Six years it has been a rollercoaster ride of Hell.
Six years I have been hospitalized, bullied, abandoned, anti-social, and scared.
Six years I have been trying, trying so hard to let the past go; to forget those awful memories and to rid myself of those terrifying nightmares that seem to never leave me alone.
Six years of pain, suffering, and self-loathing.
Six years of rarely ever going to school, causing me to be put on probation because of the anxiety I had. It was too much to handle for me to even deal with peers at school.
Six years of nothing but hatred; hatred towards everyone - my family, friends - even myself.
Six years of being tortured with the realistic flashbacks that bring tears to my eyes and a lump in my throat.
I can't help but wonder when the pain will ever end?
When will I be able to go without having to look in the mirror with disgust in my eyes?
When will I be able to walk outside without having to worry what others will think about me?
When will I be able to give myself to a guy without the fear building up inside my chest and causing me to push away?
When will I be able to have fun with a real smile on my face with the confidence I should have?
It seems like it will never truly be easy, especially for me. Starting from the beginning of when it all started, it's hard to even fathom the events that occurred when I was twelve years old. Thinking back on it now, why me? What did I do to deserve the shit I was put through?
To most, it may not seem like a big deal. To most, I am a liar and an attention seeker. But only I know the truth of what really happened that night. Only a few have heard my painful story. Only a few really understand the shit I have been through to get to where I am today.
It all started in March, 2008. My best friend, Dani, had invited me to go to Florida with her and her grandfather, Lewis, and of course I wanted to go. I was twelve at the time and we had just begun spring break. It was an 18 hour drive to get there from where I lived. Trust me, it wasn't a fun drive. It was boring and after sitting for so long, my legs were cramping up.
We had finally crossed the border into Florida and decided to stay at a motel for the night, saving the next hour or two for the next morning. We were exhausted, but starving since we hadn't ate since that morning, and decided to get something to eat before checking into the motel. We stopped at McDonalds since it was really the only place that was cheap, close enough to the motel, and would fulfill our hunger.
After eating, we finally settled into the room and went to bed. Dani and I shared a bed while her grandfather used the other. The next morning when we woke up, I felt like shit. My stomach was hurting and I had the worst nausea ever.
I don't know what it was, or why I got so sick. Maybe it was the food I ate the night before or the long, restless drive to get there. Whatever it was, it was horrible. I ended up getting sick next to the car outside. Let's just say, I felt like death at the time. Our first night on vacation and I was sick. Great, isn't it?
Anyway, we drove the next hour and a half. I still remember it was the morning time because the sun was still coming up over the horizon, and through my tired eyes I could see the sky brightening with every minute that passed by. We finally pulled into the hotel we were staying in around eight in the morning. I was bewildered by the sight of it. It was huge with yellow cement walls and a red roof. I don't remember everything about it, but it must have cost Lewis a fortune to stay there for a whole week.
I struggled to get out of the car, still feeling like shit. Lewis had already checked us in and we started heading towards our room. Just getting up the metal steps was a pain in the ass, but I finally managed to get there. It was a decent sized room, with two full-sized beds, a TV, a bathroom to the right, and a window that took up most of the wall.. I was relieved to be able to lay down in a air-conditioned room.
The day went by and I slept most of it away. I felt a whole lot better than I did that morning, and decided to get up. That was when Dani mentioned she wasn't feeling good. She looked pale and I right then and there, I knew I wasn't the only one who got sick. She ended up puking in the bathroom sink, barely making it there before she did.
It was a long night after that, and Dani ended up passing out on the bed. She is a big girl, so she took up most of the bed with the way she was laying. I tried moving her over so I could at least lay down because I wasn't feeling so good, but it was to no avail.
That was when Lewis mentioned sleeping in the bed with him. My eyes darted around, trying to find somewhere else to sleep. The loveseat in the corner was too small for me, and with the way I was feeling, I did not want to deal with the uncomfortable consequences of picking that place to sleep for the night. Thinking about it now, I should have.
