I have long tried to figure out how to define or understand what happened to me. Here are the details. Please be honest about how you would interpret this.
I met Gage when I was a freshman in college. I was 18. He was 23 and in the navy stationed at a nearby base. It was a very intense and quick relationship. I was a virgin when I met him. One of my most sincere vows was to remain a virgin until I was married. It was incredibly important to me. Much of my identity as a person and as a Christian was wrapped up in this fact that I would only sleep with the man I married.
To be fair, I wasn't entirely pure. I'm not interested in starting a moral argument over a Christian engaging in everything but sex. I was ok with a lot of "other" stuff, but I was absolutely not interested in having sex. Gage knew this. I had been very clear.
One night, he was staying over and we were in bed. Sorry for the TMI, but I was on my period, and I felt him try to take my tampon out. I knew why. I stopped him. I told him No. A little while later, I felt something inside me. I thought it was his finger. Or perhaps the tip of his penis. (I know, I know, pushing the limits - not the point).
Later when I went to the bathroom, I was very concerned. I couldn't find my tampon. I was terrified it had been pushed up inside me. I tried not to worry about it. It's not really the kind of thing I wanted to tell Gage. When we got up, I was cleaning up around the bed and I found the tampon - to the side of the bed.
To be completely honest with you, I didn't get it. Even then. I think I just couldn't comprehend what was in front of me. Ironically, we went to church and I remember feeling very weird between my legs - muscles I guess. We had lunch and went back to my room. At some point in the afternoon, we were sitting on my bed and I asked him, "Am I still a virgin?" You should have seen the look on his face.
I was trying to piece it all together. Obviously, he had removed my tampon at some point without me realizing it. I never, ever felt it. Then he had sex with me. Technically, I never said no. Because I never knew what was happening. Needless to say, he didn't use any protection. I was terrified of getting pregnant. He actually almost cried and said he would marry me. I told him I thought that was a pretty bad reason to get married. Then he said he loved me. It was the first time.
I was devastated. Everything I knew about myself was out of sorts. I remember trembling through exams (it was finals week). Having never been to the gyno, I made an appointment. They offered me BC. I said I didn't need it. It was NEVER going to happen again. NEVER. I was terrified I was pregnant. My period seemed to stop the next day after only 3 days. I was sure it was because I was pregnant. I wasn't of course, but it was a horrible time wondering.
A few weeks later, he tried to have sex with me again. I said no. I told him to stop. But he would just freeze. He would push inside and freeze. The only way for me to stop him was to physically push him off of me.
This scenario happened a number of times. I would say no. I would ask him to stop. I would say please. And he would just freeze to force me to have to push him away. I couldn't do it. The few times I tried, or if I eluded him, he would get mad and pout. He never physically hurt me or physically forced me, but emotionally, I was not capable of pushing him off of me risking his anger and the fact that he might get mad and leave me.
I absolutely not comprehend the thought that he would leave me. My identity had been wrapped up in knowing that the only man I would ever sleep with would be my husband. My psyche honestly could not handle the idea of breaking up and then going forward as a person who was no longer a virgin.
After a while, I just gave up. I figured I might as well try to enjoy it. So, I quit saying no. I tried to get into it, but I never really did. It was ok at times, but over all, it never did much for me.
We did marry. I kept thinking it would get better when we were married. I thought the guilt would go away and the sex would get better. Two or three days after our wedding, after having sex, I sat out on a swing on the porch of our cabin. I knew, I just knew I'd made a terrible mistake. My very thought was, "Oh no. What have I done."
We were married for 4 years. It was very difficult. I would often pretend to be asleep to avoid sex with him. I never felt like I had the right to say no. Whenever I did, he would get mad.
So. What would you call this? I was never physically forced or threatened. But, the threat of leaving me seemed always there. The first time, I never did consent. I did say no, but then it happened and I didn't even know it was happening. I tried to say no. Actually, I did say no multiple times, over and over. But, I had not the emotional strength to physically back it up.
Is an emotional threat enough to make sex a forced act?