I met him my sophomore year in college. Tall, dark, handsome, popular, talented, articulate, and immensely charming, I formed a crush on him almost instantly. But, I knew to my marrow that someone like me could never be with someone like him. I didn’t move in his celestial spheres; I wasn’t worthy of his time or attention. I knew myself to be beneath him.
So, when in my junior year he began paying attention to me, I was more than flattered. I was grateful. I couldn’t believe that he wanted me—nerdy, dowdy, me. That gratitude propelled me into three years of verbal, physical, and sexual abuse.