William. You were a cute 13 year old boy and I was smitten. You had beautiful brown eyes, wispy brown hair and a killer smile.
In 7th grade, the “cool” thing to do was to go skating at the roller rink. Then the boys and girls would pair off and find a place to make out. An avid reader of teen romance novels, I had fantasies of finding “the one” and we’d leave everyone behind, kiss until we fell in love and live happily ever after.
I might sound naive, but I was 12 years old. That’s right, 12. I had just stopped playing with my dolls and started experimenting with fashion and makeup. And I started to think that even though I was unhappy at school, maybe, just maybe, I’d find Prince Charming, he’d “rescue me” and everything would be alright.
We paired up that night, and you laid on the charm. I flirted right back. You made me feel special for a minute, as though I were the only girl in the entire rink and life felt hopeful, if just for a moment.
I happily paired up with you and left the rink to go make out in the woods. I had romantic visions of you gently cupping my face and kissing my lips, embracing me in your arms.
And things started off pretty close to what I imagined. But then they went a little further.
I was pretty confused. Why were your hands roaming my entire body? What on earth would they need to find — hey, why are you touching my chest? Whoa- hey — what is your hand doing down THERE?
STOP! I yelled. And to your credit, you did. Crisis averted, right?
I remember you asking me “what’s wrong?” and I didn’t know what to say. As an adult, I can look back and tell you what was wrong. I had no clue what was happening. I didn’t know much about sex — see, my parents decided not to talk to me about it — and the concept of sexual activity (what some of us lovingly refer to as first, second, third base and “home run”) was completely foreign to me. It literally never occurred to me that this is why we were out there. In my 12-year old brain, I thought making out was kissing. And hugging. But mostly kissing. And that’s all I wanted to do.
Did I tell you this? No. I didn’t have the words. I had no clue what to say. So I responded like this:
“Nothing”. (I can hear the guys cringing. Don’t you hate it when women say this?)
I believe you shrugged and started kissing me again. And that was OK with me. I was comfortable with that. If this night had ended with a bunch of sloppy kisses, you wouldn’t be on my list. I might’ve even recovered from the slut shaming and bullying from school and not even had a list to speak of, if you had remained such a gentleman.
But then you tried again. Your hands roamed all over my body. I started to protest and you kissed me harder. Not aggressively, persay, but certainly you didn’t want to hear what I had to say. However, I did manage to get the word out again, “STOP!”.
And you did. Reflecting back, I could tell you were frustrated, but I wasn’t savvy enough to realize it at the time. My mind was blank or rather, just filled with utter confusion from the unknown.
As an adult, I look back at my 12 year old self and yell “RUN, dammit, RUN”! My dad always did tell me that hindsight is 20/20.
But I didn’t. But at least this time, you didn’t want to talk about it. I felt awfully stupid because I didn’t know what to say.
This time, you gently laid me down on the ground and kissed me softly. It was bliss, at first. Your hands roamed, but not in awkward places — my face, my hair, my arms…it was lovely.
Until it wasn’t.
William, I guess you realized that you weren’t going to get what you wanted by asking nicely, by word or gesture. So you tried a different approach.
You pressed the weight of your body on mine and kissed me harder. My head had nowhere to go as it was pinned against the ground. I pushed my hands against you, but, being a little small for my age, and you being pretty big for yours, it was fruitless.
You unbuckled your pants and unzipped. Then you removed my skating skirt and underwear almost all in one swoop and spread my legs apart and before I knew it, you pressed your hips on mine, stopping any further movement on my part, and you were in.
Some will look at my actions that follow and determine that all of this was my fault. Some will empathise with me. Dear reader, let’s see where you land.
I started that day a virgin. So William, when you first started thrusting into me, I guess you didn’t get very far. But I remember it hurting. Terribly.
You lifted your head, and with that, the weight of your body off of mine. I could’ve yelled, screamed, cried, or tried to hit you in the face. You didn’t hold my arms down…maybe I could’ve scooted out from under you. I didn’t.
These thoughts haunted me for years.
What did I do instead? I froze. Like the symbolic deer in headlights, I laid there, mouth open in shock. This moment was so far from my normal realm of reality that I just didn’t know how to react. My mind was in panic mode, as I remember thinking “Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God.” But no part of me knew what to do next. And eventually, my mind went blank.
As an adult, I look back and wonder what on earth kept you going. It couldn’t have possibly been sexy to you to have an unmoving person underneath you. One who clearly wasn’t enjoying it. But I guess to a 13 year old boy, it was better than a hand.
I turned my head to the side, so I wouldn’t have to watch. I laid completely still and except for whimpering (because it hurt), I remained silent while you humped away. When you finished, you pulled out and came on my leg.
Dear readers: I bet you’re wondering…did I say no? Did I object or cry? No, I didn’t. I did absolutely nothing.
When you removed yourself and stood up to zip your pants, I was pulled back into conscious thought. I clearly remember first thinking “Ew”. And next thinking “Oh my God”. But I didn’t say a word.
I dressed. We walked back to the skating rink. On the way, I remember asking you if you had done this before. You said “Yes, with two people”. I said nothing else and wonder to this day if they consented or if their experience was like mine.
Now, William, you had granted me the opportunity to live up to all of the names that the kids in school were calling me. Slut, whore — I now truly believed myself to be one. If I hadn’t wanted to have sex with you, wouldn’t I have fought tooth and nail? Cried? Said no? That’s what I told myself that night as I cleaned the blood off of my underwear.
Yes, you tore me. Yes, it hurt.
So now, in addition to being bullied at school, I bullied myself. It didn’t help matters that you bragged of your conquest at school. Finally, at least one rumor about me was true.
Looking back 30 years later, I can tell you I’ve never, ever had one happy relationship. I almost never trusted again and sex was generally either a horror, or just bad. I never equated it with something good. Thanks for that.
I looked you up on Facebook today and see that you are married with two children, one of them a young girl. She looks to be about 12, William. How would you feel if this were her story?
And how would you feel if if your 12 year old daughter tried to commit suicide? Because that was when I first tried.