I Did A Stupid Thing

Since my last post, I can’t get numbers out of my head, I keep fighting the urge to count, to work out just how many times.  I broke.

I was trafficked from the ages of 4-5 until I was 22.

For those first few years, before my mum met her boyfriend, it was maybe 3-5 a night every few nights or so, 2-3 times a week.

1522 times before I was 8, going off of the lower numbers of 3 a night, twice a week.

When I was 8, my mum met her boyfriend, he was already a trafficker, I was taken there every night.  On a week night, because my mum had already tried to get me home-schooled when I was younger and failed, it was limited, slightly.  About 15-20 a night, depending on how quick they were and how late they kept me there.  Usually till about 4-5am so I could get a few hours sleep before school, I often fell asleep during lessons and I’d get in trouble, asked why I was so tired, refuse to answer and get in trouble more.  On the Friday night, I’d be kept there until the Sunday night, till about 2-3am so I could get sleep again before school.  I’d see on average a client every hour, usually two, if not more, I’d barely be allowed to sleep or eat or drink or take a break, it was almost constant, I was working almost round the clock, drugged, given speed and coke to keep me going.  The only gap in this, really, was when I was pregnant at 13, it still happened, but not as frequently, my mum got weirdly protective suddenly.  I was trafficked there non-stop until I turned 16.

75 during the week, at least 25 (low estimate over the weekend), about 100 a week, 400 a month, 4800 a year for eight years.  38400.

This doesn’t include school holidays where I lived there permanently, seeing clients on a constant basis.

I left my mum’s on my 16th birthday, she nearly killed me for doing it, but I was still constantly being dragged back.  A few times a week, where I’d work the full night, the full weekend.  Again one an hour or so, usually two.  After I left school each day and later college, I’d have to go back there.  Probably on average 40 or so a week.  This lasted until I was about 21.  The only times it dropped was when I was homeless and away from them.  Another 7680.

From the age of 21, things got worse again and I was being dragged back more and more and working almost every night again and working more and more parties because my ex was consistently bankrupting me and I didn’t know what else to do.  Call it 10 a night, 7 nights a week, for a year.  Another 3360.

My last ex, from the age of about 19 until I was 22 was simultaneously selling me to his friends and family to help make up for all the times he bankrupted us, this was him ‘helping’.  About 2 or 3 of them a week.  Another 288.

From the age of about 16 till I was 22, I was selling myself, especially while I was homeless and I desperately needed money or at least just a bed for the night.  The points where I was homeless, I was seeing 4-5 men a night, generally staying with the last one (and pocketing his wallet on the way out, because fuck it.).  I can’t work out how often I did this so I’m just not gonna try to add these.  (And that may or may not be because I can’t see them as rape because I sold myself so?  =/)

This doesn’t include parties where there’d be up to 30 men at once and a handful of us.

This doesn’t include the times I was sold to clients for longer periods of time, where I stayed with them.

This doesn’t include the times where I was taken abroad and so wasn’t working my usual hours.

This doesn’t include the rapes specifically for porn.

This doesn’t include the incest and the rape from my family and traffickers and clients that had access to me outside of there (namely teachers and police and the like).

It doesn’t include the rapes within abusive relationships.

It doesn’t include the handful of one-off rapes I’ve experienced too.

1522 + 38400 + 7680 + 3360 + 288 =

I don’t want to do this, I know I shouldn’t do this, I know I’m going to throw up, I know this isn’t good for me.  Why am I doing this to myself?

I just want to scream at myself those numbers are wrong, that they can’t be possibly right, that I must just be making it up, that I’m just lying, that I can’t have survived all of that, I just can’t have and yeah, I nearly died and did actually die a few times over, but it can’t be real, it just can’t, it can’t, it can’t, it can’t.  I’m just over-exaggerating, just trying to out-do others, just, something.

1522 + 38400 + 7680 + 3360 + 288 = 51250 rapes.

