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Looking back at the seven year old girl doing her homework on “what I want to be when I grow up,” I never thought I would be the twenty-one-year-old sitting, frozen still, weeping in the shower. I never imagined that if anyone grabbed my neck (even in a playful way) again, I would have flashbacks of his heavy weight crushing my body and soul. I never believed that I would have to explain to my parents why I am seventeen and pregnant and how it wasn’t my fault. And worst of all, I never thought it would come from someone I loved. I carry a hatred in my heart for someone I once trusted with my life. It took me months to get over the nightmares. Now, I am thankful they only come weekly. It took me so long before someone could touch me or hold my hand. But I believe it’s unfair to not tell you everything. So here I go..
When I was seventeen, I was in love with a man that I believed I would one day marry. I grew up in a strict household with even more strict parents. Being with him felt fun. I felt free. He was the “bad boy” that smoked cigarettes and drank alcohol behind everyone’s back. I had never been exposed to such a thing. In a downward spiral, I remember having my first drink with him and it turning to a daily occurrence.
On the night I’m haunted with, I drank too much. I remember stumbling down the stairs to my bed. I remember texting him back, “No, I feel so sick. You can’t come over tonight.” I remember waking to his heavy weight crushing me, his horrible breath as he whispered, “Shut up, you know you like it.” And I’ll stop there.
The following morning I convinced my mother that I had the flu and I sat at the bottom of my shower for four hours. The water turned cold but I couldn’t move. I had never done anything like that with him. How dare he? I trusted him. I loved him. I was broken. Calls, texts, Snapchat messages all came from him, attempting to convince me that it was an act of love and apologizing. “That wasn’t love. I scratched you so hard you bled as I begged you to get off of me and telling you it hurt. You weren’t drunk. You had no right,” I answered him. It all led to an argument where I told him if I ever saw him again, I would make his life a living hell like he made mine.
Nights passed and I would lay facing the window he broke into holding a knife. Waiting. I never knew the wind blowing could terrify me so much.
Months passed like this. I moved on the best I could and never told anyone. I was humiliated. I was scared. I created what I believed to be a normal life, though. I got a job, I graduated, I pretended to be okay.
One day I had two appointments, one with the orthodontist and one with my dentist for a cleaning. I had two walk out of both appointments every time they laid me down, I was so sick.
My dad asked me with disgust in me one day if I was pregnant. I told him I didn’t know. My parents went out of town to get me a test one night. They were terrified of someone seeing them buy it and it ruining their reputation. My mother kept her eyes on me as I took the test and it immediately came back positive. The disappointment and resentment painted their faces clearly.
The next day, they decided to get me from work and take me to an ER to tell them that I was pregnant and that we didn’t know how far along. I remember hearing my baby’s heart beat for the first time and falling in love as they told me I was eight months pregnant.
As preparations began, it distracted me from what happened, and brought it all back as well. They say that it gets easier... I don’t believe it does. I think you just get used to it.
People don’t understand the smallest triggers that can bring it all back, either—smells, sounds, certain touches or places. I destroyed my bed shortly after he did that. I bawled and tore it up and slept on an air mattress. I couldn’t stand being in the same bed that it happened in.
I got married, had a few babies. My sister had been my rock through a lot when it all came out. My parents were horrible. Friends left, but she didn’t. Little did I know, she was trying to seduce my husband the entire time. I disowned her after we had an argument about it.
She admitted something that still makes me shake. When I was home, in my bed, screaming for help and nobody came... she knew. She was there. She wasn’t scared. She said I deserved it. I know she wasn’t lying because she gave details I had blocked out. It all came rushing back. It was like I could feel his hand on my throat all over again. She laughed about it. She said she couldn’t even remember why she was so mad at me either. She convinced my parents I made it up and had told her about it.
Suddenly I was left with nobody but my husband and children. But, honestly, I’m okay with that. I wanted to be the one to tell my story.
But my story isn’t over. It’s just begun.