When I was two my mother, a victim of abuse and undiagnosed bipolar disorder, began drinking heavily. She threw irons, shoes, chairs, and my heavier toys at me for minor infractions. I was beaten with a vacuum cord, thrown against walls, and slapped to the ground. The child abuse continued for years; I took the brunt of it to protect my little sister.When I was in reprimanded in class I was terrified; I'd wet myself whenever there was the threat of a parental phone call. My mother and I are still not close, there's always the fear that her old self will return and I'll need to defend my family again.

I was ridiculed throughout elementary and middle school for my weight (caused by asthma medications), my thick glasses, second-hand clothes, pale skin, nerdiness, and early development. I began expressing myself sexually, convinced that I mattered to those boys and loathing myself when I was rejected.

I attempted suicide for the first time at age seven. I tried to drown myself, entwining my body with the ladder at the bottom of my pool. I let the air out of my legs until my vision began to tunnel. The sun glimmered above me, I was grateful for that last peaceful image. My body floated face up to the top of the pool as it went limp.

When I was 12, I came out as bisexual to my parents. Struggling with my new-found sexuality, I tried fruitlessly to learn more in my semi-homophobic school, setting a path for other kids to come out. Throughout middle school, I went from boyfriend to girlfriend to boyfriend.

One slapped me in the face for having male friends; I stood up for myself and punched him back. I became violent, angry learning to defend myself. I broke a girl's jaw for insulting my sister and laughed when I heard the damage.

When I hit high school, I began dating my best friend, a wonderful boy. His alcoholic mother claimed I was "stealing him" and tried to keep us apart by telling him I was cheating on him. In turn, he began cheating on me with my one of my best male friends. I tried to save face and pretend I was okay, but I felt I was never enough. When he dumped me, I was nearly 3 months pregnant. He broke up with me in the hallway of a Disney World resort so I could be surrounded by friends.

We were 16.

I kept the pregnancy a secret. When I miscarried, I passed it off as an incredibly painful period and urinary tract infection. It stayed a secret until I confided in a friend three years later which lead to my new-found reputation as the girl who blew and screwed any boy who looked my way. So many people were hurt by my actions.

I slept with friend's boyfriends and drug dealers for free weed.

I fell in love again when I was nearly 18 to a man four years my senior. He was tall, sexy, intelligent, and damaged; a former cocaine addict who traded his coke habit for a sex addiction. He promised me the world and I gave him my love and the promise of marriage. Little did I know that he had a girlfriend of four years on the side. When I found out, I was in too deep to give a damn. We skulked around, never posting pictures of our "love," meeting at IHOP for homework and hash browns.

My roommates were emotionally abusive, calling me a "slut" for being an atheist who engaged in premarital sex. I was called names and locked out of the apartment. I spiraled downward, swallowing a bottle of sleeping pills and throwing them up.

My best friend called me, demanding that I get away from that toxic home. He held me through the night and I grabbed onto him like a leech. I dumped my selfish fiance and moved on. I forced my best friend into a relationship he didn't want and we picked up and moved to a new city to escape my old life. It was a mistake; he pushed me away, hated my spotty sexual history.

Eventually, I convinced him to move in with me. I finally had him all to myself. The next two years were a constant back and forth between rejection and acting like we were in a relationship. He reminded me that I wasn't pure or perfect. My high sex drive was a sign of my sluttiness and he withheld sex on a whim. The pounds packed on. I felt he was the only person I could convince to date me. I was dumped countless times and came crawling back each time, convinced we were soulmates.

Finally, I went home and consoled myself between the legs of an old fuck buddy. I felt guilty but said nothing. Seven days after we rung in the new year, my not-boyfriend dumped me. My world came crashing down and I gave up. I started thinking that I could have an identity without him. I cried for two months straight until one day, I stopped.

I got up and threw myself into something that wasn't him, losing fifty pounds in the process. I returned to my tried and true plan of getting over someone by getting under someone. This time, it worked even better than I could have hoped for. It reminded me that I owned my body, that I was desirable.

Three months after he dumped me, he decided I was good enough, attractive enough to be loved. He expected to come running back. I stopped, looked at my life and realized I'd fought through so much, I didn't need to subject myself to more bullshit. Today, I'm happy. I'm dating the fuck buddy, an amazing man who has shown me what love and caring look like.

Life goes on.

It gets better.

You get to be happy.

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