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The Case for Melissa Schuman Part 2: Aftermath

Updated: Oct 3, 2019


Silence Breaker Melissa Schuman

The purpose of these articles is to determine the truth of the accusations made by singer and actress Melissa Schuman against Back Street Boy band member Nick Carter.


In Part One I looked at the statement provided by Melissa as it pertains to the primary event.


Does the account provide details that credibly reflect Melissa’s individual circumstances? Yes.


Does the account provide telling details of how Melissa experienced the event? Yes


Does the account fit within the presentation presented by rape victims generally? Yes.


Essentially Melissa has provided a highly credible and very coherent statement and it is my solidly held belief that the first part of the test has been well met. I cannot find a single point of contention that indicates that Melissa is not telling the truth.


The process does not end there. I will now examine the aftermath of the rape and apply the next consideration. Does Melissa’s statement demonstrate credible and expected secondary damage as a result of what happened to her?


Blog Extract


"I didn’t tell her. I didn’t want to even admit what happened was real to myself. Over the next few weeks I withdrew further and further from my friends and family and they noticed. I still didn’t tell anyone."


Melissa makes a very telling statement about her family and friends. The issue of friends and family is a very common issue especially for younger victims.


The next step is to consider why any survivor would have issues with friends and family. The reasons are also generic and predictable.


General Considerations

  • A fear of upsetting the family.

  • Intense shame and or fear of the offender.

  • A fear of losing what little control is left.

  • A desire to avoid having to deal with other people’s emotional reactions.

  • A general inability to face the situation.


Individual Considerations

  • Melissa is a Christian

  • Melissa was 18 years old and was a virgin

  • Melissa is a celebrity

  • The offender is a celebrity

After applying Melissa’s statements to the above considerations and combining them together, we can see strong evidence of credible secondary damage. There are two particular demons that Melissa is facing as far as this aspect of the secondary damage consideration is concerned.


Drivers of Secondary Damage

  • Post-Traumatic stress symptomatology

  • Chronic cognitive dissonance.

Impact Points

  • Family environment

  • Social environment

  • Employment

  • Fears Around Future Marriage

Applicable statement


"I didn’t tell her. I didn’t want to even admit what happened was real to myself. Over the next few weeks I withdrew further and further from my friends and family and they noticed. I still didn’t tell anyone."


Melissa is speaking of her roommate initially as they drove back home the next day. We can see here that Melissa is retreating into the first refuge of the survivor.


Translation: “That did not actually happen to me and as long as I don’t acknowledge to myself that it did this agony I am holding inside will go away and I can have my life back.”


Why else did Melissa not tell anyone? Surely she would have immediately told her family and gone to the police is the so called reasoning from the cheap seats.


To address this question, we must now “be” Melissa Schuman. We do this by taking her statements and looking at the situation through her eyes.


Melissa has been through a degrading and violent assault experiencing huge levels of stress and fear and pain. At the end of it Melissa lays there grieving for her lost virtue as she contemplates the living nightmare that is now her life.


I will now present that nightmare in detail.


Cognitive Dissonance (Generally)


The day before, Melissa woke up a virgin with dreams of marriage in a world where she had an innocent love of life and was successful and confident.


The next time she wakes up she is the woman she saw in the mirror during the assault, a woman defiled and a woman who now knows to her bones that the monsters are real, and that sense of safety and confidence once bedrock is now as ethereal as smoke.


Melissa’s life is now one of cognitive dissonance, subterfuge and pain. We see it first with the roommate. The roommate states what a great time it all was. Not so for Melissa. What was she going to say?


It was awesome right up until Nick Carter raped her? So, Melissa now finds herself having to do something quite alien to her nature and experience.


She has to create the illusion she was OK to avoid her roommate seeing something was wrong.


Melissa is an intelligent person. She will be aware that the moment she tells anyone what little control she has over her situation will be lost to her.


She is already desperate to pretend it did not happen. How does she explain something she can barely comprehend herself? What will Nick Carter do if the word gets out?


Cognitive Dissonance (Future Marriage)


The first thing Melissa is facing is that she is now in a world where her life choices have gone from good choice / bad choice to bad choice / worse choice. Take the loss of her virtue. Before she was raped Melissa had the goal of being a virgin when she married.


Melissa would have had her thoughts and dreams as to how that night would play out. Now she faces that night with two choices. She goes to bed with her husband without telling him and faking what was once her dream or telling him beforehand.


The first choice means she has to start her marriage on a lie that she must maintain until the day she dies which will prove impossible anyway.


The second means they both go that marriage bed with the knowledge of the assault and how will she not hear Nick Carter’s voice in her mind whispering, “I could be your husband”?


So, we can see the deeply personal violation Melissa has suffered. Nick Carter took more than her body, he raped who she was as a person at every level.


Carter had succeeded in violating the deepest recesses of Melissa’s core belief systems. The infection is already working its evil. Yet that was a concern for the future. More immediate concerns were already in play.

