Going through the first half of my teenage years was rough living with a father from another country. He would not allow me to wear thongs, skirts without shorts underneath, or even red nail polish or lipstick. I was not allowed to be a cheerleader, or go out with friends without a chaperone.
Moving into my friends house felt like a vacation of sorts. I was free from the overprotective and extreme discipline. I was able to go out with friends, stay up late, eat what I wanted, and spend money on whatever I wanted. The first thing I did was go to Victoria’s Secret and load up on new bra’s and thong underwear. No longer would I be told what to wear!
I had my first experience drinking alcohol at a house party with a guy me and my friends met online. We made bad decisions and there was no one to stop me. My friends and I met with this older guy a few times and hung out. One day he advised he would throw a mini house party if we wanted to come over his house and have a few drinks. Of course all of us said yes! So me and four girlfriends headed over. He had six packs of Smirnoff Ice and Bacardi Silver. I had my first sip of the Bacardi Silver and was in love. It was absolutely delicious. Before I knew it I was 6 Bacardis and 2 Smirnoff Ice drinks in. I was hanging out on the bed with two of my girl friends and the guy we met online while the other girls remained in the living room talking. We were all clearly intoxicated and our new guy friend had asked us to kiss. I never really even thought about it I just started kissing my friends. I know I had seen plenty of adult movies with women doing things to each other so I did not think twice before trying it. It had almost felt natural. During this experience I never thought that it would be a window into sexual curiosity with women. That night I was taken home by a friend who came to pick all of us up. We were dropped off at my friends house where we stumbled in hoping to not get caught by her parents. The moment we got up her front stairs, we were greeted by her parents who were less than happy with us. I was sick to my stomach from all of the sweet alcohol I had filled my stomach with and it was obvious. They immediately asked my friend what was wrong with me. She tried to tell them I had bad Chinese, but it was obvious I was overly intoxicated. We spent the rest of the evening being scolded for our decisions.
Being at my friends house allowed me to have experiences I would never have had living at home. I hung out with old friends on the regular and even made new ones. While hanging out with my cousin and his friends one day I met this guy. He was dangerous and funny. His love for fast cars, driving at dangerous speeds, and flirtatious personality instantly drew me in. We began hanging out every single night. Some nights I even snuck out of my friends bedroom window and met him down the street. We would go for long drives and bond over music and our love of life. It did not take long for me to fall for him and his bad boy ways. I met his parents and his sisters and loved everything about them.
It finally felt like I had control of my life. He took me to my senior prom, came to my high school graduation, and started attending my family events. A few weeks into our relationship we took it to the next level. My sexual curiosity was again at an all time high. I suddenly wanted to try new things and have the adult sexual relationship I always saw in movies.
A few months into our relationship something changed. He began becoming more jealous and possessive. Deep down I enjoyed the possessiveness and jealousy. It meant I was wanted. Never again would I have to feel abandoned and unloved. I found a man that loved me and spoiled me with new shoes, clothes, car parts, and took me out.
I finally decided it was time for him to meet my real family. I managed to keep my biological family mostly hidden from my friends and boyfriends previously as I had been so embarrassed of who they were, the poverty and the poor conditions of their lifestyle. I was always afraid no one would love me if they saw what I came from. I was ashamed of my past, but it was time to share my experiences and move on from my fears. My boyfriend and I packed our bags and went on the seven hour trip to my hometown.
We pulled onto the old dirt road my grandfather and biological mother lived on and into the beat up rocky driveway. My mother ran out and embraced me. I immediately saw the look of judgement on my boyfriends face. He was used to money and status not the poor “white trash” family I was born into. My mother was aged, sporting a haircut that screamed 1980’s, and sported a fresh new tattoo on her arm. She lifted up her sleeve to reveal my name clear as day in permanent ink. I instantly wanted to crawl in a hole. I was filled with embarrassment and anger. Who was she to tattoo my name on her arm? She was not allowed to claim to be my mother. My mother was the woman that raised me and passed away to cancer.
We walked into my grandfather’s beat up old shack. It was falling apart and smelled of wet dog and feces. My mother introduced her husband who instantly gave me the chills. He smelled of beer and looked dirty and had a pair of ripped jeans on with a flannel button down shirt which was unbuttoned and showed his chest and beer belly. His hair was long and messy pilled underneath a baseball cap. I was mortified. I instantly regretted even coming back. Pulling me aside my boyfriend told me he did not want to even spend the night in the spare room and insisted we get a hotel about 45 min into town. I spent the weekend touring the area with my boyfriend and my mother who insisted upon stopping at every local store and house in the small town to show them how “beautiful and grown up” her daughter was. Needless to say it was a very long car ride home. We mostly listened to music and made small talk.
Within the next year we continued to let our relationship blossom. We spent countless hours together. He would show up to pick me up from my nursing home job as a nurse aid most days. Sometimes even surprising me with balloons and flowers. Things could not have been better.
