I come from an abusive past. Without going into detail being sexually abused stripped me of my right to love myself and treat myself with the utmost respect. What everyone else’s opinion of me is, is what I view of myself. You’re too tall, you have a huge forehead, you look better with long hair, you’re fat, you’re too skinny now, you’re too smart, you’re boring. These opinions didn’t even have to be vocal. Past relationships where men ignored me after sleeping with me. Some relationships didn’t really take off and I just ended up in situationships. Being left behind to go with friends or work longer hours, making fun of me to the point of me not knowing if they were serious or kidding.
I don’t know why it has taken me so long to realize the train I’ve been on has taken me down a road I never wanted to be. I had this whole elaborate plan of how my life would be and it constantly changed as I grew older and gained experienced. I wanted to be a veterinarian at the age of 7, a lawyer at 13, and a doctor at the age of 19. But at 15 years old I made the biggest mistake. Maybe it was meant to happen. I started caring about my looks. I started to care if boys paid attention to me and it was my conquest to obtain a boyfriend and be a “normal” teenager.
I was absolutely and stupidly in love with alex. He was my world, we were going to get married, have children and grow old together and no one could tell me differently. I don’t think his mom was too fond of me and I actually don’t blame her. I was sort of a bitch to alex, but he wasn’t exactly the greatest boyfriend either. We were always off and on with him ending it me crying hysterically as though someone had died and then a few hours or days later we would make up and restart the cycle. Finally after three years of break ups and makes up alex snapped. He had opened up a victoria secret credit card for me, and the payment was due but neither of us had money. As we scrambled and brain stormed ideas to come up with the payment we left the mall frustrated and angry with each other. We started arguing, I’m not sure exactly about what but it escalated very quickly. He was screaming and yelling, calling me a bitch saying I ruined his life, how all his friends hated me and told him to break up with me, how he should’ve listened and I would never ever find someone to love me because I was such a horrible person.
He broke me. Even I knew things could never be the same after that. As much as I wanted us to go back to the way things were, we couldn’t. We couldn’t get along, the respect had gone out the window and with it took my heart. He tried to get back together with me two hours later after he calmed down. He said he was sorry and he loved me, but I said maybe this was for the best. I’ve never heard from or spoken to alex since we broke up. Except a week later on my 18th birthday when he had the audacity to ask me if we could still have sex and I was secretly flattered but declined. That’s when I knew the secret to men, sex.
My new found singleness took me on a different path than I had expected. I was scared, lonely, very insecure and didn’t want to leave home in such a fragile state. I didn’t choose to go to college, deciding to take a year off and get myself together. I was jobless and in need of money. I worked at RadioShack for a month before I was let go due to lack of hours but really I had no formal training and was glad to be out of there. I decided to apply to Macy’s. After getting the job I quickly learned that in order to be classified as pretty and worthy by men I had to dress provocatively and wear make up.
I worked in women’s fragrances in a very wealthy area. I envied the women who came in to buy the most expensive perfume and wished I was the wife of the man purchasing the entire collection line. From Thursday to Sunday I partied. I drank like a man and ate cheap fast food. I quickly gained weight and was always hung over only to repeat my bad behavior over and over again.
After alex I found comfort in sleeping with an old boyfriend whom I shared my first kiss with. Jaime was gorgeous, light skinned, long light brown/blondish curly hair, light brown eyes and smelled like chrome cologne. He was in love with me back in 7th grade and I often wondered if I hadn’t cared what anyone thought of him and stood with him where would life have taken me. I fell in love with him at 18, but he had a girlfriend who he claimed to be the one. Yet I didn’t understand why he kept calling me to sleep with him.
There was a boy named felipe. We met in geometry class while I was 15 and he was 17. He was a senior, I was a sophomore. I had the biggest crush on him as well as every other girl at school. He was charming tall dark and handsome and a killer smile to make even the teachers melt. He was the John tucker of Woodrow Wilson high school. At least I thought so, I would let him copy my homework and sometimes pretend not to understand the work just so he’d talk to me. He would write anniversary letters to his girlfriend everything month telling her how special she was and how much he loved her. Later on I heard stories he was fucking other girls at our school and loved bigger girls. Little did I know 2005 wouldn’t be the last year I would encounter felipe.
It’s December 2007 it’s cold and raining. I’m coming home early from a party. I’m a little buzzed and I’m giddy. Felipe and I have been texting. He found me on myspace and messaged me. To my surprise he likes me. He said he always watched me get on the dash to school. He always thought I was pretty and thinks I have a beautiful smile. He asked me to meet him. Felipe was like a fucken celebrity to me, I am aware now I put him on that pedestal.
You always know when things are gonna go wrong but you hold on to this hope that this time is different. I deserved the good looking guy, the marine who sacrificed his freedom for ours, who was smart and funny, charismatic and all around sweet guy. I didn’t care if anyone else believed me, felipe wanted me and I wanted him. The next five years would ultimately break me in ways I never knew a person could be broken. Each time I went back for more thinking my sweet demeanor would change his ways and he would finally make me his. I lost friends because of him, I lost my family for a bit because of him. He made me question myself from the inside out. After he was done with me I was shattered. Words can’t describe how utterly broken I was. And up to even now I am emotionally scarred from him.
