Sexual Assault Light Bulb Moment

Every time you step inside that room to talk to your therapist you know what it’s about. After opening up to her for a year memories have been flooding back. You know what they are and you are starting to put the pieces together.

But there is always that moment. That moment when it occurs to you that these things actually happened. You were sexually assaulted by your ex wife and then by your ex girlfriend.

The conversation flowing. I was thinking – why couldn’t I say no, why couldn’t I escape. Then the questions from my therapist… What were you scared of? What did you think was going to happen?

Well, I say, they wouldn’t have physically hurt me. They weren’t violent…. The realisation kicks in – the light bulb moment. They both sexually assaulted me numerous times over 8 years.

WHAT!!! Is this real? Did this really happen to me? Surely I could have said ‘no’ or made an excuse. The thing is I did make excuses and although I never said the word ‘no’ I certainly gave every impression that I didn’t want to. I did not give consent!!

A while ago I wrote a blog about being sexually assaulted by my wife. At the time it was words on a page, information to be processed. Even then when I was writing the details the light bulb didn’t go off. I knew what it was and I knew it had happened but I hadn’t taken it in or believed it.

I believe it now, I know it happened and I am taking it all in but I feel acceptance is a step that I am still working towards. My head knows but my heart and soul are not there yet.

How did this happen to me?

It all started when I was a child. You see, I was sexually assaulted as a child as well. After years of struggling I decided to get some help to find my voice. To get all of these torturous memories out.

I have been seeing a Rape Crisis therapist now for just over a year. I have a way to go yet but I feel stronger just knowing the support is there for me.

These light bulb moments can be tough but each one is a step closer to freedom from the memories which have been holding me back.

Never give up. Find your voice and grab your freedom with both hands. Our lives are worth living!

I needed someone to see me

I woke up that morning with an anger in my head, my blood rushing through my veins like lava.

I recognise this feeling, I’ve had it before. Yes, the one feeling nobody expects. I want to hurt myself, I want my mind to just switch off, explode into tiny pieces so nobody can see what I see.

Therapy starts, I can’t talk. I hold my head in my hands and want to scream. I growl, for fuck sake. 

I just want to switch it off. Turn of my mind. I want this feeling to go. I won’t take my own life I say. I may hurt myself. Scale of 0-10, how likely? Higher than 5! 

I can’t breathe, I just want it all to go. I can’t process what is happening. Doctors’?…..no. No, I’m fine. I won’t kill myself. 

It was then that I realised you have seen me.

I needed someone to see me. I needed someone to see what feeling like this looks like. This happens, the anger, the hurt, the pain, the shame, the disgust takes over. For a day, a week, a month for as long as it wants. Eating away at every fibre of my being. 

You have seen me at my worst now. My absolute rock bottom. I needed someone to see me. I’m glad it was you. 

The Worrier in Me!

A lot of things run through my head every day but at the moment there is something in particular that keeps coming back to me. 

Since I started talking about what happened to me as a child and in my relationships as an adult I have been worried.

I started seeing Rape Crisis nearly a year ago, set up this blog site, set up the anon Twitter account and reached out when I needed to.

Through no fault of anyone but me I feel like I am a burden. I worry about what people think of me. I desperately don’t want to come across as stalkerish, clingy, needy or anything like that. The trouble is I worry that I do. 

If I do I certainly don’t mean to. 

Sometimes I wonder if I should stop everything, counselling, blogging, Twitter, chatting etc. I just don’t want to be that person that people think ‘Not her again’.

Finding people that you can talk to openly about anything is harder than anyone would ever imagine. But I did it! I guess that’s why I worry, I dont want to scare people away. 

How on earth do I stop feeling like this? It’s one worry I could do without!

I would just like to end this by saying this is not aimed at anyone. This is me trying to air my feeling and I guess hoping for help, hoping to find out is it me or is this normal!?!

