I’ve been struggling with how to format this blog since I decided to write it. How do tell you what happened? In what order? Chronologically? Worst first? Most violent? Most traumatic? Lizzie says I should just write whatever comes to mind but I’m just not sure how readable that would be… how understandable.
Not this past spring but the spring before it my best friend, we’ll call her Catherine, basically told me I’d become a super bitch. I was angry all the time, I was sad a lot and I had no patience. I thought she was bluffing, maybe I was having a bad week or a bad month but then when I changed duty stations I heard it again. I’d never been called a bitch unless I was angry at someone but I wasn’t angry, I thought I was behaving normally given the stress of moving a household 50 miles and dealing with my ex husband being a super douche and a son going through the terrible twos. Of course I was moody, temperamental, agitated… but it was more than that. I gave it time, I got more sleep, tried eating better, exercising, sleeping but I was still angry. I could hear myself saying mean things and I couldn’t stop it. Sometimes even now it happens. Like “word vomit” and I can’t help it, I feel bad but I can’t make it stop or go away. Finally I caved. In November of last year I went to base medical and asked my doctor for a referral for depression. I didn’t care about the stigma or about anyone thinking ill of me, I wanted to get better. That’s how I met Lizzie. She told me the truth. I went in and I was facing a probable hip surgery, my father had died, my divorce had been finalized, my son was going through terrible twos, I had just uprooted my entire life for the Marine Corps and she told me depression and anxiety were normal. Then I told her about the last sexual assault.
By the time the last one had happened I thought “this has happened to me enough I know I’ll live, it’s not a big deal.” I was lying to myself. Just because you were beaten up once doesn’t mean that it’s not gonna hurt the next time and dealing with lots of trauma only weakens you. It doesn’t help you get stronger. It’s not like breaking bones.
In February of 2011 I was raped. In my own home. By someone I had thought was a friend.
My boyfriend at the time was deployed, on a ship hundreds of miles across the sea from me and I had reached out within my command for support. A man, a few years older than me who worked in our Administration section responded. He was going through a divorce, he was having a rough time, he needed a friend and so did I. We hung out a lot, talked a lot; he even crashed at my house once or twice. One night he was too inebriated to drive, couldn’t get home and I let him sleep on my couch. I said good night to him around 1100, walked down the hall (past my sleeping son’s room) to my bedroom and climbed in bed. I didn’t think to lock my door, I’d known Bill (let’s call him Bill) for two years and we were friends, I didn’t need to lock my door.
I heard footsteps a while later, in my sleep boggled mind I thought it was my little man trying to climb in bed so I flipped back part of the blanket and dozed off again. Seconds later I was AWAKE. Bill was on top of me. He had me pinned and he was trying to kiss me, I panicked. “No, you can’t. We can’t. Please stop. Please don’t. Don’t. No.” Nothing I said mattered. I tried to push him away, I wriggled and squirmed and kicked. He had my wrists and forearms pinned to the mattress just above my shoulders, weighing the rest of my body down with his. He dug his knee into my legs until he got between them and pushed them apart with enough force that I was sure he’s dislocated my hip. He told me “shhhh, its fine.” I cried and just kept saying no over and over. Eventually I remember I stopped saying anything, I just prayed in my head for it to be over. I watched the leaves outside of my window rustle in the breeze and prayed my son didn’t wake up. When he was done he got up and walked out, grabbing his jeans along the way. I waited a minute, got up and locked the door and cried. I leaned on the door and cried. The sun started coming up and at some point I fell asleep because I woke up to shmookums knocking on the door saying “Mommy? Mommy?” I righted my clothes a bit and wiped my face then opened the door and went to breakfast and clothes for my toddler.
I went in for a rape kit that day, turned over the clothes, had pictures taken of my bruises and went home to shower. I remember my arms hurting with every movement and seeing a grapefruit sized bruise on my thigh… and it comes in flashes so it’s hard to explain but it’s like a super long, drawn out, strobe light memory. I just remember seeing things, hearing certain things, nodding a lot… My eyes were really swollen and at some point I think I must’ve tried to scream because I had bruises on my neck and collar bone… my throat hurt… I remember when the camera kept flashing and latex gloves moving my limbs to get better views…
The rape kit was for naught. Bill had worn a condom and the kit came back “inconclusive”.
No one at work believed me.
So I stopped talking about it.
Worked with Bill for another six months quietly.
Tried to move on.
It wasn’t the first straw but it’s the one that broke me.
It’s the one that in my opinion was the worst.