Suggestions to help my daughter?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2008
Suggestions to help my daughter?
Thu, 10-18-2012 - 2:03pm

Hello!  I was an active member on this board several years ago, so you probably won't recognize me.  The reason I am back is to see if anyone has suggestions for a book or other resource that would be a good idea to give my daughter.  She is 20 and about to become engaged.  They are waiting until they are married (most likely May or June of this coming year) for intimacy.

The reason I'm asking for help on this is that she was r*ped when she was 16.  She kept quiet about it and we didn't know until this past May; she in fact had blocked it and started remembering in December.  She was dealing with flashbacks, nightmares, etc. and when we found out what happened it made a lot of pieces fall into place. Having been through my own healing issues, I have been very concerned about her healing process.  She has a very good counselor she has been seeing for a few years off and on for various issues, and started seeing her again this past summer.  They have a good relationship and talk openly; also, my daughter is really good about having a sense of when she needs a session (doesn't avoid).  It has surprised me the more she and I have talked that she is quite a bit further along in her healing process than I thought.  I've had to remind myself that for me this has been new, but for her it hasn't been.

The young man she is involved with knows what happened.  They have a very good relationship and she has been able to talk to him about anything very easily from the beginning.  The fact that she feels safe with him says a lot, because even the abuse aside she has never been one to trust quickly.  He has helped her a lot with her healing, just by nature of their relationship.

I, of course, am concerned about difficulties with intimacy when that time comes.  He's told her that he won't push her faster than what she's ready for.  They both want to have a family.  She told me today that she had a bad dream where she was saying, "We can't do it.  We'll have to adopt."  I'm confident that her counselor will be very helpful with this, but I am wondering if you have any suggestions on a good book or something that would address how to overcome blocks to intimacy when r*pe has occurred.  I don't think Courage to Heal is the right one for her at this point; I feel like it would be too much.

Thanks for anything you can offer!

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-02-2008
Sun, 02-03-2013 - 5:08pm

No apologies needed.  I'm glad you were able stop by and share this update.  

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2008
Sat, 02-02-2013 - 4:21am

Thanks to all of you for your kind words and suggestions.  I apologize for not being back sooner to reply; life has been kind of crazy lately.

I want to look at the resources you mentioned and probably just read them myself at this point, and then if at some point one or more of them feel like the right thing at a certain time I can suggest them to her.

She has had a lot of challenges with anxiety and some other issues as a result of this and other traumas she has experienced in her life.  It's really amazing to me how much emotional trauma plays into illnesses.

They are holding off on getting engaged, which is probably a good idea.  I don't think they will be ready as soon as they were talking about before.  I actually feel better about that, because I feel like she needs more time to heal.

I hope to be able to become better acquainted with each of you as time goes on.  iVillage and this board hold a very special place in my heart--this board was here for me during my darkest times and provided me with support I couldn't get IRL at the time.  I'm glad it's still here. :)

I remember when we were able to get iVillage to put the word "Healing" into the name of the board; that was a really awesome thing.  I think it helps people just to see that word associated with what we have been through.

I hope everyone is having a safe and blessed night.


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-02-2008
Wed, 10-24-2012 - 10:39am

piananana wrote:
<p>I don't have any suggestions, I just want to say I think you are such a thoughtful mother. I could never tell my mother. I think it is so wonderful that you and your daughter have talked about her assault and you are trying to help her through it.</p>

You make a great point.  It is a wonderful thing that breakinfree is there to support her daughter. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-09-2010
Mon, 10-22-2012 - 4:01pm

I don't have any suggestions, I just want to say I think you are such a thoughtful mother. I could never tell my mother. I think it is so wonderful that you and your daughter have talked about her assault and you are trying to help her through it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-02-2008
Sun, 10-21-2012 - 3:47pm

nightangel67 wrote:
<p>:)...Thanks! Healing, I loved your post.</p>

Glad you liked it :)

Community Leader
Registered: 10-22-2001
Sat, 10-20-2012 - 7:56pm

:)...Thanks! Healing, I loved your post.

Community Leader
Registered: 10-22-2001
Sat, 10-20-2012 - 7:54pm


Another excellent resource is...Resurrection after the Rape...I tried to upload but it's too big.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-02-2008
Fri, 10-19-2012 - 12:48pm

Welcome back to the board. 

If she has has asked you for help with suggestions for a book that's great.  If she hasn't and you present her with a book it's possible she could take it as you telling her that she needs to fix this part of herself.   I've struggled with sex in my marriage and I have a very patient and caring husband.  A book is good but at the same time there are so many factors that go into play that make consensual sex difficult. 

All that being here is a book that I've looked at once a long time ago and seems to be recommended quite often. 

The Sexual Healing Journey: A guide for survivors of sexual abuse by Wendy Maltz 

Another thing that I found helpful comes from a book by Matt Atkinson called Resurrection After Rape.  He has a section on sex where he covers

Improving your sexual life
The five conditions for healthy sexuality
Relapse prevention plan for sexuality
How do I know if I'm ready for sex?
A free PDF of the book is available here
Also Pandora's Aquarium has a section of their forum for individuals who have been raped or sexually abused and are pregnant either as a result of their rape or just how a previous rape is effecting them while trying to get pregant or deal with parenting.  That may be something else that would help her to talk to others who might be going through similar things.  It would require registration

I know iVillage has great resources on pregnancy and parenting but in this case a more survivor specific experience might be helpful. 

I wish you all the best.