When I was 16, I was in an extremely abusive relationship.
Before I start, I would like to give some context. The relationship I had before this abusive one was my first true relationship. It was more distant compared to other people's relationships, but I still felt a true connection. Long story short, it didn't end well at all. During a holiday party around Christmas Day, I was taken to a bathroom by an older man and was raped. I felt so fragile and helpless. I didn't want to tell my parents because I hadn't told them I was gay and my 15-year-old mind thought that by telling my parents I was raped by a man, I would just receive hate from them. I looked to my boyfriend for comfort, but instead, he broke up with me that very same day and had no shame in posting an "11:11" post of his new girlfriend right after. I was broken at this point.
My grades for my sophomore year of high school did not help at all. I was struggling with so much of the material and I didn't want to ask for help from anybody due to my major trust issues. Then, all of a sudden, I meet a guy who, for this post, I am going to call Carlos. I met Carlos through friends of friends, so he didn't go to my school. He was at that moment 18 and a senior when I met him. At a party, I started to notice that he took an interest in me, which was strange since I thought he was a straight guy. Fast forward, we start hanging out more and generally spending more time with each other and I genuinely liked his company because he would listen to me and give me advice. Overall, he was just a great company. One day, he asks me out and I was so excited that I was finally getting a break from feeling like shit all the time. Or so I thought...
One of the earliest red flags was right after he asked me out when he said that I couldn't tell anyone about us and his reasoning was because he was not out, yet. Of course, I agreed because I empathized with him, but if you are in the gay community, one of the relationships people always suggest you avoid is people who haven't come out yet. I didn't mind because I was in the same boat. We were doing good for the next couple of months, but after the 3rd month, things started to go down a horrible path very quickly. Carlos would get annoyed whenever I would cancel on him I would have made plans with other friends before or I would just need to focus on my school work. At first, it was tolerable, but after a while, he would get really angry at me. One day, I had to cancel on him because of a family situation that just came out of nowhere, but I told him that we would hang out the next day. I meet him the next day and not even minutes into our outing and he was already yelling at me in public. I was getting a really bad anxiety attack because I was noticing the people staring at us and I was just urging him to talk about it somewhere else. He eventually snaps and slaps me in the face. That was the first time he hit me. We were both in shock. I start to tear up and all of a sudden, Carlos breaks down and holds me tight saying that he "didn't mean to do it" and that he is "so sorry". I was an idiot for forgiving him that day.
As the months passed, it got progressively worse. The slaps would turn into scratches, punches, and even kicks, Each time, he would always rush to say he is sorry and that he would change and each time, I would give him that opportunity to change. I don't even know what I was thinking. At that point, he had also separated me from my family and friends because he would tell me that they are not to the best of my interest and I believed him for the most part. I was just so fucked up and into the relationship that I had lost any hope and just blindly accepted his apologies each time. He had broken me in every way and I didn't even realize that until much later on. One day, he stopped apologizing after beating me and just straight up said I deserved every second of it. And again, like the weak idiot I am, I believed him. Eventually, he got bored of me and just broke up with me by telling me how much of a useless piece of shit I am and that he hopes I die or go kill myself. It was heartbreaking for me.
Life after Carlos was a living hell for me. At that point, I just blamed myself for being such a bad partner and I had never hated myself more than at that point. My final grades for school were horrible, I started to harm myself again after being a few years clean and I started taking harder drugs like Xanax. My morals were so fucked, too. I would hook up with guys at my school who were on the DL while having girlfriends of their own. I was just such a mess and it was all over some piece of a shit ex-boyfriend.
It took a while, but after reconnecting with my friends, going to therapy, and practicing spiritual healing, I managed to come in terms with myself. I turned my life around after seeking the help I truly needed.
For those of you who read this all the way and took time out of their day to read to my story, I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart, it means the world to me. I didn't tell this story so people can feel bad for me. I intend to bring awareness to the dangers of letting things happen and not standing up for yourself. I also want to let other people know who have experienced something similar that you are not alone and that there is always a life full of prosperity waiting for you. Love you all and stay safe out there!