The Power of Suggestion

She had ways of making me think that my thoughts were my own; they weren’t. I found a bathing suit that had a see-through section in a v-shaped plunge. The bathing suit was exactly my size and I had asked my mother why she had it. She told me that she had bought it to wear for when she lost enough weight, as a celebratory item that was also meant to give her motivation. That woman had zero motivation. She never walked or did anything barely at all. She never exercised.

I was too stupid to see what she was doing. I was too young and naive to see the infinite steps she made toward her plans and goals to get what she wanted to happen before her eyes. I never wore things that showed my midriff and then all of the sudden I was wearing that bathing suit to the military base swimming pool. It covered my breasts enough to barely hide my areaolas. The plunge went far enough down to also show my belly button before it came to a stop. One large triangle pointing downward, as if it were also a suggestion in itself.

Men would whistle at me from the dorms and stare at me when they were with their families at the pool and thought no one else was looking. My mother took me to the piercing shop and got me a belly button ring, so that showed too. Earlier that year she took me to a tattoo parlor and I got my first tattoo, a Cat in the Hat. That summer I had also gotten a Jerry Bear on my left shoulder blade in the travel trailer of a drug addict that hung out with us teenagers when we went to the park. I was 14 but I could have looked like I was 18 with tattoos and piercings.

I first met him when there was a party. I’m not sure what the gathering was for but he walked in and saw me right away. I had on cut-off shorts, combat boots, and a t-shirt that had a skull with two revolvers in place of cross-bones. He asked my mother’s friend who I was and she told him that I was her friend’s 14 year old daughter. My mother told me that later and said that he said that he was going to get “sick”. I thought he was cute, but I was just a kid and my flirting consisted of baking things for him and jumping on the trampoline when he came over. I couldn’t spend much time around him; he made me nervous.

Fast forward to two years later and we’re basically dating and my mother is allowing this. She always had him over for coffee and was probably one of the only ones left on the Air Force base that remained her friend. He used to take me out to Paradise, CA, to secluded trails and we would just walk and talk. Sometimes he took me out driving, so that I could learn. A couple of nights we had laid down in the back of his pickup truck and just looked up at the stars and talked.

One particular day we were going to go hiking again. My mother took me out to shop for the occasion. She bought me booty shorts and a very small tank top. I never wore shorts that short in my life. Usually my shorts were at the knee or just below, the way I preferred it. We walked to a place where no one else was and when he was laying on his back I sat on his lap. He called me dangerous. When I saw that some of my pubic hair was showing I got up, embarrassed about it. We walked back and he stopped, looked at me, grabbed my face, and we kissed. Later on that night he told me that he loved me. I didn’t say it back; I didn’t know what to say.

The last time I saw him was when he was over for coffee and I had told him that my mother had suggested that I ask him to go camping with me. I did ask him and told him that we could spend the night together. He told me that it wasn’t a good idea. My mother had told me later that I could marry him in another state if I loved him. I didn’t want to marry someone I wasn’t actually in a relationship with first. I was devastated that I didn’t see him again. It crushed me. What made it worse was that he never called me or anything after that. It was the first time that anyone had ever ghosted me.

 

Author: jessicaambateman

I am a survivor of childhood abuse on the verge of speaking out. I have waited my whole life to have the luxury of spilling my guts and blogging is going to become part of that journey.

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