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      Church Girl and the Headbanger


have not gotten over my first love. We never ended the relationship. - Shortly after moving to a small town, I started my freshman year of high school. I had a crush on a guy who didn’t really notice me. Then, towards the end of September, another guy, who was 16 years old and in my English class, started talking to me every day after school, as I waited for the bus. - He was a heavyset guy, not liked among our peers. I had a close friend warn me that if I didn’t stop talking to the guy, she would not be my friend anymore. I told her that I thought she was being immature, and I was not going to ignore him. She tried to warn me that he was looking for more than a friend in me, but I didn’t believe her. - The guy brought me a cassette tape with some of his favorite heavy metal songs on it. I returned the favor by giving him a tape with my favorite songs on it (they just so happened to be pop love songs, but I thought nothing of it at the time.) The guy brought me a VHS tape with MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball on it. I liked some of the videos. In turn, I tried to witness to him about my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. So I got a new pet name… “Church Girl.”  - On the last Friday in September, I got a note from the guy asking me to go steady with him. I had to think about that one. - Coming from an alcoholic family, having been sexually and mentally abused in my childhood, I never believed that anyone could or would love me. I went out with the “Headbanger” to prove to him a point, that he wouldn’t like me once he got to know me. I entered into the relationship with very little, if any, self esteem. I never expected to fall in love with him. I knew nothing about dating. - During the first two weeks of our courtship, I found that I liked holding his hand. To be near him, I got a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. He’d pass me notes in our English class. One day I opened one up which read “I love you” over and over again from the top to the bottom of the page, in his handwriting. The girls sitting behind me ridiculed me for accepting notes from him and questioned why I was going out with him. - On the day of our Homecoming Pep Rally, we’d spend the afternoon together, outside watching the activities. I couldn’t wait to sit next to him and hold his hand. But he took me aside, put a ring on my finger, and gave me my first real kiss. The school principal had to keep separating us. I did not want that magical moment to end. I liked feeling close to the Headbanger. - My family’s phone rang off the hook that afternoon. My older sister’s friends were calling to complain about me, and who I was seeing. He was a bit of a rebel, and someone who liked to party. My parents informed me that I had to end the relationship, that I was not old enough to date. I claimed that we weren’t dating because we never went anywhere except lunch together. I also informed my parents that they were not being fair because they had not met him yet. - My father agreed to meet my boyfriend. My Headbanger came over one afternoon to visit. I took him out to the pasture to give carrots to the horses that were on our farm, and I kissed him some more that day. After he left I asked my drunk father what he thought of my boyfriend… he said,  a)had he known he was going to be that ugly, he would have had a shotgun waiting for him when he stepped out of the car.b)I could continue to date him if he lost 100 pounds first.c) God hates fat people - My father demanded that I end the relationship immediately. I refused. Thus begun the forbidden courtship that would last another six months. That night on the telephone, I relayed to my boyfriend those awful things my father had said. We were both crying, scared of losing one another. We made a promise…. We would never break up with each other. - Over the next few weeks, my boyfriend continued to come to school, although he was struggling socially. He didn’t like being there.  It was more hand holding, love notes and kisses.  - On Halloween Night, I went Trick Or Treating with him, not telling my parents who I was really with. He got to second base, and I went home full of uncertainty. Was he going to break up with me since I didn’t give into him? - He didn’t come back to school for the next week. So one day, I got the nerve to skip out of school and visit him with a couple friends who knew the way to his house. My boyfriend reassured me that he loved me, that he was not breaking up with me. He made love to me that day for the first time. I went back to visit him a few more times over the next few weeks. He was always gentle with me. He was my first, and the only one I wanted to be with. We talked about marrying one another someday. - My sister got me to open up to her one day, to trust her. I told her about the relationship with my boyfriend. She went and told my dad. My boyfriend was threatened with charges of statutory rape. His mother cut a deal with my father instead, saying she would send my boyfriend to live with his father 2 hours away, and he would have no further contact with me. I was worried, I had broken the trust of my boyfriend. I had proven my immaturity. I had gotten him in trouble. Surely, my dreams were shattered. How could he forgive me? - He didn’t get sent away. In fact we continued to see each other for months after this. He and his friends would pick me up at lunchtime and we’d go cruising the back roads of that small, country town. The Headbanger would hold me