It has taken me a bit to have the time to write this, but I am glad to be finally doing so
About two months ago, I saw a post on After Silence called "Description of Consent" and there were tons of examples of what is considered a consensual situation and what isn't considered consensual. Well, when I read the list, a few things stuck out to me. And I realized my initial sexual encounter with an old friend DJ was rape (and another sexual encounter I had was also not as consensual as I thought). I know I didn't want to have sex with him that night, but because I had some alcohol and drugs, I think I maybe gave in easier? I said "no, not tonight..I don't want to. I am starting my period soon..." he didn't care to hear any of it and just did what he wanted. This had been bothering me a lot. So when DS continued joking about DJ being our oldest son's dad or about me sleeping with him before (which I mean may sound cruel, but it was always a light joke because we were all friends in HS), I just felt gross inside anymore. It was always a bigger joke than it needed to be because there was an instance DS was home for leave from his second deployment and we were in our hometown visiting and lo and behold went to a restaurant DJ was working (CRINGE). DS said "you will never believe who I saw walk into the kitchen" and we shared a laugh and finished eating. Well of course when we were leaving, DJ was walking out of the bar area as we were leaving so we all passed each other and all saw each other; DJ turned his head sharp to the left and started walking that way away from us fast. it was incredibly awkward and DS always felt so weird after that encounter since we were all adults, once friends. But the jokes were always there, especially after this awkward encounter.
I wanted to tell him eventually so he would please stop with the jokes. Well, one night a little over a month ago, with some wine in me, I decided to screenshot the consent form and highlight the specific situation in which I could relate to when it came to that sexual encounter. He was absolutely shattered. Crying. He got off his game and came to talk and ask me questions. Which was very uncomfortable.
He wanted to know more. "What happened next" "and then what happened after that" but I just couldn't do this with him! I told him "there is no reason for you to know anymore." I don't even know why he would want to think about it! It would only give him more of a mental picture of what happened and I would never want that for him. So I wanted to leave it at that! Little did I know, my entire life was about to change the next day.
He went to work like normal the next day. He was sad, yeah. But I just figured we could talk more about it and it could improve. I asked him throughout the day if he was okay, and he always said "yea." Well that entire morning I had nagging paranoia. Someone joined After Silence with a title "Researcher" and a screen name with the name of a city close to my hometown where all my trauma happened and I felt scared someone I didn't want to see my blog would see it and read it. I was spiraling in those hours. Mods were messaging me because I was out of it! Well, little did I know, my husband was reading everything in those moments while I was paranoid about something unrelated.
He text me close to the end of the work day and told me he needed me to call my mom and see if she would please watch the kids that night because he needed to talk to me. I thought it was about wanting to talk more about what we discussed the night before. But when he came home and was on the phone in the car, I started to get a little nervous about what we were going to talk about. He came in, just done crying. We got the kids in the car and took them to my moms. Drove home, and went to the living room together. He asked me to sit with him. So we did and he started it off with "I understand if you want to divorce me after this" and I was really fucking scared then. First thing I thought was he contacted DJ somehow or something! I said "Please tell me you didn't confront him because I have been through that before and it always makes things worse!" I didn't know what to think. But the next thing he said was "I know everything about you" and he started crying even more. I immediately just froze and waited for him to say more. "I know everything that has ever happened to you." I couldn't look him in the eye anymore and just started crying silently. I was kind of angry. Extremely ashamed. All the embarrassing details came flooding back to the forefront of my mind. I was feeling horrified. He told me he understood me entirely now. He said he only wanted to know more about the situation I opened up to him about, but once he started reading, he couldn't stop. He told me after reading so much, he put together who raped me. See, we went to high school together and he was a year below me with DJ. We all had that teacher for sophomore world history. It's insane because he knows two of the people who put me in those uncomfortable situations. He said knowing who it was makes it even harder...but he also chose to read it all. Which he is both mad and glad he read it. He told me he didn't expect to read the things about himself that he did and I think it made him feel like a hero, because to me, he is 100% my hero so that's how I wrote about him. I am very in love with him. He has been nothing but gentle and supportive to me every step of every way.
I asked if we could just go lay down in bed and we did for about an hour. Just crying together. He kept having random realizations while we were laying there. Things were making more sense to him. He told me he never wants to hurt me. Asked me if he ever did anything to trigger me, or anything I wasn't comfortable with. He asked if we could shower together, so we did. He also wanted to make love. Which I didn't understand at first, but I realized he was feeling traumatized also. He just wanted/ needed to be close in those moments. So we made love. It was a beautiful but sad evening. Full of tears, but understanding and some healing. I found out he was on the phone with his dad when he was in the car, but his dad doesn't know anything more than I have had trauma in my past. He also has been going to therapy. I haven't scheduled my appointment yet, just because I am not fully ready... But we do plan on going together to talk about things in a guided setting. We haven't really talked about it much since. He has asked me if I am mad he read it all, and I told him I didn't know how to feel. I'm not necessarily mad, just I don't know. A few different things
I still don't really know how to feel. He read my entire story. He now knows my intimate thoughts. Things I have done. Everything. I feel sick about it honestly. He says he still loves me, somehow. He says he is more in love with me now. How in the hell?? I guess his reaction was the complete opposite of what I thought someone reading my story would be, especially a significant other. I was always so terrified I wouldn't be believed. Or people would think I was foolish. I just had so many fears of the unknown. The person who raped me multiple times made me feel as if I had no chance of being believed. I guess for so long, I believed him entirely. I am beginning to chip away at that false narrative he has written of my life, but it is so hard.
I just am so thankful to everyone here who has helped me feel like I am worthy of telling my story. Thank you for believing me. I have been absolutely horrified of anyone knowing these things about me and the comfort I received from those who have reached out to me, it means the entire world to me. I don't know where I would be without this support. I don't know I would have handled my husband reading everything so well if it weren't for you all. You all are amazing!
I plan on actually speaking about my past now and that is a really "freeing" feeling. I don't have to feel like I am hiding some big, dark, shameful secret anymore.