Desperate to be loved, but at what price?
I was 17 years old and desperate for love and connection. I met someone who showered me with constant attention and I became addicted to that feeling. "Finally someone has chosen me!" I thought. He was very coercive and forceful when it came to sex. I was extremely naive and ultimately was willing to put up with anything in order to be "loved." One time during sex I became so overwhelmed with emotion. The act felt so animalistic and wrong to me. I knew he didn't care about me. I laid there and started to cry. He asked if I would stop crying and hold on until he finished. Which is exactly what he did as I laid there crying, feeling completely numb and empty. Another time I had my period and didn't want to have sex. We were in the back of his car. He ripped my tampon out, threw it out the window, and held me down and told me that he would hurt me if I continued to resist. After it was over I just laid in the backseat with the same numb feeling as he drove me home. Neither one of us spoke a word. These memories, along with other painful ones, play in a loop in my head daily. That same ache has stayed in my soul. I am now 31 years old and am feeling so much anger and sadness over how much this has negatively affected me for all of these years. There is also a loop of negative self-talk that plays in my head: "I will never be normal. I will never be loved. No one will ever understand. I will never have a healthy sex life. No one will ever see me." My experience with him is what led me into the arms of another abuser at the age of 26. I spent almost four years with him until I decided enough is enough. I feel even more damaged and hopeless now than ever before. I have recurrent nightmares that someone is trying to find me and torture/kill me. My insomnia, acne, allergies, and digestive issues have flared. My body feels tight and on edge at all times. I wish so badly that time would heal, but I know that I need to put in the work in order to heal. I am trying. I am so exhausted and can't see the light at the end of the tunnel.