From Then To Now
I got out of the Navy, but I wasn't happy. My future was now uncertain. The career I had so proudly wanted was taken from me. That is only one of the things he stole from me. By the time my separation date came, I was beyond frantic to get as far away as I could from any man in uniform.
I got a job, got pregnant, got on with my life. I always appeared happy. I felt happy, but it was only a surface happiness. There was always that underlying pain. That and everything else I'd buried. From time to time it all surfaced, most times when I was alone. At times I was overwhelmed by memories, and I had to fight viciously to send them back down below.
I had fewer nightmares, but I never went back to sleeping with D. I tried a couple of times, but I found lying next to him in the dark too triggering. I had few panic attacks, but when I did they were more than frightening.
As time went by, I buried what happened deeper and deeper. I never again became the woman I'd been, but I managed to find some happiness with my life. Raising my daughter gave me purpose, and I think the most fun I've ever had in my life has been watching her grow, and just being with her. I was able to lose myself in her for a long time.
I worked several different jobs. I was able to return to working with the elderly, which helped make up for the worthlessness I felt inside. At one point we moved from California to Colorado. And eventually we moved from Colorado back to where I'd been raised, in upstate New York. But only because D was raised there, too, only a short distance away.
Shortly after that move, I took a small business course. I successfully ran two businesses on my own. D helped me with one of them. We turned a profit before we sold the business. I also ran another on my own, and up until the fall of 2008, I ran it successfully. I'm proud of both of them. I haven't worked since, but I hope to start that business up again at some point, hopefully soon.
What got me here?
Two years ago, D and I were joking around. It was right around the time he started to think I was having an affair. Our sex life was just about gone, and each time he approached me, I put him off. What was occasional right after the rapes became rare as time went by. D was so wrong in his assumption, but I understand the connection he must have made in his mind.
Anyway, we were joking, and he made an off the cuff comment. And he called me a slut.
It wasn't an immediate reaction, but the word slowly grew to be huge inside my head. By the next day, all I could think was that word. I felt obsessed. By the end of that day, all I could hear was the man who raped me calling me a slut. That night, I had a nightmare.
I hadn't had such a horrible nightmare in years. I wasn't sleeping with D. I never did return to his bed. That night I was so thankful that I was alone. I woke from that dream wanting to jump out of my skin.
I changed slowly after D called me that. At first, I didn't feel much different than I had over the years since I was raped. But within a month of his remark, I could feel myself sliding backward. I started having frequent nightmares. I started having panic attacks. I started having flashbacks.
I was scared to death whenever I saw a cop. All I could see was him, standing in his uniform, staring at me. I couldn't shop if there was a crowd in the store. I couldn't handle work. I wasn't eating, and I wasn't sleeping much.
Within six months, I found myself back where I'd been right after I'd been raped. I stopped working. I stopped paying my bills. I cared about nothing. I felt dirty, disgusting. I hated myself. I wanted to die, and thought about that daily.
I started having all sorts of health problems, and by the fall of 2008, I was sick enough physically to make an appointment at the VA. Unknown to me, it was probably the best thing I did for myself.
Part of the paperwork I had to fill out was some sort of checklist they use to assess depression. After I saw a medical doctor, I was taken into the office of a psychologist. I guess it was the way I answered the questions. It took some doing on her part, but it ended up that she was the first person to whom I said I'd been raped.
The first thing the VA did was to have me see a psychiatrist and get started on meds. Then I was given my first appointment with Dr H. For about five months all I did in her office was cry and tell her that my life was messed up.
Every time she asked me what was messed up about it, I couldn't give her any kind of answer. It probably took those five months for the meds to start helping, even with many adjustments to them. It also took just about that long for me to start to open up to Dr H, and to finally be able to tell her I'd been raped.
Most of this past year and a half has been like fighting an uphill battle. I've struggled hard to get where I am now. I don't remember how I came across Pandy's. Once I did, it was a big step for me even to join. It was a huge step to make my very first post.
I think I have a long way to go, but today I feel like I have a fighting chance to keep healing. These blogs have been my story from start to today, but I know my story will continue. It's just that now, I feel like my story may have a happy ending.