My first day as a seventh grader in middle school was the complete opposite of the previous year. I used to want to converse with others and try to make more friends out of my own free will.
That year was different.
Truthfully, I didn’t care about anything anymore. I didn’t care if I had friends or if I kept them. I didn’t care about lectures, so I chose to avoid them instead of attending. I kept to myself. I avoided personal conversations or just made up lies about my life to prevent any future curiosities. Love was foreign to me. I didn’t know how to love or what it meant to be loved. You could say, I was going through the ‘adolescence phase’ where I hate the world and complain about how shitty life was.
Sometimes I wonder. Would I still be in the same state of mind as I was in if I the word abusers never introduced itself int my life? Would I be happier? More sociable? Less anxious? Less numb?
Seventh grade was a time where I experimented a lot with the word love with both genders. With guys, I still felt numb. I wouldn’t last more than two weeks dating my exes. I would go out with them for pity or, honestly, just for the hell of it. I can’t say I ever felt ‘love’for any of them. The were just figures within my life.
I prohibited any physical contact besides kissing and holding hand. I strictly verbalized that my butt and breasts were off limits. Yes, at times, when we would make out for perpetual minutes, my insides would twist and turn with a fiery burn, desiring more, but the images of my abusers shocked me back into reality and my insides twisted and turned in agony and disgust.
Teenage females were different though. Our make out sessions would last for the longest and they were filled with intensity and I didn’t feel an ounce of disgust. Instead, I felt normal. I would fire up and the glimpses of my past would not try to sneak in. They remained hidden with them.
Is it because my abusers were male that my amygdala automatically put on a defensive shield with them? I wonder.
The first guy I went out with in middle school was kind and loving really. I had a binder that had ‘I love nerds’ written on the front. He wrote me a letter and gave it to me towards the end of the day in the classroom.
“Do you want to go out with me? Yes or No.
Some girls teased me over it and pointed at him, daring me to go out with him. He was staring at me, smiling.
I circled yes. After school, we walked around the football field and I could see how nice he was, yet, I felt nothing. He kissed me. We kissed for a few minutes. I stopped and told him, “This isn’t going to work.” I stood up and walked away.
Why did I break up with him? Honestly, I don’t know.
I glanced over my shoulder and saw him, still sitting on the bench. I continued to walk.
The next day, rumors clouded the school. He no longer looked at me with a smile. Instead, his eyes translated hate.
I continued my day. I didn’t care.
That was my shortest relationship.
There was one relationship where the idea of love came to mind. His name was H. I loved the way he smiled. Genuine. We started out like my previous relationships, but the it elevated quickly. He invited me to his house to meet his mom. I was nervous, but I accepted. We scheduled a day to go to his house and we did. I met his mom. We talked.
That was the first time I’ve ever done anything like that and I felt good.
He invited me to his room where we immediately exchanged an intense kiss. We climbed onto his bed and his body was closely pressed to mine. I could feel the fire inside me burn. I loved that burn. I wanted more. The images were hiding. I could do it, but I quickly pushed him away. I rapidly collected my emotions and stabilized myself. I smiled at him and giggled asking him to show me the rest of his house. He guided me to a small room covered by light bulbs. The lights were dimmed.
He turned on the stereo and a slow tempo music played. He grabbed my hand and we slowly danced the floor away. Perfect I thought to myself. I felt my heart ache, but not because I was in pain, but for a different reason. A reason unknown to me then. I layed my chin on his shoulder and smiled.
Our night ended with a kiss goodbye and calming walk back to my apartment.
I quickly learned that happiness does not last long, at least, not for me. About a week later we were in the schoo’s hallway, holding hands, while he was walking me back to class and without my knowing, he grabbed my butt. As soon as I felt his hand on my ass, my hand pushed him away.
“It’s over. I’m breaking up with you.”
I had rules.
I turned around and walked away. I thought I would feel remorse or guilt for ending it like that, but I felt nothing, like, the first guy I went out with in middle school. Like him, H just stood there and, like him, my emotions did not waver.
My feet kept pulling me forward. My mind kept asking Why?
That was my longest relationship during middle school.