This is a story that outlines my three relationships I've been in. Everything in this is true, and while it's not prettily written it's something I wrote to read aloud during my college's Take Back the Night event. I'm hoping this story will continue to grow with me and have a better ending with more of a resolve.
One, two, three. Every single one.
I loved you.
Manipulation was your game. You were good.
Sitting and waiting. Talking. With baited breath I waited for you to ask me out. It was perfect. A godly boy asking me out in the church. So I waited for the question.
"Can I feel you?"
No. No you can't. No. I screamed. I shouted.
But instead I was silent. I was 13 and you were 16. Embarrassed. Scared.
So under the cross your hands slid up.
Before I ever had been kissed.
And I cried. You saw it.
But you drove me home and wouldn't take me back to my house until I gave you what you wanted.
A year of tying up my will. A year of strangling my self worth.
Then finally you asked me that day, November, cold and snowy, in the back of your car, if I wanted to have sex with you.
No! No. You've taken too much. Let me have this. I screamed. I shouted.
But instead I was silent. I was 14 and you were 17. You told me...if you asked I wasn't allowed to say no. I didn't say no. But I never said yes.
The webs you spun in my mind were so vast I still haven't untangled them. I was unlovable and lucky to have you. You'd leave me.
I was dead inside afterwards.
Slut. Whore. Liar. Attention seeking.
I tried to speak up. I did.
But I was told that I couldn't be raped by my boyfriend. That it couldn’t happen by the hands of a man who wanted to be a pastor.
All you are is abuse.
You were kind once. Maybe it was part of your game.
Games. You were good at those. Do you remember? Like the one you played with me for months? Manipulating and twisting. Changing and hurting. That game you played? You called it "I want you to kill yourself."
You admitted it.
You've admitted a lot to me. Like how you only wanted me for my body. That you wanted me to "enjoy when we are fucking and shut up when we aren't."
Because that's all I was to you. I was no friend. Not even a person. Just an object to find release with.
You knew I wanted more. That I loved you. You knew my past. So you lied. You played those games.
There was that time when you hit me. You said it was an accident. My bloody lip and the space between us didn't agree.
Do you remember the other games you played? My favorite was the one where you begged me for things and then told everyone I threw myself at you. I said no. I said no so many times. But you knew how I felt about you. You used it against me. You wanted to break me. In the end I allowed it. I was wrapped around your finger.
I tried to tell you know. I tried to tell about all of it. Of course you did. That's when you tried to destroy me. You lost control over me, so you tried to hurt me. But still, I tried to tell. It worked...maybe.
Can you call it working when I'm called a slut and liar? Did it really work when society thinks I spoke up just to get back at you?
You are abuse.
And I forgive you.
I didn’t just want you. I wanted to marry you.
I thought I found the man. For once a man who appreciated me and my intelligence. Who looked at me and saw beauty. Not treating me like a doll. Not telling me to "enjoy when we are fucking and shut up when we aren't"
Looking at me with eyes filled with something other than lust. Wanting me around for something other than domination, manipulation, and control.
But you ripped that from me leaving a bloody mess. For the third time I'd lost. You looked at me like I was for you. Yours for the taking. I felt dirty.
You didn't ask for consent. You didn't stop when I said no. Only physical force saved me.
I saved me, but I couldn't save the faith and trust I had in people. I couldn't really stop myself from feeling violated. Violated by the man who wants to be a pastor.
I blame myself for every girl after me. But still to this day I can't let the monster escape from my lips. I can't hurt you. I can't tell. I justify what you did. I justify what you did to me, and I pray that the other girls are fine.
But then some days my head is clear from your grasp and I know. I know it can't be justified.
One, two, three.
Every damn one. I don't know what healthy looks like.
One, two, three. Three strikes. I'm out.