A Bride's Two Secrets
What would they think if they knew I was a slutty witch?
The first time I got married I had two dark secrets.
#1 I wasn’t a virgin.
#2 I was a witch.
Secret number one may not be a big deal to you—but to a 19-year-old girl, raised in a Christian family under an entire congregation’s watchful collective eye, this was a big deal.
The plan was to take both secrets to the grave with me.
The first time I saw my groom Jason, I was 13 years old.
He was playing his bass guitar and singing on stage at our church youth rally.
While watching him lead the band with a talent and confidence like I had only seen on MTV, I was experiencing physical reactions that were unfamiliar to me.
There was a dripping wetness between my legs that just couldn’t have been pee, it felt really good and warm. My heart was pounding like I had run a mile—but I was just standing there.
I could practically feel my pupils dilating.
It was then and there I decided that this boy would be my husband.
He was three years older than me, which made him untouchable. But that wasn’t going to stop me in figuring out how to make him mine.
After his set I watched him walk away hand-in-hand with Mary Gunn, a girl his age.
Suddenly, all those good, aroused, and falling in love feelings turned into a seething hatred where I am pretty sure had I opened my mouth, a fiery breath would have projected out.
Jealousy. Jealousy like I had never experienced.
This night was turning out to be full of things I had never felt before. I wondered if this meant I was becoming a woman.
Any smart woman would use the energy of her emotions to get smart and be a magnet to what she wants.
As my friends were talking and giggling about who-knows-what around me, I was deciding to form a plan that would help me claim my rockstar.
Going home that night, I pretending to be normal in front of my family, but inside it was mental and emotional chaos.
There was a Jekyll and Hyde thing within me. I was going back and forth between being happy, horny, and in love to burning with rage and jealousy.
After dinner, I said goodnight to my family and went to my room to finally be alone with my journal and all that I was experiencing.
If you know a teenaged girl and think she is an irrational, emotional hurricane, you are probably right.
Being a teenaged girl is incredibly intense, feeling everything at a potent level and all for the very first time.
In my journal, I let those intense feelings emote as well as focused on what leverage I did have.
There were three years between Jason and me in age. I still hadn’t started my period, so my body still looked like I was about ten, my teeth were big for my face now, which made me less adorable than a typical ten-year-old, not a great start to winning the heart of the coolest guy I had ever seen.
That wasn’t all. I was also wearing glasses.
The truth is I had perfect vision but had purposely failed my eye exam in school in an effort to cultivate some attention from my parents.
The glasses had to go. I may not have been able to age by three years overnight, but I could loose the frames.
I broke them with full knowledge my parents wouldn’t be able to replace them.
Guilt rushed over me because mom and dad were always struggling with money. My Academy Award-worthy performance in the whole needing glasses act was so persuasive that they managed to gather the money needed to get them for me.
But all of that was before I saw Jason.
Everything was different now.
Now I had a mission.
Although I was aware of my lack of leverage, I somehow knew I had a secret power.
Maybe it was a whisper in my ear from a dead ancestor, maybe my soul remembered something my brain had forgotten from a past life, but I did this with zero idea someone had named it. I started manifesting.
In my moonlit bedroom nestled between a grape vineyard and an almond orchard, I called in the laws of attraction with a love-driven determination.
This started with putting on the longest and most beautiful song I knew, "The Return to Innocence" by Enigma. This song has this Native American chant in it that I was sure it was magical.
I laid down on my bed, closed my eyes, and while this song played, I imagined my life with Jason.
Everything from him telling me he loved me to jumping into a waterfall lagoon hand in hand, to what our daughter would look like, to our first kiss, our wedding day, and every other loving and romantic thing my 13-year-old mind could come up with played like a film in my mind.
For two years I repeated this every single night.
This took some effort because this was before iPhones, before iPods, it was even before CDs. Maybe CD’s were invented, but being the lower-middle-class country girl I was, a cassette tape and a player is what I was working with. It took several minuets each night to rewind, fast forward, and find the right spot to start the right song.
How I would have appreciated air buds and the auto-repeat button back then.
By the time I turned 15, something amazing happened.
Our church youth group consisted of about 20 or so teenagers, two youth pastors, and both their wives.
This group met twice a week at church and would also do extra activities like car washes to raise money, neighborhood clean-ups, and something we called “mission trips.”
Mission trips consisted of us entering a community and doing stuff that we considered to be an improvement to their way of life.
On this particular mission trip, we were in Sedona, Arizona on a stunning Native American plantation.
We were there to build a church or something, I honestly don’t remember the details because helping the Native Americans was not a priority of mine and I was stifled by the pastor when I questioned the rationality of us being there at all.
