It was a horrible year. I was on so many medications, and the medications had side effects, so I needed medications to manage the medications. I had two small children. I was all alone. Well, not really. I was married and my marriage was supposed to be a thing of beauty and strength, something that propelled me to seek this sledgehammer of treatment in the first place.
I had many drugs to take. Some came in the mail in large styrofoam cubes, with an image of a penguin on the box. I adored penguins. We had penguins on our wedding invitations. My marriage spirit animal was a waddling bird, perpetually dressed in a tux. My marriage was supposed to handle this treatment. I unpacked the medicines and stacked them in the fridge while my kids built forts out of the boxes.
Other drugs were less dramatic in their arrival: a pill bottle with a child-proof cap, coming in the mail monthly. As the treatment progressed, the stash of bottles grew. Take two of these in the morning, one of these with food at night. A shot here and there. Another shot to counter the first shot. I am not a masochist, I hated pinching my flesh and inserting the syringe, wincing, drawing blood. My kids were banging on the locked bedroom door while mommy was mutilating herself in hope of making herself better down the road.
So many pills to keep track of.
So many bottles.
I was tired. The medicine was contributing, but I was also so anxious that I was not sleeping well. Intimacy suffered. I forgot that intimacy suffered because I had to be on very strict birth control, lest I produce a baby with unknown defects due to all this medicine. But my husband wanted intimacy, patiently waited for it. And I promised. I promised for tomorrow night.
I woke up in the middle of the night, naked. I did not remember going to sleep like this. And then I found telltale signs: the scrunched sheets, the clothes, the wet sticky puddle. But my mind could not recall what happened.
However, instantly it knew just what transpired. It was not good. My insides repulsed, screaming: this is a rape! I did not consent! I did not remember it! I’m sharing a bed with a rapist, peacefully snoring in post-coital coma.
I do not recall exactly what followed. I was mad. I would not talk. I spat out an accusation. He fumbled with the answer: but you promised that it would be THE night! Hard as I searched my tired flaming mind, I did not remember anything that my body did. I hated my mind, I hated my body, I hated the betrayal.
The fog continued. A few days later I discovered that the pill bottles were switched and I was swallowing a double dose of sleeping pills instead of other medication. I was doing it for days.
I brought it up to my husband. He hugged me, almost patting me on the head: see, you were at fault here. It’s all resolved, it is all better.
It happened years ago. I am still married to my rapist. I forgave.
But I also cannot forgive.
This put a large crack into tuxedoed view of charmed marriage. I thought he would never do a thing like that. He thinks that since he apologized and said that he will never do this again, it’s all in the past, and let the bygones be bygones.
But I cannot let go.