Hi, I’m new here. Thanks for taking the time to read this.
I guess I am just writing to get this off of my chest so it may be a bit long and there may be triggers ahead (sexual abuse and alcohol addiction). I’m not sure what I want exactly but I just know that my heart and mind are not well. I’m tired of feeling this way so…New Year, new me? I hope…
A bit about me - I’m almost 30, married for 5 years, happily childfree but stuck in a loop…
It has been 11 years since I ended a very unhealthy relationship but I am still dealing with the trauma. From the age of 14-19, I was with an older guy. I knew there was something dark about him when we first met, but I had no idea. The beginning of the relationship was fine, normal. except for his black bedroom that had weapons and writing all over the walls… Should have been a red flag, but stupid me thought he was just edgy… But other than that, everything seemed normal. When sex was introduced, that’s when things took a very dark turn. Long story short, I was sexually abused by him for years. I don’t want to get into too many details about that. But he also would emotionally or mentally abuse me as well. He would literally ignore me, ignore my entire presence, unless he wanted sex. Then he would do whatever and go right back to ignoring me. But the sick part of it all, is that I stayed and willingly let all of that shit happen to me over and over again, no matter how bad it got. It was like some messed up part of my brain turned that abuse and the violent acts into attention… Attention that I wanted. And no, I didn’t enjoy it, but I still allowed myself to stay in that situation and keep letting him do those things to me. I will never understand it… I’m so stupid. And now because of that, I am basically damaged. Even more stupid was the fact that I kept all of this a huge secret from my friends and family, so they all thought we had this perfect relationship. So we moved out of state and got an apartment together. (Because that fixes things, right? Wrong.) Things got really rough after that…
But after about a year of living together, he soon lost in interest in me entirely. But yet, he still wanted me all to himself, which I don’t really understand. The only thing that I can think of is that I wasn’t afraid enough of him anymore, and maybe that was his whole thrill. The pain and the fear? I don’t know.
Anyway… so I just worked days, he worked nights, and we never saw each other. When we did see each other, he still ignored me, except for when he would insult me and pick out all of my insecurities. Call me fat, make fun of my looks, my makeup, my hair, my outfits. He wanted me to look a certain way and dye my hair a certain color and that just wasn’t me, even though I did everything he asked just so I might look attractive for him. Those remarks are imbedded in my brain now, and I no longer can believe otherwise and for awhile there I had developed an eating disorder. This went on for awhile, and I kept waiting for him to “want” me again, even if the attention that he did give me during all of that was agonizing and horrible… But still, my fucked up brain wanted the attention.
I was so lonely, in a state away from my friends and family, locked away with this person that I lived with, but it was like living with a ghost. Never have I ever felt such loneliness and sadness. I remember staying up late, thinking and obsessing over our relationship… ‘What went wrong? What could I do to make myself prettier, or skinnier? What can I do to make him want me again?’ It was like I was mourning this great relationship, when in actuality it was the worst kind of relationship to be in. So why did I want to rekindle it so badly? And the only thing I can think is that it was the only kind of “love” I had ever known even if it wasn’t love at all.
I finally ended things, after eventually realizing that this was not normal, not healthy. and that I had been abused sexually and mentally/emotionally for years; Years that I could never get back… One night while he was away at work, I moved my stuff out of the apartment and I had secretly leased a separate apartment in the same complex. So I moved all of my stuff out and disappeared. I didn’t even have a car or much furniture at all. He had no choice but to move back home. And looking back, that was a shit way to handle it. But at the time, it was my only option. I haven’t spoken to or seen him ever again. But my family still keeps in contact with him. He is apparently a cop now and somehow, in some sick way, we now share the same wedding anniversaries… Same day, same year. So its like the whole day is tainted for me now. He probably doesn’t even think about me anymore, but I fear for the wellbeing of whoever he decided to marry.
I feel so stupid and naive looking back on that relationship… I realize now that the trauma I experienced with him has really affected me in a negative way longterm. When I met my husband, for a full year there was never a time that I didn’t cry during and after, and I felt so bad for that… But the flashbacks of abuse were always present in my mind, and even if my husband would get a little bit rough, I would freak out and we would have to stop. But he was so supportive through it all… I told him a bit about what happened to me back then, but there are a lot of things that I can’t even bring myself to tell him - I don’t think he would ever look at me the same way again. If I told him all of the details and explain why certain objects or words trigger me, I worry that he may look at me like I’m damaged, or that it would ruin our sex life even further. But keeping silent and pretending like I’m fine is an exhausting facade to try to keep up. Inside I’m a boiling pot of turmoil, self loathing, and regret… I just want the memories and negative thoughts to go away forever.
After 11 years, I am still reliving the past almost daily. Its worse as night, and my husband works nights too now so I’m always alone with my thoughts. So to cope, I’ve turned to alcohol to try to shut myself down, numb my mind so I don’t get so worked up - drinking to forget. It has turned into an addiction and it’s one that I’m not sure I can give up. It is the only thing that has helped relax me, helped get rid of those awful memories and help me feel like my old carefree self again. The way I was before… My husband doesn’t like that I drink so much and so often, but I can’t figure out another way to cope, especially when I feel like he isn’t “here” for me at night when it’s the worst and when I wake up in a sweat from the nightmares. Whenever I drink, I never have nightmares, and I just sleep soundly through the night. But lately I’ve noticed that I can’t talk much - its too exhausting. I’m never fully present anymore and its hard for me to hold a conversation. It’s hard for me to open up about anything. I’m so closed off now, even towards my husband and I’m not sure if its effects from my alcohol abuse or from my overall mental state. It’s like my whole life is one big secret. I can’t open up, or let anyone in, because I can’t talk about what happened to me to anyone in my life. My family doesn’t know, my friends don’t know, and my husband knows very little. And no knows that I am an alcoholic now all because of my past. Sometimes I think that maybe I’m just too weak, and that’s the reason that I can’t cope. I’m not strong enough to overcome this and leave it in the past where it belongs. I’m just weak.
I don’t know what to do. I honestly can’t afford therapy, so I usually type it all out when I get worked up and then delete it. But sometimes that helps and sometimes it makes it more real when I recount the details of what happened. All I know is that I’m messed up and I need something to help me cope in a healthy manner and I hope maybe I can cope through here instead. My past is affecting my future and if I don’t get a handle on this, I think my marriage may be at stake.
If you’ve made it this far, thank you. If anyone has any advice, I’m willing to try anything to make myself forget.