I vaguely referenced this in my last post.. but this is probably one of the worst experiences of my early adulthood.
I have always believed a man or relationship does not determine my self worth. I didn’t believe in dating before one was sixteen–it’s not a date if your parents drive you, was my logic. I had some body image issues and slightly disordered eating but overall I was pretty confident for a teenager.
Senior year I had begun dating a guy I worked with. Looking back on it, I think I liked his attention more than I actually liked him and honestly, I’d never dated anyone before so I had no reference point of an acceptable relationship. He was about two years older and had a lot of issues, but I was young and very naive. His ex was pregnant..oh! and very importantly she was 15! However, he told me “it’s not mine” “she couldn’t keep her legs closed”…I inquired why he would even have sex with someone that young..he said he “didn’t know since she lied about her age and then once [he] found out [he] had feelings already”.
I know, I know not proud of it…but I don’t regret sticking around—I learned SO much about what an “unhealthy” relationship was. 5 or so months later, the baby is born, paternity tests are ordered, and charges are filed. I wasn’t worldly enough to realize that meant the baby was his–I didn’t realize for about 5 or 6 months…I stuck around but I wasn’t sure what I was “suppose” to do.
I changed my college plans because of him…I was suppose to go out of state, but knew with the court stuff he was going through plus that fact there was no question that he was guilty would mean “Sex offender” “probation” and not leaving the state easily for him. I wanted to be with him and since “the results weren’t back” and honestly the court procedures were dragged out. I decided to go to community college for nursing heavily based on this–other factors did come into account like finances (lack thereof…). I moved into my own one bedroom apartment following graduation. Late Oct./early Nov. 2008, he was began moving in with me…I was packing his apartment one night and found the paternity test. It was POSITIVE! I screamed, I cried, and I was on my way out the door when he returned. I screamed, cried, and he told me “we’d get through it” that he “didn’t know how to tell [me]” and “didn’t want [me] to leave”.
I let him move in–I didn’t know what to do, I wanted out, but this was my first relationship, I was afraid of being alone, I was lost..I needed time. I was a wreck for the next couple weeks–I remember screaming at family at the drop of a hat. His sentencing was approaching.
Sentencing occurred and the girl (who was now sixteen) asked for leniency since she wanted her baby to have a dad who wasn’t in jail. He received 3 years probation, tier II sex offender, and would have to register as a sex offender for the next 25 years. This was my wake up call. It was real now. Was I willing to give up so much for him? He had stupid long hair, made me emotional, wrote poetry–I hate poetry, liked things I didn’t, he cried too easily, blamed his parents for his poor behavior & his current situation…and most of all had a kid he had no plans of caring for–I felt so bad for this girl.
I lost my job at the end of November over a bad situation and the very next day was in a car wreck on a lightly snowy night on my way home from school. I flipped my car and totaled it. I was completely injury free, shaken up but, fine. — side note, when your car is upside down and you still have your seat belt on gravity still exists and you should not just click the seat belt release button…unless of course you like meeting the roof of your car.
He also had lost his job due to his new found “status”.
I started talking to an old crush from my sophomore year…he convinced me to have dinner with him and I confessed everything. I wanted out.. I couldn’t handle it anymore–why should I? I had my own problems..I had my whole life ahead of me, I had potential!, I didn’t have sex with a minor, why should I also serve his punishment? My family doesn’t even like him! and they are pretty nice people!.
My former crush offered to help me in any way he could…I stayed at his house for two days and then needed to face the music and get out of the bad relationship and that’s what I did. I told my now ex he had a week to get out of my house and I was through. I didn’t want to talk, I didn’t want to see him, and I would have to cops remove him if I needed to. In the end I had to get a restraining order because he attempted to enter my apartment one night and had left an odd letter on my porch.
I relied heavily on the new guy “D” in my life–was this healthy? Probably not…do I regret it? Not at all…I needed a support system and between him and my family & his, I had it! Life improved a ten fold–I got a new (better!) job and I eventually moved in with D in one of his parents’ rentals so I could afford to buy a car and stop paying for an apartment I was hardly at.
I now knew what a “healthy” relationship could be…we were a team, we were individuals, but worked together for our goals and encouraged one another. We started working out at the local Y and that is where my fitness journey began. While we aren’t together now… this relationship, I look back on fondly.
My first boyfriend was a terrible experience, but I wouldn’t change it. I can understand the mindset of so many females in bad relationships not wanting to leave and honestly, I had it so easy…my family was around! It taught me about the court system and when my friends have had to press charges, I have practical knowledge. I learned to tread slower. I learned attention isn’t a reason to stick around. I learned to think about myself; that I am important and that it is not selfish to sometimes put your needs over someone else’s wants! I regained that independence and confidence in self my parents had given me!