I've a new blog linked on my blog roll.
It's officially called "ViolenceUnSilenced".... it's listed as Women Against Violence Against Women.... I wanted it to be very clear about the subject matter.
With this in mind, I just finished reading an article that stated "....people don't cry in private anymore; they blog." Many people do use their blogs as emotional dumping grounds, I'm included in that lot on occasion. For the most part, I try to keep my deep personal things out of my blog... it has to be fairly important to me, or when I'm pushed too far.
This is very important to me, this site, and therefore, this blog post.
I was a victim of domestic violence. It was long ago, I was in my 20's and mad in love. He was my first love, what I thought would be my only love... and to be honest, if the events hadn't occurred, my children would have a different last name.
And, I'd still be married to him.
We had a number of things in common, sense of humour, family importance, friends... the big difference was, he drank and later moved on to drugs. Now, I'm not using that as an excuse for him--however, knowing him 20 years later, I do realise those two things really did release demons.
The first time, it was a slap across my face. He looked horrified, then, cradled me and cried with me. It got easier as time went on... slaps, punches, kicking me. I took it and made excuses, as we do, "Oh, I fell down the stairs!" "I ran into a door!".... It went on for years. One day, when I missed a shot in doubles tennis, he beat me with his racquet in front of all our friends...who turned away and pretended it wasn't happening.
I had bruises for over a week.
Long story short, one day, he pulled back his fist...having me cornered in the kitchen, and I said, "If you touch me, remember, you'll sleep sometime, and I'll be waiting with an iron skillet." He stood up and walked out and again, long to short, we split up...not to see each other again for 20 years, when he contacted me, 10 years sober, and asked forgiveness. He worked at a center for abused women, playing the 'dummy' they learned self defense on. He gave advice on how to deal with a violent partner. And, every AA meeting, he announced he'd beat the one thing he adored in life.
My ex was also abusive, only in a verbal, emotional way. I bore those bruises internally, learning to find myself unattractive, stupid, a bad wife. Luckily, those days are done, too... and I'll say no more because of who reads my blog on a daily basis. They don't need that information... they are healthy and happy and I'm pleased that's occurred. I raised my children to not take abuse off of anyone, and they don't. They found partners who rever who they are, who adore them, who would never think of belittling them in any fashion... and should they, my children know what to do....
This second bit is difficult. Until recently, only a handful of people knew about this event... the Oddship knows and just a few more.
The Ex, when I told him, said, "You must have done something to make it happen." and was disgusted. It kept me quiet for all this time.
I was raped.
There, I said it in public. I was raped. I was 20, on a date, and I was raped. That I'd been drinking has no difference.... his idea of how to end a first date and mine were two different things. I didn't think buying me dinner gave him more than the right to my company. He felt differently, I reckon.
I said no. I said it again and again and again.... didn't stop things. I am sure this is where my 'rule' about kissing came in... he kissed me again and again, and now, well, as much as I love to kiss... it's really something I don't do easily.
I went home and sat in my shower, sobbing... I threw out my clothes, I scrubbed, I cried, I prayed, and I went on with my life.
I always laugh when I remember he called me two days later, asking if I wanted to go out again, "....we had such a good time." Yeah. Right.
I'm sure I should go on, discussing how it caused me emotional distress, distrust of people, a sudden fixation on honesty. I was in a point of life where my first love and I were not seeing each other, he'd not started hitting me... it was he'd moved out of the state for a bit. I felt guilt that perhaps I should have waited to date... I felt guilt my jeans and sweater and garish socks I was wearing was enticing. It had to be my fault.
It wasn't. I said "NO!".
I raised my children that the magic word is "NO!" no matter how far you are into making love... if the woman says that, everything stops.
Date rape is no less an act of control and violence than being raped by a stranger. It's almost worse, as you are usually driven home by your rapist. It was not seen as anything to discuss or file complaints against when it happened to me, I'd have been seen as the tempter of his acts... I lured him in, obviously.
I am no longer a victim of domestic violence...not the beatings I took as a child, not the beatings I took physically, emotionally and mentally as a woman. I am no longer a victim of rape... even if it was on a date and I had on those luring striped socks. I grew and I learned and I stand tall now, saying to people, if you see this, if you know of it, do something. Women, there are places to go, people who will help you leave a violent home. Rape is to be discussed with your peers (sad as that word sounds) You are not alone. You are not to blame.
I support groups who do these things... I've acted in the Vagina Monologues proudly... I will be a victim no longer.
I am a survivor.
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