He was quickly given a managers position at this restaurant and made it a point to manage during my shifts. Shortly after, i was invited back to his mom’s place for a party. Excited to make friends, i sat in their dirty mobile home and drank warm beer until i can remember floating down the hall – someone was carrying me. My manager was carrying me. I don’t remember everything that happened, but good girls date the guys they fuck, so i started ‘dating’ my manager. He called me Ferrari now and joked about ‘giving his friends a test drive’. He moved in with me bc he couldn’t afford rent at his mom’s. His new job afforded him access to pills. Idk what they were, but he called them jellybeans. I carried them for him around town and he would get me into bars. We would drink and he would pressure me to take jellybeans and destroy my home when I wasn’t willing to have sex afterward. He broke things, threw things at me, self harmed, threatened my cat’s life, all because i didnt love him enough to have sex. Then I remember a period of weird not caring. I would eat the food and drinks he made and settle into an apathetic haze. I was skipping my birth control pills and missing shifts at work. He started asking why I was walking a different way down the street to work, what new boyfriend i was going to see, and why I thought anyone would want to be friends with me if all i did was talk about my ‘shitty boyfriend’. He threatened my male coworkers, offered me as a swap to old swingers, and sent men to my work to intimidate me. I quit playing sports to devote more time to him. My coworkers made jokes about how tired i looked until they realized they were black eyes.

And then i was pregnant. I don’t know if it was one of the nights i said no and he self harmed until i caved or one of the many nights i would eat what he cooked and become a shell of myself. Too dissociated to fight back.

I told him i was getting an abortion, he didnt care. He came with me to the sonogram appointment and made a scene, telling me to bring one of my other boyfriends next time. I sat there glowing red. Low and alone and embarrassed around all of these other ladies who seemed to have some form of support. I had to sit with the sonogram photo for 24 hours before i could move forward with the pills. My rationale for choosing pills was ‘If i was going to do this, I deserved the pain that was coming’.

My manager took my keys that night and left home, leaving me locked in. I confronted him when he got home and he pushed me down a flight of stairs. I got ahold of my friend and asked for a place to stay. I finally confided in someone about what was going on. That friend fucked me that night. My manager let me back in the next morning.

I went back to planned parenthood, paid $500 cash to keep it off my parents insurance, took the first pill and got picked up by my mom nearby. It was a holiday weekend and we were staying at my aunts. I don’t know what happened to the pill bottle, but i remember tucking the pills between my teeth and cheeks thinking that if i could just fall asleep, i could skip all the bad stuff. Lol. I ended curled up in my aunt’s shower trying to hide all of my bleeding and diarrhea. My mom was uncharacteristically unsympathetic – i expect she found the pill bottle but will probably never know.

We spent 7 hours in an outlet mall the next day. I made it home to work a morning shift the day after that. Life went on. I had a lot of random, dangerous sex before finding therapy. Ptsd is serious. Find a therapist you trust and let them help you heal. It will take longer than you plan.

He still approaches me in public sometimes; it is scary how one person can send you back to being the terrified, pregnant, 19 year old he had just pushed down the stairs. Continuing with this hurts every day. I feel distant from babies – baby showers hurt my heart. I am so grateful for the life i have and so sorry to the potential child i chose not to have. I don’t regret the abortion at all.