After sixteen years of marriage, Natas Libertas can no longer hide the abuse that occurred in her childhood. The relationship with her husband, Marcel, was so bad at that time that they were considering divorce. She decides to face her traumas because she has nothing to lose. After four years of intense trauma therapy, Natas can finally love and enjoy the physical side of her marriage for the first time. An honest story about the consequences of sexual abuse in your relationship.
Her first active memories of her father’s abuse date back to the age of three. Natas begins her sad story: “I have started before, but I have no conscious memories of it.” “I still remember when my father asked me to do incomprehensible things for him when I was a three-year-old girl. He also did things for me that no one should do to a child, let alone his own.”
The abuse continues with impunity until Natas turns twelve and, according to her father, has become a “big girl”. “Devastated as I was, I didn’t understand why he had left me alone so suddenly.” He confuses her that from one moment to the next she is no longer his “special girl”.
My mom got really angry and said, “You shouldn’t talk to anyone about this.”
“When I was six years old, a friend of my father’s touched me when I unsuspectingly came to pick up a present he had been waiting for.” Natas must first fulfill certain “wishes” before they can receive the present. Because her father is at the door at that moment, the worst is prevented. When Natas tells what happened at home, a heated argument ensues between her parents.
“That afternoon my mom went for a bike ride with me and asked me what exactly had happened. I told her what a ‘family friend’ had done, adding in my innocence that my dad had always done the same thing.” Her mother refuses to believe it. “She got really angry and said, ‘You shouldn’t be talking to anyone about this!'” I lied, she said. As a little girl, I didn’t understand it; after all, I wasn’t lying. It made me very sad.”
At the age of fifteen, Natas leaves her parental home and moves in with her boyfriend and his parents. “Again I ended up in a state of abuse. My ex-father-in-law couldn’t keep his hands to himself either.”
Natas says she felt very lonely as a child. “Because my mom didn’t believe me and I was silenced, I started to think what my dad was doing to me was normal.” She did everything for her mother to love her. “Indeed, until her death, I did my best to please her and ignore myself. I kept hoping she would see me and appreciate me for who I am.”
Her husband, Marcel, finds it very painful to hear all this. “For sixteen years I had no idea what secret Natas held. I didn’t know any better than she did, and only now I see Natas’ family behind the wall they built. She had severe nightmares at the beginning of our relationship, but I didn’t look into it.” It went well between us, but she was very closed off and wouldn’t let her heart be seen.”
When her mother dies unexpectedly and Natas also has to say goodbye to her friend after two weeks, it becomes too much for her to handle. “I was overwhelmed by the traumas of the past.” Life didn’t interest her anymore and Natas didn’t care much about her marriage either. “It was pitch black all around me and I was completely stuck.” Deeply buried painful memories surfaced.
“For example, in addition to abusing my father and touching a ‘family friend’, I also remembered raping my uncle when I was taking care of his son at the age of 12 and my aunt was away. I buried her deeply and never spoke to anyone about this; I thought again that no one would believe me.”
Until the age of forty-two, Natas suffers in silence and hides from everyone the abuse inflicted by four men since her childhood and does not dare to talk about it with anyone. “I tried to talk to my mother about it again, but she said she didn’t remember anything about it and cried so hard. As sincere as I was, I decided not to ask anymore so as not to hurt her.”
Consequences of sexual assault on your relationship
“I thought I needed a couple of sessions with a psychiatrist and then I would get back on the right track,” Natas says scornfully. “It turned out differently than expected; I’d needed trauma therapy once or several times a week for about four years. When the therapist asked during the second appointment if anything had happened in the past that shouldn’t have happened, I froze. I stared. In the ground for a while, but then I decided to flip the switch and throw it all in. I had nothing left to lose.” The healer advises Natas to share some conversations with her husband.
“She couldn’t talk to me about it, so I decided to write it down,” says Marcel. “What I read stirred up so many emotions that I wanted to talk to her about it, but it was too early for her at that time. I felt sad, angry, and helpless.” Marcel’s head and heart throbbed at the thought of what his wife had to endure as a child. “I really wanted to visit those who did this to her and tell them what I thought of their behavior. Natas advised me against this and convinced me that they were not worth it.
Natas still remembers how angry Marcel was. He wondered why no one intervened. This was a question I myself struggled with for a long time. Especially considering that I was told during a conversation with my aunts that my father did the same thing with them when they were little. So they knew what he was capable of, but they never tried to check if I wasn’t going through the same thing.”
I saw sex as an obligation
After everything Natas had been through, she couldn’t enjoy sex. “I submitted to ‘her’ and was happy when it was over. I saw it as my purely womanly duty and often went too far in an effort not to short Marcel.” Both are very happy with the changes that trauma therapy has made in this area as well. “Now that I’ve experienced how nice it is when we enjoy this and see how different it is now, I realize that Natas always froze and withdrawn psychologically when I had sex with her,” Marcel admits coyly.
Grateful, Marcel and Natas say they grew closer to each other and came out of this difficult period many times stronger. “If you had told me five years ago that I would enjoy sex again, I would never have believed it,” Natas says, laughing. “I finally know what love is! Having learned to discover my own identity, I can love myself and share my love. Only now there is room for Marcel’s love and I can give him what he craves. In addition, I now know what I need myself. I no longer have to ignore myself, But I can also enjoy myself.”
Marcel and Natas advise people who have been through the same thing to talk about this and go into therapy. “Write it all down if necessary,” is Natas’ urgent advice. “If there was a sexual assault, you are very lonely. Your partner can help you not to feel lonely anymore. In addition, a therapist can help you learn to live with these traumas. Allow yourself to feel true love, because you deserve it!”
Because Natas knows from experience that you can’t deal with these traumas without professional help, she is a committed experiential expert for people who have experienced abuse. For more information, visit the Libertas Trauma Processing website