Posted in Bullying, Family, Keeping my promises, Mental Health

Keeping my promises, part 7…

Previous “Keeping my promises” post can be found here.

I had just been arrested because the police thought I was running a prostitution ring at my high school by a detective who I thought was going to help me get away from a guy that was bad news. Then immediately after being arrested was transferred via ambulance to a local hospital because the police had lied to my parents and told them that I had threatened to kill myself. I waited around for hours to be seen by somebody and eventually was left waiting alone because it was the middle of the night and my parents had to go home and take care of my siblings. I was told to go and lie down on one of the beds that were separated by thin walls and continue to wait for the doctor to be able to see me. That was when the drunk lady in the little bed alcove next to mine started screaming and cursing at the top of her lungs. Nobody had told me that this was not actually the psych ward, it was probably actually more like a “drunk tank” type area, but since I had no idea what was going on I started to panic. Especially after I got up and talked to the lady at the counter behind the glass about the screaming lady and she basically told me to just go and lie down again. I was afraid that right there in that room with the hospital beds in little alcoves and the little waiting area with all the plastic chairs, and my drunk screaming neighbor, right there was where I was going to be forced to stay for some undetermined amount of time. That this was my final destination. I was terrified and nobody would tell me what was going on.

I was so relieved when the doctor finally showed up to talk with me and I was told that I was going to be transferred to the pediatric psychiatric ward of another hospital. I had another short ambulance ride and arrived at the mental hospital at around 3 am or so. I was on suicide watch for the first night and had to be watched by someone at all times. Someone sat in a chair in my doorway and watched me sleep. I was awoken at 6 am (after only have arrived at around 3 am) to go and have some blood tests done and go and speak with another doctor. I don’t remember much about this, it was a fuzzy blur. After talking with the doctor I was allowed to go back to sleep.

When I was awoken again later on the reality of my situation hit me. I had been arrested for something I didn’t do and was now locked away in some mental hospital for an unspecified amount of time. I was told that they were going to let me get away with not following the schedule that day since it was my first day, but that I was going to be expected to start following it soon. I then met my fellow patients. Luckily they were all very nice and gave me a lot of space at first. I was given a tour of the space, and although I really didn’t want to be there I had to admit that it was at least an improvement over the “drunk tank” from the night before. I was taken off suicide watch by that first night and was assigned a roommate. I can’t for the life of me remember her name now, but we had an instant connection and wondered if perhaps we might have met each other at some point when we were much younger.

I quickly fell into the routine and got to know and like a lot of my fellow patients. At some point my parents stopped by and dropped off some stuff from home for me including my toe socks, my Walkman and some of my cassette tapes (this was before mp3s), and some of my stuffed animals. I walked around with a teddy bear constantly in my arms the entire rest of my stay. At some point the doctors informed me that they believed that I was bipolar and that I was going to be taken off of the Zoloft that I had been taking and be started on a different medication. I don’t remember when it was that I found out that I never should have been on the Zoloft in the first place, it might have been later on after leaving the hospital. Zoloft is not meant for people with bipolar disorder, in fact it tends to make people with bipolar disorder worse. And instead of listening to me when I kept telling her that the medication wasn’t working, my therapist just kept upping the dosage. When I got out of the hospital I had to find a new therapist, because my old one decided that she couldn’t be my doctor anymore… I wonder if that had anything to do with the fact that she had me on an extremely high dosage of a medication that could have caused me to have suicidal thoughts or actions?

I don’t remember how long I was in the hospital. It was at least a couple of weeks. I can still remember how happy I was just to be allowed to go down to the cafeteria for meals instead of having to stay on the ward. Or when I was allowed to go outside for a little bit after some group therapy sessions that I had been cleared to attend that were held in another area of the hospital. After finally being released from the hospital I still had to attend outpatient group therapy sessions at the hospital for a while. And then I was finally free.

But then the reality of what had happened while I was in the hospital set in. I lived in a small New England town and news of my arrest had spread. Reporters had been calling or showing up outside my house. And the worst part was that even though I was still a minor they used both my name and my picture on the evening news. Everybody knew what I had been arrested for, and it didn’t matter that it wasn’t true. Luckily I was given a private tutor in order to try and get caught up on all the school work that I had missed while I was in the hospital and didn’t have to return to school right away.

