We’re adding a Page to the website with resources for domestic violence and relationship abuse survivors. As soon as that’s ready, we’ll publicize the link.
Without further delay, here’s the first Survivor Series story. Trigger alert: the following story contains domestic violence and rape.
I saw your post about the Survivor’s Series on Lucian’s blog. I am not sure how much detail you need but I will give you my story as best as I can. It was a vanilla relationship, Bad AND Abusive. The abuse was both emotional and physical, including rape. I was in my mid 20s. It didn’t start out like that but little by little he chipped away at my self esteem. He had me questioning if I was good enough for him…..if I was good enough for anyone……so I just settled. My self esteem was tenuous when we met…..I acted confident but deep down I wanted a guy to like ME, love me even.
Most guys I met seemed scared or intimidated by me….. I was flattered by the attention….he swept me off my feet….he said he loved me on our first date….in hind sight that should have been a red flag……danger, danger…..I ignored it. As the relationship progressed he became more possessive, jealous…..accused me of cheating…..
he was the one cheating.
He even questioned why I needed a college degree or why I wanted to go to grad school. He isolated me from my friends and my family. They noticed a big change in my personality and asked if he had hit me or did anyone see him hit me….
I was lost…..felt lost. He didn’t beat the crap out of me but sometimes I had wished he would have…..maybe I would have left sooner. He made me feel like no matter what I did, it was never good enough…..thought I needed a boob job….needed this that whatever. He would grab me in public to embarrass me…he called it teasing…said I couldn’t take a joke…said he “loved”my body….it didn’t matter. I was “his” and he could do what he wanted. His friends did try to intervene on my behalf, even told me I could do better…he called them “pussies” (his words).
He told me he loved me and gave me an engagement ring. He asked me to marry him several times……surprisingly without hesitation I said NO….each time….shock…..I thought marriage was what I wanted. We actually broke up several times at his insistence…….wanted to take a break and see other people…..only I wasn’t allowed to see anyone. I was suppose to wait for him.
I was stupid and foolish…desperate….I kept going back. Each time I felt my spirit dying…I was fading away to nothing. That was how I felt. I felt like nobody else would love me, like me…..I settled. It cost me my soul. Now for the most difficult part.
The rape. Actually rapes….
I remember 3 distinct times….everything else is just a blur. We were your typical couple, typical vanilla sex, nothing extraordinary. I was interested in Bdsm at the time but Never brought it up with him…don’t know why…thank God! He would have dismissed it anyway….weirdo, freaks. Very vanilla. Oh he wanted to have a threesome with another girl….I said NO…..kept pressuring me…I refused. I told him I would consider it ONLY if it was a guy, not a girl. He refused of course. We never did.
I remember the first time he raped me…..I remember the where, when, etc.. That isn’t important. I wasn’t really in the mood, tired, I don’t know…He was on top of me, kissing me, taking off my clothes. I kept telling him I didn’t feel like it, ….he was insistent. He had undressed…details a blur…on top of me…kept pushing….he had my hands pinned. I kept telling him to stop….NO…..STOP! He didn’t listen or care….kept telling me he loved me, loved my body, how good I felt… I kept struggling, crying, begging him to stop….then he penetrated me…..I just remember the pain because I was Dry, Not aroused at all. Begged, cried for him to stop but he continued till he came. It seemed the more I struggled the more insistent he became.
He got off of me, I was crying…I told him he raped me. He looked stunned….speechless….then he cried. He couldn’t believe I just said it was rape….he said he was sorry…he couldn’t help himself because he loved me and I felt good. It would never happen again….I was speechless, I felt like it was my fault. He made me feel like it was my fault, I had led him on. I was numb….comforted him…I was emotionally dead. He always threatened to get me pregnant, sabotage my birth control, humiliated me, whatever.
Yes, he raped me again, 2 other times I distinctly remember. Similar scenarios, details…..I just know I was emotionally and spiritually dead. I felt nothing…wanted to die. Most troubling to me was the fact that I lost face….my personal honor was very important and intrinsic to me. I had no honor. I had just shut down, I didn’t live, I just existed. The relationship ended after 5yrs……caught him cheating, had enough FINALLY! It wasn’t easy, he was persistent, vindictive. I couldn’t prove it, but he had my car stolen and torched! Would he ever admit he raped me or was abusive….hell no….I don’t care…..not any more.
Was he some evil genius…no….just a guy….a redneck….no offense to other rednecks. I remember seeing a fb post recently that asked to describe an ex with movie titles….here was my answer: A trilogy- Insidious, The Hurt Locker, Dumb and Dumber. Yeah….I know.
The relationship Hell left me shattered and broken. My mind, body, and spirit dead….a ghost of my former light.
I survived but I was angry…..angry at him….angry at myself.
The worst was the self directed anger. I questioned why didn’t I leave, woulda, coulda, shoulda……It consumed me. I just hurt and I just wanted to die.
I was attractive, intelligent, came from a happy home and childhood…..why? What happened? It was defining me. I was ashamed. I was beautifully broken. Then I met someone and he helped me help myself. Helped me regain face again. I had my personal honor restored. I got the help I needed to realize I WAS A SURVIVOR NOT A VICTIM. I defined myself not the rape.
It was not easy, it was hell battling those personal demons….confronting and acknowledging them. There was alot of kicking and screaming on my part being forced to confront those demons. I put this new friend through hell, but he was there to catch me if I stumbled, comfort me, then pushed me to fight for myself. I loved him heart and soul and was with him for 10 yrs.
Unfortunately, he died in an accident…..I thank God that he was in my life for that time. The time I spent with him is another story. I was with him for 10yrs, he died 10yrs ago….I gave myself a self imposed mourning period to battle any demons…..I was my own worst demon. I was 40 when he died, now I am 50…… I finally found my light again….finally at 50 soon to be 51! I don’t feel my age, so much younger…..I have to be 30 something…lol
I found the light and embraced the darkness within. I am starting to learn to trust in it….believe in it…..being true to myself. It is still one day at a time but I am finally looking forward to my new journey. I cannot wait to live and not just exist.
I didn’t mean to ramble and hopefully it was coherent for you to follow. It was difficult at times to even say or write the word “rape”….even after all this time. The scars are there, the wounds healed. I just find that the more I talk about it, the more cathartic it is. An exorcism of personal demons you could say.
I just hope that I can help someone with my story. There is light, there is hope. Remember that you are a survivor never a victim…it does not define you. Have Faith in yourself and if you are spiritual, God. I have faith in both. I am finally seeing a glimpse of the woman J*** saw…..intelligent, sassy, funny, creative and beautiful. Thank You for letting me tell my story.