Leaving was unexpectedly harder than I had ever imagined it would be. I had wanted out of my small town for as long as I could remember. I had everything I needed, minus living room furniture. But I had everything else. I was ready and excited. I moved in with one of my many cousins, started school and got a job overnight. I managed to sustain going to school full time and working full time overnights for 3 months before I crashed. I chose once again to drop out and decided to try and just work to save money and maybe try again, which, looking back, is laughable.
I started to date a co worker of mine. We bonded over late nights of burger slinging and Sublime. We moved quickly, falling in love and moving in together. We got into some pretty big fights, a combination of young age and undiagnosed mental health issues on my part. He decided to move out, but we continued our relationship. One morning, I wasn’t feeling right. I had got my period, I thought, but something felt wrong. I had worse pain than I’d ever felt before, and typically, its a very painful time of month for me, so that’s saying a lot. I called him and he brought me to the hospital. The waiting took forever. I was supposed to work, so I told him we should just leave and I would come back later. As we walked through the door, my abdomen was burning with excruciating pain, and I passed out. All in one moment, I learned I was pregnant and that I was losing the baby. It was ectopic. My fallopian tube had burst. This led to surgery, a lot of sticks from needles, my first experience with an internal ultrasound (yikes!) and a heavy loss that I didn’t understand. I didn’t understand why the loss of this pregnancy felt so heavy, I didn’t even know about the baby, I didn’t have time to fall in love with the idea. But now I know, your love is there the instant you know they are. I was devastated. I was 20 years old, no one in my circle understood this loss. My mother was upset with me because I took two days before I could bring myself to tell her. She was my best friend, I don’t know why it was so hard for me to tell her. My at the time boyfriend and I had got closer throughout this and he proposed to me. I said yes. I thought it was the right thing to do.
Nothing with us was fixed though. It just got buried in shared grief leading us to believe we were closer than ever. Some light planning began, I picked out my dress. Things weren’t happy or exciting though. I was struggling with myself. I was trying to figure out if this was what I wanted, trying to figure out who I was and who I wanted to be. I was not pleasant to be around. I was moody and angry. He asked me to go to counselling., so I tried it. My first experience was an uncomfortable one. The counselor just kept asking me what I thought my parents did to me, and I am how I am in spite of their upbringing. I am not their fault. They also insisted I be videotaped. It felt violating. I walked out and I wouldn’t try again for another 15 years. That engagement fell apart. He left me, I felt unworthy and abandoned. And because I knew it was because of me, I felt broken. Why can’t I be who is screaming to get out inside? Why am I so scared to show my true self?
When we broke our engagement, I moved into the basement of a coworker of mine. It was a lot of fun at first. Lots of nights out drinking and dancing. Being young. I started a friends with benefits thing with another co worker because I had a crush on him and was broken enough to let him use me. And that went on and off for years. And that plays an enormous part in how I ruined my life. We all hung out together, had a lot of nights we can only slightly remember. On May long weekend, some friends of the people I was living with were coming up to spend the weekend. We had planned to drink by the fire before going out dancing. One fella had taken a liking to me through the evening; I made it very clear I was not interested. We all got back to the house and we all wound down to get to bed. I was texting the guy I was seeing at the time when my bedroom door opened and one of the male friends was there. He asked to pet my cat. I said no, I’m going to sleep. He entered anyways. He started to grab my blankets off; he was kissing my bare upper thigh as I had shorts on while trying to pull at the shorts themselves. I cried out for help, n0body came. I managed to boot him off and out the door. I shut the door, locked it and pushed my dresser in front of it. I texted my boyfriend for the rest of the night, I didn’t sleep. He was 0ut of town and couldn’t pick me up. I reported the man the next morning. He was in the Army and I couldn’t let him abuse his power again.
I lost my home because I was brave. I moved in with another friend who was kind enough to take me in. She was the best thing for me. She got me to smoke pot the first time (seriously I was missing out!!) and proceeded to give me the most fun summer of my life. My damage was really starting to show through. Cracks were visible. I had no self worth at this point. I couldn’t hold onto a relationship which made me the problem. I was still in knots over losing my pregnancy. I was hurting from things I had assumed to be long-healed. That was also the summer I decided fuck it, this shit keeps happening to me, so I will just do what I want with who I want. I was a little bit promiscuous that summer. Thinking if I offered myself they would see that I was was worth loving, but no one did. I was used. I wasn’t pretty enough to be loved. I was damaged and they all knew it. So I took affection in any way I could get it. I ended up moving back home at the end of that summer. I couldn’t keep doing what I was doing. I wanted to heal. I wanted my family. I wanted my momma!