One Year and One Day Later

One year, one day ago (November 3, 2012), I was a stay at home mom recovering from leaving a mental hospital, separated from my husband, who left that day to go to Oklahoma, with no money, no job, and no way of providing for my daughter. Within the last year, I found a job that supported my daughter while living at my moms house, fought for custody of our daughter and won. We moved out of my moms in august and my little one is striving in kindergarten after a few rough weeks. And I have now started a new job making 1/3 more money. I got my car back (after 9 weeks without), working on getting my meds straightened out, and was blessed with a larger working interview pay than what was originally offered. I now have a job that is suited towards my skills and utilized, and have the whole support of my old job which wants to stay in contact with me. And I have hope that I will be able to pay off debts and debtors and save for a new car to get back on track. I don’t know how I got here because I was scared to death to step up. As my lawyer said, I was a beaten down woman who they had to get onto for not making decisions. Along with the new job I started today, I was just asked to be a part of the newly formed Women’s Resident Council with three other women. And I shared my story with my a woman here who is just now talking about her rape and gave my story to my caseworker. This day couldn’t represent more of the person in becoming if I planned it all myself. I just have to be so grateful for all the help I had along the way because without support and standing up and speaking out for myself, I would have NEVER made it this far. Staying silent will never work. And I promise anyone who stands for what they believe and refuses to keep his or her “dirty little secret” to protect the abuser will not only help themselves heal but help others accept their own abuse. As much as I’ve wanted to cry lately (for my own abuse from my ex), I wanna cry just as much for the person I am today. I just wanted to share some positives as not everything in our life will always be negative.

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The Enduring Marriage… Marital Rape? IPSV?

My friends often wonder why I feel so bad for those who were marital raped, when I too was. They couldn’t understand why I did not see what was happening in my own relationship, but could see it in others. Only thing we could come up with was the strength of my denial at that stage. I majorly minimized my own abuse and continually defended him and tried to make sense of something that made absolutely no sense. The longer time passes and the more my ex does, the easier it is to get out of denial, not that dealing with the truth is easy though. He has a pattern and it’s made me realize that he never loved me and only used and abused me.

And now the stuff with my ex is really starting to get to me. I think its time to share some of our 5 year history and get it out once and for all. Honestly, I don’t know what you want to call it. It makes me feel vulnerable to even think about. So I am just gonna lay it all out there. All I know, it wasn’t loving. He wasn’t loving.

PLEASE NOTE.
ONLY READ IF YOURE IN A GOOD PLACE TO READ. I DON’T WANNA TRIGGER OTHERS. ITS NOT MY INTENTION.

When we were dating:

We were friends as he was 37 and I was 18 when we met. He was also married. We were coworkers and I told him, after his wife left him, that I would never date a coworker. I didn’t know he liked me until two months later when he kissed me.

For the first three weeks, he slept on the couch and gave me his bed. But then he had a party with me, my friend, her bo and his roommate. He bought $100 worth of alcohol and by the end of the night, we were all wasted. I had just turned 19. Since my friend was over, Marc slept in the bed with me. He started kissing and rubbing and taking off my clothes. At one point, he was on top of me, about to go in me, when he asked, are you sure? I just nodded. He did all the work. I just laid there. Afterwards, for months, he made me feel guilty saying that he wished we would have waited and weren’t drunk.

About three months later he asked me to marry him. And two months after that, I got back into church. We had one month before the wedding. During that month, I asked him for us not to have sex until then. Part of me wanted it to be special and the other part knew how the church frowned upon sex before marriage. I asked, he said ok.

Within those 4 weeks, he kept advancing me for sex. Telling me how it was ok and trying to convince me. I would continue to tell him no, I didn’t want to, I wanted to wait, over and over again, but in the end, I stopped saying no and it happened anyways. Nine days before our wedding, I broke down in tears begging him for us to please not have sex anymore until the wedding. That it was only 9 days. It finally stopped. I shut this part out of my brain until years later it surfaced. I was so ashamed. He still denies that we had sex during that time. Just told me to pray and ask for forgiveness.

