I was eleven the first time I asked a boy out and he said no.
I can remember it clear as day. I was wearing a green dress with purple flowers on it. It was extremely windy that day so as I stood in front of this boy who was almost a foot taller than me my dress was blowing everywhere. I had called my crush over into the trees that ran along the property line of my elementary school and asked him if he wanted to be my boyfriend. He promptly said no.
I went home and cried that night.
I was twelve the first time I realized boys only care about looks.
From grades 5 to 7 I grew out of that somewhat awkward stage of puberty. I began to dress better, wear makeup and do my hair. I also began to pluck my eyebrows. Growing up I had BIG eyebrows, and this was often the central point of boys teasing me.
In grade 7 that same boy who had said no to me a little over a year before asked ME out. Nothing had changed except for my appearance. That solidified the idea that boys only really cared about looks. We dated for a summer and then I was broken up with before going back to school. But I was determined to win him back the only way I knew how.. with my looks.
When we went back to school the following September I was so ready to get him back. I would look “hot” and I would flirt with every other boy in the school to make him jealous. This plan kinda worked .. his best friend ended up asking me out and I said yes *only* to win back my initial crush. But then something I had not planned happened… I fell in love with his best friend.
Young love is so weird. So many people say that when you are 13 you don’t know what love is.. but to this day I KNOW I loved that boy. I would do anything for him. Getting his attention was my number one priority. I befriended his friends to get closer to him. I would drive wedges between him and his female friends just so that I could have him all to myself.
I was thirteen when I had my first kiss.
It was in front of the whole grade 7-8 class. It was in the freezing cold, middle of winter. He kept his eyes open. I shut mine. I felt like I was on cloud nine. After that, I felt like that was the norm. I felt like I HAD to kiss him to keep him. That was one thing I could do different than his other female friends. I could kiss him and hold his hand. In order to keep him, I had to kiss him. So I did… we did it so much that we almost didn’t get to go on our end of the year trip. We made-out everywhere and anywhere. I felt like the luckiest girl in the world.
Ten months after we started dating he broke up with me.
I was devastated. I thought I had done everything right. I was “hot” AND I made-out with him all around town. What more could he want? But clearly I wasn’t enough…
I spent that entire summer crying and trying to get him back.
Then I went to high school with the knowledge I had learned in elementary school: boys like it when you are hot and when you make-out with them everywhere.
So I did just that. I was intentional about how I dressed, I always had my hair and makeup done and I made it clear that I was NOT afraid to kiss anyone who wanted me.
With those tactics I found someone who I thought was Prince Charming.
I was 16 years old when I lost my virginity.
It was in his mother’s house when she was at work. We actually skipped class to do it. It was painful, and scary. I hated every minute of it, but I assumed that was the norm now. However, we never really had sex after that. He did, however, have sex with at least 3 girls when he wasn’t having sex with me.
I was sixteen when I learned I was being cheated on.
My boyfriend at the time never allowed me to see his phone. He actually hid it when I came over. But one night when I was sleeping over at his house I decided to find his phone. I was sleeping in his bedroom and he was sleeping in his brother’s. So I started calling his number. I eventually found his phone in one of his drawers and what I saw made me feel like I was going to vomit. He was sexting another girl.
We didn’t break up for another year.
I was seventeen when I tried to kill myself.
I was sitting on the bathroom floor with a knife from our kitchen. All I wanted was the pain to end. I couldn’t handle it anymore. I didn’t understand how I wasn’t the one he wanted. I did everything I knew to keep him. I was sexy AND I was willing to have sex with him. I sat there with the knife with those angry, sickening tears running down my face when I made my decision that I was worthy of living, but he was not worthy of keeping. I broke him with that night and never talked to him again.
I am 22 years old and I am terrified to tell this story.
For years I thought it was so silly. Just normal boy problems. Why bring up the past? I was 11 when it all started. But today I realized that is just not true. This story is a HUGE part of my life. It is the reason why I hated my body when I began to gain weight. It is the reason why I spent years in therapy. It is the reason why I couldn’t sleep without sleeping pills for 2 years. It is also not uncommon. This isn’t just my story. Women around the world have the same story as me. But I am here to remind you …
Your looks and what you are/ are not willing to give your partners do not define your worth.
This is terrifying to post, but I am doing it for the women and girls out there who need to hear this today. I am afraid, but by sharing my fears I am not only allowing myself to release these emotions, but also helping others do the same.