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StillLivin posted 7/2/2014 22:50 PM

I didn't know where to post this but decided that since it had to do with the STBX, D, triggers, and why the hell did I marry him anyway I came here.
Reading some of the other threads about sexual assault and rape, it triggered one of my own incidents...unfortunately I've had many.
In 98, I was deployed to Bosnia. After coming off 24 hour guard duty, I was funky as hell. I just cannot go to bed nasty. Some soldiers could if they were exhausted enough, I never had that gift and would sacrifice sleep for cleanliness every time.
Long story short, I went to take a shower at about 0030 hours 14 Feb 99. While in the hot shower, a masked man snuck in and broke the door handle (MPs determined this later). He then proceeded to use bungee chord to secure the door to the water pipes on the facing wall so that nobody could get in and nobody could get out.
I had half fallen asleep in the showers after little sleep for over 24 hours and was blissfully unaware of what was going on. I opened my eyes and realized I saw a gloved hand moving back and forth by the door separating the shower section of the trailer from the toilet section.
I swear time stood still and then things started to proceed in slow motion. My thinking was so clear. My senses focused in. I could hear my heart loudly roaring in my ear. I could smell everything, yet I tunnel visioned in on him and that bungee chord.
I went on the attack before he realized I was aware of him. I had the element of surprise and the fact that I was strong as hell back then. I pushed the door on him, he fell, and proceeded to start beating the shit out of him. We both slipped on the wet floor. I had grabbed the towel at one point and put it around his neck and very calmly and slowly enunciating every syllable told him I was going to kill him now and that no court in the world would convict me. He finally panicked and started fighting for real. I took a few face shots and some rib shots. But he got the worse end of it.
He managed to break free and ran. I gave chase. It was below freezing, snow and ice and rocks on the ground, he was dressed for the weather and I was naked and wet. I didn't catch him but I gave it my best shot. I ran back to the showers for 2 seconds rinsed the soap off and even faster got in some semblance of clothing and went back to my C-hut. I had left my weapon because it wasn't that far from the shower trailer. I retrieved my weapon, grabbed my bag with ID and proceeded to the MP station and made my report.
You would think all that and I would be triggered from the event.
Nope not me. That isn't what I have PTSD from, though I can no longer calmly allow anyone to come up behind me in the shower.
I called my then boyfriend, now STBX. I told him the situation. I will never forget what he said and we broke up for a few years because of it.
"StillLivin, are you sure you didn't know who the guy was? Maybe you regret having sex with somebody else? Really, wasn't it someone you knew and then you changed your mind?"
The attempted rape didn't break me. Going to my safe person and being accused of lying about the rape from him. Not concern, not horror, not righteous anger and protectiveness. That broke me. I lost it and started shaking. I threw up. I cried for days and was inconsolable.
Complete strangers came up to me and offered me more comfort and support than he did.
Years later, we tried again. He tricked me for years into thinking he had changed and wasn't that selfish asswhole he used to be.
This wasn't my only attack or sexual assault. But HIS invalidation was worse than anything else I've ever lived through. A.N.Y.T.H.I.N.G! Anyone being invalidated now triggers me.
The crazy thing, I had completely forgotten (repressed??) this for over almost 15 years.
WTF is it with the shit that actually triggers me. And damn if I didn't start having nightmares again and running to my H and him turning his back on me.
Grrrr. I hate that fucker. I really really do. I realize now, he never had my back. He put on a mask to win me back, but it came off. This is who he really is.
The good news. My D will be final now by NLT end of next week. Hoping Monday.

[This message edited by StillLivin at 10:51 PM, July 2nd (Wednesday)]

nekorb posted 7/2/2014 23:17 PM


What an awful experience. I'm so sorry you went through that.

My WH also invalidated my abuse, and in fact, responded to my telling him about the abuse with abuse of the same kind. I shouldn't say that - he verbalized anger at my abusers, but then abused me in the same way. Does that make sense?

I also felt like he never had my back on that topic.

Seeing people in powerless situations Is very triggering for me. I've had to leave movie theaters because of triggers like that in movie scenes.

I sucks. It's weird how things become more and more clear as time goes on.

I'd like to believe that my WH responded the way he did to my situation because of his own issues. I think your STBX may just be an ass.

You learned new information about yourself and your situation. I hope it helps you move forward in some way.

[This message edited by nekorb at 11:18 PM, July 2nd (Wednesday)]

SBB posted 7/3/2014 00:35 AM

((StillLivin)) I have goosebumps and can feel how powerful you are in that story.

I lived through and witnessed some hideous stuff in my childhood. I don't tell people much about it because I'm embarrassed that they react so much more than I do about it. I'm not 'meh' about it but these are just not active issues in my life. I have since learned that I don't react because I've absorbed what happened into the fabric of who I am. They have molded me somewhat and I always thought I was stronger for it.

