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  • Michelle Stoddard

Sinner for Christ: The Teenage Years (Pt 2)

Updated: Dec 27, 2019



So, you came back for more. Well buckle up butter cup because from here my story takes a dramatic turn for the...dramatic.

When we left off I'm sitting in my room feeling like the nastiest person to ever walk this earth. And it is in this moment that I realize that if I'm genuinely the most disgusting thing that's ever walked the planet, then I may as well go ahead and embrace that.

At that time I had been talking to 2 or 3 guys very seriously on the internet, and all of them had offered to fly me out to visit them for a weekend of whirlwind romance. "So why the hell not!?" I said to myself. Online, I pulled up the first guy. After a brief conversation, a plane ticket was purchased. Now for a cover story. Kristy, good old reliable Kristy could always be counted on for a good cover story. I called her up and made sure my cover story was secured, I was "spending the weekend" at my friend Kristy's house. My parents trusted me. I was going to get away with this.

I felt nauseous, anxious, excited, terrified as I drove the 1 hour to Denver to catch my flight out to Nashville. I'd flown before, but never alone. We were also living in a Pre- 9/11 era in which security and such was much more lax, good thing considering all I had in my possession was a drivers license stating my now legal age of 16. In today's era a 16 year old boarding a flight with no parents in sight and without permission would be unheard of. At that time, it was a quick exchange.

"How old are you?"

'16'

"And where are you going?"

'Nashville, Tennessee'

"Business or Pleasure?"

'Pleasure (with a capital P)'

"Have a nice flight ma'am"

I was buzzing. I was doing this. I was flying across the country. I was going to sleep with my boyfriend. For the first time ever I was going to sleep with my boyfriend. I boarded the plane in anxious, hormone driven, excitement. A 2 hour flight. 2 hours, and one hour in, I felt the nausea return. "What the hell was wrong with me? What the LIVING HELL WAS WRONG WITH ME? I can't do this, how am I doing this!? Why am I doing this!? Why did I do this!?" I called my dad from the phone on the plane. I confessed, spilled my guts, begged for help. He was shocked and terrified. As a now parent myself I can imagine the conversation buzzing through his head.

"Hey dad, please don't be mad, I'm so sorry, dad I'm so sorry.... I'm on a plane on my way to Nashville"

"You're What! What the Hell are you talking about!?"

My dad sprung into action. He contacted the mother of the boy I was supposed to be having this whirlwind fling with (what the hell was I thinking?). He arranged for her to meet me at the airport in Nashville and take me to the nearest hotel. I was to be on the next flight out, which was early the next morning. She understood and helped him take charge of the situation (thank you God for good moms, can I get an AMEN!?). When I stepped off that plane I was met by a small entourage of parents and siblings as well as the boy I was supposed to be having this big romance with. It was embarrassing and I felt so stupid slunk down the back seat of this strange station wagon, in this strange city, being lectured by this strange woman who I had only just met. The silver lining of course was that I got to meet my "boyfriend" in person and he was sitting next to me holding my hand (and my breast, did I mention my moral compass was off?).

The next day before I got on the plane that boy wanted to kiss me. This time I did. I was so glad I did, I flew home buzzing. I was on cloud nine, I couldn't even hear the lecture my parents gave me. There was nothing that could take away that elated feeling. But as worldly pleasures are known to do, the feeling slowly faded and soon left me feeling empty and wanting more.

For months after that experience I was overboard. With parent permission this time I flew out to visit that boy for his prom. He flew out to visit me for a few weeks in the summer. We were getting dangerously close. The whole while that little line between "whore" and "virgin" was getting very blurry. Out of respect to my husband I wont get into all the details, but I will say it wasn't good. I did things that at the time I didn't regret at all, but looking back I wish I'd been wiser in my decisions. The worst part was that when I actually sat down and got to know the boy, he really wasn't my cup of tea. He was a nice enough guy, but we were not compatible personality-wise (not that that mattered). After several months of this we broke up.

And then the depression. And it settled on me hard and fast. And I let it sweep over me and drown me out. Kristy and I were having some sort of fun seeing who could mess up the worst. I won in the cutting department. I figured out the best tools, the best places to cut for the maximum bloodshed, maximum amounts of scarring and minimal amounts of pain. She won in the substance abuse categories, figuring out who was going to regularly help her get cigarettes and alcohol and functioning with a slight buzzed/high/drunk at all times. We were perfectly fucked up together, just as the world should be.

I tried several times again after that to run away, to no avail. There was even one time when I was out wandering and my parents (or a neighbor or someone, I can't remember all of this perfectly!) called the cops to come pick me up. I didn't even realize it was 2 am. I was angry and embarrassed. Eventually the school year ended (thank God) and our Junior year was over. Only one year left in this hell hole.

I was determined that I would move away out of state for College. I didn't even care where, I just needed to get out. I had started online dating this other boy and I actually really liked him. I didn't think I was going to be that into him, because he was 3 years younger than me, but he was very nice and fairly respectable (as respectable as you can be when you're a 14 year old boy dating a loose 17 year old girl) and really wanted to be with me. I had already committed to college in Tennessee, he was in Pennsylvania. No matter, I was fairly certain I wasn't seriously committed, the way he was, and even if I were, the drive was about 5 hours, certainly much closer than the 24 hours from my childhood home in Colorado.

I floated through my Senior year doing more of the same. My parents seemed just about all but done with me. They were focused on college aid and crunching numbers on how they were going to put 2 kids through college out of state and keep the last one in private school. That was just fine by me. Me and my boyfriend were getting very serious and I was all but decided I was going to sleep with him my freshman year of college. Kristy was going to Florida to live with her birth mom for a while. She wasn't sure about college and when she turned up pregnant before senior year was finished she went ahead and dropped out of high school all together. Her and I drifted apart (for a while) after graduation. I went off to my college in Tennessee. She moved to Florida with her birth mom and started working at Wendy's.

Although Tennessee was supposed to be my big chance out of this oppressing place and a chance for me to spread my wings and become my own person, it was anything but that. The people were friendly, the college was nice enough. I never felt so lonely in my entire life as I did that first semester away. I spent the majority of my time locked away in my dorm room (when my room mate wasn't there), or wandering the common halls and lounges (while everyone else was sleeping), or sitting in my car alone crying. Eventually I decided this just wasn't going to do, and I started leaving every Friday to drive the 5 hours to Pennsylvania to spend the weekend with my boyfriend. It worked, I wasn't lonely...for 3 days while I was there...and then I had to come back to school (because I was out here to go to college after all, that's what my dad was paying for) and feel the crippling loneliness and depression come over me again.

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I wasn't making any friends. All of the girls in my complex thought I was weird. That didn't surprise me. I'd spent so much of my teen years figuring out how to make people think I was weird and crazy and creepy to get attention, to the point where when I needed to turn it off and just be a normal human being I didn't know what that looked like. So instead I spent my first semester of college wandering the common hallways alone and pretending not to hear girls whispering under their breath about how weird I was, and sinking deeper down into the depths of depression and loneliness. Until one day, it came to me, straight from the devils lips to my ears, and I ate it up. The answer to loneliness, the answer so many girls had found before me, the answer my best friend Kristy has already discovered in her own life, it was time for me to have a baby.

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