Before The Fall

I knew this day would come, and though I’ve tried to mentally and emotionally brace myself, anxiety has overtaken me. Today’s post may be the hardest one I will ever share. There is so much that I want to say about what you will soon read, but…I’m not entirely sure that I’m up for it right now. I intend to post further commentary in the days to come, but for tonight, I will let my former words speak for themselves.

As far as Adam is concerned, he genuinely lived up to his namesake by being the first man to accomplish so many monumental things in my life. For instance, he was the first man I ever truly loved. That alone speaks volumes, but I also believe that he was the first man to genuinely love me back. As beautiful and precious a gift that was, it only makes perfect sense that we couldn’t have lasted long.

I was raped at age 16. One night forever changed the trajectory of the rest of my life. Even as I sit here typing this, I still have to wonder what kind of impact that one night still has on my ability to trust, live and love. Every day that I walk this Earth feels like a never ending game of “catch up”, where I’m trying to blindly reconstruct who I think I might have become—had I simply stayed home that one night.

Who knows if I’ll ever come close. My ability to fully remember my original personality and innate disposition is so difficult to do. The only way for me to go back that far is to travel a road that passes through memories of “that one night”. Whenever I reach the edge of that part of my past, I stop. Maybe it is better to fill in any unknowns on my own. Complete accuracy simply isn’t worth the pain of remembering.

This post captures the first time I acknowledged the damage done to my personality, as well as my impaired ability to interact and empathize with others. It was a rare moment in which my true self felt safe enough to briefly make an appearance. If not for Adam coaxing me out of hiding and getting to work repairing my badly damaged heart, I have no idea if I ever would have recovered. It’s no wonder why I later hated having to let him go.

 

September 14, 2006

I’m an interesting soul. Always have been and most likely always will be.

Yet…I’m only human.

I’ve been hated, hunted, knocked down, trampled upon, stabbed in the back, torn to shreds, spit all over and had dirt kicked into my face—Yes, everything short of being silenced for the remainder of eternity. However, time after time I have proven everyone wrong, and in the manner of the regal phoenix, I’ve been reborn from the ashes of who I once was. I am continually evolving into a new and improved version of myself. Eventually, it is my hope that I will one day become the woman I’ve always wished to be.

Yes, I am only human.

I’ve finally managed to obtain the job I have been dreaming of. The cushy little office position, pecking away at a computer for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week…the typical nine-to-fiver. I’ll drive to work with all the other work mules, getting stuck in 7 a.m. traffic. If I’m lucky, I’ll have time for Starbucks, which I’ll groggily guzzle. And at the end of the workday I’ll get back into my car and file into line with the other work mules again. It’ll be dandy. It’s all I could ever ask for from a work situation. Indeed, I am quite human.

There has to be more to life than this. Perhaps it is human to work, be mistreated, mistreat others, and love.

Hmm. Love. This time it is quite different.

The feelings I had for Duane was one thing, but what I feel for Adam is much different. It’s on a totally higher level. With Duane, I could see us being together forever. We could make a life for ourselves and carry on like true adults. I could see myself risking my life for him. I could see myself giving up everything I have to be with him. Maybe.

Let’s flip the script now. With Adam, I would love for us to be together forever. I want for us to make a life for ourselves and carry on like true adults. I would risk my life for him. I would give up everything I have to be with him.

Isn’t that what true love is? This unconditional, unwavering, permanent feeling that an individual has for another? A feeling so strong and dominating that it numbs the everyday aches and pains of reality? Isn’t love supposed to change people? Doesn’t it shape people into being completely selfless, compassionate, loving, nurturing, and honest?

Where has the old me gone? She’s the infamous one…the “bitch” that didn’t care what people said or thought about her. She’d take what she wanted and throw up her middle finger to anyone who objected. It was her way or no way…no one told her otherwise.

She was perfectly spoiled, which explained her selfishness. If she wasn’t happy, neither was anyone else. That was her legacy since the day she put her foot down and let it be known that no guy would ever take advantage of her again.

I’m sure you guys can remember…she was bitter and contrary. She had a big black hole where her heart should have been, and any sorrows of another wasn’t jack shit to her. Well, “she’s” dead. I’m going back to my regular old self.

Before Duane, before Charlie, before Paulie.

Before the pills, before the drinking, before the cutting, before the lies.

Before those miserable kids at school started hating me and threatening my life.

