Read an Excerpt

DID IT REALLY HAPPEN?

Sometimes things happen to you that, even at the time, you wonder if they are actually real.

Even now, 28 years after it happened, I still ask myself if it really, truly did.

But I know the answer. All these hours, days, months, years, decades later, it’s still difficult for me to think about the event that occurred in the early morning hours of Oct. 23, 1983.

Because you just don’t expect the man you married just hours earlier to rape you.

That’s a tough sentence to think, let alone type and see in print. And the thing is, few people believe it’s possible. After all, how could you be raped by your husband on your wedding night? Doesn’t that go against everything we’ve come to believe about what’s supposed to happen on a wedding night?

The answer is, yes, it goes against everything we believe. And yes, it did really happen. That moment changed my life.

Changed me.

I am not, nor will I ever be — as much as I’ve tried to fight it — the person I was before I was raped by my husband. That woman is gone and will never come back.

All these years later, I am working to accept the new person who lives inside me. She seems like a foreigner much of the time. Every day since Oct. 23, 1983, I’ve looked in the mirror and not recognized the person staring back at me. Her eyes have a blue, icy emptiness. Now that the lines are creeping in, she looks even sadder to me, despite the dimples that still show when she smiles.

I keep wondering if, one day, I will become whole again. I’ve worked and continue to work on repairing what I can and trying to accept the rest. Maybe this is the best I can do. Maybe I need to stop chastising myself for not being more .. whatever it is. More me?

I’m not there yet. And the memory of that early morning event is still with me in the most starkly realistic way a memory can present itself in the mind and body.

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