He Just "Can't"
Here I was, suddenly thrusted into PTSD as if the trauma happened yesterday. I had lived so long without any issues-- so I thought. But it was clear that I wasn't ok at all. J, my husband, had a horrible time with my anger. He was really hurting and he really was a good man. We did go to counseling. It was somewhat helpful, but my husband also has a terrible stubborn streak. He did not see or recognize how he was triggering me. For example, he did not understand that walking up behind me to hug me was a trigger. If we fought, he had it in his mind that we needed to finish, even if it went in circles. I would asks to take breaks and he just wouldn't which was him pushing himself on me in a way. I do think sometimes he just wanted someone "normal."
But what really killed us was not my original trauma but my reenactment of trauma with another man. I was sexually harassed and assaulted by an acquaintance. Most women would see the warning signs- that is, unless she is a victim of sexual trauma. He took advantage of me and had sex with me while I was drunk. It was awful!!!! I told my husband about it. He immediately went into crisis mode. He cried like I have never seen a man cry. He went back and forth from support to anger; love to hate; marriage recovery to divorce. Now he was in trauma and I was attending to anything that would heal him.
J and I tried to work on our relationship for 7 months after the event. We went to more counseling, separated, got back together, he had an indiscretion with what I believe was a prostitute, assaulted my current perpetrator, left me after our 11 year anniversary just before christmas, and filed for divorce under the grounds of adultery earlier this month. He even turned me into the university, where I work for an inappropriate relationship. I was investigated and luckily will not lose my job but now I have to face my perpetrator about my allegations that he sexually harassed, assaulted and ultimately raped me. It will be my word against his. What really hurts is that J told me he knew it was rape. He knows!! I asked him to please grow with me not against me. He said, "You ask too much of me. I just can't."
Although I know J didn't do this to help me, I am actually kind of grateful right now. I'm glad that I have the opportunity to face my current perpetrator. I see the similarities now that I didn't see before. Its as if the universe opened up the sky and shone a light brightly on to my path of freedom. Freedom for me means finally ending the cycle. I will start by telling my "friend" that what he did was wrong and I will no longer take the responsibilities of his actions. Then I will finally tell my family what happened to me. I will then face my original perpetrator. Finally, with a whole and new me, I will face my husband with my new voice to tell him that he although he just "can't," I can because I am a survivor.