‘I’ll close my eyes and then I won’t see the love you don’t feel when you’re holding me…’ When I left my home for Daytona, I had no idea that I would meet someone who would have such a profound impact on my heart. I was dating someone and he was the total opposite of the one who ignited a flame in me while I was in Florida. Mickey was 21 years old to my 16. I was unversed in love. I was naïve. I thought when someone said, “I love you,” it was because it was true. Up until this point, I had had only one boyfriend and I had broken up with him after he went away for the military. I was only 15 and he was so kind and so respectful and good, and I was ONLY 15. I wanted to date, to go places, to be out and about. He was, interestingly, also named Gordon. However, upon breaking up, I met Mickey. He changed the very course of my life because he changed how I saw myself, what I felt about myself, and how I valued myself.
I can’t even remember HOW I met him, but I remember his eyes. Deep brown, maybe a little hardened, and maybe a little foreboding. He was rough around the edges. He was tough and when he drank, he was tougher. He was very adept at drawing the attention of women and girls and he knew it. There was just something about him that spelled trouble. He didn’t have respect for women, but it took me a little while to figure this out. By then, it was too late. I had been worn down with the oldest line in the world, “You would, if you loved me.” I was too young to realize that the response to this was, “You would wait and you wouldn’t pressure, if you loved ME.”
Like most women, I wanted the romance. I wanted the tenderness and the sensuality. I wanted my first time to be special. It was, sadly, not to be the case. When my first time happened, it was rough and painful. It started out as it always did…making out in some isolated field or old logging road. It was under the stars and could have held all of the romance in the world, but there was no gentle coaxing, no softly whispered words. I resisted. I said no many times, yet I found myself penned beneath him. There was a stabbing pain and there were silent tears. It didn’t last long, but it seemed an eternity. My innocence was gone, in a matter of minutes, and I was left feeling decidedly not special. Within a month or two, I just felt used.
He had a knack for cheating. You could catch him, red handed, and he would lie his way out of the situation. I tried everything I could think of and acquiesced to many of his demands to try to keep him. He made sure I knew how to please him, but he never concerned himself with pleasing me, in any way. I think I felt ashamed and almost obligated to try to make something good come out of this hell I found myself in. It never materialized. It took many years and many experiences in life before I came to realize that NO is NO is NO. I told him no and he took from me anyway.
When I left for Daytona, he tried to wield control over me to ensure I would not have a good time on vacation. He tried to make me worry about what he would be doing in my absence. For a minute, it worked…until I met a wonderful young man on this trip and he, Gord, became the love I can’t forget.