He’d force me to send photos, then threaten to share them if I left…

We met at band camp, and it was like a fairytale love. I’d never been that happy before, in that first month of our relationship. But things began to change when he started controlling me, by not allowing me to hangout with my friends and then he began to separate me from my family. He would force me to send him explicit photos. Then, when I’d try to leave him he’d threaten to send them out to his friends. He would follow me from school to home and work to home. He began claiming he was going to kill himself if I left and threatened suicide everyday. I was scared for him because I loved him.

During all of this, I felt so hurt, because I loved him and I thought I could help change him and make things better again. It was so emotionally draining. I started to fail school and had to quit my job so I wouldn’t be around other men. Once I finally was able to leave him, he had his friends follow me around in their cars. One day, when he knew I was home alone he broke in and raped me. It took me two weeks to tell my parents. My mom found out by going through my phone on my birthday when I started crying because he was trying to blackmail me with explicit photos. So on my birthday I met up with a police officer and my parents and had to write a statement.

Today, I’m recovering. I still suffer from severe anxiety and PTSD but I’m slowly working through it. My family and friends pulling me close after I was finally free saved my life. 

To anyone experiencing abuse… Whatever you do, don’t abandon your friends when they go through abuse. That’s when they need you most. Also, for all teens out there I know it’s hard to talk to your parents about relationships, but your parents are your closest allies.