One day he picked me up as usual after a long nine hour work day and told me we needed to go to his house and talk. Once in his apartment, he advised me that a large sum of money went missing from his room. At the time him and his parents were living in a two bedroom apartment in a mother daughter house. The landlords and their family lived upstairs. Immediately I thought about all the ways the adults or kids could have came through the door that separated the landlords basement from the apartment where his family lived. He then advised me that he suspected it was me. The life drained from my body. After being together for almost two years, how could he suspect I would do such a thing. He advised me that he knew that my family was white trash and that he should not have trusted me. I begged and pleaded for him to believe me and understand I would never do such a thing. In all my years of being an insubordinate child and teenager, I had NEVER stole money from someone.
We spent the next week talking about how disappointed he was because he loved me and that it hurt him to know I would do such a thing. After countless attempts to prove that I couldn’t have and wouldn’t have stole anything from him, he finally agreed to let it go.
About a week or two later I realized that I had missed my period. With all of the stress and anxiety of the weeks before I had not realized something was off. I told my boyfriend and we went to the local pharmacy and bought a pregnancy test. We went back to his apartment where I went into the bathroom and took the test. I sat there on the toilet staring at the lines that appeared. I was pregnant. A wave of emotions came over me. I was so worried about what everyone would think. Here I was just out of high school, unmarried, and dating someone for barely two years. How was I going to afford this baby?
I finally got enough courage to walk out of the bathroom and talk to him. He stared at me anxiously awaiting the answer. I told him “I am pregnant.” We sat there in silence for a bit and he told me that we were not ready to have a baby. He said that he refused to have a child this young and that I was going to have to do something about it. I was instantly saddened and agreed, but told him I needed time to figure everything out. I called my local health center and scheduled an appointment with an OBGYN. They advised I had to come in and take the test in two weeks and they would advise what my options were.
Together we headed to the OBGYN appointment and sat in the waiting room waiting for my name to be called. Soon enough it was my time to go in and take the urine test. They handed me a little cup and explained the process. Soon I was escorted into a room with a desk and asked to sit down. The doctor sat across the desk from me and told me that the results were positive and did I know what I wanted to do. I explained that I was not sure I could handle a baby but wanted to explore my options. She immediately pulled out a piece of paper with a list of names of clinics that I could call to terminate my pregnancy. She explained if I decided against it there were many programs that helped single young mothers. Instantly my childhood came flooding back. I was my mother. I walked out of the room and to the waiting room where my boyfriend met me. We walked silently to the car where I burst into tears. “I do not want to be my mom!” I shouted. He advised me that if I did not want to be like her the smart thing to do was call the places on the list. I took out my cell phone and dialed without hesitation.
I had the procedure scheduled for the upcoming Saturday. They insisted I bring a driver and that the procedure be done early. Later term meant more money and difficulties. I remember sitting in the room hungry, nauseated, and nervous. My boyfriend looked like he did not have a care in the world. I saw some of the other pregnant woman anxiously waiting, no one saying anything about the taboo place we were in. We were all called in one by one to go through a process. First, an ultrasound to determine how far along we were. I was 9 weeks. Then to get a blood test to make sure we were not RH-. This was followed by a therapist who asked if I was doing this on my own free will or if I felt at all threatened. I agreed nervously and got lead into a room where there were gowns and baskets for our possessions. I was then shown to a room where all the pregnant girls sat quietly while one by one being brought into the room. Once in the room the doctor advised he was going to do a procedure and that I would soon be sleeping and not feeling anything. I watched as they injected the white anesthesia fluid into my arm.
I woke up in a bed in a room with girls who had also just had the procedure. The moment I opened my eyes the nurse advised me to get up and sit in a chair next to the bed. I looked over at another girl who was hysterically crying. I was in so much pain. I realized instantly what I had done. The nurse handed me two Tylenol and told me to follow up with a doctor in two weeks. The ride home was mostly silent. I cringed with every bump he hit. I just wanted to sleep. To numb my pain and suffering.
The next few weeks were rough. I felt guilty and miserable. I started giving my boyfriend an attitude and blaming him for allowing me to make such a terrible decision. One day after a long argument about how miserable I had been and how I treated him like crap he told me that enough was enough. He was not about to have a kid with someone who was white trash. He said I was just like my whore of a mother and did not need to have any offspring in my life. I instantly punched him in the face. I began hitting him over and over while sobbing uncontrollably. How could he? I loved him!
Suddenly I felt my body in the air. He had picked me up and tossed me onto the bed. He put his hands around my throat and began to choke me. I wiggled to get out of his grasp and he sat on my body kneeling on my arms to stop me from hitting him. I screamed in my face that I had some fucking nerve putting my hands on him. I felt dizzy and a sense of panic. He realized that I was starting to loose consciousness and immediately let go. He told me he was “so sorry” and that he would “never hurt me again”. He said that it was his self defense because I would not stop hitting him. I could not help but feel like I deserved it. I hit him after all. I was the one who got physical.
From this day on things would be different….