Cognitive Dissonance (Family)


The situation can only get worse. Melissa is close to her family. She has four sisters and her parents. There is a dynamic in the family relationship of love that speaks of safety and stability. Melissa will know that when her family find out they will be devastated.


The family dynamic will be flooded with shock, pain and grief and Melissa loves her family. She does not want to bring them pain and stress. Even though it is not her fault, victims often cannot escape the feeling they are responsible for bringing the horror of it all into their loved ones lives.


Crushed under the weight of a feeling of responsibility for something that was not her fault, still struggling to even admit the event happened to her, Melissa is now enduring the tearing claws of cognitive dissonance as it rages unchecked through every aspect of her life.


The family dynamic has changed despite her silence. The family have noticed the change in her. They will likely have seen something in Melissa’s eyes that was not there before, but they would have not known what it was they were looking at.


Melissa is aware that her family is noticing there is something wrong and she is aware that she is the only one of them that knows the truth.


A monster called Nick Carter had entered her life and was now with her everywhere. Not only that this nightmare that was the result of his actions was a contagion that was infecting the lives of the people closest to Melissa.


Cognitive Dissonance (Social / Friends)


Cognitive dissonance now plagues nearly every interaction. In her previous life she would have done things like talk with her girlfriends about what they all hoped and expected their lives as married women would be for them.


Christians tend to be socially active with a group of people who are generally also Christians. Christians do not tend to live compartmentalized lives. The Christian component of their lives touches on them at every level.


Now when she sits among her peers Melissa knows she has changed but her peers do not.


Not only is she now outside of the dynamic that once connected her to her peers their comments and banter on the subject of marriage now hurt her deeply.


This is an example of applying the individual consideration in this instance that Melissa is a Christian.


To truly understand what Melissa is telling us in her statement we need to apply all the considerations to the question at hand.


When we apply the accepted understanding of what rape victims have reported for decades to the individual consideration, it is wholly evident that Melissa would have been suffering serious and chronic psychological stress.


We see here the cognitive dissonance and the crisis of faith it would surely invoke. I have seen no information that would allow me to draw the conclusion Melissa suffered a complete loss of faith.


What is certain however is that Melissa’s ability to express her faith and relate to others at that level was savagely compromised as was her ability to take comfort from it.


Cognitive Dissonance (Pathology)


Cognitive dissonance is a highly stressful state of mind to endure. The only way to relieve it is to change what is required to eliminate it. However, Melissa has no choices that she can make that do not result in more liability. Bad choice / worse choice applies.


For example, before Melissa disclosed she was subjected to cognitive dissonance that was confined within herself. The issue is that others were still treating her as the Melissa they knew, not the Melissa she now was.


This required Melissa to maintain a front which is only partially effective anyway. This requires even more mental processing when Melissa is already at her limits physically and psychologically.


Yet if Melissa makes the “change”,in this case disclosure, then all those she cares about will also experience significant cognitive dissonance.


As a result, those people will respond to this new reality by acting in ways Melissa never thought possible. Melissa will face the fears and anguish of her loved ones.


She will also experience malice, betrayal, exploitation and severe bullying at levels few can comprehend from others, including individuals close to her.


The result is that Melissa will now have to deal with all the cognitive dissonance of others and discovering things about the people around her that will set off yet more cognitive dissonance within her.


Add to that the fact that Melissa is 18 years old and her one and only sexual experience is forcible rape and it is very clear that Melissa's position is bleak and there is no experience or any real understanding she can draw upon.


All this is a variant on what the large majority of sexual assault victims will and do experience.


Cognitive dissonance has its own predictable pathology and those are the logical consequences that will almost certainly follow.


The considerations in place we now apply them to Melissa’s statement. Melissa states she withdrew from her family and friends. Seeking relief in self-imposed exile is an extremely typical response.


It changes the choice from keeping up a front or disclosure to avoidance or disclosure. Avoidance offers temporary relief. Therefore, Melissa’s statement makes complete sense and meets the veracity test.


Aftermath


It is important to note that everything I have described here is what we can reasonably conclude regarding what Melissa Schuman has had to face since she was assaulted. It does not contain detail as to specific examples of what Melissa has been through.


The relevant evidence is found in the context Melissa provides in her statement. Melissa did not want to tell anyone what happened to her. The reasons why a rape victim will not tell are always variations of the same small cluster of considerations.


Melissa tells us she withdrew from her friends and family. Again we see a text book response to rape. Desperate to find a way free of the chronic psychological torture of cognitive dissonance Melissa turned away from everything she held most dear.


Melissa was forced to abandon much of what would have been her source of support and strength in nearly any other situation. Sadly this is only the beginning of Melissa's troubles.


In response to various matters I have edited the paragraph above to add clarity. It is necessary to detail the relevant matters that occurred after the initial aftermath of the rape. In the next article I will demonstrate how the tests I have applied in the general sense played out for Melissa in the detailed sense.


I also intended on covering the issues that pertain to the situations Melissa had to deal with in her future employment in this article. For the purposes of keeping complex matters as manageable as possible I will be presenting the employment issue in the next article as well.


Part One Assault


Part Three Nightmare


Fact Checker


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