That’s nearly 10 times more than the 6000 average.  I know I’ve somehow managed to magically survive there longer than most, that in close to 20 years it’s gonna be a little more than the average, but it can’t be right, it can’t be.  It’s not real, none of this can be real.

Fuck.  Fuck.  Fuck.



6000 Rapes?

For weeks I’ve been thinking on what I can write, how much I can say, what’s appropriate for me to say, what would be too much information, where’s the line?  I’ve noticed that despite writing this blog primarily as a trafficking survivor, I’ve very much shied away from the subject.

Partly because I’m unsure as to how much is acceptable to say (though generally I believe that people need to hear and see and feel that trauma and pain, that I shouldn’t be pulling punches for the comfort of anyone – barring other survivors who already know these truths) but mostly because I don’t know how much it’s OK for me to write.

Doing this is always going to require a level of dissociation, if I was to submerge myself in that pain too often and too deeply, it’d kill me and I’m definitely not ready to go quite that deep, yet.  I’ve only been out for three and a half years and I still have so much healing to do.  I remember, though, I remember a lot.  I remember more than is typical for a dissociative survivor, I think.  I have a lot of gaps, sure, more than I’m even remotely comfortable with.  It’s a constant battle with myself; wanting to know what fills those gaps, imagining the horrors and the pain that my brain saw fit to block out – especially considering the traumas I do remember.  If they’re so horrible, then what is my brain blocking out, what could possibly be worse?  And equally not wanting to remember what fills in those gaps because I simply can’t live with any more trauma, with any more flashbacks, with any more memories.

My brain, however, has different ideas.  I keep getting more flashbacks, more memories, more trauma.  No matter how much I try to ground myself, distract myself, actively heal and process trauma, my brain still feels the need to remember more, to give me more information, to keep adding to those memories when I already feel like I’m drowning with what I have.

A friend, a fellow survivor, said [ad lib] to me recently that we don’t have to remember, that remembering is painful and as long as we know enough to acknowledge what happened, to process that trauma, we don’t need to remember more, it’s just too painful to remember.  I accept her words and I know she’s probably right, she’s been doing this much longer than me.  But what am I supposed to do when my brain keeps remembering more and more?  When my brain won’t let me forget?  When despite the dissociation I’ve always lived with, I’m getting memories back clearer and clearer by the day?  What am I supposed to do with that pain and that trauma then?

I was triggered quite badly this week, I saw a post on Facebook with some statistics about trafficking.  I never made it past the first statistic, the fact that on average we’re raped 6000 times, that was enough to send my brain into a spiral and it’s a pain I have to get out, somewhere, anywhere.  Which is why I’m writing this post, breaking that self-imposed silence when it comes to directly talking about my experiences as a trafficking victim.

I’ve been feeling dirty all day, feeling intense urges to just go and shower, to wash their touch, their semen off of me.  I feel so incredibly dirty and whilst I logically know that shame and that dirt belongs 100% with them and to the past, I can’t help but feel it.

I’ve never counted, I never saw any need to.  Besides, it’s easy enough to lose count.  I was trafficked from the age of 4-5 until I left at 23, how was I ever supposed to keep count when I was being raped almost daily?  There’s a point where your brain just switches off, where the number doesn’t even matter any more.  When you’re being raped that consistently, when it becomes normal and daily and routine, it stops mattering.  At that point there’s no difference between 25 or 50 or 100 or 1000 or 6000.  It all just adds up, it stops mattering.

They just start to blur together.  A line of man after man after man.  Their faces become a blur, unknown.  The odd one or two might stick out, sure, especially those that are regulars or so especially violent that you just can’t dissociate, or those that deliberately keep you present and aware or a face that comes back after you see them in the news or on TV or something, but generally, their faces are a blur.  You don’t just lose count, you actively try not to count.  Counting just means adding to the reality, adding to the trauma, you just don’t count, it would kill you if you did.

