You may experience any or all of the reactions we list in Universal Reactions. Some reactions may be triggered by people, places or things connected to the assault, while other reactions may seem to come from “out of the blue.” Remember that no matter how much difficulty you’re having dealing with the assault, it does not mean you’re “going crazy” or becoming “mentally ill.”
Talking about the assault will help you feel better, but may also be really hard to do. In fact, it’s common to want to avoid conversations and situations that may remind you of the assault. You may have a sense of wanting to “get on with life” and “let the past be the past.” This is a normal part of the recovery process and may last for weeks or months. Eventually you will need to deal with your feelings in order to heal and regain a sense of control over your life. Talking with someone who can listen and understand – whether it’s a friend, family member, a counsellor or our helpline – is a key part of this process.
It’s important to understand that you may not be able to function at 100% capacity for a while following a major trauma like sexual assault. You may have problems concentrating or remembering things and may feel tired or edgy. You may also take longer to recover from everyday stresses.
Don’t be too hard on yourself — you need time to recover emotionally and that may detract from your energy for awhile.