I am not silent. I have a voice. That voice is expressed through words and contains inflection and emotion. I want to have more of a voice. I want people to know what happened to me. I am tired of defending what was wrong. He no longer deserves that kind of protection. He is probably abusing other young women as I type. He probably is still in possession of child pornography. He is still addicted to sex where I have been abstinent for four years now.
I am waiting to hear back from the District Attorney’s office. Four years later, now that I am no longer suicidal, I am ready to tell my story. I want to tell it in court, and it would have to be in front of the man who committed those crimes against me. Because we were married it is considered to be “domestic violence” and the maximum charge is only four years in prison. I believes he deserves a longer sentence, although, if convicted, he would have to live with the tarnished reputation for the rest of his life, which would be his lasting sentence. That could be devastating to his ego.
There is no saying that the DA will accept re-evaluating my case. I would have to convince a jury of 12 people that the acts he committed against me were indeed crimes. The triggering event for all of this coming up again was that I heard from my divorce attorney a few weeks ago. Apparently his company sold, and because I was married to him I am owed some money for the sale of some options of stock. There is a disagreement as to how much he owes me, and to me it’s significant. Our attorneys have been communicating back and forth and some of it got kind of ugly, with threats written out in plain writing. Scare tactics and intimidation, and use of power. His lawyer is doing everything to stand his ground as is my lawyer hers.
To me, it’s not about the money. It’s money I was not expecting to get, never thought I would receive. I was just making it by month to month, paycheck to paycheck, and focusing on living a stable life, free of hospital visits for suicide attempts and suicidal ideation. To me, it’s about the fight. I’m happy to pay my lawyer $350 an hour, because that’s what she charges, to take on this fight for me. It’s not even about winning, because eventually there will be a settlement. It’s about making his life hell for a few months. I hope it’s even somewhat upsetting to him. I hope it costs him money. After all, he’s worth a million dollars now after the sale of his company. I’m getting pennies to that.
I have been watching documentaries on YouTube which I know are bad for me. I watched some films on prostitution, sex trade, suicidal people, rape victims, and prison inmates. There is so much out there on the internet and it’s not hard to find. I spent an entire evening, six hours straight, watching these images and hearing these stories. I now feel empty on the inside and wish I had some alcohol in the house to numb that feeling. I haven’t had alcohol for about three weeks now.
For six years I lived in an abusive marriage, and at the time, I didn’t see it as abusive. Being paid to have sex with strange men with no protection? Sure. I’ll do anything for you because I love you and cannot live without you. Living without you would be the end of the world. So I’ll let you prostitute me out, your own wife, for your sick pleasure whilst you watch on, hidden behind the dark bedroom door, looking through the crack and your wife having sex with a man, an act which you set up. You went on the internet, pretended to be me, sent them naked pictures of me to lure them in, and get them to pay to have sex with me.
His friends didn’t have to pay to have sex with me. I was given to them for free. I still remember their names, burned into my memory. He told his close, gay friend, all about these encounters. To him, it was entertainment! A good story to tell. I never spoke. I just listened to him talk me up, objectify me, put me on a pedestal of sex. My whole life was about sex. I’ve had unprotected sex with about 300 men over the span of that six years. Until I couldn’t take it any longer, and I started to become more and more self destructive, cutting myself, drinking alcohol, and finally, my first of many suicide attempts.
Now, several years later, where does that leave me? My therapist helps me to be aware of the fact that these stories of my past, they are just memories. They aren’t happening any longer. My life is different now. I can choose my own path in life, can choose the people with whom I associate myself, can choose to have my own friends (I never had my own friends when I was with him because he turned them away and kept me socially isolated so that no one would discover his deviant, dualistic lifestyle), I can earn my own money, pay my own rent and bills, and most importantly, I can choose to do with my body what I want. It’s my body and it doesn’t belong to anyone else. Hence the abstinence. I cut sex out of my life a long time ago. I was so traumatised by the events of those years that I couldn’t even use a tampon until the fourth year out. I didn’t want to put anything inside of me. Best of all, I made it out alive.
Today was a typical Saturday. I went to bed at 1 am, woke up at 9 am but stayed in bed dozing in and out of sleep until 2:30 pm. A friend, though I’m wary of his intentions and don’t know if he’s actually a friend, got me up and out by texting me, “say yes to life”. That was the phrase which finally did it. I went out, picked him up since he doesn’t have a car, and we went to an area of town he had never been before. We stood on a cliff and admired the beauty. It was a cool, windy, overcast day. I wanted to stay with him longer, but unfortunately he claimed to be tired and wanted to go home. Then I came home, ate some leftovers, and proceeded to watch films that are bad for my mental health. Why did I do that? To harm myself? To traumatise myself? To put myself in a bad mental state? Why would I do it?
I didn’t have much to eat today. I’ve lost five pounds in two months, unintentionally. It’s neither good nor bad, here nor there. I haven’t been exercising. I’m wasting my monthly membership to the gym.
I think about the places I’ve lived. Close to downtown in a shady neighbourhood. In an expensive one-bedroom apartment in the suburbs. In a house with many people and constantly being supervised, staying married to my bed almost 24 hours a day. Now this. My own apartment, shared with one roommate, who is actually nice to me. I’ve gone through a lot of experiences in the last four years and looking back, it’s hard to fathom. I often feel as if I still belong in a hospital, and that I should have been institutionalized. But then where would that leave me? A loss of freedom for one year, being taken care of the state as my custodian, and then put into a group home for rehabilitation back into society. Getting a job would have been even more difficult. I cannot imagine. And I wouldn’t have gotten to see my therapist of eight years because of being locked up in the institution. I wouldn’t have gotten to make friends and probably would have had very few visitors, if any. I would still be bankrupt.
It disgusts me that people can commit crimes and still live with themselves. Especially if they don’t get caught. Then they keep on repeating the same offenses and the same patterns of relationships. Sex was a means of gaining control, of asserting his power, of possessing and owning me. It wasn’t about love. It never was. It was about personal accomplishment in a messed up way.
I’m probably going to stay in bed late on Sunday as well, though I promised someone I would see them. Also, another new friend. I’m lucky she’ll even speak to me, because at present I feel worthless. The more I think about the past, as it’s come up again due to the divorce litigation, the worse I feel. It’s not happening to me now. I have that to hold on to.
The likelihood is that we’ll lose the case. There will be no trial by jury, he will not spend time locked up, and I will only get a little bit of money. But at least we, me and my lawyer, we put up a fight. It wasn’t for nothing. It was about preserving my strength and dignity. It’s about establishing my identity and becoming me again. It’s about justice. I do not think this is about revenge, this strain of thought pattern, but I am finally feeling and able to somehow express my anger at what happened to me. I am not a victim, but a survivor.