close and kiss me… nothing more. I liked being in his arms. - In the middle of winter, for a few days, he came back to school. We didn’t have any classes together, so I switched my schedule to be in his class. One day I had to do a makeup assignment that involved lighting a bunson burner. Because I am afraid of fire (from being burned when I was little) I was afraid of that match and tried to get my teacher to let the Headbanger to light the match for me. My teacher said I’d fail the assignment if I didn’t light that match myself. That made me mad because I had an A in that class, and it was my only class I had an A on. My precious Headbanger, got the whole classroom (all males) to cheer me on and give me the confidence to light that match. - He ended up quitting school again. In the meantime my father went to another state to look for work. I thought we were out of the woods.  My boyfriend started working and I saw him less and less. We didn’t communicate on the phone. He wasn’t picking me up at lunchtime anymore. I felt very insecure about losing him. - The one day he shows up on my doorstep, which was weird in itself. I thought for sure he’d come to break up with me. I started crying, begging him not to. He tells me he’s not… that he has to go live at his Dad’s house. He’ll be back someday. He kissed me for reassurance. But I was still uncertain. I watched him drive away that day not knowing if I would ever see him again. - Over the next month, I heard nothing from him. I read his love notes he’d given me earlier in the year for reassurance. I looked at that ring on my finger and wondered if I was even still his girlfriend. Or if I was a fool for thinking I still was. - One day, I got up the courage, took my lunch money and made a long distance call from a pay phone. I called my love’s dads house. My love answers the phone. “What are you doing?” I thought he said he was going to Malibu with his brother. In the meantime, the operator keeps cutting in and saying I have to insert more money or we’ll be disconnected. My mind is racing. I don’t believe the Headbanger is going to Malibu. I think its his way of lying to end our relationship and I am not buying it. “Is there someone else?” I asked. “No,” he replied. Then, his angry brother starts yelling in the background, asking the Headbanger if he is on the phone with me. I am worried I’ve gotten my boyfriend in trouble. Click.Did his brother pull the plug or did the operator disconnect us? Did it matter? If he was going to Malibu, California to live, our relationship is over. - I didn’t call him back. I felt like dying that day. I tried to commit suicide that night by gouging my wrist with a pen cap. I chickened out for fear of going to hell. My father had always told me that people who commit suicide go to hell. - I felt rejected and unloved by the only person who I thought had ever loved me. And I thought I deserved the rejection because I had gotten him in trouble with my parents. I didn’t deserve him. I didn’t deserve his love. I certainly didn’t deserve to wear his ring. - I had a friend who got me through that first month. I always felt cold and empty inside. I couldn’t eat anything. My stomach was in knots. The heart ache was so intense. My dreams were shattered. She tried her best to keep my spirits up, to keep me from trying to kill myself again. I felt like dying inside. I had no reason to live. - Another friend told me that the pain would go away as soon as I found someone new, So I started dating right away, but I only felt cold and empty inside when any other guy held my hand or tried to hug me. I wanted the Headbanger back in my life. - My family moved away that summer, 3,000 miles away. I mourned for the Headbanger for the next two years, always listening to the music he gave me, and thinking of the memories we shared, questioning if he had really loved me. I didn’t understand. - I tried to date, but I found that the 16 year old guys in school only wanted one thing from me. I kept getting used. They didn’t say I love you. They didn’t give me music, or jewelry. Slowly, I began to build a wall up around my heart. I’d be sure not to be hurt that way ever again. - A dozen boyfriends later, I met someone who didn’t use me and who was faithful to me so I married him. But after all these years I know I never felt close to him. I have found out that it is actually common for Adult Children of Alcoholics not to be able to feel close to people and have intimacy issues. - I thought about my Headbanger these past 17 years, at times thinking of looking up his information, and at least talking about what went wrong in the relationship. - I found him last year through a website. I sent him an email just saying, “I just wanted to apologize for the hell I put you through while we were dating.” - He wanted to know why I’d hung up on him on the phone that day. He said that it was the worst day of his life because he lost me. - I explained to him what I thought had happened, that I realized we must’ve gotten disconnected due to my lack of change, and that I thought he said he was going to Malibu. - He said, no. He must have said he was “working on a (Chevy) Malibu” with his brother, because that is what he was doing that day when I called. - As bizarre as the story is, we have two very different versions of it. One thing we know for certain is that we were both very much in love with one another on that fateful day, and that we never actually broke up with one another. - We still have feelings for one another. We just can’t resolve them.


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