hiding

‘I didn’t need his permission. I closed my eyes, clicked a button, and finally put an end to my pretending.’: It’s been one year since I stopped faking it on social media

“I posted our most recent family photos, and the comments poured in about how ‘perfect’ my family was. I knew things needed to change. I didn’t want people to just like my photos, I wanted them to like me, all of me—even the painful, grieving parts. I am a child who was abused by her father at 3 years old. A teenager who was the victim of statutory rape. I found my husband unresponsive on the floor with a failing heart.”

‘Someone at school told me you’re gay.’ I couldn’t keep this secret any longer. I poured my heart out to her. I thought I’d lost my friend. Until my phone pinged. ‘I like you, too.’

“We hid, for months. People started to suspect our relationship. We were pelted with rocks while waiting for the bus. We were spat on. Soon, her mom found out. They moved her 10 hours away. I barely had any contact with her. As the train arrived on the platform, she was waiting for me.”

‘I’ll give you a 6-pack if you meet with me and drive around.’ I said, ‘Ok, I’ll be back later tonight.’ My heart was racing thinking about getting into a car with a man I don’t know. But I was desperate.’

“I can still feel the chilly air on my face. All I really wanted to do was go home. ‘Why did I get myself into this?,’ I thought. We stopped at hotels. He tried to force me, but I was able to push him off and say ‘no’ enough times. He was nice enough to stop.”

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