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…