I had my first real panic attack since being in college (about 2 years ago). I wish I had enough control over my thoughts to stop these things. After all, it isn\'t as bad as I was making it out to be. Most people understand that rape causes emotional distress for years afterwards, and facing the fact that there was something I could have done to avoid the situation is not the same as saying it\'s my fault, is very likely to cause a bit of a breakdown. Most people are going to expect this to be hard. I had no reason to think I needed to learn self-defense before the situation, why should I think so??? I was smart, followed my instincts, who knew they would fail me??? Who knew that I\'d find myself in a situation where my cell phone would have done me no good because I didn\'t know where I was in the middle of nowhere??? Who knew a guy that looked and acted trustworthy would be anything but??? Who knew that I\'d be in a situation where screaming would not send anyone to my aid??? I\'d never thought of these things before I was raped. I always thought no matter what happened there would always be someone around to save me or a way to get help. Now I know better, and knowing that comes with a mixed bag of difficult feelings: Guilt that I didn\'t think of some way to defend myself better, fear that what I learn won\'t be enough to keep it from happening again, seeing as I\'m pretty weak, anger that there are people out there who would actually rape anyone, and a little bit of pride for being strong enough to come up with a solution to my fears, if it\'s not one that will completely erase them. If I "lose it" because of this step I\'m taking, no one is going to think I need to be committed, and if they do, they\'re heartless bitches. I\'m determined to face my emotions head on, with the help of some caring friends and this website so that they can be dealt with appropriately. There will be times when they overtake me because I\'ve held them in so long, but when I\'ve faced them all, I will finally be able to take control of my fears, my life and not cry inappropriately, or freeze up because I know if I let go of my emotions, I will lose all control.
If anyone else is going to follow in my footsteps, make sure you have a stable support group. Either a good friend (who is willing to put up with what will seem like stupidity/drama to someone on the outside, because they can\'t see the struggle you make within), a good therapist, or a supportive family member/clergy member, etc. I promise, if you try to face all these scary emotions without a mind of reason to help you, you\'ll end up spiraling down instead of getting better, because you tell yourself all the same things all the time, someone else will help you view things in a better light. It has also been helpful to be on this site, a place to freak out about things you\'re not ready to discuss with your support group but that most people on here have dealt with in one way or another so they won\'t judge you badly.