Teenage Years

After my first post, I chose to end it with when I went to live with my grandparents when I started high school. This was a major change to my life, although it came with it’s own difficulties that have shaped me into who I am today. When I first moved in with my grandparents, my grandma was a very career oriented woman. She managed some of the top restaurants in the area. I did very well in school, and was even in some advanced courses. I was still a little awkward and wasn’t exactly in with the popular kids, which I still don’t regret. The friendships I formed didn’t really last though like the ones from my younger years. My grandma was my best friend and role model. Initially, things seemed to be going great. But then the foundation was shaken and put to the test. Several things seemed to happen close together, although I’m not sure if they are related or not.

One of the first things that happened was a decline in my grandmas career. She was working at one of the top restaurants in the area. The restaurant was attached to a golf course, and also catered fine dining events and weddings. My grandma did so well that she actually exceeded the golf side, and the owner wanted the business to emphasize golfing more than restaurant and catering. My grandma still felt secure in her job, so my grandpa decided to spoil  her by getting her a BMW. Granted, it wasn’t new or super fancy, but she was really proud of it. Around that time a theft occurred at my grandmas work. Due to her getting a car around that time, they suspected her of it, even though the car was mostly financed. She ended up losing her job, and I resigned at that point as I didn’t feel right continuing to work there after what happened. Luckily, I had saved up enough to buy my first car though, and I ended up getting another job. Due to child labor laws, the businesses weren’t able to hire me full time, so I actually ended up getting three part time jobs.

My grandma wasn’t able to get back into fine dining and ended up managing fast food restaurants. She worked a lot more hours. Her staff budget was so low that she ended up trying to do things herself since she was salaried to get what she needed done and still meet the budget. She wasn’t home that much anymore. The happiness that was in the home seemed shattered.

I ended up meeting a guy at school that had a crush on me. We started dating and fell in love. He was a larger black boy. He wasn’t the type of guy that was into the whole “I’m gangster” trend though. He played football and did well in school. After a few weeks he drove me home from school when my car was in the shop. My grandma had the day off and was gardening in front of the house. When we pulled up and he introduced himself, she looked shocked, and he felt like she didn’t like him. Later that afternoon my grandma scolded me that although she wasn’t racist, that inter-racial relationships were still frowned upon by a lot of people and could make things difficult for me. I refused to accept that and continued to see him. We fell in love, or so I thought. We had a pretty solid relationship for about 2 years. Then one night we agreed to see each other at a party. I told my grandparents I was staying the night at my friends house and she did the same with her parents. My love showed up at the party, and he told me he wanted to get married that night. He didn’t have enough for a ring yet, but he wanted to get me one. He wasn’t able to stay long, so I stayed with my friend at the party. I sipped off of other peoples beers, but not enough to actually get drunk. I’ve never actually liked alcohol that much. This guy at the party pretty much stalked me the rest of the night, even though I told him I was in a committed relationship and wasn’t interested. My friend was really attracted to a guy who happened to be this pushy guys roommate. She wanted to go to another party that she was invited to and I wanted to stick with her so I went as well. I ended up blacking out and waking up in the guys bed that had been hitting on me all night. I was horrified. I got dressed as fast as I could and ran. I called my friends asking for them to come get me for the night. Despite what had happened, I didn’t want to risk losing my home again. I felt so guilty. I felt like what had happened was my fault since I lied and went to a party to begin with. I shouldn’t have been there.

My friend ended up reporting the incident to the police. I went home, and my grandpa had suspected that I was up to something and let me in, but I didn’t tell him what had happened until the police showed up to take a report. I was taken to the hospital where a physical exam was done and I was interviewed. I was able to recall enough details to trace back to the guys apartment, and he was brought in for interviewing as well. The physical exam showed trauma. I was told that when you are unwilling or passed out the muscles don’t cooperate as much and you can get torn up, and the results were consistent with that. The guy was brought in for interviewing and changed his story several times. Afterwards, I think that he had a little too much to drink that night so I actually took some pity on him and didn’t blame him as much, not that I felt what had happened was right. He ended up getting a really good lawyer, and my case manager sat down with me and gave me a choice to pursue the case or to drop it. I was told that if I was put on the stand that his attorney would tear me apart, and it could be even more traumatic than the incident itself. I was told that he seemed remorseful,  so I ended up dropping it. During the whole process though, I had to share everything, including my relationship with my love. At the time, I was 16 and he had just turned 18, so he got really scared when the cops interviewed him. He just stopped talking to me cold turkey. All of my friends stopped talking to me as well. I was devastated.

I started sleeping around. I always had the intent of staying in a relationship with the person but they never stuck around. I rushed into things trying to find that feeling that I had had before. I ended up getting pregnant. When I confronted my grandparents, they insisted that I get an abortion because being a single teenage mom would ruin any chance I had of success. I was told that if I didn’t get an abortion, I could no longer live there. I felt trapped. Without my families help, I didn’t know how I would be able to raise a child. The father was over 18 and would probably get charged with statutory rape if I pursued any kind of child support. I reluctantly got the abortion. The procedure was so invasive that it seemed worse than everything else that had happened. I still carry that guilt with me to this day. I was disgusted with myself afterwards. I ended up getting really sick, and fell behind in school. The principal wouldn’t work with me, so I got frustrated and just dropped out. I was resentful of feeling forced into something I didn’t want to do. My grandparents talked my dad into taking me back. At that point, my step moms kids were out of the house. My step mom had to go to another state all the way across the country for training for several months so it was just me and my dad. I quickly got a job and worked as many hours as they would give me. I used some of it to do nice things for myself like get my nails done, and me and my dad got into a huge fight about that. He wanted everything to be saved, so I moved out on my own. I rented a room from a lady, and did pretty well. I worked a lot, but was able to pay my rent, buy my own food, and still have enough to do the things I wanted. I did it all on my own. Then when I turned 18 I met a guy, and everything fell apart. Again.

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