Thursday, April 5, 2012

            In February of this year, I found out that I had won a Regional Gold Key Award from Scholastic’s Art and Writing Awards for the poem “El Paso Town Tale”. It’s a bittersweet thing to know that the talent I gained from Ruben and the other poets gained me that award. But I’ve learned since they’ve been gone that they didn’t create me. The just helped me become the person that I am now. I haven’t seen Ruben since that last day in September when I was leaving the city, but the poetry team still has that picture of us together on Facebook ironically enough.

            It’s been a year next month since I ended things with Ruben. It hasn’t been an easy year, but things have definitely changed for the better.

To Ruben,

            I didn’t send you the link to this blog so you could see that I had a whopping 24 followers of my story or to show you that there were people willing to listen. I sent you this blog because I feel I deserve at least that. I deserve to have you know exactly what it felt like to be with you as well as to let you know what it was like to be without you too. Of course, if you’re reading this, you need to go back to the beginning, not that I would ever really know if you actually read it. But, oddly enough, I have some sort of confidence that you will. You deserve to know just as much as I deserve the opportunity to tell you.

            I want you to know that though I will definitely never forget you, in writing this blog, and sending you the link to it, I’m letting go, truly letting go of what happened between us. I’m a different person now, and I’ve stopped focusing on the words I left unsaid while I was with you, stopped worrying about the things that I can no longer change.

            I honestly wish you the best of luck in your life. And though there are many things I might’ve written in this letter a year ago, all I can truly say is that our situation probably wasn’t as unique as we would’ve thought. I’ve moved on in life, onto a relationship where my nickname isn’t “babydoll” and I’m not lowered to the comparisons of a character in a story… That wasn’t fair, sorry. I don’t want you to think that I wrote this story to humiliate you or to make you look bad, only to remind you that there was much more to me than what met your eye. I want you to know that I no longer cringe at the sight of “Lolita” on a shelf and I’ve since been able to separate myself from her. After all, I’m the main character in my life’ story, not in hers.

            I don’t want to say anything mean or cruel. There are things I miss about me and you, the little moments that made being with you great. But I don’t miss what the relationship resulted in. I think we both need to admit to the fact that though I’m partly at fault, you took advantage of me, and what happened between us I considered sexual abuse no matter how it’s made to sound. Even so, I wrote this letter because I wanted you to know that, over everything, I forgive you for what happened. But I will never allow myself to let it or anything like it happen again; I’m a different person now.

            Like Lolita, I have gone through much sadness and hardship. But I’m okay now, because I’ve changed. I hope you have too.

                        No longer yours expecting,


To the readers of this blog,

            Upon finishing this blog, I have exactly 24 followers, each and every one of which I am very proud of. Being Lolita is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to write. I want to thank you all for being so willing to listen when I finally decided to take the opportunity to tell you all about what happened when no one was looking. I wrote this for me, not for anyone else. But you all made it easier for the words to come, knowing that there was someone out there who cared.

            Unfortunately, I must say that this, my readers, is the end of my story. There’s no longer anything more to tell about what happened between me and Ruben. I hope you all took this a positively as you could and have gained some further understanding of what goes on in relationship like these. They’re toxic, and often nothing good can ever come of them. I want you all to know that though it was a long and difficult road, I have moved from this. I’m in another, less tragic relationship.  That’s not to say that being with Ruben was a tragedy, he’s not my tragedy, nor am I his. I lived through what happened, and while I regret ever being with Ruben, I would regret it even more if I were to find out that I wasn’t the only one.

            It wasn’t easy, but I got through it. I pulled my ass up out of the dirt, and finally let it go… and this is how I did it.

                        Thank you to everyone who took the time to even glance at this. I’m much happier to be the story from behind someone’s computer screen than I am to the photo of a stupid girl…

                                    I couldn’t be happier to end this story with letting go, and I wish you all the best of luck in life in both fortunate and unfortunate events whether you’re behind the screen or in front of it. Life has to move on.

