assault

‘My brother started the ‘naked man’ game when I was 6. I felt so empty I thought I might just float away.’: Woman overcomes sexual trauma, now uses kindness as an ‘act of rebellion’

“I walked home in a dress, but no underwear. I told my mom and dad I was staying with a friend, and then went into the operating room to have my right fallopian tube removed along with the baby that would never be. I went home the next day and said, ‘I feel like I have the flu’ and went straight to bed. My cry for help didn’t work. Nobody noticed. Nobody asked if I was okay. I knew if I didn’t start fighting for myself, I’d end up dead.”

‘I heard a cracking sound and a thud as my head hit the window. He threw the car into park. I’d ‘pushed his buttons’ and made him do it. He told me it was my fault.’ Woman recounts how ‘fairy tale’ quickly turned to abusive nightmare

“In slow motion, the scene still unspools in my head. ‘You loved me once,’ I croaked out, looking up at him. We had history. We had a home together. Failure was not an option. I clung to him, my heart believing if I just loved him enough, he’d emerge from the darkness.”

‘I BEGGED my mom to get my stepfather out of my bed. He would just ‘fall asleep’ there. How convenient for him. I started thinking my mother knew, and just didn’t care.’

“In third grade, we moved. I thought it was so fancy! Surely nothing bad can happen in the suburbs. I slept over at my friend’s house one night, and was woken by something startling. I froze, I didn’t know what to do. I started to silently cry. ‘Why isn’t my friend waking up? If she wakes up he will stop.'”

‘I told her, ‘I’m looking for a ‘suit.’ He’s an ex-felon, an addict, covered in ink, going through a divorce, currently unemployed. Yeah, No!’ We married just 3 months later.’

“I clicked into his profile. ‘Hi.’ His response was, ‘Who is this?’ He would disappear for long periods of time – sometimes years – and no one knew if he was alive or dead. Just 6 days after meeting him, I was on pins and needles. I finally called. When he answered, I could hear the difference in his voice. I’m telling you, he was magic.”

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