The realisation that I’ve potentially been raped that many times came hard.  Of course it did.  It’s almost too much for the brain to fathom and process.

I stopped being able to write for a long time, here.  How am I supposed to put into words the realisation as to just how many times I’ve been raped?  How many times we’ve all been raped?  The numbers are too big to process, they’re too big to understand.  Trafficking, prostitution, pornography, it’s a collective trauma.  The individual traumas get lost amongst the vastness.  There’s no words to describe that.

There’s no words to describe what it feels like to be used, hurt, raped, abused so often.  The constant, repeated trauma of being nothing more than something to fuck, something for men to cum on, something purely for male pleasure, abuse and control.  And it’s always ‘something’, never ‘someone’.  There’s no words to describe the utter feelings of worthlessness, of being less than human, of dirt and shame and guilt.  There’s no way to describe the feelings we’re left with; that we’ll never be worth anything more, that we’ll never be human, that we’ll always feel like we don’t belong, that we’re something less than, something other.

6000.  6000 times I’ve been raped.  At a minimum.  I was there for nearly twenty years, much longer than the average.  Most of us have died before that point and I still don’t understand how or why I was ‘lucky’ enough to have survived this long.  I spent almost every day for the majority of my life being raped.  I lived through ‘parties’ where several men would rape me at once, taking turns, working together, me tied somewhere in the middle of the room, free access to all.  Just adding more and more to that number.

It was a constant stream of men, always a constant stream.  I provided more ‘services’, I was popular, I could do more, take more than others generally could, I was good at dissociating.  An ever increasing number, always just one after another.

6000 times.  How am I supposed to process that?  How are any of us ever supposed to process that?  The numbers are just too high, too much to process or fathom or really even quantify.

6000.  6000.  6000.

Tell me again how being raped 6000 times is an empowering ‘choice’.


Reporting Rapes

I read an article in the local paper today, reporting the rape of a man locally.  The differences in reporting were staggering.  There was no ‘alleged’, no ‘suspected’, no ‘reported’, there was no ‘forced sex’, there was no suspicion or doubt or lack of belief, there was none of the usual crap we see when one of the thousands of rapes of women is actually even reported and acknowledged.

Just a few weeks ago, there was an article describing the rape of a pony and once again the language was so starkly different compared to that used to report on the rapes that women face.

Man raped in ‘appalling attack’ in *** town centre

Police investigate horrific sex attack on Miniature Shetland pony in fields near ***

Police rescue suspected slaves after raids on brothels, car washes and restaurants in week of action

Notice the difference?  Notice how it’s ‘suspected’?  Read the rest of the article and you find things like ‘alleged offences’, ‘suspected victims of ‘modern day slavery’’.  Despite the fact that there were 24 arrests, despite the fact that the police have clearly taken action, despite the fact that there is nothing alleged or suspected about this, look at the language still used.

One of the most disgusting examples of this recently was this –

‘Police investigate after reports two girls, aged 15 and 17, were raped in *** city centre’

Again, there’s the use of the word ‘reports’ though thankfully lacking ‘alleged’ in the title.  What I found most disgusting about this case is the way it was handled by the police and the subsequent reporting.

‘Police say claims two girls aged 15 and 17 were raped in *** city centre were false’

Of course, this could be one of those very, very rare cases where it was actually a false report, but I don’t believe that for a moment.  Even the article makes it clear that that wasn’t the case.

‘They have now determined that no offences of rape took place. Detectives however say they are still investigating reports that the girls were victims of sex offences.

They want to trace a man seen with them in the *** Street area of the city centre and a fresh appeal for witnesses has now been issued. Both teenagers are still receiving specialist police support.’

These two young women were clearly harassed and abused by an older man and instead the headline and the police demonises them as being ‘false’ claims.  I’d say it was likely these young women were raped and instead found the same barriers we all face when it comes to reporting until the point where they felt the need to back away from their claims.

