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A Beautiful Trap

When you start dating someone you think you like it feels amazing. I still remember the first time I thought I was in love with my ex. He picked me up and said “It’s me and you tonight, what would you like to do KaylaMay?” I thought he was so perfect and I was nervous to be alone with him. I told him to take me somewhere pretty, somewhere I’d never forget. He drove around for an hour out in the middle of nowhere, to a church that was all glass windows. We walked past it and up a hill, onto a field of grass where he set out a blanket. I laid down, he laid by me and I couldn’t believe it was happening, it was like a movie. I looked up and saw millions of stars; I saw my first shooting star with him. He told me to make a wish and all I could think about were his lips, and he kissed me. Looking back it was a god awful kiss, his lips were chapped mine were smooth from Chap Stick, his breath reeked of alcohol, that all should have been a red flag for me. But it wasn’t. To me it was perfect. Everything was perfect till it wasn’t.

For the first month I was happy, and I thought he was too. Every day I would go to work with a smile on my face and he would pick me up and kiss me. Swing me around, we would go to the beach with his friends and drink, have bon fires, and laugh all night. Every week we would buy four or five bottles and down it each night. My ex didn’t have a job so of course I supplied the gad money, the drug money and the booze money. It never crossed my mind he was using me, I didn’t even see a problem with it. I was making him happy, isn’t that the point of being a girlfriend? To make the one you love happy, even when he may not love you back.

Three months in, I went back to school and summer was over. I couldn’t drink every night, and my ex started getting angry at me, I would be in school and he would say you don’t love me. So I would ditch school, have him come get me and I would buy him alcohol and watch him drink and play Madden. How important could school be if you already had your entire future planned out with a man you love? According to National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Inc. one in every twelve adults have a drinking problem, which is 17.6 million people. My ex wasn’t the only one. At first I thought he would stop. Then I started noticing his parents drinking habits, how his parents fight. I thought that wouldn’t happen to us because I hated fighting.

On my 17th birthday he bought me my own bottle. Not what I wanted, I didn’t want to drink, but considering I had wasted thousands of dollars on alcohol for him, it meant something for him to buy me one. I took two shots that night, he took over 12. We were happy and laughing with friends, and then I asked for another shot and he turned to me and said “You fucking ratchet piece of shit, don’t you think you’ve had enough?” I was shocked, and hurt, he had been angry at me before but he was furious with me. That was the first time he ever called me a name. I started tearing up and he told me to shut the hell up because he didn’t do anything. I tried to laugh it off; we were in front of all his friends. I didn’t want to be any more embarrassed than I already was. When all his friends left, I asked for him to take me home, he wouldn’t. He yelled at me and told me I was a bitch who never loved him, and I knew he was right, I was falling out of love with him, but I didn’t say that. I wanted to make it better; I wanted it to be like when I saw my first shooting star with him. I agreed to go home with him; I told him I loved him. I tucked him in bed, I kissed his forehead and I prayed to god everything would be better in the morning.

It never got better. Every night he would pick me up and we wouldn’t make it out of my driveway before he yelled at me. He would stop at the end of the driveway and yell at me to get out. I’d try to get out and he would lock me in the car. He would scream at me and call me a bitch and I would be hurt and scared, and I couldn’t leave. I wanted to help him so bad. I thought if I could stick around and try to love him he would wake up. Then one night I had this brilliant idea, I was going to get him a job and this would fix all of our problems. He would be so busy with work he wouldn’t buy alcohol and he would have something of his own besides me. Unfortunately, he didn’t want a job, I brought it up to him and he told me I just didn’t want to buy him things anymore. I wanted to say this wasn’t true, but it was and I told him I thought he had a drinking problem and that it was getting out of hand. He asked me why I thought he had a drinking problem and what hurtful things he has ever said to me, and I told him. He denied it all; he told me I was the one who called him names.
That night, the first night I told him what he did to me when he was drunk was the first time we fought and he was somewhat sober. I will never forget the look on his face, he got up so close I could see the gold flecks in his eyes, I could smell the weed on his breath, and all he said was “You’re a stupid ass cunt, and you will never be good enough for me.” I didn’t know how right he was then, all I could do was cry, this wasn’t the guy I fell in love with, the guy I fell in love with was fake. He was trying to capture me in, and he did a wonderful job. It was a beautiful trap.
I decided to ask from help, but I didn’t want to tell my family I was hurting so bad, I didn’t want to tell them why I never went to school, I didn’t want to tell them why my makeup was always running down my face. That was too much for them, this was my problem, and I had to deal with it on my own. So I found his ex, I asked her what happened. I found out he was still talking to her, he would sneak off to smoke with her while I was at work. I found out he had cheated on her with her best friends, and the only way she got rid of him was when I came into his life. I was truly trapped. In that moment reading her messages, I felt destroyed and hopeless. Not only was I trapped, I was trapped with an alcoholic man I didn’t love but had to love.