I had to appear in court before a judge at the same time as Antonio because we had both been charged together. And even though I had actually done nothing wrong, and was trying to get Antonio out of my life when this whole mess blew up in my face we were both given the same sentence. A bunch of hours of community service and probation. I was lucky that I was a minor, because since I stayed out of trouble my record was wiped clean once I turned 18.

The real punishment came when I returned to school though. The kids were cruel. They all knew what had happened to me, and since it fit into their view of me already, completely believed that I had become a prostitute and was trying to lead a prostitution ring in the school. There was a day when in one of my social studies classes (a class about the 60’s) we were watching a video. Something was said about prostitution and one the girls in my class yelled out my last name. The teacher did nothing and I had to go up to her at the end of the class and point out to her that she needed to control her students better. The girl claimed that she didn’t realize that I was in the room, which was a lie, and completely irrelevant. She never should have done it in the first place. This was just one example of what my high school life had become, but luckily I had started dating the man who later became my husband before returning to school. He helped me deal with all the idiots and just make it through the end of the school year and the year after that. I don’t know what I would have done without him.

And I think that I have now finally come to the end of my long and rambling story.

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Posted in Abusive Relationships, Bullying, Family, Keeping my promises, Mental Health

Keeping my promises, part 6…

Previous “Keeping my promises” posts can be found here.

My junior year of high school was a rough one for me. Not only was Justin no longer in school with me, but he was no longer dating me either. I tried to pick up old friendships that I had somewhat neglected while dating Justin, and for the most part my friends were happy to have me back. They were all happy that I was no longer with Justin, seeing as none of them had liked me dating him from the beginning. They had no idea how hard of a time I was still having with losing him. You don’t have a close to 2 year relationship with someone and then just get over them immediately after you split up. Justin had been my world, and I was having a hard time navigating my life after suddenly finding myself alone again.

I dated a few people, trying to move on from Justin. But none of the relationships lasted very long, and after splitting up with my latest boyfriend I was back to missing Justin and wishing for him back in my life. It was during this time that a new student named Antonio moved into my hometown and started attending my high school. The girls in my group were intrigued by this new guy and he ended up becoming our friend. When he started talking about how he was a “pimp” we didn’t think he was being serious, and we started joking with him about becoming his “girls”. We thought that it was funny and never really thought that it would amount to anything, but we made the mistake of writing him a note (this was back before cellphones) talking about prices for services and joked that we weren’t “cheap whores”. Like I said, we all thought it was a joke and never intended to actually perform any of these services that we had listed prices for. We found it exciting that this guy found us attractive and that he thought others would find us attractive too. We were all sophomores and juniors in high school happy for the attention that this guy (a junior himself) was giving us. I ended up hanging out with him alone after school a couple of times. He had his own car and offered to drive me home. Things started to get weird one afternoon while I was hanging out with him though. He stopped by another boy from my high school’s house and we went inside for a few minutes. There were a few guys hanging out in the living room and Antonio started talking to them about his prostitution idea, and pointed to me as a example of what he’d have to offer. I should have known to run from this guy at this point, but I was not in my right mind. By this point my dosage on my Zoloft had been upped by quite a bit, and my decision making skills and impulse control were significantly decreased. I was probably in a full blown manic state at this point, but wouldn’t know that until a month or so later. So I didn’t run, and when Antonio drove me to a secluded spot and we parked there talking I decided to try and pursue the possibility of having him as my boyfriend. He said that he would not be tied down, but he had also talked about wanting to “test the merchandise” for all his “girls”. So I decided to go for broke and see if sex with me would convince him that I was worth being with and we had sex right there in the backseat of his car.

