Trigger Warning: RAPE
I never spoke about it. I never told anyone.
I married at 22. It was a big mistake, but I was too young and dumb to figure that out until it was too late. Over night the person I thought I knew morphed into a monster. The facade he had while we were dating slipped away and I was left on a rollercoaster with a man who was unstable, violent and dangerous.
There are a lot of bad things that happened in the almost 2 years that I stayed in the marriage. In those years my eating disorder spiralled out of control. I was confused and couldn’t figure out what I had done wrong. It took me too long to realize that I needed to get out and towards the end, the abuse started.
I have spoken to girlfriends who have shared their stories of abuse. Most of them are ashamed in some way for something that was not their fault. I was no different. I never called the police. I never reported it. I couldn’t bring myself to confide in family or friends. I didn’t know how to explain that the person I was married to had raped me. It seemed that no one would believe me. After all, I was married to him and willingly living with him while we tried to fix what was wrong.
In the end it was unfixable. In the end being beaten and raped was worse than the cheating and I left. The damage was already done.
A few nights ago I had a massive breakdown and couldn’t tell my boyfriend what was wrong. He asked if I knew what was wrong and I nodded. He asked me if I could tell him what was wrong and I shook my head. I sobbed in the middle of the night and asked God why I wasn’t worth more. Why when I was so young and innocent, He didn’t save me from something so unspeakably terrible. Why I am still haunted, broken. Why I am always poised to run from the man who loves me, because I have loved the wrong man before and paid for it. Why it is so hard to trust that it won’t happen again.
In the dark I am tortured by the memories of being held down, violently restrained, suffocating, unable to escape as he raped me. I try to blur the details, but they are so vivid: the sound of my own muffled screaming, the pain. I can’t erase the disgust of being used, abused and forced to do something against my will; of being violated and tarnished and damaged.
It is 8 years since it happened and I am still scarred, still scared. There are times when it comes rushing back, out of nowhere to drown me.