Once Upon a Time

I’m going to go out on a limb and write about something other than my tortured past. Who am I kidding…there’s nothing like a cathartic writing session to exorcise the demons of your past. Or something like that. A little backstory is needed…

We’ve already established that I had an unusual start to my romantic relationships. Heartbroken by someone 13 years older than me, I wasn’t sure if I would ever climb out of that pit of despair. Everything starts to blend one event into the other after 36 years, but this next part is what happened after that highly inappropriate adult relationship. My friend kept telling me about this guy…cute, super sweet, quiet, older-but-not-G-level-older, hangs out at the mall and “rabbit hunts” with them. Basically, she was into him and wanted me to meet him. Having come off the previous two wild years, I said sure let me see what the fuss is about. Our first interaction was after I climbed into the backseat of a small car with two guys I did NOT know, trusting my friend that these guys wouldn’t kill us. Nah, they were actually pretty funny and didn’t give off serial killer vibes. We drove all over the city and county, looking for the “rabbit” and then hiding when we found it. Once hidden, you have to give clues as to where you might be – like a colder/warmer situation. Others search by their CB radio meter, so they want you to keep talking. Well, to fill up the space, he starts giving out bits of information about himself. First fact – his birthday is the day before mine. I was like whoa, this is cool. Then I find out I know his uncle and had met one of his brothers. Then we started talking. Quickly it became an every weekend thing – we started having this witty banter back and forth, like a nerdy flirting thing. He then starts asking me for advice with my friend – does she really like him, does he have a shot kind of thing. Me being the dutiful friend that I am I always encouraged them, even when I noticed I started having feelings for him and didn’t necessarily want her to date him. They start dating, and I become the third wheel. Those two tried to make fetch happen with his friend and me (whom I met the same night), but there was zero chemistry there. Dude alphabetized his cassettes and turned up the treble on his radio…anyway…I went out with the friend just so I wouldn’t have to stay home and as a bonus I could be around him. Then he started calling me, presumably to discuss my friend. Well, that turned into us taking deep dives into other topics and finding out we had a lot in common. Long conversations that he clearly wasn’t having with her. I felt torn but not going to lie, I looked forward to them.

Clearly you can see what happened next. Of course, he broke up with her and immediately pursued me. Poof end of that friendship. And no, I did not encourage it – not overtly anyway. I just was myself, or the self I thought I needed to be at 17. Oh, I definitely masked my true self at that age. I was too deep into survival mode at that high school to even begin to be my authentic self. If my other scandalous situations hadn’t already, this development definitely turned me into the school black sheep harlot – but how can one be a harlot when you’ve never even had sex? Thus was the politics and mindset of a racist small school. It immediately divided peers into her camp and my camp – not many took my side of course.


So…what happens when a neurodivergent becomes interested in a quirky semi-neurotypical? And said neurodivergent (ND) female moves too fast and places too many high expectations on the poor neurotypical (NT) male? Well, I will tell you it isn’t pretty. ND fears she has messed things up by “pressuring” NT into sex because he wanted to pump the brakes (even though he had already been around that block before), so she gets mad and on a completely stupid impulse, has sex with a friend.

Ok, so they were on a break, right? Nope? Yikes…

Now the ND is mad at herself, and sick to her stomach because that is NOT normal behavior for her. She had planned to save herself for marriage, but that had obviously not panned out, and she was confused by NT pumping said brakes on the newest level of the physical aspect of their relationship. Her mind raced…thinking this meant that NT was going to dump her now that she had given in, not recalling that he had already done that the year before too when things seemed to be moving too fast but had not resulted in sex. That caused her to panic before, but not to this extent – sex really does change everything.

So, what does she do in her panic? The first thing she thinks of – blame the guy of course. She didn’t want to do it, but…he…umm…forced her? As soon as she heard the words leave her mouth she wanted to vomit, but immediately his demeanor changed, and he seemed to care more. What she didn’t expect was he insisted that her parents be told. And his. Uh oh…that’s a wrinkle that she didn’t anticipate, but by now she was too deep into it to turn back. Another wrinkle she didn’t anticipate was her parents calling him to the house and questioning him. Ugh, the guilt wracked her body and made her physically ill, but again, she’s in too deep to turn back now.

NT decided they needed to get married…had to. He suddenly became more attentive, tender and protective of her. This was what she wanted, right? But at what cost? The effects were far reaching – her brothers still had to go to school with that kid, and he was their friend. That was obviously not going to happen anymore, and their small school made things 1000x more uncomfortable. This lie had to be kept because now it was the thread that held her new reality together. It is truly a wonder that her grades that first year of college weren’t worse for all the worrying she did, all the guilt she held, all the lies…

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