After we were married:

Six weeks after we were married, I found out I was pregnant. Which was a shocker for me as he told me when we were dating that he had a vasectomy and couldn’t have any more kids. When I showed him the test and asked him about it, he told me, “no I told you I went to the doctor but I never got it done.”

Throughout the next 4 years, I was going throughout life like my past abuse and rapes didn’t affect me. What I now realize is that they affected me very much.

During intimacies, I would check out and never realized it. My husband never asked if I was ok or stopped to check on me. It took 4 years to realize this happened, and when I talked to him about it, he said, “I know. I could tell when you didn’t want it or wanted if to be over with, so I just tried to hurry.”

I had to rub him to “get him in the mood” (even if it wasn’t my intention, remember I rubbed him every night, so there was no saying when). But on the nights he mentioned having sex, I would have to rub him and bite on his nipples (which I HATED doing). Sometimes this would get him to the point of already wanting to cum. But he would still want “sex” to cum in me. I didn’t realize. And then the other times, when he felt like it , would climb on top of me and start pushing his way into me. He was turned on I guess but not me so it took a bit of time and energy for him to get in me. Instead of easing in or getting me aroused for sex, he would put a lot of pressure on me to get himself in me. Sometimes he would be more gentle, other times, not so much. I would hurt days later, but thought it was normal. Between the two scenarios, sex lasted between 15 seconds to 2-3 minutes. It never did anything for me, most of the time I was checked out anyways.

He usually wanted on top, missionary. But on certain occasions, he wanted me to be on top. Or, his most lazy position was laying on his side trying to spoon me (vaginally or anally). Both hurt, were uncomfortable, and extremely less intimate. This became sex for the longest time. Most of the time in the late hours of the night, him with his eyes closed half asleep but trying to get sex because he was horny. Sometimes I would be out and he would wake me enough to start it. It did nothing for me, sometimes id be barely awake but after he was done he’d be asleep and I’d be awake. He liked “having sex” and getting off because it helped him sleep. So I was a means to that.

I would rub him almost ever night. Sometimes he wanted to get off, sometimes not. When he did, I would either get him off or he would jump on top of me, as he was about to get off, and cum inside me. He would tell me that he wanted to feel him inside me and then proceeded to say how guilty he felt that he wasn’t able to get me off (in that, not even, 15 seconds). I felt like he had used me because he didn’t wanna clean up the mess. He had withdrawn from sex around that time and would jack himself off in the shower, so the only “sex” we ever had was when he jumped up and came in me. It was always a surprise and I never knew when it was or wasn’t going to happen. It happened so quickly that I didn’t know what to do or say. Besides, he was my husband.

He would want me to go down on him or do things I didn’t want to do. I did give in to the oral at times just to make him happy. Sometimes when I did that, he would push my head down farther on him during. He liked to pull my hair extremely hard and then tell me I liked it. I didn’t. It hurt a lot, but I just thought he did all this because he was enthusiastic. In the middle of kissing once, my husband tried to go down on me. I begged him not to, tried to push him away, told him I didn’t want him to. He was stronger, told me that it would be ok, that he wanted to. And he did. I didn’t know what else to do. He also told me that I was enjoying the sex, the more difficult the sex became. He said it was because I was tight, but because of the pain and the fact I was dry, that wasn’t the case. Anyways, I thought it was part of my wifely duties to do all this stuff.

One part that stumps me all the time was the anal sex and how much he hurt me and didn’t see it as a problem. There were a few times I jumped up off the bed in pain and in tears. I would ask him to go slow, ease it in, but he wouldn’t. He would say ok, and then next thing I know, he would thrust hard or at a bad angle. I don’t know what he did but I was crippled over in pain. He still wanted to continue, so he waited until I managed to lay back down in bed. He would try anally again, but if I was in too much pain, he would want to continue vaginally instead.

He also didn’t use lubrication most of the time which could have added to the pain. I was never aroused for sex anyways and he never eased into with any type of lubrication. If there was, it was me grabbing whatever I could find to help with the pain.

