Whether you know me or not….rape is rape
Hello again everyone. Before I start on today’s post I want to apologize for the time I have spent away from writing. As I touched on very briefly in my previous post, my life has been very full lately and because of it I needed to focus extra hard on my own self-care. Now that things are a little less hectic, I have time to write. This post, is one on something I have been needing to start talking about and just didn’t know when the right time was. Well, now is the perfect time. **PLEASE know that this post has a high potential to be extremely triggering, so please make sure to ground yourself before reading**
Painful and traumatic experiences are not meant to happen nor are they meant to stay inside of the person it happened to. I am a firm believer that until you can find the strength to start pulling those experiences out of you, making the transition from victim to survivor is only a hope in your soul. You must endure the pain and fear of getting them out, but once you do it gets easier and the healing begins. Healing is what brings strength, hope and wonderful things. Please don’t get me wrong, I can relate on a deep level…this part of recovery is the hardest, but it is worth it.
When I was 21 I was very lost, probably the most lost I have ever been in my life. I had gotten clean from drugs and alcohol about six months prior but was still very much brainwashed by my addiction, living as a drunk and acting as if I were still using. I was deeply depressed, anxious, angry and instead of confronting the demons tearing my soul apart, I blamed everyone around me. I blamed my biological father for physically and emotionally beating me as a child, never being there for me or loving me, I blamed my friends for not saving me, I even blamed my mother despite the fact she was the only human being who was gentle and loving towards me and never stopped believing I could be well. I am sure at this point in my life, being around me was a living Hell.
During all of this I had been dating someone I had met while I was in the Marines. He was a Marine too, and had been one of my combat instructors during MCT (Marine Combat Training). When I was medically retired from the Marine Corps after being raped by another Marine and left emotionally and psychologically destroyed, this man seemed to come in and sweep me off my feet. Never in my life had I ever met someone so able to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing and not tip others off to his true nature. He had me so fooled. I was damaged by what happened to me in the Marines and instead of protecting myself several of my alters, who until recently were terrified to be alone and equated it with dying were very much in control. The thought of being alone terrified me and all of my alters, we felt as if the entire world had abandoned us and we were willing to latch onto anyone who showed us affection so that we wouldn’t disappear into madness.
This man had been told by his command to stay away from me, that he had already broken military law by having a friendship with me while I was still active duty and they would not tolerate him pushing himself further into my life after I got out. He did not listen to them, even after they shipped him off to Japan for a year. He sent me a cell phone; he sent me cards telling me how much he cared for me…even loved me and wanted my life to be perfect and safe. At the time, that sounded amazing…someone cared, someone wanted to protect me! Of course, me being as damaged as I was at the time, I couldn’t see how false his promises were and how potentially deadly his lies were. I stayed in touch with him, I agreed to date him and I stayed with him even during the frequent obsessive phone calls that consisted of him threatening me, belittling me and telling me no one else cared. He would tell me that only he could truly love me and protect me, that my mom despised me and only wanted to hurt me. His screaming and cruel conversations hurt me, but I believed his lies and stayed with him.
After a year in Japan he came to Michigan and told me we were going to Texas where his family was to be married, and then we would move to Virginia (his next duty station). He swore to me that we would be happy, that he would take care of me…that he would save me from all of my demons. There were two problems with this that I could not see at the time. One, he was lying and two, no one can save you…you have to save you. I ended up marrying him down in Texas and I knew right before the wedding that I was making a huge mistake, but I didn’t know how to get out. I was over a thousand miles away from home or any relative I was aware of and surrounded by his family who seemed to think scaring me with religion would make me be a submissive and perfect wife for him. And many people wonder why I have a problem with Christians who are fanatical. Please understand I am not discriminating, I believe all religions have people like this and as wrong as it is, there is nothing I can do about it.
After we were married we spent a few days in Texas with his family and then made our way to Virginia Beach, VA. Little did I know, Virginia was going to be the location of many horrible and some amazing experiences. Only a few weeks into our marriage I was not only miserable, but I was worse than I was in Michigan. He had me trapped like a beaten animal, controlled every move of mine and made me hate myself to my very core. He reminded me all the time how I was fat and I seriously needed to lose weight. (I had always been underweight, but in the past year from being on fourteen psychiatric medications and one for my thyroid I had gained a lot of weight). He would cook for me, which made our new neighbors believe he loved me and doted on me, but he would give himself a normal plate of food and mine was very limited. If I asked for more or was caught getting into other foods I regretted it. He would yell at me, call me names and make me feel like a disgusting pig because I was still hungry. I would cry and that would only piss him off more.
