In a new feature called “Dear Wendy Updates,” people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing today. After the jump, we hear from “Survivor in Indiana,” who was wondering if/how/when she should tell her boyfriend of three months she’d been date raped in her last serious relationship. Did she tell him? Are they still together? How is she doing today? Find out after the jump.
A few months ago I wrote to you asking if I should tell my boyfriend that I had been date-raped in a previous relationship. I didn’t follow your advice exactly, that I talk to a counselor and family/friends first before I told him. I told some close friends, but I can’t bring myself to tell my family. At this point in my life, I’ve pretty much moved past the rape, and I know it would hurt my mom to tell her. I told my boyfriend a month after you published my letter. I waited a while because I wanted to make sure I was okay to talk about it (which telling my friends, writing to you, and reading The Frisky comments helped me with). My boyfriend was very sensitive and empathetic when I told him, and now he also makes sure (in a fun/sexy but unambiguous way) that he’s not moving too fast or doing things I’m uncomfortable with when we’re fooling around.
About a month after I told him, my college newspaper started a series of articles about sexual assault and asked for people willing to speak about their experiences to be interviewed. I decided to contribute my story to the series — hopefully it will help other women in the same situation. More than anything, I’ve found that being open about what happened is helping me heal. Reading the comments on The Frisky also really cemented how (sadly) common this kind of problem is, and helped me feel like I have nothing to be ashamed of. Thanks for responding to my question, reading your response and the comments really helped. I feel closer to my boyfriend now, and I feel like I can really start putting the rape behind me. Thanks!
Really great to hear how supportive your boyfriend is, Survivor, and that you feel a sense of relief and healing after sharing your story. I’m sure your words (here and in your college paper) have helped others in a similar situation feel less alone and ashamed, too. Thanks for updating us, and best of luck in the future!
If you are someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too (whether you liked my advice or hated it). Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to the post where your letter originally ran, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.