Stories

Holding It In

By April 14, 2020No Comments

Well I’ve never done something like this before. Heck I’m usually the one that does the therapy stuff, not here but in my group. I think that it was time for a change, though it’s been a while since school stopped and all. I’m still hanging out with my close friends online. Well we weren’t all that close three years ago though. I know it’s really dumb to hold on to the past for so long and I should just drop it, but I can’t help but feel unresolved. It’s like a missing piece in a puzzle called my life. I guess it’s best to explain what happened.

It was my last year of elementary and during that time I had a group of really close friends. We played this imaginary game throughout elementary which was really fun. My closest friend was someone I’ll call “flower”. Though she moved away three years before that time, when she left, I made a promise to myself that I would protect my friends no matter what so they wouldn’t leave me like she did. I know it wasn’t her fault. So the years passed and it was our last year of elementary when it happened…

I find it troubling to think about to be honest. But what happened to my close group was because of someone in it- I’ll call her “violet”. Well she began to manipulate everyone. she tricked my friends to follow her every move and forced our one guy friend (who I learned eventually was gay) to be her boyfriend. Not to mention she began to cut herself for attention. I know that is usually a sign of suicide but it just didn’t add it up honestly. One time she brought a knife to school and sliced her leg in front of me. It still scares me thinking about it. But the part that saddens me the most was the fact that the people I tried my best to love and protect began to ignore me and keep things from me. It didn’t help that my parents were fighting over an affair during that time. I know I should’ve done something to stop what was happening but I was scared. Every time I tried to stop what was happening someone twisted my words and I would just give up. So I just would sit alone in silence.

Thankfully after that year violet moved away and left us to move on to middle school. My feelings of hurt remained yet I stayed with my friends because despite everything I still loved them and I couldn’t help but feel it was my fault that they were manipulated. So I did my best to help them throughout the first year of middle school. Listening to their problems. Protecting them, and so on . Eventually one of my friends, let’s call him “river”, began to make a lot of friends, as well as my other friend who I will call “Beth”. Though Beth went into the wrong crowd and tended to ignore us I still stayed with her. With river though I feel messed up for even saying this but I developed feelings for him thinking he felt the same way. The year passed and we were in seventh grade. Unfortunately Beth moved away and we didn’t stay in touch. My feelings for river grew but my pain resided . Eventually we found out that river wasn’t actually into girls but it was too late. I thought about keeping my feelings inside of a bottle like everything else but I couldn’t take it anymore holding everything in.

I was never someone who liked to hide everything, It was forced onto me in elementary when I found out about the affair. “Don’t tell anyone” is what I was told . I was forced to keep all that pain inside and I was sick of it. So I confessed my feelings despite knowing I would be rejected. Though he said no, as messed up as it was, I still had feelings for him. I feel disappointed in myself for confessing despite knowing his sexuality. But as sad as it is, I’m sad that he didn’t really acknowledge my confession. It was like it was no big deal and we just moved on. During spring near my birthday, my father got angry over something and yelled at us. He occasionally did this every time me or my brother angered him somehow, but this time I broke. When my mom came home from work I let it out- not about my friends but about the tension at home and how I was sick of the secrets and so on. My mother said something I’ve wanted to hear for a long time- that I was free to talk about what happened. Once seventh grade ended and summer started I did so with my friends, though it wasn’t how I planned about the affair. We had talked about what happened in the past and how violet manipulated, and they were sorry about it, but I never got a proper apology. Nor was I able to talk about what happened to my parents and how I was affected because of it. When I told them I couldn’t even say the word “affair” and ya know what they said. Heh they said, and I quote, “that’s not a big deal. It happens all the time. I thought it was worse”. Maybe they were right and it wasn’t a big deal but still…. I was really hurt.

After that I went to summer camp . That’s when I decided to try self improvement. Summer ended but what happened next was a big deal. Me and my other friend that was left, I’ll call her “cookie”, and river decided to get into contact with flower. The one friend that saved me from loneliness, that I could always count on. We met and I told her everything that happened in elementary, aside from our home lives. We became closer over time, and I did my best to have self improvement and get better grades and so on. I was even able to help my home life by talking out my parents marriage problems. They were the ones that helped fix our home lives the most. With river- we talked about how I was hurt by their reaction to my issues and how I felt disrespected. Though he still said it wasn’t a big deal even though he felt bad, I was happy I was able to improve. Being the dumb person I was I slipped up once and said that I still liked him a couple months later though. I fixed it by saying I didn’t mean it.

Then the Covid19 made us stay home and me, flower, river, and cookie Face-Timed a lot . We were in a week when my birthday was to happen and then me and river and cookie got into a fight on how animal experimentation should be illegal. They disagreed but that’s beside the point. Eventually it got to the point I slipped up again and old them that they betrayed me in elementary and they got mad. Though we both said some hurtful things I decided to be the bigger person and apologize and we were back to normal. Beth reconnected with us and apologized for how she treated us back then. She said she realized that we were her true friends, which we were. Despite everything we all cared for each other . Though we still haven’t told her about us reconnecting with flower yet . The three of us agreed that we have to have sure that she’s trust worthy before we would expose flower to her. Beth was very close to violet during her reign of terror. So we weren’t sure if we could trust her at first. I recently was talking to river about life like we usually do within our group and I noticed that he was venting. I was listening but I didn’t vent back, I just helped him out. Though it was what I promised to do all those years ago with me, him and cookie. We were all good friends throughout middle school and talked about everything, but I still never got the chance to tell them how I truly felt about what happened back then. I decided to have the courage to get help. I feel so conflicted but no matter what we will always be the happy little group. Though I’m not sure what will happen in my life, I know that I have a long way to go. I’ve grown and talking about what happened is then next step in my progress.

So yeah, that’s what happened. I’m not sure if this was a good idea, but now or never.. right?

HELP YOURSELF

  • Talking about problems or concerns is a very difficult step to take.  It takes a lot of bravery to put yourself (and your very personal story) out there – so good for you! Thank you for trusting the Teen Central community to listen and respond.  It sounds like you have a lot of things on your mind right now, and that can be very over-whelming.
  • Take a look at the “What’s New” tab on our Teen Central site. We’ve recently posted a blog on journaling as a coping skill for stress. Some people find it very helpful to be able to put their thoughts down on paper so they can sort through them later. You are really an excellent writer, and I bet that writing on a regular basis would really help you process all of this, if it hasn’t already. There is also a Relationships area under the LEARN tab that could also be super helpful to you as you think about the various friendships you have in your small group.
  • Just have to ask this question – do you have any trusted adults in your life that can listen? If not parents what about older siblings, cousins, aunts or uncles? I know it’s tough right now with all of us stuck at home, but like you said there’s always Facetime, and talking to someone about these things who’s a little further along in life could really work to your advantage.

CONSIDER THIS

  • You said in your post that you are really working on yourself and I think that’s great. You can’t let relationships with friends or even romantic relationships make you lose focus on improvements you’ve decided to make in your own life! Good for you!
  • If you ever get tired of writing maybe you’d like to try artistic expression. When words don’t come easily, especially when you are feeling overwhelmed or upset, art can be a great alternative. Collage or painting, or simply using an adult coloring book can really help with relaxation.
  • Speaking of relaxation – what are the things you do to relax? With everything going on in your life you should think about putting some relaxation routines in place that help you calm down, stay focused and keep the tension to a minimum. Under the TOOLS section on the website (for example) there’s a yoga pose downloadable that you could use for this purpose.