My next choice was the floor, but who would want to sleep on a dirty floor? Not me. So with no other choice, I just nodded my head, picked up my pillow, and placed it down on the other end of his bed. I decided it was best to sleep with my head down at the other end and my feet up where his head would be. I felt uncomfortable enough sleeping in a bed with him. A 12 year old sleeping with a 60 year old in a hotel room, with her best friend sleeping in the bed right next to them. It's a horrible sight, isn't it?
I finally managed to fall asleep. The hard part is just remembering the first time I woke up. Just thinking about it gives me the unwelcomed shiver up my spine and the sickness within my stomach. I was young, and I didn't know what was going on when I felt his hand on my thigh. I turned onto my other side, hopefully giving him the sign to not touch me again.
Of course, I woke up again. This time, his hand was in my pajama bottoms. I'm not going to go any further than what I am telling you now, but I think you get the idea of what was happening, right?
Throughout the night, I woke up four times. The last time was when he sat up, placed his hand on my shoulder, and said something to me. I don't remember what he said, but just remembering his face so close to mine and the smell of cigarettes coming from his breath makes me sick.
That morning, Dani felt better and we had decided to go to the pool for the day. The pool was downstairs and smack in the middle of the hotel. It was outside, surrounded by a white gate. We swam for awhile and I still couldn't let go of what happened during the night. So, I took it upon myself to tell her. The reaction I got from her though, still confuses me to this day. You will understand why when I get further into the story.
She shrugged, telling me it was probably nothing and just my imagination. I didn't say anything more, and instead I ignored it. Like I said before, I was young and I didn't know what was happening, so I kind of believed her at the time.
That whole week went by without no problems. We went to SeaWorld and Disney World, and went shopping at different places. Her grandfather had always been one to give us money, and when I say give us money, I mean 100 dollar bills almost every day. Thinking about it now, it was probably his way to keep us quiet. Who knows.
When I got home, I tried to not think about what happened that one night. No one knew except for Dani. Keeping it in though, caused a lot of problems for myself. I stopped going to school because of the anxiety I was having. Sixth grade wasn't all it was cracked up to be. In fourth grade, I had started gaining weight and by the time I was in sixth grade, people had already taken their toll on me.
So, instead of dealing with the judgemental idiots in my class, I stayed home instead. It turned into a bad habit, though. I was always a student who didn't miss more than 5 days a year. After Spring Break, I missed more than 15 days I believe. Just one awful night changed everything.
Seventh grade started, and Dani and I were still best friends. I was still struggling with getting myself to school, and when I did go in, I tried my hardest to get out somehow. With my father's job, it wasn't easy. So I was always made to stay. It sucked because my anxiety was so high and my self-esteem was so low that I just wanted to get the Hell out of there.
It was towards the middle of the school year and I was feeling even more depressed. I thought it would be best to tell someone what happened six months before. So, I told my father. To this day, I still don't think he believed me at first. He was shocked, and speechless. I kind of just threw it out there and walked back into my room.
One day, I was standing by my locker before English class and had just gotten into school after a rough morning. Dani walked over to me and told me she had to tell me something. The look on her pale face and the sadness in her brown eyes told me it wasn't going to be good. When she told me, I was right. It wasn't good.
Apparently she had been sexually abused by her grandfather for almost 3 years. She was done lying to me and wanted it to stop. Right then, we decided it was best to talk to the guidance counselor.
It was hard talking about what happened. I never really came out and told someone about the night he touched me. Dani also spoke, telling the horrific details of what happened to her. We were sent home that day and honestly, I couldn't be happier to be free from that school.
The next day, Dani and I went in and were called down to the guidance office right away. Two detectives came from Ocean City, NJ, where Lewis lived. They talked to us about what was going to happen and that it was best to give them every detail we could to put his ass in jail. So we did, and soon enough, Lewis was put into jail.
He confessed to everything he did to Dani, but denied everything he did to me. In a way, it wasn't as horrible as what he did to her. I still can't believe someone could do something so awful to their own family member. But, I am glad those horrible things didn't happen to me. He touched me, and just the thought of it put me into a terrible position for six years.
