Thursday, April 15, 2010

 Dear Zoe,

this is a post just for you.  i am going to tell you all the things i did in my life (its not much longer than yours, but the difference between 17 and 24 is immense)... and i hope you can take some solice in the fact that you ARE young, and have many years to NOT make mistakes.

When I was 16 I had sex with Alex- I met him in the dominican on a family vacation.  I loved him instantly.  He took me to his prom (we lived 5 hours apart), and we did it after prop like you always hear about.  I was so drunk... I wasn't ready, but I just wanted to be grown up.  It was a bad idea.  We just did it that one time... I had to go back home, he went to college a year before me, and we have only seen each other randomly since then.  I love him still I think... but possibly because I have never spent enough time with him to ever learn the annoying things about him.
When I was 16 I became very aware of my body.  17 and 18 were the years where I decided I was not interested in being overweight.  Everyone at my school had SOMETHING.  I had nothing.  I was a wannabe dancer, a wannabe singer... I wanted something.  I starved myself for two years.  I remember the day I started...  probably the single most defining day of my life.  I wrote in a diary how much I weighed, and vowed never to weigh that much again.  I researched tips and tricks for losing weight... I started taking diet pills.  I would wake up early in the morning and do an exercise video before my parents woke up, then I would go to the gym after dinner for 2 hours.  Senior year of highschool I was at 122... I think that was my lowest weight.  Looking back... that was really skinny for my body type... but I didn't care.  I would eat in the morning, yogurt or toast or something, then starve until dinner, and pick at my food.. whatever it was.  I remember my parents finding my ephedrine-- this diet drug that got recalled after it gave people heart attacks.  I bought it online and took it all the time.  I was defiant.. I just wanted to be thin... and I applied to colleges as far away as possible in order to avoid having to listen to anyone else.  Senior year of highschool I slept with my next boy-- Austin.  He loved me.  We dated for 3 weeks before we had sex.  It was such a bad idea.  Our entire relationship was based on physical desire.  I just wanted someone to love me... I was scared about moving to a new state for college and not knowing anyone.  Obviously it didn't last... I regret it. Advice-- sex is supposed to be something good...don't do it just because you want to "get it over with"
In college I had a random hook up with some random guy... I honestly don't remember his name.  It didn't make me feel good in the morning... just stupid.  I think it was at this point that I started equating sex with love.  They are not the same thing.   I started sleeping with another guy and I "fell in love with him"... he cheated on me... but I didn't seem to even notice because I "was in love."
The one thing I did do that I will never regret is pick Accounting as my major.  Two things in life are sure-- death and taxes.  I will never be without a job, and I can always support myself.  I have a sense of accomplishment knowing that if I am alone (like I am now), I don't have to worry.  I have a skill that is in high demand, and my firm is hiring in a terrible recession.  Advice- pick a major that has a sustainable career at the end of the degree.  It is all well and good to major in what you love.. but it doesn't pay the bills.  My best friend graduated with an English degree.  She can talk for hours about books, and write essays in her sleep, but she waits tables for a living, and is having to go back to college to get an education degree so she can actually do something respectable.
I started dating George as soon as I broke up with the cheater.  Pretty much instantly actually.  I spent no time at all in college being single, except for a few weeks at the beginning after Austin and I broke up.  Another mistake.  I refused to learn how to be by myself.  I can take care of myself... yes, but today.. this is my first experience truly alone, without anyone as a crutch.  I leaned on him and grew to love him... actually I grew to ignore or change the things I did not love about him.  His addictive personality... smoking weed, cutting class, having no regard for the future, and no ambitions.  I tried to mold him into someone who would be what I needed.  Truly he was my best friend for many years.  An opposite of me really.. a half to make me whole. 
When I was 20 I got arrested for underage drinking.  Try not to do this.  I went to a party school.... almost everyone I knew got arrested, but still.. I have a record now, and that really sucks.  I don't see anything wrong with drinking... but if you are underage.. just do it in private.. not at a bowling alley where you pass out in the bathroom.
I moved to another country for a semester and had no more crutch.  My first experience of freedom really... and I loved it.  I felt out of control... but I COULD control food, and exercise.  Bulimia was my best friend.  I lost almost 20 pounds in the 3 months I was there. Getting down to my high school weight 122 and fitting into a dress my 9 year old cousin lent me.  122 may seem like a lot... but I didn't have even one ounce of fat on me.  Body type I guess...  I kissed another American.  I felt the love welling up in me again. I didn't sleep with him.  I did tell George.  He has held it over my head for 4 years... Advice-- don't tell.  It doesn't make things better.  I told him about my control issues... and he held that over my head too.  Just... keep quiet about the things in your life that are shocking.  or type it out here.  You don't need judgment.  People here don't judge.