Sexual assault in marriage/relationships – TRIGGER WARNING

I used to think that it isn’t possible to be sexually assaulted by the person you are married to or in a relationship with. Yes a very naive approach to life but that was me. I mean, who would want to sexually assault their partner right!?!

Then there was a turning point where not only did I know it could happen but it actually happened to me. I didn’t know it as sexual assault at the time but I certainly do now. All I know is that I didn’t want it to happen but it did anyway. 

There were many incidents over the years but one particular incident sticks in my mind. Please do not read on if you think this may trigger you. #Selfcare 

One night when we went to bed like most nights I assumed my position of sleeping on my back. My wife would put her head on my shoulder and her arm around my waist. 

This night like others lead to what I now know to be sexual assault. 

She started to move her hand down so I closed my legs as tight as I could knowing and dreading what was coming. I turned away and said I was tired but that didn’t stop her. 

She started to touch me in ways I didn’t want her to despite my legs clenched as tight as I could. Next thing I know she is inside me. I felt so sick and couldn’t help but cringe. I didn’t want this but she carried on. 

I could tell she wasn’t going to give up or listen to my words or body language. I didn’t feel like I could get up and get away. I felt stuck, frozen! Now all I wanted was for it to be over. 

The only way I felt I could get this over with was to go along with it, fake an orgasm as quick as I could but not too quick so she thought it was fake!

I was scared, I didn’t feel I had any other choice. So that’s what I did.

It feels me with dread even now. My legs are crossed tightly as I write this. The thought of it sickens me. 

On a good night it would end there. On a bad night I was then made to do the same and more to her. She wasn’t faking so this took longer. All I could think of was I hope she is satisfied soon because I don’t want this. I could have cried so many times. 

Afterwards I remember turning away and just wanting to get out of there but I couldn’t move. It’s like my body was made of lead. So heavy, so dirty! 

Sexual assault in marriage and relationships happens far too often and like me no doubt people put up with it. I didn’t even recognise it as sexual assault until I discussed it with my Rape Crisis counsellor. 

To my wife it was making love, to me it was so violating, dirty and invasive. There was no love in that! 

Turning a corner! – Rape Crisis Update

I have now been seeing a counsellor at Rape Crisis for a year. We have built a great relationship of trust and honestly. 

It is never easy finding the right counsellor who you know you can have this relationship with. I consider myself very lucky. 

Yesterday when I left I felt happy and positive. My counsellor and I had a great conversation. We were even laughing. 

I finally feel like I am starting to turn a corner. 

Most of my life I have been controlled in one way or another by various people – family, friends and partners. This control has left me feeling like I cannot say no and cannot get out of a situation that I don’t want to be in, sexual abuse. I freeze!

On the less serious but also impacting side of the scale I have felt I couldn’t say no to my mum. Here are a couple of examples.

I have wanted a cat for years but my sister and mum are scared of them so I felt I couldn’t get one despite living on my own. 

A month ago I decided it was time I did something for me, I finally made the decision to adopt a cat from the local RSPCA centre. Its my life right. I need to do what I want to with it. 

Surprisingly, my sister is happy for me and has decided that she wants to get over her fear. My mum however is not impressed! Sadly I am not surprised at this. 

Anyway, moving on from that. I have decided that it’s time to cancel a long standing obligation I have to drop my mum at bingo every Monday. This is something I do because I feel I have to and feel guilty if I don’t. Don’t get me wrong, my mum will still go but her friend will take her instead as she is going anyway. 

I know this sounds a bit pathetic but believe me these decisions have not been easy and I still feel guilty for making them. 

You may think I am selfish and maybe even cruel. All I can say to that is please do not judge a situation when you are not living it. 

Saying one little word, NO, is harder than you think sometimes. 

One step at a time, one decision at a time I will start to live my life for me and put me first. 

I am important too! The best person to take care of me is me. 

Ungentlemanly Warfare by Howard Linskey

Ungentlemanly Warfare by Howard Linskey

Thank you Anne Cater for the opportunity to read and review another book which is not the genre I would normally read. Thank you also to Howard Linskey for your amazing writing skills (I will be buying your other books) and to No Exit Press for publishing it.

