Losing my Identity | part 2

My heart is racing again already just thinking of continuing the story from Friday, but I have to. It is so healing for me to process in this way. I have already begun putting pieces back together, pieces of memories that I had forgotten because of the emotional trauma that I was enduring.
Last Friday I left you at the 4th of July. He wanted to introduce me to his new girlfriend.

I knew it was just a manipulation tactic but I wanted to show him that I was healed, I was better and I didn't need him. I think I also wanted to prove to myself that I was better, I was just fine.

So I met her under the light by the concession stand at the fireworks.

He called me after, just to rub it in. He said, "so what did you think?"

I remember replying with something like, "She's gorgeous, I hope you two will be very happy together!" because I really did want that for him. I wanted him to be happy and if she made him happy that's what I wanted for him. I truly loved him very deeply. Or so I thought.

"You're lying. You're jealous, she's so much hotter than you and you know it!"

Ok, he was finally getting to the point of his phone call...

"So when are you coming back to me?"

There it was. The manipulation tactic. I had been waiting for it and I had been preparing for what I would say back. What ended up coming out of my mouth was not what I expected to say but it was what I needed to say.

As I stood there, watching myself talk to him in my full-length mirror, I caught a glimps of a photo of myself and a few guy friends from camp and I blurted out, "Never, I deserve so much better than you!"

And if I am remembering correctly, things died down again and I didn't hear from him for a couple of weeks.

Then we were leaving for New Orleans. Our church was going to help victims of Katrina get things cleaned up and demolished. We had signed up together earlier in the year. He tried to get out of it but his mom made him follow through and go.

I rode in a van with my mom, brother and a few of his friends. He rode on the bus with the rest of our group and the St Croix church that was going with us.

Once we got down there we started connecting again. We sat together on the bus. He started tickling me again, I was laughing with him and I thought we could be friends again.

I don't remember clearly what happened but I remember having to go to my youth pastor and explaining what happened. He advised me to stay away from my ex and his mom said that she was going to send him home if he didn't leave me alone.

It's really bugging me what spurred me to talk to my youth pastor...maybe my mom remembers?

So, he advised me to stay away from him and to just keep going with everything - which I did.

But it didn't mean everything was peaceful after that. We were in close quarters with a lot of people and in close proximity to one another. Things were hard.

Especially when the girls decided to take sides. Most of the girls in my youth group either simply avoided me or sided against me because of what was happening. And they had no idea. There was no way to know what was going on beyond hearing what he had to say to them.

I could hear them talking about me and sometimes they would say things to me like, "you just need to be nice to him. You're being so over dramatic. You're leading him on."

All I remember was trying to cope. I remember being loud and boisterous because I didn't know how to cope or what to do. I am naturally a loud person, I laugh loud, I talk loud and when I get nervous I get loud.

I remember addressing two of the girls that I had been close friends with. I yelled at them and asked them why they weren't sticking by me. Their response?

"We don't know you! We've never seen you this happy before!"

I could not believe what I had just heard.

They thought I was happy. What ridiculousness.

They truly had never been my friends if they thought I was HAPPY - of all things.

And then the bathroom incident happened:

I remember talking to my mom in the bathroom and all of the sudden a few of the leaders came in (girls that were in their last years of high school) and they confronted my mom. Of all people, they said that my mom needed to just let me figure things out on my own. She shouldn't have been involving herself in the situation.

And I left the bathroom and went looking for Andrew. Because I met my husband on this horrid, traumatizing trip. My knight in shining armor. That's a story for another time though.

They had dropped us off at a place where we did a VBS, I took care of the Bible story because I had the summer training from CEF and the materials to share with the kids. He was with on that part of the trip and I did my best to stay away.

As we were packing up, I was carrying a tub back to the bus and he was calling my name. I just couldn't do it. I was ignoring him. I felt myself walking faster, I threw the tub in the cargo space of the bus and hustled myself up the bus steps.

He was close behind me, yelling my name the whole time. Yelling at me for ignoring him and chiding me on.

I climbed on the bus with him close behind me and I hurried to get to a seat.

He was still yelling at me, trying to get my attention, trying to get me to talk to him.

I finally reached where I was going to sit and I turned around to see him looming at me, his 220 pounds, 6+ feet of height was coming at me fast, angry and yelling as I stood there all alone on the bus.

I would have been afraid, I should have been afraid and there was a small part of me that had fear but I could see the bus driver in the rear-view mirror watching, ready to jump in if he needed to. Part of me was willing my ex to hit me, to do something physical to me so I had proof of his meanness. So I had reason for ignoring him and staying away.

He didn't.

He yelled at me some more, angry at me for being his friend and then ignoring him. Angry at me for not being manipulated by him anymore and demanding that I come back to him. Angry for playing with his emotions and letting him think that we could get back together.

That's all that I remember. I don't know where he went, if someone else got on and distracted him or what, but I remember wanting to evaporate into my bus seat. I slouched down, put my knees up and hid as best as I could until Andrew got on and asked if he could sit by me.

The missions trip was finally over, we headed back home and I just remember being wounded. Hurt by the leaders on the trip, hurt because I had lost not only two girlfriends, but deeply was hurt by my ex. Again.

Feelings of shame and guilt set in again. I wondered if the girls were right, if it was all my fault, if I was just being dramatic and if I was just nice to him then maybe things would be fine.

I just didn't know how to fix me to make things better.

The girls got worse after the trip, my hurt consumed my heart and I tried to heal me all on my own.

I began teasing guys just because. I would lead them on, get what I wanted and move on to the next one. I never crossed physical lines with them, I only let it get so far as to get something that I wanted and then I'd just stop talking to them.

I began resenting my faith. I so badly just wanted to live life without guilt and shame and just be free from all of the weight of everything that happened.

To be continued...


  1. Oh, Kayla, this story just breaks my heart! I want to go kick that jerk where it counts. What a mean, and manipulative person. It just gave me chills when your hubby came and sat by you. What a kind man. You won in the end, because you married a gentleman! I am so sorry you had to go through this. Hugs!

  2. Thanks Bethany, I really did win in the end! 😄 I will have to share the story of my husband to follow up with!!! Thanks for reading.

  3. Kayla- you are so brave sweet girl.:-) I know it was hard to share this- I can totally relate when I shared my own story on my blog. But I felt such a peace afterwards and I hope you feel that, too. God will use this as I'm sure He already has...but He will use it in the future as well! And- most importantly he has used it in ways that you do not know!

  4. Thank you, Shannon! Its so true, I love seeing the ways that He has moved through my story and through sharing it! What a blessing that He turns our pebbles to pearls! ❤

  5. Kayla, what an honest and vulnerable peek inside your heart. I love this.... I hate that you had to go through it but love that you can free yourself from the pain as you share it with others. I think many of us, myself included, have experienced something like this and unfortunately, many times at church. It's a shame but it's because we're all broken to some degree on the inside. Sadly, both my adult children have distanced themselves from organized religion (churches) because of the pain they suffered in youth group. My heart goes out to you for the pain you endured but I applaud you for making yourself vulnerable by sharing it with us. May God bring complete healing to your soul from these devastating events. :)

  6. Thank you so much Kimberly! It's so true. It's hard not to expect perfection from the church but it just isn't reality since we are all broken people. It's good to share our brokenness so that our healing might encourage other's healing too! Thanks for reading and for your encouragement. ❤

  7. […] If you missed it, you can start here at part one or go here to read part two. […]

  8. […] “And I left the bathroom and went looking for Andrew. Because I met my husband on this horrid, trauma…“ […]