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.

Beyond the Outward Appearance

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A picture I drew at 12am, in the dark, upset and couldn’t sleep.
June 2012, Kris Hannah

One year ago, I hit a devastating low that I never thought I would ever reach. No one knew the turmoil I was struggling with, as I hid it from everyone around me. Many knew some details but couldn’t handle or comprehend the depth of my struggles. I was in an abusive relationship, dealing with being raped in my past, and trying to take care of my little girl while holding down a job. We had just moved to Wyoming, where I was isolated from everyone and had zero support. When I hit that low, I had no clue where to turn or what to do.

After begging my husband to take me back down to Texas for a week, he finally drove me and I went into the hospital. I was super scared. I went to the Emergency Room at 5pm on Friday, was going through intake Saturday at 2am, where they searched everything and took whatever was prohibited, and by 5am, I was in my bed crying myself to sleep wondering if I had made the right decision. I didn’t wake up until Monday morning. I didn’t want to go to group, and only woke up long enough to speak to my doctor. Things felt hopeless.

I was only inpatient for 10 days but it felt so much longer. They had activities scheduled for most of the day. Group was 2-3 times a day, activity therapy, one-on-one therapy once a week, and we could choose to do family therapy if we wanted. Every morning, we filled out a sheet on how we were feeling and what we wanted to accomplish that day. And after lunch, we had journaling time for an hour.

The problem was we weren’t allowed pens, and the pencils they supplied were smaller than 3 inches. We were allowed to use markers, but they were worn out and run down or went missing. Even though journaling was encouraged, the circumstances weren’t ideal for anyone who truly wanted to journal.

The best moments inpatient were when I was laughing and coloring with the other patients. I realized that many were also depressed, just like me. When I went inpatient, my parents saw me as weak, but in actuality, the strongest thing I could have ever done was get the help I needed. This was the first time I was allowed to not pretend to be stronger than I felt. As I started reaching out for help and journaling, I finally felt a strength I hadn’t felt in such a long time.I flourished and finally found something enjoyable for myself. I took notes in every aspect of therapy, journaled like crazy, and even started drawing again. I went through FOUR composition books and my pages looked like rainbows. It felt great doing such a ‘childish’ thing.

I know many people don’t understand what would send someone into a mental hospital, but it is time to break down those walls. The people in my unit were not mentally insane. They were not crazy or psychos. They were seeking help in the best way possible. Just because their troubles were not physical, it doesn’t make them any less. Just imagine how many don’t get help and choose a more permanent solution. It saved my life and helped me get out of my abusive relationship.

When I left, I vowed that I would help future patients in the same way I was helped. I never realized how significant those markers and composition books were in my recovery, but they were. And I hope that by donating what I can, others can feel that also. Each month, I would love to be able to deliver washable markers, composition books, coloring books, and a set of resources for those inpatient.

If you have any suggestions or would like to help, please let me know by commenting or emailing me at krisahannah @ gmail.

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 🙂

Believing My Own Story

For the last two months, I have been struggling with my first rape. I seem to get nowhere in the “healing journey.” In fact, lately, I have been adding more blame to myself. I feel delusional and like I am making something out of nothing. Two days ago, I started to writing down my story and realized that I add a lot of excuses, explanations, and persuasion to my story. Maybe to someone else it doesn’t sound like that, but in my head, I HAVE to get others to believe me.

One of the many flaws of this survivor. Worrying that I will never be believed. And I am sure I am not the only victim that has felt like this. When these sort of things happen, my support tries to get me to see that if I don’t blame them, then I can’t blame myself… but that doesn’t always work. Could we really see someone in our shoes and think that they are innocent? In my case, it is hard to see.

For those who don’t know my story, when I was 11 or 12, I was bullied, abused (mentally, emotionally, physically, and sexually), and raped by a girl down the street. I spent the night at her house one night and she “wanted to show me how it feels like to have sex with a guy.” This is usually where I tell about how she was, but the simple truth is, is that I didn’t want to be touched or kissed or fondled, but it happened.

My biggest issue is when people start telling me that it is ok to experiment at that age or that it is ok to be gay. If you would have asked me a year ago, I would have jumped down your throat about me not being gay. Now, I know I am not gay but it still doesn’t make knowing what happened to me and placing the blame where it truly lies easy.

So how do we get to a point where we blame the perpetrator and not the victim? If society can’t do that, the how can we? People don’t understand how more difficult the victims healing becomes when the whole world is telling us to blame the victim. I told my mom about my second rape (my boyfriend coming into my home and raping me), yet she still blamed me. “You could have taken him,” “Why did you open the door?” and etc.

My family will never know about my first rape. Which is a shame because if they did, they might understand how difficult things really are lately. I just cannot put myself out there to be questioned and blamed all over again by my own family. I was strong enough to endure my mothers attitude but not with this.

Messaged My Rapist

My message to him:

Hi Jack.

