This is part 2 of a 7 part series that I’m writing about my journey into finding self love.

I’m a private person. I’ve been able to protect important details about myself, and I’m very strategic about everything that I say and do. I haven’t always been this way, and I rarely share what started it. This story is a good indicator. My mother follows my blog, so I want to be clear that every decision I’ve made in life is not a reflection of her parenting.

I’m about to turn 17. I met him on a college tour. I had been to every HBCU on the east coast, and pretty sure I was going to one. I forfeited my spring break that year to go on yet another tour, but I was working at a movie theatre at the time, my coworkers were getting on my nerves, and I needed a break.

This tour bus had kids from different high schools in the county. I hadn’t told my friends that I was going on it, so I planned on going solo. One of my classmates from school was on this tour too. She and I kinda laughed about it and decided to sit on the bus together. I see him. He’s dark, he was dressed well, and he has on these obnoxious set of headphones. He’s everything the guys at my current school don’t have. I want to meet him.

We make eye contact, and I’m pretty sure that we’re going to connect in some way and I’m right. I was so right that we ended up spending most of the college tour together. I give him my number and we talked everyday since then. He seems unreal to me. He’s smart. He wants to be a doctor. He has a room full of sneakers. He has this book full of raps that he shares with me. He’s attracted to me and he makes it very clear. I’m a virgin at the time, but I was seeing a guy prior that would give me the run around because of it, so I decided to not tell this guy that I am one. I don’t want to be rejected again, so I play along with his advances. I just wanted to be given a chance for once.

We’re like 2 months in and I feel comfortable with him. We decided to go on a date, but we’re young and we’ve been talking about sex for quite some time now, so I decide to skip the date and go to his house. I have work later that day, and he lives nearby my job. It just makes sense for me to spend the day with him. We smoke and we have sex and we talk. He’s really sweet and he prioritizes me when we do it, so we continue this set up for a year.

Within the year of us doing this, two major incidents happen where he loses my trust in a way that any girl wouldn’t want to experience at such a young age. He betrays me to keep up a certain persona for his friends or whoever he’s around at the time.

He shows up to my job with his friends. Ultimately, I’m excited. I hadn’t seen him in awhile being busy with AP classes, standardized testing and work. I’m in my work uniform, and I’m about to go over to him, but I see a group of girls approach his group and my heart starts to race. I’m trying to match up each girl to the group and it becomes clear that this is a group date. I’m at work, so I’m trying my best to gain my composure, but I literally want to break out into tears. I’m an usher at the time, so he and a girl (that I’ll grow very familiar with later on), come to me. I look at him, and I don’t say anything.

Days go by and he finally hits me up and tells me that it was his ex-girlfriend and she’s childish,and he’s trying to find a way to get out of the situation. I’m 16. I’m dumb. I believe it. I let it go and we continue hanging out.

I get into some incident at my current school, and I’m given the option to transfer schools. My grandma’s address just to happen to be in the same district of his school, but I don’t tell him this immediately. I have friends at this school already, and there’s another guy at the same school that I’m interested in. The summer is over . I came to the conclusion that he and I would never date. The conversation of a title never comes up and I honestly didn’t want it to. I was okay with the casual, sexual relationship that we had. I didn’t want it to change. I felt like we had similar interests, so the conversations were magical. I felt this certain kinda’ freedom I hadn’t yet formed with any other guy. I was exploring myself, and I was pretty much down to try any and everything with him. This gets me in a bit of a bind later.

I’m with my homegirl afterschool and we’re just hanging out. He texts me asking me to come over to his friend’s house. I’m familiar with this friend so there’s no red flag for me. I told him I was on my way. My homegirl was talking to a guy that lived nearby so I tell her to drop me off, hold on to my car and pick me up later. I go to his friends house and it’s just us. We do what we usually do. I kiss him goodnight and I don’t think too much of it. We go to the same school now, but not too many people know about us (at least that is what I think).

I start seeing one of my former coworkers and somehow he finds out about it. Me and this coworker were just talking at the time, but he accuses me of sleeping with this guy, despite us not being in a relationship. He threatens to limit certain sexual encounters we have because “he put his mouth down there,etc.” One of the pros of being with him was having sexual freedom. Without that, it didn’t seem worth engaging in. I’m pretty hurt, but I decide to just leave it alone. I liked my coworker, and the girl I saw him at the movies with goes to our school and she kept dropping hints that they may still be in relationship. She was very annoying to me as well, and it was just too much drama for me to maintain at the time. I’m pretty level headed, but I get overwhelmed very easily. I had to let this go.

Months later it gets back to me that the encounter I had at the friends house is not private. In fact, he had a bunch of guys watching us from another room. Guys that we went to school with. I just met most of them because I’m new to the school, so I feel like my reputation at this point is ruined. He and I have very intimate moments where he knows me, but none of this stuff matters. My grades don’t matter. My work ethic doesn’t matter. My dreams and my personality that he’s aware of don’t matter. I get reduced and introduced as who I am sexually, and I don’t get the benefit of explaining he’s the only person I’ve ever done this with. He isn’t even aware of that. He wouldn’t have even cared. I was being used as some pawn in whatever scheme he had going on to fit in.

I don’t say anything to him about it. I just distance myself, and I spend the rest of the school year just focusing on myself and my new boyfriend. I even feel like I committed to that relationship just to prove that I wasn’t what that betrayal tried to paint me as. That relationship wasn’t even the greatest for me, but I had an agenda that I wanted to stick to. He eventually gets into some big fight with some random guys in a park, and he loss (it was awful). Entire thing made me feel vindicated.

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Consider this a tough love diary to myself for you all.

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