||It was a beautiful April day in Boston and I was taking my grown daughter to her first Red Sox game. We were both happy and having a great time. As we were leaving South Station we bumped into "The Clothesline Project". For those who don't know about the project, it is a way for victims of domestic violence to show the world what happened to them by displaying T-shirts hanging from a clothesline. It is very powerful.
All of a sudden I was angry, very angry. I went to the sign-in sheet and wrote in big bold letters, " There is a such thing as MARITAL RAPE!". It was the first time that I really wanted someone to hear me, to believe me.
When I first met Jeff I was impressed. Unlike my first husband, Jeff was big and strong. When he held me I knew that he was powerful, so when we made love the first time and he squeezed my breasts so hard that I yelped, I just thought that he didn't know his own strength.
We made love often in the beginning and I thought that it was my lack of experience that frightened me when he started to bite me. I put my foot down after he decided to use a round brush on me. It slowed him down for a while. I didn't understand the kind of hell that was in store for me.
Over the years he taught me what the word torture meant. I became afraid to have sex with him and would try to stay awake until he was sound asleep. Whenever I misjudged him he made me pay. I worked,(he rarely did)and had a one hour commute, so I had to get up by 5am. If I dared say no to his advances he would spend the whole night encircling the bed, calling me a lesbian and worse. If he got mad enough he would force me, and he did this countless times.
I was so confused and frightened and I tried so hard to keep things quiet so that my daughter and step-son could not hear my cries. I couldn't even go to the bathroom in peace or take a shower because he would pick the lock and let himself in. I just couldn't understand what was going on. I didn't think that as a spouse I could be raped, but it sure felt like rape! I used to pray that he would hit me because then I would know that I was being abused.
I started thinking about leaving him and I actually did move out a few times. He would use my daughter to get me to come back, by telling her how much he missed her and loved her I started seeing a therapist, but he convinced her that I had a lot of things wrong with me. He was very charismatic and likable to outsiders. The straw that broke the camel's back was his treatment of my daughter turned for the worst. He made it clear over time that he saw her as a threat and he had gotten to the point that he wanted her out.
When I left him for the last time I suffered from a complete emotional collapse. It took years for me to come to terms with what had happened to me. He had raped me hundreds of times in the 14 years that we were together. I am blessed that he lives over 1000 miles away. I have been through hell trying to piece together some kind of a life after several suicide attempts and many hospitalizations.
I am happy to say that I have worked through the pain and now surround myself with people who love me. I do sometimes wish that I could have had him pay for what he has done to me, but I'll have to leave that up to something more powerful than me and his own conscience.
Thank you ever so much for giving me a place to share my grief and pain. My hope is that my pain can help someone else.