I pulled up to his house, the same as always. My green jeep could be found in front of his mail box in the same place almost every day. This time it was night so it wasn’t until I was about to pull into my usual spot that I saw another car parked there in the dark. That tacky, old Volvo that always sent shivers up my spine, but boiled my blood. I pulled in behind it and rushed up the front steps in a flustered haze. He knew I was coming over, right? He had invited me… I found her crazy, witch of a mother in the kitchen with his poor, drunk, widowed mom who was always my biggest fan. They hated each other didn’t they? What was going on…? I hurriedly stumbled up the stairs after stumbling over some awkward pleasantries with the “ladies” from the hall. All the lights were off in the loft and his bedroom, his door was open. I walked in slowly; silently except for my heart that sounded to me like it must have been outside my chest. I don’t even think I was breathing. There they were, in his bed, under the covers. The same bed that would later haunt my mind with the moment where I let someone else choose for me when I would surrender what was most sacred to me. Simply to compete with her. I bought all the excuses of “oh I was asleep when she got here and she was cold…” and “we were just talking.” Those still not nearly as unbelievable as the fact that I then sat there on the edge of the bed while she remained next to him, and pretended not to be bothered, while we carried on casual conversation. This girl who bullied me day in and day out, that I begged him to defend me against. She was the one that would win him. This was the first time I remember turning myself off. I became numb, and I learned to use this trick, until eventually it was no longer my choice. I gave that boy everything. All of my firsts, even the big one, that I was saving for my future husband- simply because he told me that would be him. I let myself believe I would be one of the lucky few to marry her high school sweetheart. And so I let him take everything. The countless skype conversations I found with other girls, the lies I knew he told me, the rumors, the drugs, the drinking, I rationalized and excused all of it away. I let him mentally, and sexually abuse me for four years. We even went away to the same college and I thought for the first time we’d be how we were meant to. She wouldn’t be there, it would just be me and him taking on this new pace together. I went to school a week before him to rush a sorority. Trying to impress hundreds of girls in a week was terrifying, but nothing compared to the Facebook message I found waiting for me one night when I got back from my parties. Naked pictures of my boyfriend that I had never seen before. Ones he had taken himself and sent to her. She sent those first, and waited for me to open it before also exposing that she was over at his place as we spoke. She then proceeded to send pictures of me that she had taken from his computer, ones that he had promised he deleted because I told him they made me uncomfortable. This is when the war began. (The fact that I allowed myself to stay with him through all of this is an entirely different tragedy.)
Later that semester John and I went to a birthday party for a friend from high school. Half way through the night she showed up. The girl who’s parents named her after “the goddess of destruction,” who was trained to ruin girls like me, and I had taken it long enough. I told the host of the party that one of us was leaving, and I didn’t intend for it to be me. I was going to stand my ground this time. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what I did. As we met in a hallway, I lost all that had kept me together.
The next morning a police officer arrived at my dorm and served me papers for a court date. She was pressing charges. The goody-two shoes, Christian momma’s girl that I am finally rose to the surface in sheer panic. I had let these people control me, I had let them ruin my life.
As the case went on, all the online fights we had, all the pictures she stole, all the lies I told my parents about nights I spent at parties or with him, all came to light. A previous fight I had been in, during a soccer game and purely out of self defense, was used against me to prove that I was a violent and aggressive person. I spent those next months, the ones that were supposed to be the best times of my life, being constantly told that I was a bad person. From people I loved, people who were supposed to be my friends, cops, lawyers, judges, and strangers. I received probation and community service along with a restraining order. Great, I don’t want to be anywhere near that witch anyway. Literally, she was a wicken. Next thing I knew, she was moving in next door to my boyfriend, prohibiting me from ever visiting him. I wish I’d known then what a favor she was doing me. It took more fights, more cheating, more violence, countless wicken spells, and one attempt on his part to run me over with his car for me to finally get out.
I erased myself and started over. I left all those people behind, I was a Theta now. I would use my new sorority chapter to begin a new chapter in my life. I hoped.
A letter arrived from a sister of the ADPi sorority at FAU, not surprisingly, also the biological sister of my tormentor. The letter described the horrible bullying her sister had endured from me for years- basically detailing my story, but mirrored against me. My sorority had decided not to initiate someone into their sisterhood who was on probation and clearly viciously attacked other girls for fun. I was called to meet with the chapter president and other officers as well as an advisor from nationals. They told me their decision and I broke down. Bawling my eyes out I explained my side and pleaded for them to let me stay. I just wanted to start over. They agreed.
Finally, I could move forward.