Teen dating abuse can give scars that last a lifetime.
This is her story:
I started dating him in March of 2008, my junior year in high school - that June, we went camping with his family.
That's when the emotional and sexual abuse began. When everyone was out, we were taking a nap in the camper. He started touching me - I felt violated and powerless - I couldn't say "no" because I had nowhere to go.
We were that on-again off-again couple.
He made me feel dirty, like no one else would want me after what he'd done to me. He made me feel guilty for not reciprocating the sexual acts he did to me. I felt like a possession; an object to him.
In April of 2011, we were looking at engagement rings. One of the jewelers asked when he'd propose. He said he'd propose before boot camp in June. It was like a train hit me. "I don't want to marry him! It's too soon!"
I explained that I didn't want to get engaged before boot camp, I'd wanted to be engaged for two years before we married. He was heartbroken - he didn't say so, but I saw it.
I was in tears.
His friends were always at his house; we never had time alone. He'd violate me, touching my breasts, messing around under the blanket, in front of his friends. He didn't want me to hang out with my friends - he wanted my life to revolve around his.
It made me mad so I tried talking to him, confiding in him, but he never had an opinion - he just listened. He never confided in me but confided in everyone else. After our fight, he pressured me to do things sexually I wasn't comfortable with. He manipulated, coerced me.
He began acting strangely, hanging out without me - his friends were more important. I just wanted to feel loved; like I was important.
In an attempt to keep him, I went against my morals and decided that even if he dumped me, I'd take his virginity. He acted like he "deserved" my virginity. Before he took my virginity from me, I asked if I was his first.
I knew he wasn't The One; it was all so wrong. I thought I'd spend the rest of my life with a person who wasn't right for me. He told me that the idea of "The One," didn't exist. I believed him. I felt no one would understand me, put up with me.
Three days after he took my virginity, I got my period and he was sad, disappointed. That evening shit hit the fan.
Memorial Day weekend, sitting on the couch, I asked him what was wrong? He was acting weird, distant, isn't my virginity what he wanted? His eyes wandered - I knew wasn't telling me something. I asked if there was someone else and he went silent, then nodded. I wanted to leave, I was sobbing. He grabbed me, on top of me now, holding me down so I couldn't leave.
I couldn't look at him.
"Was she your first?"
I punched him in the jaw.
I was in pieces. Love, trust, hope, shattered. Why would someone do this to me?
I thrashed underneath him, trying to get free, to run away, but this wasn't over.
We were both in tears on his front porch, his friends filed out, watching the end of our dysfunctional relationship. Why hadn't they told me?
He confessed he'd hoped I was pregnant. I tried to wrap my mind around it. Trying to justify staying with him.
"Will you stop talking to her?"
I could not live with that.
"Is she prettier? Does she have bigger boobs?"
He'd had sex with her because I didn't believe in sex before marriage. The next day, I went to a party at a mutual friend's house. She told me he'd had sex with the other girl all the time, he'd come over and talk sexual details.
Before that night, I was a strict goody-goody Christian girl, I didn't smoke pot, drink; I didn't want to be around those who did. I thought my morals made me better than everyone. I was wrong; naive.
At that party, I drank until I passed out. That summer, I went to a lot of parties, but I didn't pass out, sleep around, or wake up and say, "I don't know what happened last night." I just needed some time to discover myself; to let loose, to be carefree.
I accomplished that.
I went on a few dates until I met someone from church, my "dream guy." He was a complete player, knew what to say, everything I thought I wanted.
He was the last lesson I learned.
My dream guy treated me well. We spent a night with friends with a beach bonfire drinking. We fell asleep on the beach for awhile until he drove us back to his place. We spent the next day together lounging around. It was the epitome of a summer fling.
He didn't want a relationship, friends with benefits, so after two months, I was done. He pressured me to do things I wasn't comfortable with. Manipulated...again. Since he preferred drinking at the bar to hanging with me, I couldn't handle feeling that I wasn't worth the effort.
He taught me not to fall so fast, to avoid doing things against my morals to please someone else.
I didn't bother breaking up with him, I just stopped talking to him.
My ex sent me a letter and apologized. He was dating the girl he cheated on me with, they were engaged after six months. I saw him in his dress blues after boot camp, when I told him that he'd been an asshole; that we'd never date again.
I explained how he'd hurt me - he didn't care; he was glad I was hurt. His fiance knew he'd cheated, but she "put it behind her." They married in April 2012. Doubt I'll hear from them again.
I decided to go to a college party with my coworker in September of 2011. We waited in the parking lot for our host to let us in. Finally, he strolled up, smoking. I was introduced. He flashed his smile and I was intrigued. That smile. His face. His eyes.
I was spellbound.
Inside, he was playing beer pong, his smile seemed so familiar. He caught my eye, asked what I was looking at.
I yelled, "You look familiar!"
He couldn't hear, so he walked over, and chatted it up with me. He's smart, funny - we have the same sense of humor. His ex cheated on him too. I wasn't entirely sold - he could be another jerk-bag. When I was leaving, he asked for my number, which I gave.
I thought it'd be the last time I saw him.
Over the next two weeks, he courted me. He texted me, I visited him at work. I gave him a chance. It was effortless, natural. The beginning of something new, something I didn't know existed.
On our first date he picked me up and took me to a really nice restaurant. He held my hand, kissed me goodnight on the forehead. It was as though we'd known each other forever.
At the beginning of October, I told him about the last decent sunset of the season. He said he'd take me after work. I had no idea what was in store for me. We walked along the sandy beach, the colors in the sky like a painting. We took pictures as we headed towards the pier. At the end of the pier, I continued taking pictures.
After the sun finally set, he turned to me, holding my hands nervously, and asked me to be his girlfriend. I was all smiles. I was shocked, happy. I told him it was the best question he'd asked; I'd be happy to be his girlfriend, to be his.
On the drive home, he told me that my ex-coworker had told him that he knew a girl he thought was his type. I was that girl. My coworker was right
We've been together over a year now. All the struggles were worth it. Without those, I don't think I'd fully appreciate all that he does.
It's been hard to let go of the emotional and sexual abuse, to embrace the blessings in my life. My past haunts me - I need to work through my trust issues, and the guilt I feel.
It hurts my boyfriend that I can't trust him, but I'm afraid that at any moment, he could flip a switch. I know that's not who he is, he's my best friend, my lover, my soundboard, my everything, and I love him with all my being.
With him, it's okay to be the real me.
My boyfriend is the man my ex said didn't exist.
He does.4 Comments