⚠️ TRIGGER WARNING: rape
What you’re about to read here is not for attention, it’s to bring awareness. Life has been horrible lately, I’ve stayed off my blog and social media because of it, but it’s time to share some things, without shame.
This is a heavy, personal and real topic, much different from the normal Momma Meets World stuff, but I always want to be real with you all, so here you go.
In marriage therapy at the beginning of December 2019, I discovered that I had suppressed a very life changing thing. 6 years ago, at the end of a very very bad relationship, I was raped by the person I was in a relationship with. Naive me, I didn’t know that it would still be considered rape when I chose to be with him, and chose to live with him. NO still means no, even then. (The once-consensual-sex became rape when I stood up for myself and my beliefs, and said I no longer wanted to have sex with him because we were not married.)
He used faith to keep me there, kept me from friends and the outside world and controlled every password and thought in my mind. That relationship fit the bill (you know those signs hanging up that say “love doesn’t have to hurt...are you in a domestic abuse relationship?”) I sat at my doctors office 6 years ago and checked every. single. one. of those things on the list, yet I said nothing because I was scared. I was never physically abused, so I didn’t have proof. So instead of saying something, I went back home and continued to be controlled, manipulated, and taken advantage of. I was worth nothing, and felt like nothing, and thought I was trapped forever.
God saved me one night as I sat locked in the bathroom thinking I’d never get out. My parents moved me out of that situation the next morning (praise God for them and for that!!) and I immediately suppressed EVERYTHING from that year of domestic abuse, I wouldn’t even allow anyone to say his name!
I then got reconnected with Jon and we started dating, got engaged and got married right away. For the first couple of dates, I didn't even know how to make a decision because I wasn't given the option to make decisions in so long. Our marriage was hurt from the very beginning, for reasons I didn’t even know I had (google PTSD symptoms and there you go.) When I sat in the counselors office in December, and the words “rape” and “domestic violence” were spoken, my mind immediately relived every single thing, and it’s like it all happened again on that couch. The pain, the visuals, the sounds, the fear, the horrible things I suppressed so incredibly deeply.
I sat on that couch and couldn't breathe, I couldn't unsee or un-feel things, I couldn't stop sobbing and the counselor had to use diversion therapy to get me out of those moments, twice within 10 minutes! I was diagnosed with PTSD from sexual assault and I agreed to start CPT training because the anxiety and panic attacks were debilitating.
I’ll work through the pain and the anxiety and the guilt probably for the rest of my life. But that’s the thing...instead of suppressing it again, I’m working THROUGH it, feeling it, trying to overcome it. I’m so grateful for the CPT therapy and the *few people* around me that are helping me climb out. These are my mountains, and they will not overcome me. This has also made me realize how important it is to be a kind human, because behind my smile lies all of these things, and none of you would even know about them unless I told you black-and-white. So please, please be kind.
I'm about to head into session number seven next week and I'm a completely different person than I was seven weeks ago (heck, I'm a completely different person than I was a year ago!) I've been able to speak about "it" without ending up in a panic attack, and I've been able to work through the stuck points where my mind was telling myself that being raped was all my fault.
Because it was not. Despite me choosing to be with that guy, it was not my fault.
Just because one person used power and control to take advantage of me didn't mean it had anything to even do with me, it was his choice and his actions, and yes, those choices and actions affected me, but they will not destroy me. They may have changed my view on how I see men, but they will not destroy me or keep me from having friendships with men (because not all men are him.)
Thank you to the people who have stood by me in this storm, for making me talk, for loving me through and through, for walking with me and never giving up on me. This is just the surface of what's going on currently, and I'm sure I'll touch on the rest soon, but I'm going day by day, because that's all I can do.
To any of you reading, if you’re in fear of the relationship you’re in, know you’re not alone and there is help out there. And you don’t have to be stuck. Maybe you aren’t even aware you're in domestic abuse (because I didn't know! I thought you had to get hit for it to be called that!) Or maybe you've been in a horrible relationship for so long, that you've given up hope and it's just "normal" and you're "used to it". I’ve been there. You don't have to be an object to someone else.
Take that very hard, yet crucial first step.
Again, this isn’t for attention or sympathy. I just feel we all go through things so we can help others grow through them, too. May God be with you and bless each of you no matter what you go through.
Remember, you are loved and you have worth. Be brave xxx