(TW: sexual assault, intimate partner violence).
People often ask me why I stayed with my previous partner for so long, despite the fact that he had raped me. "I loved him", is how I would usually respond. "I loved him so much that I couldn't fully comprehend what he had done to me". That answer my friend, was the golden answer. The answer that would shut people up and allow them to move throughout their days without another thought. And although that sentence left my lips often, it was only half of a truth. I did not stay with this man because I simply loved him. If that were the case, I would have left the second he twisted my no into a yes. I would have left the second he turned sex into rape. But I didn't fucking leave because of a hell of a lot more than the fact that I loved him.
The honest truth is that, I didn't leave because I thought it was my fault. That afternoon, I initiated it. I kissed him first, I touched him first, I took off his clothes first. I was okay with it. At first, yes, I did want to have sex with this man, and that's what we did. But then it began to hurt, and I wanted it to stop. So I said no, and despite my no, he pushed me down and raped me. I cannot even begin to explain the hollow and disgusting feeling that coursed through my entire body afterwards. To this day, I still experience this gut-wrenching feeling after I engage in any type of sexual activity.
He told me that he raped me because of miscommunication. He told me he raped me because he was thinking with his dick, rather than his mind. Those were the exact excuses he used to justify his actions, and to make them okay and acceptable. And whether you think I'm an idiot or not, I believed him. I did not leave him because I blamed myself. I felt disgusting and dirty because I had given into my sexual desires, which in the end, lead to rape. If I had never wanted to have sex in the first place, he would've never raped me. If I had never opened my legs, he would have never abused my vulnerability.
And just like that, it was put in the past. Covered up and hidden. On the outside, he seemed like the perfect boyfriend. Always buying me flowers, driving me to places, taking me out on dates, and paying for dinners. At the same time, I seemed like a horrendous girlfriend. I would throw the flowers he got me in the garbage, scream at him, and claim that nothing was ever enough. On the outside, I seemed awfully terrible to such a great, charming guy.
Well here's the fucking TRUTH. The flowers? The gifts? The dates? They were used to manipulate me, to MAKE UP for the sexual assault. They were used as apology gifts. "I'm sorry I raped you, here's a fucking teddy bear". And me? I never truly clued into why I was so angry at him all the time - especially when he would buy me things and take me places. But now I know. There was nothing he could've done, nothing he could've purchased or said that would have made up for the damage that he had done. Nothing on this planet could give back the piece of me that he had taken with him. Nothing could level the playing ground with the emotional and physical trauma he had put me through. And that sis, is the fucking truth.