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I was 12 when he asked me out. Although I agree that is young for dating, it has changed how I approach every and any relationship.
We were in the same school, all the same classes, and rode the same bus home every afternoon. The day came when he finally asked me out — I was ecstatic! This was my first real boyfriend and a week or so later I got my first kiss.
At first, things were a little off. He made me sit next to on the bus. I had to leave my friends and sit with him and his friends at lunch. If we had to partner up for a class project, he insisted on being my partner. I never really noticed I was changing and that he was molding and manipulating me the whole time.
I was going through a gothic phase and he didn't particularly care for it. I wore corsets, the kind you can wear as a top, not lingerie. I felt confident in them and it made me happy. I was quickly discouraged of not only wearing those he decided I was not allowed to wear tank tops, or anything that low cut.
He started to rip apart my body image. I was a 00, that's right a double zero, (I still cannot believe that's a size) at the time. Despite this, he convinced me that I was fat. He would poke around and point out any minor imperfection that I may have had. He started comparing me to my friends. Why did I have (blank's) butt or (blank's) boobs? He also convinced me I was ugly. At a time where my body was still changing, growing, and maturing, he made me hate myself.
I stopped hanging out with my friends. Either they were male and he'd get extremely jealous and mad or they were female and he would hit on them and never let me have alone time with either. I wanted to reach out, hell, I needed to reach out and talk to someone, but he took that away from me. I lost my voice. I was muted. I felt so defeated and dirty that I did not even want to tell my parents about it. I feared he would find out and take it out on me.
On Valentine's Day, he went all out and bought me three chocolate roses my school was selling, three real carnations the school was also selling, a big stuffed animal, and a beautiful diamond and ruby ring. On paper, it seemed like he loved me, and maybe in his twisted mind, he kinda did. But this was a performance he put on so others would think we had the "perfect" relationship. In reality, the flowers were a way of marking his territory. He also called the ring he got me a "promise ring" and made me wear it on my ring finger. A constant reminder that I was "his," forever.
He started to pressure me into doing sexual acts that I truly was not ready for. Besides little cousins and stuff, his was the first penis that I saw. It sickens me that well over a decade later, I still distinctly remember what his looked like. He was the one that forced my hand down his pants and pull it out. He was the one that also put his hands down my pants. Luckily, we did not do much. He fingered me and I gave him a few hand-jobs. Again, I remind you that I was 12/13 when this all happened.
One day, he wanted more. He wanted me to perform oral sex on him. I finally stood up to him and said no. In retaliation, he held a butterfly knife to my throat and started acting crazy. He started asking me if I was cheating on him, if I really loved him, and if I didn't trust him. He started pressing down and I started crying. He was convinced that I didn't trust him and made practically scream that I did trust him but I also would not do it. He out the knife away and, like a thousand times before, he started apologizing and said things like "You just make me crazy sometimes," "I never know if i can trust you," and "I'd lose it, if I lost you."
I was a lucky one, meaning the relationship ended shortly after that all happened. He started calling less and less and started taking little things of him like his Xbox, a few shirts, and he tried to get the jewelry back. I told him no and my mother broke up what would have been a fight. One day, he asked me to stop by his house, but told my parents to wait in the car. I knew what he was about to do. In fact, he kept saying things to me a week prior to get me to do it. But it was this time I regained some power. If he was going to break up with me, which he did that day, I wanted him to wake up one day and regret it. I refused to give him the satisfaction of having me break up with him over the phone. I chose to go to a different high school than him and he left me with a parting gift saying "Good luck getting raped in your new school."
It was then that I began the healing, though it still effects me over a decade later. I have trust problems, I put up walls, I do not want to let people in, it's been detrimental to new love interests, and I am really critical of myself — what I say/do and what I look like. But, most importantly, I will never let a guy treat me that way, or worse, again.
If you find yourself in an abusive relationship, please reach out to The National Domestic Hotline at 1.800.799.SAFE (7233).