THE CONTENT OF THIS BLOG MAY BE TRIGGERING
I have spent what seems like forever explaining myself to the world, but my story is pretty simple. I was raped, and then embarked on a relationship with my rapist that lasted longer than it should have.
I can’t really describe what kept me there, maybe knowing that no matter how many objects I launched at his head he would always grab my arms and hug me until I stopped. Maybe it was every time he screamed it was over and headed for the door, if I wrapped my hand in his and pulled him back – he wouldn’t make one more step. We would maintain a united front and battle against anyone who dared tell us we were toxic.
I’d never had a relationship with anyone before where arguing was so common, but that was us, perhaps without it – we would have had nothing to say to each other. There was no one like him who could fire my temper with a click of his fingers, and it seemed I couldn’t say a word without his blood boiling. It was passionate, it was exciting it was adventurous – but I realise now it was for all the wrong reasons.
I was blinded by how sinister our relationship was and excused him for everything without a second thought and allowed him to break me down until I was a shell of my former self, until I realised I truly did hate the man that wrapped his arms around me in bed all night. There were days I would look at him and it felt like my love for him was pouring out my veins and seeping into his whilst getting nothing in return, I sacrificed everything for him, my friends, my family, my education and even men who would treat me like a princess in comparison – but I didn’t care, because I thought I loved him.
I was walking a dangerous road – I knew I would have sold my soul for him, I’d have flung myself in front of moving traffic if it meant keeping him safe. Unfortunately, it was my safety that became neglected. I was suddenly on a course of anti depressants at just 19, I was self harming and blaming everyone but him – whilst I knew what he was like, I was sure I could change him. I turned a blind eye to the fact I cried myself to sleep most nights with his body weight on top of me, I ignored the pain I was in and how much I begged him to stop – I ignored how he shrugged his shoulders when I bled because of how rough he was, simply to leave my bedroom with a kiss on the forehead each day like it was all ok again. I ignored his complete indifference every time I tried to explain what he was doing to me, how it was wrong – just to receive a response that I enjoyed it, and how he liked it best when I cried.
It’s almost impossible to ever put into words what I have gone through without blaming myself in some way, without belittling my thoughts and feelings when I compare myself to other victims. It is impossible not to question myself, and there are still things I know I could have done differently. At the vulnerable age of 18 I entered university unbelievably naive, trusting everyone as though they were a member of my own family – never once thinking that by the time I reached 22 I would have to endure an 11 hour cross examination in court.
I have experienced every possible emotion during this journey, but I made the decision to stop being his victim. Whilst I did not get the justice that I and so many others deserve, I got away. I had the support and strength I needed in those few minutes where I made my decision – I hope people realise that it is possible, that all is not lost, that it is up to you to fight against it, it is up to us for our voices to finally be heard. It’s up to us to be the change we wish to see.