Sometimes I have a hard time saying that what happened to me was rape. I feel like it takes away from legitimate experiences of it and that I’m just being stupid. But what better place to talk about it than here, right?
I was 20 years old and he was my first everything. We met online and clicked. After about a month of seeing each other exclusively and having consensual sex I agreed to become his girlfriend.
From this point on our relationship changed. He stopped making an effort to make me happy, and I was always compromising to make him happy. I’m not sure even today if he knows how much of myself I compromised for him.
Our relationship began as a summer fling, but when school started things changed. Our schedules became so busy that we could only find time to see each other once a week, on Friday nights. We would text throughout the week to keep in touch, but that was it. At the beginning of the semester he made an effort to actually stay the whole night and to make the sexual experience pleasurable for me, but by October things changed. He would spend maybe 3 hours a week with me, and in that time we would only have sex. Sometimes I wanted it, but sometimes I didn’t.
Looking back I wonder how he could keep going while I reacted as I did. I wasn’t aroused at all, which he bypassed regardless. Sometimes I would start to cry part way through, and though for some reason I was unable to say no or to stop, he would continue. Sometimes he would ask me if I was ok and through my tears I would say yes. And he would keep going like nothing was wrong.
I eventually broke up with him. After an evening spent opening up to each other, we talked about our relationship. I was still incapable of telling him that I wanted to end it so when he asked me if I thought we should break up i said no. But when I saw his reaction when I told him that we had had sex when I didn’t want to, he became distant, literally covering himself with a blanket, like he felt dirty or ashamed. Kind of like I did.
He asked me again if he thought we should break up, and I said yes.
My roommate and best friend tells me that I don’t realize how strong I am to have left that relationship, and that other girls would have stayed. I don’t necessarily think I’m strong for it. I wasn’t in love with him. I stayed in that relationship for almost 5 months because I was scared of the inevitable confrontation. So yeah, not very brave of me at all.
I saw him a week after to drop off some of his things. I have not seen him since, but when I take a bus around his neighborhood I get anxious that I will see him.
Maybe I should have mentioned that we were young (I was 20, he was 19), but this experience did mess me up a bit. I didn’t have sex for 7 months after; I went from having an extremely high libido to an almost nonexistent one. I still do not trust men and this has affected relationships. I basically have no interest on forming lasting relationships with men, and I worry that this will never change, all because of how he made me feel when he wouldn’t stop.