After what happened, and him being put into jail, my life was still a straight path into the depths of Hell. I was depressed, my anxiety was horrible, I stopped going to school, and my relationship with my father wasn't good. We fought a lot because I refused to leave the house. I started feeling suicidal, like the only good outcome of it all would be if I was dead.
I started to self-harm. Now, I never cut myself with an actually knife. Instead, I used to scratch myself, digging my nails into my skin whenever I was upset. The thoughts of death consumed my mind though, and I started to go even further downhill. I was put into Foundations, a mental hospital, and was there for a whole week. It was horrible. The food was bland, I didn't feel comfortable or safe, and I knew, for a fact, I didn't belong there.
Ninth grade started, and I once again stopped going to school. I was sent to court for the third time, and was put on probation for six months. Six months turned into nine because I still refused to go. I had to go to a Juvenile Detention Center for eight weekends. That was a moment in time I will never forget.
But, still it didn't stop me. At the time, I was in therapy and on so many different medications, I didn't know what was going on. School was horrible because I was bullied for my weight. Finally, the school transferred me to a different school in tenth grade, and it was 45 minutes away.
Thinking it would be better than regular public school, I was wrong. It was a school for behavioral kids. My third day there, there was a huge fight right in front of me. The one kid literally flew over the table and started pounding this other kid in the face. It was scary just watching it, and still scary just thinking about it.
Every morning, I was picked up in the morning by a van. I was the only girl out of five guys, (or six, I can't really remember). It was horrible. I was bullied every morning and every day to and from school. The only way I knew how to handle it was to stop going and avoid the confrontation on the van. The bullying got worse, I got worse, and I was again hospitalized for suicidal thoughts.
By that time, I had already been hospitalized once and put into Partial programs three times. I was used to it by then, which is horrible to say now because no one should be used to being in places like those.
I will let you know right now that school wasn't the only problem I was going through. My dad is a drinker, so we fought a lot. His ex-girlfriend had just died at the time, so it was hard on him which made it hard on me even though I hated the woman. Not to mention my mother and I weren't getting along at the time. Her and I have always had a weird relationship. My father is the one who has full custody over me, so my mother was never really in my life unless she wanted to be. Sadly, it is still that way sometimes, but what can I do?
Anyway, tenth grade dragged on, but it was finally over. Eleventh grade started and I was doing okay. October, 2012, was when it started going downhill again. I refused to step foot back into that school. At the beginning of the year, I was put into the Girls Academy, which is still part of the regular school overall. Out of 24 girls, I was the only one who was still a virgin, never did drugs, never smoked, and never drank. You could only possibly imagine what that was like, right?
I'm a nerd. I like getting my school work done and paying attention in class. But how can I when we can't get through one class without being interrupted by ignorant girls? It was truly frustrating.
So, I stopped going to school. I wanted to be put into cyber school, but everyone refused to let me. My father thought it would make me worse and the Girl's Academy wouldn't allow me either. After two months of arguing and begging, he finally talked to the school. I was pulled out and transferred into Agora Cyber Charter School in the middle of eleventh grade.
For the people who thought it would make me worse, it honestly made me better. Online school gave me the advantage to get a job, get my license, and to get myself better. I stopped going to therapy, stopped taking my meds, and had a part-time job as a waitress. My grades were amazing with straight A's two marking-periods in a row and in July, I got my license. It was a huge step for me, and still, I can't be happier.
Now, I will be honest. It's still hard. My life still has those curves and bumps in the road that are hard to get over, but, I still manage to get through it day by day. After six years, I have finally been able to find myself. I love myself, and just typing those three words takes a lot of strength, especially for a girl who used to hate every part of her.
Writing is now a part of my life. I will be graduating in less than a month, and will be taking a year off from school to get myself together and find out what I really want to do. It's not going to be easy, but it's not going to be hard either.
Six years of my life was wasted away to the Devil.
Six years were spent hating everything and everyone, and keeping myself locked up inside my room with no desire to do anything.
Six years were spent going over and over again with what happened that caused this havoc in my life.
Six years were spent holding myself up on the past.
And I can tell you right now, I am never looking back.