I was embarrassed because I never wanted to do it. He would play oops wrong hole all the time. So when he stopped having sex with me, I felt like I wasn’t doing enough. So I did something that hurt me. And didn’t vocalize my pain. Not like he could see my face anyways. Other times it hurt, but I didn’t jump up like I did. I would just pull away. Or tell him to stop. Or endure it. When he did stop, it was for a few seconds until he would do it again. But then again, he always told me that “if I started it, I had better finish it.” Oh, and Marc always said, it’s weird, never acted like he liked it. But then after a year of stopping it, he started up about it again.

Nearing our separation:

It all started because I wouldn’t have sex with him one night and I didn’t like him touching me. I was being triggered and having nightmares and all he cared about was having sex, since our daughter was with the grandparents. He was emotionally void and couldn’t even hold my hand but he could touch me in my private areas and try to have sex. When we were laying in bed, he kept advancing me and I tried to get him to hold and cuddle me instead. He kept on so I told him no. He threw a fit and went to sleep on the couch. Thirty minutes later, he came in and threw the biggest guilt trip telling me “let me know when I can touch my wife again” and how much I don’t want him anymore. In the past, when he did that kind of crap, I would give into sex and feel shitty about it afterwards. Mainly because after I spread my legs for him, and he did his thing, he would tell me how crappy of a person I was and how I changed and whatever fight we had would continue afterwards. But in my head, anything to “fix” our marriage or make him happy would allow me to pretend our marriage was fine as long as the sex was still there. But this time he threw the guilt trip, he walked out of the room and all I could think was I am glad I didn’t have sex with you. I guess he wanted me to chase after him like I did in the past. But I was done with the games.

I hope if anyone reading this can relate, please know you aren’t alone and it’s not your fault. None of this is consensual. No matter how much they tell you it is or was. It’s not a wifely duty. It’s not about inflicting pain on your spouse. It’s about love and respect and care. None of which I received. Rape is not love. Abuse is not love. It took a while to open up about this and realize that it was not right. I’m not perfect, it still scares me to death to share this. But his actions and control are not my fault. Luckily, I got out of it. And hopefully by sharing parts of my story, others will find that they are not alone.

The Defining Moment: Was I Really Raped?

Many times, when I speak about those first few moments that I realized I was raped, people are shocked by the reaction I received and the insincerity of someone not believing such a horrible act. I’m not speaking of the remainder of that night, I’m not even speaking of that week. It took me a while to realize what happened to me and to open my mouth to someone about it. In my heart of hearts, I knew what just happened, but when I finally spoke about what happened that night, I was looking for someone I could trust to work through those emotions. What I got? My best friend telling me that she didn’t want to think that was a possibility and turned me down from speaking of it further. I stayed silent for seven years because of that day.

So what if this happened to you? What would you want that trustworthy person to say back? There’s a campaign called Start by Believing, and I think that’s one of the core issues survivors face. No one wants to believe such an act can happen to someone they know. They don’t want to believe someone they know could commit such an act. Or, the most devastating one, they want to know what the victim did to make them get raped. This needs to change. Society needs to change.

I could only imagine what would have happened differently in my life if my best friend believed me. I know I cannot change the past, but what a difference it could have made if one persons reaction was in support of a survivor. I believe its like a chain reaction. If that first person takes the news well and supports you , then you could tell another and another and another until one day that silence that at one time bound you was finally loosened. The more chain links (i.e. positive reactions) you have, the freer you are from burdening this alone. This was never the victims fault, but once that first reaction couldn’t withstand the pressure it was placed under, the more likely the rest will crumble.

We cannot deny that rape happens. In fact, I’m sure many people know at least one person who has been sexually abuse. Some may not even know about their family or friend. It’s not rare for a victim to stay quiet. Sometimes the fear of not being believed is stronger than the fear of people knowing what happened to them. Not because they are ashamed necessarily, but because they don’t want to be blamed.

I, unfortunately, got the worst reaction I could have expected from my ex husband. Someone who was supposed to love and care for me. Yes, it was years after the fact, but if someone doesn’t deal with it when it happens, it will creep into their lives eventually. That’s how it was for me. It actually amazes me that an old friend could be infuriated by what happened to me, finding out years later, but my own family and spouse are more concerned about how it affected them instead.