After messaging her I started keeping tabs on him, it sounds crazy but “love” will make you do crazy things. I got all his friends to follow him around and send me pictures. One night I was sick, I couldn’t go out with him and his friends, and oddly enough my ex understood. Usually he drags me out even if I’m puking my brains out, but not that night. I was confused and relieved. But then a good friend of mine sent a picture of him and someone who looked a lot younger. I asked how old the girl was, and my friend told me she had just turned 15. Not only is it weird for someone my age, (17 still) but my ex was older. He was in his late twenties. I was disgusted. I texted my friend and she said everyone at the party was drunk, and my ex was blacked out and so was this little girl. I got pictures of him leading her to his car, and the rest of the pictures were blurry.

The next month that same 15 year old contacted me, she told me she had a sexually transmitted disease from him. Of course I freaked out, and I asked if her parents knew and if she was getting help. I told her that my ex wasn’t a good guy and that she needed to stay away and safe and get a good adult in her life. I was pissed at her for having sex with him, but how could she know better? I was just like her, all I could do was pray she wouldn’t make the same mistake with another guy, or press charges. I made my first doctor’s appointment to get checked for everything I could possibly think of. It turned out I had the same thing she had chlamydia, and thank god that was the only thing because it was treatable. Two pills and no sex and I would be clean. I was so freaked out by this that every month afterwards I kept going back to get checked even if my ex and I didn’t have sex that month. It’s over kill but I was not going to take chances.

My ex and I didn’t have sex often; I can count the times on less than a hand. But when I told him he needed to go get checked and taken care of. He refused. He was ashamed. I told him it was important to be healthy, and that was the first time I got smacked right in the face. I didn’t realize he had been drinking all day, I can usually tell but he was so calm, and put together. I had no idea. He told me he was clean and that he didn’t have sex with that 15 year old. This was also the first day I yelled back. I never knew my voice could get that loud. I yelled and cried and he hit me again, I sat down away from him, and then he started videotaping me crying. He said “Look at the camera babe so I can show my friends what a bitch you really are.” At that moment I lost it, I saw red tunnels, and I tackled him, I was on top of him and I was hitting him. I wasn’t in control; everything I had ever learned from my family went out the window. I was beating someone up. I finally settled down, I realized what I was doing and I stopped. I had officially sunk to his level, and trust me he never let me live it down.

I was the first girlfriend who had hit him; I was the first one who had stood up for myself. But it didn’t feel that way. I felt like I had lost. I was no longer in love with him, and I had lost myself trying to help him find himself. He looked at me, said nothing and ripped off my pants and told me to turn over. I did. I gave up that day. I had completely lost myself, and I didn’t care. He finished, and said “Are you going to apologize for being a bitch?” so I told him I was sorry, I was crying while I said it. Instead of getting mad at me for crying he hugged me, and he told me he would always love me. All I could do was nod. I wanted to give him love back, I wanted to try for him, but I hated him.

After that day I felt sick. Like actually sick. I would wake up with migraines, and I was nauseas all day long. I would move and need to puke, I would lie down and need to puke, and then when I ate I really did puke. I thought I was just depressed, who wouldn’t be in this kind of relationship? That’s when the cravings started. I was hungry all the time; I had to pee all the time. That’s when it hit me I was pregnant. I called my best friend; I made her drive an hour and a half to come buy pregnancy tests with me. I bought 200 dollars’ worth of pregnancy tests, and they all had a plus sign. I was destroyed, sad broken, and now I had to bring a broken child into this world. For two weeks I refused to acknowledge it. But I knew I had to tell my ex. I just didn’t know how, I thought I could just send a text. I sent him “hey I think I am pregnant.” He sent back “no you aren’t stop lying. You’re just fat and stupid. So I let it slide for another week hoping he was right and it was a false positive. I needed to talk to an adult, but I was too ashamed to tell my family. So I went to his sister in law, she was 18, dropped out of school, married to his brother had two kids and was just as unhappy as I was. She told me I needed to figure it out, I could give the baby up for adoption, I could keep it but that had so many obstacles, or I could get an abortion. But the first thing I had to do was tell my ex. I had to tell him I was pregnant, and he had to believe me.

