In her and Brie Bella’s new book, “Incomparable,” Nikki Bella said she was raped at the age of 15 by a high school student that she thought was a friend, then again when she was 16 after being drugged by a college-aged man. Below is an excerpt from the book in which she talked about the shame she felt after the rapes.
“There is the horrible offense in the moment, and then the shame and blame that follow and feel almost worse than the original pain. When something like this happens to you, you understand the blame-the-victim mentality, how easy it is to feel shame rather than anger, how easy it is to feel like you could have stopped it yourself.”
In an interview with People, Nikki Bella discussed why she kept her rapes a secret for so long, how it impacted her relationships, and how she now hopes her story will help other young women.
On keeping her story secret for so long: “When that happened to me, I immediately just felt so ashamed and blamed myself, and that’s what made me want to keep it such a secret. And keeping that a secret and blaming myself, I started to lose my confidence. I started to disrespect myself. And then the relationships I got into at a young age, I let other people disrespect me and felt like, that’s okay, this is what I deserved.”
On how she wishes she would have opened up at a younger age: “I was like that for a really long time. I would go to therapy on and off. Looking at it now I’m like, ‘Oh Nicole, I wish you just would’ve let go at a young age. So much would have changed for you.’ And I think that’s what made me really want to tell these stories finally.”
On how she hopes her story will help other young women: “When the #MeToo movement happened, I was just like, ‘Oh my gosh,’ I feel like, if I’m having these younger women look up to me, maybe I can help them and have them not hold onto this as long as I did. It wasn’t until I was 28 and in a relationship where someone started to teach me how to respect myself. That’s how long I held on to things and felt I had no boundaries.
And I’d always look at Brie like, ‘Oh, she has boundaries, she treats herself with such respect. How do I not have this?’ And I knew why. But I held onto it for so long. When I look back at just decisions I made based off of it, I wish I could have heard my words now as a 36-year-old woman then, and be like, ‘You’re going to be okay.’”
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