My Story: Part 2
I apologize for the tardiness of this post. Part 2 of my story covers my two years in college. I learned a lot about myself in this time, and had some life changing experiences. With the exception of my ex-husband, all names have been changed. You can find Part 1 here.
I attended community college while still living at home. I didn’t know what I wanted to major in, and so getting the core credits out of the way at a community college seemed like the best course of action after high school. It was while I was attending community college that I met James.
James was intelligent, artistic, and my first “real” boyfriend. We dated for three months. During that time, he took me out, I met his friends, and he drove me to and from school every day. We spent a lot of time together, and spent hours talking and making out in his room at his parents’ house. I told him that my Catholic faith was very important to me, and that I wanted to wait until I was married to have sex. He had other plans.
We did other things in his room, of course. We fooled around, and my first sexual experience with someone was when he performed oral sex on me. I still believe it was the best introduction to sex a naive young girl could ask for. I was still adamant that penis-in-vagina sex was reserved for marriage, but I thought that perhaps this sort of experimentation was still okay. In my warped view, I thought that oral sex didn’t count as “real sex”.
One evening, all of that changed. We were fooling around, and clothes were coming off. I reminded James that I was saving myself for marriage, as I had reminded him every other time that we removed clothing. I honestly had no idea that he had entered me until after it was done. I had broken my own hymen years prior while inserting and removing a tampon, so there was no pain.
He laughed as I told him that I was hungry, and asked him to get me something to eat from the kitchen. I needed to be alone for a minute to process what had just occurred. I was horrified, but thought that perhaps his reasoning for having sex with me was his desire to marry me. He broke up with me two weeks later. It isn’t until now that I can fully process it. I had explicitly not given my consent to sex. My first time I had sex, I was raped, and he didn’t use a condom.
I was 18 years old, and had sex for the first time in my life. I was devastated. I had allowed him to have sex with me, sex outside of marriage, and then I was discarded like yesterday’s newspaper. I thought that everything I had been taught was true. I thought I was no longer a woman that men would value, and that I was a dirty shameful slut.
I spent days in my room, sobbing about how low I thought I had fallen. My mom finally ventured into my room to ask me why I was so hurt over the breakup. She hugged me, and kept asking me if there was anything I wanted to tell her. It took me three tries to get up the nerve to tell her that James and I had sex. She hugged me tighter, and said, “Well, honey, these things happen.” Then she let go of me, walked out of the room, and told my dad. I honestly believe he has never looked at me the same since then. I was no longer his pristine little girl, and he was incredibly disappointed.
Because I honestly felt that I had been forever soiled, I threw myself into my next relationship. I started dating a guy who I had known in high school. John was kind of trashy, but I didn’t think that I deserved a better guy in my life. He was a skater with long hair who worked as a dishwasher at a restaurant. His big dream was to own a chop shop where he could work on cars. I figured that because I had already had sex, other men would somehow magically know, so I didn’t bother denying John sex. Sex with him proved to continue to make me feel bad about myself, and his absolute obsession with me was terrifying. I broke up with him after four months, and he started to stalk and harass me. He would regularly threaten suicide when I didn’t respond. I never told my parents that he was bothering me. I thought that this was what happened to “fallen women”, and that because we had sex, he was in his rights to treat me poorly. I was terrified of him, and finally told him in no uncertain terms that he was never to contact me again. He has since tried to talk to me via social networking sites, but I reiterate my position and block him.
My final college boyfriend was Robert. Robert was kind, gentle, and intelligent. He was also Buddhist, vegan, and a virgin. During the year we were together, my life at home had soured. I had a falling out with my mom over a paper I had written for school, and she started giving me the silent treatment. Everyone else in the house followed suit. I spent a year living in a home where no one spoke to me, and I was greeted with empty stares when I said hello as I came home from work. No one in my family even said “happy birthday” on my 19th birthday, and I didn’t even receive a card. I started having anxiety attacks whenever I was at home, but Robert was happy to take me away from the source of the stress. I spent as much time as possible away from home.
Time spent with Robert was safe, and he helped me build my self-esteem, but there was a dark side. Just like John, Robert’s affection skirted close to obsession. He stopped taking his antidepressants cold turkey at the beginning of the relationship because he thought that our relationship was all that he needed to be happy. He would bend over backwards for me, and he made himself into my personal doormat. Over the course of a year, I grew disdainful of his willingness to do whatever I wanted him to do, and his inability to ever stand up to me. I ended the relationship just before II moved out of my parents house and into my first apartment. Robert was still a virgin when we parted, but he was so distraught over the breakup that he moved across the country to live with his dad.
It was while I was living in this studio apartment that I met Jason, my now-ex-husband.
Part 3 will be posted on Wednesday.