My youngest girl loves to chew on ice. My husband likes to tease me. The combination of these two innocent and disparate things have sent me into a tailspin that I haven't quite gotten over yet, a week after the conversation has faded from everyone else's memory.
How could I tell him that certain memories of ice are associated with being assaulted? That there was, and still is, a confusing array of emotions--guilt, fear, shame, and yes maybe arousal--that came back in that very minute, as though twenty three years hadn't really passed by.
I didn't say no. Well, I did say no but maybe I didn't mean it because I didn't run away. I let it happen the first time. And the next time. And the last time. I didn't need to be held down the whole time. I was curious and horrified, even as I was repelled by the whole thing, from start to finish. I wanted to please him, to do the right thing. I wanted to be nice. I only cried a little bit. The condom was overfilled, the ice was jagged.
And afterward, I still wanted a relationship with him. I stayed with him for four more years. I let him do it again. And again.
Tell me with sincerity that my desire to
stay makes my experience less traumatizing. Tell me if a judge would cast doubt on my testimony as to the veracity of my lack of consent. And then tell me if there is anything that will help me to get over the injustice that still rages in my heart.