Last year, my youngest daughter got a strange rash the day before my birthday. I took her to the ER that day because her doctor was “too busy to deal with a rash.” She was diagnosed with shingles *ewww* and I called my mom and arranged for her to take my two oldest so that they didn’t get sick. Also I wanted to catch up on my Netflix and I knew the baby would be sleeping. (Woot!)

My birthday came and went, and my husband and I decided not to celebrate.

Five days later my husband decided he was going to go out with some of his buddies. I admit to being a little upset about it, since I hadn’t been out in months. I picked up a good bottle of wine, put the baby to sleep, and got a little tipsy, before passing out in bed. I woke up sometime later to hear banging on the door. My husband habitually lost his keys while drinking so I stumbled down the stairs and pulled the door open to let him in so I could go back to sleep.

It wasn’t my husband.

I was sprayed in the face with what I believe was Lysol and got a good bash to my head. Luckily,I don’t remember much of the whole incident. When my husband came home he found the door open and I was lying on the floor in the living room with my clothes ripped off and a vacuum cord wrapped around my neck, thankfully unconscious.

Our then three year old was sleeping in an upstairs room, blessedly undisturbed. My mom came over and an ambulance took me to the hospital. I don’t remember much of this either because they had to sedate me since I wouldn’t stop screaming. After a lot of persuasion, I agreed to letting the police do a rape kit. At that point, I didn’t understand what was happening but I was scared and HURT. I felt violated and I didn’t want anyone to touch me.

They sent me home with ice packs, Valium, and a drug called Combivir, just in case my attacker had HIV. On top of the physical and mental stresses my body was already going through, the Comibivir would give me the same symptoms as someone undergoing chemo. I would be sick, and lose my hair, among many other side effects. My mom and sister decided that they would take the kids for the two months that I would have to take the medicine.

My husband and I banded together for the first time ever. He found us a new apartment because I didn’t feel safe in ours. His parents came up to help us move.

I spiraled into a depression. I soaked in it. Two months turned into my mom taking the kids for almost a year. We moved again because I couldn’t stand being in our city anymore. I still had problems getting out of bed. My husband didn’t want me to take anti-depressants because he wanted me to get better on my own and he saw the meds as a crutch. We fought. He cheated. I became more depressed. It hurt to talk to my kids, to let them see me because I’d lost a lot of weight and I looked like shit – to put it bluntly.

I contemplated suicide, and I finally found, and their virtual counselors. I talked to someone every day, sometimes several times a day. I stopped taking two Valium an hour and started eating without the fight from my husband.

I still dream about it most nights. I still get horrible feelings whenever I smell Lysol. I still don’t feel sexy, but since then it’s almost like I crave sex. I want it more than ever. I’m sure if my husband knew that my new found randiness was due to the fact that I wanted to erase everything else, he would stop having sex with me.

I know that rape happens to millions of women but I still feel alone; I still feel like damaged goods.