Rob’s Letter to His Friend

Ben and Robby have been friends for practically forever, and even though they don’t see each other more than once a year, they’re still as close as they ever were. Rob decided to write to Ben and tell him what he’s dealing with. This is what he wrote

After 10 years I am finally coming to terms with what happened prior to my breakdown in 2007. I have never spoken of this before until last week when Laura and I talked about it. I have been carrying shame and anger for over 10 years now.

I fell apart not because of the end of the relationship but because what happened inside of the relationship. Let me set the stage. I was drinking a lot and not always in control. I met her again while I was out at the bar. I had never had sex and was planning on waiting until I got married. I’m not going to go into details as I’m not sure you want to hear them and it’s very painful for me to relive them. The gist of this is that I got so messed up after the relationship because every time that intercourse was had during that relationship, I was either raped or sexually assaulted. The choice was taken away my first time. I wasn’t held down but I had said no and it happened “Accidentally”. I was so ashamed and felt so guilty because I should have been able to stop her. I should be stronger than her. I keep telling myself it wouldn’t have happened had I not been drinking but I think it would have happened regardless. After that every time anything happened it was after I drank and could not fight it off. I thought it was normal and I had the problem because I didn’t want it. I also drank more to cope with what was going on. I never got drunk enough that I blacked out and didn’t remember. Unfortunately I remember all of them. This cycle repeated itself the night that things happened a year later with my cousin Jen’s friend Falon. I was actually held down that night and it was the text book definition of rape.

I’m writing this to tell you what really happened and I need someone to talk to other than Laura about this. I have been in therapy but have never talked about this because I was repressing so much of this. This was all opened up again because I was trying to explain my intimacy issues to Laura. Throughout our marriage this has caused so many issues. My porn and masturbation addiction started because of what happened. Porn let me be in control and it was easier getting intimacy from that and masturbation than trying to be intimate with Laura.

Feel free to share this with Kelly, I would like to hear from both of you on this. I would also like to see if we could work on strengthening my faith together. I have a horrible relationship with God because I constantly think how can he let this happen to me. Also I start with a new therapist Wednesday morning. She is the therapist that worked with Laura on her abuse as a child.

He also really surprised me and sent it to his dad. Neither of them have gotten back to him yet, but I am so proud of him for reaching out. I just hope it turns out well.

Not Him Too

It’s been almost a year since I’ve written. To be honest, I haven’t really felt the need to write this last year.

But now I do. I need to process this.

Robby has been really struggling. He’s always kind of struggled with physical intimacy, but recently it’s gotten pretty severe. He started getting help for sexual compulsions (masturbating) and had been seeing his regular therapist, but he’s just continued to struggle. And now he’s putting things together.

I always knew that his first time having sex was sort of an accident. From what he had told me before, he and his girlfriend (whom we title “It”) were naked and humping and he just kind  of ‘fell into’ her. I had always assumed it was one of those “mistake but not a mistake” on both of their parts, but last weekend I found out otherwise. He had never wanted to have sex with her. He’d planned on remaining a virgin until he got married, but she took that choice away from him. After they’d had sex, he felt that since he went to that level of intimacy with her, he had to stay with her. So he did for a while, but he never felt comfotable having sex with her. She would pressure him, and demand sex of him. Yesterday, he told me that his first time she was on top and he doesn’t completely believe it was an accident that they had sex. He thinks she did it on purpose. She raped him.

It’s just so awful to write that. He said that alcohol was involved and that every time he had sex with her, alcohol was involved again. I don’t know if he was getting drunk and she was taking advantage of him, or if he was getting drunk to try and numb himself from what he knew was happening. I don’t know that he even knows.

And his one night stand with her, I always thought it was lust- and passion-fueled, but it wasn’t. He was drunk and she threw herself at him. He wanted to get out of the car, but she held him down. Oh God, she held him down.

It’s not right. It took him until this last week to realize what they had done to him. It took until he read this article to understand. He always thought he was ‘weird’ for not liking sex. He thought he was supposed to ‘be a guy’ and enjoy any sex, no matter what. But it wasn’t sex, it was rape. Oh God, why did it have to happen to him. He doesn’t deserve this, no one deserves this.

And I’m so scared for him. He’s starting therapy with Lori to address this stuff, and I know how hard that is going to be. I’ve been there. And I wish he didn’t have to go through it. I know that it will help him in the end, but I know the pain he is about to start feeling, and as broken as he feels right now, it’s nowhere near as broken as he will feel soon.

And part of me is worried about really inconsequential things in the grand scheme of things. How is he going to get through therapy and work at the same time? If he can’t handle both and he has to quit his job, how will we pay our bills? If he has to quit his job, like I did, will it destroy him? Make him feel as damaged as I felt? How will he re-enter the job market if all that happens? I had a built in excuse of TTC, but I don’t know how it will work for him.

And one of the worst things, is that he doesn’t feel like he has anyone to talk to. He doesn’t think his dad will understand, and I agree. And he already has such deep issues with his mom, that talking to her would just make things worse. He can talk to my parents, I know they’ll understand. But it’s just not the same and having your own mom and dad to lean on. And he deserves to have that. To have parents who love him and appreciate him and will be there for him, even if they don’t understand. I want that for him so badly.

I want him to not hurt. I want him to know he is taken care of. But I don’t know how to be there for him. Because I’ve been where he is, where nothing feels safe, even the people who are supposed to. And he couldn’t fix things for me, couldn’t really do anything for me, because in a way I was scared of him too. And now he’s scared of me. I know logically that it’s bleed over from his trauma, but I feel so helpless. I want more than anything to take this pain from him, but I can’t.

And it wrenches my heart to know that there were plenty of times when I pressured him for sex. I didn’t understand why he was rejecting me, all I felt was the rejection. All I felt was that I wasn’t good enough. And I really hate the fact that I was pressuring him. I pray that he never felt that I was abusing him, because I never meant to. He said the only times he ever felt ‘forced’ were after we lost Jamie and were TTC, and I completely understand. To be honest, I felt forced too.

I know things will get better. I know we will make it through this. It was bad enough that I was sexually abused. I got used to a part of my identity being an abuse survivor. I learned how to live with it. And now he’s having to learn to deal with it, when no one should ever have to learn this. It was okay that I was broken in this way, but it’s not okay that he is too.