                                                Lili (Elizabeth)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

How To Manage

So I’m sure the question at the end of all of this is what I did to finally get over it. Well, to be perfectly honest, I moved, away, stopped going by the nickname I used to have, and overall, I changed. I remember a few weeks after ending things with him I was having a weak moment and I sent him a message telling him how sorry I was about what had happened. He told me that we could talk again when we were in a better place and that he was trying to fix things in his life at the moment and he accepted my apology…

            Now the stupid thing about this short two message conversation isn’t that I apologized or that he accepted my apology; it was that I accepted his response. I guess this blog is more about what I was unable to let go of than anything, and that response is definitely a part of it. Him accepting my apology was simply unacceptable, and I didn’t even realize it until now. I apologized to him for what he did to me. And that is unacceptable.

            The bottom line here is that though the relationship I shared with Ruben was at least half my fault, it was also his. He took advantage of me when I was young and stupid and I was dumb enough to allow him to do it. Ruben Ramirez never loved me in the way that I needed him to. And that was a terribly painful thing that I had to come to grips with in the very end; that Ruben and I were never going to end up together. And that hurt. But not as much as it did when I realized that he may not even have felt or refused to acknowledge that he did something wrong by being with me. I guess that you could almost say that I wrote this blog in order to gain the closure Ruben never gave me.

            I don’t live with my parents anymore. After I ended things with Ruben, I left for the summer and never came back. I needed a change of scene, so I went away and changed my life because I realized that the person I was when I was with Ruben wasn’t the person I wanted to be anymore. I won’t say that it’s been easy, but sometimes it’s the hardest things you do that end up being the right thing. There was once a time when I thought I needed Ruben because he was my backbone; even when he wasn’t physically there with me, I still always felt stronger knowing that I had him. After it was over, I was forced to grow all on my own. I wrote this poem shortly after everything ended with Ruben; I guess it really helps define how I grew as a poet after knowing him for so long.

No Pretty Words

Pretty words                                                                                                                               
 never justified                                                                                                                                      what she did almost every night.

And nobody cares                                                                                                                        
 what the audience knows                                                                                                           
 as long as she's taking off her clothes.

But maybe, just maybe                                                                                                                  
she could've had a chance                                                                                                           
if she'd thought she was worth more                                                                                             
 than taking off her pants.

And it's all her fault                                                                                                                     
even thought she was young                                                                                                         
but it's not like he was the one                                                                                               
holding the camera,                                                                                                                             
and damn, I could be wrong.                                                                                                              
I'm not asking you not to hate her                                                                                                     
but when in this generation was it ever okay                                                                                  
to crucify the teenager?

But he saved her.                                                                                                                          
This young, sixteen year old girl                                                                                                
was cut off from the rest of the world                                                                                              
until she found poetry,                                                                                                            
what it means to really be                                                                                                         
on top of your high school dreams                                                                                                   
but he                                                                                                                                               changed everything.

Okay, Miss complicated                                                                                                             
over-explaining                                                                                                              complaining                                                                                                                                       whore of a teenage girl.                                                                                                          
Who the hell asked you                                                                                                             
to pursue                                                                                                                                      
what you knew was wrong?

And when the hell did anyone say                                                                                                    
it was ever okay                                                                                                                                  
to get hung up on him that day?                                                                                                       
To hide away                                                                                                                             
between dark alleys and stars                                                                                                   
caught up in his arms                                                                                                                                 so don't behave like you were raped.

So if any loser on the internet                                                                                                      
finds the pictures that you sent,                                                                                                 
 that's on you.

If there's guys out there                                                                                                          
wanking it to pictures                                                                                                                               only he was supposed to have,                                                                                               
well I guess that's just too damn bad.

Your worthless teenage tears                                                                                                       
don't make up for the years                                                                                                           
that you spent gazing at him                                                                                                                
 or the months you spent entertaining him.

How does it feel                                                                                                                               
to be the girl who was able to steal his eye?                                                                                        
 To stay out with him in the middle of the night.                                                                     
Well, now where will you hide?                                                                                            
Okay, fine, I lied.                                                                                                                                
They didn't crucify her,                                                                                                            
 but they definitely should.