I am acutely aware that people do and say terrible things to each other and to me. My father did. My mother did (still does). Others too. I am not surprised. Outraged, disgusted, sad - yes. But I'm not surprised. It is a coping mechanism - almost like I keep my expectations as low as possible to avoid disappointment. I have never needed another human being in my life. I would be AOK if everyone I ever loved went away. It would hurt but I would survive. I always have.

Where I was blindsided was that someone *I* had invited into my safe place turned on me. I had basic expectations of him and he let me down. Allowed myself to be vulnerable and he sucker punched me and then kicked me when I was down.

Disappointment manifested itself in the first panic attacks of my life and all sorts of falling apart. And white hot rage. All consuming, long repressed rage.

In the midst of it I was livid at myself. How the fuck can this break me after everything I've been through? WTF is wrong with me? This is nothing. This happens every single day. Even normal people with normal parents who live normal lives are touched by infidelity. Yes it hurts but is this seriously what is going to make me crack. Really?

I was angry that I let myself be vulnerable. I was angry that I didn't prepare myself for this. The other stuff that happened was a result of my parents fuckedupedness. This felt/feels like mine.

And I'm mad about it.

Theres a tag line here that always hits me: "Him - a traitor in my foxhole."

The book 'Journey from Abandonment to Healing' was a huge eye opener. What I was feeling now was not just is abandonment but all of my previous 'non issue' abandonment all hitting me in the face full force at the same time. It brought up long-forgotten abandonment and betrayals of trust. Motherhood changed me too. I do need these little people. I'm vulnerable to them and I'm not scared to be;

I was forged in steel. So strong. Invincible. Too strong for some unremarkable scumbag to have me on my knees.

I'm most mad that I let that traitor in my foxhole. That I didn't see it coming. That I wasn't prepared. That I had expectations. That I opened myself up for disappointment. That it impacted me so much.

All irrational of course but it is how I feel. These are issues I need to sort out. Betrayal is terrible and awful but my reaction was far more intense and destructive to me than was necessary.

StillLivin posted 7/3/2014 00:58 AM

Nekorb, hah STBX is not an ass, according to him he is Mr. Wonderful.
Seriously, I've been through much worse than that by the time I was 10. I really don't have PTSD from that particular attack. Never even had one nightmare. My shit is abandonment and betrayal. Now THAT causes me anxiety. But thank you so much for your support and kindness.
SBB, so much of your life resonates with me as well. How the hell did his A and constant back stabbing and abandonment almost break me after all the other shit I've been through? Right!
Like you I'm almost embarrassed that what normal people would shudder at I take as par for the course of just living. Yet, as well as I deal with the other stuff, I let a traitor in my foxwhole. I'm still working on the shame and self forgiveness for letting that POS not only into my life but into my heart.
I struggled for a while with NC when he would try and hurt me or attack me. Now that I know who he really is I wanted to defend myself and blast him and attack. I wanted to verbally and emotionally beat him down and have him running for his life like my would be rapist did. It's primal fight or flight. I fight. But then I realize that he is no longer a threat but just a fuckwit. Besides when I would break NC, it was crazy making cause he was an idjat...making up crazy shit, lying to me about our M when I was there, pathetic attempts at gas lighting that just left me smh
When you have the rest of your answers help me out and share!

Gemini71 posted 7/3/2014 08:14 AM

"StillLivin, are you sure you didn't know who the guy was? Maybe you regret having sex with somebody else? Really, wasn't it someone you knew and then you changed your mind?"

I think your STBX needs to have the same treatment as that perv in the shower. He needs the shit beaten out of him and a close encounter with death by towel! What he did with his words was as bad as what that perv attempted to do with his actions!

BTW, you are now my hero for fighting back and showing what a strong woman can do and survive!

Lola2kids posted 7/3/2014 09:27 AM

This is very powerful stuff and resonates with me on some level.

I had the previous betrayal of my father and abuse in my background.

The ultimate betrayal was from the traitor I "LET" in my foxhole. I told him things about my childhood I have never told ANYONE else. I opened up to him in a way that I have never done before and have only done since with my IC.

I cannot believe what that POS said to you after the attack.
I'm glad your divorce is almost final and I hope that you will feel much better being away from that waste of air.


StillLivin posted 7/3/2014 09:43 AM

What he did with his words was as bad as what that perv attempted to do with his actions!

