A wrong turn down a miserable path

"My senior year, I was so ready to be done with high school and all of the bullshit. There were boys I had serious crushes on, but nothing ever happened. I didn't know how to assert myself, how to let them know I really did like them. By this time, my reputation was a disgusting, mangled mess of lies, and I just didn't care anymore.I had a dear friend who always attempted to make me feel better. She had been friends with me since most of these high school dramas described above. She knew how I hurt. She wanted to see me happy.She started trying to get me to assert myself. And honestly, I don't remember what she said, did, or suggested, but slowly, I started to feel assertive.
My first attempt at being STRONG and ASSERTIVE and FORWARD with a guy was horribly successful. I actually grabbed a guy's ass (in his tight Wranglers) and told him I liked it.
Within a few weeks, we were together non-stop.
Within a month, we were a couple.

I asserted myself with the wrong person. I asserted myself with a dangerous, careless asshole, who had no idea about the history I carried within myself.
I asserted myself with a person who cheated on me, berated me, humiliated me, hurt me, hit me.
I made the wrong decision.
It didn't last."
(You can find this excerpt in the entire post, here)

He was 2 years younger than me. He was cute, sorta. Lanky, blonde, blue eyed, bad-boy type. Catholic. By the time I learned that he had some issues with drugs and alcohol, it was too late: my heartstrings were all tangled in his fists. One of the first days we hung out after school, he was drunk. It didn't really bother me, it was just a bit disconcerting. We went to the house of a friend of his, and there were lots of people I didn't know, younger than me, and all fucked up. I realized I was with the "wrong crowd", but I didn't care.
He got so loaded that day, and he drove me home. He passed out at the wheel & drove into a ditch. I had to climb out of the passenger window, walk around & push him out of the driver's seat, and get us out of the ditch.
I was supposed to pick my brother up from school. I didn't make it. He walked home.
He snored as I drove to his house, with the tires & steering column shaking violently. He didn't wake up when I pulled into his driveway. I left him there, got my car, and went home.
He called that night, acting as though nothing happened. I went along with it.

He was with me a few hours after I found out my parents had split up. He took me out to get drunk. On a school night. I vaguely remember throwing beer bottles at speed limit signs as he drove around the "backroads" between my house and his.

I won't blame him for the amount of alcohol I drank that year. I probably would have done it anyway. But it was an unhappy drunk, an unhappy time, and honestly, he made me happy, for a brief period. When I wasn't happy, it was too late (the whole heartstrings thing).

He walked me to class, took me out on the weekends, hung out with me at my house during the week. He took me to pick my brother up from school when my car was in the shop. We hung out with his friends; very rarely mine. I met some people through him that were normal, sane, not part of the "wrong crowd", and I'm thankful for those people; they ended up getting me through the bullshit he put me through later.

My parents hated him. My mother told him he was an asshole, and my dad pretty much ignored him. I continued to spend every waking hour with him, and spent many nights sleeping on the floor next to his bed, avoiding home.

He was the person who convinced me to use drugs for the first time. I'll never forget it.

I started lying to my father about where I was staying, whose house I was sleeping over at, just so I could party with him and his friends. I relished his attention, and I liked the ease with which all of his friends just seemed so superficial and easy-going. No heartaches, no stress, no separated parents, no responsibilities.

I arrived at a party one night after work. Most everyone was wasted by the time I arrived. One of his older brother's friends started picking on me, trying to draw me out, I guess. Instead of defending me, my boyfriend joined in. Within minutes, this older guy had pinned me up against the wall in the garage, cussing and spitting in my face. I was scared, but kneed him in the crotch. When he let go, my boyfriend and his brother took over, "playfully" grabbing me & threatening me. When they both slammed me so hard that I saw stars, I think my boyfriend woke up and told his brother to back off.

I had handmarked-bruises on both arms and shoulders for the next week. I avoided his calls.

He apologized; I went back to him.

Rinse and repeat. Alcohol. Anger. Sarcasm. One night of a threat with a gun & being pinned against his car, and I was done. Done, done.

I avoided his calls. I berated myself for getting involved with him in the first place, for being assertive towards him, of all people. Why not the guy I had a crush on since 5th grade, that I never told? Why not the nice football player who let me sit with him at lunch, who I had meaningful, intelligent conversations with in English? Why not any motherfucker other than this guy?

