When I was fifteen and sixteen, I was in an abusive relationship. He raped me four times, and had me convinced that it wasn’t rape because we were together. He would tell me things like, “I love you so much. I just couldn’t help it.” and “Don’t you love me? This is what people in love do.” after he was done. He also got angry once and shoved me against a door frame afterward because I had “just laid there.” My mother found out about the abuse in November, and made me end the relationship. Even though I realized that I had been abused by him. I was in denial about the rapes until next summer, when I told my family about my boyfriend. I’m very lucky, because they were supportive of me and respected my decision not to report it. Because the state I live in doesn’t offer restraining orders to minors, I had to wait to get one when I turned eighteen. I got the PFA order for him the day after my eighteenth birthday. Even though they’re not frequent, I still suffer from flashbacks and I’m not sure I’ve made all of the right decisions in handling it. However, I do know that there is life after rape, because I’m living it. I’ve been dating a wonderful man for two years, I’m in college now, I survived something horrible and traumatic, I healed from it, and I’m happier than I’ve ever been.