NARCISSISTIC & SEXUAL ABUSE IN A RELATIONSHIP

EMOTIONAL, INSPIRING, MUST READ

This list has been in my ‘to put live’ file for a long time (thank you April for your patience). Though I am passionate about sharing tricky subjects I am also wary of trying to judge the mood. As such I have found myself waiting for the ‘right time’ to share this; the fact is there is no ‘right time’. So here it is. 

  • Sexual assault can happen to anybody.

  • By this, I mean that the stereotype that we often see in the media portrays victims as the ones in the wrong is a load of bollocks.

  • They must have drunk too much or worn too little.

  • It probably happened with a random they met in a nightclub.

  • They led the perpetrator on. They were ASKING for it.

  • None of these stereotypes are justifiable or true. I – amongst many other women – are proof of this.

  • My abuser was my boyfriend at the time.

  • We were in a seemingly loving relationship and had become physically intimate prior to the rape.

  • He was kind and gentle.

  • He wanted to settle down with me and make a future with me. Or he had me believe.

  • First came the emotional abuse. Constant put-downs and jibes. Sneaking off when we were out together to make phone calls.

  • Telling me I was “paranoid” and “crazy”, when my doubts started to creep in.

  • Assuring me afterwards I was the only one for him when I questioned our relationship. (His way of luring me back in as I realised after that night).

  • A few months of being together and I was caught in a constant vicious cycle.

  • Doubt, questions, arguments, tears, repeat. In my heart I knew how our relationship was going wasn’t how I wanted to live. This wasn’t normal.

  • Then, that night came.

  • We’d had our daily dose of arguing and him hurling insults at me.

  • Despite knowing it wasn’t right how he was treating me, I couldn’t leave.

  • By this point, I was so brainwashed I believed that I couldn’t live without him.

  • He put my mind at ease again that night for what seemed like the millionth time and my doubts slipped away for the time being.

  • But for me, for that day, that was that. I was done emotionally. I had work early the next day and it was pushing 11pm. Tomorrow was a new day. We would speak then.

  • For him, it wasn’t enough.

  • “Get in the back”.

  • Something about his time shook me within. He had already told me previously he’d been involved in fights. He “knew people”.

  • Knowledge of this was all it took for me to obediently climb into the back of the car.

  • I mentioned I had work early the next morning, I would like to go home. My subtle plea was ignored.

  • “You’re going to fucking take my dick right now”.

  • And in that moment, I froze. I had no power; he was the one who held it.

  • All I could do was lay there, numb, paralysed and praying it would be over soon.

  • But he was my boyfriend. What he wants he gets – right?

  • It’s taken me years to not only come to terms with what happened to me, but also get my head around the fact that rape in any situation is not acceptable.

  • But sadly, being as brainwashed as I was, this is what I believed. In my eyes, being his girlfriend, meant it counted for nothing.

  • In addition to the rape, what also crushed me was how my abuser was completely nonchalant afterwards.

  • As though he had no remorse or somewhat lacked capacity to understand what he had done was immoral.

  • Being the narcissist, he was, he up and left a couple of weeks later. No warning, just a brief speech on how he was depressed and had to “work on himself”. Lies, as I discovered. All of it.

  • Turns out – after some digging – he had no mental health issues and was in fact happily married with four children.

  • He had treated his previous ex the same.

  • It sickens me to this day, knowing he is out there and as so much time has passed before I dealt with my feelings there is probably no case there.

  • My only clarity is the knowledge I never run risk of running into him on the street – benefits of a long-distance relationship. The downside of this being, however, it allowed him to conceal his double life very well.

  • The other thought that gives me hope is the knowledge that I am the better person.

  • For years, I bottled up what happened to me and only properly opened up to those close to me after the birth of my third child in July 2017.

  • I had to be induced as I was two weeks overdue.

  • I required a spinal block/epidural/gas and air in order to just be examined.

  • But still, I found this incredibly triggering and traumatic.

  • I was told to “relax”. My rapist had done the same.

