I was 13 and I had just met a boy who changed my life forever. I will call him J. J and I connected through our parents. He lived closed so we began to see each other a lot. My dad made all the appropriate threats to a boy who was after his daughter. My mom put me on birth control. Everyone seemed to think it was inevitable that our relationship would be like every other teen relationship. But J simply saved me. He came in to my life at at the worst of the abuse. At the intercourse and ovulation tests to keep his daughter not pregnant, lie to the doctor as to why your “cherry” is broken, time of abuse. He saved me from the hell my life had become. Because of J, I finally said “no”. No more abuse.
And so over the years I have sought J out. Something in me has always been drawn back to J. We have the capability to love a lot of people in our lives. I love my mom, my kids, my husband. The love I feel is different for each of them. But it’s not less. Over the years, as J and I reconnected, my love for him became confused. I knew I loved him but not exactly HOW I loved him. We would get close and then separate, likely due to the uncertainty of what it was we were supposed to be to each other. But I always felt he was part of me, somehow. The last time we connected we became really close. I counted him as my closest and best friend. Then things ended badly. Our friendship ended with a slammed and locked door. I don’t even know why. But it has been years and I still feel this pull.
And over these quiet years I have considered the connection to him I’ve always felt. My love for him is unique. It is not like the love I have for my family or my husband. It’s not even like the love I have for my friends. It’s something different, something more. He gave me a strength I had not had before. The strength to say no. Over the years he has always come back in to my life in times when I need his strength the most. It has always been as though he is a pillar I need to survive. My love for him is like my love for the various parts of me. I need them to navigate this world. And so I return to the door. I look through the key hole. I wiggle my fingers under the door like a child looking for mom. I try to find a way to see the other side because I need the love that saved me.