Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz.
This time of year, I’m reminded of my past a lot. I deem myself a walking calendar, and when something has affected me or my life in a negative way, I’m bound to remember it. It’s a blessing and a curse; a blessing because I have a pretty good memory, but a curse because people think that it holds more significance in my life than it does. In the past, I’ve been scolded so much about not remembering my past as accurately as possible, that nowadays it’s the hardest fucking to do.
While May is still one of my favorite months out of the year because of the warmer weather and kickstart to the summer, It’s one of the hardest months to mentally get through because a lot of that traumatic shit happened around this time of year.
But fuck being silent about it.
With that being said, here’s this month’s installment of:
I talk a lot about my 18th year because a lot of dark shit happened that year. Eight years later and I still carry that baggage around me every now and then, but slowly I’m letting it go and forgiving myself the more I talk about it. My therapist, Cathy, told me one of the most important things that I think I’ll carry for the rest of my life: “by talking about it, you’re diffusing the energy behind it.”
So, hi. This is me using this month’s voiceless rant to go on a rant about some things that I’m learning to let go of.
Eight years ago in May, many things happened. After 5 months of emotional abuse and death threats, I let Person #2 back into my life because I was still in love with them. The thing was, I was already interested in another person, Person #3; a new person that didn’t know who I was or what I was at my high-school because from the hours of 4pm through 7pm at an after-school workshop, I was just Liz. I wasn’t “Liz, the slut” or “Homewrecking bitch Liz” or “Liz, the girl with the cut marks on her arms”.
Balancing Person #3, then Person #2, and then Person #1 was a lot for me, but I didn’t complain. For once in 5 months, I felt like people were finally looking at me, liking me, and giving me the validation and attention that I desperately wanted. I was 18 and lonely, what can I say?
Person #2 didn’t really last long in my life. Sure, they had a hold on me and I spent my time with this person every now and then, but I was finally at a place where I wanted to leave everything behind and start new with someone who was interested in me and single. Spending the first day with Person #3, I kissed them. Big mistake. It gave them a perception of me that I was trying to avoid with them. Slowly, the person I was trying to keep away from this person started to seep through. I trusted this person way too quickly, told them my issues, and how heartbroken I was with Person #1 since I was in love with them but always felt like their second choice. They even told me a story about a long-distance lover they had, which at the time thought was the sweetest thing. Person #3 and I were just two lost souls, and I guess their company felt right. Until it wasn’t.
I made a stupid move traveling across the city to see them one day. I even remember the only reason I went was because Person #1 hurt me so bad two nights before that I just wanted to let them go, and let Person #2 go as well. I lied to them, I lied to my family, and anything could’ve happened. Of course, I didn’t think that a person I barely knew would do anything that would later on stay with me for the next 7 years.
I didn’t go over their house to have sex. Make out? Sure. Kiss some more? Sure. I was fucking depressed, and all I wanted was to enjoy someone else’s company. When Person #3 and I started to make out, we took it to their room, and that’s when things got intense. Sure, the making out was fun, I won’t deny that, but they clearly had another thing in mind.
They were trying to get through my buttoned-up jeans and touch me, despite me saying no. They called it stubbornness and playing “hard to get” or a tease, I call it I don’t want to have sex with you because I don’t know you and I value my personal morals. I don’t know how many times I told them no, that no I didn’t wanna touch them back, that this isn’t what I wanted, and I don’t know how they stopped trying. At 18, I didn’t think much of it and didn’t walk out of their house scared. Uncomfortable, yeah, but not scared for my life. As I got older, I realized that one of the reasons it took me so long to reconcile this in my head was because I simply wanted to forget it. After a while, I dissociated from it. I felt like I was betraying the love I had for Person #1, but also I realized just how lucky I was to get out of that fucking house the way I did. Without knowing Person #3 that well, god forbid they could’ve assaulted me. Who really knows what could’ve happened?
I recall this day because it was the catalyst for a lot of my issues after that. I lied about it a lot of times when the topic was brought up – to the point where I couldn’t even remember my own lies. I was a scared, naive teenager that didn’t want the one person I loved to leave me. Let’s call a spade a fucking spade. Little by little, the truth would come out, but one thing stayed consistent in my story: I didn’t have sex with Person #3. I wish I was stronger back then to stick my ground and just have a “take me or leave me” mentality, but I really wanted this person to believe me not only because it was the truth, but because I didn’t want their image of me to be tarnished.
I vaguely remember 5 years later that I told the entire truth to them. I hoped that this day that I regretted since it happened would disappear and be a thing of the past, but somehow it came up at every chance it could. I thought that coming clean would end it for good. Mentally I was in a better place and I was a better person than my teenage years, but it never seemed like it was enough.
I found out years later that Person #3 spread some rumors about me. They said I did this, I did that, and that they took “Person #1’s bitch” from them. If it wasn’t bad enough, I now had to battle rumors similar to those that were spread while I was a teenager. For a while, I felt like I was just deemed this person that people thought I was and no matter how much I grew and learned from my mistakes and even took responsibility for my actions, it was never enough. This me was never enough because the version that was always lingered in my life. It followed me to my 20’s, and it followed me to this post.
I don’t blame anyone for what happened in my past. I’m not here to point fingers and say I turned out this way because of this person and this situation. I’m way more forgiving than I believe I am, but it doesn’t mean that I easily come to terms that I “deserved” for this moment in my past to follow me to the point where I felt like I always had to remember it minute-to-minute.
A lot of things happened during my 18. What happened because Person #2 and I is forgiven and let go on my end. I chose to let that and them go because it was time and it didn’t affect me the way it once did. It was about time I forgave them (not literally but figurately) for myself, own my responsibilities for my actions and dumb decisions, and it has officially become a thing of the past. Person #3, although I do not have contact or any means of communication with this person, is more of a situation rather than the person I need to let go of. I don’t give a shit about this person, but the situation at hand is one I’m slowly trying to work on and diffuse because it was something I was forced to carry for years on end. As for Person #1, I’m currently working on that forgiveness and letting them go figurately as we speak.
I write this not to expose anyone or to put people’s business out there. It’s my story to tell, and it’s something that I always wanted to talk about for the sake of my own mental health. I talk about it now because I know what my worth is. I know I’m not anyone’s property or territory, I’m not this lost chick that lost herself in the people around her years ago, and I’m not my fucking past.
So this year, this particular month, I am using my voice to finally speak out on something that I kept ranting to myself for years on end. Don’t judge me for who I was, what I did, and for the journey that got me here. Judge me for the now, the present, and for the version of myself standing in front of you at this moment.
Here’s to the loudest voice I’ve had on “A Voiceless Rant”.