Sex in an Abusive Marriage , Part 1

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I do not want to talk about this. In fact,  this topic can sprout wings and leave for Mars for all I care. Unfortunately, I can’t escape the repercussions.

Looking in the mirror each night, I see an ugly woman. I see chopped off hair, bad posture, ugly glasses. I see ugly white skin covered in scars, legs crisscrossed with spiderveins. One day I realized what I’m really seeing.

I see an unloved woman. I see myself through my husband’s eyes.

Even with a little time and distance, I struggle with guilt and shame. I do blame myself—my head says the man was a first class jerk, the little guys with the hammers inside my heart  keep saying something else entirely.

Heffalumps and Woozles

Sex is the elephant in the room. The biggie no one wants to discuss, the thing the beast considered my biggest failing as a wife.

How hard can it be to have sex? It’s one of the most basic life functions, right up there with eating and sleeping. What’s so hard about taking off your clothes and wiggling around until the husband is happy and satisfied?

I don’t know. He never was and nothing I did ever fixed things.

He said we didn’t have sex often enough. I wasn’t enthusiastic enough. I wasn’t sexy enough. He called me frigid and said I had issues. When I asked to go to counseling together, he refused saying he didn’t have a problem, I did. If I wanted to go fine, but he wasn’t paying for it. That left free counseling at the church where my father was a pastor, probably not the best option.

When I left, he made the rounds of our friends, speaking in private to the husbands. Later I would hear back from a couple of  wives who wanted to give me a chance to explain myself. The beast said I left his bed a year before I moved out. No idea what else he said, but this seemed to be enough ‘proof’ of what a rotten wife I’d been and of his saint-like patience all those years.  I didn’t bother trying to explain.

I do know what he told my own mother. Along with saying I’d cut him off, he cried and said  I couldn’t stand him touching me, that I had sexual issues relating to my childhood and he’d been extraordinarily long suffering over the years considering. That a man can only take so much. So what if he was angry? What would anyone expect? He was frustrated. He’d done more than any reasonable man could be expected to do. After all, he’d been completely faithful for thirty years.

Saying I left his bed is a blatant lie. I did not leave his bed. I was way too scared to say no. But the rest is difficult to sort out. Because of that one falsehood, I cling to the notion that much of what he says isn’t true either. But I will admit, some days it’s a stretch.  Because it *is* true that by the time I left, I couldn’t stand for him to touch me any longer.

Men Will Be Men

During those last ten days, my husband assured me that nobody would believe me and  any man who heard his complaints would take his side. Honest to goodness, I think he may have a point. I want to believe that some man, somewhere would understand what I’m about to write without sympathizing with my husband. I don’t like thinking that all men think in lockstep when it comes to physical intimacy.

This is not nice and it certainly isn’t one bit fair.  It’s prejudice. But all I can tell is the truth and the truth is this. I don’t like men much right now.

I’m going to put myself out there  and talk about the Great Unmentionable. In the South we have a term I’ll employ here—delicacy. I’m going to try to be delicate so as not to offend anyone, but right up front I’m telling you plain and simple, I’m talking about sex and I’m going to use appropriate terminology. My husband told his side of the story using code words and let others draw their own conclusion. I’ll explain  a few of those as we go.

Some of my thinking may be very off so fair warning–you can’t take what’s said here and turn it into gospel. These are simply my experiences, my observations, my story. Since I  intend to practice celibacy for the rest of my days here upon earth, I have no idea what healing might look like. But here’s my mantra right off so you don’t miss it.

I don’t believe people have a right to engage in sexual relations. My husband believed this with every fiber of his being. For years, I agreed but I just could not make it work. Now, I believe physical intimacy is a gift from God above and the beautiful culmination of a love lived well together.

Problems in the relationship are often found in the bedroom. Lack of trust, fear, anger. If something is desperately wrong, forcing one party or the other to go at it anyway can be devastating.

Sex also provides a looking glass to examine the relationship. I believe that’s a good thing. In a normal, healthy couple, something goes off, you examine, you work things out, you make up.

This is not that story.

The only thing I know to do is tell my side. It’s a little raw and not for kiddies. I’d rate it about a PG13. There’s just some things I can’t tell without being descriptive.

In The Beginning

As soon as we got back from that awful honeymoon, the anti-husband told me there would be no more cuddling. I could not rest my hand on his leg, snuggle up next to him on the couch, rub my hands across his shoulders. As we did plenty of cuddling before the wedding, this came as a shock.

