Irene’s story

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I was in a relationship where it started out like any normal, loving relationship, but it quickly turned to a kind of “game” where I was manipulated into doing my ex-boyfriend’s bidding. The abuse was verbal, psychological and sexual.

I was told by him how to wear my hair and clothes, who I could and couldn’t be friends with and what I could and couldn’t say. The worst of the abuse was probably constantly being told I was nothing more than a “whinging, stupid bitch” and that I was “never going to be as pretty or sexy as other girls”.

He also forced me to have sex with him in public, at school, outdoors, as well as force me to perform sex acts on him that I never would have dreamt of doing.

If he wasn’t doing this, he’d constantly complain and spread rumours as well as insult and ridicule me behind my back and I’d only find out from our friends. I only got out of the relationship after some advice from a teacher at my school.

How I coped

I cried, a lot, and blamed myself for the majority of the time, but I learned to realise that it was never my fault and to become much stronger for that.

How the situation changed

My ex continued to threaten me and abuse me even after we broke up, he has left me alone now, but I still fear he could do something at anytime.

What helped me

My new boyfriend and one of my teachers, who is like a second mum to me, they both have given me so much support since I left my last boyfriend.

My advice to others

If you think something is wrong, don’t be afraid to talk about it, that’s what family and friends are for, and NEVER blame yourself, no matter what.

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