Tomorrow is the day I turn 18 and I am definitely not where I thought I would be. I’ve had my heart torn out and served on a silver platter, I’ve lost many loved ones, and I’ve seen things I never thought I would. But, I’ve also fallen in love, felt the magic of life, and, most of all, I’ve lived. I’ve lived through many things and experienced many things, so here’s a list of 18 things I have done:
I learned to love myself no matter what anyone else thinks.
I learned to drive.
I got my first car and learned how to drive stick in it.
I fell in love with cars.
I registered to vote for November 6th.
I have scheduled a tattoo appointment.
I have fallen in love for the first time.
I have traveled to many different continents.
I have started applying to colleges.
I have seen how life doesn’t stop for anyone.
I learned to not take myself too seriously.
I have learned life is short and is over in the blink of an eye.
I have learned that I can have different beliefs than the people who raised me.
I learned that the person you call your best friend isn’t always the best friend for you.
I have learned how to stand my ground.
I have learned some friends come and go.
I have learned some people are in my life to teach me a lesson and then leave me.
I discovered who I want to be and what I want to do with my life.
There are many things I have learned and experienced, but my favorite has been falling in love, getting my heart broken, finding myself, and becoming the best version of myself.
Seasons and memories have always been so weird to me. I almost get seasonal depression, but not in the season one may suspect.
I get this feeling when it’s cold; I’m content with everything and the most peaceful I have ever felt in my life. My heart almost freezes, as if to stay in that feeling.
There seems to always be a memory associated with this feeling in my head. It’s one of the strongest memories from my childhood, though that doesn’t say much. It’s a haze of little things.
I remember the dress. It was a new, red dress for Christmas.
I remember the bear. Its paws lit up and it played a song. It was my favorite gift that year.
I remember the restaurant. It was right outside the mall, about 30 minutes away from home.
I remember the driveway. It was littered with pine needles.
I remember my parents. They were happy, for once.
Everything was perfect. It is the only time I look back and think I had a picture-perfect childhood. It’s the only time I don’t remember yelling. It’s the only time everyone got along. It was the only time there was love everywhere.
Maybe that’s why I get so happy when it’s cold outside.
I was fifteen almost sixteen when I met this boy. He was great, he was everything I could have ever wanted, at least, that’s what I led myself to believe. I had a crush on him and, lucky for me, he liked me back. We started to date, but I remember that on the day that he asked me to be his girlfriend, something felt a little off. I first found out how pushy he was that night.
He was all over me. Like most teenage boys, he wanted more and I wasn’t ready for that. That night, nothing more than kissing happened, but it was too much kissing for me and I tried to tell him that, but he didn’t seem to care. I tried to brush it off and think nothing of it. After all, he was my first boyfriend and I could not mess it up; I was finally cool.
Later on in the relationship the pushiness only got worse. My friends even started to help him in weird ways. On my sixteenth birthday, after only being together for a month, he had my friends lay roses on my bed and light candles. Anyone that saw that scene knew what was going to happen, but it was not something I was ready for. When I walked in, I yelled at my friends so loud that my mom came downstairs. Luckily, he wasn’t too pushy when he came over and I did not have sex with him, but some other things happened.
Every time he would come to my house, he would force me to please him and then text his dad to pick him up. After two months, I finally couldn’t take it any longer and wanted to break up with him. But, whenever I talked to anyone about breaking up with him, they told me not to. I know I shouldn’t have listened to other people, but I had no clue when or how to break up with him because he was bigger than me and I was scared of him. I didn’t want to find out what he would do to me.
Eventually, I broke up with him. I made sure it was in a very public place and it was actually okay. But, an easy breakup doesn’t mean I left without baggage. He sexually abused me. Him being my first boyfriend made it so I had no clue how relationships were truly supposed to be. He took my innocence away from me. Everyone talks about how one’s first relationship is full of love and innocence, but I never got that.
I hated myself for months after everything happened. I used to cry myself to sleep because I would think of him and what he did to me. At first, I was scared to tell people everything that happened. No one believed me and that made talking about it harder. I wanted to get him in trouble for what he did to me, because what he did to me is something I will carry the rest of my life; but, there was no way to get him in trouble. I wanted him to hurt as much as he hurt me. But, I was never able to do that, so I grew more mad as time went on. Pretty soon, I no longer saw myself as a person; I saw myself as an object for people to use.
About ten months after everything happened, I went to church camp. While I was there, my youth leader talked about how in Christianity one is supposed to forgive everyone as God has. Hearing that was very hard for me, so I talked to my leader more and he helped me work through everything that happened and cried with me. He was the first person to cry with me. I felt like he truly cared about me and, from that week, I learned to forgive my ex. It wasn’t easy; some days, I still get mad at him for the things he did to me, but I want to be a better Christian, so I am working as hard as I can to forgive him.
I have not fully overcome the conflict, but I have learned to deal with it and have started to forgive. One day, I hope I can say will full certainty that I forgive him, but until that day comes, I will be looking to God to get me there.