Here’s the story of Felipe, most people don’t know we dated because that’s the way he wanted it and I of course being so young and in lust let him decide everything.
She sits alone with wondering eyes, a book to distract her mind she is never really present always thinking of her future where it may take her at each opportunity, each yes and each no. She isn’t a risk taker although she used to be, alcohol always helped her get rid of the angel inside and the demon came out to play. She thought she had control over her men with it, dominate and submissive she was, depending on the partner. Sometimes she had to take charge and others she didn’t need to and all of the time she didn’t want to. Deep down inside she tried to find herself in liquor bottles, in men, in the mood swings of her mother, in the absence of her father, she was a lost girl. Until one day, a hot day in September would change the course of her life forever. Three strikes should’ve killed the poor girl of a broken heart or drove her to do it herself, but she toughed it out, she was always so strong. Where that strength comes from one doesn’t know. It’s like with each heart ache and every bad experience she grows stronger never letting it determine her but making her grow. She fell to the floor on her knees that day. You could hear the bones crack on the ground almost as if in sync with her heart smashing into pieces. Her best friend was saying the words but she couldn’t hear her. She was gone, whoever that girl was, died. Right there at 630 Raymond Street. It was the catalyst which set in motion a fire to burn brightly inside her chest where here heart once beat.
Running became her therapy. Every foot step there was a tear. The poor girl sobbed everyday on that run down poplar blvd. she went late at night when the sun was setting so no one would see her cry. When fall and winter came around she wore hoodies to hide her face. Most people would just mistake it for sweat anyhow. Running was the only thing which made sense, the only control she had. She could control her breathing, her feet listened when she commanded they push forward even when her legs burned and each breath became shorter and harder. Nothing was impossible . She was going to get fit and he would regret every thing he ever did or said to her. His indiscretions were the fuel for her but that silly girl didn’t realize what you do out of angry only despises you and sucks the life out of every action , sucks up the joy and leaves you hanging out to dry. No matter what she did it wasn’t good enough, at least not for him.
She saw him a year later, this was the moment she had been waiting for, of course he was late. Notorious for his tardiness amongst other things. But she waited as she had done so many times before for him. At the end when she learned of his discretion she’d get drunk and call him to pick her up where ever she was and he’d come. He’d yell at her Everytime saying “i hate seeing you like this” and she’d whip her head back, laugh and retort “it’s all your fault I drink, I don’t want to feel anything, you fucken got her pregnant and I was just your little whore the entire time”. Thinking back to those times brings an anxious feeling she feels inside the hole where he heart used to be. She can laugh about it now but it’s still a dark place she would rather not go.
There he is driving in some silver car, he says to her what’s up flaca. She laughs, it’s a funny thing to hear from him. He never complimented her let alone ever call her skinny. She gets in, aside from the weight gain he looks the same but something feels different. He’s grown his beard which makes him look ten years older, his eyes reveal sadness but his smile is trying to convince her otherwise. She no longer felt bound to him, no longer felt this piercing desire for him, or his touch. It was an unimaginable feeling she had for him, it wasn’t love, more like lust. She would’ve done anything for him, he’d ask her to jump she’d respond how high. It wasn’t healthy and she didn’t even know when it became this way and now she wasn’t even aware when the feelings disappeared.
They hiked up echo mountain, it had been two or three years since she had been here. Couldn’t even make it up the first mile, huffing and puffing, embarrassed of herself she quit before she even began. But this time no matter how hard it was she wasn’t quitting, no matter how difficult it was to breathe or how badly her legs burned from the incline nothing and no one would stand in her way of reaching the top of this mountain. Funny how life changes things. When you are stronger, faster, smarter than someone and instead of helping them up you keep them down. You use them as leverage to help yourself climb higher. But sooner or later if they too seek the desire to climb up higher they will surpass you. Serving his country made him proud, made him feel above a civilian. He was stronger, faster, and smarter. Serving your country you only get back a weak body. The knee and back of a 60 year old man. And how a simple civilian could surpass him up this mountain embarrassed him. How he taunted and broke this girls heart, her spirit, and how she put back the pieces and found herself becoming the woman he had always known her to be. The woman he claimed to love and had helped her become.
Instead of hating him she thanked him. She listed every single thing he did to her and thanked him for it all. The emotional and physical abuse, The constant roller coaster of emotions, the devastating heartache she felt, and the death of her when she learned the truth. He didn’t know how to take it, he thought she was being sarcastic but there was no sarcasm in her voice, not a hint of humor or a smile. A serious demeanor and a few convincing reassurances that she meant her thank you’s left him appalled.
And that is when she freed herself from his grasp and left him to clean up the mess.