I always thought that things worked out pretty easily for me. I never wanted for anything too long and I had everything that I needed to grow and mature into the woman I am today.
School was always pretty simple. I didn’t struggle until my senior year of high school and that was my fault and completely due to procrastination. Other than that, I never truly struggled in class, in fact, while I hated history, I loved math and excelled in school. I applied early admission to ten different schools (8 outside of Oklahoma) and was accepted to nine of them (who needs Michigan anyway?).
Friends were a struggle. Better yet, keeping friends was the true struggle. As I write that sentence, I realize I was affected. I had a hard time keeping friends throughout my adolescence. I never got close enough to anyone to be vulnerable, yet I wanted that stereotypical “best friend” that every Disney movie was based around. How can I want that kind of friendship and never allow myself to be vulnerable with anyone? Now, I can’t completely blame this one on him. My mother instilled in me, a need to keep serious/sensitive information private. “You don’t share personal business with anyone” cause they might try to use it against you. Hah, little did she know.
Because of this, I never really trusted anyone, but I expected them to trust me. Therefore, most of my friendships were very one-sided. I would listen to their problems and do my best to help them with anything they needed, but I never shared with them my problems and, for the most part, they never asked.
I’m realizing, even now as I write, that this may have been the worst thing for me and one of the biggest reasons I would struggle in my adult life. I needed to feel needed.
I found myself willing to be more vulnerable to strangers, particularly male. They didn’t know me, so their opinions were typically subjective. Being in a “situationship” was easy and I was always involved in one. Looking back, I can’t think of one period of time that I was not involved with, for lack of a more fitting term, a boy.
I spent all my time under someone else. It was a crutch. I honestly felt like I needed someone else to survive. I needed someone outside of my normal life to listen, to understand, to care, and I was looking to them for all the things I didn’t get from him. It didn’t help that I developed large breasts and curves at a vulnerable age. Not only was I looking for everything I didn’t get from him, but I was using my sexuality to get it. By the time I was 13, I had grown men sexualizing me with their eyes everywhere I went, and I can’t blame them, I enabled it because I enjoyed all of the attention. I knew exactly what I was doing and what I needed to do to get attention.
I wanted something more from these men than what I was asking. I wanted their minds, opinions, advice. I wouldn’t consider males my age because they didn’t have the maturity that I wanted, needed.
Side Story: One time I dated someone close to my age, he was 1 year under me, during my freshman year of high school. He was dramatic and emotional and had me on a roller coaster of emotions every week. Still loved him and his family, but clearly, we didn’t work out.
Throughout high school, other than that instance, everyone I involved myself with was at least 2 years older than me.
I was looking to them for everything that I had not received at home from him. But, in order to get what I wanted from them, I had to give them what they wanted. Keep in mind, this is all in hindsight, I didn’t realize all that I was asking of them. I was willing to do whatever it took for my emotional needs to be met.
I would like to say that this was the biggest effect his absence had, but who really knows? I recognized that I had “trust issues” that bled into various areas of my life causing multiple effects.
Long story short, the answer is yes, and it affected all the relationships I would try to create in my life. I spent my formative years looking for things I should have gotten from him, from “men” that could never fill that void.