I think it all began when he started to get silent more often
My mama had always told me not to date
She said to wait until seventeen
To focus on my education so that I could graduate high school
To wait and not make the same mistakes she did
And I didn’t. Because mine were worse.
When I met him I thought he was the best thing that could have happened to me
He was seventeen and I was fifteen but he didn’t mind the age difference
He didn’t care about our different levels of maturity
Or the fact that I still had a curfew before ten o’clock on weekdays
All he cared about was the fact that I was still young and naive enough to fall for his bullshit
When he told me he would wait for me to be ready I actually believed him
Until I gave into the pressure and gave into him and lost something I can never get back
When he told me I was the only one I knew he was telling me the truth
Until I realized he was going to Chicago way too often to just be visiting family
I ignored the messages from other girls
I could overlook the way he treated me
Because I was fifteen and I didn’t know any better.
But when he started to get silent I would start to get scared.
I almost felt like a dog with the way he seemed to have me trained.
I had to be seen not heard
Don’t talk to his friends, especially if he’s not around
Don’t leave the house in something he wouldn’t like other people to see
Be ready, willing, and able to come if he called because he didn’t like to wait
He never hit me
No it wasn’t that type of abuse
This was the abuse that made me hate myself and everything about me
The kind that made me blame myself for the way he treated me
Made me ask myself whether or not I could have been more quiet
Whether or not I could have been more docile
Would he have called me worthless if I got there faster?
Would he have called me fat if I didn’t ask him so many questions?
Would he have called me a waste of space if I acted less suspicious?
Maybe I should listen more. Question him less. Be seen and not heard.
Just do what he says Desi then he’ll love you.
Until I realized I was changing my whole life for this guy
I was making all these sacrifices. I was lying to my parents. I was hating myself.
And for what? A guy that only used me for sex and a verbal punching bag?
I realized then that I would have to grow up
I had decided I wanted to be an adult before I was ready
Now I would have to deal with adult issues.
And you know this man cried when I told him it was over?
He begged me not to leave him and said that he would change
But it was time for me to grow up
And grown up Desi didn’t have the time to wait on a grown ass man to start acting like one
It felt so good to walk away from a relationship that I never realized was slowly killing me
It took me a long time to stop hating myself and blaming myself for things out of my control
It took even longer to talk to someone about it and come terms with the fact that I was abused
Growing up is hard for anyone to do
It was especially hard for me with my circumstances
But sometimes it’s necessary
I know now that if I had stayed where I was it would eventually turn physical
He would eventually get tired of me never wanting to be around him
He would want more than I could give him
And the weird part is that I don’t hate him.
I will never look at men the same. I won’t be able to trust for a very long time.
He took my life away from me before it could even begin and yet I can’t hate him
Because part of growing up is learning to forgive and forget
And while I’m still working on the forgetting part
The forgiveness was easy.
Because I know that I won’t make the same mistake twice.