WARNING: This post is about sexual assault and rape and may be triggering for some readers. Please take care of you and if you’re worried about this causing a problem feel free to skip this post. Love, Livvy
When I told my ex-husband I wanted a divorce, he asked me why and I simply told him I was gay. There was far more to the story than that, but that’s for another time. He took this declaration of mine as a personal challenge. His stance included a suicide threat that was nothing more than attention grabbing, but far worse than that was the quickly escalated abuse.
He wouldn’t have penetrative sex with me because I had immediately stopped taking my birth control in order to avoid just such a thing happening, but he wanted something so he grabbed me by the hair and forced me to give him a blow job. I choked and gagged and eventually he grew disgusted with me and threw me back across the bed. I honestly thought he was going to physically harm me at that point. If things had stopped there it might have been OK for me. I might have mentally been able to get over that particular incident (although I’d put up with years of such treatment.) But that wasn’t the end of it.
Several days later he found me nude in our bedroom. He asked me if he could perform oral sex on me and I said no. I found this to be an odd request given how he’d never liked doing so before now. But when I said no he kept pushing and trying manipulate me into giving in. Finally (and to my shame) I did. Why? Because I just wanted it to stop. Later I learned of the term coercive rape and that is what had happened to me there. I didn’t even have the courage or ability left in me to fight back and stand up for myself. I felt so defeated and broken. I felt like it was my fault for a very long time and it has taken years for me to learn and understand otherwise
These are two memories that will stick with me, and haunt me, for the rest of my life. Sometimes I still wake up crying. It took some time before I would let my current partner see me naked and more before I was OK with oral sex again. I try to remember these good times when the bad ones come rushing back. It helps. So does talking about it.
But today I’m writing about it largely to get the term coercive rape out there. For all the people who were pressured, badgered, and manipulated into a sexual act that they didn’t want, you’re not alone. And it isn’t or wasn’t your fault. If you’re suffering or struggling, please seek help. Talk to a counselor, a trusted friend, your pastor…whoever you can open up to (I know that’s hard), but it helps the healing process. I’ve struggled with opening up and I rarely go into detail about this if I do talk about it. I use euphemisms and subtle hints and references, but rarely do I say anything words related to sexuality out loud. I just don’t have it in me to do so.
And I know these are terrible memories to share and I hope that my readers will forgive me, but I needed to talk about this as I do every so often, because even after half a decade I am still trying to process it all, still trying to cope. I don’t know if I’ll ever be better, but I’ll be stronger eventually.