I recently admitted to myself that 5 years ago, I was raped by my boyfriend. I was 16. We ended up staying together for years until I broke things off and stopped all contact. I wondered why every time I heard his name my skin crawled and I started shaking uncontrollably. It was very difficult to admit. He was manipulative, possessive, and created a pattern of assault where I almost never wanted to sleep with him, but let him so it could be over. I don't know what to do with this information now from Anonymous
“Admitting to yourself, putting words to what happened to you is a huge step; reaching out is another. Recognizing that we’ve been abused can be so hard, because we feel angry, we feel scared, we feel used. Often we feel like we “let it happen” and we think that it means we are weak. But abuse is sneaky. It creeps up on us using our soft spots, using our kindness and love against us, it manipulates the best of us. You did what you needed to survive and I’m glad you are here. Talking to a therapist or reading books on abusive relationships can make it easier to process what has happened and to recognize abuse in the future. I’m so glad that you aren’t in that relationship anymore. It’s not your fault." - Ijeoma
"I’m relieved to hear that you no longer have to have any contact with your ex-boyfriend. You can’t wipe the memory of him away, but you are strong and you’re moving on. I really like what Ijeoma said about considering a therapist or books as a first step, to help you sort out your thoughts.” - Meredith
“I’m so proud of you that you instigated the breakup and cut him out of your life. That is a very huge, very hard thing to do, especially when your abuser seems to have total control over your mind, body and soul. It took a lot of strength to get out of this situation, even if you don’t feel strong, even if you blame yourself for ‘going along with it.’ Many women in your situation end up just going along with it because their abuser’s comfort and happiness is more important to them than their own. You took the opposite route. You put yourself first, and you deserve such praise and respect for doing so.
Please go easy on yourself. You were 16. You were in many ways still a kid, just beginning on figuring out who you were.Your ex took advantage of that and tried to warp you to his will. It’s natural that you’ll feel blame, shame, and self-disgust. And it will take time to let that go, to regain yourself and to be interested or attracted to someone else. It’s okay. You have the right to take as long as you need.
Right now, you might think it’s impossible to love yourself, to someday find a guy who will love you purely and generously and put your happiness first. Your healing will be a process of small victories one at a time. Sometimes they’ll hide from you and you will doubt what you’re doing. Please don’t. You are already stronger and wiser than most people your age. I know that knowledge is hard-gained. Self-confidence will come. Your dignity will return, as will trust and so many good things your ex took from you.You are worthy of all of it." - Melanie
“I am so proud of you for recognizing that behavior is not acceptable, and I’m sorry you endured it. It was not your fault. I was in almost the exact same situation my entire high school years. I refrain from using the term ‘relationship’ because it was very him-sided.
What has helped me to maintain healthy relationships going forward:
1. It’s ok to say ‘no.’ To anything! Sex, movies, dates, food. ‘No’ is enough. Allow yourself ‘no.’
2. Just because there isn’t drama doesn’t mean there is something wrong. I remember his words, ‘I get this angry because I’m so passionate about you/us.’ ‘I love and hate you both so much sometimes.’ ‘No one will love you like this!’ ‘I have never felt anything like this—sometimes it’s hard to control my emotions.’ My next relationship seemed so boring and wrong, but really I had been conditioned to believe that manipulative, aggressive behavior was the norm. Allow there to be quiet, non-possessive trust in your future relationships.
3. People will love me for who I am, AND I ENJOY WEIRD THINGS LIKE TWEEZING MY EYEBROWS FOR THERAPEUTIC ALONE TIME.
4. I deserve to love myself, and be loved by others.
5. Be freeeeeee! OOOOH, be free, friend. Enjoy the world and all the things you can now explore without the shackles of that insecure person holding you back. I’m excited for the life you have ahead!" - Nikki