Having starting my first ever bar job at the age of 18 I met someone who I wouldn't have ever pictured myself being with. He was into his dance techno music whereas I was in to my rock punk and metal. We got on well and ended up dating. I've had boyfriends growing up but he was my first long term serious boyfriend. We wrote notes to each other to help communicate better when one of us was struggling to open up. We spent every possible moment we could. Life was good I was happy. We were both virgins (or so he said) so we talked about taking our relationship to the next stage.

We planned it all out but even though it didn't go to plan the first time we did end up sleeping together. This is where it all began to change. He was always jealous of my friends including my best friend of 6years which sadly because of his jealousy I stopped talking to everyone one of my friends. I felt alone but I was happy he was with me. Little things started to cause me to feel worthless and confused. We would argue over petty things which always resulted in me being the one who was always in the wrong I was the one causing all the problems. Or so I thought.

One night I woke to find my pajama bottoms were on the floor as well as my underwear. He told me I stripped off in my sleep be sure I must have been too warm. I thought he's right sounds something I would do. Then it would occur often. I would find myself without any clothes most times.

One specific night I will always remember, it's like it's all on a loop video in my brain. I fell asleep around half ten with my boyfriend we had been working all day and I was tired. I couldn't tell you what time I woke up but what woke me I'll never forget. I woke with really uncomfortable pain down below and I couldn't breathe properly. I didn't move just slowly coming round to open my eyes when I realized my head was under my pillow with what felt like a weight on top of it. Then I felt pain again and again and again. I could feel a hand round my stomach and feel him thrusting himself into me. That was what the pain was. He was performing sex acts on my while I slept. I couldn't move I couldn't speak. I froze I didn't know what to do. Was this normal? Is this what happens with sex? Is this what couples do? Is this the way it's meant to be? All these things ran through my head and before I know it the weight lifted off my head and nothing was touching me anymore. He left the room went to the toilet. I just lay there emotional, what had happened? Why did he do that? Do I say to him?

I thought about this all the time but I didn't dare ask about it. When I tried to bring it up he would say I just take my clothes off when I sleep or I had a restless night so he helped take trousers off. I then started to think I was imagining it. The thing was it started happening all the time, every night I went to bed I didn't want to hug him I didn't want to spoon I didn't even want to sleep. I tried my best to stay awake until he would fall asleep first. Alarm bells ringing in my head all the time that I shouldn't feel like this about someone I loved so much but yet scared of at the same time. I'd always sleep lightly and I always didn't dare move. He would have sex with me every night or two when I was asleep. I would cry slightly most of the time, I didn't like this normality I hated it but this was the way sex and a relationship worked, or so I thought.

I struggled with this for three years, I always wrote him letters bringing up my pajamas or that I felt like we had sex last night but he would always tell me I was imagining things it was all in my head. I genuinely thought I was making all this up in my head and that I was going mad. He was good at letting me know how everything was my fault. How he woke up late, how he got to work late, how I was the one that burned his dinner when I wasn't even home. I got a new job and of course being apart from him was horrible I felt lost. He would text make sure I was in work and who I was with etc. I eventually loved going to work talking to new people showing myself again. It didn't last long. I had messages phone calls of why was I not home yet? I must be sleeping with someone from the work! Who was I with? What was I doing? He even showed up to my work just to make sure I was there and that I was actually working. I felt alone, under pressure, confused, I had nobody to speak to. I felt worthless all of the time to the point I felt numb. I didn't cry anymore I didn't feel anything. I got so drunk one night at a funeral that I confronted him about it. He laughed and said again he didn't know what I was talking about etc. but I wasn't backing down. Somehow the alcohol I consumed and my lack of emotion now I wasn't backing down. I knew it wasn't in my head I knew something was right.

My dad and his friend drove us home I was falling asleep in the car when I felt fingers rubbing over my underwear and then inside me. I moved and he quickly moved his hand. A part of me wanted my dad to turn around and see what he was doing but another half of me was scared I'd lose the man I loved so much. All the way home I could feel him pawing at me and I always moved so he couldn't touch me.
We got home and I couldn't fight sleep any longer I wore two pairs of pajama bottoms and a sports bra with a baggy T-shirt. I passed out on my bed. My throat was on fire my wrists where on fire and my downstairs felt like it was in an oven. It burned. I could see him on top of me doing it again!! He was having sex with me while I was out of it. My own fault really for drinking so much. I told him to stop it I felt like my voice was so quiet he couldn't hear. I said it louder and he would tighten his grip on my hands. He was 6ft 3 and I was only 5ft 4. I struggled to push him off me but he found it found like it was a game. I can't describe how I felt because at that moment I feared for my life I feared what he would do. I cried. He eventually let go of me and again went to the bathroom. I curled up in a ball and cried my body hurt so much I felt broken. I remember shaking while trying to get my clothes on and then next minute being out in my street walking about with my jeans and no socks just trainers. I hadn't even had a jacket on. I hide in a nearby close quickly putting my phone on silent. I sat there for what felt like a lifetime. I had missed calls and texts from him. He wanted to know where I was he was out looking for me. I panicked. I was cold and I wanted to go home but not with him there. I messaged him to say to get out of my parents’ house and leave me alone. I didn't like what he was doing and I told him it felt wrong. He replied with 'you're my partner, I love you and I was just having fun I'm sorry'. My heart melted he apologized I felt awful sending him awful texts but I couldn't have him near me. He said he was away home so I returned home to my patents house. He was gone and I felt like I could breathe but also that I better lock every door and window in the house. I slept in the bath that night with the door locked and the under the sink cupboard against the door. I was scared.

