I am a military brat. I have never been in one place long enough to forge relationships with people. I was born on one coast and moved to another in my early childhood and that is when my life began to spiral downwards. My mother is a raging alcoholic. Whenever my father was away, she would beat my older sister for any reason she could find. My sister protected me from the physical harm but there is only so much shielding possible from the psychological and emotional wounds that have long since turned into scars. One night after my sister was nearly choked to death she ran away only to be found hours later by California police, despite the bruising already forming on her neck in the shape of hands, the countless scratch marks on her arms and face, her clothes being torn from the struggle, the police reprimanded her for running away. They never said a word to my mother who was still drunk even at that point. Fast forward two years and my sixteen-year-old sister admits to having a drug issue in order to be sent back to our home on the east coast when in reality her drug problem didn't begin until she was home.
Three years later we're all back on the east coast together, no one knows yet just how deep my sister has dragged herself through the mud, my father still pretends like our family is a perfect TV family with no issues, my mother's drinking reaches a new low, and me? I'm thirteen, still trying to figure out my place in life among all of this chaos. I grew up taking care of my mom rather than being outside playing with friends. I didn't stay after school to play games, I went home to make sure my mother was still breathing and hadn't broken anything while I was gone. By this point in my life I didn't know what it meant to rely on people or to trust someone. I was socially awkward, I was teased and bullied once I returned, and the first person I learned to trust would later shatter that word for me. I met a boy who would stand up for me. He defended me and my family at every turn and yet he knew little to nothing about me. I trusted him enough to begin to open up to him, to tell him the truth of my life. When I turned fourteen, he turned sixteen. I thought I was one of the coolest kids in school because someone older than me was talking to me, was giving me attention and caring about what I said or did. But I was wrong. A week after my birthday, he raped me. This was the start of a vicious four year long cycle.
After the reality of what had happened to me came crashing down a new family moved next door, they had a son who was around my age, at that time he was gangly, goofy, weird, but sweet. We became friends but I could never talk to him for long, for four years I was trapped at the older boy's side in fear that he would tell people what I had done. I was convinced that no one would want me if they knew, no one would talk to me anymore. These were thoughts that he had placed in my mind, he would threaten me any time I felt like I was finally brave enough to leave him. Then one day, he was gone. Without a word to anyone, his family moved to Arizona and I was free. I had spent so long being told what to do and who to be that I was lost, I ended up in relationships that were closely similar to the one I was no longer in. I have been beaten, broken, abused, used, stepped on. Throughout it all my friend was at my side. He was my beacon of hope and when I turned eighteen, I told him everything.
A few weeks later we found ourselves in a relationship, he helped me go to counseling for everything that had happened to me, he sat with me as I told my parents years later about what I had been going through while they had their own struggles. He was at my side every step of the way and was always patient with me. We talked about getting married after college, about what our home would look like, about all of the pets we would have. We even had our children's names picked out; Juliet and Rowan. But while I had gone through a difficult life that shaped me to be a more independent person he had a cushioned life where he was used to things being easy. The first few months were fine, my friends call it the "honeymoon phase." Looking back on it now I can see why, we never argued, we were so in love with each other that we couldn't even think about raising our voices at one another. But the phase doesn't last.
We left for college, he is only two hours away from home whereas I am eight and a half, and practically in another state. We tried to make it work, I play a sport so he would come up and see me whenever I didn't have games but the distance made us tense with each other. We fought constantly and I began to go out and drink at parties. He no longer trusted me even though I would always be on the phone with him at the parties, I never gave him a reason not to trust me but it was too much for him. It was too much for the both of us. January of this year I finally ended things, I cried myself to sleep more times than I can count while we were dating because of our fights. But this last month has been the worst hell I have ever gone through. "You don't know a good thing when it's right in your face, you're just gonna turn right around and find someone to hurt you again because you just want the attention it will bring you." This is what he told me when I told him I couldn't take the fights anymore. Everything I had told him he turned around and spit it back in my face, claiming that I lied about my rape despite the fact that I have been seeing a counselor and still have difficulty being intimate with men, claiming that I lied about my abuse even though I have medical records for concussions, broken noses, bruises, and other marks on my body. I had to delete all of my social media accounts due to the fact that he would go through and leave nasty comments on anything I posted.
A week ago, after he called me screaming at me for a reason that I cannot remember, I messaged a friend on campus who lives down the hall from me. I was going to kill myself that night, because of him my arms are scarred once again, because of him I don't know if I can ever trust anyone the same now. I can't even look at myself in the mirror anymore. I have night terrors every night now.
But to anyone out there who has gone through similar situations, who finds themselves at the end of their rope unable to take it anymore: there is always another solution. You always will have someone to talk to but please, please be careful with who you trust. Don't trust too easily, because it's the ones we trust the most that can hurt us the worst.