Ashley's First Boyfriend and Heartbreak
Ah, my first love. So bittersweet.
I met Adam when I was in eighth grade at my new school. Before he entered my
life, I had just gone through one of the most difficult seasons of my young life.
I had just been diagnosed with major depressive disorder after at 13 years old, I
attempted suicide. The word of what I had done got around at school and I was
bullied a lot for it. I was very humiliated and eventually I was able to convince my
parents to let me change schools.
Even though I had changed schools, I was still in the same hometown so it wasn’t
like it was a secret. I lived with a lot of shame, but somehow as the new girl, I
became very popular. I had attention from the boys in my school for the first time.
I never really saw myself as pretty before. I think maybe once or twice in my life I
thought I was pretty, but the other girls in my class would put me down a lot and
the boys picked on me and gave me a hard time because I was one of the first girls
in my class to visibly start puberty. So basically, I had really low self-esteem and
was very surprised any boy would take an interest in me. Up until this point in my
life, I wasn’t allowed to have boyfriends so this was all new territory for me.
I remember when I first started going to school with Adam, he had a girlfriend. I
think she and I had maybe been friends. The two of them broke up and he began
to pursue me. She hated me and to this day, she still does from what I hear.
Adam was super cute. He was the quarterback on the varsity team. He was very
popular. I remember being really shocked that he was even remotely interested in
me. I was such a goofy and awkward girl. I think I felt like my life had become some
kind of movie. Here I had gone from being this clinically depressed and bullied girl
at my Catholic school and then I switched schools and all of a sudden I was
popular and the Varsity quarterback was passing me notes and asking me to be
his girlfriend. I felt like Drew Barrymore in every movie she’s ever made.
I was convinced, like most 13 year old girls that my boyfriend at the time would be
my future husband. I found a prayer I had written in one of my CCD classes at my
church where I was asking God to heal a disabled girl I knew but also asking him
that me and Adam would one day marry.
I remember Adam got me a teddy bear and I named it “Adam Bear” and I carried it
everywhere with me at school. How embarrassing. I can’t believe I did that. I hope
no one remembers that. I remember his friends became my friends and we were
always laughing and having parties. I am sure I was getting pretty clingy. I don’t
think I was Adam’s first serious relationship, but he was mine. I know we passed a
lot of love notes to each other and of course met each other’s parents. We were
really adorable. I know every teenage girl thinks her and her boyfriend are the
coolest and the cutest, but we were. Maybe I peaked in the eighth grade.
But because this is a podcast about breakups, I have to talk about the breakup.
Eventually, Adam broke up with me. I don’t remember the details, but I remember
waking up the next morning and feeling my first heartache. I think it brought up all
my rejection and abandonment issues I already had developed at this point. I
remember I was pretty blindsided by all of it. I couldn’t believe my fairy tale had
ended. It consumed me. I drove my best friend and her mother nuts for a long time
because it was all I could talk about. It is so embarrassing for me to think of
because I know I acted crazy. I remember sitting behind him and his friends in the
movie theatre and dumping popcorn on him. I think it took me a year or so to even
get over him.
I just didn’t know anything about breakups. I didn’t know how to deal or cope with
rejection at all. Just before I had met Adam, I had been diagnosed with major
depression. So I already had problems and then after I had my heartbroken for the
first time, I really developed some trust issues I had never had before either. I
acted crazy for awhile until I discovered drugs and alcohol and then I just became
a little hood rat.
I can really see now as a Christian woman how the devil had an agenda with me.
He knew the demons I had been battling my whole life. He knew the people and
the places to put into my path while I was grieving and going through the
painfulness of adolescence that would steer me down a darker path and
unfortunately, I wasn’t equipped to fight him. I mean of course I don’t blame Adam
for my being a train wreck. I was a wreck before I ever met him, but if I look at the
timeline that is my life I can see how the devil worms his way into our lives to steal,
kill, and destroy us with no mercy.
After Adam, I had a few good boyfriends, but eventually I got so involved with
drugs and alcohol that the party boys were the only guys who were on my radar
and those boys really, really hurt me and even later in my life severely traumatized
me. I think it is interesting how some of us aren’t equipped to deal with rejection or
we have deep-seated abandonment issues that the devil exploits for his gain.