I’m trying to figure out why I make such shity decisions in relationships. Why I choose men who are either physically, verbally or psychologically abusive. Due to this, I suffer from poor self-esteem and a fear of rejection. Overall, I feel men pretty much suck and I am left wondering why I just can’t get love right.
Before you ask, my father is in my life and he has always been an amazing man and husband. My mother and my father have been married for 30 year and counting. My parents are my role models when it comes to love and relationships. Yet I have failed miserably when trying to obtain what they have.
So I am taking a deeper look at what steered me wrong way and continues to do so. What impacted me so negatively that I found myself in an abusive relationship at just 17 years old? I thought back and thought hard, and at 2am one night, I busted out into tears as the reason for my dysfunction hit me like a ton of bricks.
At 12 years old, Jason was my crush and absolute favorite. He was a bit of a bad boy and somehow, I was assigned a seat next to him in homeroom class. We started chatting everyday and eventually, we were inseparable. Jason had gained my trust.
Soon, he started cornering me in the back of the classroom and wherever he could catch me alone. That’s when he sexually assaulted me. He touched me inappropriately. Daily. He’d boldly say sexually inappropriate and explicit things to me that I have yet to hear as an adult woman.
“Don’t tell anyone,” Jason would say. “I do this because I like you.”
I felt confused. I liked him so much and I didn’t want him to get into any trouble because of me. So I kept quiet and it got worse.
I started to feel more and more sick about his sexual assaults. Although I liked him still, I did not like what he was doing. I didn’t feel sexual or want to be sexual. At the young age of 12, I didn’t comprehend that what he was doing was wrong and that this was not love.
One day, I felt so overwhelmed I finally told my parents what was happening. They took me straight to the principal’s office and reported it. I felt completely guilty. I was so worried he would be mad at me and that he would confront me. And he did. My school did nothing to protect me. So, Jason used this to his advantage, telling me he knew I made a complaint about him but that it was okay; he still loved me. He kissed me on the cheek. I felt relieved that he had forgiven me for telling on him.
He sexually assaulted me and I was afraid to hurt his feelings. And, although I saw him daily the years that followed, he never showed me the same kind of attention.
I thought about him for at least another year. Although the sexual assaults were no longer happening, he had a psychological effect on me every time I saw him. I felt trapped between my hurt feelings and still thinking it was love. I didn’t know then, but I really needed some major therapy to work out my feelings on what happened and why I had conflicting feelings towards him. Now I understand that it’s a classic case of victim mentality in a sexual-abuse peer situation. As I write this now, it is difficult to admit because I have yet to deal with what happened to 12-year-old Jeanine.