I never wanted to believe that what I lived with for a decade was rape. I met him when I was 16. He slowly encouraged me to make him my whole world. Turned away my friends and family. I moved in with him at 17.
Before that, the assaults were only occasional. Then they began on a daily basis. Temper tantrums, trashing the house and making me clean it up. Forcing me to give him oral sex, hurting me when it wasn’t good enough. Sodomizing me so he could hear me cry.
We married when I was 19. He continually told me that as his wife, it was my duty to satisfy him. He told me no one would believe me as we were married. I once asked “What about before we were married?” He said that marriage erases a past and it didn’t happen.
After having a baby, he wouldn’t let me nurse him past 6 months. He told me that my breasts belonged to him, not the baby and he didn’t want to be disgusted by it anymore. I got pregnant a second time and could only nurse him for 6 weeks.
In the end I was brave enough to leave. I am now 44 and finally realizing what he stole from me. My youth. My innocence. My safety. My sexuality. I am putting my life back together and am finally claiming all of myself. Feeling everything that I wasn’t able to back then.