I was 14 years old when I met a boy who would later take my innocence, my trust, and my mental health. It started with words. He had a drug addiction, so when I stood in his way of drugs, I paid for it. First, he would tell me how disgusting I was. He would spit degrading words, tell me I’m a slut and that nobody else wants me for me. One day, things got a little more out of hand. Instead of words, the physical abuse came. I remember it very well, it was June 4th. I was 15 at this point. After I stood in the way of his ability to get drugs, he had whipped me in the face with his sweatshirt, drug me down the stairs, and tried to throw me out the door.

When he was doing so, I was crying and begging him to stop. When he was trying to throw me out the door, I put my leg in between the door in the frame so he couldn’t shut me out. I was desperate for him to love me. He looked down at my leg, and then began to take the door and smash it against my knee that was smashed up against the door frame. All awhile doing so, he was asking me, “Do you like that? Do you like that?” It was sickening. I called my mom crying, but I was surprised to find her angry at me. I guess she was possibly angry that I had stayed with him for so long.

Hours after the event, after he got his fix, he texted me. He was trying to get back together. He said that “maybe if you didn’t put your leg in the door, that wouldn’t have happened”. He never took responsibility for his actions. I was manipulated at a young age and he took advantage of that. He was my first “serious” relationship, and he took my trust of men away. I didn’t have an easy childhood either — my father was in and out of prison and I watched him beat my mom when I was a little girl. I lived in a homeless shelter with my mom and two sisters for two years because my dad had taken everything from us. Like my father, the boy who caused me years of emotional damage and suffering had an addiction too. He was like my father.

There was a night where I kept telling this boy no, no I don’t want to have sex with you. He would always pressure me into having sex, or make me feel guilty for saying no. He would get angry when I told him no. When I was 16, after telling him no, I woke up to him touching me. I wasn’t sure how long he had been touching me, or what else he had possibly done. He then climbed on top of me, and I just cried and cried and cried. His excuse later, was, “I didn’t know you were asleep”. Although he had felt me motionless and unresponsive right next to him. It makes me sick when I think back to that night. I dealt with his abuse for two more years before I left him. At this point, he had been in and out of jail and rehab. He wasn’t getting better.
When I decided to leave, I left with hate in my heart towards him. I crushed him, spewing words that I never dared to have said before. I had a new power in me, a new light. And I hated him for the years he took from me. And the innocent love and trust he took from me.

Years from now, I will be known as Dr. Alexandria Bedell. I have a new man in my life, who has taken the time to be patient and show me love. We are not shackled down by our past; we are built from it. In moments like these, we can succumb to the flames or overcome them. My past does not define me, but it has, in some way, shaped me into the woman I am today.
There’s a love I now possess, greater than any feeling I’ve ever felt. It overcomes sadness, anger, and bitterness. I feel for people — even those who have hurt me. I’ve almost completely forgiven the boy who has caused me years of abuse. I have a fiery passion in my heart that cannot die.

A. Bedell