I’m 28 years old and currently in a relationship with my 22-year-old girlfriend. We have been together close to a year now.
I’ve noticed some things about her. For instance, she pushes me away every time I try to hold her hand or even kiss her. She broke down in tears saying she is afraid of any intimacy because of a very bad memory from the past.
She was raped when she was a teenager by her own cousin. She didn’t report the rape to the police because her family forbade her for the shame attached to it.
She has since distanced herself from her family. It hurts me that she went through such horrible pain. I love her and I want her to get professional help. She said she won’t be able to afford one and declined my offer to help.
Now my parents are telling me to break up with her because of her emotional baggage. No matter what, I’m not leaving her. This is the woman I want to marry and have children with.
Look kindly at your parents for wanting to terminate your relationship with your “emotional baggage.” They only have your best interest in mind and want you to start married life on a clean slate, as marriage in itself is already a complex commitment.
The trauma of rape must be so horrid, so tormenting that it’s like a knife stuck deep in her mind. It cannot be papered over or ever forgotten. The dread, the fear, is a persistent shadow that could invade her being when she least expects it. This woman may never be able to flush all the filth she has experienced.