I have thought and thought for weeks about how I wanted to tell this portion of my story. Truth is there was a time in my life where I considered these years following my wreck the pinnacle of why I did the things I did. Maybe it was, maybe it was a combination of things. Maybe its just the way it was destined to be. I’ve found as I have gotten older, experienced life, and gone through my own struggles that the blame I have laid is unfair. I can understand pain so deep, with fleeting hope that drugs become the answer. I can understand being so disappointed in life and the way things are going you drown it out in alcohol. I know what it feels like to be rendered almost useless by depression and anxiety. I know how it feels to spend the day managing these feelings, only to come home exhausted and take it out on my family. I know how it feels to have so many synopsis firing off in your brain at the same time that you completely lose your mind and freak out. I understand now. All that being said, I don’t want to paint my parents or anyone else involved in these years in bad light. Today they are not those people, and its their story to tell. I’m almost 30 years old now and I have come to understand that most people are just doing the best they can with what they have. I’ve also learned that people have baggage and life isn’t what it seems through the eyes of a child in the life of an adult.
Here’s all you need to know before I skip ahead 3 years. My early years in life were unstable. Every day was chaotic and unpredictable. I had seen more by the time I was 11 years old then most people at that time had seen as adults. I was exposed to drug addiction, alcoholism, an active dating lives, abuse in various forms, divorce, and molestation. I often felt abandoned by everyone I expected to care for me. I struggled to feel accepted in my home. I always had a lot of friends. I can remember my mantra as a young kid being, “blood don’t make family”, I created my own. For the rest of my life really this would be my struggle, acceptance. As I write that sentence a single tear rolls down my cheek. I’m realizing right now that little girl is still within me fighting for that same acceptance. Enough of that, we will get there. Without further a due…..
Thinking back I arrive at 12 years old, the 6th grade, as the point in which I begin take full responsibility for my actions. Some of you are probably freaking out right now- “But you were a child!” While that is true, and although I didn’t consciously think, “I have abandonment issues I’m going to try to fill my void.” I was actively trying to be liked, accepted, and wanted anything that made me feel loved even if only for a moment. Remember, I’m twelve years old.
I always had a “boyfriend” even from kindergarten. I was always getting in trouble for holding hands on the magic reading carpet. In 1st or 2nd grade I had 2 boyfriends, they would fight over who was going to give me crayons. It continued on this way all through out school. By the 6th grade I was really developing “romantic feelings” towards boys. I wanted to kiss, hold hands, they whole nine yards. My mom was a very strict authoritarian type parent so doing bad stuff was super thrilling to me. I had a friend that was on a much longer leash than I was. She was basically allowed to go, do and talk to whoever she wanted. Like any other young person would, she was whose house I wanted to be at.
She hung out with older people, ya know 7th and 8th graders. They were so cool, and the boys were much cuter. She was invited to the coolest boy in towns Halloween party, and I was invited to come with her. I went and it was amazing! I felt so cool, I could not believe I was really here at the coolest party I had ever been to when something horrible happened. Lets just say things got a little gory unexpectedly, I got my period for the first time. As humiliating as that was, and frightening might I add. I had to leave the party and hurry home, like a lame, at 8 o’clock. Took me a little while to recover from that one.
This was early 2000’s, 2001-2002, the internet and chat rooms were just becoming the new thing. Everyone was starting to put computers in their basements with access to the world wide web. Every pre-pubescent person around the country now had access to millions of people and unlimited porn. Don’t fool yourself, we all were in the chat rooms saying we were older than we were, talking to men or women who were “older” and there was plenty of web camming and porn viewing going on. We wonder why the current generation is so over sexualized…. Needless to say, the average 12-16 year old could now become “experienced” without actually doing the act. Just like anything else your curiosity overtakes the satisfaction of the fantasy, surprisingly enough that is not just an adult issue. I had a boyfriend at this time, he was a year older than me but he had already hit that puberty phase where they begin to fill out, so to me he looked way older which I liked. We had made a plan to lose our virginity to each other. We had the perfect plan, he went to another school which was already out for the summer and my mom worked out of town. I would skip school and he would come over and we would… The plan was going flawlessly, I skipped school and he was on his way over. I was unbelievably nervous, but I thought it was what you did. If I remember right I over sprayed myself with vanilla body spray and lathered coconut lotion on my legs, how juvenile. After sitting awhile, trying to work up the courage to actually take this beyond kissing I pulled away, “I’m not ready for this.” To which he replied, “Okay, I’m going to go feed my goat.” If you know me now you know I have my palm to forehead shaking my head wondering what the cuss was I thinking.
The awkward encounter did not redirect my plans, I continued to try to become “sexy”. Christina Aguilera and Brittney Spears were the sensations. With there sexy clothes and hot music videos, every girl aspired to be them. When Christina released that song “dirty”, it was over. The bumpin’ and grindin’ generation began. It wasn’t just in the clubs, it was also at the school dances. My boyfriend went to a different school so he wasn’t allowed at this dance that was being put on. There was an older boy there giving me attention, so I gave him something to pay attention too. Dirty dancing looked like child’s play in comparison to way we were dancing up there. When you wanna act like an adult you get adult drama. The boyfriend found out about the dancing, he was pissed. There was a town festival, I was excited when I saw him but he wouldn’t talk to me. I really thought he wouldn’t find out since he wasn’t there, dumb. My first true heart break.