My experiment didn’t work, and I wasn’t the only one who had sex with him trying to convince him to date them either. We didn’t really have any contact over Winter break, and when I got back from break I had come to my senses somewhat. I decided that he really was serious about his prostitution idea and that my friends and I needed to get as far away from this guy as we could. But one of my friends who had also had sex with him couldn’t be convinced that this guy was bad news. She had fallen for him and wouldn’t believe that he wasn’t going to start dating her. Unfortunately, our discussion about Antonio was happening in a classroom and the teacher decided to send us to the dean’s office to try and help us sort the whole mess out. One of my other friends and I told the dean about Antonio and how we just wanted for him to leave us alone now, and we thought that he would help us out. (My other friend was still upset though, and still couldn’t see that this guy for who he was.) Next thing I knew I was having an interview, without my parents present, with a detective in an office at my school. I was under the impression that he was there to help us, and so I was honest with him. I told him that we had joked with Antonio about prostitution. And that, yes, some of us had slept with him. But we had never actually done anything with anyone else, and that we were never really serious about it. I was the oldest girl out of the group and I told the detective that I felt that I needed to protect my younger friends from Antonio… only I made an unfortunate choice of words at this point… I called them “my girls”. I didn’t realize at the time how big of a mistake this was. But I know that I told both the dean and the detective that I wanted Antonio to leave me and my friends alone, and that I no longer wanted to have anything to do with him. But by that point it was already too late. More interviews followed, and I still thought that this detective was going to help me out. Right up until the day that he was scheduled to come by my house for another interview. Before the time that he was supposed to arrive he called my house and told me that I needed to come down to the station. I don’t remember if he made it clear over the phone that I was going to be arrested, but it was made abundantly clear once we got down to the station. I was being arrested for running a prostitution ring at my high school. You see, Antonio had saved that note that we had written joking about price lists and showed it to the detective. I figure that the detective looked at that, plus the fact that I slept with Antonio, and then decided to misinterpret my having called my girl-friends “my girls” at one point during my interview and see me as some sort of high school prostitution ring madam. Never mind the fact that this whole mess started because we went to the dean for help in getting away from a situation that we belatedly realized was very, very bad. Or the fact that absolutely nothing criminal happened. No sex acts were performed in exchange for money. The system failed.

My mother was the one that drove me down to the police station and I remember her bursting out in tears and me being annoyed with her. I think I might have even said something to her about stopping crying, but the reality of my situation still hadn’t set in for me yet at this point.

It became very real when they brought me back to a room and took my mugshot pictures and fingerprints and then locked me in the little cell in one corner of the room. Then as I was sitting there on the little bolted to the ground stool in the cell in shock they started asking me more questions. I don’t remember all of the questions that I was asked, but one of them was about if I had ever felt suicidal. I was honest and told them that I had been suicidal in the past. They also asked how I was feeling right then, and I answered honestly again by telling them that I didn’t know. The next thing I knew they had decided that I needed to be admitted to a mental hospital. (I found out later that they had told my parents that I had threatened to kill myself. Which was not true at all.) They called an ambulance for transport and I was driven to a nearby hospital where my parents met me. We waited around for hours for a doctor to come and talk with me. We eventually found out that at some point earlier I had apparently accidentally been discharged. The waiting continued and then my parents and I were eventually moved to another area of the hospital to wait for the doctor to talk with me. It had become really late at night, and my parents had to go home to my younger siblings. So I was left there to wait by myself. I was told to go lay down on one of the beds that were separated by thin walls for a while. That’s when one of the scariest nights of my life started.

To be continued…

Posted in Abusive Relationships, Keeping my promises, Mental Health

Keeping my promises, part 5…

Previous “Keeping my promises” posts can be found here.

After that first time that Justin and I hung out with John and Lauren, I think we spent more time with them than we did alone together. Part of it was when we hung out over at Lauren’s house in Lauren’s room there was no supervision. Lauren still lived at her mother’s house, but even when her mother was home, her mother never bothered us. John and Lauren were both adults, and therefore in our parents’ minds they were the adult supervision for Justin and I. Our parents had no idea what the nature of our friendship was of course. They had no idea that we were all drinking beers and smoking cigarettes while listening to music in Lauren’s room. John and Lauren were both legally old enough to do so, Justin and I were not. But what our parents probably would have been most upset to find out was how the theme of nakedness that started in the car on the way home from Salem, MA continued in our friendship. I don’t remember how it started, but eventually we were naked pretty much all the time that we were in Lauren’s room together. We weren’t necessarily engaged in sexual behavior all the time that we were hanging out together, but shedding our clothes once we entered Lauren’s room and the door was shut behind us just seemed to become a habit. It was almost like her room had become a nudist colony space.

