I remember having a good, “normal” childhood until Junior High when I met my first love. I wasn’t even interested in boys at all until then, until “ST” started giving me all this attention. Wow! I was getting attention! And from a boy! He made me feel good; good about myself, good about us. It only seemed natural to kiss him and to let him kiss me. And that felt good, too. It only made sense that during April’s Spring vacation, when I was a month shy of turning 13, that ST should ride his bike the 7+ miles to my rural home while both my parents were working and spend the day with me. After all, we really liked each other’s company.
I’d like to say I was naïve and that it was all his fault, but that would be a lie. Although I was naïve and inexperienced, and had absolutely no idea what I was doing, I was just as much at fault as ST. Ignorance is not bliss. When we became intimate with each other, it was a life-altering experience for me that I could’ve never foreseen. I did not understand that it would be a defining moment in my life that would set the tone of decades to come, effecting my lifestyle, my children and possibly their children. Like they say: “If I only knew then what I know now.” But, would I have changed anything? Could I have? And who is “they” anyway?
I must admit that the now intensity of our relationship built quickly. We talked on the phone before school, saw each other and “made out” as much as possible during school, and somehow made arrangements to be together sometimes after school; and I was addicted. We were in love… at ages 13 & 14. Is that even possible? It sure seemed like it then, and I can remember it and still feel it like it was yesterday. I made it to the ripe age of 13 before I became pregnant ~ surprise! I won’t elaborate on this time of my life, because I already have covered most of it in my “Forgiven and Set Free” post. I now have a better understanding and am able to cope with the subsequent abortion, after which my son’s father wanted nothing to do with me… another defining moment.
The rejection that ensued left me feeling desolate, inadequate and shattered my self esteem. In 9th grade, I may possibly have been the only student at Baker High School that kept a bottle of liquor available in my locker for daily consumption… who knows? I drank in private and I drank to replace the feeling of emptiness that was left behind when ST turned his attentions to other girls in school. I experienced intense jealousy that consumed me every day. It left me miserable, and desperate to find something, or a someone, to make me feel good again like he had. So, “someone” it was! Or perhaps I should make that plural. Thus, I began what would be a series of “relationships” with pretty much anyone who would look at me and show me any attention. I didn’t really care. Some were friends from school, some were acquaintances or friends of friends, some I picked up in local bars.
When I turned 16, I was frequenting bars in the Baldwinsville area with a girlfriend, and meeting men. No one ever checked ID back then. Even the guys over the age of 18 and 21 who often took me home ~ to their place or not. Talk about risky behavior! It didn’t feel risky to me. I was just getting what I needed (attention) from whatever source could be obtained. At 16 I was with a friend in my favorite B’ville bar, we were enjoying a band that we had been following, and this guy asked me to dance. I obliged. He was kind. He stayed with us the rest of the evening, then took us home to my friend’s house (I was spending the night with her). On the way, he talked me into meeting him the next day, and he would take me for a ride and we’d just talk. How absolutely dangerous and exciting! I had no idea who this stranger was! But I met him the next day anyway, and got in his car. He drove me back to Baldwinsville, and to his apartment. After it was all over, he confided that he was a teacher in one of the middle schools there in Baldwinsville. I didn’t care about any of that, I’d gotten the attention I craved. His name? Never got it. Next!
From that point on, it was one selfish, irresponsible thing after another throughout the rest of high school. I’m not sure how I managed to get through the business curriculum I was enrolled in, and be exceptional at it, but I did, even after I began using drugs at age 16 or 17. Well, because, all my other new friends were doing it! And it made me feel good and/or made me not feel at all. I don’t recall having a “home life” during those tumultuous years of sex, drugs and alcohol in school ~ everything pretty much revolved around getting away from my parents and my home and having fun. Was this fun? I couldn’t tell anymore.
Next Chapter: Senior Year