((TW: This post refers to rape, sexual, mental, and emotional abuse. Please feel free to skip this post is it could be triggering or have an otherwise negative impact. Thanks. Livvy))
I have been sexually assaulted or raped so many times I choose not to count them all. You see, the man I married at 18 turned out to be mentally and emotionally abusive. He was three years older than me and seemed so sweet and harmless. I thought I loved him. I’ve already shared in a previous blog post (https://livvylibertine.wordpress.com/2017/03/28/wicked-wednesday-252-recollection-memories-from-a-broken-mind/) so I don’t wish to recount it again, but I want to look at the idea of violence in my previous marriage.
Not once did my ex-husband hit me. That wasn’t the kind of violence he was into. Instead the violence he used to get me to comply came from manipulation of my undiagnosed mood disorders or by guilting me into things (coercive rape) that I didn’t want. I was 19 when everything began and I was 28 when I finally had the fortitude to end things. Even the as I tried to get away from him, he caused me mental anguish and tried to force me into sexual situations, again with manipulative tactics.
I was finally growing mentally strong enough (I thought) to avoid his traps, but there was one more just before he finally moved out for good that tripped me up. He held me down (the only sign of ever coming close to physical violence) and forced oral sex on me until I couldn’t help the orgasm because he wanted to see if he could make a queer come. That last event was the one that broke me a little inside. It was the way he phrased things, as if being queer was dirty or wrong, as if he was suddenly going to make me want him back because he was the man who forced an orgasm out of me. Instead I transported myself somewhere else in my head and thought of other things while he violated me, while I let him do it.
The mental and emotional scars he left on my soul will forever remain there. I suffer from PTSD and still have nightmares about him coming anywhere near me. I’m healing, but the process is slow and the memories of the guilt, both from his tactics, which must have been my fault to my former line of thinking. Despite it having been five years since the last assault and despite my having moved on into a relationship that is much healthier and much happier I still struggle with my own guilt as well. Feel like I should have been stronger than I was. I feel like what he did to me made me worthless. Sadly, even today sometimes those feelings creep into my head and overflow into my current relationship. It makes me feel broken.
For me, living through years of mental and emotional abuse I feel that I’m coming out on the other side stronger than before. I’m lucky, I know that. I mourn for the men and women who weren’t so lucky, but I cannot mourn for their perpetrators. I can’t mourn for my ex-husband. Instead I can only try to find some sort of peace, some sort of mental gymnastics that lets me handle the really bad days. And I hope that others can find their peace too.