His reason? He said it wasn’t fair. He said if I wanted affection I had to pay up. All physical touching had to end in orgasm, preferably his.

In practicality, this meant I never had the opportunity to warm up to the idea. If I’d had a bad day, worked a double shift, experiencing all day morning sickness, I couldn’t hug him unless I already knew I wanted to finish the job. It also meant, I couldn’t allow him to hug *me* because he made it very clear that hugs must proceed to completion. Writing this out, it sounds crazy but I’m not even slightly exaggerating. In all the years, this policy of his didn’t change. In fact, it became the first codeword. He’d ask for affection instead of sex. Then he could complain that I refused to hug him. It was one of his favorite jabs to take in public.

Combined with this was his anger if I refused his advances. And by advances, I mean using his physical size to pin me down and get started without any preamble. He’d simply walk in, throw me on the bed (or floor, or table) and start taking off my clothes or groping private areas. The only way to say no was to push him off and the man was twice my size. He called this ‘rejection.’ So now I was not only refusing affection, I rejected him which hurt his feelings.

Refusal was met with badgering. He kept me awake for hours after I said no. Now you might think from this description we weren’t intimate but nothing could be further from the truth. We had sex daily, sometimes multiple times. A typical example–we’d already had sex, I had six hours  to sleep before a major exam the next morning, get up to pee trying like crazy-nuts to be oh-so quiet so as not to wake the beast, go back to bed and… gotcha. I said I wasn’t in the mood. I was exhausted. I had to get up the next day. He got angry and whined and moaned and begged and tried every manipulative tactic until I gave in just to get some rest.

I Can’t Get No. . .

Afterwards, he was never satisfied. Either I wasn’t enthusiastic enough or I wouldn’t go along with some of his favorite ideas. Bondage seemed to be his thing (shocking, I know.) That man always wanted to tie me up naked somewhere. He told me I wasn’t attractive, especially without make-up.  I needed too much of his attention to reach orgasm which was essential to his fantasy. I suppose just looking at him should bring me to a glorious climax but for some odd reason, this never happened.

Combined with his raging fits, life was becoming a waking nightmare. Then, after some teaching at our church on the scripture about a woman’s body belonging to her husband, he expected access to my body sexually even when I was asleep. He thought it was his right as my husband to be able to climb atop and get busy whenever the urge hit. So there goes the nighttime.

I will not say we made love because we didn’t. Not once, not ever. My husband was my only teacher in this area and he taught me to perform ‘jobs’ and then told me what he wanted. (I’m not typing those words out, dadgumit. Think of an explicit term that ends in ‘job’ and use your imagination a little.) Eventually, I felt like a whore doing ‘jobs’ for my room and board. I’ve never told anyone that before so count yourself special.

You’re Lying

Then sexual intercourse started hurting. He saw this as a sign of weakness and refused to take it into consideration. He said I was lying to get out of sleeping with him. Because my pre-marriage enthusiasm had evaporated, I wondered if he was right. My body said it hurt but from what I read, from what I was told, it *shouldn’t* hurt. I began to doubt my own reality.

I found that if I complained, he got more “robust and vigorous” (please read between the lines here) which made the pain worse and which I assume was because of his anger which he took out during intimacy.  For certain, he’d be mad when he finished because I’d ruined it for him. For obvious reasons, I stopped complaining but the pain did not go away. At least a year later, the doctor diagnosed me with Chlamydia which if you aren’t aware, is a sexually transmitted disease that causes physical intimacy to be painful. The doctor said something along the lines of, once this is cleared up, you’ll be able to have sex again.

Oh really.

When confronted, the beast  denied giving me an STD. He got angry. (Big surprise).  He said I probably got it on a toilet seat (because I always rub my bare genitals on naked toilet seats) and I was faking the pain anyway because it ‘couldn’t possibly hurt that bad’. Then he gave me his favorite line, “If you don’t trust me, I might as well have an affair.” By this time, I was ready to make the introductions.

He said I was frigid. I was a disappointment. This wasn’t what he expected from his own wife. I tried telling him how I felt, talked about my need for affection without demands, asked him to go to counseling with me (he refused saying I was the one with a problem), read every book I could find on the subject. I began hoping he’d have an affair just so I could get some rest.

