“You took my innocence. You took my happiness. You took my faith in God. You took what should have been my college experience. February 14th, 2013. Valentine’s day. You told me that if I didn’t kiss you on valentine’s day I was a bad girlfriend. I just wasn’t ready yet. Memorial Day 2013. I invited you over to my house because dad was grilling. We were watching a movie or tv or something. You grabbed my butt. I didn’t like it. I told my mom it was time for you to go home. I told you I didn’t like it. You again told me I was a bad girlfriend for not letting you touch me. I wanted to break up with you that night. I cried the whole way home. I got my car that year and my learners. I remember you telling me every time we went anywhere that my country music was garbage. But I liked my country music.
It was the start of junior year. We went to your sister’s birthday party. We went to my house after. You stuck your hand in my pants. I stopped you and asked what you were doing. You said, “trust me, it will feel good.” It didn’t feel good. I didn’t want to be touched like that. But I was afraid. If I didn’t let you do things to me I would be a bad person. I wouldn’t be fun. I let you touch me. It hurt most of the time. I would tell you to stop and pull your hands away from me, but that just made you rougher. I would hurt for days after, but you said “that just means I did it right.”
February of 2014. You gave me an ultimatum. Saying if I didn’t sleep with you that you would break up with me. That it wasn’t right for people to date for a year and not sleep together. I told you that I didn’t want to, that I wanted to wait until I was married. I was only 16, you were 19. I didn’t know any better. You asked me every day for weeks when I was going to have sex with you. I should have stood my ground. I finally gave in. It hurt. I didn’t want to do that. I cried sitting on the edge of your bed. You looked at me and said, “why are you crying, you should be happy.” I felt so dirty after that. I took the longest shower that night, but I still didn’t feel clean.
Those are the things that bothered me the most for a while. I just went with most of it, thinking that this was my life now. Things got worse when I went to college. I went home every other weekend for work, and you stayed. I was told I would be a whore if I went out and partied with the new theatre friends I had made. So I decided to go home every weekend instead of staying in my dorm room all alone. I started getting texts from my friends. They said you were partying like you had told me not to do. But it’s different for guys you know.
I made some awesome friends in my second year of college. I thank God every day for those friends. They helped me out more than I will ever know. I remember them asking me to lunch one day. I told you I was going to go eat with them. You told me that I couldn’t. “lunch was our thing” But lunch and dinner and sometimes breakfast was with you every day. I texted my friends and told them I had to cancel. They asked if we could reschedule and I told them I would let them know. I thought I hated Radford, but I really just hated being controlled by you. The only friends I could have were the ones I had known before you. I couldn’t hang out with anyone new. I loved my friends from back home, but I needed friends in college too. But in your mind, all I needed was you.
You graduated. That summer was the worst summer. We planned a vacation together, just you and me. I paid, saying it was your graduation gift. We booked it months in advance, with no cancellations. I got this new shirt and I loved it. I could wear it without a bra and it looked good. I took a picture in it. I felt so good about myself. I was going out to eat with friends that night. You were mad because you were at work. I invited you to make your night better. You said you were hungry, so I offered you some of my food. You were staring at your phone. I tried to hand you a french fry and you threw it. You caused a scene, yelling at me for posting a photo. Saying that I was only posting it for likes, but I wasn’t. I felt pretty. You got angry and posted on your own social media with some snarky caption about me. I felt so embarrassed. This was one of the first times I was hanging out with these friends and you caused a scene over a stupid picture. I got Shaly to drive me back to my car that night because you scared me. The scariest part is that we were about to go on that vacation. I told Shaly about my worries and we decided that I shouldn’t go on vacation with you. But the next day, you apologized and promised to be better.
Shortly after I started my senior year of college, I finally went to a party. You were so mad at me for going, so I didn’t text you. I had so much fun with my friends that night. I tried a beer, it was disgusting. So I just hung out the rest of the night. You were so mad that you drove up to Radford to party with your friends. Kept it a secret from me. Clint told Shaly he was riding up with you to Radford. I called you out on it. You brought “I messed up flowers.” I’m not a flowers girl. All of your friends piled into my and Shaly’s dorm room. You all were talking and laughing about stuff that I had no interest in. I grabbed my phone to reply to some friends. You went off. Luckily, Shaly was there and put you in your place, for the moment. Clint took Shaly on a date. You said you were going to eat with your friends and you left me in my dorm room. I shouldn’t have said anything, but I did. You came back in and left Derek in the hall. I told you how I was feeling and you grabbed my wrists. I don’t know what you were saying, but your grip was hard on my wrists. I was scared.
The last straw of you controlling me is when you logged into my social media accounts. And then lied about it. I broke up with you, but you wouldn’t let me go. You showed up at my work begging me to take you back. You called me every name under the sun because I was breaking up with you. You wanted MY parents to be in on this. Whose side did you think they were going to take? They saw a change in their daughter and knew who caused that. You kept posting my pictures on social media, begging to get me back. It was too late. I let you have those years of my life, but I will not let you have anymore.
You taught me some things. You taught me what a man isn’t. You taught me that I can no longer let people control my life. Things are changing. I am no longer the girl that lost everything. I am a fighter. I am no longer fighting with my fear of you. This is me. Laying everything out. To say I am moving on. To say I am forgiving you. To say thank you for teaching me those lessons. For these past few years, I resented you. I must forgive but never forget. I do hope that you are living your best life and have changed. I hope you learned some lessons from me too.”
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