veryone has secrets, secrets from their friends, secrets from their parents, maybe even secrets from their other-half. I’m a person who doesn’t have many secrets, I wear my heart on my sleeve and share with everyone. I have one big secret though, at the age of 13 I became a male rape victim. My secret lasted six years, for six lonely and long years I told no one, I tried to forget. But, as with any big secret, it eats you up. I spent my time falling into a long and deep depression that led to me attempting to take my life. Pills were my method and I wake up every day realising how lucky I am they failed in their intended task. My life isn’t all flowers and balloons, I still go through what happened to me everyday, every second of the attack is memorable as if it were yesterday. I know though, that if those pills had worked and I did leave this world, the sick man that raped me would have won again.
At the age of 19, I decided that I wasn’t going to let the man that raped me define my life, I started by telling my best friend and his girlfriend who I was good friends with. I decided to only tell them it had happened, not any details or anything like that, only baby steps. They are both still great friends to this day and I love them dearly. They didn’t know how to react though. They were there for me but never really understood and I felt they thought they had to act differently around me. But this didn’t matter, telling them was one of the best things I’d ever done, it lifted such a weight off my shoulders and made me feel I could start to put what happened behind me. I told a few more friends some months later, still not in any detail or anything like that but still people didn’t understand. They were amazing and were there for me but I never felt understood. I don’t blame those people and in hindsight, how can they understand? It’s such an unthinkable thing to go through it’s incomprehensible to fully understand.
i wasn’t going to let the man that raped me define my life
I’ve still not told many people, but with each person I told, the more free I felt. I then found someone who I felt got it. When I told them, the way they acted around me didn’t change one bit. They listened and rather than stare blankly they asked me questions and I felt they wanted to understand. They were never afraid to bring it up and it even got to the stage where I gave them a second by second account of what happened. No longer do I feel defined by what happened to me, I’m never going to stop being a rape victim, I’ll never ‘get over it’, but now I know I can be defined by so much more. In future, being a rape victim is going to be a side note, I’m going to be a husband, a father and whatever career will have me. I’ve got to this stage by unlocking my secret. Letting something hide within you is never healthy – don’t ever think it’s a good thing to do.
I’ve never told my parents and family and I don’t think I ever could, it would destroy my parents to know their child, who they love so much, went through that and never told them. I don’t know if I ever will tell them, maybe I will, maybe some things are best left under wraps, would the heartbreak be worth it? It’s why I write this article anonymously, I’m sure my parents are avid readers of Exeposé and I wouldn’t want them to find out this way. The reason I wanted to write this article was to share my experience and hopefully show others how sharing secrets can lift such a burden. You don’t have to share them with everyone, but talking through things helps. There are so many people that go through life being upset on their own, not feeling you can tell people your problems. You can, they won’t think you’re a depressive, they probably have their own issues too. So please, as we head into 2016, think about your secrets and unlock them. Yes, it’s hard at first, but I can tell you now it makes things better.
If you have been affected by anything in this article you can contact Voice on 01392 724000.