The Rejection Factor
Growing up as a child, rejection was a major factor in me having so emotionally charged and destructive relationships. I carried a spirit of hopelessness and believed that I had to cover up my hurt and pain with fake smiles and laughter. Why? Because I was holding on to a lot of hurt, bitterness, anger and unrealistic expectations of myself and others. I wanted so badly to pull something out of my dad that he never had to give. I wanted him to make me feel good about myself. I carried that thought into so many wrong relationships with men. I was trying to make the person I was in a relationship with understand what I needed. I often conceded to them by thinking, " You may smoke and drink a little, and that's okay. It's even okay if you blacken my eye, bust my lip and curse me out because in the end I will change you.
I honestly thought I could change the men I was in a relationship with into the person I really believed they could be. Surely I thought I could make them into the men I needed and wanted them to be just for me. However, I really didn't know what it was that I needed them to be at all. I often wonder if my dad had shown me the love and affection I needed and desired, if my life would be different. Would it have man an impact on the kind of men I allowed in my life? I can say this...after all I've been through, my dad is still my dad and I love him for who he is just the same.
I was repeatedly molested between the ages of eight and twelve. I experienced some vile and disgusting acts. These acts were forced upon me by friends of my family. They were grown-ups, people that my family and I trusted. Some of the nastiest things that you can think of happening to a child, happened to me. Grown men had sex with me, used their fingers to penetrate my vagina, and ejaculated on my chest rather than completed their disgusting act inside of me. I did not know that they were doing this to prevent possible pregnancy of a minor.
They tongue kissed me and sucked on the knots on my chest. One of them even made me grab his penis to help him masturbate. Yes, all of these things were horrible things for a child to experience, but they happened to me. After all of those disgusting and violating acts were over, my molesters would oftentimes shower me with gifts or compliments, which satisfied me at the time and led me to believe that what had happened to me was okay. Later in life, because of this unsolicited and unwelcomed sick behavior on their part, I suffered much confusion concerning relationships, emotions, and sex. My mentality concerning men was warped. I thought that if I gave them me, meaning my body and my emotions, then maybe they would give me anything that I wanted including all of the compliments and attention that one would normally receive from being in a committed relationships. I can see now that the more I gave my body and emotions away, the more I was wooed into a false sense of confidence in the relationship, the person and myself. I had acquired a bogus sense of comfort, a mistaken perception of joy and a deceptive impression of being loved. In essence, I learned how to be a whore in the flesh and in the spirit, all because I didn't realize that what I was looking for could only be found in the security of a relationship rooted in Jesus Christ.
As a result of the child molestation I experienced at the hands of the adults in my life, by the time I became a teenager I willingly did some awful things. At fourteen, I became involved with an older teenaged boy who performed oral sex on me on a regular basis. I was taught how to French kiss by a 42-year old man, who also enjoyed touching me inappropriately.
By the time I was fifteen, I had become so confused that I had a sexual encounter with a nineteen year old female who was a lesbian. At the time, the rationale I felt in my heart of hearts was that I had to become perfect in acts of the flesh. This seemed to be the driving force to get whatever I wanted, while giving others what they wanted. However, the real truth was that I honestly didn't know what I wanted. I felt that I had nothing else to offer except my body. I wasn't light skinned, as it seemed most men preferred, and I wasn't even pretty or shapely, so I lived in a man's world which usually for me was in his bed.
I never felt pretty, even on my best days. I always felt that I lacked something physical that would make men treat me special. I wasn't sure what it was, but I knew that I wasn't whole. Was it the bags under my eyes, my small chest or my big nose? Oh, it must be the fact I'm as dark as night, I often thought. By age sixteen, I had my first sexual experience in which I willingly gave myself to my boyfriend. He was twenty-two years old, and in my mind he was by far the best thing that had ever happened to me. We dated for more than a year. He was a hardworking young man, and no he was not "self-employed" aka "a drug dealer".
While I was with him I was exposed to a different lifestyle, one much calmer and more stable than anything I had ever experienced up until that point. He never focused on sex, but in my ignorance that's what I thought a relationship was all about, so that's what I focused on. I was definitely the aggressor. As time passed, I began to talk myself into believing that he was "too conservative" for me. Past situations, abuse and experiences, which had nothing to do with him, had attached to me.
I was damaged emotionally and did not know what it meant to be in a real loving relationship. This man knew that there had been many past hurts in life, and said that he would love me no matter what. Instead of embracing someone who knew how foolish I could be, and understood that I some growing up to do, I rejected him. Someone willing to walk me through it all still choose to love me, I rejected him. I was damaged goods, and in my mind I didn't know if any man, or even myself for that matter, would ever deem me worthy for anything but sex.
When I broke off this relationship, another destructive phase of my life began. By the eleventh and twelfth grade, I was even more of a mess. At first I began skipping certain classes, and gradually started skipping school all together. I would meet up at friends' houses to smoke weed, go to the mall and of course to have sex. During this time my parents separated, and eventually divorced. I chose to live with my mom who worked twelve to fourteen hour days. She was totally oblivious to the extent of my reckless behavior.
I eventually dropped out of school, and my life continued to spiral out of control. I saw other girls dating drug dealers and I thought that was what I also wanted. This was so attractive to me because the one thing I noticed in the drug game was that it didn't matter so much about your looks, it was about the clothes, jewelry, money and the cars you drove that would make or break you in the streets. You could look like a booger bear and have women or men lined up around the corner. I felt as thought it was easier to dress up the outer me and gain some type of acceptance, than to try to show how a little girl hurting on the inside just wanted to be seen. I was a lost little girl in a grown-up body, doing grown-up things. I just wanted to be loved, accepted and understood. This still holds true for some of our teenagers today.