  • The midwives ended up having to pin my feet down in order to keep me still while they forcibly broke waters – I did consent to this as by this time my daughter was in foetal distress by this point.

  • However, despite knowing this would be for my baby’s benefit, it didn’t change the emotional turmoil I felt during and after that experience.

  • For the second time in my life, I felt I had been stripped of my dignity and self-worth.

  • I became depressed. Not just “baby blues” depressed but an endless black hole of nothing and no way out depressed.

  • My temperament changed entirely. I felt I no longer wanted to exist as all I could think about was the labour which took me right back to that moment in 2012 in my rapists car.

  • I snapped at my family and close friends. I said words so disgusting to people I am ashamed to look back on that person and my behaviour.

  • However, I know now that person back then was not truly me.

  • She was a shell of the former me.

  • You know the old saying “it get’s worse before it gets better?” Well that’s something I can completely relate to with my situation during this time.

  • Slowly, over time, there came a turning point for me.

  • Despite my severe mental breakdown in 2017, I have sought help and am on the right track to discovering the real me again.

  • She is outgoing, carefree and confident. She craves new experiences and embraces change and new friendships.

  • I have been having rape counselling since October 2018 and am making significant progress on my healing journey.

  • In 2019, I achieved a personal goal which may not seem like a big deal for most women, but to me it was a huge deal and one I never initially felt I could overcome.

  • I had my first smear test.

  • I owe this to the My Body Back project in London who offer a free service for victims of rape and sexual assault.

  • The service ensures the smear test is tailored to suit the individual woman’s needs and is careful to carry out the procedure in a non-triggering way.

  • Personally, I believe this project has contributed massively to my mental health and having a smear test is so important, but for a survivor, it can be such a challenge and a huge hurdle to overcome.

  • It took me years to deal with my emotions and open up about my assault due to the stigma that clouds rape in general – but particularly in a relationship.

  • But no more.

  • More rapes occur in relationships or marriages more than most people realise.

  • It may stun you to learn that for every 1000 rape cases, 994 perpetrators will walk free. Yes. Just let that statistic sink in. It shocked me too.

  • Though I must admit, equally, I wasn’t all that surprised if I’m honest.

  • Far too many cases of rape and sexual assault are dismissed or ridiculed.

  • Victims/survivors are sneered at by the media, torn apart, publicly humiliated just to name a few.

  • Blame automatically seems to shift them as opposed to the rapist – scrutiny as to whether she was drinking, did she even say no etc.

  • But why?

  • Why are we not focusing on the fact that a man has gone out of his way to violate a woman in the worst way possible?

  • Remember, going out clubbing, drinking, wearing an outfit that is revealing – all these things they are each to an individual’s choice, but most importantly, they are LEGAL.

  • Rape IS NOT.

  • Next time you hear a case of sexual assault/rape on the tv or radio – please think before you judge.

  • It’s not always black and white.

  • And we are NOT to blame.

  • After all, sexual assault can happen to anybody.

I wanted to round off my article with a poem I wrote about my experience. To any woman of any situation, be it single, relationship, married, any woman who has been raped. I am sure you can relate.

“It happened to me”

Rape. It happened to me.

It wasn’t meant to be.

See at first, he was loving and kind

Someone like him I never thought I’d find.

Showering me with constant affection

Only with me he’d spend all his time

It felt too good to be true that he was mine.

Weeks, months went by

The mask began to slip

Everything I would say, or do he would flip.

Treading on eggshells, so not to upset him

His temper was lethal, like nothing I’d seen before

Soon I learned he was evil to the core.

Rape. It happened to me.

You see, my so-called boyfriend?

Loving, kind, caring, with me to the end?

Was in fact controlling, consuming, brainwashing me

Full of mind games, poison and twisting words

The one who “loved” me did nothing but hurt,

Hurt me, and in my state, all I could see

That the problem that caused this was in fact me.

Rape. It happened to me.

A love that was not what I thought.

I still need convincing it wasn’t my fault.

Be it a date, husband, or like me a boyfriend,

Rape is rape, right to the end.

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