I let him pick me up that night. I was quiet; we did the normal thing where he yelled at me and would tell me to get out of the car and then went to his house. I asked him to stop at the store; I bought sushi, black forest gummy bears, and blue Gatorade. We got to his house and sat on his bed, he pulled out his bottle, and of course he had been drinking. I was stupid for hoping he hadn’t. I told him again “Babe I am pregnant.” He told me to stop lying. I told him about my talk with his sister in law and that’s when he took me seriously. He looked at me and said “It’s me or the baby.” So that was my answer, I wanted to help him; I can’t help a baby and try to help him. I chose to get an abortion. I was crushed by it, and looking back if I had known we would end, if I had known I wouldn’t be able to help him I would have kept that baby, I would have been the best mother ever. But that’s not what I chose; I chose to t ry to love someone I hated.

I told his sister in law, that he needed me to get an abortion. She was so disappointed in me, and she knew I had chosen this option because of him, she knew he had a drug and drinking problem. She even admitted to me his whole family knew. Again I was ashamed of myself his whole family knew and let me get hurt because of him. How could I ever face his mom with the same respect I had before? How could she look at my bruised body and pray to god that my ex would get better without ever have being punished? In that moment I not only hated my ex I hated his entire family. Families full of alcoholics raising their children to be just like them? I was ashamed.

I finally realized I couldn’t do this alone. One night I told my ex I couldn’t come over I was just too sick from the pregnancy and he took it as an opportunity to cheat on me. I received pictures all night from friends, but I had stopped caring. The only thing I could think about was how I was going to tell my mom I was a fuck up. I walked into my mom’s room, and she already knew something was wrong. I never come to her, I never ask for help, and I don’t cry to her. She looked at me and I could just see in her eyes how worried she was, her mouth was parted and she said “What’s wrong tell me honey.” And I let it go. I couldn’t bring myself to tell her about the abuse, but I told her I was pregnant. I told her how I needed an abortion. She held me and nodded and for the first time in a long time I felt okay. I felt like I could change the world because my mom changed my world.

Two days later she took me to Planned Parenthood, she waited in the lobby for me. It was paper work after paper work, and I talked about what kind of birth control I wanted to be on after this was over. We also talked about an at home abortion. For anyone who doesn’t know there are two procedures. You can do an at home abortion which is just a few pills or you can do an in clinic abortion where doctors put you to sleep. I wanted to be as comfortable as possible so I chose the at home abortion. I took two pills and then three days later I would suck on four pills and I would bleed everything out. It sounded simple. I wanted it; my life was so complicated I wanted it to be simple.

It wasn’t simple, it wasn’t easy. I was second guessing myself but I knew if I didn’t complete the abortion and suck on the pills I would have a messed up baby to match a messed up life. My ex wanted to come over to make sure I took the pills and I let him, my mom didn’t mind because she had no idea what else was happening. He came over and I popped the pills in my mouth and waited. He was being nice to me, and was joking and he was sober for the first time in a long time. Then the pain started. Agonizing pain everywhere and I was bleeding. I ran to the bathroom and started crying. The blood was coming nonstop, my ex tried to comfort me but I didn’t want him to touch me I was scared and I felt more alone than ever. I sat and sobbed and told him I needed my mom. He tried to convince me it was okay and that he wanted me to stay but truth be told I blamed him for this pain. I thought it was his fault. So I called my mom and she rushed over, and he left.

I sat on my couch and there was blood everywhere and pain every time I moved and I could feel giant bloody clots dropping out of me. I felt like a monster, not only was I killing me child, it hurt me as much as it was hurting the baby, I wasn’t me anymore. I sat and I cried and my mom sat and watched me cry. There was nothing she could do she didn’t know what was going on. She just got a glimpse, and she couldn’t do anything. The next day the blood was slowing down, the pain pills were finally working, and I felt half normal. I thought it was over, that everything would be better.

A few days later my ex invited me out and I said okay. I had just killed a baby I could use a drink. A strong drink, and that’s what I got. Unfortunately my hormones were crazy and alcohol didn’t exactly help me forget anything I went through in fact it made it ten times worse. We dropped his friends off, and my ex was happy, but I wasn’t. I was so angry and mad at the world I started screaming at him in the car. I brought up everything I could to hurt him the way he hurt me. I told him his parents raised him terribly told him they should have hit him the way he hits me. I told him he was a fuck up for dropping out of school, I told him he was worthless, and then I told him I would never love him again. That was the truth. I had stopped loving him months ago but kept saying it to make things better. That night we got into his house and he yelled at me, and he hit me and I didn’t care. I laughed at him and I told him to do it again. Hitting me didn’t hurt me anymore. And he kept hitting me. I kept laughing till we both passed out.