The raging fits continued. At this point, he blew up about once a month although his simmering temper, pouting, silent treatment, door slamming built for weeks toward each eruption. During this time I was expected to do my wifely duties.

I was a virgin when we married. I had no idea what might or might not be normal. Teaching from our church wasn’t helping. We had several middle aged men teaching the young married couples. We were taught in a mixed group. For some reason, the teacher’s wives never spoke. I well remember the series on sex.

“It may be morally wrong to have an affair but there’s always two sides to every story. If you haven’t given yourself openly, enthusiastically to your husband, can you really blame him for seeking comfort in another woman’s arms? Yes, your husband may sin, but you share the blame. In God’s eyes, who’s fault is it really? Remember this verse—For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. (1 Corinthians 7:4) ”

“There’s nothing dirty or unclean about sex. The marriage bed is undefiled. Whatever, whenever. Christians should be having the best sex—the more the better!”

“Christian women are horrible prudes. Lighten up! You want to keep your husband happy? You want a happy homelife? Meet his needs. Go past your comfort zone, then go further!”

I felt like I was in hell. I learned to go through the motions without feelings of any kind. Sex is a physical act. I could act out physically and shelve those feelings somewhere for the time it took to get done. Parts of my body stopped responding to any sort of touch. I pretended they did. I deserved an Oscar.

But there were limits to my ability to disconnect and finally I told the beast, once a day and you leave me alone between times. I have to work, I have to finish my school assignments, I have to rest.

He was furious. So what else is new?

But over time, it took longer and longer to stuff those feelings inside. I could not stand by the sink getting yelled at about the dishes and strip my clothes off ten minutes later while he had angry sex to make himself feel better. After being told how unattractive my body was, how I needed to work out, to get a tan, to stop growing hair so fast on my legs, etc. I could barely stand to look at myself in the mirror. My husband was not attracted to me. He could have done better,  his friends said so. I was such a disappointment.

I wanted to hurt myself. I stopped eating. My weight hit the hundred pound mark. He said I needed to tone up.

At about the three year mark, I told him, every other day. I can’t do this anymore and I refuse to do anything you’re coming up with from those dirty books you use to read. (At this point, I thought his use of pornography was past tense).  I wouldn’t budge. At this point, if he left  for another woman, good riddance. I’d enter a nunnery and take the blame for everything. I just didn’t care anymore.

The whining and begging grew less boisterous but he found other ways to punish. He picked at everything I did, criticizing everything from the music I liked to the shape of my thighs. I was starting to feel like every sexual act was an assault.

I tried. I really did. Nothing pleased him. If I tried something recommended in one of the self-help books, dressed in some wild outfit I’d found at a store I could barely make myself walk through, he’d always just say something along the lines of, you can do better next time or it’s a start we’ll see if this improvement continues. I do not remember one word of kindness. Not one.

Because the men in our church were the ones  teaching on marriage (usually the topic of female submission) I decided to ask a few women. Yes, I told them what was going on. Some of the advice I received during this time:

From my mother: “That’s just how men are. Never refuse your husband. Men are physical creatures who experience love through sex. If you have relations with him every time he asks, he will love you. He won’t be able to help himself.”

From the woman’s Bible Study leader: “Honey? You’ve got a young, virile husband there. He is a good looking man. Take a look around—if  you don’t take care of him, someone else will.”

From the associate pastor’s wife: “You come from an uptight family. You’ve got to loosen up some. Here’s some books to help you out.” Here she points to a boxed set of books on her shelf. Flipping through, I found  pages and pages of naked couples,  groups of three  or more. I must have looked pretty shocked because she laughed at my reaction. She said the human body was a beautiful thing and there was nothing wrong with looking at God’s creation.

(As a sidenote, by this time I was pretty desperate. I did go buy these books and kept them under my bed. I would look at the pictures, think of being somewhere else, with someone else and then shove them back under the bed before my husband got there. This seemed to work for awhile until a funny thing happened. My conscience smote the crap out of me. Didn’t matter who gave me those damn books, I was getting in trouble with my Savior. I repented and burned them. I also vowed never to go asking for help again.

This is definitely a two-parter. Please be praying for me as I try to complete this.