Few days past and we texted and he would apologize every time he was sorry he loved me I made him the way he was I was beautiful I was his he didn't want to lose me. I ended up asking him why. Why did he do what he done when I slept? Why did he not stop when I asked? He didn't have an answer just always reverted back to me making him feel this and that.

We broke up. It was hard. I missed him so much I lost half of my heart and life. I tried getting back on my feet with trying to talk to old friends and go out. Good amount of time passed and I was heading to town to meet a friend for a night out I waited on the last train when I see a car sitting. It was him. How did he find me? Was this a coincidence? He waved his hand for me to get in the car. I walked over he said he thought it was me and where was I going, general questions. I relaxed a little but still guard up. He offered to take me to town but I declined. I had another 25minutes to wait for the train he said to sit on the car and wait so I reluctantly agreed. In that moment I just thought why did I do that? I was an idiot felt like I was so small again about to get a row from someone for doing something bad. Sitting in his car felt strange but it was warm. I could smell alcohol from him he said he had a couple but was OK to drive. He asked a lot of questions and I noticed that I'd started clock watching. It had only been five minutes I remember it clearly. The smell of booze was so strong it gave me the beak. I felt a sense of relief when my phone rang, it was my friend I was meeting in town. I went to answer but I couldn't feel eyes burning through me. His eyes whole attitude changed towards me. He was cold and gave small snide remarks on what I was wearing and how I must be 'sleeping' (better word than the one he used) with my friend. My phone went again and next thing I remember was his face in mine. The smell was overwhelming it was a mix of the booze he had drank and an aftershave that I can still smell to this day. He tried hugging me and holding me kissing my head and then holding me against the seat of the car. I shouted for him to stop it and the word no left my mouth more than I could count. I know I shouted it so many times but it was like he wasn't him. I won't go into all the details I can't, I still struggle with it. The smells the taste the cold etc. all remind me of that one night.

The one night I fought back and it got me nowhere. I felt used, vulnerable, and worthless. He raped me there and then in that car. I can say that now. Raped. I never knew regarding that was. When you hear raped you think a stranger forcing himself on you and it being done within seconds or minutes. It's not the case. That man raped me over and over for years I just was too stupid to think it was 'Normal'. The sad thing was I met an amazing guy who showed me the world treated me like a princess and I was myself around. The first night I stayed with him I thought to myself why is he not touching me? Why is he not doing this why he is not doing that? Was I not what he wanted? Did I do something wrong? Eventually I realized when I asked him about it that his face said it all. It wasn't normal and it certainly wasn't what couples do. I've learned to love myself again learned to deal with stuff every day even though it's hard. I only managed to tell my now fiancée about the stuff that man done when I slept, I still can't manage to bring myself to tell him about what happened in the car. I have blamed myself for so long. It was my fault I shouldn't have got in the car, I shouldn't have worn that low cut T-shirt my sister said looked awesome. I should have tried to fight harder. I should have broken up with him soon as it started. I should have done this and that.

I guess I thought I would feel a little better getting this out in the open it's been a good few years and I have only managed to tell one person what happened to me at the hands of my ex-boyfriend. Someone I trusted and loved. I want to show how that when you think something isn't right it usually isn't and that even though someone who is meant to care for you can grind you down every possible way to make you feel worthless so they can control you. Don't let them. They use that power to break you down, to try destroy you. You, whoever you are I love you. I don't know you and we haven't met but I know that you are strong, I know you don't feel it but you are. You are one amazing person and nobody should have the right to rule the way you live your life. You have taken time to read this which shows you too have been where I have been. You have experienced some of the worst and most horrific times of your life but reading that someone else has experienced similar experiences as you does help. It shows you are not alone here and never will be. Talk to someone, anyone just get everything out. That's why I typed my story. Not only to show an insight to what happened to me but to help me realize nothing was my fault but also to get it off my chest and I feel a bit better I got most of it out even if it is typed out on a screen.

Always remember you are loved by someone who will show you what love is and you are a strong independent person. Thank you