Is This The End, Or Just The Beginning?

January 7th, 2014, was the day my life would change forever.

In this story I will explain something that has changed me.
***(caution: very emotional topic, something that means a lot to me but I deserve to get it off my chest.) ***
So here we go.

Brandin. My best friend for 3 years suddenly turned into my boyfriend. From the outside it seemed like a glorious nine months, (I know, may not be a long time, but when you fall in love with your best friend it doesn’t take long). It seemed to have been the all time, perfect, out of no where relationship, that everyone dreamed of. Little did we all know, it would go spiraling down hill (like most high school relationships simply do), but if you were in the same position, you’d leave too.

I’m not going to lie to you guys, he cheated on his ex girlfriend. Even more reason for me to expect him to cheat on me too, I guess. It wasn’t even the fact that he cheated on me. Let me break it down for you. The first time wasn’t really cheating. He snapchatted one of my friends and asked to have sex. (Might I mention that was the same week I found out I had mono, so I couldn’t see him for a couple weeks). He managed to make me feel guilty for being sick and not spending time with him. He made me feel as if I were the one that did wrong, simply for being so sick I couldn’t move out of bed with out my liver and spleen being in so much pain. My worst mistake I  believe I have ever made, was staying with him for another six months, because things only got worse.

When I fell in love with my best friend, you do everything with them. You unconsciously disconnect yourself from any of your other friends, and family. Once you realize is,  it’s too late because all you have left is your best friend/boyfriend, you cant loose anything anymore. You can’t loose everything important.

Further into the relationship, I started to realize I didn’t want to stay the night at his house any more. I didn’t feel safe there. Do you know how horrible it is to tell your boyfriend you don’t feel comfortable being around him. Because I stayed with Brandin after his first “mishap” he got more controlling of me. He realized I wouldn’t leave easily. Always made me feel guilty. He mentally and emotionally abused me. Told me he was all I could get. That he was the best thing in my life. That I couldn’t do any better. He would tell me I needed him. That life wouldn’t be worth living if he wasn’t in it. Honestly, life wasn’t worth living when he abused me like this.

Brandin raped me for at least 6 months of out relationship. It started out simply he made me feel guilty for not wanting to have sex. As time went on and I started to put my foot down more and more that’s when he started to get more eager. As time went on I saw how unhappy I was getting, but it was like an addiction. I was addicted to the apology, and how things seemed to have been better, for a second at least.

I do not think of myself as a victim. I do not think of my self as a survivor either. It’s just something that happened, and now I have to learn from it. Learn why allowed for it to go on for so long. Learn to not allow that to  get it that far. Learn how I should properly be treated, and how I shouldn’t be treated.

Since Brandin, I’ve been more careful about who to get close to, but I’m not afraid to share my story. I want others who are starting to notice something is different in their relationship, that something might seriously be wrong, even if it seems minor now. If you allow them to have even the slightest power of you, and they keep pushing for more while you just keep allowing it to happen, before you know it you’ll be making excuses for them. Don’t let your unhappiness get to the point you feel the need to make excuses for anyone. Please.

I don’t believe Brandin could get seriously physically abusive. I do know he got to emotionally abusive, and that’s just as bad, subtracting the actual marks.

Upward Bound Changed Me

Upward Bound JSC is an Upward Bound (UB) program funded by TRiO. UB is a college prep program for low income/first year generation families. To be a first gen. student, neither parent would have gone to college, or attended any college level classes. In the UB program, we stay on Johnson State’s college campus, and live life as a college student, only during the summer. We use our dual enrollment classes, have an SAT Prep class, write essays for grants and colleges, have a recreational time (UB Olympics), and we eat the college food (gross). For the first week of the six week program, we would go to another state (changes every year) and tour colleges, visit museums, the ocean perhaps, and we have a lot of fun too.

I was a sophomore in high school when I applied to the Upward Bound Program. I made so many friends, and people that instantly became my family. The TRA’s (Teacher Residential  Assistants) became like my older siblings. We all connected there. We all grew off the same tree, just grew in different directions. UB is my home away from home. I will never be able to forget them, and I’m glad I never have to.

Every person in Upward Bound either lives on campus or commutes. You are only allowed to commute when you’re a team three (rising senior). (Team ones are rising sophomores, team twos are rising juniors.) if you live on campus, you have a roommate. My first year I was in a triple, but the room was a size of a double. That. Was. Torture. It was cool though. The oldest girl, Mariah, we have the same birthday! My last year in the program, I roomed with this girl named Tanysha. She helped change my life. We called each other soul-mates because we both want to be a guidance counselor, we connected so much, she honestly became my best friend almost over night. If I honestly could have a choice between actually being in college now and being in college during the summer, I would most definitely go back and spend four years here with them.

Feeling Alone With You

I have a slightly sad story to share with you. In this picture is my cat, Rusty. When I say he’s saved my life, I quiet literally mean he is the reason I am still alive.

I have suffered from depression for four years. I have been on depression medicine for almost a year. Honestly the medicine I’ve had is the love of my cat. He’s been my best friend since the day he was born for 7 years.  He’s my baby.

When I was feeling my lowest, he cheered me up. When I was crying in the middle of the night, he would come up and cuddle me, and just purr to soothe me. It got to the point I was so upset I attempted suicide. Sat down on my bed, crossed my legs, placed my arm in the middle, blade in the other hand. I just remember closing my eyes and feeling the tears run down my face. Once I opened my eyes Rusty jumped on my bed and laid directly on my arm. I simply just hugged him and cried. Wouldn’t you? I promise you, this cat saved my life.

Rusty has become the biggest influence in my life, and I even felt as if he was the only one that actually pushed me into wanting to live. Because he has influenced me so much, in his honor, I am getting a tattoo of a semi-colon ( ; ) cat. (the top be a head, the comma a tail.) on my ring finger, to remind me everyday I have this cat, this big, fat, ball of fur, has saved my life and has made my life worth living.

While suffering from depression I came to the realization I want to be a guidance councilor to help other high school students that are just overwhelmed and are ready to quit. I want to help these students get the same opportunity I was given through Upward Bound, and Early College; which will be another story for you 😉

Helping Those in Need

On October 24th, I visited Pick and Shovel in Newport, Vermont to volunteer with “Warm the Children”. “Warm the Children” is a program to help children from 0-18 yrs old, who families do not have enough money to buy their children all new winter clothes. The program is willing to spend $80 per child for whatever outdoor clothes they are in need of, e.g; heavy jacket, boots, mittens/gloves, hat, and ski-pants. Pick and Shovel then proceed to give each child a 10-15% off discount after the $80, to help other children get the clothes that they need as well.

As a volunteer, I was able to walk around the store with a few children and ask them what they really need for the upcoming cold season. As I would walk with each child, I would learn a little bit about them. Whether it be their favorite color, how many siblings they have, to their whole life story of why they can’t wait to get new boots, because at the end, it’s their first pair. Getting to spend a simple twenty minutes with each child is life changing. To see their excitement at the end of the checkout, and to see the giant weight that lifted off their parents shoulders. Helping others, seeing them happy, is all I need to turn my day around 🙂