We went camping in the deserts of Carlsbad, New Mexico over Spring Break. My father actually let me go. It was a whole group of us, along with the father of his best friend. There were a couple of people in the group that I really enjoyed being around, that I felt safe with. Yes, I went.

The first night, he slept with my then-best friend, a girl in his grade. They shared the same birthday. We all shared a tent together. Everyone was drunk, on drugs (except me). I barely drank. I climbed into the tent, tired and dirty. He was on top of her. She saw me, pushed him off, and said my name.
I slept in a friend's truck that night. She banged on the window, but I wouldn't look at her, wouldn't unlock the door.
The rest of the trip was a blur. Alcohol, shooting guns in a dried-up riverbed, people falling into campfires, someone flipping the 4-wheeler with both of us on it-the breath being knocked out of me, both of them trying to make it up to me.
I got angry & yelled at him while we were climbing into some caves. He pushed me down.

Somehow, I went to prom with him. It was a disaster. By then, my friends were gone, pretty much. The sweet one that had helped me assert myself-she had left school by then to have her baby. I was so lonely. I continued to hang out with all of them. He convinced me to leave prom after dinner. No dancing, no visiting with friends, no nothing. I wasted the time on my hair, the money on my dress, the love in my heart for this.

The hotel that was supposedly "all taken care of" fell apart. We ended up at one of his friends' houses, where his childhood friend (a girl) proceeded to try to pick a physical fight with me. He walked away, going to the bathroom to drop some acid. He passed out on a bed, but not before he called his childhood friend into the room, pulling on his belt buckle. I drove home.

The week after prom, random people started telling me about the girls he was talking to when I wasn't on campus. His own sister told me he was sleeping with one of her friends. My then-best friend called me to apologize about Spring Break, and begged to "make it up to me".

The night of graduation, she showed up at the ceremony with him. I have pictures of the three of us standing there together, and now I look into my young face and am dumbfounded that I allowed myself to be treated so badly.

I went to Project Graduation, and she "made it up to me" by going with me. By the time that was over, he was drunk & passed out in his own vomit in a friend's backyard. I stuck a note in his pocket, telling him it was over.

I avoided his calls. I got tested for STDs.

It ended badly. I was a sobbing mess. I begged, pleaded, ranted, screamed. I was so angry at him, for cheating on me, for making me look like a fool, for dragging me down a road I didn't want to go down. I didn't recognize myself anymore. I wanted him gone, but I cried when he told me he was done with me.

I didn't return his last phone call.


Badass Geek said...

What a rough story. It must have been hard to go through, but it made you stronger for the things you had to deal with later on in life.

Jenny Grace said...

You're so unbespeakably strong and lovely. I'm so proud of you and what a great person you are. I'm glad to see you on the other side of all of that ugliness. You are never to blame for this stuff. You know that right?

Melissa @ I Pick Pretty said...

What a story. I'm so sorry that you had to live it, but you are one brave cookie to be able to tell it, and tell it so well, here.

Anonymous said...

that is so intense and incredible. you are so brave and strong to have moved on from that. <3

Unknown said...

Every few lines I read, I thought of something to say. But in the end? All I can say is that I recognize way too much of that story - because I lived one so similar.
You told it amazingly well, though. So well that I can't seem to get my own memories out of my head. (Which I try so hard not to remember.)
I'm so glad you got out and moved on.

Holly said...

I love you. You are amazing.

TUWABVB said...

You rock my world. I'm sorry you had to go through all of that horror, but I guess in the end it makes us who we are today, right? And I wouldn't want to trade who you are because you are such a gem.

lane said...

i understand and empathize with your story. thank you for sharing, and i hope you are proud of yourself for becoming a beautiful, strong, and successful woman, mama, wife, and friend. <3

Anonymous said...

I've been reading your blog a while but now I've just had to comment. Wow, I'm glad you made it out the other end. Alot don't including me I became the wasted drug addict, I became one of the loser crowd, but thankfully I had living angels come my way that showed me I was worth more. I think I'm a better person for it and I'm sure you are too. You are a strong successful mama in your own right.