He told me that he loved me. He told me that I was the only person that had ever been there for him. He told me that I could never leave.

He was intense from the start. At first, I thought his passion was interesting and exciting. He would write me poems and tell me about the life we would have together. But all of his words were hollow. His passion was a thin mask, covering the anger he had inside. That anger burst through and came at me like an avalanche. His words cut like knives as he picked at the things he knew I was sensitive about.

He told me that intimacy was the only way he had felt love in the past, and he always, always, always tried to push the lines I had drawn. I was constantly a referee. My hand would follow his, making sure he didn't go where he shouldn't. I had set standards—don't lay on top of me, don't touch my chest, don't go under my clothes—he did all of those things, and I would tell him no. I would try to push him off, but he was stronger than me. I would say no, but he ignored the words I spoke, my hands shaking, pushing against him. He would tell me sorry afterwards. He would say that he had figured things out and that it wouldn't happen again. And then it would. 

I never thought that it was assault. We never had sex. I thought I was ok. 

But I had flashbacks and nightmares. When my next boyfriend kissed me for the first time, I felt anxious. My hand started following his, without even thinking about it. Luckily, he was kind enough to sit down and talk about it with me. That's when I realized that I wasn't ok.

The man that emotionally abused me and constantly tried to push the lines—the man that gave me the emotional scars I have now—is getting married this weekend. All of our mutual friends think that we broke up because "my parents got involved" because that's the excuse he used. 

What he did was not ok. But I'm free from him, and I am healing. And that's good.

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