Welcome everyone, please, introduce yourselves.
Hi guys, I’m Bailey. I started this group because I’ve survived two abusive relationships, and teen dating violence is a serious issue. This is a place where we can all relate, because we’ve all experienced this type of violence at such a young age. But we are not alone, and we can make our voices heard.
My story begins with my freshman year of high school. I was fifteen, naïve, and loved the idea of love. I started dating this guy, and things went way too fast. After a month of dating him, I lost my virginity. I was convinced we would live happily ever after. Things were good for a while. Then, in my second semester, he accused me of cheating on him when I hadn’t and left me. I was very upset. I hated myself. I became anorexic, eating hardly enough for my family not to notice and working out to the point of passing out. I lost 10 pounds in 5 days, and I was spiraling out of control. That’s when I met Carsen. Carsen told me everything I wanted to hear. Told me that I was beautiful, that I wasn’t worthless, and that he had had a crush on me for a while. He tripped every red flag I had, but I was in such a low place that I didn’t care. We started going out and he said he loved me in the first day. He said I didn’t have to say it back, that there was no pressure, but of course there was. There always is. As we continued dating, I became isolated from my friends and addicted to his attention. He used this to his advantage and changed everything about me to suit him. He would break me down to my most basic level and build me back up in his views. From there, he continued to manipulate me, abusing me mentally, emotionally, verbally, and sexually. He would touch me in front of crowds, or in a way that would hurt. He was so much bigger than me that even when I resisted, it didn’t amount to much. Any time I would call him on something he did wrong, he would twist it until I was the one apologizing. It got so bad that he was physically abusing me and I would cover for him every time. He would bite my arms so hard I had bruises the size of my palms for weeks at a time. The worst of this was at some stupid free concert at school. I was excited and bumping into him, trying to get him in the same mood. He wasn’t having it though, and pulled my arm up above my head and bit me so hard he broke skin and nearly drew blood. It was hot outside, but the look in his eyes gave me goosebumps. It was a cold and flat look. Calculated. He knew exactly what he was doing. I didn’t speak for the rest of the day, to anyone. By ten that evening, I was apologizing. We ended up breaking up when he decided to go out with my best friend, and he abused her as well. I hated my friend for a long time for it, but we’re back to normal now. He moved away this past December. I ended up seeing another guy the following January, a long time friend. His name is Connor. He helped me realize that Carsen was so abusive, because I still couldn’t see it. Connor was good to me- at first. It started with fights. I couldn’t make a joke about him without him ignoring me for three days, then coming back to blow up about it. He wouldn’t admit it, but he blamed me for how far thing went sexually with Carsen, and he hated me for it. We started to fight more often. He would yell and scream at me for the slightest offense, real or imagined. He is the most petty person I’ve ever met, and he could hold a grudge forever. We fought over everything, breaking up several times. Every time though, he would come crawling back less than a day later “Baby I’m sorry, I love you, this was my fault too, will you please take me back?” I said yes every time like a fool. Whenever we fought, he could talk about it to whoever he wanted, but I would have to ask him permission first, and tell him who it was. It had to be someone that didn’t live anywhere near the town we live in, and couldn’t be connected to anyone else we knew. Even then, it was only at the end of the relationship that I could do so. We broke up for good about two weeks after summer vacation started. I’m 17 now and I’ve stated seeing another guy, Chris, who respects me in a way that I’ve never known. He’s patient with me through every nightmare, every breakdown, and every time I’m afraid I’ve screwed up. He truly cares about me, and I’ve been able to safely begin to heal.