Ann D’s story

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I had been seeing this guy for just over three months. We both drank a lot. One night, he got really mad at me and he called me a lot of names, and then pushed me against the wall. I got really scared but he said he was sorry and he’d never do it again.

Another night, he wanted to make love and I asked him to put on a condom. He said he didn’t have one. I asked him to stop, and he wouldn’t. And he said that it didn’t matter, not to worry about it. At first, I sort of laughed cause i thought he was joking, but then I realised he was serious and I got scared.

I told him to stop but he wouldn’t, and I pushed him away but he pushed me back and pinned me down with his body. He was very strong. He raped me.

How I coped

I had been abused as a child, and I had told him about it. I was very depressed already, and I had been cutting myself. Things got really bad after the rape.

I tried to kill myself. I think I just wanted to cut myself really bad and I cut too deep, and I ended up nearly dead. They had to rush me to the hospital.

How the situation changed

I started to get counselling and had to deal with all the childhood abuse, and also all the alcohol and drugs I had done and all the people I had slept with. And also I talked about how much I’d cut myself, and burn myself. I was going crazy, and all I could think about was killing myself. I hated myself too.

But getting counselling and a support group and getting anti-depressants really really helped.

What helped me

My sisters and my friends saved my life and I put them through hell. I didn’t really start to change until one night I felt with my BODY that I wasn’t to blame. I really was screwed up and doing the best I could.

I realized that I had to forgive myself for some things, that I wasn’t to blame.

And I realised that I would have to continue forgiving myself for my mistakes.

What I would say to others

Abuse doesn’t get better if you don’t do anything; it just keeps getting worse. You have to be your own friend. You have to have compassion for yourself. You have to forgive yourself. You deserve better.

You are a precious human being and you deserve to be treated with respect.

And you can’t ever give up. Don’t hurt yourself.

Hang in there – you are not alone.

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