His expert hands touched me in the most foreign ways, but I liked it. It was a new and exhilarating feeling, and I wanted more. So I went all the way.
He took his time getting me in the mood, kissing my neck and working his way down. He was experienced and knew what he was doing — so unlike myself. I fumbled with my clothes and tripped over a lone shoe on the bedroom floor.

I could feel tears fill my eyes, not from embarrassment, but from anxiousness. What if I’m not good enough and he leaves me? What if the condom breaks? What if he doesn’t even fit? The questions running through my head were endless.

But in the end he did fit, and I cried the whole time.

I gave up my virginity too young. Definitely too young to know what love really is, and I didn’t love him. He was just a guy who made me feel something I’ve never felt before, and that made me stupidly naïve.

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I now realize I stayed with him because he was my first. He was my first for everything. My life revolved around him and him alone. And that is just not healthy.

During the four years we were together, I learned how to obey and how to lie.

I wore baggy sweatshirts and jeans because he didn’t want me to wear anything revealing. I sneaked out at 3 a.m. on school nights to see him so he wouldn’t get angry. If he said jump, I always asked how high.

I wasn’t interested in having girlfriends or a relationship with my parents — all I wanted was him. I was detached from the world, and I didn’t know it was a problem.

He cheated on me countless times, but I always went running back to him. He was as familiar to me as breathing. I knew what he liked and disliked, I knew how to make him happy and doing so made me happy. I didn’t like the thought of change, so I always went back to him, and he always knew I would.

I thought about how it would feel to have sex with other guys, and it scared the s— out of me. I told myself I loved being with him, but now I see I was just a coward. Unwilling to face my own truth and to say no.

I didn’t see it as a problem until it was.

We were naked, lying on the white carpet of his bedroom with our clothes scattered on the floor around us. My head was in the crook of his arm.

He got up and put on his briefs and then his jeans. He disappeared into the bathroom down the hall. Luckily his parents were never around or didn’t care enough to see what we were up to.

He came back and laid down beside me, a wide smile spread out across his face. Confused, I looked at his hand that was shaking a little clear baggy with white powder inside it.

“Look what I got yesterday,” he said.

I was stunned into silence. We had never ventured out in to the drug world besides weed and alcohol. I didn’t know what to say, so I didn’t say anything. But that little baggy of cocaine set my teeth on edge.

He opened up the little baggy and poured some coke onto my bare stomach. And before I could move or speak he held my hands together and gave me the look that means keep your mouth shut.

Our relationship flashed before my eyes all at once, and I realized how I didn’t need this, I didn’t need him. For almost three years, people were telling me how I was better than him, how I could do better.

I finally believed them.

Email Cassidy Backus at cassidy.backus@cardinalpointsonline.com

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