Today we have a guest post from a lady that I admire. She is a shining beacon of positivity and you’d never know that this is her past. I honored her request to stay anonymous, so I cannot and will not tell you who she is. But her story is hauntingly sad and beautiful all at once. I hope that those of you reading will find the courage to tell your stories, face your demons, and march in the direction she has.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I have to start out in truth and say that I honestly never thought I would sit down and write this. The past, doesn’t define me. It’s been over 20 years since the beginning of my saga, but I remember it like it was yesterday.
I am writing this in anonymity, but one day I hope to garner up the courage to come forth publicly about my story. I truly want to help others who have been and will be in my situation. Domestic Violence is something that occurs daily. In truth, it most likely occurs by the hour or the minute (which is absolutely devastating to me).
I was 16 years old and a virgin when I became a victim of date rape. It happened not just once, but twice within a couple of months. It set the tone for my young adult years, which involved crazy partying and wild behavior. It also led into several decades of self-loathing, weight issues, body dysmorphia, mistrust of others (men), and constant running from my past.
So, I bet you are wondering how this happened. Well, I was naive and too trusting for one, but that is no excuse for those boys taking advantage of me. The first time it happened was while I was at an event out of state that was a few days long.
There was a little underage drinking involved, but nobody was drunk. I wasn’t alone. My family knew of the boy’s family. There were people around (my friends, in fact). I was more or less pushed into the dirt (out of sight of the others). Right away I knew what was going to happen (even though I had no sexual experience). I said “no”…. hell, I yelled it over and over. It didn’t matter as he knew what he was doing. He didn’t stop and it was over before I knew it. No clothing was ripped, but my soul definitely was. I was never the same after that night. I saw this boy a few days later as we were heading home and he acted sad that I didn’t come find him while we were at this rodeo.
Was he kidding me?
It was like it was a game to him. What doubled up my shame? I started dating him because I felt such humiliation. I figured he had taken my virginity so I sort of belonged to him (what a sordid way of thinking). We never talked about it. I dated him for a few months and eventually we went our separate ways (it helped that we didn’t live in the same town).
The next episode happened in my hometown on a normal night a couple of months later. I was out with my best friend and two guys from town. We were in the backseat of a car fooling around a little bit with him telling me sweet nothings and it led to another episode that was very similar to the one above. I never wanted that to happen and of course I said “no”. It never mattered to him either. Afterwards, he acted like we had just done something amazing. I was repulsed and truly hated myself for being there in the first place. I dove deeper into despair and depression.
Months later, my parents were worried about me. I had become withdrawn, yet was acting out. I went to a counselor. It was a living nightmare. I got really good at covering up my deepest feelings and living with a smile painted on my face. I’m sure there were signs to my parents that something wasn’t right, but we never talked about it. When I turned 18 I moved away from home and never came back. I went at life the best I could.
I made bad choices when it came to life and men when I was younger.
In college I had a boyfriend who was physically abusive. He drug me through the parking lot by my hair one night when I wasn’t ready to go home. He also slammed me against a wall and almost ripped my shirt off when I had friends over to our house that he didn’t like. After several other incidents we parted ways and I thought I was rid of that kind of behavior.
I got married young…and then I got divorced.
A year later, I got remarried. That marriage ended in divorce also. I hung in there though and suffered for around 5 years with each of them. I wasted over 10 years of my life living a lie. Each of my husbands were verbally and physically abusive. I despise that I had a “tough it out” attitude with them. My first husband head-butted me and put my bottom teeth through my lip….2 weeks before our wedding. I went ahead with the wedding because I didn’t want to disappoint everyone (how stupid was that?).
My second husband was verbally abusive. He hated that I was overweight, but he hated more that I was gaining confidence in myself with the great jobs I had. I had climbed the ladder in whatever area I was working. I believe that you can’t keep good people down and I was a shining example of that.
He wanted me to be at his beck and call.
He wanted me to not have an opinion or thought of my own.
Things began to escalate and I began to feel fear towards him. The final straw was when he literally screamed in my face so loud that he spat on me. I was done right there. I filed for divorce the very next day and never looked back.
I could go into much greater detail about these guys, but I won’t. Names need not be mentioned either because they know who they are. You might say that I believe in karma. Until I decided to write this, I had completely forgotten about all of it. The thing about me is that when I am done, I am done. If you hurt me I will write you out of my life and I will forget everything that occurred between us. I’m still that way to an extent and I don’t mean to be. I truly think it’s more of a self-preservation reaction than anything.
I have talked about what happened to me with counselors throughout the years and to many female friends, also. It was always in a hushed voice (like I was embarrassed by it and that it was a coveted secret). It was surprising when talking to various gals in the past how many of them had similar stories. I was shocked! This is a total bullshit epidemic that needs to end. By writing this, I am beginning to do my part (even if at this point I am choosing to remain anonymous).
So, where am I at now in my life? I am happily married with a child. Surprising, huh?! Well, I absolutely wasn’t looking for my husband when he found me. It’s funny how that happens. I know we were meant to be. I was very upfront with him about my past when we met. He accepted me with all of my flaws no questions asked.
One thing he did differently than anyone else is that he didn’t allow me to make excuses for why my life was the way it was. He challenged me and he never gave in when I pushed the envelope with him. He helped me to realize that everything happens for a reason. Eventually I saw that it was truly up to me to stop playing the victim and take back control of my life.
If my past hadn’t have happened the way it did I most likely wouldn’t have given him a second glance. I also wouldn’t be free of my demons now. He helped me see that nobody could help me if I couldn’t and wouldn’t help myself. He helped me become independent in my thinking and because of it I am the person I am today.
I don’t need validation from anyone (not even him).
I know where I am headed in my life and I know that when I set my mind on something it is going to happen.
I owe so much to my better half, but I am also confident in saying that I owe myself too.
I am so proud of the person I have become. Not everyone likes me and not everyone can handle me at 100%. That’s their problem and not mine. What other people think of me is none of my business. I have more important things to focus on in my life. I make no apologies for who I am. I lead a very positive life and I hope what I share with others is inspiring and helps them to get beyond whatever is holding them back. I love my life….I am no longer scared of the past. I have one life to live and you’d better believe that I am going to make it the best one I can imagine. I hope you do the same!
Thank you for taking the time to share. And thank you all for taking the time to read. We need to make a difference and if we aren’t afraid to tell our stories, then maybe, just maybe we can help someone avoid the mistakes we made or avoid that Mr. Wrong, or get out before they’re pulled in too deep.
To make sure you’re thanked properly, enter my giveaway, for some Coffee with a Cause to help women who’ve been abused.