Updated: Nov 13, 2019
High School is filled with so many fun things; football games, dances, graduation and for some meeting their first love. For me, I was just trying to make it. I had a job at 14, my home life was rocky, and I spent my evenings trying to figure out how I could get to work every day without having to walk (which I had done). I wasn't big on school activities but there was an incident that happened that would shape the rest of my high school life.
In the 11th grade, I experienced something that no one should ever have to go through. I had written a letter to someone that I trusted, and who I thought had my best interest at heart. I put personal things in the letter, and it had somehow ended up in the hands of the wrong people. As I entered the heavily used side door of my HS, my letter was being handed to everyone that entered through the door; including me as if I didn’t take the time to write it.
It was my handwriting and somehow the numbers of guys that I had slept with skyrocketed to over 80 individual boys and the number of guys I had kissed tripled. There I was standing in the middle of the school my letter in hand and in total disbelief. How’d I so quickly become "that girl"? For months to come, I would find myself defending my character, convincing people that I didn’t have HIV and ultimately ending a relationship that I felt was solid.
This situation had such a negative effect on me that I chose not to date guys from my high school because I was constantly defending who I was (let me put this out there I wasn’t perfect, but I don’t feel like I deserved the cards I was dealt) it made me withdraw from people, I had fallen into a depression and I honestly didn’t know at the time how I would get out of this; but of course now I know, it was all God.
No one really talks about the negative effects that High School trauma has on you. The idea of acceptance, perfection and the meaning of true friendship is often skated over. In my situation, there was isolation, “secret friendships” and humiliation. It wasn’t easy, to say the least.
I can honestly go on and on about the hurt and the wounds that this created. I didn’t know this incident influenced me until I had to create new friendships and explore other relationships. I found myself being forthcoming because I was afraid they had somehow heard the fabricated stories about me. Friendships were and still are hard for me. I must truly, trust someone before I open up because I did that before, and it bit me.
The good thing about my experience is that the situation grew me, made me stronger, and help me to realize that I didn’t need to prove anything to anyone. My identity is in Christ, not people. I had to go through a process of forgiving myself first and then one by one I forgave those around me that took part in the horrible act; it was cruel, but forgiveness was much bigger and much more powerful than any letter.
You see when you are going through suffering, you don’t see the end game; you see the misery and the pain but it’s when you come out of suffering you will see that it was all apart of God’s plan. Suffering is temporary, it’s not random and it’s not on purpose. In that, I realized that God brings suffering in our lives for the sake of eternal joy, and for that, I give Him the glory.
One of the main marks of healing is being able to share, so I am sharing this because I have healed from this and that it made me stronger along the way. So, I leave you with a few scriptures that I choose to live with:
“But I will restore you to health, and heal your wounds; declares the LORD” – Jeremiah 30:17
“You restored me to health and let me live surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In your love you kept me from the pit of destructions; you have put all my sins behind your back” – Isaiah 38: 16-17
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God, I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand – Isaiah 41:10
Who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God - 2 Corinthians 1:4
- K, TBMx