The Back of the Book

A soldier and a spy, an officer but not quite a gentleman, Captain Harry Walsh is an SOE secret weapon.

Loathed by his own commanding officer, haunted by the death of his closest friend and trapped in a loveless marriage, Harry Walsh is close to burn out when he is ordered to assassinate the man behind the ME 163 Komet, Hitler’s miracle jet fighter. If Walsh fails, there is no prospect of allied victory in Europe.

Harry Walsh is ruthless, unorthodox and ungentlemanly. He is about to wreak havoc.

My Thoughts

As I was reading Ungentlemanly Warfare I could see resemblance to other characters in films and previous books I have read. A cross between James Bond and Wonder Woman Ungentlemanly Warfare is frankly a bloody good read.

Taking you back to a time of war and operations that took place under the cover of darkness in the strictest of confidence. Howard Linskey shows you that it wasn’t all about front line fighting. So many secret operations were taking place in the background, this one was secret secret!

Putting their lives at risk these brave brothers and sisters of war are an inspiration to us all. Getting people together from various backgrounds and countries testing their skills and togetherness, is Harry Walsh the right man for the job?

I liked the way that Harry Walsh is determined in everything he does no matter who his superiors are. Fighting his own internal war whilst putting his life on the line for his country.

Ungentlemanly Warfare is a fantastic and gripping read. Following the German and British operations, you will always be wondering what will happen next.

I am excited by this book and will definitely be buying the other ones. If this is anything to go by they are worth it for sure.

Ungentlemanly Warfare was published on 6th June 2019, the anniversary of D-Day, by No Exit Press. You can buy your copy here.

Follow the #RandomThingsTour on Twitter (see poster below)

Taking control of MY life! Part One

If someone was to say to me some years ago that I would be writing a blog about taking control of my own life I would have thought they were mad. It is my life, nobody else can control it. How wrong was I!?!

I now know that my ex wife and my ex girlfriend were two people in my life who controlled me. I cancelled plans because they didn’t want me to go somewhere without them, I cancelled plans because they didn’t like the person who was going to be there (my friend or family member), I cancelled plans because they were available and I had to drop anything I was doing to be with them instead.

This was far from the only things I did but I didn’t see it until near the end of the relationships or afterwards. I just knew something wasn’t right.

Being controlled by someone is not something I thought was possible until it happened to me. I mean people can say ‘no’ right? Why wouldn’t people just do what they want to do rather than be pushed into something they don’t want to do?

Well i’m afraid I don’t have an answer for that. Yet!

Part of the therapy I am receiving from Rape Crisis covers how I have been controlled throughout my life. Finding out if there was a particular incident or incidents that led me to live a life of being controlled feeling like I couldn’t escape.

I love my mum more than I can explain but our relationship has become more and more strained over the years. I feel guilty if I don’t do what she asks as soon as I can which in turn makes her dependant on me and doesn’t help her independence and confidence.

I wasn’t aware of how my actions could affect my mum until my therapy session today. I had never thought that helping my mum so often could take something away from her too. If I am completely honest I am sure my mum doesn’t realise it either. But why would either of us even realise what an impact our actions are having on each other.

Mum asks I go, mum asks I go, mum asks I go. I discussed with my therapist that I am not living my own life and mum is being very demanding and I felt I had to do the things she was asking and I had no choice. My therapist mentioned that actually how I react to her requests probably has an impact on my mum as well.   

With this, my history with my ex partners, my history of sexual assaults etc. I understand now that it shows a pattern. I find it very difficult to say no, I feel like I cannot escape certain situations, I do not value my own life and put others first.

I have been sexually assaulted over 7 times (that I remember). Each occasion I have felt like I could not escape even if I wasn’t being held down and could simply open a door and run. My reaction, like many others, was to freeze or do what the person was demanding through fear or having no self worth.