Thank you–

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30 responses »

  1. Ida Mae – I would particularly profit from hearing about your early life, being raised in a pastor’s home. Maybe you have this elsewhere and I haven’t found it. What kind of church were you raised in? What was the concept of headship and submission in that church? Obviously you don’t have to tell me if you would rather not. But I have been a pastor for nearly 30 years in a conservative, Bible-believing church and I am realizing that if we do not thoroughly understand the abuser mentality and his tactics, we can inadvertently attract such individuals and even enable them. So, I am trying to learn as much as possible, and this is why I ask about your church and its teachings. Very good blog article by the way.

    • I haven’t talked much about it but you’re right. It’s relevant. I’m trying to leave out some identifying stuff to stay anonymous so I’ll send an email.

      For those who might also be interested, I was raised in a conservative, Bible believing denomination but the church I attended during those early years (where my father was a pastor) was going heavily into Shepherding with a strong emphasis on returning to headship of the husband and submission of the wife and children– that God spoke to the husband through the pastor, to the wife through the husband. Also many of the teachings were influenced by Bill Gothard and some of the Word of Faith movement. We left eventually but those teachings stayed.

  2. Thank you. It is painful to read, to be forced to see my own life in the same light. It is as if my former spouse read the same “script” as yours. I have reread, and reread, and wept over your words today. I am not alone. I am not insane. It did happen. Thank you for helping me see this.

  3. Thank you for sharing; being brave and vulnerable. I have been separated and then divorced from my sexually, emotionally, physically, spiritually abusive husband for 2 years and 3 months. I am living a peaceful, free to be myself life and so thankful I finally said NO! It was the fourth time we had separated. Christian counselors, pastors, friends always pushed for us to be back together. He was repentant, did “all the right things” to get be back. I wanted to be obedient to God, so I figured “they knew best”. I finally didn’t care what “they” said or thought! I KNEW it wasn’t ever going to be different. This is the first time I have looked at a blog (my sister gave me the link) and am thinking it might be good for me to start sharing with others too.

    • I remember that feeling- the just *knowing* nothing will ever get better. It was such a sad, sinking type of knowing. . .

      But its so encouraging to hear you say you’re living a peaceful life in freedom! If you start writing, please come back and share a link. There’s so many who need to hear these stories.

      Thanks, Kay!

    • Dear Kay
      Do share with others! The more we keep this conversation alive, the more people will be set free. There is a mountain of suffering and injustice that needs to come to the light.
      bless you.

  4. You never had a marriage; you lived in hell.
    You were never loved. What you experienced was marital rape.
    You never heard the truth of the Scriptures. What you heard was “Scripture twisting.”
    God intended marriage to be a partnership, not a dictatorship.
    God commanded a man to “love his wife like his own body.” This was never done.

    Dear friend, I commend your incredible courage. I only read this blog tonight, and I am so proud of you. You have talked about things rarely discussed in Christian settings, and they need to be shouted from the pulpit. Go girl!

    • Thank you Morven. I really needed to read this tonight. I’ve come back and reread your comment three times now and I feel the truth sinking in.

      You ever show up down my way, I’ll fry you some chicken 🙂

  5. I can relate to your story even if our situations are similar. I had never had sexual intercourse before my abusive husband either. So I didn’t know what was normal and, what I experienced, looking back on it now, was anything but normal. I’m glad you had the courage to share.

  6. So sad, your solution is a religion that is more christian than christianity. When you think of jesus, how does he look? Beard and loose clothing? Mary? Head scarf and loose clothing. Old testiment doesn’t allow drinking or eating swine. Everyone needs to be circumsized and woman are given a high rank. You will pray the way jesus did and pray to who jesus prayed to. That religion is islam. Muslim men look more like jesus than any other people, muslim woman like mary, do drinking, eating of swine, bowing our heads 5 times a day and praying directly to god. Believing in jesus, moses, isaac, noah, adam as prophets of god. Don’t judge islam by television. Google “sexual rights of a woman in islam”… You decide. Allah guide u and all of us.

    • Thank you for visiting the blog and taking time to comment with respect and intelligence.

      I take it as a compliment when you say, ‘your solution is more Christian than Christianity.’ I agree. For many, Christianity has become a religion based on the teachings of Jesus just as Buddhism is a religion based on the teachings of Buddha and Islam is a religion based on the teachings of Mohammad. Christianity as practiced today is filled with all sorts of sects, divisions and confusion. The same can be said of most religions.