This is exactly what I mean, Gemini. His words affected me the way being attacked should have. I started shaking, and it was like a delayed PTSD attack.
I'm nobody's hero. I was abused as a child and lived in a violent household. The things I experienced, I had to learn to fight or perpetually be a victim.
I have law enforcement defensive tactics training, martial arts training, and military combatives training. THAT and the fact that I completely caught that monster off guard by both the element of surprise and the fact that I was strong and knew how to fight saved me. If any one of these things had been missing from the mix, he would have successfully raped me. I was very lucky that particular day. I'm just pissed that I had left my weapon in my C-hut. I'd have beat him to a bloody pulp with the butt of my weapon and if he ran away I would have shot him in his asswhole.
But thank you.
Anyway, this is what I'm working through. What he said affected me so profoundly that I immediately broke up with him. I maintained my boundaries and knew what I would and wouldn't put up with. How could I have been so fooled years later that he had changed? He put on a great show to win me back. His actions for two years were of a God fearing Christian, he was generous, put my needs before his own (until we got married anyway), and displayed compassion and love for me while he pursued me and dated me. Oh, he said all the right things as well. Told me he was sorry for every hurtful thing he had ever done or said to me. Told me he was sorry how he had disrespected me countless times. He got down on his knees and promised me, "StillLivin, I promise to never hurt you again. I will not let anyone else, your friends, family, MY family or friends, nobody, hurt you. If you will have me, my life's mission will be to see that each day I make you happier than the day before. I want to love you, cherish you, and spend the rest of my life with you. I can't even look at another woman anymore. You were the one I should have married long ago. You were the one that got away! I'm not going to ever let that happen again. And even if today you say no, I will keep making this promise to you and show you I am the man you deserve. I am so sorry the man I used to be didn't recognize what a beautiful angel of God you were. That man was stupid, that man was selfish. I am not that man anymore and I will prove it to you." These are almost his exact words. I may have altered the order, but you get the gist.
But still, I should have seen through the mask. What in me needed to have him in my life that I was able to let myself see in him what I wanted/needed? I'm working through this and finding answers.
I had actually suppressed the memory of that phone call almost immediately after I broke up with him for all these years. What triggered it was some of the cruel invalidation of another SI member on a different thread.
But now that I remember, wow, did it floor me. Ahggg, WHY did I believe his words. WHY did I listen to him. I should have been more observant to his actions with others. Of course he was going to love bomb me, he wanted me back. Had I been more observant of ALL of his actions, I know now I would have seen how selfish he still was. I would have not wasted over 10 years of my life.

[This message edited by StillLivin at 9:49 AM, July 3rd (Thursday)]

StillLivin posted 7/3/2014 09:49 AM

Thank you Lola. I was posting while you were posting so I didn't see your post at first.
I'm already feeling better being LS from him. Though I didn't see it the day he walked out on me, I see it now for the gift that it was.
It hurt, and this whole shit sandwich sucks for all of us. But the truly do us a favor sometimes. Sometimes our vows, our regard for M, and our love for them holds us back from letting go at first. I would have stuck it out for probably a few more years of abuse until the next time he cheated on me. Many of us on this site would.

Crescita posted 7/3/2014 12:22 PM

I think having lived through worse skews your barometer a bit and allows you to accept less than treatment. You know you are an incredibly strong woman and can handle almost anything, so rotten people like your ex can worm their way in as long as they are not beating or cheating.

You deserve so much better. Iím sorry you are triggering and have been through so much.

dmari posted 7/3/2014 12:36 PM

(((((StillLivin))))) Reading about your experience, I made a connection with your name: StillLivin. It is so fitting. Thank you for sharing and I am thankful that you are still living. You were trained to protect yourself physically yet nobody is taught to protect oneself emotionally, you know? What your stbx did has left me speechless. Seriously. I don't know what to say. Grrrrrr. FTG.

SBB posted 7/3/2014 18:50 PM

I think having lived through worse skews your barometer a bit and allows you to accept less than treatment.

Spot on. That very resilience usually means we don't sweat the small stuff. We are not overtly sensitive but my sensitive spots are hyper sensitive. Betrayal (not just infidelity but other betrayals too) shakes me to my core.

I also think we are more susceptible because we were starved of love for so long. In my case the abuse/love cycle was so very familiar what he was doing felt like home. If he had struck me I would have snapped out of it quick smart - THAT would have triggered all sorts of mayhem in me. The emotional abuse was so subtle that I was that frog boiled slowly - I barely registered it.

My mum called me in a fit of panic one morning a few years before DD. She asked if I was OK - if the sad clown was OK. I said of course, why?

She had a dream that he had hit me and I had killed him. Then called her and we hid the body.

She was pretty spot on too. She doesn't know I did have a BF who slapped me across the face when I was 21. I went into a blind rage and my 5'6" beat that 6'3" jerk to a pulp. I don't remember it but I do remember sitting on his chest bloodying his face up good. I never saw him again. It scared the shit out of me because I blacked out. I did anger management therapy in the aftermath and never had another incident.

[This message edited by SBB at 6:55 PM, July 3rd (Thursday)]

StillLivin posted 7/3/2014 23:03 PM

I think having lived through worse skews your barometer a bit and allows you to accept less than treatment

Sigh, I know this all too well is true for me. Working on it.
dmari, thank you.
SBB I sent you a PM.

sparkysable posted 7/4/2014 06:58 AM

StillLivin, are you sure you didn't know who the guy was? Maybe you regret having sex with somebody else? Really, wasn't it someone you knew and then you changed your mind?
Wow. What a disgusting, lowlife human being.

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