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Oct 30

Lola’s Story: A Mean Cycle

I have been lying awake all night, literally. It’s 6 AM here now and I haven’t gotten a wink. I’m just so…empty and nauseous right now. I have a lot of stuff dying to get out. A small amount of people close to me know the bits and pieces, but no one know the whole story. I need to get it out. All of it. Or, all that I remember at least.

All names have been changed because I didn’t want to mention their real name and some I forgot anyway.

In middle school, I spent a lot of time at my friend Jessica’s house. She had a step dad that lived with her and always seemed like the coolest adult ever. We always threw sleepovers and bonfires at her house. I normally slept in her living room when I slept over because everyone else slept in the basement and I was convinced it was haunted. Instead, I would hang out with her step dad when everyone would go to bed and watch movies. He would insist on me laying on the one-person couch with him to watch them. We would both fall asleep and every time without fail, I would wake up to him fondling me in multiple places. I told Jessica and her cousin Miranda, but they both said he must have green asleep. He always seemed to take an interest in me, once he even took my shopping for swimsuits. Eventually, Jessica and I quit hanging out and all of this receded into my deep memories. I never thought about it again until I was in my early twenties.

The rest of my story all started when I met Drew. He was my first real relationship. He was the son of my mom’s good friend so we saw each other quite a bit even though he went to another school. I was a quiet girl, always and still am. The fact that one of my crushes finally felt the same way was more than enough to get me to say yes when he asked to be official. He was a football player at his school, had lots of friends, but I was his first girlfriend as well. It was the kind of relationship that a lot of sitcoms feature. The nerd and the football star falling in love. Ooh…la…la… I guess. Anyway, that all went downhill quickly. About 4 months into our relationship, I went over to his house for pizza and a movie while our parents all went out together. My dad dropped me off (I was 13 or 14, btw.) While watching the movie, he thought it would be funny to start tickling me. In the midst of the attack, I kicked my drink over and it instantly stained the white carpet. He hissed at me to go to his room while he cleaned it up. I could tell he was really mad and probably needed space so I did just that. I could hear him furiously scrubbing the carpet from the other side of the thin wall and then it stopped. The door flung open and he attacked me. First, with his foot and open hand then with other body parts. It was violent and horrifying. I don’t remember much about it though, just the stings. I walked home afterward and went straight to bed. I didn’t talk to him for a couple of weeks after the incident. He shot me a message asking to meet up. I was very confused, but agreed. I met him at his house. When I arrived, he had a few friends over. They were playing video games and just generally hanging out. This confused me even more. He greeted me with one of his famous warm hugs and a sweet peck on the cheek. After a couple of hours, two of his friends left. It was down to three of us. I was just watching the two play a game while I did crossword puzzles. His mom entered to announce that she was leaving to get us lunch. The boys kept playing their game. Drew seemed to wait until he heard his mom’s car leaving the driveway and then paused the game. He took my hand and lead me down to his basement. He called for his friend, Gary, to follow us. Not very many words were spoken. He tied me up to a pillar in his basement and the two went at it. The way it went down so quietly lead me to believe it was all pre-planned. I never put up a fight. This relationship went on for about a year after that, give or take. It progressively got worse. I’ll spare the details.

Meanwhile, I started attending youth group at a friend’s church. I met many new friends there, one of which was her boyfriend Patrick. Time went on they broke up. He opened up to me one night after youth group and told me that he was recently abused by an older female figure in his life. I told him I can relate to him and together we just counseled each other. When I broke up with Drew, he was there to support and encourage it. The break up didn’t go down without another fight, but Patrick was there to console me. A few weeks later, Patrick and I were dating. Our first date was a movie night at his house while his parents were home. We sat on his couch, watching Sliding Doors. He got pretty handsy though. His parents were in another room, not even paying attention. I just let him do his thing and then texted my mom to pick me up. When I was leaving, he gave me a kiss, my first kiss, surprisingly. My mother teased me about my first kiss the whole way home. I just wanted to melt away though. I didn’t like this date at all. We broke up a week later. It took me years to realize it, but he had been getting off on my abusive relationship. I never realized it, but every time after Drew and I hung out, Patrick would shoot me a message as a way to lend an ear, or in more honest words, to draw out all of the details, ALL OF THEM, about what happened each time. That was worse than what Drew ever did.

