It is now six days into the new year and it is time to write about the end because a beginning can only happen after an end. The last year was a true test to my character. I sought love in all the wrong places. I just used a cliché but it is the only way to describe my state of misdirection. I thought that I was so mature and older a year ago. It is only now that I can see that I was a mere larvae shedding it’s skin. If I had to relate to a specific character within a book I would choose Lolita. Every time I even think of Lolita, I think of the beginning of the book:
““Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta. She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita. Did she have a precursor? She did, indeed she did. In point of fact, there might have been no Lolita at all had I not loved, one summer, an initial girl-child. In a princedom by the sea. Oh when? About as many years before Lolita was born as my age was that summer. You can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, exhibit number one is what the seraphs, the misinformed, simple, noble-winged seraphs, envied. Look at this tangle of thorns” (Vladimir Nabokov).
Why do I relate to a girl who was both victim and lover? And why do I relate to a story that isn’t even told through the girl but is recounted through her abuser, through the obsessed maniac who pushed her into a shattered world. I think that the reason that I most relate to Lolita is because she had no voice. I had no voice and instead hid in my room. I made myself into the idealized version that I envisioned would be loved. Rather I became a martyr and a sinner. I always wanted to feel like fire, to belong to someone, to be the sweetest temptation. I never realized that instead I became a victim in a game where I felt I had cards but instead I held chains. I am not proud of who I was. I permitted myself to be a foot mat, smiled through my isolation, and accepted that the game of love was a game of submission.
I should blame my mother because she always told me that in order to love, one person has to make the sacrifices. I was once the person who screamed no. I became the person who nodded yes and later cried after a yes became ridicule or pain. I was both a first love, and a second love, maybe I was no love, but infatuation. But I won’t blame my mother who is the result of her culture. I will blame myself for seeking truth not in God but in life.
Life can spin you around into a 180 degree version of yourself. What does that even mean? I suppose I envision being upside down. How did I lose myself? I was the girl who read books, the girl who smiled. I became the girl who sought risks. I met strangers, drank, sinned, and stopped coming home. Eventually my parents stopped requesting that I ask for permission to go out. I went from 9 pm phone curfews to sleeping far away from my house with people who barely knew my name.
But still I was the girl who would long to be home so that she could just spin around in circles. I longed for someone to hold me and take me away from the person that I swore would never be me. I wish I could say that I faced severe consequences but I managed to balance out everything. I came out of the event untouched physically, unhurt academically, and I kept moving forward into a path more separate from God. Then suddenly I faced a man who challenged me to lose my worth. He uttered words of love, and then insulted me. He took my innocence away and suddenly I was in a game of adults. A game of glamor.
It was having everything near me that made me realize that the devil was not a scary figure but rather a beautiful façade. I saw richness, I saw excessiveness, and later in the mirror I forgot that I was once a girl who loved herself.
One day as I was preparing for an examination that I knew I would just fail, I ended up at mass. I had shut myself up so much from feeling anything except self-hatred that seeing love immediately touched me. I found myself again through song. It was one mass and I do not even recall what was said but I do remember that I felt warmth and acceptance. I felt too lost to get back and for some time was convinced that I would never again be fine without the men who had once continued to squish me. I took a leap and went to confession. I didn’t confess my specific deeds but I felt a sudden love fill me. And I knew that forgiveness would descend upon me. I knew that I did not want anything of my old life and I began to shut the door.
At first I went through the motions and I would sometimes feel like I was in the path to happiness but sometimes I just longed to feel the superficial happiness that I had once felt. I wanted darkness, drinks, and pretty dresses. Maybe I was too far gone. But I kept going to CSA events.
On Halloween my “Humbert” returned after two months of silence. A single text and instead of ignoring it, I answered. But then something strange happened. I realized that the man on the other end of the conversation was pathetic. I suddenly stripped him of the glamor and money that he used to glamorize himself and saw myself within him. He was lost and unhappy and I did not want to back-track into being that way again. So I told him that I couldn’t see him because I had God in my life now and sinning was something that I was avoiding. He argued about the concept of sin. But it didn’t matter.
I’m not yet in the place that I long to be in my faith and emotional standing. There are still days where I question my chosen path. But I have finally reached myself again. I can read, I can be alone, and I can finally make jokes because I understood that love is found through God alone. And with God’s love, I have found peace.