Now despite all of this I am far from saying this is all my fault because it isn’t. None of it is! What I am saying is that whatever initially happened embedding this way of life in to me has won for the last 42 years.

It’s time for me to take control of MY life!

Is this possible? Yes it is

  • It’s not a quick fix
  • It’s not easy
  • But it can be done!

I am starting by writing a list of the things I want to do. This will no doubt have some simple things and some not so simple but it’s a start.

  • Play golf
  • Read
  • Write book reviews
  • Nights out with friends
  • Travel to see friends
  • Be at home doing nothing
  • Mindfulness
  • Spend time with my family
  • Holiday where I want to holiday
  • Did I say play golf lol

These are a few things I would like to include in MY life over the next few months.

So how am I going to do this? Meh!

Firstly, when someone asks me what I am doing on a certain date I am going to respond with ‘why’. This gives me the freedom to say that I would rather not do what they are suggesting before seeing if I am free. This might sound odd but I always feel like I must do what the person is suggesting if I am free and have told them that.

I am going to write a weekly schedule including things from the list above. Now sometimes there will be weeks when I won’t do some of those things but that’s ok. It’s about doing what I want to do when I want to do it.

What I need to make sure I am doing when I write up the schedule is do things because I want to and not because I feel I should or feel guilty if I don’t. This is the tough bit for me. I worry so much about what other people think.

So for instance


MonTuesWedThursFriSatSun
Play golf

XX
X
Spend time with my family






MindfulnessXXXXXXX
Be at home doing nothing
X

X

Write book reviews (as and when)X
XX
XX
Read X
XX
XX
Therapy


X


You can see that I have left a few things out of the table because they wouldn’t be weekly. Also I have not selected any dates to spend with my family at the moment. This is only because I am feeling suffocated, for want of a better word, at the moment. This will change and I will see them each week or every other week when I want to.

With that said this doesn’t mean I will not help my mum if she needs me. It will just be when I am free rather than dropping everything. Believe me this will be very difficult. I hate to think that my mum might get upset or annoyed because I don’t go there when she wants.

Anyway before I revert back to how I am now….

I think that is enough to start with. If I overload myself I know I will get overwhelmed and stay as I am.

Feel free to follow me or come back in a few weeks time to see how I got on.

Why am I so scared to let go?

Over the years, like most people, I have had my moments of sadness when all I can do is cry. Literally balling my eyes out feeling sick kind of cry, you know the type.

I truly believe that crying is a way of releasing negative energy and a step towards letting go of things grinding you down.

So why is it that I find it so difficult to let go and release the pent-up negative energy I feel inside me now?

Last year I opened up to Madeleine Black (author of Unbroken) about being sexually assaulted when I was 8 years old. In August last year I started seeing a Rape Crisis therapist and I continue to do so. Over the seven months more memories of additional sexual assaults by different people have come back. I have walked past and seen people who have carried out these assaults, had nightmares and thought about how I could take my life.

Yet despite all of this and much more I cannot seem to let go and cry. I feel like crying but won’t release it. I know why!

I fear not being able to stop crying and having a break down. So, it is safer to hold it in.

Surely opening up and talking about the incidents, amongst other things, to Rape Crisis is help enough!?! Or do I need to let it all out?

One day I may do that. Right now, however much I feel like crying I don’t feel ready to let go.

Writing this has made me think! I’m not the only person that does this, that I am sure of.

So,

  • Why do so many of us bottle things up and cause ourselves more distress in the long run?
  • Is showing our true feelings that much of a taboo? If so, why?
  • Are we too afraid that people won’t understand?
  • Are we too scared and ashamed to talk about the things getting us down?

What can we do to change this?

I live alone and have plenty of time when I can let go. So, I am the only person stopping myself from doing this.

I believe that once I trust myself and understand that I am actually a strong person I will then allow myself the freedom to let go.

What do you think would help you let go?

Feel free to write your comments below.

Repressed Memories – Freedom

My session with Rape Crisis today was emotional and unburdening.

