I lived an ordinary life just like most people. I fell in love with a man whom I trusted with all my life. Our marriage was blissful in the beginning, but after a few years, the affection became indifferent. We focused ourselves on our kids, their school, our occupation, and other activities. We became an ordinary married couple trying to build a family and live a typical life.
After seven years of being together, I struggled with memory issues and started experiencing chronic fatigue. Unusual events would “transpire” which I couldn’t recall happening. On one instance, I felt a pill dissolving in my mouth. In another incident, I woke up naked which was weird since I never sleep without my clothes on. I then thought that maybe I was sleepwalking.
I also started recognizing a weird taste which was bitter, and it stays in my mouth. I thought something was wrong with me because I began tasting the same bitterness in my drinks.
One night, I was awakened by a flashlight shining on my face as I saw my husband holding something in his hand. He immediately hid the item under the bed which I was able to retrieve after the confrontation. It was a vial filled with murky liquid.
My husband confessed that he made me drink Xanax and Ambien while I sleep so that I could get more sleep. I told him to stop to which he agreed and I believed him when he said that he wouldn’t do it again.
However, a few years passed and I still caught him trying to make me drink the same liquid several times. I begged him to stop every time I catch him since I always believed that he would cease it and that he was just trying to take care of me.
One time, he went out and left his phone at home, and I started to investigate. What I saw in his phone shocked me. I found three videos of him having intercourse with me while I was sleeping. On those videos, I looked like I was a lifeless body. As said by Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D., “Rape is the word for forced or coerced sex. It is when the woman hasn’t had the opportunity to freely give consent or she is unable to give consent.”
How am I not aware of this happening? How was I not awaken when the intercourse occurred? My husband has drugged me with that white liquid in a vial several times, and I couldn’t wake up. He has given me a large amount of it so that I won’t feel anything during those unfortunate nights. I don’t know how many times he has done this. I know that something strange is happening, but this was the only time that I had proof.
I confronted my husband with the copies of the videos, but he tried luring me into believing that no one would be convinced with my story even by showing them the video. We got divorced and lived away from each other. I have to do something about it even though I have already moved on with my life. This is not right. I tried reading books, going to support groups and also saw a counselor.
One day, my children were about to visit their father. My son will be on a school trip while my daughter will be left all alone with him, and then it hit me. If he can do something seriously wrong with me as his wife, then he can do the same thing to anyone else, including my daughter. That was the time when I realized that I should expose him to the authorities.
I surrendered the copy of the video to the police and for the next three years, battled this man whom I trusted. I fought him in both criminal court and civil court for his actions and the custody of my children.
Later on, he was convicted of sex felonies which included rape and deviant conduct.
I finally got free from his deception and his wrongdoings. I can now live my life safely knowing that he can no longer hurt my children and me.
But I was wrong.
Although he was convicted with those felonies, he was placed under house arrest and not in jail. He is free and able to live freely unlike being in prison. I was shocked and disappointed.
How could this happen? How can he be given house arrest even after those sexual crimes? The judge told me that although he was a messed-up husband, he was a good father. The judge also asked me just to forgive him.
That is preposterous!
This person raped me several times over many years, and it does not only make him a messed-up husband – it makes him a criminal!
I was so disheartened, and I could not imagine how a judge destroyed the hope that justice can be served. With that, I submerged into depression while still hoping that I can live my life without any fear.
My ex-husband violated his house arrest two months later, and he was sent to prison with a five-year sentence.
I braved myself to tell my story to make people realize that marital rape exists. It is illegal in all 50 states, and although some people think of this as impossible, my story tells you how a rapist has no regard for your status. If the sexual act has no consent, it is undoubtedly rape. “Marital rape is a deal changer as it forever implants an element of danger, insecurity, and uncertainty,” says Christine Hammond, MS, LMHC.
I am still trying to overcome my depression every time I remember the scenes on those videos. “When individuals experience their world as particularly threatening and unsafe, their risk of emotional distress and mental illness escalates,” says Lyn Yonack, MA, MSW, BCD-P. I felt the need to write this story so that other women with similar experience may be encouraged to come forward and make their attackers pay for their monstrous acts.
If we continue to bring forth marital rape issues, then we can help make changes in laws. And if this story finds relief for anyone in the same place, then it is a worthy story to tell.