There was a lot of sexual activity that occurred in that room though, and not just between individual couples either. Lauren and I began a sexual relationship, which was what the guys had hoped for, seeing as they always got to watch. But I also began a sexual relationship with John, and Justin began one with Lauren. This all worked out fine for the most part, we were all happy and were all having a good time together. There were some rough times though, like the night that I walked in on Lauren giving Justin a blowjob and was completely unprepared for it. It wasn’t what she was doing that upset me though, it was the looks that I felt like they gave me while Lauren continued to do what she was doing. I saw them as mean spirited, although they later claimed that they were not meant that way. I had to turn around and walk out of the room and try to get my jealous impulses under control. John sat with me on the couch in the living room as I tried to calm myself down. That turned into a pretty ugly night though. Even though I didn’t want to be upset and angry, I just couldn’t seem to shake it. We ended up out on the front lawn of  Lauren’s house with Lauren offering to get me a knife so that I could cut myself  because she said that she knew that it could help sometimes. I didn’t take her up on her offer. I didn’t end up getting home until after 3 am and when I walked in the door I found that my father had waited up for me. And boy was he pissed about me coming in so past curfew. A huge screaming match then ensued, but I can’t remember if I was punished in anyway at all. That was definitely not the best night of my life.

Another not so great night was the one where they all stood me up. They were supposed to come by and pick me up so we could all hang out for Lauren’s birthday. I got all dressed up and was waiting for them to show up. I sat at the kitchen table looking out the window waiting for their car to pull in the driveway for hours until I finally realized that they weren’t showing up. I couldn’t believe that they would just not stop by to get me, so I spent most of the night worrying that something happened to them. When I eventually did talk with Justin the next day he told me some story about John and him deciding to just hang out and play basketball and that they never ended up going over to Lauren’s and that Lauren decided to do something else for her birthday other than hang out with us. I chose to believe him and forgive him, though I made it clear that next time we had plans and he was going to cancel them that he should call me and let me know.

There was also the night (I can’t remember if this was before or after the “basketball” night…) when all four of us were fooling around together. John was having sex with Lauren, and I was kneeling on all fours on the bed next to John kissing him. Then, without any warning at all, Justin was inside me. Justin, knowing my history of sexual assault (which I wrote about here), should have known better. I froze, I had no idea how to react. After it was over, right there in front of John and Lauren, I told Justin that I wasn’t okay with what he did. If he wanted to have sex with me, he could let me know and ask me. Forcing himself upon me without asking was not okay. His response shocked me. He told me that that was how foursomes worked (…like he’d ever participated in any before our relationship…) and that he could do whatever he wanted without asking and that I had no right to be upset because what happened is exactly what I should have expected to happen. I informed him that I had every right to be upset, because when you get right down to it, what he did was rape and that I had every right to have a chance to say no to having sex with anybody. He continued to say that he did nothing wrong and that I just needed to calm down. I decided to forgive him, but that night was probably the beginning of the end for Justin and I, even though I didn’t know it at the time. Soon after is when he told me out of the blue that he wanted to break up with me. (I wrote about our breakup in this post here)

On the day after he broke up with me, when he had come over to my house and then got a call and had just walked out on me, the person who had called him was Lauren. He had told me that he was going to be hanging out with some friends, but had never told me what friends. It wasn’t until John called me to let me know that Justin was with Lauren that I realized that it was Lauren that had called him. John offered to come pick me up, he said that there were some things that I needed to know. When he came and got me he told me what really happened back on Lauren’s birthday. They were all together, but Justin didn’t want me there, so they never went and picked me up. Why Justin felt the need to lie and hide things from me when it was abundantly clear that I was okay with our open relationship is something I will never understand. Justin also apparently thought that he might be able to steal Lauren away from John, which was never going to happen, but was probably one of the main reasons why he left me. Justin had been starting to imply to me before that the only reason that John and Lauren hung out with me, was so that they could hang out with him. But once Justin and I broke up, I still spent most of my time with John and Lauren who kept telling me that I shouldn’t be upset over losing Justin because he was an annoying idiot. My relationship with Lauren was a bit strained after Justin left, but John and I still got along just fine. I really don’t know what I would have done without John reminding me that I was better than Justin and that my worth wasn’t tied to that relationship.

Soon the summer ended and I started my junior year of high school, and John, Lauren and I started hanging out less and less as I started to hang out with my friends from school more and more. And even with how things ended up, I still don’t regret my relationship with John and Lauren. Even with knowing that Justin was a liar and was doing things behind my back while we were dating, I still wasn’t over him. It was months into the school year before I realized that he probably was never going to come back to me. I even dated other people during this time, but still was always hoping that one day Justin would come back into my life and we could pick up where we left off. That obsession with getting Justin back or finding anyway that I could to forget the pain that not being with him caused me, coupled with therapy that had become ineffectual and medication that wasn’t helping (I wrote about this here) are part of what caused the events that soon would turn my life upside down.