The hundreds of pictures                                                                                                               
 that he had                                                                                                                                      
never changed the fact                                                                                                              
that they                                                                                                                             
haven't spoken to her since                                                                                                         
but what ever changed for him?

She's the one who came clean                                                                                                        
and admitted to doing those things                                                                                           
because she had feelings for him,                                                                                                 
she was in love.                                                                                                                     
Since when was it wrong                                                                                                            
to feel that way for another person?                                                                                                
But now she's suffering the consequences                                                                                             
of being taken advantage of.

He was                                                                                                                                                  several                                                                                                                                                    years older                                                                                                                                
and a hell of a lot smarter                                                                                                                   
and he stole her heart                                                                                                                         
but you're telling me                                                                                                                          
that there's nothing that she deserves,                                                                                    
not one kind word                                                                                                                      
to be said for her?

She's not Hester Prynne, she's just a teenager

and she reached out                                                                                                                         
 to admit her wrongs and tell the truth,

but wasn't he wrong too?

Isn't there something that can be done?

Something to be said

to bring this weight off her head?


We'll leave her to lay and rot in her bed

cause we all know that she's the one who made it


Who cares if it's taken the light from her eyes?

Someone here needs to pay the price,

even if she wasn't the one who suggested it,

she followed through with it,

and we need to be assured she won't do it again.

But this is not an accusation,

it's a confession.

Nothing done could ever bring down

her happiness when he was around,

when she was surrounded

by poets and writers

under the light and the cigarette smoke

of her downtown world reading poetry

but you're telling me

that all she had to do was say no?

But it'll never be enough

that she found the strength to let him go.

There's no pretty words

anyone could ever say

to make this somehow go away,

to take back the pain,

the shame

that was put on her

when she let go of him that day.

But how was she supposed to know

that wising up and letting go

was the part that was going to hurt the most?

Pretty words

never justified

what she did for him almost every night.

And her love for him

never changed the wrong

that he let fall on her

after he was gone...

            One of the things that I really struggled with after Ruben was realizing that it wasn’t wrong for me to keep everything I had learned from him and continue using it throughout my life. And through “Lolita”, I went through many conclusions before finally realizing the truth about the book: that it’s okay to let go of the things that hurt you. But it’s not wrong to remember the good things about me and Ruben, like the things he taught me about writing, and how much potential he always used to tell me I had. I guess he was kind of right because I never stopped doing it.

            Every now and then, I must admit, I go back to that old summer song I used to call ours: The Crow and Butterfly by Shinedown. One thing that I want everyone to realize (even if I’ve said it a million times) is that Ruben wasn’t all bad for doing what he did. It was wrong, but like it says in the poem, he wasn’t the one holding the camera. I was. And that doesn’t make it okay for me either because Ruben and I were both wrong for what we did. When I think hard about it, Ruben could’ve been a great memory for me if we had ended things when I left the city. We might have been in a better place by now if we had.

            And as for the “better place” Ruben had mentioned, my friend Daniel was completely convinced that Ruben had meant that he would speak to me again after I turned 18. Well, I’ve been 18 for a little less than a month now, and Ruben recently turned 37 and I can’t say I’m disappointed that he hasn’t tried to speak to me yet. I don’t really think he’s the type of person I want to be with anymore.

            What happened between Ruben and myself doesn’t make us bad people, it just means that we both made very serious mistakes. I told him that I would never regret being with him; that may have been a lie, but I can honestly say that I will never forget what it was like to be with him. He was one of my first loves. But I’m a different person now…

Thursday, March 29, 2012

What Happens After the End

I have to be honest with everybody who has taken the time to stick it out with me and read this blog, if only even small portions of it. I’ve been working on this since about November, so about 4 to 5 months, taking my time, searching for the right words to describe what all has happened. Now that it’s all almost over, in a way, I almost don’t want it to be. If you can try to understand, this is my story, and of course it carries on, but there are some things you have to let go of that no one necessarily wants to. And that’s what I made this blog for, so I can let it go, let go of all the hell I put myself through over the situation, let go of the tears that fell because of this situation, and over all, let go of Ruben. They say that when someone dies, the loved ones left behind never really let go until the person who died does. I believe that’s somewhat how situations like this happen. In a way, there’s still that short thread of a connection left between me and Ruben. I don’t believe he will let go until I finally do.