But having an excuse to work, eat, play, and sleep next to Jason for a week was a good enough reason for me to go. Being next to Jason was my mission on this mission trip.
My main objective was to be sure my sleeping bag was positioned next to Jason’s on the tarp they had laid out for us to all sleep on.
For an organization who preached abstinence, they sure created a romantic and tempting situation for us. We were under the stars and in one big cuddle puddle.
Although I had imagined affectionate and sexual acts hundreds of times, I had never even held a boys hand.
But that was about to change.
The very first night, Jason slipped his hand under my pillow to discreetly hold mine, which was tucked under there.
He didn’t say a word, just held my hand as we fell asleep. Well, as he fell asleep, because my heart was pounding so hard, I am sure I laid there most of the night wide awake.
The happiness that was exploding from within me was like nothing I had ever known.
A combination of differed gratification and amazement that my spell casting had worked elated my mood and gave me a permeant grin.
Before long, Jason fell in love with me and he was finally my boyfriend.
This made us both loved and hated in our church community. Loved because we were so happy, bright with puppy love, and damn adorable.
Hated because our relationship was pretty scandalous.
Due to my young age and the fact that he was legally an adult, and to the fact that there were at least three years to go before we could have gotten married, leaving lots of time for the temptation to have sex before marriage.
The drama around our love was just gossip and dirty looks until it was time for Summer Camp.
Every summer, the teens at our church went to a huge California gathering of Christian teens at a camp called Pine Tree Christian Park.
In the year that our story took place, I was a camper and Jason was playing for the band that was to provide uplifting and holy songs to the campers throughout the week.
My cabin counselor was none other than Mary Gunn; the very girl Jason was holding hands with back on the night I first saw him.
She and I were both pretty flustered by our odd situation.
Jason’s current and ex-girlfriends shacked up in a tiny cabin together for one whole week.
In typical 15-year-old girl fashion, I was pretty much obsessed with her. My energy went to comparing myself to her, trying to make her jealous and hoping to get some information about her feelings about Jason and any details I could get about their relationship were my main objectives for cabin time.
I remember looking at her bra in her suitcase and being happy that it wasn’t bigger than mine.
The second night of camp, one of the head directors came to our cabin to talk to me. He was very serious as he explained that he had learned of the “inappropriate relationship” I had with Jason and he informed me that for the duration of camp, we were not allowed to see or speak to each other.
He might as well have told me that he was going to rip out my hair one strand at a time until I was bald.
I completely girl-bombed on him.
He had it coming.
If you want a teenaged girl to completely go nuclear on you, tell her she can’t see the boy she’s in love with.
I made the biggest, most dramatic scene I could muster up.
My explosion ignited what would become the biggest scandal the camp had ever known.
Every human at Pine Tree Christian Park knew about the “underaged camper” and her rockstar boyfriend, and how she was in his EX-GIRLFRIEND’S CABIN!
It was all eyes on me while he was playing in the band and I was standing there with all the other kids in the crowd.
All the girls at camp either hated me or wanted to be me; depending on how naughty or nice they were.
All the boys were intimidated by me. The myriad of emotions went from everything from shame to outrage, and it was basically the worst week of my short life.
I spent a lot of time at the payphone calling my mom and my grandma crying about the injustice I was experiencing.
The emotions of a teen girl bottled up could solve any energy crisis.
A year later, Jason and I lost our virginity to each other.
The sneaking and lying we had to do to keep this a secret took a lot of careful planning.
But some of it was rather easy. Like how he lived within walking distance from the church. This was perfect for us. So was the fact that my parents always arrived at church early to prepare for their Sunday school teaching duties.
These factors gave Jason and me just enough time to engage in plenty of sin before the Sunday service started each week.
I would run my little horny ass down the street to Jason’s parent’s house where I would climb up the trellis into his bedroom window.
At the service, he would play the worship music and I would be sitting in a pew listening to the sermon, still all lit up and feverish from having tons of sex and running around the neighborhood for the last hour.
I loved having this secret. I loved being so defiant.
It was exciting, rebellious, and sexy.
When Jason proposed to me on my 19th birthday, I accepted with equal levels of joy and guilt.
Guilty because I never told him about how I put a spell on him or how I was secretly a witch. Joy because I was madly in love and was getting what I had wanted for years.
So on May 20, 2000 I stood in front of every person I knew and loved in a huge white dress with my two secrets.
I remember as I walked down the aisle, praying that the 10-foot white cross that hung over the alter wouldn’t fall on my head as I said, “I do.”
The cross never fell and I never told my secrets.