I moved to Atlanta after I graduated with my undergrad degree and started an internship with an Accounting firm.  George was losing me.  He proposed to me because he realized that I was the one good thing in his life.. I was stable, smart, strong, ambitious.. everything he needed.  I was his crutch.  I said yes because I didn't want to say no.  We had talked about marriage... I didn't want to, but I didn't want to break up.  He was my crutch.  Never having to face the world alone... so I said yes.  He failed miserably the next year while I was in graduate school.  He had one class to take and refused to get a job.  He just went into debt, sat around smoking weed and apparently drinking like a fish.
I never noticed any of this... I was too busy studying in order to make sure my future... OUR future.. would be a good one.  Advice-- don't count on anyone else to support you.  I think I already gave that one to you... okay how about this-- don't do something you don't want to do just because you don't want to hurt someone's feelings, and don't make life changing decisions you know in your heart are wrong.
When I graduated and moved back to Atlanta, we moved in together.  We fought all the time.  He couldn't find a job... hadn't had a job in a year.. I started starving for a wedding I didn't even want.  I spent money I didn't have because it made things "better".  I went into $5000 of debt to avoid the fact that we were unhappy.  I purged every day.  EVERY DAY.  When I started working and got insurance... I found out that I had 6 cavities... most likely from throwing up every day for months and months.  Advice-- don't throw up... think of a different way to relieve stress.  Even though I don't have George in my life anymore, I am still a "stress bulimic"... whenever I get stressed out (during tax season), the first place I head is the bathroom.  I don't even binge... I just... have it ingrained in my head that the act of purging makes the bad things go away.  I feel way better after I do it... its weird.  Probably not something for you to start, okay?
George started pushing me around and getting violent.  He got drunk and angry at the fact that I was the only one supporting us.  I started eating... I started staying late at work to avoid any confrontation.  He crashed my brand new car driving intoxicated.  I made excuses for his behavior.  I believed every lie he told me.  Advice-- if you catch someone in a lie... DO NOT continue to trust them.  One lie will lead to another.  Some people are good at manipulating a situation and changing the way reality is viewed.  Be careful of these people.. they will ruin your life.  I married George at the court house-- after he beat me up once.  I was afraid to lose what I had.  Assumed that I could be happy without being in love.  He did it again...  Advice-- DO NOT stay in an abusive relationship.  It doesn't change, no matter how much you want it to.
We separated in December.  I forced him to move away and leave me alone.  It was really the hardest thing I've done... but if I am honest with myself, it has been the best experience ever.
You have read my recent posts... about my conquests for men.  I am damaged goods.  I am not looking for love... that didn't work out for me.  I am using sex as a means of control... because I can't control my life.  Well.. I am working on it... but you know... I am just... so damaged.  I can't lose the weight that George put on me.. the stress I carry around every day.  I can't even imagine giving everything I have to someone else.. trusting another human.  I just... won't do it.  DON'T let this happen to you.  The life I have right now is... FUN.. and I am still young so I think its acceptable... but do NOT aspire to be like me.  I sleep alone not because I want to... but because I am afraid of ever sharing that intimacy again.  It's only been a year since the violence started, and 5 months since the separation... I am sure that as time passes I will get better. 
So yes.. the boys I sleep with.. VERY cute...  VERY fun... but make sure that if thats what you decide to do... you don't do it in hopes of falling in love... because that is not how it works.

I love you Zoe,




  1. this post was heartfelt; and i love it.
    thank you.
    its amazing that you have come so far.
    regardless of your regrets, you have done things i truly respect.
    1. getting a REALLY good education and working hard. very very smart
    2. although you are a self admited "dependent" person, you broke away from a relationship.

    us damaged goods have to stick together.
    thank you.
    deff writing a response post.

    & advice well noted. : )

  2. Hello

    I am 18 years old and I have been through a lot too. I got depression after being hurt and today I can't trust anybody even friends. I would like you to know that there is therapy and medication that sometimes help. Talking to someone and seeing him and trusting him actually makes you feel good. Think about it