Are my feelings normal?

K-12 Resources What do these words mean?
What if I'm worried about telling someone? What about school? Where can I get more information?

Are my feelings normal?
How should I feel?

There is no “typical” reaction to any form of sexual violence. Whatever feelings you may be experiencing, it's likely someone else has felt those, too. Many people experience trauma symptoms, such as heightened anxiety, inability to sleep, feeling sad, etc. Some people want to stay in contact with the person who hurt them. Some people don’t experience any of these things, or they experience something completely different. It’s important to keep in mind that all of these reactions are common as your mind and body try to process what happened. It is also common to have concerns about reporting the violence you have experienced. However, whatever reaction your experiencing may be overwhelming at times, and you can ask for help from your support system, mental health professionals in your area, or the resources at the bottom of this page and located on our “Where Can I Find More Information” page if you feel like you need extra support through this, which many people do. If you’re concerned about talking to any of these people, check our “What If I’m Worried About Telling Someone” page. 

None of what you experienced is your fault in any way

Client Image

I have a lot of panic attacks. My heart starts pounding and I have trouble breathing. Sometimes my hands go numb, too. I start thinking about what I should have done. I see a therapist every week to help with my anxiety.

I don't sleep much - I have insomnia most nights. When I do sleep, I have nightmares. I wonder why this happened to me. I wake up scared and confused. I've called a rape crisis center for help a few times.

I can't watch or listen to the news. I get triggered and have flashbacks. I avoid being around people - I get angry easily and don't want to take it out on other people. I feel like nobody understands.

If you're in crisis, there is help available.


Looking for a counselor or therapist?