            What makes this hard isn’t the fact that I don’t want to let go of him, it’s the fact that I don’t want to let go of those moments, those short little wisps of time that I was in his arms believing that it would never end the way it did. Those are the things that one would obviously try to continue grasping to. I want to keep holding onto what was good about me and Ruben, but letting go means everything, good and bad. The only thing I’ve held completely onto throughout this time is the image of Ruben I wish I still had.

            I go through these old videos remembering how I used to look up to Ruben as a poet as well as a person. Doing so, I realize that there were other poets that I should’ve looked up to that I truly didn’t. I listen to some of Jess’s poetry now and wonder how I was able to not be so attentive when she read, and other poets, I listen to the words, watch how they present. I realize now that Ruben’s poetry, while it was amazing, was always simply shouted at the audience. And maybe it’s my lack of intrigue with him now, but I now find myself appreciating his poetry much less than I once did. Of course, he could definitely say the same because I was a lousy poet compared to him and the rest of them, but I think that at the very least, I can say that I’ve come far since then.

            It was this past fall that I was in a used book store when I stumbled across the title, movie and book sitting side by side on a crowded shelf. I took the movie home with me; I had never seen it and wanted to know just how much I had in common with Lolita the girl. The entire time I sat in front of the movie screen, I wondered when I was going to run into an instance where she and I were the same person. And when I finally did, I couldn’t handle it.


            Now, the picture I’ve placed next to the one of Lolita is a cropped picture of me wearing my skirt. It’s a very old picture, and a little blurry, but it’s me nonetheless. It was the only picture left that I have of this skirt because I gave it away shortly after watching the movie, finding my skirt, holding it up to the screen, then quite literally crying myself to sleep. Because the picture is blurry, you can’t clearly see the similarities as well as I once could. The bows on mine are smaller and more plentiful, my skirt is shorter, and mine has a small crown at the top of it. But when I was watching this movie, the skirts (at least to me) were completely identical. What made me cry when realizing this wasn’t the fact that I shared a characteristic with a girl in a movie. It was the fact that I had never seen the movie before, nor had Nabokov mentioned this skirt at any point in his book (and even if he had, I had bought the skirt before the book anyway). It was the fact that Ruben, at least at one point in time, had had me spot on and that disturbed me very deeply.

            What frightened me the most about this movie was the thought that I had once been almost completely absolved in becoming what I believed Ruben wanted me to be. I had once obsessed overlooking perfect for him, buying the right skirts and stockings and panties to show off to him. Sometimes I’d even buy ribbon to put in my hair while I took my pictures, and once or twice I dyed it completely. Around Halloween I dyed it a full bright red, putting hair mouse in it to make it look almost what I would’ve called California like. Just as the man from “Fight Club” finds himself becoming more and more like his imaginary friend Tyler Durden, I had once allowed myself to become more and more like his Lolita. But it never really bothered me until I realized exactly what I was doing.

            I cannot tell you that I never felt guilty because guilt always set in somewhat after the pictures had finished being sent away for Ruben to do whatever he pleased with them. I felt it all the time. But it was almost like an addiction while I was doing it. When you’re someone like me, you almost feed off of the sweet compliments you get from people, blushing anytime anyone says anything nice about you, and never pushing a compliment to the side. It was something I almost couldn’t help but love. I guess I just wanted to be loved and cherished like I suppose any woman would want. But sometimes I guess that’s wrong.

            Now that the spring has set in, I’ve begun reading “Lolita” again. After all, it was around this time last spring that I read it for the first time. I remember giving it away in the summer last year to a transvestite named Danni who had a lot in common with me, a former love of a significant age difference who went by the same name. Sometimes it’s pretty appalling the similarities you’ll find yourself sharing with people you don’t even know.

            We’re almost to the end, and you should know that doing what I did wasn’t easy. I remember not being able to keep food down for over a week, I was always sick to my stomach, and hardly spoke to anyone.  Losing Ruben wasn’t easy. But I still had a life to continue living.