I remember it being so damaged after my sexual assault that I felt like I could never love anyone again.
If I'm being honest, I wasn't sexually assaulted the same time by boyfriend and I were dating. I was assaulted before meeting him but I still had the lasting effects weighing heavily on me.
In the beginning of our relationship, I had so many hangups and limits.
He couldn't touch my neck.
He couldn't hold my hands down.
He couldn't kiss me for too long.
His hands couldn't lay on my back for too long.
He couldn't love me without me getting scared and backing away.
But through all that, all those limits, he stayed. He stayed and never pushed. He let me move at my own pace. He let me choose when I was ready to kiss back. He let me choose when I was ready to be touched. He let me choose when to say "I love you."
I don't know why he put up with all my limits. He says that he saw who I was underneath all the damage. He says he saw a beautiful, funny girl behind the walls she built so high.
I did build my walls high because what was one to me was horrendous and still affects me and my relationship on a day to day basis but still be stays through the storm. He's patient and loving through all the panic attacks, anxiety, and paranoia.
My boyfriend stayed with me through the aftermath of my assault. I love him so much because he loved me when I couldn't love him. He gave me time and space.
If it wasn't for him keeping my mind calm and serene I feel like I would've killed myself or hurt myself, at the very least.
People ask us one question all the time, it's "How did you know he was the one? How did you know you loved each other?" He has his own answer but mine is simple.
It's because he stayed when I didn't love myself.
It's because he gave me strength I didn't know I needed.
He gave me hope and the ability to love myself again.
And I'll always love him for how amazing he is.
He owns a piece of my heart forever now.