As part of my “Let me be your voice” project, once again, I am honored to host the story of a lovely reader who sent me a painful recalling of her past. I wish there were no such stories to share, but since there are… I hope letting it out at last will help and bring relief.
I’d also like to remind you that if you have a story you would like to get off your chest, but just don’t feel comfortable publishing on your own blog, I’ll be more than glad to help by posting it in the Cove, leaving all the credit to you! Just write to me here.
So here is her story. And I’d like to thank the author for her trust. *Hugs, my dear!*
I decided to talk today, because I kept this story for myself for too long. And I cannot believe I am the only woman living with this. I want to talk because there must be at least another “me” out there. Someone who’ll understand where I have been, someone who would be able to validate my feelings.
Nowadays, the medias bomb us with information. Sexual abuse, although still happening way too often, gets pointed out a lot more than 20 or 50 years ago. People know that “no means no” and there is no “But” to that.
I think that people won’t see what happened to me as sexual assault. But to me, it was. And one that I could not open up to talk about with anyone, especially the people closest to me. I know very well that a lot of people have been through much more tragic events in their own life, but I don’t think comparing pain with pain is of any use here.
I had been with my back then companion for several years. It was actually the first time I stayed so long with a man, and I wanted our relationship to last. We did.
We had our lovebird period, like any other couple. Then things got more routine-like but I thought that was just normal. The routine went on for a while, and I started to have doubts about us staying together. We had a few talks about the subject, though never quite getting to the point of “did we still love each other, or not?”
I figured long lasting couples rarely kept the flame going and as long as my boyfriend was kind and good to me, I could go on like that. Unfortunately, my body thought otherwise, and at one point in time, my desire for him went completely dry. We still kissed from time to time, me keeping it to the minimum… And I started feeling awkward when he touched me.
Sexual intercourse became a problem for me. Not for him though. He still wanted to have sex, and I didn’t. I couldn’t put my mind into telling him, not wanting to hurt his feelings… So I arranged to elude intimacy, and “granted” him what he wanted once in a while stretching the in-between periods as much as possible.
I didn’t like it, but I faked and lied about enjoying myself for the sake of our relationship. I already felt guilty at that point. I felt so bad for letting him think it was all good when it just wasn’t. I felt bad for pretending he was a great lover, when I could barely stand the feeling of his hands on me.
And then it happened. One morning, as I was waking up, he spooned against my back and I soon became well aware of his intentions. I really didn’t feel like it, but I never had the chance to give my opinion. He, who had always been the most gentle person I had known, became aggressive, and, reaching under the covers, pulled my pajamas to my ankles.
He was aggressive, but not brutal. I was so surprised that I simply lay there, stiff and indifferent, as he did what he wished to do. I admit that I never said “no”. But this man knew me well, and my body language was more than eloquent. I never said “no”, and I hated myself for it, the moment he was done.
As he stretched on his side of the bed again, I noticed I was crying. He had not hurt me per say, but he had stolen what I knew had to be given, if not gladly, at least freely. I remember hoping he had been drunk, to be able to excuse him in a way, but he wasn’t. It was early morning, after a good night of sleep, a morning like hundreds others we had awakened next to each other before…
When he asked me if I had enjoyed it, I said yes. And I realized that he had never noticed what he had done. I felt disappointed in him, and disgusted with myself for letting him do it. Did I leave at that time? No. Did I say anything? No.
And I felt bad about it. Every time he lay his hands on me, after that given day. I wasn’t traumatized, but I took it as a serious warning. I couldn’t begin to imagine how destroying being raped had to be.
I never could talk about it. Never found anybody I trusted enough to discuss that morning. I can just imagine how stupid it must look from the outside.
“He was your boyfriend”… “You never said no”…”You didn’t tell him to stop”… “You never blamed him”…
All 100% true facts. Still…
The past is the past, and this episode didn’t make me hate men in general, and not even “him”. It didn’t make me resent sexuality either. But I often think about that long gone morning, and it still hurts. When I finally left him, I promised myself I would never again give a man the slightest chance to take what I wasn’t happy to offer…
Myself… My dear imperfect body.