The whole thing just makes me sick, but it’s clearly not a universal problem for survivors.  When male rapes are reported, they’re treated with respect, treated as being automatically true, treated with the validity in which all rapes should be treated.  Fuck, even when animals are sexually assaulted, they garner more respect and belief and compassion than that which women receive.

Women are automatically disbelieved, their rapes are always ‘alleged rapes’, we’re always ‘suspected victims’, even when police action is taken we’re still just ‘suspected victims’ and the moment the oh so infallible police say it’s not rape, the survivors are demonised in response.

And the wonderful irony of all of this?  This was also a recent headline from my paper.

Shocking number of teenagers don’t report sex crimes over fears they won’t be believed

Well, no shit, I wonder why that is?

Journalists need to get their fucking act together.  This is just my local paper, sure, but I’d say there is probably zero difference in papers across the country and across the world.  Women are always survivors of ‘alleged rapes’, men are survivors of ‘rape’.  Animals will always be treated with more respect than women, because we’re always going to be seen as less than.  If I ever see the phrase ‘alleged rape’ again, I’m going to scream (so probably tomorrow because men are fucking shit.)


Birthdays and Fireworks

I know I was writing the second part of my last post, but I felt the need to write this first.

A good chunk of my family, in some bizarre twist of fate, were born in November, or at least, the more prominent members were (there’s a reason why I have a slight mistrust of Scorpios, now).  In a family filled with incest, rape, abuse and trafficking, there was always an obvious special gift for each birthday: me.  And in many cases there would be arguments and jealously, usually from my mother, she did not like to share and so would use others birthdays to justify her having a ‘gift’ too.

Today is one of those birthdays, or at least it would be if my grandfather, my biological father*, was still alive.  My memories are limited, as is the nature of dissociation, but I have enough to know that his birthday was never a good day for me.  Whilst the rapes and the abuse might not always have happened exactly on his birthday, more likely the weekends either side, today still holds such a high level of connotations and memories for me.

His birthdays were usually celebrated with fireworks, what with it being so close to the 5th and as a result, I find fireworks to be a major trigger.  Every time I hear or see them, I feel my mind starting to slip back.

When I was about eight or nine years old, we were setting off fireworks in the back garden of his house.  He told everyone I was cold and he was taking me inside to watch from the kitchen.  I tried to protest, I was enjoying the fireworks and I wasn’t cold at all, but one look from him and my mother silenced me and I followed him back inside.  I can still feel my stomach turning in knots.  I knew what was going to happen, I knew there was nothing I could do about it.

He stood me in front of the kitchen sink where I could still see the fireworks, I can still see them, see the colours, the beauty, I was entranced with them, I really did think fireworks were so beautiful (and besides the triggers, I still do.).  I can still hear every single bang, or maybe that’s just the fireworks I can hear now in the present.  He pulled my trousers and underwear down, touched me, molested me.  His hands and his actions hidden by the sink and worktops, so even if the rest of my family were to turn around, nobody would see.  All I remember clearly is the weight of him pressed up behind me, grinding against me.

After a few minutes of this, he picked me up, sat me on the edge of the sink and told me to twist my head to carry on watching the fireworks.  He raped me whilst I watched, but being the dissociative expert that I am, I barely remember the rape.  I remember the fireworks, more than anything.  I remember him telling me to wave at my sister, who had apparently turned to wave at us.  I remember feeling so sick, remembering the years of threats that if I didn’t behave it would happen to her too, remember feeling so bad for waving at her while he was hurting me.  But I quickly zoned out to the fireworks once again; focused so intently on them that I was barely aware of anything else.

I don’t know how long any of it lasted, I don’t want to know how long any of it lasted.  I don’t want to remember clearly.  I just remember the fireworks.  The sound of them, the way they looked.  I remember the pressure of him leaning against me and the repeated thought of ‘don’t turn back around’, though I couldn’t quite put my finger on why (again, the wonderful nature of dissociation) but more than anything I remember the fireworks.

