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He came into the bedroom intoxicated, and possibly high on God knows what. I pretended to be asleep, but that did not deter him from stripping off his clothes, sliding into bed and grinding up against me. Could he be serious? We were not even on speaking terms.
In the months leading up to our trip, I watched my husband splurge on video games and Timberland boots, while I'd set money aside to spend during our Christmas vacation. I desperately needed a new wardrobe. Earlier that day, he had left me stranded at the mall because I refused to buy him anything more than a shirt. I sat on a bench and waited for over an hour before his brother finally arrived to pick me up and take me back to their mother’s house.
We had flown from California to Virginia to meet each other’s families, something we had not done before our wedding, but our marriage was already failing. Eight months in, and I was sick of his unstable behavior. Despite being enlisted in the Air Force, he had been getting high after work. I just didn’t know that yet.
He had no more respect for his family than he had for me. After arguing with his brother over ditching me at the mall, he decided to go out drinking with some old friends. Everyone had gone to bed by the time he returned, reeking of alcohol.
“Get off of me, we are not doing that!” I hissed as he climbed on top of me, but he was not listening.
At one point, we fell off the bed onto the floor as I fought him while he tried to pin me down and remove my pajamas. I wondered how his family could sleep through the commotion, and then figured they probably did not want to get involved. I did not yell, remaining silent out of respect for his mother. She was so happy we'd come for a visit, which made me even more embarrassed by his disturbing behavior. I was not going to call the police to her home.
My husband was a mess, but he was my mess. Eventually, I grew tired and I lay still while he had his way with me. The whole time I was thinking, “He is such a loser. Rapist loser.” I hated him in that moment and I just wanted to go home.
“I’m divorcing you,” I told him, when he was finished. He was not a man that I could procreate with, or have any semblance of a future with.
He cried and then apologized, but the damage was done. He knew I was serious.
Somehow, I thought spending time around our families might bring us closer together and help us salvage our marriage. I was wrong. I don’t remember the rest of the trip, but that was not the end of our story. We flew home to California and I filed the divorce papers.
My husband did not take the news well, and hired an attorney to contest our divorce. He was soon arrested and removed permanently from our home, after holding a knife to my throat and beating me while intoxicated (and possibly high). Because he was in the military, he was forced to continue paying the bills through the end of our lease. This would have been great, if I did not have to live alone in constant fear of another attack. One year later, I was granted a divorce and left the state of California.
Ten years later, he found me online and began harassing me over the Internet. He grew angry after I rebutted his latest demands for forgiveness. If he was plagued by what he had done, he showed little remorse for it. “I was just a baby,” he wrote in one email, as if that was a suitable excuse for the criminal violence of man in his twenties.
A few years have passed since I had to block his emails. I hope to never hear from him again.
Life goes on, but I view the world the way anyone who has been physically attacked and raped does –- with caution and an understanding of how malicious people can be. I am disheartened to hear stories like Jada’s and disgusted by how insensitive our society is toward rape survivors.
Rape isn’t this neat little clearly defined incident that only happens to certain types of individuals under certain conditions. You can even be married and raped by your spouse.