6 years have passed and I think about this everyday. Everyday. An inner tug of war turning the events over in my head.
My boyfriend is an ‘upstanding citizen’, joined the army for the forces of good and would walk old ladies across the road. He started by the end of our 5 year relationship, to preach the values of Christianity and go regularly to Church; sitting around singing ‘kumbayah’. I am an atheist whom he forced people to prey for me when I once visited the Church. For 4 and a half years he was a lovely boyfriend and have never understood his actions.
The above is one of the reasons why I never felt like I could tell my friends and family what happened. I even cried when he broke up with me; I had friends around and we dressed up in my vintage gear, drank wine and took hundreds of photos pulling faces.
I mourned the boyfriend I’d had, secretly cried about what he’d done and I regretted the 4.5 years which had been ruined by the final few months. I blamed myself for not ending the flailing relationship sooner before what happened, happened.
Before the rape I’d been wanting the relationship to end for a long time but fear of the unknown, insecurity for years of being bullied by boys and a holiday already booked to Spain kept me hanging on.
Reading some of the posts I still can’t help but compare how much worse they are. I know that rape is rape, but I always felt like my experience never even compared and seems more trivial. I’d been having consensual sex with my rapist for 4 years. I didn’t feel like it counted enough and with that in my head already, I knew that it would be in society’s head too. I would be seen as the bitter girlfriend, false accuser. Another reason.
Embarrassment in the nature of the rape. I’d tried anal a few times with my boyfriend and even liked it on occasion, but I’d changed my mind and told him when he pressed me that I didn’t want to do it again. I was petrified of this coming out, that I’d tried it…something considered quite taboo and dirty. Another reason, asking for it.
My mother. My mother is the kindest person I know; she is super mum/friend/worker, but she is also very fragile herself. She hints at stuff which happened in her horrible childhood with her step father, which I know haunts her but she never fully goes into. This is were it starts; not talking. She’s on anti-depressants and i’m too scared to tell her anything. She’s always told me I could tell her anything but I wanted to protect her as I feel it could tip her over the edge. It’s completely unfair, because I still selfishly blame her for not being strong enough for me to talk to her. But it’s me who’s not strong enough and I’ve distanced myself from my family because of it. The rape changed my perception of relationships forever, and don’t feel part of the family who chase me.
I’ve only ever confided in my long term boyfriend and a flatmate who shrugged and said it happen to more people than you think, and told me about her experience at 14. I broke down when Facebook put HIM as a recommended friend and I saw his face for the first time in years so unexpectedly. He did email me an apology about ‘letting me go’ and good luck etc a while later only when he was off to Iraq and was worried about dying, but he never referenced the acts themselves.
I’d turned down his advances. I was asleep on my front beside him and I woke to find his weight on top of me. I was dazed from being asleep. I felt him pushing himself inside my rear. I froze in pain as he forced himself inch by juddering inch; I remember the exact feeling now. I even looked to the pillow beside me to check he wasn’t innocently asleep and that this was some stranger. But it was his hands on mine holding them down and his weight making it hard for me to breath. I sobbed into the pillow and waited for the pain to be over. I lay there confused and didn’t say a word. Naive, he was my boyfriend after all. I bled.
The second time I wriggled and squirmed trying to get out of his grasp. Afterwards I confronted him and said ‘Do you know what that would be considered if you weren’t my boyfriend?’….
The third time he explained that he thinks he must be ‘sleepwalking’….
I don’t know what happened to my mind but I blocked out these incidents for long time, even confining it down to just 2. Trivial, he was my boyfriend after all. I was in denial and want to forget bit by bit. It changed me. I felt disappointed with myself for being so weak and allowing it to happen. I went off the rails, unfocused and uncaring in my last 2 years at University. I went from a straight A student to receiving a 2:2. I felt like killing myself for it and for allowing what he’d done to affect me so much. I blamed other people for my failings to talk to them. I approached the University and was told to ‘get over it’. They wanted evidence I retorted that I ‘was sorry that I didn’t catch it on camera’. I hated the Church for camouflaging his actions so well, it made him feel untouchable. I contacted his Church but when they responded saying these were very serious allegations I couldn’t bring myself to name him in something he valued so much. The memory of my boyfriend of 4.5 years stopped me from going to the police out of guilt for the person I knew he could be.
I approached my mum about my feelings of wanting to kill myself but she was angry for me being so dramatic after her sister had just killed herself. She thought me dramatic. I then tried to kill myself, she doesn’t know, it would kill her. The inner tug of war is killing me and I feel I have no release.
Even now I have my dream job and an amazing boyfriend but I’m haunted by his actions and my lack off. From all of the above I’m petrified of just not being believed. I don’t feel like I survived but just continued existing less.