After that, time and much more normal relationships happened. Fast-forward to when I was 17. I had the best friends around me that I could have ever imagined and a long-term relationship I swore was going to last into our 90’s. Spoiler alert, it didn’t. One day, I received a message from Gary. He apologized for his part in what happened. I forgave him right away. After all, I don’t think he understood entirely what was going on during that time. A few days after that, Drew asked me to meet him so that we can talk. I skipped school and met him in a public location so that we could safely talk. It went really well. I honestly believed he turned over a new leaf. We decided to rekindle the friendship we once had. I agreed to let him drive me home, but he pulled over on the way and everything happened so fast. He dropped me off at my school after and I ran straight to the arms of my boyfriend’s best friend and big brother figure. I just blurted out that I cheated on my boyfriend and I just needed a friend. I was crying and was a little bit delirious. He (big bro dude) screamed at me and rushed off. My still best friend [B] came up and calmed me down. We talked about what happened and then he took me to Urgent Care because I was experiencing pain in leg, which would up broken. A few days later, I told my boyfriend and the bro my side of the story and all was forgiven.

The break up sucked, but I won’t go into the details because it doesn’t have much to do with this subject matter. Once we broke up, I realized most of my friends were gone. I was going into senior year single and lonely. Most of my friends graduated or just didn’t talk to me much anymore. I adopted a new set of friends and a new girlfriend, whom I fell for pretty hard, but she decided I wasn’t lesbian enough. Screw her, non-literally. The year went on and I spiraled out of control. Hard. I struggled with crippling depression. Howard tried to be there for me. Over the years, he became close to me. He looked up to me for some reason and I took over a sort of mentor role. When my depression came crashing down, he wasn’t mature enough to understand what I was going through. He took advantage of me (maybe knowingly, maybe not) while I was in a very vulnerable state. All he wanted was to get rid of his stupid virginity. He sent me messages for years after that, asking for forgiveness, but I’ve never been able to give him that.

Now with my final close friend at the school gone, I had nothing to turn to but other guys because I wasn’t able to get my ex-girlfriend back so why not just go back to what I’ve always known? Asshole jerkfaces! I was beyond self-destructive now. One guy was someone I actually truly liked, even outside of that state. The only problem with Aaron was that he had a girlfriend, but he didn’t care so why should I? His girlfriend was one of those virgin-till-marriage religious types and he was a growing young lad with needs so I filled them. Once he realized I never said no, I was used around his circle of friends. I might as well have been running a referral program. I enjoyed getting attention from all of these guys. It didn’t occur to me that they had no true interest in me. It didn’t take long for it to backfire. I woke up one morning, feeling happy for once. I told Aaron and everyone else I was done. Aaron pulled a Mean Girls move and started bragging about I as his conquest and began telling lots of people about everything that went on. I was the school slut now, but the think that really hurt was knowing that I wasn’t sleeping with them because I truly wanted to. I just didn’t know what else to do. A fight started during a band practice. One of my really good friends that graduated previously had a little brother named Paul in the band now. He had a crush on me in the past, but he was always a little brother to me. When Aaron bragged about me to Paul, Paul lost it. He punched him square in the jaw. I wasn’t there, so I don’t really know what happened, but it was very out of character for Paul. Paul avoided contact with me after that. It dawned on me that there were still people who cared and I was hurting them by letting my soul die like I was. I got my act together practically overnight.

Fast-forward again to my first year in the navy, shortly after meeting my now husband. I was in my holding unit in Chicago. I was now getting positive attention from my male and female counterparts. It was great. I’ve never felt beautiful or attractive until then. It also helped that I was at the top of our little totem pole. It only took so long to fall back into my old habits again. I became involved with someone who learned to control me. Chuck pulled me up to the third level, which was completely empty and abandoned, on several occasions. I fought back the first couple of times, but he was always stronger. I OD’ed on some serious medicine, in an attempt to feel better. (Not suicide, but to genuinely feel better) I told my now husband, [J], what was going on (we were still just friends) and he with our two buddies hatched a plan to keep me away from Chuck. We kept in a nearly constant communication loop and used the buddy system. One day, that system failed. I was whisked away to the third floor again. The place often gets spotty reception so I was unable to call. I sent an SOS text message to our friend George using my handy dandy T-9 skills. The three arrive too late though. I just lied on the stairs, shaking and silent. James hugged me tightly and the other two went to tell the chief. A few weeks later, nothing wound up happening and he left on a plane to his next duty station. Of course, it’s mostly uphill from there. I’m now in a marriage that is going well so far.

But yeah, this is my story that no one has heard in its entirety. It really makes me sick whenever any of this crosses my mind for even a second. I know I am to blame for some of it. My reactions weren’t so great, but I was recently diagnosed with a mental illness, which likely had something to those decisions. I definitely hate some of these people and I am struggling to forgive them, unsure if I ever will. For now, I guess I will keep getting these awful flashbacks and illnesses and try to learn to deal. It seems that the best way for me to deal is by talking about it.

About the author

WYR

When You’re Ready.org is a community for survivors of sexual violence to share their stories.

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