I’ve been thinking recently about things that happened to me in high school, and one of the only things that keeps replaying in my mind is something that I never want to think about ever again, but it won’t go away.
I was in an abusive relationship.
I didn’t know that I was when I was in it though. I had had a crush on a guy for a while, and he knew that I liked him, but he thought I was to good for him (turns out he was right) and he wouldn’t date me.
Then one day we were texting each other and he asked if I wanted to go Christmas shopping with him. I said yes and asked my parents, and then an hour later he picked me up. We sat at Taco Bell for two hours talking, and we weren’t quiet once and I was never bored. Once we actually realized we had been there for two hours, he asked if I wanted to go see the new Harry Potter movie, so we went and saw Deathly Hallows part 1.
To this day I feel stupid because at the time I didn’t know it was a date. I genuinely thought that we were just hanging out. Then a few weeks later he asked me to be his girlfriend.
I was happy of course, so innocently happy that I never realized anything after that.
I didn’t realize that the one time that I said “Penis” and he laughed and said “Don’t say that!” in mock horror, that that should have been a warning sign, because he thought I was too young and innocent to say that.
However, I apparently wasn’t too young and innocent for him to lift up my shirt and kiss my chest in the middle of a forest. I wasn’t too young and innocent for him to try to rub at my crotch underneath a blanket while we were watching a movie with his little brother in the room. I wasn’t too innocent that the day that I went over to his house when there was almost a foot of snow on the ground and he tackled me into it and pinned me on the ground, kissing me and grinding into me while I complained about how cold the snow was, and he wouldn’t let me up. I wasn’t innocent when he smacked and grabbed my ass in front of my friends at school. I wasn’t innocent when he tried to feel me up on the bus. And I apparently wasn’t fucking innocent when he shoved his hand up my dress and put his fingers in me without warning or asking, then tried to crawl on top of me in a fucking parking lot.
But, somehow, during the time that we were together and I genuinely did feel like being slightly physical with him - by slightly I mean making out, groping a bit - if he wanted it to go a bit further, after he said goodbye to me and made it home, he would text me and tell me how bad he felt because he wanted to do so much more, and he just felt so terrible because he knew I didn’t want to. Knowing that if someone says that they feel terrible, and I can do something so that they aren’t sad or feel better, I will do it. Not only did he call me innocent and then take that away from me, but he manipulated me by using my emotions. By making him seem like this poor helpless thing that I wanted to help, he got me to do whatever he wanted.
But I’ve recently realized that he put me up on this fucking pedestal. He chose to see me as this immortalized version of 15 year old me that was new to everything that life had in store, and he wanted me to stay like that, and keep me from changing into anything other than that.
I was an innocent little play thing to him.
I was his property, and that’s why when I stayed the night at my best friends house, he drove by her house five times to make sure I was safe.
But when I ended our relationship two days after my birthday, and he cried… I felt satisfaction. When I told him I was going to meet him somewhere at school to give him back the promise ring he gave me, and the ring he got me for my 16th birthday, and he said he couldn’t bare to see them without his heart breaking… I felt strong. When the balloon he got me for Valentine’s Day finally lost all of its air on its own… I felt lighter. And when I burned the cloth bracelet he made me, along with the birthday card from him… I felt free.
But those memories still haunt me, because he tainted every romantic aspect of a relationship. He tainted every good moment I can ever have.
When my next boyfriend and I had our first kiss at the lake, I was so happy and excited… but then I remembered Valentine’s Day when he showed up at my house unexpected with a teddy bear, flowers, and a balloon. When he took me to get my favorite fast food and to that same lake and carved our initials into the same tree that his mother and father carved their initials in on their wedding day.
God, I hope they’re gone, because they mean a part of my life that I will never get back, and that I never wanted taken away.