Lauren’s Story: He Knew Exactly What He Was Doing

Lauren’s Story: He Knew Exactly What He Was Doing

Four years ago:

I was new in town and looking for friends.
I was in a long-distance relationship with my best friend.
I had lost 20 lbs due to extreme anxiety, in less than a month.
I worked three restaurant jobs and found it hard to meet people- let alone with similar interests.
I was 19 and chose not to drink, but was gaining a bit of interest.
I love the outdoors and meeting new people.

He worked with me.
He was 29 and was new (ish ) to town.
He was single and ‘lonely’.
He knew I was in a relationship.

I brought up wanting to explore the area and expressed my interest in hiking.
He said he had interest as well, and asked me to join him.
I agreed and suggested we go near my house (I lived with my mom’s family), so it seemed neutral.

It was a short hike, so it seemed like not too much commitment.
He struggled. I did not. He didn’t seem interested in hiking at all.

We hiked around a few more times together.
Each time, he would say something that made me uncomfortable.
I admitted my long-distance relationship was taxing.

He made some remarks and asked me pointed questions about what I thought was attractive.
One morning, he walked straight into my home and I woke up with this man in my bedroom. Apparently, I had agreed to this in a text earlier in the morning. I remember this, but also know I’m groggy in the morning. He didn’t knock.

He tried to hold my hand. One of our walks, he kissed me. I had said I loved my boyfriend a lot. I was so uncomfortable and went home and cried. I am not a cheater, but I felt like one. I told my boyfriend and decided to end my ‘friendship’ with my co-worker. I paid for my boyfriend to come see me. I invited this coworker over. I had set up an intervention of sorts. I wanted my family to see something and to say something to get rid of him. At the time, I didn’t understand why I wanted this to happen. However, now I know I just needed someone to save me. I needed help, but didn’t see it.

I asked him to meet me in a park one evening to do so. I pulled up so anxious and was on my Bluetooth, anxiously getting advice from my mom (who just thought I was a lonely cheater). I sat there in my car and saw him approach holding roses. It infuriated me. I got out of my car and he immediately questioned who I was talking to and if I was talking to them about him. I said it was none of his business. He said he wouldn’t leave until I took the roses. I told him I didn’t want to see him outside of work again. I took the roses home. He called me as I drove away, questioning me why I was taking a different route home and was acting nervous and overbearing. I hung up and cried. I got home, wiped my tears, and gave the flowers to my mom.

I felt good about my decision. The next night after working at my other job at around 11, I walked out and crossed the street. He was sitting there= drunk and upset. I was so mad. He cried and asked to hang out just one more time. I said fine and was clearly upset. He asked if he could bring wine and cheesecake to apologize. I agreed. He came over. He apologized for acting the way he did. I think I had two glasses of wine. It was fancy, is all I remember. I didn’t drink at all previously. Maybe a glass of wine with my mom on occasion. I was drunk. He told me my body was too skinny for him to find attractive. I remember him saying my boobs were too small. I remember being naked on my bed. Crying. He told me I had done this and its obviously what I wanted and that we were now in a relationship. He made me call my boyfriend and break up with him right then. I laid there, sobbing. I don’t remember anything else.

I was vulnerable.
I was kind.
I was naïve.

I thought that I must be a cheater and this is what I obviously wanted- and so did my family. I went through the motions for about a month. He was disgusting. He talked down about me. He talked down about my body. I believed it all.

All he wanted was sex.

A month later he told me about an opportunity in a new city, closer to family. I took it and convinced him to go. It took a lot of convincing. It worked. He quit his job and left. That was the smartest move I could have made at that time and I leapt.

I had previously promised him to tour around my hometown. He reminded me that I keep my promises. So, I did a few weeks later. During those few weeks, I gained more strength in myself than I had ever had. I was mean. I said what I needed to and felt so good about myself.

It took me about four months to let myself see what had actually happened. I was manipualted. I was raped. I was made to feel poorly about myself, so someone else could take advantage. It took me much longer to tell my mom who was still teasing me about my mistakes. She denied doing so, but the teasing stopped. Most of my family will never known what really happened.

In the meantime, I had lost my best friend. I had nightmares almost every night about him. All of them about how I’m a cheater and he wanted nothing to do with me. I didn’t think about any of this any more, but it came up every night. It took me three years to talk about what really happened, and he was very gracious about it.

I’ve changed my number since all of this, and feel safer knowing he can’t contact me. I have moved again. Even still, if I see the same car as he had, I get anxious. If I see someone that looks similar, I panic.

Four years later and he still has control over some of my mind.

However,

I am stronger.
I am bolder.
I am loyal.
I am beautiful.
I am still kind.

Author

WYR

WYR

When You're Ready.org is a community for survivors of sexual violence to share their stories.

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