It took Lady Gaga seven years to open up about her rape ordeal as a teenager because the Poker Face star didn't even know how to "think" about it.
The pop star, who has recorded Diane Warren's song Til It Happens to You for a new documentary on college campus rape, has never named her attacker and admits it took a lot of soul searching to come forward.
In a candid new video panel chat alongside Warren for the Los Angeles Times' TimesTalk series, Gaga says, "I didn't tell anyone for, I think, seven years. I didn't know how to think about it. I didn't know how to accept it. I didn't know how to not blame myself or think it was my fault.
"It's something that really changed my life. It changed who I was completely. It changed my body, it changed my thoughts."
"When you go through a trauma like that, it doesn't just have the immediate physical ramifications," the 29-year-old star adds. "For many people it is almost like trauma, where you re-experience it through the years after it. It can trigger patterns in your body of physical distress.
"So a lot of people suffer not just emotional and mental pain, but physical pain as a result of being abused, raped or traumatized in some way."
The singer revealed she was raped at the age of 19 in an interview last year (14), and told DJ Howard Stern, "I don't want to be defined by it. I'll be damned if somebody's gonna say that every creatively intelligent thing that I ever did is all boiled down to one d**khead that did that to me."
Gaga and songwriter Warren hit the red carpet together for a TimesTalks The Hunting Ground screening on Thursday (10Dec15) in New York City, and the hitmaker revealed the track she sings in the film has made a big impact on her.
"Diane will tell you, it was really hard for me when it came out," she admits. "I was really stressed out about it. Every time I listen to it, I cry. Every time I get a text about it, I always feel sick. It's like this thing you don't want to face. But because she wanted to face it with me, it reminded me of what the song is for."