No idea how I ended up here….

I have deep, deep empathy for what you went through following your first rape, and the reverberating effects it had on you — there were a few sentences in your very well-written piece that are basically exactly my own story of sexual trauma and its effect on my relationship. I do challenge you to re-examine some of your later actions in this story from a perspective of scars rather than open wounds. Your ex raped you, but as you said, the context was complicated. From reading the texts, it sounds like he’s a psychologically vulnerable young man, who had never been in a relationship before, who lacked the emotional or cognitive capacity to deal with his actions and codependence with you. He clearly does have manipulative tendencies — the suicide threat is a clear example. But the way you spoke to him in your texts was a red flag in and of itself, a jarring point in the narrative, like you had — as a coping mechanism — forgotten the two-sided complicated nature of the relationship for the past year and your own role in perpetuating it. And for those reasons, putting RAPIST on a bag with his clothes in his hallway was really disturbing. In these ways, it seems that you were also emotionally manipulative, even if subconsciously so. (I am a woman and a sexual assault survivor.)

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