Not long after that there was another boy, and another try in which still didn’t happen. My mom had a friend with a much older son. I was 12 he was 16 I believe. Her friend was cool, and she liked having me around. She invited me to stay the night and watch movies and hang out with them. Chase and I were already sitting under a blanket on the couch together. I distinctly remember my mom saying after reluctantly allowing me to stay, “Make sure they stay away from each other during the night. She comes from a long line of horney women.” She probably should have went with her gut on that one. Shocker, he was definitely trying. Lucky for me we were laying in such an awkward way, his mom was right there, and I was able to shut him down, but nicely, I don’t want people not liking me. I did gain some experience that night, but not to much.
Things went a little wild after this. Like I said the internet was just becoming popular. It was back when AOL and Net Zero used to send those 30 day free trials in the mail. Well to set them up you had to provide a checking account number. I was always resourceful. I just got my moms check books from the cabinet and filled in the information. What I didn’t know was after the trial it was going to charge the account like $60 or something. I can’t recall rather it was one or multiple, but does it matter? She was pissed when she found out one more. She was freaking out, hard core. I was in a lot of trouble and she was going ballistic. That day everything changed in my life. I touched on some abuse in the beginning of this post, at this point my Grandma told me it was time to report this, So I did. Things happened fast after that, my dad came from Idaho a few days later and picked up my brother and I for the summer. It was just supposed to be 6 weeks, but during that time I had revealed to my dad that I didn’t want to go home to mother, I wanted to stay with him. He got the ball rolling immediately.
Court day was interesting. I remember jamming The Eminem Show the whole way from Idaho back to Oregon. My dad, my brother and I singing every word with just as much passion as Mr. Mathers. I remember the smile on my moms face going in, it scared me. I knew there was no way in the world we would be going home with our dad that day. She always got exactly what she wanted, and he had a record. The judge called my brother and I into his chambers separately. I can’t even remember what was asked, or what was said, then back to the hall way. We sat out there for what seamed like an eternity before my mom came bursting out, face in her hands bawling. My eyes were probably as wide as saucers as my dad came out and wrapped us up and said, “we did it”.
Looks like we’re moving to Idaho, sweet. Didn’t really turn out to be to sweet. My dad and step mom were fighting there own demons during this time, leaving to feel left out, not apart. The fact my mom wasn’t even trying to contact me didn’t help matters. I was so afraid when I started school. I came from a 98% white town. There was like one Mexican family, one black family, and a couple adopted Asians but they were no different than any of the rest of us. The school I attended was 98% Hispanic. I pronounced everyone’s name very American, J-uan, Jesus (instead of Hey-Suz). Their culture was different, their language was different, and I wasn’t in a small town anymore. I was so glad when I made my first friend. I wanted to be just like her. She was cool, and assertive, and didn’t take no crap, I liked that. We quickly became friends, spending all of our time together. She had a few brothers and a cute cousin who quickly became my boyfriend. I would again attempt a failed sexual encounter and as quickly as the relationship began it ended, rejected again. I started to settle into my identity in the new place. I was quickly making friends and building a there which was the polar opposite of the life I had lived before.
Jess and I started hanging out with this other girl, Rainey. Rainey lived “on the other side of the tracks” so to speak. I thought my friend in the 6th grade had free reign, this girl had no leash at all what-so-ever. So when she suggested we go over to a boys house none of us objected. We went to this guy name Jimmy’s house. His bedroom was in the garage, which I now realize is like the last straw for parents, red flag. So we were all hanging out there, drinking a few beers, when we decided to play truth or dare. It started pretty innocent, I dare you to kiss so and so. I dare you to take your shirt off. Then Jess dared Rainey to have sex with Jimmy… she said okay and they had sex right there in front of everyone. I was like, woah this is happening and simultaneously like, I’ve never done this before I’m so lame, don’t look lame. When I was dared to do the same with Roberto, I didn’t object, and as I write that I’m again shaking my head wondering what the cuss I was thinking.
I wasn’t ready for the surge of emotion I was going to feel after this. I was head over heels in love with Roberto. We were going to get married and have two children, who were already named. I doodled his name on my notebooks, passed him love letters in the halls. We skipped school, a lot. I thought I had experienced heart ache, but nothing hurt as much as the day I saw Roberto with another girl as we passed each other on the play ground. I was devastated, world crashed down. When he called one night and told me to meet him up the street at his friends house, I quickly jumped out of my window and went down there. Roberto and this older man were in this camper trailer, they were doing some sort of drug I didn’t know at the time, it was meth. Roberto wanted me, so of course being completely unable to control myself at the prospect of him loving me again, I obliged him. What happened next has kept me from watching XXX or any Fast and Furious movie to this day. I went inside the house to use the rest room, when I came out the older man was there waiting for me. I tried to get around him but he grabbed me and through me down on the bed and raped me. I focused on Vin Deasil’ s voice and tried to escape the reality of what was happening. When it was over I left and walked home believing I deserved that for putting myself in that position, I never told.
The next 6 months of the year got pretty bad. By the end of the year I had made enough enemies I was having to leave school a little early because the constant threats from other girls. They would think I was trying to get their men, plus I was white so that just automatically knocked me down a few pegs. Jess and I had ended up enemies by the end of the year. It was not good. My parents thought it wasn’t as bad as I made it sounds until 8th grade started. The way school were broke up there they had 6th & 7th together, 8th, 9th & 10th, 11th & 12th. So we had a building to ourselves, it was much bigger, much more open, and had a lot more students in attendance. Every day I was getting in a fight. Two weeks into the school year we moved back to Oregon. I think my parents thought it would be better there, back home, but our family would be unable to escape the turmoil that was coming.