my husbands a rapist

Somebody referred to my (now ex) husband as a rapist recently and it shook me. It might seem crazy more than three years after I left but I had only considered my experience living with an abusive partner, you’d be surprised how big the leap feels between knowing you’ve been raped and considering your husband a rapist. 

The conversation progressed and I began to share my experiences with the couple of friends present. I was fine during the conversation but in the quiet afterward I could feel myself beginning to come undone so I said goodbye and cried all the way home. Now here I am trying to be a little braver, because those tears deserve a voice and because I am working so hard to overcome it all and not let this last chapter of my life define the core of who I am.

Sexual trauma is still triggering for me, its something I’ve had to really battle over recent years, and is not something I have as yet managed to overcome completely. I still haven’t found the courage required to date again after all this time own. But it isn’t the rape that haunts me its what comes with it, the coercive control, the way I learned to perform for him in spite of myself. Don’t get me wrong the first time your husband rapes you its a shock but you rationalise it, somehow convince yourself it didn’t happen or you imagined it or there was just some sort of miss-communication. And then he’s so sweet and loving over the next few days that you find yourself sweeping it under the rug, until it happens again, and again, that’s when the real damage begins it doesn’t start or end with the betrayal of being purposefully hurt by the person that’s supposed to protect you, its the way your behaviour changes until you think nothing of the way you constantly betray yourself. 

Its the way you realise firstly that’ll it’ll all be over so much quicker if you just don’t waste time saying no and its the way that develops as you learn to perform the right way, to move the right way, to do or say the right things to get it over and done with quicker. Until your sex life is essentially real life porn, there’s no connection, no intimacy, no trust there’s just you performing, trying to be enough that you don’t have to hear how its your fault, how your so boring he has to make up for your inadequacies and so for your own sake you make sure its good enough to get the job done as quickly as possible so you can get to the part where you lock the bathroom door and try to clean your skin hard enough to scrub away the shame. 

Coercion is subtle, its comments made to sound like compliments but that hurt like hell, comparision’s to ex lovers or pornography while you’re still in the middle of it, It wasn’t until very recently, that I realised just how messed up that was, both the idea that I was supposed to take those kind of things as compliments and that he was making sure I knew he was thinking about someone else while he was with me. All I knew at the time was that it hurt, I don’t know if I couldn’t or wouldn’t process all the little things. Probably it was little bit of both. But eventually I stopped having hope and accepted that these words were coming no matter how much I tried to please him and I learned to survive them and so many others, and I could get up and walk to the bathroom without looking back as I tried to block out the words and stop the tears from falling. 

If I were you I’d be thinking ‘if it was so bad why didn’t you just leave’ and you’d have a point but once in a blue moon it wasn’t vile, it wasn’t cruel it was poetry and he was made out of magic and that’s what kept me holding on. When you’re caught in the thick of it its so easy to forget that magic is just a fancy name for illusion. I didn’t stay for how violated I felt after he made me rape myself I stayed for the broken man that climbed into my scalding hot bathtub and sat soaking wet in his pyjamas crying over how sorry he was, mostly I 

stayed for the unshakable belief that he was right and all of this was my fault.

Conversational Poetry

” its been a long time”

he said,

“the years have changed you”

” I like it, I really like it”

then he pulled me close,

brushed the hair from my eyes

& kissed me till I knew how much.

Louise Alexandra Erskine

“if you were just a little closer”

he said

“I’d fall for you so hard”

“then its just as well I’m here”

I replied

“because if I was meant for you

you’d love me exactly where I am”

Louise Alexandra Erskine

standing awkwardly beside him

tension building in the air

making small talk & failing miserably

until I asked

“when are you going to stop wasting these stars and kiss me?”

he responded softly

first with his lips

then with his tongue,

communication was never a problem after that.

Louise Alexandra Erskine

Captured

It was all there

I could see it in his eyes

standing so close

I was art

as he painted me with his lens

every eyelash, every freckle

the light dancing in my eyes

a fire burning in his

he pulled the beauty from my darkness

andI stood before him

not just photographed,

captured.