To be continued…

Posted in Abusive Relationships, Blogging, Family, Keeping my promises, Mental Health

Keeping my promises, part 4…

You can read parts parts 1,2 & 3 here, here, and here.

youngrelationships

I think that this quote very accurately captures what happened in my relationship with Justin. I was so caught up in idea of us, of what we could be, what our future could be, that I couldn’t see the reality of us. When he walked out on me I just couldn’t understand it. It did not fit into the idea of what we were supposed to be. We were supposed to last forever. The fact that I deserved a much better forever than what he could actually give me never occurred to me. He was supposed to be The One. 

I have debated about the level of detail that I should go into when talking about this time of my life. I was not very happy with my writing when I first wrote about my relationship with Justin. There was a lot that happened during that relationship. Since I thought that my main focus of what has now become a long and rambling story was going to be about what happened after my relationship with Justin, I thought that I should just skim over that relationship and move on to what I actually promised to tell you all about. But in writing about the events that led up to that time of my life I realized that all of the things that came before are parts of that story. Without knowing what happened in my life before my being arrested and hospitalized, you can never truly hope to understand why it happened or what my state of mind was like at the time. Because really, my life started to unravel way before that incident.

So I am going to go ahead and elaborate more on my relationship with Justin. But I am going to warn you all that there was a lot more to that relationship than the picture I briefly tried to paint in my last post. It was not quite your “normal” high school romance. Some of you may feel the need to judge my teenage self on some of her lifestyle choices. To those of you who do feel the urge to write a judgmental comment after reading this post and the ones that will follow it, I would like to remind you that I have to approve all comments on this blog. So if all you do is judge me in your comment, I will delete it. You may not like the way that I have lived my life, but it is my life. If I want for you to be able to understand my story I need to be honest about it.

Near the end of the relationship, Justin and I had started to hang out with a another couple quite often. They became very close friends… in fact more than just friends. The couple was a little older than us. Out of the 4 of us, I was the only one still in high school. We started hanging out the summer between my sophomore and junior year. Justin was working at the same company that my dad worked for by this time, (In fact, my dad helped to get him the job) and he met John at work. John had a girlfriend named Lauren. Justin and John became friends and decided that perhaps the 4 of us should hang out sometime. So when there was going to be company picnic we decided to meet for breakfast beforehand and then all go to the picnic together afterward. We all hit it off right away. We decided that we wanted to continue to hang out more somewhere other than at the picnic and somehow decided that we were going to pile into John’s car and drive up to Salem, MA and back. Since I was still a minor and living at home with my parents I had to get permission from my parents to leave the picnic and go hang out with them for the rest of the day. I did not tell them that we planned on driving out of state however, because I knew that they would never say yes to that. So I lied to my parents and off we went. We had a great time. It was one of the best summer days of my life, and one of my first tastes of freedom.

At this point I should probably point out that one of the reasons why Justin and John thought that the 4 of us should hang out was because Lauren and I are both bisexual. They were hoping that the 2 of us would like each other. We did. But it was more than that. All of us ended up being attracted to one another. Except for Justin and John, who are not bisexual. We all became very close, very fast.

That evening driving home from Salem, MA Justin and Lauren were in the backseat. I was sitting in the front passenger side seat and John was driving. I don’t remember how it started, but John started cranking the heat in the front of the car. It got to the point where layers of clothing had to be taken off, it was so hot in that front seat. And then John and I were basically daring each other that the other one wouldn’t take off that next layer of clothing, or the next… And that is how I ended up naked in the front seat of a car flying down the highway at night with a naked man next to me driving the car and 2 fully clothed people in the back seat. We were all laughing our asses off. John then finally turned down the heat and got dressed and I was about to get dressed myself when he decided to pull off an exit ramp and stop at a gas station. I didn’t have time to get dressed, so I ended up naked in the front seat huddled under a blanket or something that they threw me from the backseat while we were parked in front of the gas station. And we were still all laughing our asses off. And that was just the first time that we all met and hung out…

To be continued…

Posted in Abusive Relationships, Family, Keeping my promises, Mental Health

Keeping my promises, part 3…

You can read parts 1 and 2 here and here.

