I wrote an extract of a memoir for my Creative Writing A Level coursework. I enjoyed writing the piece and who knows maybe when I’m older and lived a bit more of my life I shall write the rest of this memoir piece.
Little disclaimer: if you are triggered by sexual and emotional abuse or self-harm then don’t read this.
MY memoir to him
I cried but I wasn’t upset. The tears formed down my face because my brain suspected I was going through a upsetting scenario. And I was. But I wasn’t unhappy, I was relieved. I should have been angry; you broke up with me over the phone. I know we had only been dating a few months but we had known each other for over 2 years and you couldn’t even break up with in person. I should have been angry; but I wasn’t.
You heard me crying and you said you were sorry and that you didn’t want to hurt me. You must have known it was too late for that. You didn’t want to hurt me yet spent months emotionally manipulating to get me to do exactly what you wanted. What a hypocrite you were.
By this point I knew how to translate your words. You said that you were in the second year of studying A Levels and that the work was getting more intense. You didn’t want me to wait long periods of time before I could see you; how thoughtful you were. In reality, you had tried to get me to have sex with you for the last few weeks and got bored of me saying no. I’m sure the College coursework was hard; just not as hard as your dick.
I think that phone call was the first and last time I heard you say the words “I’m sorry”
Whether you actually meant it or not was another story.
We were only together for 2 months but it felt like years. The weight on my shoulders was getting heavier to hold. The emotional roller-coaster you put me through was hell; only enjoyable for you. When I met you that first time I was happy and as we continued to date I slowly forgot what happiness felt like; you’re telling me that’s a coincidence?
You made me feel absolutely disgusting in my own body. The place had to become my home and I suddenly couldn’t stand living there. You constantly put me down and suggested I wasn’t good enough. I worshiped the ground you walked upon and you took full advantage of that. Whether that was your intention from the start or whether you saw the power you had and decided to go with it. To see how far you could go. Maybe you didn’t think I was that stupid; love makes you stupid.
I was merely 14 years old when I first met you. I was underweight and petite. My face was full of acne and I hadn’t quite grown boobs yet, pretending that I filled my bra. But most importantly I was insecure. Your plan wouldn’t have worked if I was confident with myself and the way I was portrayed.
As a teenage girl everyone has an image of what their perfect boyfriend would be. I remember my friends and I used to make lists of about 100 things we needed the guy to have; some were looks related, some were personality related. There was no one out there that was going to tick every single item on my list, but you ticked a lot. Which is how I worked out you were out of my league. We made this list but forgot that just because someone was our type doesn’t mean you were theirs.
I have never been standardised beautiful. I have always been an acquired taste, especially for you. You liked them tall, slim, curvy but not fat. And I was short, unnecessarily skinny bordering on underweight, no curves whatsoever. Because I knew I wasn’t your type when you gave me the chance to be with you, I jumped on it.
I spent months chasing people that weren’t you to try and show you how uninterested I was. But I was obsessed since that day I saw you and will probably end up with you in my brain till the day I die. Although later I found out that it didn’t matter what I did for you weren’t going to ask me out before the age of 16.
“I waited to ask you out till you were 16 so I didn’t become a registered sex offender”
The only way you could have been more blunt was if you said “ I want to fuck you until I get bored and then leave you”
That was the first red flag I forgot to notice.
I was 16 years old when I thought I had fallen in love. I had butterflies in my stomach that were so intense that I thought I was going to throw up. I had imagined a future with you; a house, kids, our families getting along. I didn’t ever want to hurt you, no matter how much you deserved it. But you hurt me, time and time again. I don’t think I ever got a single apology out of you.
“Love is doing something you absolutely hate for someone who doesn’t even deserve it”
That was my own definition I came up with for how I describe what being in love is like and I still stand by it. You can be so in love that a situation suddenly becomes toxic and you can’t see. Or choose not to see the terrible mess that surrounds you.
One minute everything was fine, if anything I couldn’t you remember the last time I was this happy. Next thing I know I am in the woods, being shouted at to get down on my knees. You used to be everything I thought I wanted and then my life got turned into a nightmare that I couldn’t wake up from. My head was telling me to run; my feet wouldn’t move. It’s like when you can’t scream in a nightmare, almost like you’re being controlled. This is one of those stories you have where afterwards you think of all the other things you could have done, could have said that would have made the situation better. Obviously being human I’m allowed to make mistakes. Just some leave more of a scar on your body than others. At least I know I’ve definitely learnt from this one.
We had a weird friendship, I’m not even sure what you would you call it. I used to trust you. You used to ask a lot of questions and I used to give a lot of information because I desperately wanted you to trust me back. You knew everything about me but you were so vague and mysterious with everything; I never really knew you, did I?