Do you remember me? Cause I sure remember you. We only dated for 6 weeks in high school. But for the last 8 years, I have been plagued by the memory of you. I have held so much blame and guilt for the night that I couldn’t comprehend. On March 5, 2004 (yes, I remember the day), you raped me. I told you over and over NO, I’M NOT READY and PLEASE STOP but you wouldn’t. I was so petrified of what my first experience would be like, and in no way, did I want my first time to be rape. I did NOT consent to have sex with you. It was like you couldn’t even hear me. You barely said two words to me and couldn’t even acknowledge my pleas for you to not pursue me. Not to mention how crappy you made me feel (all over again) the next morning when I found out you were trying to have sex with other girls. They begged me to break up with you after they found out I was your girlfriend and NOT your stalker, but you took something precious from me and I didn’t feel like I had any right to break up with you. I felt like a slut for “giving it up” at such an early age, but the FACT is, is that you took it. I guess in the three weeks we dated, I didn’t “put out” soon enough for you. You stole my virginity from me. I didn’t give it to you. I wanted to wait. I wanted to do it when I was ready, and I guess it was dumb of me to expect you to RESPECT my wishes! I wish I never met you! You were only after one thing the whole time we were together, weren’t you? Time after time, all I can ever remember is how you kept trying to get me to pleasure you. Why, when I said no those times, you stopped? Why couldn’t you stop the night you raped me? Did your friends think you were cool when you told them we had sex? Did it make you feel like a man when I laid there pleading with you to stop? You have kept me silent for too long. I have held this burden for 8 years, and I will no longer hold this in anymore. I am not to blame. I am not the guilty party here. What you did was a crime. You have no right pressuring someone when they tell you they are not ready. NO MEANS NO. Not once did I say yes or consent to anything that happened that night. Because of you, I now have to find a way to put back the pieces of my life. Because of you, I am in therapy trying to undo what you did. Because of you, I struggle to find that happiness that I so deserve! I want you to feel remorse for what you did to me and how you have made me feel for the last 8 years. I want you to know how violated you made me feel and how sick I get when I think of you. I never could understand how a boyfriend could rape his girlfriend. If so, I probably would have told someone. I wish I did. I trusted you. You came into my house and used all those vulnerabilities against me to get your way! I want you to admit what you did and sincerely be sorry for raping me. This is not my burden to bear anymore… it’s yours. This is all on you. Stand up to it. You can only run from it for so long. You might not have thought that much of me, but that doesn’t mean I am worthless. How do you live with what you did? Oh I sure hope you didn’t hurt anyone else too!

Sincerely,
Your victim no more

His response:

Im sorry you feel like this after 8 years but I was a virgin too. In no way did you act as if that time wasn’t consensual. We then repeated the act. We also went and ate years after and you said nothing. I do not know what this is exactly about. It was high school, relationships don’t last that long. Im sorry you feel this way.

My reply:

Wow. This isn’t surprising at all. EXCEPT for the fact that you told me that you told me that you had been with someone before. For the fact that I told you I wasn’t ready. You know know what, I wasn’t even mentally there the that night because I couldn’t believe what was happening. It’s called shock. I was hoping someone would walk in because that’s how petrified I was. Oh boy i wish i reported you. You don’t know what this is about? It’s about rape jackass. The FACT that I said no and you couldn’t respect my wishes. After that night it didn’t matter what anyone did to me because I was a slut for “giving it up” to you. I was damaged goods. You did that to me. And NO we didn’t go out to eat years after. You told me through MySpace that I was the best girlfriend you ever had at the time. I’m not stupid. I know high school relationships don’t last. But really why could I say no the other times and you not listen that time. I told Krystal back then but she told me she didn’t wanna think it was a possibility that you raped me so I suppressed it for a long time. THAT’S what this is about. Because every time people mention old boyfriends or something is said about virginities I breakdown and cry. Do you even remember what happened that night? I told you my mom was going on a date and told me I could go to the movies with you. You were helping your sister move and said you could come over real quick and tell them you were doing to the store to get drinks. Why would you think I would wanna lose my virginity by a quickie. You think that it was fun for me to watch you run to the bathroom (doing who the heck knows) and then grabbing your clothes and leaving? Then to wake up the next morning and find out that you were trying to hook up with priscilla. Yeah. If you hadn’t raped me the night before, I so would have broken up with you. The only reason I stayed with you was because you stole something from me. Something precious to me. I couldn’t believe that a boyfriend could rape a girlfriend. I looked it up and looked it up and couldn’t comprehend what you did to me. I felt so much blame and guilt and shame because of that. It might have taken me a while to come to grips with your actions, but I refuse to stay silent because you think I’m a slut or whatever you think of me. Do you remember me consenting? Saying yes? From what your response was, doesn’t seem like you remember anything. Maybe you should look up stuff about rape victims because you’d see how you’ve made me feel. Stay in denial if that’s what makes you sleep better at night. Just hope nobody you know is ever raped. Denial might save you for a bit. But I know the truth and God knows the truth. Own up to it.