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Dr. Keane
Dr. Keane, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1767
Experience:  PHD LPC
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Ive been with my girlfriend for just over a year, and things

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I've been with my girlfriend for just over a year, and things have been great. Just recently she had to go to the doctors to check a lump in breast, everything was ok and he confirmed it was nothing concerning. However when she came home i could sense she wasn't ok. She seemed upset and very on edge. Later that night she'd been drinking and we had a talk about things, she got very emotional and confessed to me that being at the doctors had brought back some bad memories from her past. After a while of talking and her being extremely upset she told me that a few years ago she'd been with someone in a sexual encounter and didn't feel in control. I didn't know how much to ask and didn't want to press her, she said she'd had sex with someone and was too drunk to stop things. I said that this amounted to rape but she said that it wasn't. She said she's never spoken to anyone about it, not even a best friend or family. I really don't know what to say or how to help??
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr. Keane replied 7 years ago.
Hi, Although she said it wasn't "rape" it wasn't consensual since she was drunk and not in control. That basically is "rape" but it may sound less violent. She trusts you and that is a very good thing in a relationship so what you need to do is listen when she wants to talk about it. In addition, you can suggest that she see a therapist to work through the sexual encounter. This happens more than people realize and many women, due to feeling ashamed and embarrassed, tend to not tell anyone and it always resurfaces causing problems in their relationships and life in general. Thank her for trusting you enough to confide in you and ask her if she would like you to find someone to talk to, a psychologist or even a rape crisis center.They have trained counselors who hear this frequently and know how to deal with it, even years after an event. They also have counselors who talk to the victim's partner and advise them how to handle the aftermath (although you have done quite well on your own). If she knows you are there for her and want her to talk to someone then you have done all you can right now.
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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you for your response. I just don't think she'll want to speak to anyone else on this, even a professional. She says she's fine now and has dealt with it. I'm just so bewildered by the fact she didn't have anyone to turn to, and didn't take it further so that this 'person' could be punished. I'm also full of anger for this and want to try and do something myself. I know this is riduculous but i can't help feeling helpless and want to deal with the individual. I don't know how much to ask and am so far just waiting for her to open up to me, but its hard to get all of this out of my mind. I accept that 4 years down the line that nothing now can really be done about this, but that only angers me more that this person remains free to live life as they wish. I can't even comprehend what my girlfriend must have felt to be so alone and not ever speak to a soul, i just feel so blown away by it all. Its effected us because although i'm there for her, i can't help being quiet and drifting away thinking about things all the time, i'm trying not to because i don't want her to feel bad about telling me and also bringing it all back for again.
Expert:  Dr. Keane replied 7 years ago.
Hi. What you have just described about the feelings you are having is one of the reasons we have counselors who work with significant others of those who have been "raped". It sounds as though she doesn't want to deal with it anymore and she thinks by telling you that is enough. But you can call a crisis center and attend one of their meetings that are held just for this reason,or just to talk to a counselor to help you deal. Try it, maybe if she sees you are really "blown away" by this man's actions and not being held accountable then she will come to realize she needs to talk too. If she is like many victims of alcohol induced non-consensual sex she may feel that she is responsible and her saying it wasn't rape really confirms that it was. She also may not want to bring it all back up but I can tell you that it will keep coming back until she faces it head on. I am not saying it will "ruin" her life if she doesn't, but it will always be there picking away at her and show up as it did after her last doctors visit causing her to become emotional and upset. Make that call for you and think about letting her know what you are doing or go and then come home and tell her what you learned. She may be resistant to listen and even angry that you went but if you tell her you went because you love her and needed to get a better understanding, to get in touch with what you feel about it she may soften a bit. Just know it may take her some time. good luck.

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