I’m glad I am at the point where I can share my story without fear of judgement, embarrassment, or worry. The more I tell it, the more I feel myself heal each day. While my story may not be a “typical” case of assault, and there are many clouds surrounding the facts, there is one fact that will never change. I did not want this to happen, but have since built my character around it for the better.
I was 14 years old when I began the transition into high school. Being the youngest of 3, I had known what to expect and began to follow in my siblings’ footsteps by joining the marching band. During band camp, I had met a junior boy who was 17. Cool, cute older boy who had shown interest in me. Eventually, throughout a few weeks of flirting, I became his girlfriend.
I nearly couldn’t believe that an upperclassmen would treat me so well, compliment me so graciously. He made me feel like I was his world, and we had everything going for eachother. Despite the warnings of my family and the rumors of his “ladykilling” past, none of it mattered to me. I was accepted now.
We had been dating for six months when I noticed a change in him. He was never one for serious conversation, but I kept egging him on. He told me that because we haven’t had sex yet, the relationship was suffering. I never felt any doubt, but he was convinced. I was still a virgin, and I knew I didnt want to give it all away up front. But I trusted him, and told him “Soon. When its right.”
I’ll never forget February 28th, 2007. He invited me to his house, so I missed my bus after school and snuck over. I came in, and the room was romantically set up with a bed, candles, everything. I knew what he wanted, and while I was flattered, I told him I still wasn’t ready. I saw his expression change from lust to anger. He screamed at me, and told me our relationship would never go forward if I didnt “shut up and do it”. He came towards me, looked over my short stature and just stared. I turned to leave, and he locked the door. Not to let me leave he said, but to make sure we weren’t “interrupted”. I knew I was in a dangerous situation that could turn very bad.
In tears, he helped me undress. The next 20 minutes I have tried to erase from my memory a million times, but I remember saying no repeatedly. I never knew true fear until then. When he was done, he said “Don’t you feel better now” Of course I lied and said yes, but everything inside me ripped apart, and I left.
I never gave it a single thought for 2 years. I had blamed the whole thing on my stubbornness. I never told a soul. I fell into a deep depression, and tried to suffocate myself. I was convinced the world did not a have a place for me, and that I was worthless.
The reason I didn’t tell any authority figure was because I was not equipped to handle the legal battles at 14. I wasn’t ready to lose my virginity, and I wasn’t ready for another thing that demanded so much maturity on my part. I let karma slowly take a hold of his miserable life, and it did. He is now failing out of school, unemployed and dealing drugs.
I am now 18 years old, and just began a new transition into college. I channeled all of that emotion and blame into something good. For the last 2 years, I have helped victims of sexual assault and put forth all of that energy into my musical and theatrical studies. I am in a committed relationship with a man who respects my boundaries, and he is my best friend. Four years ago, I was sure my life could not be as good as it is now. Now, any little hardship means nothing to me. I feel like I can handle anything life throws at me. Resilience, perseverance, and the resource of good friends and family to talk to is the best medicine. What happened to me will never completely leave me, but I can control now what effect it will continue to have.