      However, the resurrection of Jesus has always been the defining difference. Christians believe that God Almighty came as a man and lived a sinless life to sacrifice Himself for our transgressions and shortcomings, then experienced resurrection. We believe He is alive today, leading us and guiding us through all our troubles. Therefore, Christians serve a living Savior. While His words and teachings are important, without that life of perfect love and sacrifice, our religion becomes dead works and causes great harm to the weak and oppressed.

      We can dissect the words of Jesus all day and come to vastly different conclusions but, by His words, His life and His example, Jesus taught us to love one another and show mercy to the oppressed and powerless. He stood opposed to the religious leaders of His day, even driving them out with a whip. He called them ‘snakes and vipers’ and got Himself crucified in the process. If Jesus showed up today, it is my belief that most who call themselves Christians would not recognize the one they claim to serve.

      Much of organized Christian religion has forgotten that theirs is a radical faith which begins with a rebirth into a new life of holiness and lived out in service to others.

      So yes, I agree. It is sad.

      Thank you for joining the discussion.

  7. I SO appreciated this posting. I was married to a conman. By the Lord’s absolute grace, my husband was arrested over a year ago for previous warrants at a time when God knew I was so weak I couldn’t call the police myself. SO similar are our stories. I was and still am a very strong Christian and have always wanted to serve the Lord above all else. Unfortunately, I too was taught very similar ideology in church and my husband knew the scriptures like the back of his hand and would specifically use the verse that a woman does not have authority over her own body, but that it is her husband’s.

    We are divorced now, which I LOVE the title of your site for because I will never forget the Bible Study I had on divorce. It went like this: “If your husband is abusive then you just need to separate, but stay married or you are a sinner and GOD HATES DIVORCE, and if you remarry you are an adulteress and adulterers don’t inherit the kingdom of Heaven.” I heard this study 3 months before I met my husband and it constantly rang in the back of my head throughout our marriage.

    Now as I go through treatment, sometimes I question, was I really sexually abused? Because it is SO confusing in a marriage, but I felt like I was reading my own story as I was reading yours. I remember asking my sister-in-law totally naively at one point if it was normal to have sex 6-7 times a day. I even lost a job because he made me give it to him ALL through the night and overslept because scripture said to be “ravished with your wife’s breasts”. I could never ever ever ever ever just hold his hand or cuddle because “I needed to finish what I started” or he was forced to go on Craigslist and other hook-up sites and chat lines to get what he needed.

    Keep writing! It’s healing to know that someone else has experienced the same pain.

    • Everytime I read a post about husbands mistreating/abusing their wives sexually, I get so ANGRY! I was also abused sexually throughout my marriage and posted a long narrative about it several months ago. Up until that time, I had never shared about this subject with anyone, other than to ask similar type questions that you asked your sister-in-law – never getting anyone to look beyond the words I was asking. I have been free of the abusive marriage for nearly 4 years. I never thought at the beginning that I would want to have another relationship with a man. God has done amazing healing in my mind and body. I still am amazed at the changes in my thoughts and feelings. I do not have a man in my life at this time, but I feel like I’m at a place where it could happen. I say a prayer for you today, that God will heal you and purify your mind, body and heart! You are a daughter of the King and Jesus loves you!

  8. Oh my word! I’m reading my life, at least part of it. To know I’m not the only one is immense! This needs to be discussed in the church. Thank you for the courage to write about your experience. And I love your writing style as well.

    • Thanks Sherry,

      I’ve got a few thoughts on the subject–

      Abuse occurs when there’s an imbalance of power. For instance, an adult cannot have sex with an underage child because the child cannot really say no. The adult holds all the authority and power. Professor and student. Preacher and church member. Boss and employee. The one in the subservient position feels coerced. Its why we have laws on the books and the reason people are fired even when the victim is an adult.

      In marriage, people say you cannot be sexually abused. Why? Because you have two adults who can both say no, right?

      Wrong.

      The *church* is saying that the wife cannot refuse and invoking the authority of scripture and using God’s name to back them up. The church is causing the imbalance of power by teaching a false doctrine of submission. The church creates an atmosphere where sexual abuse can occur and thrive where none should exist in the first place.
      .

      All that to say, I doubt they’ll be discussing this in churches anytime soon. Instead, they simply deny the reality that women are being sexually abused by their husbands.

      Okay, I’m getting off topic 🙂 Think I’ll post this as a mini-rant all by itself.