I know that my mum and my sister went home afterwards and I was to spend the night at my grandparent’s house.  I remember them leaving and wishing I could beg to go home with them, but I knew that would just get me in more trouble.  I don’t remember that night and once again, I don’t want to remember.

A few years later, when I was about twelve and his birthday came round yet again, things were different.  There was less hiding, there was less pretence.  We arrived at my grandparent’s and straight away my mum sent my sister off to help my grandma with cooking and took me upstairs where he was waiting.  Mum told me we were going to give him our ‘presents’ together.

By this point, I had many more years experience.  I’d been being trafficked since I was four, five years old; I’d been being trafficked for around seven or eight years and I knew the deal.  I knew what to expect, I was older, I knew what I was doing.  I knew how to make life easier for myself (the quicker they get off, the quicker it’s over with), I had a young teenagers (albeit a traumatised and trafficked ones) understanding of sex.  For years I saw this as participating in my own abuse, but there was no consent, there was no wanting; on a very simple level, I was a child, I could never have consented and my active participation was a result of years worth of trauma and training and survival.  I was never actively participating in my own abuse, I was doing what I could to survive.

And that day was no different.  He slept (raped?  I don’t know any more, but that’s an entirely different blog post) with my mother first, they made me watch, then she brought me over between them and they both raped me.  I didn’t fight, I didn’t argue, I didn’t try to get away.  I just shut down, completely, went through the motions.  Motions my body and my mind had long ago learnt.  The rest is a blur.  I know they both raped me, I know they both touched me and abused me.  I know my body responded to their touch (something I will eternally struggle with, but an experience that is not unique to me and is one known by many survivors.  Bodies are complicated things, but again, that is another blog post) and they mocked and celebrated me for it.

I was the ultimate birthday (and Christmas) present for him and for many others and as a result, their birthdays will always stick in my mind.  I’ll never again be able to sit on the 1st November and not remember that today was his birthday, today was the day where I was given to yet another man for his pleasure, his control, his sadism.  I’ll never be able to get through this day without seeing those fireworks (and it doesn’t help that they’re quite so common at this time of year).  I’ll never be able to get through this day knowing that if he was still alive, if I was still under their control, that that would be exactly where I would be in this moment.

Maybe one day, I’ll be able to appreciate the beauty and extravagance of fireworks once again, but I very much doubt that this will be the year I do.

*  –  Yes, I’m a child born of incest on top of everything else.


Surviving Domestic Abuse

Despite it being the very last few days of October, I still feel the need to say or do something for Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  I usually don’t, in all fairness, usually because I talk about and discuss domestic abuse quite often at other times of the year, but meh, this time I feel the need to write a thing.

(This is only part one of the thing.  I didn’t have the emotional energy to get through both.)

The thing is triggering because I got stuck in flashbacks and ended up writing more detail than I usually would.

I’ve been in two serious abusive relationships, which isn’t exactly all that uncommon for survivors; whether they’re survivors of incest and CSA or trafficking and prostitution.  Prior to those relationships I was in other relationships that could very definitely be classed as being domestically abusive, but I was young and they were short-lived and I generally don’t consider them to be as serious as those other two.  That’s obviously not to say that there are varying degrees of domestic abuse; it’s never OK to abuse a partner, but as far as my own experiences go, there are some things I just write off.  Besides that, those earlier relationships were very limited as I was so very young and privacy hard to come by and so any abuse were isolated incidents whereas those other relationships were much more long-term.

The first started when I was sixteen, or at least that was when the more official relationship started; I had been speaking to him since I was fourteen.  I was traumatised, hurting and so far beyond self-destructive.  On some level, I knew how dangerous he was, I knew how much risk I was putting myself in, but I did it regardless.  Between having been raped, abused and trafficked for my entire life and determining that my worth was based in men using and hurting and wanting me and the fact that my old girlfriend had died just a few months before, I forced myself back into the closet, denied my lesbianism and agreed to meet up with a man who was significantly older than me; a man who had been grooming me for two years before we met.

