My partner was raped by numerous men several years before I met her. I wish I could tell you more, however I could never bear to hear the details. I was full of hatred and fear that my anger would consume me with thoughts of what I would to do to these men if I knew their names. Her trauma became about me, when she was desperately trying to connect with me on a greater level. Her efforts to tell me about her story always ended with me saying ‘I can’t bear to here’. I forgot that her willingly to share signified the trust she had in me. She needed to share her story with me and my deepest regret is that I never gave her that opportunity.
The rape was an unspoken organism in our relationship, that grew. I saw the aftermath in the pain written on her arm. Two small scars that were used to release her pain. the distant look in her eyes when I touched her a certain way, or how she never took a shower during out 12 years together.
Despite or maybe in part because of her pain she succeeded in life by societal standards, was well educated, had a admiral career, was beautiful (inside and out) and loved fearlessly without regard for the pain that sometimes accompanies love.
She recently past away after a long illness at age 39, too young. We walked that journey of hospitals, treatments, highs and lows and I was with her every step of the way. She died at home and her great worry was that us left behind would continue on and be ok. She gave us that gift and my only regret of our time together is that I didn’t hear the story she tried so hard to tell me. That story is lost now, maybe that is one of the reasons why she wanted to tell me. I am left with unanswered questions that I had every opportunity to have had answered if I had not let fear win.