      Thanks for getting the gears rolling this morning!

  9. Pingback: Sexual Abuse in Marriage–and Who’s Fault is That? | Thoroughly Christian Divorce

  10. Hello. I’m so glad I found this post. I have a better understanding of what happened to me and that it did happen. Thank you for empowering me with your post. I don’t feel alone in this any more. What do I say though, to some church sisters who ask me “Is there any room for reconciliation?” I feel like their intercession is bothering me yet don’t know why.

    • Well, those sisters are asking a loaded question, now aren’t they? It makes you seem like the bad guy if you say no. After all, this puts *you* in the position of *causing* the divorce if you refuse even the possibility of reconciliation.

      Here’s what I say to people who ask loaded questions.

      “You’re asking the wrong question.” Then give them four or five goodies.

      “Do you see any signs of genuine repentance?”
      “Have you been in hell so long you no longer have hope that he will repent?”
      “Have you heard from the Lord yet whether you should let go for good?”
      “Are you ready to let go and move on with God’s blessing?”
      “You are such a brave woman! How did you ever find the courage to leave?”

      🙂

      • Thank you for your reply. Again, I leave empowered with your words. It won’t happen anytime soon but in due time, I’ll be whole again, confident, renewed and ready for life.

  11. A very powerful and moving piece. Thank you for your courage!! What an absolute NIGHTMARE. My marriage had some of the same elements. I think the part that makes me the most angry is the advice and Christian counsel that kept you as a concubine and sex slave. The issue of sex in an abusive marriage is extremely important….it’s a place where we can experience such a profound violation of our personhood, safety, trust….or may be the one place in the marriage that feels like real love. My marriage combined the two dynamics which was incredibly confusing. I zoned out and “did my duty” but somehow I don’t think sexual intimacy is supposed to be about “duty” but an expression of INTIMACY which can never exist under force. “God loves a cheerful giver” and all….This brings up a lot of issues I know I need to process. Thank you for starting the conversation.

  12. I just filed for divorce. I have been married almost 18 years. I feel very broken. I can’t think about ever having sex again. I felt like a whore most of the time. The currency was peace and quiet. Glad it is over. I think I have some trauma bonding with him and hate myself for it. Thank you for sharing your story. At least I have hope now.

    • Bless your heart, Kat. I still struggle with those feelings sometimes and it’s taken awhile to realize that I felt like a whore because I was treated like one for so many years. Even when the realization sunk in, I still thought I deserved it. For years, I wondered if I had repressed memories from childhood trauma because I had every symptom sexual abuse. Well, duh! Thirty years in fact.

      It does get better. I’ve been out now four years and good days far outnumber the bad but that first year was killer. Finally safe, so here come the feels. I am so not good with feels.

      Take good care of yourself– 18 years is a long, long time.

      • I’m not so great with feels either. Probably why we could survive so long in hell. Great ability to go numb and tune out. I think the sexual abuse disturbs me the most because it was the one area I couldn’t tune out. The rapes I can’t remember except the beginning, but the routine chore of sex has left it’s mark. Asshole finally moved out. My 14 daughter wants nothing to do with him. He moved two doors down. It is nerve racking for her to try to avoid him. Sorry, I feel like I’m whining. Thanks for your response.

  13. My heart goes out to you. Your pain is so real that it was difficult to read this. Sadly, the church has often supported the abuse of women, misapplying scripture and siding with the abuser. Christ would NEVER coutenance such physical and emotional torture…or the lies in defense of it. You can be certain of that. The sacrament of marriage was intended to mirror Christ’s relationship with the Body of Christ. It was intended to provide you tenderness, comfort, support, and strength — not rob you of those. Your husband’s narcissism and sadism had no place in the marriage. You were manipulated from the outset, and are better off free of him. Find a good counselor, so that you can begin to heal. You might, also, find this website helpful: betternotbroken.com. You deserve a healthy and sustaining relationship. There will be better days ahead.

  14. I am so sorry that you had this happen to you. I am and have been in a very similar spot like you have been through. I understand your pain, degredation, and being treated in such heartless and inhumane ways. I would like to thank you for having the courage to share what you went through & actually posting it online; mostly I would like to thank you for opening my eyes as to what has been going on with me. And I can now quit second guessing myself and trying to convince myself otherwise as to what my heart has been telling me. God bless you and protect you.

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