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#433999 - 05/08/13 10:58 AM Incident at practice last night
DavoSwim Offline

Registered: 02/06/13
Posts: 397
Loc: Midwest
I coach a youth athletic team. Last night there was an incident at practice which really upset me. Two kids were messing around, splashing each other and one of the kids yelled out " I'm being raped here." When I heard that I just lost it. In a stern voice I said " Rape is not a laughing matter. If you or anyone you know had been raped, you would not be making jokes about it at all. It is a serious matter that people never ever recover from. You don't know if anyone here has been raped or has had a mom or sister raped. You are showing a real lack of understanding and decency by joking about it" I said it loud enough that everyone at practice heard it. The place got really quiet and there was definite discomfort. I had to work really hard to make sure I kept my composure while I was saying all this. I didn't want to lose it completely and start screaming. That would have shifted the attention to me, rather than the issue. Nevertheless, the rest of practice, I was shaken and found it hard to stay focused because it was somewhat triggering. One of my assistants even asked if I was okay after that because he could tell I was upset. Now, my past CSA didn't include rape, but that is immaterial. No one on the team knows of my past or the abuse I suffered. Do you think I handled this properly? Should I be worried that someone might put the pieces together and wonder if there's some reason for my strong reaction? Any other comments? Thanks, DavO

#434002 - 05/08/13 11:52 AM Re: Incident at practice last night [Re: DavoSwim]
peroperic2009 Offline

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3856
Loc: South-East Europe
Hang on DavoSwim,
it is always difficult to manage trough triggering situation, but it seems to me you went trough it safely. It is good that you kept your nerves and didn't scream.
Many times when such situation would happen and I thought that people around me have had sensed something it showed later that they didn't have clue about my worries. I'm many times too sensitive and hyper-vigilant worrying about details; it would be better if I could keep my attention to calm myself and get some relief of stress. To be honest I'm trying hardly and I'm not always successful.
We can be fragile because of many things not just because of some abuse from the past and there is nothing wrong in seeing self sometimes as vulnerable, we have right to be humans and not some superheros...

My story

#434003 - 05/08/13 11:55 AM Re: Incident at practice last night [Re: DavoSwim]
cant_remember Offline

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 1070
I think you handled it perfectly. Kids should know that rape isn't a joke, and you did the right thing by setting a good example.

You should not be worried that someone might put the pieces together and assume that you have CSA in your past... because that is nothing to be ashamed about.

You are doing fine, in my opinion.

I'll be just fine and dandy
Lord, it's like a hard candy Christmas
I'm barely getting through tomorrow
But I won't let sorrow get me way down.

#434007 - 05/08/13 12:23 PM Re: Incident at practice last night [Re: DavoSwim]
SoccerStar Offline

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 929
In general there's nothing wrong with intervening in such a circumstance. It would be no different if the kids were all telling jokes with the n-word, you have to tell them to stop.

It's natural to fear people "putting the pieces together" but they have no real reason to. What you said is what authority figures are supposed to say. And if they DO? Well, they'd see whatever they thought happened to you hadn't gotten in the way of you making a real life for yourself - you're still the coach after all!

I know it was the heat of the moment, but if there were ever any follow-up conversations or similar incidents, it would be best not to say that people can never ever recover from being raped. You yourself don't know who's hearing that or what they may have been through. Rape can't un-happen but people sure do need to strive towards recovery. I feel a lot MORE recovered (comparatively, not absolutely) than I did when this shit first started. Maybe it's not the right word to use, maybe it's more of a feeling.

I once got chased down and assaulted by a crazy homeless guy who tried to choke me to death. I broke his grip and escaped by running into active traffic and dodging four lanes of moving cars. Twitchy and terrified for weeks after, and carried a knife or screwdriver whenever I had to walk that street. It's still a bad memory when I "go there" but I haven't suffered irreversible and permanent debilitation from it. I am striving to see my CSA through the same lens.


My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of Heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

#434008 - 05/08/13 12:30 PM Re: Incident at practice last night [Re: DavoSwim]
OCN Offline

Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 399
Loc: Western Europe
I think you handled it well, considering you being triggered! You spoke out your feelings in a way which the kids will surely have understood. They'll think twice before saying something like that again.

And concerning your worries about putting the puzzle pieces together, i wouldnt worry too much. I've learned that we tend to think people will think it all out and find our hidden secrets, but everybody is carrying his/her secrets and nobody likes to be found out. So my guess is that they might think it was ackward, but at the same time they too know that rape is not a laughing matter.

I suggest you focus on the good side: you stood up for yourself and you spoke out, without losing it. I hope i'll be able to do the same if i ever get confronted with a situation like this.

Trust me, you are worth it to love yourself!

I now know who I am - I've never been anybody else!

#434012 - 05/08/13 12:40 PM Re: Incident at practice last night [Re: DavoSwim]
dark empathy Offline

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2686
Loc: durham, north england
@davo, I agree with the guys hear, and to be honest if the kids picked up that the man whoo teaches them something as major as athletics sees rape as not a joking matter, ---- plus that he said to them "if you!" not merely "you girls" or "your female relatives" then they've learnt something.

heck, I wish someone at my school had pointed out so sternly that rape was not a joking matter.

