I don’t know what prompted me to sit down and write about this today. I just sat down at the table….and started writing. I’ve told plenty of people about my sexual past, the good and the bad, but I’ve never actually sat down and wrote about it. I think I was scared if I wrote it down it would become more real; that I would relapse. Thankfully I didn’t, and to tell you the truth I feel better. Still scared, but better. Sexual assault is a scary thing to go through even for years after. This is only part of my story. It continues on in long spiraling stories that could take up an entire book, but I wanted to tell you where it all began. I hope you can take something positive away from this as I did. Thank you for reading.
I’m what most would call….unique. Always have been. Growing up I was bullied by the “cool” kids and was left looking for attention in other ways. In grade school I started to change physically. Almost over night I had boobs. The boys in the bus started asking me to sit with them. It wasn’t long before they started trying to cop-a-feel. I’d sit there as still as possible as their wandering hands moved around under my shirt. They would eventually start moving their hands to my pants. Most days it was just one of them. He always had me sit close to the window as he turned his back to the isle. His friends would sit in the seat behind us and look over and watch as he would pull my shirt out so they could see. Sometimes he would have one of them sit with us so they could cop a feel as well. I hated those days the most. The ones where 2 sets of hands wandered over my body as the boys made silent gestures at each other and whispered things to their friends.
But I wanted the attention. I craved it. My bus rides from school were the only times other kids actually WANTED to be around me. They WANTED me around. To them I wasn’t a weirdo.
I was exciting, and after years of being bullied in the hallways and cast aside on the playground I was finally WANTED.
Summers meant a break from wandering hands but I still craved the attention. By the end of August I found myself wishing summer would end so I could ride the bus home from school and feel those wandering hands once again. But when school started again those hands weren’t there. The back of the bus was now empty. At the age of 14 I found myself feeling really alone for the first time. School was still filled with all the harsh words from my peers as they spread rumors about me losing my virginity and being the school slut. The days were endless. The rumors spread to other schools. Suddenly there seemed to be huge arguments over which school had the biggest sluts. In 3 years I had gone from being the girl who was afraid to have her first kiss to the girl to go to for an easy feel.
By the end of my 8th grade year I had felt like I had to give in to temptation. Shortly after summer vacation began I found myself getting drunk on peppermint schnapps with my friend Sarah and calling some boys from our class. After much encouragement I told one of them,, Tim, how I wanted to feel him inside me and how sure I was he would feel amazing. A few drinks in we found ourselves riding our bikes in the dark to meet the boys at the school playground. Once we were all there we played on the swings and went down the slide as kids normally would do. And for a brief moment I felt the way I had always wanted to feel around other kids my age. We were laughing and having fun. I was hoping they too were having as much fun as I was and that maybe it had made them forget everything I had said on the phone. I didn’t want to have sex. Not yet. I was too young. That much I was sure of. But just like that Tim and I were standing alone in the middle of the sandbox. He handed me a beer and the rest up until we were naked was a blur.
Naked in the sandbox with nothing under us but a coat, I could feel Tim poking my thigh over and over again. “Is it in?” he would ask. “I don’t think so,” I would say. And then it happened. There was stabbing pain between my legs as he let out a gasp. He was in. A few thrusts later he pulled out quickly as I found myself covered in hot goo and sand. Between my legs still hurt and all I wanted to do was cry. He lay there in the sand next to me for a moment, both of us unsure of what to do next. I don’t remember the bike ride home or much of the next day. All I remember was how much everything still hurt and how humiliated I was to have finally given into temptation. Tim never called me that summer, and I pretty much tried to avoid every possible scenario where I might run into him. I didn’t want to have to do it again. I didn’t want to have to think about it.
A good month went by before I could do much of anything around anyone without feeling as if everyone’s eyes were on me knowing what I had done in the playground. I was positive word had gotten around our small town and it would only be a matter of time before someone else would want the same from me. Sure enough it happened. My friend Amber called me one day asking me if she could come over. Scott, a local drug dealer she had introduced me to, was interested in me. He had heard I put out and was willing to give us free pot if he could “hang out” with me. She knew my parents were going away for the weekend so she told him yes before I could even say no. I didn’t want to have sex again, especially not like this, but she had already told him yes so there was nothing I could do. That night we went into my parent’s liquor cabinet and grabbed the furthest thing from peppermint schnapps I could think of, whiskey.
By the time Scott got to the house I could hardly stand up, but that didn’t matter to him. He still liked what he saw. First he took me down into the basement and sat me on one of the large freezers. He started kissing my next and telling me how beautiful I was. His hands moved up my shirt and he pulled me closer as I reached for the bottle of whiskey. I wanted to get away. I wanted to close my eyes and wake up somewhere else. So I did. I closed my eyes and took a big drink from the bottle.
When I opened them we were back in the living room as he was handing Amber a dime bag and leading me up the stairs. Not where I wanted to be. I closed my eyes again.
Eyes open. That stabbing feeling between my legs was back, but worse. Still not where I wanted to be. I quickly closed my eyes.
Eyes open. I’m on my back with my arms pinned down over my head. My wrists ache as Scott’s body seems to slam into me. I want to scream but his mouth is on mine. The bedroom door flies open and its Amber laughing. I feel my body go limp as I close my eyes again.
Eyes open. The sun is shinning through the curtains. It was all a dream. I sit up and stretch. When I look down I notice I’m naked and covered in vomit. I start to notice my wrists hurting and the growing pain between my legs. There is blood on sheets. It wasn’t a dream at all. It was a nightmare. When I finally make it downstairs Amber is asleep on the couch and Scott is no where to be found. The empty bottle of whiskey is on the counter next to a half smoked joint and an ash tray full of cigarettes. I never heard from Scott again. No apology for leaving me in a pool of blood and vomit. No request for a second “date”.
This is how I was introduced to sex. This is what I had to base it on for the rest of my life. The next 15 years was spent trying to feel “wanted” again and waiting for the guy who would call me the next day. I let myself be used by dozens of men and in turn used dozens more. I was called a slut and moral gear. But people “wanted” to be with me. I was “wanted” all the time. A flash of my tits and a shake of my ass and I’d have the man of my dreams for just one night. They never stayed for long, and if they did, they left me for something fresh and new. Most of my relationships ended in the words, “There’s someone else,” or “I cheated so I obviously don’t love you the way I should.” It was the same story over and over.
It took a long time to get past the demons from grade school, but I finally did it. It wasn’t until after I had my kids that I started to realize my true worth, but even then it was hard. I had to get myself away from the mental abuse I surrounded myself with and I had to stop dishing the same abuse back. I had to get out without running away as I usually did. 19 years later I finally have my feet on the ground with my sights set forward. I have promise and hope in my life. I have amazing children. I have a wonderful boyfriend who brought along wonderful kids. But those demons still rear their ugly heads from time to time bringing me to my knees as I flash back to wondering hands and drunken nights. I know no matter how far away from the past I get it will still haunt me in some way. Abuse has a way of doing that. But those of us who have been through it and survive find a way to drive on and find the good in life. We have to or it will eat us alive.
If you or someone you know has been or is being sexually abused get help. No one should have to go through this, but if they do they don’t have to go through it alone. Call the National Sexual Assault Hotline 800-656-HOPE(4673) For more information on sex abuse visit the RAINN website. Be active and help stop sexual assault.