Ch. 9 - Love Yourself
"You have so much love in your heart to give to others, so why don't you save some of that for yourself?" ~ Venus
Almost every night I'd wake up gasping for air, thinking all of it was too real to be true. I didn't even know why I was having such bad dreams over something not THAT bad when put into comparison.
Was it my body's way of responding to and handling feelings of hurt? Who knows.
The nightmares consisted of me being tied up in chains and getting tortured till I coughed up blood. The room I was in was pitch black and I could hear nothing but the loud laughs of my parents.
I screamed for help and begged them to let me go, but they weren't listening. It was suffocating and painful because my body just wouldn't budge anywhere, it's like it was paralyzed or something. All of a sudden, I heard Mateo's piercing scream and then woke up with a jolt, my whole body covered in sweat as I tried recomposing myself and stop my body from shaking so much.
I spent the next couple of weeks like that, but that was until I met a guy named Nolan.
He came into my life at such a weird time, and that uninvited, but he managed to make me happy even if it was just an illusion.
At first, I was really hesitant since I just practically got ghosted by Mat, but Nolan never gave up regardless. He talked with me everyday both in and afterschool, always gave me hugs and affection, defended me, protected me, and never forgot to remind me how much he "cared" about me.
But a few months later when I introduced Jaslene to him since they were both important to me, things ended up going downhill...again.
Nolan kept trying to force me to do sexual things with him even though I was still uncomfortable and he would seem annoyed whenever I said no and continued trying to randomly touch me whenever we were in school. He'd never stop talking about my body and it started sounding like that was the only thing he was here for.
I was still only thirteen too, and the memories of Mat hadn't fully faded away, but a part of me knew I couldn't push Nolan away, because even if he was behaving like that, I still wanted to feel loved and like someone actually wanted me. Besides, I was too vulnerable to push him away like that, it's not like I even valued myself anymore, but he gave me a sense of validation.
Did I know it was wrong and toxic? Yes. Would I do anything to prevent it? No. Why? Because I was fucking stupid.
Me, Jasline, and Nolan were on a group call one day during spring break like usual, and they were both acting a bit odd. Something felt off, and when I questioned them about it, Jasline said it's best to explain things to me over text in our group chat instead of through the call, so all three of us left the call.
J: Actually sis...we've both sort of been hiding something from u for the last 2 months
A: Hiding wat?
J: Nolan and I are kind of like a thing now
A: ...so u mean to say ur both dating each other?
J: no no no, we aren't officially dating or anything but we both like each other
N: yea, we've been secretly talking for the past two months, and Jasline didn't want me to tell u
A: but Jasline, u knew that I liked him didn't u?
J: I know, but I couldn't help my feelings. I'm rlly rlly so srry kiki, pls forgive me. I won't even date him if u don't want me to :(
A: no, go ahead and date him if u want. idc, I should've known he never actually respected me
N: yes I did kiki, ur just being way too dramatic and getting upset over something so little. I'm srry too, ok? it's not like u and I were both dating or anything
A: yea, so u mean to say that this doesn't count as cheating? that u didn't play with my feelings this whole time, knowing I was already broken bc of Mat?
N: we both already said srry, it's not even serious y r u getting so uptight?
J: heyy, be nicer to her Nolan, she's my best friend
I am? Doesn't seem like it though.
A: ur right, it's not that serious. all u did was lead me on and gain my trust for the last six or so months, only to come tell me you've been flirting around with Jasline for two months behind my back while still texting me I love yous every day. how were u able to live with urself while doing that, huh? did it make u happy?
J: I'm sorry, I won't even date him bibi
A: no, do it. date him. I don't want him anymore, I hope u guys r happier without me.
N: Kiki, I'm sorry, I really am.
No you're fucking not, Nolan.
J: r u gonna leave me kiki? please don't...I'll do anything to make u stay
A: all I know is that I want u both to leave me tf alone rn, what'll happen later with the 3 of us is a different question.