To continue on with my story I need to back up a bit. During the time that Justin and I were dating I had a nervous breakdown/panic attack in the high school foyer one day before school. The details of that day are a bit fuzzy, but I can remember all of a sudden starting to cry and not being able to stop. Justin tried to get me to calm down, to get me to tell him what was wrong, but he couldn’t and I couldn’t give him answer. I had no idea what was wrong. He brought me to the guidance counselor’s office and sat with me while I continued to cry uncontrollably. I can remember sitting there on the couch with a deteriorating tissue in one hand and Justin’s hand in the other. When the guidance counselor was unable to help me, my mom was called in to pick me up and bring me home. I had absolutely no idea what was going on or what was wrong with me. I was scared and confused. It wasn’t until years later that I realized that somewhat similar things had happened to me before. Once when I was in Kindergarten and just all of a sudden had to get out of there and go home, and the time that I skipped school and ended up being raped. Only the time that I skipped school didn’t involve uncontrollable tears.

Anyway, when my mom arrived Justin walked me out to my mom’s car. I was still holding his hand and the thought of having to let go of his hand and leave him brought on even further panic. My mom literally had to order Justin to let go of my hand and walk away back to school so that she could get me in the car to go home. All while I was screaming and crying hysterically. Justin had tears streaming down his face while he kept apologizing to me as he pulled his hand from mine and walked away.

Once home I was able to calm down some. My mom called and set up an emergency appointment with a therapist for later that afternoon. I had been dragged to therapists appointments years before, but I never cooperated. I would refuse to talk and would tell the therapist and my mother that I wasn’t going to talk and that continuing to make me go was just going to be a waste of money. I would tell them that I didn’t need to see any shrinks because I was not crazy. This therapist appointment was the first one that I ever took seriously. It was clear from what happened to me at the school earlier that something wasn’t right and that I needed help. Being reassured by the therapist that being depressed and needing to see someone for it did not make me crazy was a huge revelation for me. I was prescribed and started taking my first antidepressant that day: Zoloft.

I continued with therapy regularly and my dosage of Zoloft kept slowly being raised. I thought that it might have been helping some, at least there weren’t anymore breakdowns in the middle of the high school foyer. My therapist told me that it would help me and I believed her and let her continue to up my dosage as she saw fit. She had diagnosed me with major depression in that very first visit and assumed that that’s all that was wrong with me. She saw no reason to question her diagnoses. Looking back now, there were probably glaring warning signs that she should have seen, but she had become more of a friend than a therapist toward the end of my time seeing her. My sessions had turned into times when we could gossip about what was going on in my life. She became too caught up in my social life to see the signs that something was desperately wrong. My recollections of that time are very blurry, but I can remember telling her several times that I didn’t think that the Zoloft was helping and that her reaction was to continue to up my dosage over and over again. This was frustrating to me, but she was the doctor so I trusted that she knew what was best for me.

Oh how wrong I was…

To be continued…

Posted in Abusive Relationships, Blogging, Bullying, Family, Keeping my promises, Mental Health

Keeping my promises, part 2…

You can read part one here.

Not only did I get in trouble with my parents for skipping school that day, but I also got in trouble with the school. I ended up getting detention after school. It was in that detention that I met the boy who would factor heavily into my life spiraling out of control a couple years later. His name was Justin.

At first we were just friends. We would hang out after detention waiting for our rides home and talk. One time we were talking about what brought us to detention, and I admitted for one of the first times that I had been raped. He was upset about what had happened to me. 

We would see each other in the hallways between classes and stop and talk for a bit, but that was all there was until we started talking on the phone. At some point he became more than just a friend to me and I started to try to talk him into dating me. He was interested in some other girls at the time though, so he was reluctant to date me just then. But we continued to talk on the phone, and one day I went over to his house to hang out. We were in his room, listening to Led Zeppelin on an actual record player and then he kissed me.

You would think that that would be when we started dating, but you’d be wrong. Even after that I had to bug him about being my boyfriend, he still thought that he might have a chance with one of the other girls he was interested in. One afternoon while we were hanging out he finally made a decision though. He had been quiet for a while and I was sitting there letting him think, and then all of a sudden he said “Fuck the other girls, I love you.” And then he kissed me.

From that afternoon on for the next 2 or so years, we were inseparable. If we weren’t actually physically together, we were on the phone with each other, if we weren’t at school or work. I was in love, and I had fallen hard.

