||I was 15 when I experienced my first relationship. I was so excited. I had never experienced the thrill of waiting for the next phone call or the butterfly feeling in my tummy that made my head spin and hands clammy.
I was also very naive...
One day we went to the woods near his house to 'hang out'. He mentioned about 'doing it'and I went along with this, not really sure where this was leading and very unclear as to what I had just agreed to.
We walked hand in hand back to his house. In the five minutes it had taken for us to reach his front door I had decided I was uncomfortable with his offer and started to make my excuses. We continued to walk up to his bedroom. The previous butterfly feeling I had had was replaced by a sickening feeling.
I again repeatedly said no. He pushed me onto the bed, tore my clothes off and forced hmself inside me. The pain I felt was unbelievable. I felt like I had been ripped in two. He lay himself on top of me and thrust away without a care in the world. It was only the grunt at the end that signalled the end of the pain I had felt. There was blood on the tissue he gave me and on the bed. My vagina burned with pain and my heart raced.
What had just happened? Why?
This episode repeated four more times throughout the time we were together. "It's because I love you," he would chant, holding me close and kissing me gently. My head swam with thoughts of being loved in this way.
It was four months later when the realisation hit me. So, so hard. I went into shock and resolved to never let another man hurt me in this way again.
How wrong I was...
When I was 17 I met Tom. He was cool and had a large group of friends who loved him. I felt so special to have found a person want to be with me and love me as much as he did. He had a lot of family troubles and me parents took him into their home to help him. He held down a steady job (so cool, I thought) and paid for nights out with me. We seeme to have a wonderful relationship.
But only on the outside...
At night, he would creep into my room to lie in bed with me. Where he promptly mounted me and penetrated me without asking or caring whether I wanted to or not. The times he did ask, and I said "no - I am too tired" - I was ignored. At the time I thought this was normal and so I accepted it. I started to become depressed and I had developed very low self esteem, and became aggressive with him, prompting him to hit me whenever he became cross.
My mind was in turmoil. I could not shake off the feeling something was very wrong. I felt isolated and lonely, even when surrounded by friends.
I applied to University and was accepted and a friend with whom I worked with during my gap year offered me an escape to another country to work and live - ah freedom! I took my chance and went for six months. I spent each day in the warm sun, meeting lots of interesting people and at last the healing of my soul started.
I returned in time to start my course and then met Sam. I fell head over heals! He was handsome, smart, he had a good job and was very caring. He would text me every day to tell me how much he cared and that he misses me. He lived far away from my student digs so waiting for each weekend was so exciting. our relationhip blossomed and we moved in together.
We plodded along nicely until I woke up one morning with severe period pain cramps. They were so bad I could not get out of bed. When I went to the toilet and I was bleeding really heavily. Having never experienced this before, I went to the GP. "You have had a miscarriage"
Sam left. He said he could not cope. I was alone again.
A few years later, I met Mat. Again, he was charming and kind...at first.
A year after we met, the criticism started. He would get cross with me for minor things and started to push me around. In between these phases of behaviour, he would be calm and kind...I always think he will change, will not do it again.
Then the night time became the worst time with him. I dreaded going to bed with him. He would ake me up on and off through the night. If he stayed up late at night, I would go to bed and he would fall asleep on the sofa. During the night, he would stagger up to bed, turn the light on and wake me up to interrogate me about why I had not woken him up and do I not not love him anymore.
I then started to get woken up with him inside me, thrusting an grunting with a searing pain in my tummy.
"You like that don't you...?" He would say..."You're very wet." But I did not enjoy it, not ever.
Last month he strangled me so hard my throat hurt for two weeks and I have to take strong painkillers to ease the pain. All because he was trying to touch and kiss me when I didn't want him to. He blamed me for his behaviour saying I had abused him.
Two weeks ago he said I was a c**t and was abusive towards him. He shouted at me and blamed me for everything he has done.
Two days ago he wanted sex, I said no because I was too tired. He did it anyway.
That night, confused by his actions I started to do research. It was only last night I found a name for what I have been experiencing all these years - Intimate Partner Rape.
Two days ago he raped me, and I have no idea what to do.
I have tried to leave him, but he ignores my plea. I try to reason with him, but he tells me my feelings aren't valid. I blame myself. I have allowed myself to be with men who treat women as objects...and now I can't get out.