He’d originally told me that he was only two years older than me.  It wasn’t until I was already on the train, meeting this stranger off the internet who had a large collection of Lolita images on his blog and an equally big collection of BDSM porn, that he told me he was actually older.  I was suicidal, self-destructive.  It was barely six months after my girlfriend’s death and barely two months after a suicide attempt that left me in a coma for three days.  I didn’t care how old he was, I didn’t care how much risk I was in, I didn’t care if he killed me there and then, I wanted to die, I wanted him to kill me.

It was his suggestion to meet at the train station in public, probably his attempt to get me to feel somewhat safer, but I was so far beyond the point of caring.  It was a surprisingly sunny day, he was late and I found myself sat perched on a little ledge alongside the glass wall of the station, the crappy red benches already full of other passengers.  I spotted him before he spotted me.  I remember being instantly repulsed by him.  He was much older, 28 to my 16, his hair receding and he was generally really fucking ugly but I didn’t waver.

His hands were on me and he was kissing me before he said a word.  Telling me how hot I was, telling me how much he wanted me.  I’d long gone past the point of flinching when men touched me, I just waited until he was done.  I’d dressed for him, I knew what he liked, I’d seen enough of the images on his blog to know what he’d want to see.  I knew what to expect from him, I knew what was going to happen to me.

He took my hand, said there was a place he wanted to show me.  The town we were in quickly gave way to hills and woods; he took me further and further up this hill then suddenly veered off into a wooded area, further away from footpaths and walkers.  I started to panic, a small part of myself that wasn’t maybe quite as self-destructive, that didn’t want this, that didn’t want to be with a man, that didn’t want to be here, that didn’t want any of this to happen.

He suddenly stopped, said he didn’t care if walkers still came up here, that he had to have me now.  I didn’t protest, I didn’t have the ability to say no, I didn’t have the ability to scream just how much I didn’t want this.  He put his hand up my skirt, I wasn’t wearing underwear as he’d instructed, he said I was a good little whore, to get on my knees like the whore I am.  He raped me and the surge of panic came back and I very unusually tried to push him off of me, he just pinned my arms down and carried on.  I started crying, again unusual for me, but I guess there was something different about this day, this wasn’t just business as usual.  After he was done he took pictures of me, took me back to the train station and told me to come back the following weekend.  When I got back to my dad’s (where I was sofa-surfing after being kicked out of my grandma’s for my suicide attempt) I went online and found he’d announced us as a couple all over his Myspace and Vampirefreaks.

I stupidly went back the following week, this time to his parent’s house where he was staying during the summer holidays.  He again raped me as soon as he got me through the door.  His parents came home later in the day and we ended up eating together, I accidentally got his mum’s name wrong and that was the first time I saw just how angry he could get.  After the food he dragged me upstairs to his room.  Once the door was closed he shoved me against it, his hands around my throat.  Hissing at me about how I’d embarrassed him, how I was a useless little bitch and couldn’t get anything right.  He choked me for so long, I didn’t think he was going to stop.  He let go, started to walk away then doubled back and punched me in the stomach so hard I collapsed to the floor.  I lay there for a long time and when I was able, got up and started apologising to him, asking how I could make it up to him.  I already knew the answer and he raped me again.

The pattern of me visiting him at his parent’s house, him raping me, little bursts of violence then niceties repeated until he went back to Uni. in the September and I started college, having just turned 17.  I was still technically homeless, living on my dad’s sofa trying to avoid his leers and his coming home drunk and masturbating whilst I ‘slept’ on the sofa and I took every opportunity I could to not be there, which quite often meant visiting my boyfriend at uni, it was a lose-lose situation.  I ended up missing so much college, but I didn’t care, I was still so self-destructive and suicidal, I had no future and I had no hope.  October half-term came and he demanded I stay with him for the whole week.  I didn’t refuse.