Even as just friends we used to argue quite a bit. Which normally resulted in us not talking to each other for months on end. I used to delete and block you off my phone or whatever messaging service we were using. But give it enough time I had always added back. We always got talking again as if nothing happened. It was confusing, almost as if neither one of us could let go of the other.
Over time you made me feel like I was never good enough for anyone and that there was probably something wrong with me. I assumed my over-emotional self was too much for anyone. That’s when I decided to hide my feelings. I thought that’s what people would want from me, to be robotic and emotionless. And that’s when I buried everything deep inside of me. I should have never bottled up everything because at some point it all had to come out.
At some point the body retaliates. Sometimes irrationally.
One time I came home from school, shut myself in my bedroom, grabbed the scissors and frantically dragged the blade against my arm. Not enough to create a scare but enough for me to feel the impact. As time went on the cutting became more frequent and deeper. It got to the point where I used to sit and watch my blood trickle down my arm. I never understood why I did it and that’s what irritated me the most. I supposed maybe it was built up anger or stress. My friend said instead of taking it out on my arm to write down on a piece of paper what was stressing me out or causing me anger and at first I thought the idea was stupid. But I should thank my friend for it’s how I got into poetry.
“I’m talking to this girl at the moment. She’s really pretty, beautiful actually. The problem is I think I’ve fucked things up so I won’t ever get a chance with her. I don’t think she’ll forgive me”
“You’d be surprised” I messaged back with a giant smile on my face.
If this had been anyone else but you, I would have straight up walked away.
You wanted to walk through the woods, I thought it would be romantic but you had other plans it seems. As we walked through the forest, the sun shone on your hair turning it a silky golden brown. We stared longingly into each other’s eyes, your hazel brown eyes stayed as an image in my head. Within a blink of an eye you had pushed me up against a tree, with your hand down my jeans; suddenly I had no control over the situation.
I was speechless. I wanted to tell you to stop but it was as if my mind and body weren’t connected. I could see what was happening but I couldn’t do anything to stop it. It was only when you looked up and saw that I was silently crying when you decided to stop. You couldn’t understand what was wrong.
“I haven’t seen you in a year and this is all you want to do” I whispered, scared of the consequences and surprised with what you had just done. You then told me not to cry and how sorry you were and how you were just seeing how far I would let you go. It seems you wanted to rush through as many things as possible, just so I was another tick on his list of girls. I couldn’t see what you were trying to achieve so I stayed, I just assumed this is how relationships went and you just happened to be a bit more controlling than most.
I wanted to ignore all the signs that he was dangerous because I loved him.
Now as a 16 year old I had one best friend and I told her everything interesting that had ever happened. But you were a very secretive person and insisted on me not telling anyone about us talking let alone being a couple. You used to tell me how they’ll get angry if they find out we’re talking again but would never tell me who they were, and so I was always left in the dark. But I assumed if I told my best friend and no one else you would be fine with it. Let’s just say I assumed wrong. It was pathetic when I think about it, we had a full blown argument about me telling one person regarding our relationship.
“If she tells anyone, I’m breaking up with you”. I was confused on why you said that; you had got so angry. You were embarrassed of being with me and that was the only logical reason I could think of that would explain why you got so irate. At this point I had the tiniest amount of self-esteem and that in itself didn’t last for long either. My friend thought I was mental for not breaking up with you, hadn’t even been a week and we were already arguing to the extent in which you threatened to end it.
But she promised not to tell anyone and I had promised if he didn’t change I’d leave him. Of course only one of us kept our promise.
You only really visited me if you knew it would be worth it for you anyway. A bit like when you only invited me over to yours when you knew you would be home alone. So once a week we would go to Epsom Common and do whatever you wanted and that’s what you classed as a date. Epsom Common is a big open space with a maze of pathways, surrounded by sections of forest. It was always empty besides a couple of dog walkers and it was far away from the high street. The rest of the time we would Skype till stupid o’clock in the morning and I had to pretend I enjoyed being your puppet. You tended to give me two undesirable options and I had to choose one that I hated the least. I enjoyed your company so much I would do anything to keep you by my side.
In the beginning he found me “annoyingly frigid” and then he found new ways to manipulate me, when I look back I think about how gullible I was being. It doesn’t matter how good I looked naked he wasn’t going to fall in love with me. Somewhere in my head I knew it wasn’t true but yet I still had faith in him to complete his offer. He would allow me to have what I wanted if I granted him wishes. And if I didn’t do what he said he would remind me how he could leave me for his female friends that were dancers who had a better body and “bigger tits” than me. “Count yourself lucky” he used to tell me. It’s not like I could have changed how I looked to something he would much rather be with.
