To get something you have never had, you must do something you have never done.
What You’ve Never Done- A Good Southern Girl’s GUIDE to a Disastrous Coming Out Party
I have been a hider for most of my life. “The truth” and “What is in the light of day” have always been things in my life that have gray areas shaded in them. I’ve tried to blame this problem on my parents, my upbringing, my religious beliefs and my love of privacy. No, that last one should be my respect and love of the people who love me. I thought I was doing a pretty good job of containing this trait up until about four years ago. This tiny spot in my life is not unique in its details. BUT, it’s mine. Based on my spiritual beliefs, it being *mine* makes it unique and part of my individuality as a human being who is a child of a loving God.
I gave up my virginity when I was 24-years-old. I thought I had waited too long to have sex. We were both virgins. Me: A very horny young twenty-something who thought she was going to marry this guy. Him: A very tortured soul who told me after we’d done it that we were both “going to hell” for doing it. After a very unfulfilling, stark awakening out of my youth, a fear crept inside of me, and I was terrified.
My existence pre-sex could be defined in three words: conservative, judgmental and religious. My family went forth, hand-in-hand, with a distinct set of black-and-white answers for the game of life. I never intended to have sex without marriage. I even wore a “True Love Waits” ring that was my grandmother’s first wedding band.
Suddenly, I had no clue what I was doing. For all the years of sitting in the same pew with the firm red cushion to keep me from sliding, I was slipping into a pool of a bloody mess, and running for the nearest bandage to conceal my wounds. I judged myself. I judged my family. Not once did I think of love or forgiveness, it was all about the judgment. Despite knowing the truth of my choice, I decided to justify my behavior as merely “being a mature woman who didn’t have to tell her parents about her personal life”. I was supposed to be the good girl, so I chose to pretend to be one. All of a sudden, the traditional values, hopes and aspirations from my past, were dumped into my post-sex life with extremely dysfunctional communication. Somewhere, between past and present, I started playing hide-and-seek with my own reality.
I started taking trips to visit my boyfriend without telling anyone. I would leave in the middle of the night, and make up stories about my weekends when I returned home. My family and most of my friends never knew I would leave the state once a month and drive nine hours by myself to rendezvous, then the same hours back to my “good girl” existence. Pretty soon, I believed my stories myself and never knew I had trapped myself in an alternate state of living.
More hiding and more sex four years after my first experience, I was in an abusive relationship with a man who lived ten minutes from me. And my lies were alive and kicking. My mother confronted me one night when I had snuck out of my own house to go and stay with him. The walls came crumbling down. From the humble beginnings of protecting my pride, there I stood in the shell of the “good girl” image I had been portraying for years.
Now, at age 32, I am no longer taking part of my story I was telling. I have chosen to be an instrument in God’s plan for me; *my story* is one that keeps being written with true love and grace. My past decisions sincerely hurt my relationships, but time and truth reign over the falsehoods of my past. Eight years later, I continue to battle with faith versus control. I struggle on a daily basis with truth and fear. I pray. I love. I forgive. I am naked with the truth. I don’t look back. This is where I am today.