Why victims suffer this disabling anxiety condition
PTSD is normally associated with warfare
My father fought in the Philippines during World War II. One hot, dark, buggy night, he woke up to find a Japanese soldier squatting over him, about to thrust a bayonet into his neck. I knew better than to ever ask him the fate of that soldier. The fact that he came home to our family was all we needed to know.
Whenever my dad was aroused from sleep, he’d awaken with a start. I’m sure that was only a small example of how PTSD affected him. But it was visible to me, even as a small child.Today, society readily understands that combat soldiers can suffer from PTSD. It was a far less public discussion in my father’s time.
I never expected that I would encounter any type of danger that could create the disorder for me, but I was wrong.
The emotional causes of PTSD
Modern day health professionals have concluded that emotionally shattering experiences undermine our sense of invulnerability and cause PTSD. People naturally assume that life is both benevolent and meaningful. And we consider ourselves to be worthy beings. An encounter with rape by fraud can shred every vestige of our beliefs about both life and our place in it. It undermines our value system.
If this happened to you, depending on the length of time the hoax took place, you built expectations that were predictable. Learning that everything you valued was nothing more than a house of cards crushed your sense of safety and well-being. And the notion that you were used as an instrument of your own demise was especially crushing. It is why Socrates said that “sex by persuasion” as he called rape by fraud, is particularly compelling because it undermines the character of the victim. Recognition of the heinous nature of this behavior spans centuries. It’s nothing new.
While rape by fraud victims do not undergo the brutal torment of violence, the blow to their emotional makeup can be devastating. Their injuries are far more severe than the trifling stupidities that people hurl their way…. “Just get over it,” “So what,” “Find a decent guy.” And even worse, “You just misunderstood.” In many ways, the lack of validation people hurl at victims serves to deepen their despair. They not only have to deal with the betrayal that affects them at their core, but also with the abandoning mindset of the very people they count on for support.
Some symptoms of PTSD include:
- Memories that are triggered by daily events, making you tremendously sad.
- Sleeplessness, the inability to turn off the record running through your brain
- Loss of interest in your daily life.
- Hermit behavior, unwillingness to go out and face possible reminders
- Irritability and anger over small incidents.
Victims who experience rape by fraud should seek professional help to recover. Just as a soldier needs therapy to improve, no one should try to tackle PTSD on their own. If you can’t afford a private therapist, contact your local hospital and find out if they have a low cost mental health clinic that can help you. Reach out to RAINN, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, for information and support.