Every time he invited me over to his I refused because I knew what he wanted to happen and I wasn’t ready. I also didn’t trust him enough to think he would stay afterwards. He tried to persuade me with every trick in the book. First it was “Before we do anything I want to just admire your naked body”. One of the things stopping me from doing anything was my lack of self-esteem causing me to hate myself and my body. Ironically that was his fault. Then he tried to guilt trip me into it “Don’t you love me? Don’t you want to show me with the act of making love, how much you love me?” Then he got angry when I told him I thought he was going leave afterwards and that I didn’t trust him.
“If you don’t want to be here fuck off then”
“Do you want me to leave?” he said, aggressively.
“I don’t know”
“I know you want it to end. Just get it over with, I know you want to”
“I can’t. I don’t want to. I’m sorry” I sobbed down the phone
That’s how most of our arguments ended, we both told each other to leave. But neither of us ever did. I, for some reason, couldn’t physically say the words to end it. I don’t know how to explain it but I knew he was no good for me and was making my life miserable but every time I thought of leaving him I would burst into tears.
One of the things he had that meant he could become in charge of me easily was his short temper. He was very much the guy on those “He only hits me when he’s drunk” posters warning teens about abusive relationships, I mean in our two month relationship he never hit me but then we had never been drunk together. There was a time when I had to cancel meeting up with him last minute because my mum had told me I had to babysit my two younger sisters. Well he was not happy with me about that arrangement, even though it technically was not my fault. That didn’t matter to him for in his eyes I was to blame and I had to be punished.
He stood there, watching me with a smug look on his face as if he were proud of what he was about do. And I crouched down ready for him to discipline me for what I had done to him, he wanted to make sure I didn’t prioritise anyone else over him. He continued to smile at my pain as the he slid down my throat causing me to gag. He told me if I swallowed I wouldn’t have to do it again; he’s a liar.
The thing is deep down he knew what he was doing was wrong. He even at one point said I must have Stockholm Syndrome. Stockholm Syndrome is where you gain feelings of trust and affection for your captor. Obviously he didn’t abduct me but the fact I had a perceived inability to escape meant I experienced some of the same symptoms. These symptoms are fairly similar to those who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) such as flashbacks, nightmares, insomnia, difficulty concentrating, being easily startled and increase distrust in others.
I sometimes still get nightmares and flashbacks after over a year has passed. These nightmares don’t necessarily involve events that really happened but he’s always there controlling me in some way, sometimes it can be as subtle as him wanting to talk to me and not letting me pass or as obvious as him locking me in a room. He also happens to be in everyday places that I’ve never seen him in before such as my college or work. So even though I know it wouldn’t happen I wake up worried I’ll see him.
However that’s not all that has now happened as a result of him. I get paranoid. I have terrible body image and low self-esteem and doesn’t matter what I change or try and improve on, I never seem satisfied with what I see. Doesn’t help that as a teen I suffered from really bad acne and some days just wanted to stay in bed. When people compliment me I get the idea that they’re wanting something out of me rather than it being true. I am overly negative about everything and spend a lot of time overanalysing. I don’t like physical contact such as hugs unless I know the person well enough. I have severe trust issues and find it easier talking to a stranger over the computer about my problems than someone I know face to face.
I wish there was some silver lining to tell you about but unfortunately that’s life.
The worst thing of all I didn’t realise I had been sexually abused till someone told me. It all just went so quickly and I just assumed that he was just a control freak, which he was. He admitted to being controlling and we used to have arguments about him changing his habits. But he never did and I forgave him time and time again, which gave him the permission to continue what he was doing.
You spent so much time trying to get me into the idea of being bisexual. I came out as bisexual at a very late age of 17, the only reason I suggest that it was late because I feel a lot people work out their sexuality quite a bit before then. But I spent a lot of time confused and in all honesty, had no clue that being bisexual was a thing. Most of my education was spent in an all-girls school and it was only when I went to college and was mixed between both sexes, I realised I was bisexual.
You spent so much time trying to get interested in something I clearly wasn’t interested in. you wanted us to have a threesome with another girl. Like I was only sexy if I was with another girl.
You used to call me boring. You used to call me frigid. You used to spend so much belittling me, jokes on you I already felt as small as a pea around you.
The thing that affected me the most was the way you made me feel about my boobs. I was already insecure about being underdeveloped, you didn’t need to prod my fear. I didn’t feel beautiful in my body. You used to critique my nudes like they were fucking art work. I’m sorry I wasn’t art to you.
I was just a draft and you tried hard to fix me and edit me to your liking. Unfortunately you can’t do that with humans. It is okay being a fixer upper if it is something that can be fixed. Like a bad habit. Like biting your nails. But you can’t fix my genetics. If I was meant to be born with a small chest then I can still be beautiful with a small chest. And it took me way too long to work that out.
Isn’t it funny how for him I was just another girl but for me he was a list of problems waiting to happen? Shows how cruel life can be.