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The next morning, he told Chris, "You know I didn't mean it, right?
""That was his way of apologizing to me," Chris scoffed.
The relationship lasted nine months, but continued to affect Chris for years after it ended.***Sam, 25, describes himself as having been "naive and impressionable," during the time he was dating David.
That was the first time things had ever turned violent between the two."I was in such a state of shock," Chris recounted seven years later, his fingers tapping at a wine glass stem and his brown eyes drifting.
After two and a half years, Sam managed to end the relationship after David admitted he had returned to using cocaine.***La Tesha, 18, is a consummate Queens girl.
Tough and stoic behind her soft voice and hooded sweatshirt, she is about to graduate from high school and wants to study criminal justice in college. "It only happened when we got into an argument," she said, her brown eyes getting serious.
Any attention that I didn't give to him—whether I gave it to friends, family, or other guys, even just other gay men who were my friends—he would get very upset if I hung out with them too much."David eventually forced Sam to open a joint bank account so that Sam couldn't "stockpile" any funds and move out.
He increasingly tried to cut off Sam’s contacts with friends and family.
"He never hit me or threw things directly at me, but he would frighten me enough to make me back down."According to Sam, David became increasingly controlling after they moved in together, three or four months into their relationship.