Where does that come from? Why do people do that? What happened to sympathy and empathy for the person who endured a traumatizing experience? We all need to be cognizant of how we come off to people who are sharing a deep pain of theirs. Believe them, care for them, let them know the survivor didn’t deserve it, and that they are upset at the attacker and not the victim.

Moving Froward from My Ex-Abuser

I didn’t think this would be so difficult. I thought that once court was over and the judge granted the divorce, my life would seem more normalized. I thought that once my ex-husband moved on, I would be happy and feel some sort of peace. I mean, in my ideal situation, he would leave me alone, have limited access to our child, and I could get on a path towards happy and healthy.

The reality of the situation is that I am struggling… a lot! I am not struggling because of my want to be with my ex or jealous because he moved on, but the harsh reality that no matter what happened between us, his life has kept going and not stopped. Neither have his lies. It makes me sick hearing and seeing him with his next victim, flaunting her around our child, and confusing her. Don’t get me wrong, I feel bad for his next wife, but I feel worse for my daughter being thrown into the middle of it. I want to feel sorry for his girlfriend, but then again, there are so many red flags and until she can see them, she has to deal with the demons in her closet. That’s the only thing I can think of. For someone to get with him, they must have demons they haven’t dealt with. No one in their right mind would be with him. I wasn’t in my right mind, but then again, I was 19 and was raped and abused in my past (i.e., my demons).

For the last three months, at least, I have had to be so strong and sane because I was fighting for custody of our daughter. I think this weekend was the first time that I let my guard down. My daughter has been with her father since Thursday and for the first time in a long while, I cried. I see all the signs, I see his pattern, I see how much he used me, but I can’t stop it. I cannot unmake all the things he did during our marriage. I cannot stop him from dragging our daughter through the dirt. I am so glad that the judge chose me over him, but I cannot save her. I so want to save her.

So the question is… How do you move past an abuser? My ex-husband? My daughter’s father?

I know what I want and what I don’t want now. I know which steps I will take in my life before getting into another relationship. That part is not the problem. My problem is seeing all the damage and the pattern he has, but I cannot help how I feel about it. Yes, I know, one day at a time. That’s all any of us can do. I guess this is something I will have to speak to my therapist about because I am really at a loss.

For now, I will stay focused, get my life back on track, take care of my daughter the best I can, and not worry about him, as he can no longer abuse me or control me anymore. I am scared for this next step in my journey. I have been a mess the last year trying to get through this divorce, and now it’s over. I am scared to look for new jobs and all that other stuff. Nothing is holding me back, but myself. I have never gotten this far, and now I am here, it is here, and I am scared. I have a potential job in my folder that was given to me that pays more than I am making now and is fits my skills, but I am scared to read it, scared to apply for it.

Maybe it’s not just my abuser that is bothering me. Maybe everything is because this is a new world that I have never lived in before. I know they are positive steps. I have been so afraid and in fear for so long that those feelings have become comfortable for me. New feelings, emotions, events, just seem very foreign to me.

Anyways, wish I had something insightful to say. Not today.

Emotional Abuse is more than just yelling

Seems like all I do lately on here is update how things have been lately. I guess this will be another one, with a twist.

Been going through divorce and custody battle (which is HELL), dealing with my baby being gone for the allotted summer visit time, and dealing with memories and emotions of the past… all while trying to get doctor visits, court dates, school, and birthday stuff done all within the last month. I don’t know how parents do this every year. I don’t see how anyone deals with a divorce or having kids with an abuser either. Before, when I was in (more of) denial, I could handle it easy-peasy, lately, seems to be more a struggle… especially since he threw a girlfriend into the works.

The more I deal with life and am reminded of things, the more I see how abusive he was and it becomes harder to deny it. To call it rape? Still haven’t gotten there. Sexual abuse? Financial abuse? Spiritual abuse? Emotional abuse? Yes, on all counts. No person deserves to be controlled the way I was. No one deserves to feel like a sex object or be demanded to do whatever someone wants and then feel guilty when it doesn’t go exactly how they want. Shoot, the other day, I was folding towels and out pops his criticism about how I was folding towels wrong.  Is there really only one way to fold towels? Am I wrong if they are neat and folded and put away? A few years ago, yes… today, hell no!

