Let me tell you a story. A story of sadness and happiness. A story of defeats and triumphs. A story of dreams and reality. A story that has no ending. Let me tell you a story about me.
I was born the middle child of a middle-class family. We were richer than most, but I always thought otherwise. As I grew, I realized mom was always there.
But the youngest always cling to her. And the oldest caused trouble for her. So I stood quietly in the corner. I have to take care of myself, I thought. I cannot bother mom. I would look towards the empty chair that my dad had sat in. He just left for another country. No time for kisses or goodbyes. Just got up and left.
I became used to keeping myself company. Sure, I had friends. But I was an introvert. I would get extremely nervous just answering the phone. And too shy to invite them over.
Junior High rolled around and I began to have problems. The once-obvious displays of affection between my parents had collapsed. Now the sounds of bicker and despair loomed over the house. My will always shattered at the first uttered word of discord. The tears are comforting to me, but I cannot control them.
I was not vocal at the time. I was not a vocal person at all. Because of me being me, I got a stalker. There were days when I dreading coming to school. It was not in fear of my life: it was the fear of seeing my stalker again.
He loved me: I treated him as though I had scorned his parents. He claimed to love me: I insulted and degraded him. He claimed to love me: I hated him.
High school was not far behind. But that's when the London Bridge fell down. My London Bridge fell down. Grades fell, Parents separated, Going to therapy. And in the midst of everything, I fell into a trap. Crafted by an abusive boyfriend.
I was slandered. I was scared. I was hurt. I was abused. I was controlled. I was insulted.
I was pushed into a drinking fountain. There was no blood, but I still remember where it hit. I was insulted repetitively: rivers erupted and my face was drenched. I was taken advantage of: I was now terrified for my life. I gave into his commands out of fear. I was a toy: he found someone else while we were dating, leaving me all alone. I hate being alone. I was controlled: he made me dependent on him. And I was afraid to refuse when he came crawling back to me.
It was not until Junior year. Junior year started it all. I had some courage. I had some guts. The break-up happened. I became happier and confident during the aftermath. But the past would not leave me alone. I tried to date again, but my chest would clench just thinking about it. My nerves go on overdrive and my senses are heightened. I cannot relax around men. At least, not men I want to date. Even the thought provoked panic. It baffled me so.
Senior year was the best by far. There was resolution in my eyes. My hands trembled, but my heart did not. The die was cast. No fear held me back. Only one thing bothered me.