Behind the Bedroom Door

Gissell Martinez, Reporter

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All names in the story have been changed to protect the identity of the characters.  

With balls of hair in Claire’s fists, hot, salty tears ran down her cheeks hitting the pillow in her lap. She felt completely hopeless. No person in her mind could help the pain go away. To make her go away…

Her body being eaten by the darkness of her room. She tried to drown out the whaling of her sobs with music. She hopes her parents don’t walk in and start asking ridiculous questions that never help her.

“Why are you crying?”

“Does this really bother you that much?”

The questions just make her feel worse every time the words slip out of her parents’ lips.

This disease of a feeling was so branded into her mind, intoxicating her life constantly. Claire tried everything that she could. She couldn’t vent to her friends because she felt like a burden. School is just another distraction, yet it takes too much of her time. She often found herself staring off into space during class.

She was once happy. For all the wrong reasons, but she never knew that till the landslide of her life fell and crumbled. Justin was her practical savior. Charming, handsome, and a hilarious guy. Claire fell in love with this person and saw nothing wrong. The relationship started magically with them always hanging out at his house or going on dates that made Claire feel special.

“In the beginning, I saw nothing wrong,” Claire said, “Justin treated me well and I would brag to my friends and they liked him too.”

They had special songs they both would listen to and just fall in love with one another all over again. Staring into each other’s eyes while carelessly talking about the future they wanted to build together. They were the ‘It’ couple that most people at Braswell would whisper in the halls. Justin went to Braswell during his junior year but graduated at a different place. It all shifted in the worst way. 

“Justin started hanging out with girls without telling me,” Claire said, “It wouldn’t have bothered me if he would just tell me. I just have a lot of trust issues and he knew.”

This all started when they were beginning their second month of dating. Claire had this vision of Justin being in her life for as a long as she could grasp onto his heart.

They were so toxic in such a secretive way that most of their friends didn’t see anything coming. They would have fun adventures like their trips to Six Flags or Turner Falls. Yet Claire would always see the imperfections of the relationship at night in her bedroom. Little by little she could see that the relationship was breaking from the inside.

“Justin would be out constantly. He would ignore me for hours and it would paranoid me. I wondered If he was with other people again, or if he was cheating,” Claire said, “I’m a worrier and I gave this man my entire trust. He was just abusing it.”

This was a breakthrough for Claire. The answers were in front of her, but she was blinded by a veil of love covering her eyes. She was so disgusted with herself. With the whole time of them being together, she was being used and mentally abused.

“Little things like him partying and getting wasted, smoking till he forgot to call me back,” Claire said, “he would up my flaws in common conversation. I wouldn’t say anything because I was scared for him to get mad and leave me.”                                                                 

As she constantly worried and overanalyzed the whole relationship, Claire started to feel trapped. She would smile through the pain in front of her friends. Always in her mind that she could one day get a text saying “we’re over.”

She slowly became depressed as the thoughts became her everything. As the nights grew darker in Claire’s mind, her worst nightmare came true. Yes, she knew this relationship was toxic. That’s why she didn’t want to leave it. Claire had been brainwashed to believe that this boy could give her the world. She would close her bedroom door and sob for hours, days, weeks.                        

“I just wanted to end it all,” Claire said, “The pain and humiliation of me walking through the halls thinking everything was fine.”

Justin had broken up with her for excuses that she had never heard till the day they spoke in person.

“He told me it was my age, and all of his friends kept bringing it up to him,” Claire said, “He made up excuses about the military, also that he was giving up on life.”

Justin started to sell narcotics as a “coping mechanism.”  As Claire saw the way he cast away his life, she started not to care.

She started slowly cutting little marks on her body, not eating proper meals every day. Then the thought came to her mind: suicide was an option. Overdosing, suffocating herself with a plastic bag. She was so overwhelmed by options and consequences. All she could see was Justin’s eyes gazing at her. All the happy memories that were coated to seem like that. The boy was taking over her brain without him even trying. That was Claire’s last straw. She got up that night, took a long steaming shower. Got out of the tub and wiped the fogged mirror.

“I told myself, ‘I am a beautiful, strong and independent woman,’” Claire continued, “I need more respect for myself.”

After that day, she slowly got better. Clearing her head from the horrible thoughts and smiling more genuinely. To this day, she has not fully gotten over the whole situation, but she is better than she was before.

“I will never forget the mental abuse and the memories, but I can now love other people and not feel like something is holding me back. If that isn’t progress, I don’t know what is.”       

All names in the story have been changed to protect the identity of the characters.                         

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