To say the least, I never expected to write a blog about what I’m going to disclose. It would’ve been far from what I had wanted out of my life. Previously, I was so oblivious and would wonder why victims didn’t get help the moment something happens.
With a humble heart, I am coming back to say I completely have a full understanding now why victims don’t come forward until years later or some don’t even come out at all.
There is a type of sexual abuse that many people don’t even realize exists and that is marital rape. There are two sides to the argument that I’ve seen people respond with. One is, “you were committed to eachother so that’s not rape. He can’t possibly sexual assault you.” There’s the other of understanding that just because we are in a relationship or married doesn’t mean that person has entitlement to our bodies.
Let me just tell you the thoughts, oh the thoughts that I’ve experienced from the moment it happened… The what ‘ifs’. I’ve been so worried about what people will say. Will they support me or will they shame me? Will I be judged? Will they pick sides? Will that be the only thing people see when they see me? Will guys want to still date me? Or will they stay away because I’m damaged goods? Will people think this is for attention? What will this do to my family? What will this do to my mom? What storm will the cause for HIM? Silly, I know, but the self doubt is beyond anything I’ve ever felt. It’s like someone took every ounce of strength and fight to only replace it with confusion. This is why I’m barely coming out to you and my family after keeping this quiet for 2 years.
The man who was my abuser was actually someone that I had made vows with. When we met sparks flew and I met the perfect match for me. My family was convinced he was the one and everything was perfect.
We ended making things official in the fall, but the next day everything changed. He was no longer that person I knew and it was like an illusion this the entire time. I remember sobbing for months asking myself what I had done to get myself in this situation of feeling stuck and confused. On the outside though, everything was wonderful and picture perfect. On the inside, everything was crumbling.
After about two months it really went downhill. I started to witness the rage, anger and shockingly abuse to my dogs. It went from him grabbing one of my dogs necks and flinging her around to locking them in a car when it was a 100 degrees outside without me knowing where they were. He complained a lot about how much time I spent with my pets. I started to realize that maybe there was a motive so they stayed with my mom.
We fought almost everyday about his anger and how he changed. He slowly had relapses with his addictions. I spent several nights in hotels when I could be quick enough to run out the door without him stopping me or grabbing my keys. Those were the only moments I felt safe.
I stayed in the relationship full heartedly. It would be easy to say I was also still so in love with the old him and prayed he’d come back. He constantly threatened me with suicide and I couldn’t bare something happening because of me.
Why I didn’t get help? I knew if I told my mom about the addictions, reasoning behind her having my pets, the fights, watching my every move, even watching me while I was sleeping, his months of unemployment, and threats she would be there with the police the next day packing up my things. If that happened I was scared of what he would do.
There was still a part of me that wanted to fight for that relationship. If he could get help or maybe if I tried harder. I will say I was young and immature. I tried to change and as I look back at things I would change a lot. At the time though he had me convinced that this was all my fault. I believed him.
After a year, we had the opportunity to take a vacation in Maui. When we arrived I saw him happy and thriving as the excitement set in. He then spiraled and he was threatening suicide again. I finally had the guts to call the police, but he then took my phone away from me. After hours of a constant battle I got my phone back. By that time we mutually decided this was going to be it and we slept in different rooms the entire time the rest of the trip.
The next morning, I went on my daily run. It was the only time I didn’t feel like I was being watched, so it was my escape. This was my happy place and where my healthy addiction for fitness started. I had my head phones in blaring music and running to the beat. Suddenly, my throat started to close and my happy free spirit soon became panic. I felt like I was breathing through a straw and my face was swelling. I knew I needed to get to an ER.
I called him to pick me up. I arrived at the ER and next thing I knew I was in Anaphlatic shock. I was hooked up to every machine in the room and received several shots that caused complete exhaustion. It was about 2 hours later and I was released.
Under doctors orders, I was suppose to go right to bed due to the large amounts of benedryl, steroids and names of meds I couldn’t prenounce that were injected. The doctor informed me that I would be unconscious for the next several hours. I got to the apartment finally and when my head hit the pillow I was gone until the next day.
The next morning when I woke up, I tried to take it slow and easy getting out of bed. I tossed the covers off to the side of me and realized something wasn’t right. I looked down to find I had no bottoms on and no underwear. I knew I didn’t go to bed like that. I was confused until the puzzle pieces came together and I realized what happened.
I started to sob. I cried out his name and asked him why I was partially undressed. He claimed he didn’t know, but I felt in my gut that is was a lie. I questioned him for 3 whole days hoping I wasn’t right. I knew with him it took persistence for him to come clean and then he did. He admitted he had sex with me while I was unconscious and under the influence of medication. My world stopped. I felt objectified. I felt stripped from my consent. I felt… humiliated.
I remember the depression it threw me into. We had agreed prior that this it was the end of us. Then this? My mom had dedicated her life to making sure I was okay. Giving me the lessons on how my body is mine and no one has entitlement. I knew what it would do to her. Nonetheless, my niece passed away a few months prior, so my family was a mess. I decided to bury it deep down inside.
I got back home from Maui and officially ended things. As I look back and I know now that I should’ve called the police. I should’ve involved my family. At the moment the feeling of victimizing yourself and crying out is a vulnerability that no one should ever go through. I wanted to hide because I felt dirty. There was not enough showers I could take to erase what had happened to me for me to feel clean again. I couldn’t escape it.
I knew I needed to talk, but I didn’t want anyone knowing. The only people who knew were two of my closest friends. My best friend who was like a sister and still is, supported me through it. We spent countless nights talking over dinner as she watched me go through the emotions of being a victim of rape and now a failed relationship.
The other person I told was a close friend who I no longer speak with. She shamed me. She told me that since we were committed that it was okay. He had every right to and that I shouldn’t speak out which might ruin his reputation.
I became secluded and quiet. I spent countless nights sobbing and trying to erase everything. The only place I found peace was with my horses in an arena showing. That is where healing took place.
Since then, I’ll be honest, I’m scared to death. I spend most of my time bailing on dates and more time putting the pieces back together. I’m scared that I will never truly know anyone and what they are capable of. I would rather be on my own and wait for someone to fight for me than waste my time on something to only have my insecurities pop up.
I’m healing though. I’m stronger and picky on who really can get close. This is a blessing in disguise and I know I can help others.
My biggest fear is being this vulnerable and putting it all out there. However, I’m willing to share my story dispite the judgment to help someone who is struggling because of similar circumstances.
Some may say I did it to myself because I ignored the signs and others might be on the side of “he’s your ex, that wasn’t sexual assault.” I’m finally at a point that I can face those people.
As a society, we also need to be willing to face what is going on and bring awareness to the rape culture that is more alive than ever. We need to put an end to it whether you’re single, in a relationship or married. We need to hear you. I hear you.
I love the woman I am. I fought to become her.
Please help start the hashtag #wehearyou showing your support and giving victims confidence to share their story. That they will have people who back them. It’s time.