I woke up feeling good although a little apprehensive about taking a photo album in to my session. This was something my therapist and I had discussed. We both decided that it would be a good idea to help me remember missing memories of my life.

I had a feeling it would be emotional but I wanted to do it because I knew it would help me move forward.

After working at home a little in the morning I went to Rape Crisis. When I arrived as always my therapist asked how I am. For the second week running I said “I am good” then bored her about my weekend away for a few minutes.

We then moved on to the photo album. I have to say I approached it with caution. Almost afraid to open it.

It was easy enough at first. Lots of photos of me and my sister together, the therapist and I trying to guess which one I was. Being an identical twin mum always dressed us in the same clothes. The big giveaway was me being the chunky one.

There were a few photos of me with my dad, always hard to see. I miss him so much!

Then came a photo of me and my sister with our uncle who my sister has recently told me used to touch us inappropriately. She said no more and I can’t remember much yet.

After that there was a photo that I still can’t get out of my head. It was of one of my male cousins with my sister and I in the background. I keep seeing his eyes and the look on his face. I remember that face as it was back then. It was far from easy seeing that photo.

It brought tears to my eyes and my heart sank. Then I realised I was younger than 8 years old when he sexually assaulted me. I didn’t know what to think. Before today I thought the incident with the boys in the tunnel was the first incident. This is all mind blowing.

Despite how I felt when I left there today I actually feel OK now. I feel like my heart has sank but I feel relieved that it is out in the open. I feel like I am taking a step forward without any steps back.

I feel lighter!

I can’t explain how much seeing Rape Crisis is helping me. My heart goes out to all that work and volunteer for them.

I am at a positive part of my journey and I am loving it. I haven’t felt this good in such a long time. Long may it continue.

Take care one and all xx

Sexual Assault & Coercive Control – A Rant!

I’m scared I won’t come out the other side of this distressing place that I am in. I feel like I am running out of energy to fight this. I wish there was a quick fix.

The men and women that do these things to us don’t seem to understand the impact they have on us. They certainly don’t care.

I was sexually assaulted at least seven times, that I remember, throughout my childhood. All by different boys or men in different circumstances. Some were boys I knew through school, some were guys I thought were friends and others were male family members.

I can’t understand why someone would think it is OK to sexually assault anyone. I will never understand it. There is no excuse for it. I don’t care what I was wearing, if you thought I should pay for a lift home in some way or if peer pressure from your friends was too much for you to take.

YOU DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO VIOLATE ME IN ANY WAY. THIS IS MY BODY!

So many people think about men being the abuser when they think of sexual assault or coercive control. As a survivor I know that is not true.

I am a gay woman. In my 30’s I was in a relationship with a woman who controlled me so much that I could not go out to see people without her, I had to do everything for her at home, she would humiliate me in front of friends and family, she pressured me into getting married.

When it came to sex she would go on about it until I would end up giving in just to keep her quiet and to stop her making me feel worse than I did already. In bed she would move her hand on to my thigh, this would make me cringe so I would turn away. She would persist! I didn’t want her to touch me.

The whole relationship I felt like I was pushed into things. Believe me it was not easy to get out of the relationship but I did. The day I left she was self harming in front of me to try and get me to stay. I didn’t! (She was fine)

I had the same problem in my next relationship apart from this time I was in love with the lady and she loved me too. We didn’t marry (thank god). The same thing happened with coercive control and sex. This time financial control as well as emotional and sexual.

When I ended this relationship she would not stop contacting me and even turned up at my front door unexpected. I bought myself a camera doorbell. I have told her that I will contact the Police if she contacts me again.

Sexual abuse and coercive control are not just committed by men. I know!

Whoever abused you and in whatever way remember there are lots of people out there that have been through the same and can help you. Make sure you talk to someone. It is certainly helping me.

Don’t get me wrong, I still have a lot of low days but I am determined to beat this and not let what happened to me control my life.

IT IS MY LIFE TO LIVE