Louise Alexandra Erskine

Butterfly Resurrection

honestly she wasn’t sure how she felt

or was she was ready for

but when she walked beside him

she felt a quiet gentle fluttering in her stomach

as though, just maybe

not all the butterflies were dead

Louise Alexandra Erskine

those little flecks of golden light

shining in your eyes

they are enough to illuminate

even my darkest places

Louise Alexandra Erskine

without ever knowing it

he had taught her heart to beat again

Louise Alexandra Erskine

he took her to bed

and for the first time

she knew

how the sun feels each morning

as it rises in the sky

Louise Alexandra Erskine

it wasn’t the climb she was afraid of

it was the fall

Louise Alexandra Erskine

the walls were high

and time moved slowly

but brick by brick

he stayed long enough to take them down

and what he found there

took his breath away

Louise Alexandra Erskine

You and I

I had never believed two souls could be one

then there was you

Louise Alexandra Erskine

and his feet

danced

to the rhythm of her

heart

Louise Alexandra Erskine

just a broken girl searching for all of her pieces

that’s how I found you

how I understood your soul

and why it still hurts

watching you search for your own broken fragments

in all the wrong places

finding nothing

travelling so far in the wrong direction

you can’t even hear me

calling to you

it’s safer if we search together

Louise Alexandra Erskine

he looked at her

and as their eyes met

her troubles fell into the sea

Louise Alexandra Erskine

the sea, the sky

the way my heart feels when you are near

some things

are too beautiful

to be destroyed with understanding

Louise Alexandra Erskine

Without change there would be no butterflies

Without the dark we would never see the stars

Without you I didn’t fall apart

Louise Alexandra Erskine

The Storm Inside

She was powerless

standing in the face of the storm

so she simply surrendered

watched it roll on in

& loved him till it passed

Louise Alexandra Erskine

you & I

two of the darkest thunder clouds to find their way together

feeding of each others pain

energy filled particles colliding

there was always going to be one hell of a storm

but

my God the lightening we made was spectacular

Louise Alexandra Erskine

The thunder may never have hurt anyone

but beware

the lightning that follows burns like hell

Louise Alexandra Erskine

Sipping whisky in the moonlight with him

calming the storm in her

Louise Alexandra Erskine

There are two ways to survive a storm

batten down the hatches, remain beneath it

and wait for it to pass in its own time

or

rise above it where the skies are clear

Louise Alexandra Erskine

I didn’t see it at the time

I was too lost inside the storm

but you were my lighthouse

illuminating those thundering skies

shining

keeping me safe

&

leading me home

Louise Alexandra Erskine

All of the Ocean

poetry collection

He was all of the Ocean

and she was drowning in a single drop

Louise Alexandra Erskine

Take me beyond the break water

let me dive beneath the surface

swimming through your ocean

until exhausted

I wash upon the sand

Louise Alexandra Erskine

She was alone

Lost out at sea

&

broken by the storm

But

As each wave battered her

It bought her closer to the shore

Louise Alexandra Erskine

He was her Ocean

She was his Moon

&

Together they changed the Tide

Louise Alexandra Erskine

Meet me at the shoreline

let the ocean kiss our feet

Take me by the hand

& lead me

My naked soul

Cleansed in the water with you

Louise Alexandra Erskine

Safe in your harbour

I forgot

A ship belongs on the ocean

Louise Alexandra Erskine

Love and the Night sky

the thing she came to love about

darkness

was the way it allowed the stars to

shine

Louise Alexandra Erskine

fingers travelling down my spine

slow hands

fast breathing

the night sky isn’t the only reason I can see the

stars

Louise Alexandra Erskine

for all the people that looked at the

darkness

in you and were scared

I hope you know

that when I looked at you

all I ever saw was the stars

Louise Alexandra Erskine

under the clear night sky

the heartbreak felt exquisite

Louise Alexandra Erskine

she came to love the night

for it was under the cover of darkness

she could let her heart see his

ghost

Louise Alexandra Erskine

she carried too much darkness

but he was starlight

and felt at home there

where he could truly shine

Louise Alexandra Erskine