I was very young and stupid then... but don't tell the teenager that I was. I was a very mature young woman at the age of 15, even my mother would tell you so. The eldest daughter of three to a single parent whose father had been absent since I was 9 years old.... who had open visitation rights but decided never to use them. I made outstanding grades, my teachers loved me and I had enough aquaintences that my birthday parties were never completely vacant....but I was never anyone's girlfriend. I felt I 'knew' I was fat and ugly... and that didn't matter because I at least was caring and loving. I was lonely... but it was okay I had my hobbies and I volunteered. Then I met Justin. My first real relationship that wasn't 100% online. When we met I was consoling him and helping him through a rough time because he was a bit suicidal ....he'd just found out the older woman he'd been dating not only wasn't wanting to date him anymore but that she'd put out a restraining order against him "out of fear he'd tell her husband and children about their affair". Foolish me I never did see that huge red warning flag...I believed him at face value. We started dating about a month later and he said that I was a miracle worker. That he owed me his life.... that without me he surely would of committed suicide. It sowed the seeds of emotional blackmail for the next three years of my life. It did not take very long for things to become very compromising. He was jealous my best friend was male and refused to let me hang out with him except at public parties where he was already going. All my friends hated him and so there developed a rift between us. My world became Justin's. I started to lie to Justin... make up extreme and elaborate stories in order to be able to go out with my friends or spend time alone with my family. When I was caught he would get so extremely mad that I would break down and tears that I didn't care how much he shook me--- I wanted him to hurt me. I wanted to "redeem" myself for making him hurt, for lying to him... I wanted to make it up to him. I would do things...sexually... I didn't like in order to make him happy. He cheated on me and made it my fault. It's my fault he cheated because I'd made him so angry that he lost control. He would beg my forgiveness and so happy to hear him speak of how much he loved me.... I always forgave. Then one day we had a fight and the yelling as not enough. I was so angry... he was so angry... and for once I decided I wasn't going to break down and cry and be a pansy anymore. I was tired of being pushed around! I slapped him. He punched me in the stomach. He pulled my hair and shoved my face into the floor. He took a clothes hanger and he smacked me with it over and over and over again. It was so humiliating... I felt like a child who had stepped out of line for an angry parent not an equal, not a peer...not a beloved girlfriend. I became numb and no longer fought back. I no longer argued. I had lost a bit of my personality as though something had broke inside of me and I became very depressed. Then he came to my house with flowers, took me to the sweetest dinner and was just like how he was when we first met. It was so romantic and I warmed up to him again. Then I had a Eureka moment. I had a moment of sheer self-pride where I realized I was an extremely intelligent, successful woman who could be perfectly fine on my own and I didn't need a man to be happy. I broke up with Justin for the final time....not one of those breakups where we did it for a day and got back together. At the end of Spring Break when he was on the plane back to college. I dumped him. I then disconnected my phone and internet and refused to talk to him for 3 weeks for fear I would cave in and go back to him. Our one conversation at the end of the 3 weeks I came so close to caving in and crawling back to him (I nearly did... ) that I decided to avoid him completely. He got so mad he hacked my email account, changed all my passwords...mailed nasty things to my friends and tried his best to hurt me. He was juvenile... my best friend and I reconciled and spoke about how juvenile he was and I was better for it. I then moved. I wanted to put that chapter of my life behind me ....but it would take nearly twice as long to get over him. I had a series of very numb relationships where I couldn't ever let myself trust or become emotionally available but eventually I did heal.... and I became a stronger, healthier person for it. In the end it seems like cutting the ties to Justin helped me.... so that last year when I accidently ran into him it didn't matter anymore. He hates me. I don't care. He "still loves me". I don't care. Do I still love him? A small part of me always will...the same small part that feels sorry for the little boy that was abused as a child only to grow up to be a serial rapist or batterer. It's a fleeting sympathy that doesn't outweight the horrors of what they're now capable of.