As to the reactions of other adult instructors, well to be honest one thing I've realized myself is that for all someone who has been through sa thinks it's really obvious to the rest of society it isn't! especially from a man.

i've often thought it must be really easy to put the peaces together about me for anyone, fear of s/x even in conversation, dislike of touch, unwilling to discuss relationships, total refusal to even take a shirt off in public, yet people don't pick this up at all, indeed whether it's obvious vulnerability or signs of sa, worthlessness, weakness or anything else, one thing I'm starting to realize is that not only is my own judgement of myself flawd, but equally my approximation of how I might appear to others. I might think! that othersare picking up what I'm feeling, just as I do them, but that is often not the case.

Probably your associates just thought you were trying to teach the kids an important lesson, ---- or at most that yu'd had a relative or friend who'd been raped, (it's always someone else).

#434015 - 05/08/13 01:13 PM Re: Incident at practice last night [Re: DavoSwim]
csasurvivor1992 Offline

Registered: 03/25/13
Posts: 132
Loc: Texas
davo, good response! as you were triggered, it seems like you did the healthy thing and come here to post about it, searching for answers and help. good for you man!

I agree too that rape is recoverable... that's the hope right? I have to believe it's recoverable, otherwise, what's the point? it may be like learning to live with a disability, there certainly are consequences to being attacked, but there IS living, right?

good job davo! remember to breathe and be easy on yourself smile
May your past be the sound of your feet upon the ground, carry on. ~Fun.

#434025 - 05/08/13 02:33 PM Re: Incident at practice last night [Re: DavoSwim]
Jude Offline

Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1633
Loc: New England

You hit it outa the park! Yeah it made everyone uncomfortable. Thats just because society is used to being silent about this issue, and you put it right in their faces. Kuddos.

That being said, I know how much a comment like the kid made can hurt. It blows your public persona away, and brings you right back to all of it. But you have a right to those feelings, and should not feel guilty about them. By your own reckoning, you kept your composure about it, and kept yourself in check. Thats probably better than I could've done. Take it easy on yourself man.

I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories
Sarah McLachlan

#434026 - 05/08/13 02:33 PM Re: Incident at practice last night [Re: DavoSwim]
DavoSwim Offline

Registered: 02/06/13
Posts: 397
Loc: Midwest
In hindsight, I should have said something other than rape is something you never recover from. However, from the time I heard the comment, to deciding to act, and then thinking of something to say all while telling myself to stay calm happened in a space of about 3 seconds. I just reacted rather than planned it out. If there's a next time, I'll know better


#434028 - 05/08/13 02:41 PM Re: Incident at practice last night [Re: DavoSwim]
csasurvivor1992 Offline

Registered: 03/25/13
Posts: 132
Loc: Texas
Davo, I think you did awesome! I'm not sure there's a better or best here... just that you acted and that took courage enough to address a serious issue with kids. As Jude said, you have a right to those feelings. and it sounds like you didn't let it stew or get depressed, it sounds like you're dealing with this head on... a trigger you recognized. i commend you. i am learning my triggers now and how to appropriately deal with them. thank you for the positive example you shared here.

i shared my thoughts on recovering from rape because it's that hope that drives me to go to therapy, to deal with the issue. i do believe we can never change the act and that it will have lasting effect on us, but i also believe most of those effects are manageable. my experience is different than yours for sure. these are my thoughts.

as for if someone else in a similar situation heard you and lost hope, that's not on you at all. you shared your thoughts on the subject with the kiddos trying to drive home a point. sometimes you need to take it to the extreme to make the point.

again, i think you did really well and have provided a wonderful example for me on how to deal with triggers.
May your past be the sound of your feet upon the ground, carry on. ~Fun.

#434031 - 05/08/13 03:09 PM Re: Incident at practice last night [Re: DavoSwim]
unhappycamper Offline

Registered: 10/21/11
Posts: 754
Loc: VA

I felt much the same (though I didn't say anything, not being in a leadership position) at the neighborhood swimming pool once, when a few teenaged boys emerged from the locker room, shoving each other and laughing, and calling each other "Pervert! Pervert!" It looked like just juvenile guy-type fun, but all I could think about was what a REAL pervert had done to me. I quit the pool club after that.


#434044 - 05/08/13 05:47 PM Re: Incident at practice last night [Re: DavoSwim]
Suwanee Offline
Chat Moderator

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 1274

You said what needed to be said; I would have done the same.

Most kids simply lack the cognitive skills to realize saying something like that is wrong. Even adults struggle with it sometimes. I would not worry about others "putting the pieces" together. My first thought was that the go-to reaction from others might be that you have a female relative who experienced this---as we all know---society still does not want to think it also happenes to males despite PSU

You did the right thing.

I've got this life
And the will to show
I will always be
Better than before

#434050 - 05/08/13 07:26 PM Re: Incident at practice last night [Re: DavoSwim]
bodyguard8367 Offline

Registered: 05/16/12
Posts: 1159
Loc: ""

Edited by bodyguard8367 (02/27/14 08:00 PM)

#434088 - 05/09/13 05:04 AM Re: Incident at practice last night [Re: DavoSwim]
ThisMan Offline

Registered: 01/23/13
Posts: 778
Loc: upper south
...cuddos, Davo. And thanks for helping the kids understand and hear from someone they look up to that rape is serious and its effects long-lasting. And if the numbers are correct, there were more than just you in the crowd who was triggered. Rape sucks.
For now we see through a glass, darkly.

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