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It felt great to choose someone myself, and to have someone that respects my boundaries

Okay, I’m pretty sure I know what people will say, but it literally took me over a year to even be able to think about it this way.

So, in my first year of college I met a guy, who was incredibly manipulative and with a really distorted view of the world. I later found out he was actually diagnosed with some kind of personality disorder.

In January 2015, I’d never been kissed until then, and he, who I’d known for a few weeks then, convinced me to go home with him by bullying me into accepting a ride with him to the train station. Instead, he stopped by his house without warning and kissed me without notice. He then took me to his room to “make out”, tried to sleep with me but stopped when insisted and I told him I was a virgin.

I remember feeling very confused, but it was my first kiss so I basically shrugged it off, even though all day, and even after kissing me, he was always calling me names (fat, ugly, etc…). I suppose I shouldn’t have accepted it, but I was really inexperienced and really didn’t know what to do.

There-in began the most stressful of my life; the guy decided he was my boyfriend, ruined my reputation at school, tried to convince me to do things I didn’t want (like taking unprescribed thyroid medication to loose weight — might I add that I was 130 lbs, to five foot three). He spent the entire time telling me I wasn’t pretty enough for him, and “broke up” (looking back, I don’t consider it dating) with me about five or six times in four weeks. All of this was making me feel like I really wasn’t worth much more than what I was getting, and I felt anxious all the time and stopped eating. At one point I lost 7 pounds in a week.

We had no chemistry, and he admitted matter of factually to choosing me because his first choice didn’t want him. She’d actually come to warn me before he approached me, and I hadn’t heard her advice.

(*if you’re wondering why I accepted all of this, look up trauma bounding online, it’s a useful term I found that pretty much sums up the numbness I felt at this stage)

So one day, about a month since everything had started, he took me back to his place. We were making out, and only in our underwear. I hadn’t even been over that many times, but each following time he tried to take things further, and each time I’d objected and each time he ignored me. Just to give an example, I remember he put his hand inside and it was only about the third time I’d been over; of course I told him to stop, and I even tried to remove his hand with both of mine. I physically tried to remove his hands. But obviously he was stronger than me, ignored me, and even smiled a bit like I was being silly. Like I said I was feeling very numb at this stage; at no point did I think it was abnormal behaviour for him to disrespect my wishes like that.

I don’t remember why I never thought to leave or to make more of a scene. I just think I was never really brought up to complain much about anything. Strange though it sounds, I actually thought he was doing all of this because he liked me. I mean, *surely* he wouldn’t do all of this if he didn’t, right? But it never occurred to me even that he might try to have sex without my explicit consent.

Anyways, this time around I was just in my underwear, and I didn’t even notice when he put his penis inside me. It literally took me a moment to realise what the was doing. He knew I didn’t want to sleep with him and that I was a virgin, I’d told him that a million times, even just that day, and I looked him in the eye doing so.

So I say, underneath him, that we should stop and that we shouldn’t be doing this. I said this over and over, and I think I was saying this very calmly because I didn’t really feel like making a scene. I never felt any passion whatsoever, at all, and certainly didn’t come. He just said, it didn’t matter because we were already doing it and I wasn’t a virgin any more. He did try hard to make me orgasm, but I didn’t really feel anything. I swear, since then, I’ve had hotter kisses than that sex. I really didn’t feel a thing.

I also asked him to use a condom, but he just smiled and kept on going, ignoring me. He pulled out, near the end, and at this stage I didn’t even have much of an idea of what was happening.

At the time, trying to physically leave never occurred to me, and I don’t know what would have happened if I had. I know he’d have at least called me names, and probably wouldn’t have let me go anyways. I don’t think he actually had a notion that he wasn’t doing right by me. Like I said, I latter learnt he had a personality disorder.

The aftermath was basically that he then drove me home, ignored me for a few days, and when I sent him an angry message telling him I was tired of this cycle of being ignored, then broken up with, then having him rush back, and now finally using me. He replied telling me to “not think I was special, because I wasn’t”, to not make up lies about him and that if anything had happened it had been my fault.

He blocked me from messenger and from his phone before I could reply. These words made me feel really empty at the time, and I had no support, nobody I felt I could tell and understand. I wasn’t sure exactly how to name what had happened, and I was angry all the time.

I spent the next weeks terrified I might be pregnant, especially because my periods (which were already irregular and far between) had gotten extremely light and dark brown because I wasn’t eating. I felt really empty and scared and angry, not having anyone to express these changes in my body.

I didn’t understand what was wrong with me that I got such a bad experience. At the time, I just thought it was my fault, because nobody else was being treated the way I was. Of course there must have been something wrong with me. I must have deserved it, I must have asked for all of it. My personality was off. My weight was off. How could anyone love me if I was me?

I never really told anybody about this (while it was happening nobody knew more than the barest details that he was horrible to me). This is my first time really talking about it, but I’ve spoken about this so much in my head, it’s easy to put down on paper to strangers who don’t know who I am.

Nobody really understood my very subtle hints about this part. I spent the following months near anorexia, (that was the only part of what was going through my head that was physically visible) and only snapped out of it about this year. It’s actually really funny but I only really got thinking about the consent part of things about this year. I feel like I’m in a much better place.

One time last summer, a boy, a short fling I had a lot of chemistry with, tried to put his hands inside me, and when I, just by moving my hand, signalled I didn’t want that, he stopped. I didn’t even have to say anything, and he stopped. Funny as it may sound I don’t think until then I’d ever really felt like I had a choice. It made me think about how maybe I wasn’t crazy, maybe I hadn’t asked for that first time to be so bad, maybe it wasn’t something wrong with me, but with the guy who put himself inside without my consent.

I ran into this second guy about six months later, and though we never officially dated, we were together for half a year, and it was far more healthy than that first experience. It felt great to choose someone myself, and to have someone that respects my boundaries, to feel comfortable exploring our bodies, and to feel safe having sex.

I guess I finally have the perspective I needed to add two and two together.

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