The one phrase that kept going through my mind today? ‘I am human, I stick my foot in my mouth sometimes, I’m not perfect. I asked for forgiveness, there’s nothing more I can do.’ I have to remind myself I am not perfect because for so long I had to be and I am afraid of not being a perfectionist. Emotional abuse is horrific. It’s not just someone screaming and yelling at you. It’s those who diminish everything you do, criticize you, and make you feel incompetent (among many other things). Sometimes its difficult to understand how things can be so complicated and how so many people don’t see that as Domestic Violence because the person did not hit them.

My ex said all the wrong things in the right tone of voice. He would tell me he loved me in the same sentence he would tell me that I was getting fat or was I sure I wanted to eat that or how I shouldn’t correct him or how I needed to let him be right at least once. I thought it was my fault. I thought I did things horribly wrong. He used to tell me that I was gonna leave him for a younger person, how if we ever got a divorce or separated that he would do anything and everything to get his child, and make comments about the people I dated in my past because they were a different ethnicity. Along with making comments about our daughter not being his, she being the mailman’s (which was a woman) and making other homophobic comments. All of this was “funny” to him. This was his sarcasm. He thought he was so funny. What he didn’t realize was that he was squashing the person I was and trying to mold me into what he wanted.

Even after speaking about my rapes, I asked him not to say comments about sexual or homophobic comments towards me as they trigger me and make me uncomfortable. His response? I’ll try but I cannot promise anything. Before I dealt with being raped by my female abuser, I used to lay in bed worried that I was gonna talk in my sleep about it, that he was gonna find out about what happened and blame me. I was going to go to my grave with her abuse because of the comments he made towards me. Eventually, he told me as his wife, he had a right to know about my abuse, then when I wrote it for him to read, he told me that he didn’t need to know because he knew how to handle rape victims (he used to be a cop), which was an obvious lie.

Who speaks to their spouse this way? Who thinks this is appropriate? A narcissist, controller, manipulator, abuser.

If anyone reading this has been put down by their partner and they think they have a right as your partner, please know that is not the case. The more I hear about guys and the games and relationship issues, the more I realize that I have no time or energy to deal with bull ish. After years and years of abuse, I realize that I do NOT have to settle for whoever looks my way. I am a loved individual, just like everyone else, and no matter who or what gets in my way, as long as I push forward in my healing and speak my mind when something bothers me, I can get to a better place… we all can! We don’t have to live this life silenced or confined into someone else’s mold of us. Speaking up is difficult, but so worth it in the long run.

I have never been more relieved to be away from my ex. I feel bad for his new girlfriend, but am relieved that the majority of the abuse has finally stopped… now if I can just get through this divorce in one piece 🙂

I am sooo confused!

I sit here looking at my life wondering where it all went wrong? I keep running in my head the last few conversations I had with my husband and wonder where I am supposed to go from here. I mean, once you hit rock bottom, is there any way up? Is change possible if no change is allowed? Do people change after getting married, and should I feel guilty for changing towards a healtier self? Am I really healthy if I am no better off than I was months ago? … WHO KNOWS!

In our last conversations, he made some pretty confusing statements, and this is what I have taken from them…

  • “I hate that ring” — He didn’t stop me from buying the ring, but I guess I was supposed to know by him practically pushing me out the car when I didn’t want to give up my original wedding ring.
  • “Sometimes I don’t like touching you [there]. I think it has to do with our age difference, in fact, I know it does.” — He has no problems being intimate or fathering a child by me, but touching me must revile him?
  • “I didn’t want to pressure you or make you feel like I was pressuring you to sign for the car.” — In fact, he didn’t say a word. They threw out numbers and he sat there chill, not having any type of communication, which in turn made me feel like there was more pressure on me to sign the car or not… but as he sees it, I turned it around on him.
  • “We just see things differently and always will.” — Right after a conversation where he yelled at me because I wanted our daughter to be put in her booster, like the law says. Apparently, I was yelling and he was tired of it.

There are others, those are just some that have been on my mind lately. {sigh}