It was the end of my sophomore year of high school and I was going through a “phase”. You see, I was a stereotypical good girl: no alcohol, no drugs, leader of school clubs, an athlete… you get the picture. I basically just went to school, then practice and worked on the weekends. But I started dating this guy (isn’t that how all of these stories start?) and I thought he was really smart and kind and I ignored all of the red flags that he showed. He had liked me for 2 years and had been trying to get me to date him for nearly that long.
So I finally said yes after one day that a group of our friends hung out and watched movies at his place.
The whole time he was making unwanted advances. When everyone was going upstairs, I tried to follow and he grabbed me, threw me down on his couch, and kissed me. I was so upset, I left crying in my best friend’s car.
I’m an idiot and that should have shown me who he was, but that was the first time a guy had really ever shown interest in me. I had really low self-esteem and I think he sensed it. So I took it as a flattering gesture and said yes when he asked me out.
Stupid stupid stupid.
This was all happening during the time my parents were split up and I lived with my mom who worked reliably long days. We also lived in the shittiest apartments in town and were broke. I didn’t even have a bed- just a mattress on the floor. So, when we started dating, I had hours of free time that I DID NOT want to spend there. He would pick me up in his truck and we’d hang out at his house.
It started off fine, but he’d began pressuring me to go to his room “just to cuddle”. I refused. I was dumb. I should have ended it right there and told him to take me home.
Well, he picked me up and carried me to his room where he slammed me on his bed and started to take off my clothes. I tried to make a run for it, but he was quick to get in my way. He smiled at me. FUCKING SMILED. I could tell he thought this was a game. I tried to move past again, but he was strong, too. I just lied there and let it happen.
He left the room after for a bit and when he came in, he didn’t understand why I was crying.
But I stayed with him because I thought that he was the only guy I could get. So that was my life for the next few months. We started drinking and smoking and he started to use chewing tobacco around me (which I realized later that he had done all of those things for years). And I was forced into sex because, in his words, “that’s what a girlfriend does”.
My parents got back together at the beginning of my junior year and we all moved into a pretty big house. We had money again. Things were looking up but my boyfriend was still just as manipulative and blamed me for most of his problems. He would control who I was friends with, what I wore, and where I went.
He also broke up with me a few times because I “talked to people I shouldn’t” or didn’t give him enough attention but, he was my whole world at the time I didn’t want him to leave. I gave him that power over me and I began to think that everything was actually my fault.
Everything really fell apart when he and I were hanging out with a friend of his at his house. He took me upstairs again but, this time, his friend followed. His friend wanted to watch and my boyfriend wanted to let him. I. LOST. MY. SHIT. He had never seen such resistance out of me and he made his friend leave.
After he was done, we all went back downstairs to chill but his friend kept eyeing me the whole time. I was really uncomfortable and I made that known to my boyfriend. He suggested we all go outside and smoke so I could “loosen up a bit more.” We came back inside and his friend pinned me face down on the couch and I started to cry.
My boyfriends living room downstairs had a small guest room attached to it and the worst part was that the closet doors were mirrors.
They started to strip me as they bullied me into the guest room and against those god-awful mirrors. I made it known that I didn’t want to do this. I wanted to go home. I just wanted to be anywhere but there.
They didn’t care. They pushed me onto the bed and did whatever they wanted (I’m sure you all can fill in the blanks without any of my assistance here). I was limp. I lied there again and tried to be anywhere else in my mind. They took me home past my curfew so, of course, I got in trouble with my parents.
I cried myself to sleep and, in the following months, I became a terrible person. I started smoking all the time, skipping class, skipping practice, and was so rude to anyone I met. They stole my smile that night. I fought with my parents more. Life sucked.
Then, out of nowhere, he broke up with me for the last time. He gave reasons: I was too distant now or he felt like I really didn’t love him. Some bullshit like that. I didn’t really care and I walked away from my first and most toxic relationship ever.
I’m 18 now and I’m a couple months away from graduation. My ex and I both have the same classes because I guess we don’t have too many AP or Dual Credit kids at my school. He’s on my track team. I see his friend all the time at choir concerts or school plays (I’ve stopped going to those). I can’t go anywhere without reliving my biggest nightmare. But I look forward to leaving and going off to college so I’ll never have to see either one of them again.
And so I can quit jumping every time my male friends get too close or touch me- thinking it’s him.