Unfortunately, for the young man, the good night of sleep and the trip to the zoo will not heal him. The story is odd only because it is written from a father's perspective. The perspective of an outsider trying to help, to comfort his son. The dad doesn't have a clue how the young man really feels. And sadly, nor does the son. I am venturing a guess that both are in a slight state of shock, wishing to protect the other, and to diminish the impact as much as possible.
In the material I have read regarding adult rape, there is an average of 5 years before the victim reaches out. Five years before the full impact of what has happened can be dealt with. Five years of re-modification of behaviors and responses due to the rape. Cause and effect. Five years before you can do it no longer. (I have read only a couple articles about this recently, I can not share the sources… so someone more professional can verify.) And I will also share that these same articles state that a full 30% fully contemplate suicide in the coming years as a direct result of the rape. The son's story has much yet to unfold.
It took me four years to acknowledge my pain from adult rape. My adult rape was perpetrated on me by someone I dearly loved. Someone I had had consensual sex with before. Just as the young man in the article. "Partner rape" is real, and ugly, and can even become deadly. (yes, I eventually received the death threats). I still have periods in which I find I am overwhelmed by feelings of despair, fear, "victimhood". It gets better, but only slowly.
The young man needed his parents, and thank God he could tell them. But he is also at the age where he wants to protect his parents. He is, after two or three days, still in denial of what has happened, the impact it has had, and his role in the rape. Eventually, it will all come together for him. It may take months, it may take years as it did for me. But it will definitely take TIME. He will crumble. It is a given.
Matt, I cried when I read the similarity of being incapacitated as the young guy here was. I am strangely glad that only the latter half of my life will I have to deal with having been raped, because it is more difficult than I can express. It is heart breaking that this young man, assuming in his early 20s, has to carry this weight around his neck for a full lifetime. I am not certain what I would do if my son were to encounter the same.
It was good for me to share the point of actual rape to seeking heal and recovery. Thanks for giving me the opportunity. A true MS friend let me have that chance again just this weekend through pm. Hope I didn't overstate my thoughts…
For now we see through a glass, darkly.