Anonymous Story: The Journey and After the Abuse

Anonymous Story: The Journey and After the Abuse

Trigger warning: Descriptively graphic in some spots, and psychological abuse.

I’ve always wanted to tell my story in the hopes that it helps others, but it’s tough talking about it in real life! The Me Too movement has given me courage, and so, here, on the semi-anonymous internet, I will share it with all of you.

I was already a vulnerable girl growing up because I had too much on my plate. In elementary school, my mother had a psychotic break that was diagnosed as serious depression. Since we were living in my grandparents’ basement, I was expected to hide her issues from the rest of the family and act as if she was the perfect mother. This created a rift in developing a support circle for me, and I still tend to conceal everything to this day.

Since I was new to the school district, I was heavily bullied. Eventually, I found some ‘friends’. I now realize they were a circle of guys who just liked the idea that they were saving a ‘damsel in distress’. A few years later, I was sexually assaulted by one of these ‘friends’ via groping. I mostly distanced myself from the group even though I had no other friends.
At the end of middle school, I began dating another guy from that group; we’ll call him H. We were 15 or 16 at the time, and he was always begging, pleading, and manipulating me about expanding our physical relationship. I always felt uncomfortable, but I was glad to have some friends again. Eventually I agreed to have sex with him out of sheer annoyance from his pestering and pressuring. At first, it was just normal teenage awkwardness, but then it started to hurt. I told him to stop, once, twice, three times. I began to kick, punch, and push at his chest. I tried with all my might to push a 200 lb hockey player off of me, a 150 lb girl. I realized that if I made too much noise, my parents would discover me being raped for my first time in my own bedroom, and I could not live with that shame as a Catholic girl. When he was done, he rolled off of me. I cried so hard, and he said he was sorry and that he ‘couldn’t stop’. He begged me not to tell my parents.

Due to my religion at the time, I believed I could only have one sexual partner. Now that I had experienced sex, I had to marry him, so I had to make it work. I was also ashamed that I had premarital sex, so I never told anyone while we were dating. We continued to date for 5 years. In that time, I was raped an additional 168 times over the years. This does not include being sexually assaulted/raped by his fingering. He liked to put his arms around me in cars and at lunch at school, but he almost always wanted more. He would shove his hand down into my pants to touch me while I whispered to him ‘no’, and ‘stop it’. I didn’t want to be discovered this way, so I never made a scene. It was always so embarrassing; I couldn’t eat lunch without him in my pants. I couldn’t be in a car next to him without him in my pants. I had many vaginal infections over the years as a result; he wouldn’t wash food off his hands before, and he often left me with cuts from his fingernails since he was so rough. In my senior year, we had different lunch hours, and I began to realize I loved it when he wasn’t around.

Later, we went to the same college. I met individuals of other religions and cultures, and he stopped coming to classes. He also stopped responding to my calls and texts. I left him, and our ‘friend’ circle blamed me for him having a hard time coping with it. Since he was manipulative and very good at keeping up a ‘I’m pitiful’ and very mopey act, most of our mutual friends ‘took his side’ and blamed me. They accused me of being a slut and man-hopping… I left him to be single, so none of this was true. I finally told five friends about the extent of this abusive relationship, and there were mixed reactions. Most had never suspected a thing. They admitted to being annoyed by his ‘whininess’, but didn’t think much of it. One friend said she strongly suspected it, but she was afraid I’d pull away from her in denial if she tried to talk to me about it.

I’d decided never to tell my parents, and I haven’t to this day. They had a hard time accepting our breakup, and my mother formally apologized to his parents for ‘my behavior’. My dad didn’t understand that he could no longer invite him over to help with yard work; and I woke up with H standing over my bed staring at me less than two weeks after we broke up.
I did report the rapes to my police department, but they wouldn’t file a report. They said it would be very hard to prove since it’s a he-said she-said case and we were in a relationship at the time. The police wanted me to understand that I’d have to testify against him in court, and was just out of the question since I couldn’t even tell my parents. It wasn’t entirely fruitless; I am proud that I had the courage to speak to a police officer about my rape.

It took a long time for me to stop having nightmares and sleepless nights. It took me even longer to learn to recognize manipulative people and set healthy boundaries. When a relationship lasts a long time, it can be hard learning to be single again, but it was worth it! It was so tough, but I didn’t get back together with him.

Fast forward to today, and I’ve found a wonderful guy who listens to me, supports me, is quirky like me (aw yeah!), and always respects my wishes. We’ve been together almost 7 years, and we are so happy together. It took a long time for my parents to accept I wasn’t going to leave him to go back to H, but they now accept it. I wasn’t able to continue to follow my family’s Catholic faith, but I am happy with the nature based spirituality groups I now belong to.

Thanks for reading my journey, and always remember that you are not alone. You are not alone, and we can’t be held back from growing far beyond the scars of our experiences. It is an unfortunately twilight path we walk upon, but we stride (even in small steps) toward the dawn.

Summary/TLDR: Ladies and gentlemen, it is never acceptable for someone to manipulate you, sexually assault you, or rape you, ever, period. It’s never easy, but talk to your friends about issues you see. Listen to your friends when they are concerned about you, and honestly consider their opinion. Don’t think you have to stay in a relationship that is hurting you no matter what! It is an unfortunately twilight path we walk upon, but we stride (even in small steps) toward the dawn. (It’s kind of my mantra, so it’s worth stating twice!)

Author

WYR

WYR

When You're Ready.org is a community for survivors of sexual violence to share their stories.

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