My week long visit ended up lasting significantly longer than just a week.  The moment I got there he took my phone and all my money and basically locked me in his room.  He lived in a shared house with one other woman, who was nearly always out, which meant I was basically alone with him constantly barring the times he went to work and he left me locked in his room.

He was raping me on a regular basis, trying out all of his little BDSM fantasies on me, beating me whenever I made a mistake or messed up or pissed him off, he was taking pictures and videos of me and putting them up online; on the few occasions I’d ‘earned’ the freedom to go outside with him, he was wonderfully nice to me, buying me things, telling me he loved me, taking me out for meals etc.  But the niceties could never balance out the violence.  Could never balance out the broken ribs or the black eyes or the bruises.  Could never balance out the time he got so angry when we were cooking that he threw a pan of hot oil over my naked chest (when his housemate wasn’t home, I was never allowed the privilege of wearing clothes); he cried after that, when he realised how badly he’d hurt me, I forgave him.

One of the days I was there, he threw a house party.  One of the guests had weed and he asked for some, but admitted he didn’t have any cash.  He was asked if he had anything else to sell.  I felt my blood freeze, I’d been here often enough, I knew what was coming.  They negotiated and they agreed that the guy with the weed and three of his friends would all get a turn and my boyfriend was covered for weed for the night.  He took me to one side, told me to go to his room and do whatever they wanted.  I took a bottle of vodka with me.

The night before the last day I was there, he had hurt me really badly, dislocated my shoulder and left me covered in bruises.  He went to work the next morning, he’d long stopped bothering locking the door, he knew I wasn’t going anywhere.  His housemate knocked on the door and I hid under the quilt, I hadn’t earned the privilege of clothes that day.  She looked at me and I could see pain and sadness in her eyes.  She got my bag, got some clothes out and laid them on the bed next to me.  She got my phone out of the cupboard he had been keeping it in and put it next to me along with £50 out of her own purse.  She watched me struggle to get dressed and helped me, got a damp cloth and wiped dried blood off of my face.  She still hadn’t said a word to me.  She took my hand and took me downstairs, there was a taxi waiting outside, she put me in it and told the driver to take me straight to the train station and then finally spoke to me, told me to go home and never come back, to not answer the phone to him and to never contact him again.  She kissed me on the cheek and shut the door.

I never even knew her name, she was always just his housemate, but she saved my life and I’ll be forever grateful.

I got back to my dad’s, who had barely even noticed I’d been gone.  He saw my bruises and told me I should know better than to piss boyfriends off and I better haven’t had got myself pregnant and that was it.

I didn’t contact him again, though I did get an expensive necklace and a letter in the post a week or so after, him telling me that he loved me and he missed me, that he needed me and that he couldn’t live without me, that he was going to kill himself if I didn’t go back.  I nearly lost my resolve when it arrived, I nearly went back.  I went on his social media sites and saw messages from a younger woman than me, she was thirteen.  I messaged her and she admitted that she’d met up with him at the same time I was locked in his room, that she’d ‘slept’ with him in the park around the corner from his house.  I hated him so much for hurting her and it strengthened my resolve to never see him again.  I threw the necklace and the letter away.

For so many years, including to an extent still now, I wrote all of this off.  I declared it wasn’t abusive; that I was sixteen, an adult, legally able to consent, that I’d wanted this relationship and that even if he was older (which nobody, not his parents, not my dad, not his friends ever questioned) we were equal and it was all OK.  That I’d gotten myself into that situation, that I knowingly met up with him even though I knew the risks, that I knowingly got into a relationship with him, that it was something that I did to myself.  That I was an annoying piece of shit and if I could have just kept my mouth shut long enough, he would never have gotten angry at me.

For so long I’ve refused to see it as an abusive relationship, and there’s still part of me that questions if it even was, but what else could it have been?