When I was in eighth grade I attended a fun night for teens. It was at the local vocational center where we could swim in the pool, play games in the computer lab as well as run around in the gymnasium burning off energy on the basketball court or flipping onto the inflatable velcro wall. I had so much fun exploring a school that a few years later I would actually attend but it wasn't until I got to the pool that I found my home. I have always been fish and that night it showed.
As I left the locker room and went to check out the pool I heard the laughing and screaming of the other kids enjoying their evening. I slid into the shallow end feeling the cool water surround me. I splashed my best friend playing around but she wasn't paying attention to me at all. I turned to see what she was staring at and that was when I saw him, the boy I would fall for, the man that would change my life. I fell for him immediately and he spent the entire night with me making every other girl jealous beyond words.
That was the night our relationship started but I had no idea that had he ignored me and chosen a different girl just how much frustration and heartache I could have saved. He was handsome, charming and attentive. He was also manipulative, controlling possessive and even violent at times. He destroyed my mind, owned my heart and got me to blame myself for anything that he did to me. I hid from my friends because they all saw him as the perfect boyfriend and I was sure that they were right and I was the one letting him down. I hid my scars from my family fearing they would see me as the failure I was because he had to punish me.
Over the time we spent together I became isolated within myself. I blamed myself daily for not being able to live it up to what he expected me to be. Life was hard, my grades slipped because I spent all of my time either with him doing my best to be perfect or working on the list of ways I had most recently fallen short. I didn't do my homework very often for fear it would take time away from talking to him or being with him. I lied about what was happening so my parents wouldn't blame me or ground me so that I couldn't see him. He had convinced me that he was my life line and without him and his approval I was basically worthless.
I felt like I was completely alone. I wasn't. Now that I have opened up and agreed to talk about what I went through I have found such an incredible support system. I wrote Jasmine's Story, my story, to try and reach out to others like me to show them they are not alone and have the chance to fight back and survive. It took me years to fight and significantly longer to come into my own as a person but I am standing up for myself now as well as those who are going through the same battle I once endured. together we can end this and make sure no one else ever has to feel so terrible and alone.