Timeline: January 2011-August 2012
When I was 15, I started going to the local high school. I was a socially awkward, band geek in advanced classes with really strict parents. I got super involved in the FFA (an agricultural organization) as well.
A lighthearted part of this story is that I learned what a lesbian was that year. I was walking down the hallway with my friend. We saw our other friend holding hands with her girlfriend. Friend 1 says, “I didn’t know she was a lesbian.” I said, “She isn’t. She’s from Mexico. She’s Mexican.”
When I was young, my Sunday school teacher told us that God killed the people in Sodom and Gomorrah because they were lesbians. I asked what a lesbian was, but she told me to ask my parents. I sat through the lesson wondering, and, finally, I remembered context clues! Lesbians, Americans, Europeans, Canadians! It must be a nationality!
Back to the story, my friend is, understandably, dumbfounded and explains to me what a lesbian is. He said, “What did you think it was called when a girl likes dating girls?” I said, “Dating? I don’t know! So… You’re saying it’s not the norm to be attracted to your same sex?” He said, “No.” I said, “I just thought the statistic for F-F or M-M relationships happening was just lower because of key personality traits in people who follow the norms for their genders.” He said, “No… If you thought it was typical, are you???” I said, “I’m something.” That’s the first time I ever talked to anyone about being queer.
Anyway, that was off-topic, but it needed said. This story will need a pick-me-up because it marks the beginning of a downhill slope, and things don’t get better for a while.
*** TRIGGER WARNING *** SEXUAL/PHYSICAL/EMOTIONAL ABUSE/SELF HARM TRIGGERS ***
I met this guy. His name is Michael. He was the first boy I know of that ever had a crush on me. We flirted, and I gave him my number. We started dating. Red flags start the first day, but I ignored them. He was doing community service for taking a substance on campus that was not allowed the first day we started dating, but he told me it wasn’t his. I was naive enough to believe it. Not even a week in, he’s telling me he will kill himself if I ever leave, and we are “engaged” by two weeks in. It’s my first relationship. I don’t realize he’s emotionally abusive. He keeps me on the phone 24/7. If I can’t talk, I’m supposed to have him put himself on mute and carry the phone with me at all times. I have to even stay on the phone while I’m sleeping because he will call until I pick up, and I share a room with my little brother. Emotional abuse escalates to threatening me with knives and sexual abuse. The sexual abuse leads to an unwanted pregnancy and subsequent miscarriage. The miscarriage leads to physical abuse which escalates to multiple attempts on my life.
Then, I meet this girl. Oh, gosh… She made everything better… She saved me. She lit up my heart and my life. I could feel again, and what I felt was that I wanted out. He threatened both of us, but ended up saying I could date her too. She and I counted down the days until he would lose interest and we could be together alone. Then, he feels me slipping. He knows I love her. He knows I would choose her. He threatens to hurt her, and I lose it. He makes me break up with her, so I do. I cry every day, tell him that I’m not going to live without her, and tell him I will most likely hurt myself if he either doesn’t let me out of the relationship or let me be with her. She and I get back together, and she convinces me to tell my family about all of the abuse so they will kick him out of our house and convinces me to break up with him. She saved me. I will be forever grateful. She was the light of my life at the time.