How Being Raped in the Army 12 Years Ago Affects Me Now


Editor's Note

If you’ve experienced sexual abuse or assault, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact The National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.

Before I begin, I’d like to annotate that I am beyond fortunate to have such a supportive family, my husband and three sons. Without them, I wouldn’t have the strength or resolve to write this article. I have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), major depression and anxiety.

I was a brand new soldier, straight out of AIT (Advanced Individual Training) when I was raped. The effects were immediately visible. I was unable to sleep, focus or perform my duties effectively. I was deployed very shortly after the assault and as a result of my behavior I was sent to therapy and treated with medication. It’s been 12 years since I was raped and I still struggle. In the past few years the pain has just grown and grown to the point where I could no longer hold the weight. I was medically advised to quit my job, went through every medication known to the antidepressant community and go to therapy regularly. I hope to someday find resolution, lifting the weight of a choice that was not mine.

The most profound effect has been on my marriage. For the first six years of marriage, I was able to maintain a healthy physical relationship with my husband. As aforementioned though, in the past few years the weight of what happened to me just caused my world to come crashing down. All I think about now is rape. All I think about now is him… him …that man who forced himself on me. I’m so focused on screaming and fighting. In my nightmares he’s there. In my wake, he’s there. Haunting me. It definitely hurt the intimacy my husband and I should be able to share. Our sex life had gone from a simple coldness to my being able to stomach sex long enough for him to be satisfied.

With the right medications and regular therapy and all the support, I have graduated to a hot and cold stage. I go through times where I am less into sexual intercourse. I go through with it, even while in my mind I’m thinking, “Rape, rape, rape.” Then there’s me! There are times when my natural self comes out and I can have a healthy relationship with my husband. I call this the hot stage. This is where intimacy is at its best. There’s foreplay, there’s love and then the lovemaking! When I come out to play it’s very hot. My lust is almost insatiable. I love seeing this part of me, because then I feel so human. And then. the rape comes back and I’m all about being very cold. No foreplay, straight to it, summoning every piece of me not to cry out in anguish.

While this situation isn’t ideal, I’m optimistic that in the next year or so I will have completely let go of my past and will embrace my future.

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