In the morning, I didn’t tell him I loved him, I didn’t say anything besides asking when my bus was coming. We did this for a few months, I let him cheat and hit me, and I just laughed. The last girl he cheated on me with was the one he broke up with me for. I thought I was free like his last ex. But I was wrong; I was so stupid for thinking it was over. It wasn’t. He would get drunk and end up at my house, and I never wanted to get him in trouble so I wouldn’t call the cops. It didn’t stop, even when he was seeing someone else. He would show up and yell at me saying I was the worst girlfriend he had ever had. That I made him the toxic person he is. I felt guilty because I thought he was right, so I kept telling him I loved him and that we just needed a break, and every time he would tell me I was never going to see him again and every time I wanted that to be true.

A few months later I applied to college, and I got accepted. I was in the top ten percent for highest scores on the SATS, and every school I applied to wanted me. After years of being called stupid and a dumb ass, I never thought anywhere would take me. But they all wanted me and I had my chance. This was it. I could run away and never look back. So I chose to move to San Francisco. Packing up my things I felt hope, and happiness, I felt like I could have a life again. So I left.

My first week in San Francisco was amazing. No one knew me; I was learning things about me that I never knew before. I learned I love to walk around and explore, I learned smiling can make new friends, I learned I was pretty. I felt amazing. I met men everywhere who seemed to like me, and in all honesty I had a few hookups. Most were terrible, actually almost every one of them was terrible but I wanted to experiment. I wanted to let loose and have fun. Unfortunately for me one of the parties I went to I took a video of it and posted it. That pissed my ex off.
Two weeks after I moved to San Francisco my ex showed up at my dorms. He had tracked my cell phone and was waiting in the lobby for me. They wouldn’t let him through because he was piss drunk and screaming. When I walked in it got worse, he was yelling and screaming how I was a whore who didn’t love him and how I was fucking other guys to get back at him. The hostess had to call security who took him outside. I didn’t hear from my ex for a few months, and in that time I made a new friend, I found out I could be happy, I learned not all men were as bad as I thought. I also learned some steamy hookups turn into several steamy hookups. Then my ex texted, he apologized and I thought he was sincere, he told me he was sober, and I was so proud of him. I wanted so bad for him to be sober I ignored the small signs that said he wasn’t. He started calling at three am, he would slur his words but I told myself he was just tired. I told myself he was sober because I wanted to watch the stars with him again.

I went home for Christmas break, and I was excited to see my family, to see my sister, to eat free food! I did all of that and my entire family told me I looked different, I looked happy. I never realized before I left they didn’t see me happy, it was new for them. During the middle of break my ex texted me he said he had a present for me. I didn’t get him one I was out of money, and he told me that was okay. I let him come over, and that was a big mistake. He came over drunk, sloppy, messy drunk. He threw 200 dollars at me and told me to take off my pants. I kicked him out. I was once again ashamed I let him back in my life. The next day he called twenty times and left 12 voicemails and 5 texts saying I stole his money.
I was so upset and disgusted with myself I let one of my best friends talk me into going to Canada. I got happy sloppy drunk, I sang karaoke all night, and got us locked out of her car. That is one of the best nights I have ever had, even after going to San Francisco. My best friend forgot how happy I am, how fun I can be, forgot that I love to joke around. I forgot all of that too. I came back home and instead of talking to my ex I distracted myself with another hot steamy hookup that ended horribly wrong but an amazing story to tell. Then I went back to San Francisco.
The last few months have been hard, I have been trying a relationship, but felt like I was still trapped and couldn’t move forward. I didn’t want to share my sex life because the first half was awful the second half was a little better but not good sex, and then there was the fact I thought this new guy was going to be nuts. I didn’t understand why I should try to let someone in when I am always the one to get hurt. Why should I have to share my past when it just hurts me? I guess now I understand why this new guy wanted to know. I’ve never been fully present with him; I haven’t opened myself up for him to see me. I have shared glimpses and small stories, but I never let him see the deep ugly truth about me. I guess I know you can’t have any kind of relationship unless you let that person completely in, but am I ready to do that? I still feel like my ex’s problems are my fault and I might always feel that way. I have finally blocked him on all electronic devices but that doesn’t mean he won’t show up for me. Even with all this being said, what if this new man decides to trap me?

My story isn’t over; there is still a lot I need to do. But I am trying. I have told my family what has happened, I have asked my friends for help and I am trying my best to move forward. But deep down I can’t help but think, with this new beautiful man, I could get trapped again.

— Kayla


  • Colton
  • Alissa Ackerman


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