N: ok, we'll be waiting, bye :/
J: bye sis, pls take care of urself, and once again I'm so sorry for hiding my feelings for him from u. even if u say I can, I'm still not gonna date him
After shutting off my iPad, I just laughed at myself in both anger and pity. I let him in my life when I was at my weakest and he started healing my heart, only to break it all over again? The thought made me feel disgusted at myself for trusting him.
If you were gonna go talk to another girl, why couldn't you choose someone else? Why'd you have to go to Jasline of all people?
She was one of my best friends, probably my most closest one out of our friend group. Even she lied to me, and that's what hurt most because she always heard me talking about how Nolan made me feel loved and how I was slowly learning to trust him and wanted to give him a chance. But in a way I couldn't even be too too angry at her because you can't control your feelings after all.
You let a boy get in between us, Jas, and I also let him do whatever he wanted around me. So who's even to blame in this situation?
At this point I just felt so much hatred towards myself that it couldn't be put into words. I felt like a failure and disappointment to everyone around me, even to myself.
Are you alive or just breathing, my love?
There was nothing I wanted more in this world than to just die, but I didn't only for the sake of Chesa.
Months passed, and I was slowly learning to love myself and was healing from both Mateo and Nolan, and it was all thanks to Chesa and the musical band BTS, who I started listening to last year in sixth grade. I even forgave Jasline after a while, but it didn't mean that I was just gonna forget what happened between us.
I learned that in order to truly love yourself, you need to learn to love and respect yourself first like you deserve. Otherwise, how can you expect others to treat you correctly when you yourself don't do the same?
But when eighth grade rolled around, she was the one who started thinking she wasn't good enough and would talk to me about how she was trashy or ugly, and quite honestly that hurt more than it did when I thought like that about my own self.
Is this how she felt whenever she heard me saying things like that about myself?
It broke my heart knowing that the person who helped me up and reminded me about how beautiful I am, was the one who was looking down upon herself now.
I already blamed myself everyday for Mat changing, but now I started feeling like it was my fault that she had such a low self esteem too.
She didn't listen to me no matter how hard I tried everyday and I felt like a complete failure of a friend for not being able to help her realize how truly amazing she is.
And it wasn't just her, Mai also started talking like that about herself and it was frustrating me because they were very important to me and I hated that they were so harsh on themselves.
It didn't matter how many times they told me it wasn't my fault, I still felt helpless and guilty.
If only you could see yourselves through my eyes.
I truly tried my best from the bottom of my heart, but in the end, the results were always the same and it was getting difficult to act like it never bothered me. I even got into little arguments with the both of them a few times because they were so unwilling to even try and listen, and the arguments would result in them not speaking to me for days at a time.
It took me a while to come to terms with it, but eventually I had to accept the fact that it didn't matter how much I tried, the only ones who could change the way they thought was they themselves. The only thing I could do is try to be a patient support system for them.
The only one who wasn't like that in our friend group was Genesis, who also felt sad at times that Chesa and Mai thought so negatively about themselves while being so loving to other people.
I hope that one day they realize how precious and perfect they both are and know that I love them...a lot. They're everything to me and I'd do anything for their happiness, even if it hurts me.
But besides all of that, there was something that started really scaring me, and I kept trying my best to run away from it because I truly hoped that it wasn't true. It couldn't be, I refused to believe it.
I didn't notice when exactly, but somewhere during my process of healing, my feelings towards Liam started to change.
Great job, Kiki. You're about to fuck yourself over once again aren't you?
What do you think about what Nolan did? What about Jasline? Also, you guys will see this a week after it's written since every chapter is written a week prior to being uploaded, but I can't wait to proofread this and then shut off my laptop and be lazy for the rest of the day. I finally have a Sunday to myself with no school work (but of course I had to get this done first for you guys to read next Sunday). I'm so excited to wear my fluffy pajamas and get under the blankets to watch a Halloween movie by myself, 'cause this week has been trash. Like two days ago I was sat at my desk from 7:30 am to 11:15 pm with just online classes and school work. I didn't even want to write this chapter today to be honest, but I knew I'd be upset at myself later if I didn't do this now. Anyways, enough of my ranting, hope all y'all are having a good day and I love you! - Venus <3