Things were good at first. He was sweet and loving, but slowly things started to sour. My friends weren’t happy with my relationship with him, but I couldn’t see why. They felt like I spent too much time with him, that it wasn’t healthy, and that he really wasn’t a good guy. Looking back now, I can say that my friends were right.

It was the fact that he said at one point that he wasn’t sure if he could call me beautiful. Then there was the fact that he would keep track of sexual acts and tell me when I owed him something. And then toward the end the fact that he thought that he could have sex with me whenever he wanted it, no matter what I thought, without even asking first. He was the first guy that I told about being raped, and he saw no problem in raping me himself.

And even with all of this, I still stayed with him. I thought that I wanted to stay with him forever. But he had other plans. He decided that he no longer wanted to date me the summer after he graduated high school. The summer in between my sophomore and junior years of high school.

I had just come back from a weekend family vacation and we were hanging out at his house. Everything was fine and normal, until all of a sudden he tells me that he doesn’t want to be with me anymore. I lost it. I cried and begged and pleaded with him, but he wouldn’t change his mind. I remember that he went downstairs to have dinner with his family and left me alone in his bedroom. I don’t remember if I actually hurt myself or not, but when he came back he found me contemplating trying to commit suicide with the only sharp object that I could find in the room, some pushpins. I eventually calmed down some and he claimed that we could still be friends, that we would still be best friends. He even came over to my house the next day. But then everything fell apart.

While he was at my house, we ended up making out and I was hopeful that I might actually be able to convince him to change his mind. And then the phone rang, and it was for him, and he was leaving to go and hang out with some of his friends. And then he was gone. There was no friendship, he was just gone. One day we were talking about our future together and the next he was no longer a part of my life.

I couldn’t accept that he wasn’t coming back though. I was obsessed with finding some way to get him back. I had grown obsessed with him. He left, and my entire life fell apart around me.

To be continued…

Posted in Abusive Relationships, Blogging, Bullying, Keeping my promises, Mental Health

Keeping my promises…

A while back I promised to write more about the time when I was a junior in high school that I ended up getting arrested and sent to a psychiatric hospital. I do plan on keeping that promise, perhaps in this post, but first I feel that I should write more about something that happened before this experience. Something that I have spoken about in my blog before, and thought that I had given more details about than I really had. A couple of years before the arrest, during October of my freshman year of high school, I was raped. I was 14 years old and this was my first sexual encounter.

I had been dating a boy that I met in my science class. His name was Eric. He was a sophomore and we had a nice little relationship going. Nothing too serious, we would hold hands under the lab tables during class, talk on the phone for hours, and go on dates to the movie theater. One day I called his house and his older brother, Dan, answered the phone. I ended up talking with him for a fairly long time. In fact, I’m not sure that I actually talked to the boy I was dating at all that day. The older brother was a senior, and he was paying attention to me. I had known and was friends with both of the brothers. I never thought that Dan might be interested in me though. I can’t remember if there was only that one phone call, or if there were more, but Dan somehow managed to convince me to break up with Eric. I didn’t realize until later that this had a lot to do with Dan always wanting to take away things from his younger brother, having me interested in spending time with him was just an added bonus for him.

So at some point after this phone call (or phone calls) I was on the bus heading to school. It started out as such a normal day, and I am still not quite sure where things went off track. I can remember sitting on the bus wearing a pair of light blue jeans and my favorite dark gray t-shirt that was fairly worn and was in fact on long term loan from my mother. I was sitting there with my headphones on listening to a cassette tape on my Walkman. I can even remember the specific song that I was listening to in this moment. “Sex Type Thing” by Stone Temple Pilots. Everything remained normal until I got to school and walked into the main lobby. Dan was there, along with a lot of my group of friends in our usual spot in the foyer. I walked up and said good morning to everybody and started to talk with Dan. Then I all of a sudden decided that I didn’t want to go to my first period class. I had never skipped a class ever before, but that day I wanted to. Dan was more than willing to skip with me, and we exited the building and went off to the very edge of the woods right next to one of the sports fields. We were hidden from the casual observer, but if anyone really looked into the woods, they probably could have seen us. We just sat and talked for a while, and looking back now on the situation, I was probably in the middle of a mild panic attack. After a while of talking, Dan decided to kiss me. I was okay with being kissed. I was even okay with a bit of making out, but Dan kept pushing things further and further. At this point is when my memory gets a little fuzzy. I remember that I would tell him to stop, that I didn’t want to go farther, and he would. For a little bit. Then he would start all over again, from the beginning. It would always start with a kiss. And each time that he would start over, he would get a little farther until I would say “No”.  He was training me to realize that “No” didn’t really mean anything. No matter how many times I said it, he would always start over and push a little farther. He was breaking me.