As if the food debacle wasn’t enough he would force me to look at porn with him, something he knew (and actually, everyone who knew anything about me) upset me greatly. He would pull up pictures of these trashy women known in the porn world and point out to me what was so beautiful about her and how I needed to change so I would be like her. I was furious, scared, depressed and above all humiliated. He drove my car everywhere and forbid me to go anywhere without him. If I wanted or needed to go somewhere he was my chaperon. I was so scared to leave the apartment that walking down the street to the gas station sent me straight into a full blown panic attack. He had basically ripped the wings from my back, bound and then burned them, all the while making me watch. I started cutting myself again and taking more of my medication just so I could numb some of the pain he was making me feel.
I was hospitalized again; despite his attempts at telling me I didn’t need therapy, a suicide attempt landed me in the hospital. The nurses, doctor and counselors all seemed to know something wasn’t right in my home situation, that my “loving” husband wasn’t who he tried to convince everyone he was, but no one could convince me to tell the truth. Now things were scarier…I was very far from home and no friends or relatives where around for me to run to, I was completely trapped.
When I got out of the hospital the medication continued, the physical and emotional abuse continued, I begged to go to therapy and finally got him to cave. He would attend all of my sessions and every time I would try to talk about how I felt he would interrupt me and tell the therapist how he felt instead. I got absolutely nothing out of those sessions. Things continued to get worse. He would want to have sex and I wouldn’t. He made me feel sick about myself and frankly, I thought he was the most repulsive thing I had ever encountered in my life. I couldn’t stand being in the same apartment as him, why would I want to have sex with him? Intercourse was already a very difficult thing for me. Most of my alters and I were very uncomfortable with sex or even sexual language. It all made us think of the rape in the military. We needed someone loving, gentle and patient who understood that we had been through a lot and could someday enjoy sex, but that it would take time and care. He did not care that we had been raped and abused since a young age nor did he want to take his time being sexual with us…it was whatever he wanted, when he wanted it.
He got sick of me resisting, sick and tired of my “excuses”. He started coming home from work on his lunch breaks, pull my pants off of me, have sex with me and then leave. He literally would be there at the house for ten minutes or less. Just to fuck me and then leave. I never said no, I never fought him. I knew better. I just let him do it to me and once he left I would clean myself up, cry and then either sleep or hurt myself. I was so angry at him for what he was doing to me, but I was also angry at myself for letting it happen. It was a sickening feeling. Back then I didn’t realize that he was raping me. He was my husband….so didn’t that mean that any sex between us was consensual? The answer is a big fucking no. It doesn’t matter if the person stealing sexual contact with you is a stranger, a family member, a friend or a significant other. Rape is rape. He knew I didn’t want to have sex, he knew I could hardly stand to kiss him, but he didn’t care. All he cared about was pleasuring himself.
I started staying at a friend’s house whom I had met in the hospital. My stays became more frequent and longer. Finally I found the courage to stay with my friend and her family and tell him that I wasn’t coming back. I was having a lot of problems with kidney stones again and my friend took me to the hospital one night when I was having abdominal pain. The nurse came in while I was drinking the contrast for the CT scan they were about to do and told me to stop drinking the contrast. She informed me that I was pregnant. I was so horrified and yet happy in those next few days. I had always wanted children of my own, who I could love and protect…but I did not want his baby.
I continued to stay with my friend and her family and tried to stay as calm as possible so that my baby would be safe, but my husband, his friends and family blew my phone up daily telling me I was a tramp and a horrible mother to keep his baby from him. The guilt got to me and I went back to him. It wasn’t long before his anger got so out of control that he pushed me hard into a wall and threw my phone that I had been using to call friends for help. The police arrived and asked me if I wanted to press charges, but I was too scared. I left with my friends. That night they took me to the emergency room because I had started bleeding. A week passed and the baby was okay, the bleeding had stopped and yet again out of fear and guilt I went back.
Only a few days after I was back I woke up in horrible, agonizing pain that I can only attribute to a kidney stone passing during childbirth. I was bleeding heavily and I knew that I was miscarrying my baby. My heart was breaking and my body was weak and still all he could say to me was: I have to go to work, drive yourself. So I did. I drove myself 9.9 miles (which was 20 minutes) to the emergency room. By the time I got there my entire car seat and my pants were soaked with blood. I remember getting to the waiting room and then I don’t remember anything until I was in a bed in the ER being asked what my blood type was.
Eventually after all of this, I got away from him, stood up to him and got a divorce. After everything he put me through, the torture, the loss of my baby, the thousands of dollars he took….I am stronger, wiser and sure as Hell never going to let another person take advantage of me or anyone I love. Please know that no matter what the circumstances are no one has a right to hurt you. No one has a right to put their hands on you to hurt you, to say cruel words or make you feel that the world is better off with you dead. You deserve YOUR life. Stand up for it!