Before I lost my entire support system.

Before I started hating every aspect of myself, way back when.

Before the days of Sergio and shooting the breeze at the park with all my false friends past curfew.

Before thinking that I should sell out to become someone I was never meant to be in the first place.

Yes, think back to before the times I skipped class, broke my mother’s heart, abandoned my dreams, and got caught up with fake “friends”.

Before I was introduced to those disgusting guys who thought of me as nothing more than a toy for their amusement.

That’s the most important time.

I never should have had to see that dark hallway filled with the shadows of strange men. It was so different from the near death experiences you always hear people talk about. Instead of seeing my past life flash before my eyes, I saw impending doom. I watched the moment that would change who I am speed straight towards me, and even when I reached my hand out to grab the door frame and begged for them to take me back downstairs, it was too late and I knew it. It’s something I’ll never forget.

All I had wanted to do was go to the bathroom. That’s it.

I never wanted to go in the bedroom.

I never wanted him to hold me down or cover my mouth.

I never wanted to lie there and fail to beat the living shit out of him.

I never wanted him to lie to me and tell me, “It’s okay. It’ll be over in a minute”. It’s still not over. It will never be over.

I never wanted to see his friends looking in through the crack of the door, then watch them proceed to not stop him.

I never wanted him to not kill me when he was finished because I never wanted to have to stay there all night without a way to get back home where I belonged.

I never wanted to have to realize that the people I thought were my friends just weren’t.

I never wanted to have to drag Carla to Target to buy a pregnancy test because I knew I wasn’t that kind of girl—the type of girl who normally had to worry about some loser getting her pregnant with a child she would surely resent.

I never wanted to become another teen statistic, another has-been, another “never will be”.

I got lucky, I guess because I never would have been able to resist attempting suicide had the test not gone the way it did.

I never wanted to have my life fall apart or idly stand by as my whole perception of the world shattered.

I never thought I would recover from the pain, but the pills numbed me for awhile.

I never should have had to count the years since the “incident”, as I call it.

I was never supposed to trust a guy again either, but I was wrong. In the time that I’ve been with Adam, every ailment of my life that has plagued me over the last 3 1/2 years has been magically erased.

Every tear that I have ever had to shed has long since evaporated. The dreary raincloud that has hovered overhead and the self-loathing that I’ve toted around with me like a gosh damned holy grail have vanished. Even though everything in my life is far from perfect, being with Adam sure can fool a girl into thinking otherwise. I can handle not only my own disappointments, but his as well. It’s not something I can just tolerate…it’s something I need to do.

Everyone knows that I’ve never been the most outwardly compassionate girl. “To each his own—especially when it comes to the shit in your life that you’d just love to burden me with” is a quote I christened and have religiously lived by up to this point. However, I don’t feel that way anymore.

He makes me want to care about people again. I see sad things on TV now and I cry. I hear about old people that are losing the life they once lived and my heart breaks for them. My ultra conservative views have now turned quite docile. I feel sorry for the homeless, the mentally ill, and those of low economic status.

I’ve basically turned into something just short of a tree hugging, tie-dye sporting, world peace wishing hippie. My obsession with material things has nearly diminished and my sarcastic, cynical personality has been completely thrown out the window. I find beauty in things I just couldn’t see before. He’s helped to bring the real me out…the old me.

I’ll never forget when Adam came with Kay and I to Ikea. We were in the checkout line and there was this little charity thing that you could purchase. For every dollar a person donated, Ikea would match it and plant two trees. I was completely astonished to see Adam so enthusiastic about donating dollars. After all, weren’t they just trees? The old me was thinking, “Well gosh, I’m practically dirt broke. Why the hell would I want to purchase trees? Who really gives a shit?”

Then I got my answer: Adam did. In fact, he bought three. One for each of us. It was the most precious thing I had ever seen someone do. Not only was it foreign to me, but he was a guy and he cared. Why the heck was I standing there questioning the need for trees when I’m a girl and supposed to want to care about things?

It was at that very moment that I realized that I admired him for wanting to donate the money. I hadn’t noticed or acknowledged an act so selfless in….awhile. I cared about him quite a bit before that, but his actions at that moment made me love him. Not in a girlish-crush kind of a way. Not in my “I’ll stick around until I find something better” way, but in the way you see in movies.

I actually might love him. And you know what? That’s fine by me.

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