I eventually gave up on saying no. It didn’t matter if I said it, cause he was going to do what he wanted to anyway. And that was how I ended up naked and dazed in the woods right on the edge of a sports field, when a gym class came out. He found this humorous. He himself was still fully dressed. He allowed me to put my clothes back on, minus my favorite pair of underwear that he had literally  ripped off me at some point earlier. Then he led me off deeper into the woods. I went with him because I was more afraid of getting in trouble for skipping school than I was of him at the time. So I allowed him to lead me deeper into the woods, where I quickly became lost. If I wanted to find my out and back to school to catch the bus home, I needed him.

He found a small clearing and put our jackets down like a blanket over the leaves on the forest floor. And then I was naked again, and so was he. This was the first time that I had ever seen a boy naked, and he was trying to convince me to participate in the “69” position with him. I turned my head to the side and he eventually gave up on that. The next thing I remember, he’s on top of me and he asks me if I want it. And I have no idea how to answer him. I’m lost in the middle of the woods, scared and cold, and I have just been taught that “No” means nothing. He doesn’t wait very long for an answer though, I might have nodded at him, or he may have decided that silence was consent. It doesn’t matter though, because I had said “No” very clearly several times earlier. Things should never have gotten to this point. There’s also the fact that I was only 14 and he was 18. However you look at it, what happened next was rape. I was lucky enough to either not feel anything because I was numb at this point, or my memory has blocked out any feelings that I might have felt. It wasn’t all that long before I found my voice again though, and told him to stop. And he did.

I got dressed, and then when I thought about what had just happened, I burst out crying. He was instantly apologetic, and beat himself up for pushing me too fast. He made it all about how horrible he was, he played on my guilt. And then he said he loved me, and asked if I still loved him too. And in my mind I decided that what just happened could not be rape, because we were dating. We were in love.

If the story ended there, I might still believe that what happened was not rape. But it unfortunately does not end there. He led me from that spot after a dog wandered into the woods and he gave it my torn underwear that he had previously had hanging from a tree. Because he thought this was hilarious.

He led me off to a nearby apple orchard. And I lay there on the ground and told him I was tired. Then he changed. He told me that if he was going to get in trouble for skipping school that day, that he was going to have fun. And he started in on me again. Only he was a bit more forceful this time. I don’t remember a whole lot very clearly. I remember at one point we both still fully clothed and I was lying on my back. He crawled on top of me, straddling my hips and started “riding” me, like he was some sort of cowboy. I think he even said “heehaw” and he was laughing hysterically. This hurt a lot, both physically and mentally. The next thing I remember was him on top of me again, inside me again. I quickly found my voice again this time too, and he stopped when I asked him to again, while making a joke about how I always “finish” before him. Luckily, very soon after this he led me back to school, where we thought that we would just be able to slip on the bus and go home. Only our mothers were there at the school. The school had called them when we didn’t show up for class. They had been worried about us all day. When I saw his mother, I burst out crying hysterically, and she had me sit in the back seat of her car to wait for my mother to come out. Dan told his mother that we had been picking apples and that I had been “like this” (meaning hysterical) all day. He was just trying to help a distressed friend.

I never told anyone what really happened until much later, because I didn’t realize what had really happened to me for a while. I got in trouble for skipping school, and even when my parents later found out from a guidance counselor that broke confidence that I was “sexually active” I still didn’t tell. I defended Dan when my father was talking about having him charged with statutory rape. I fought tooth and nail to stop him from doing it, and my father eventually relented. I thought that we were in love then, now I wish that I had allowed him to do it.

When I did finally have the realization that I had been raped, and confronted Dan about it. He apologized and then proceeded to try to back me up against a pillar and hug me. I found my voice much quicker and louder that time. I informed him that he was never allowed to touch me again, and I walked away from him into the school building.

This post ended up being much longer than I thought it would be, so the story that I promised to tell will have to wait for a later post.