telling your story.


if ANYONE going through this needs advice, feel free to message me and Ill try to help the best way I can.


<3 Chrissy
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Old 07-17-2010, 10:59 PM   #12
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Hey Chrissy, just found this thread. Wondering if you have an update for us.

I have a similar story, but my attacker was at random. It has taken me 5 years to finally feel like my 'old' self again. I have a great support system and weight loss is no longer on the back burner of my healing process.
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Old 07-18-2010, 01:44 AM   #13
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you are all so brave and inspirational!
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Old 07-19-2010, 04:12 PM   #14
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Lots of statistics about women using weight to try to be invisible to would be attackers. One of those things that you may understand it mentally, it is still very hard to get past. Also, the damage can have the effect of choosing bad partners, repeated bad relationships. I am 53 and well, it would be embarrassing to list how many times I have been in relationships that were destructive. I tell myself it's never too late to bloom, so I am blooming now, dammit.
Good luck to everyone on this thread, and thanks for the link to pandys.org!
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Old 07-31-2010, 07:40 AM   #15
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Ever thought about going to a physical class like a self defense or karate class? That'd probably be really good for you right about now.
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