He Called It Love, But It Was a Crime
Jackie Woods

A female teacher seduced me when i was in middle school, I was age 12 and she was more than 20 years my senior. She said that I was “a real man” and that simply seeing me “did things to her.” I didn’t truly understand what was happening, particularly the first time when she said she wanted to tutor me after school because I was a “talented writer with potential,” but I remember thinking when she started undressing that I was supposed to enjoy the experience and yet I was filled with shock and shame. She called my parents to say she would be tutoring me and I didn’t know what to do. My parents were conservative and I feared their anger if they knew we were having sex. The encounters felt obligatory and I began skipping school and faking sick to avoid having to see her. The last time we were intimate it was as if my subconscious shouted that it couldn’t tolerate any more — the entire day at school I had feverish sweats and finally when I saw her for our session I vomited in the middle of the sex. I ran home crying and she swore me to secrecy and later would periodically threaten and bully me to make sure I was keeping quiet. I became depressed and withdrawn for several years and was deeply anxious and awkward in the presence of women for many years after. I would try to date women college but I was angry and withdrawn and everyone complained that I had a wall up and that they couldn’t get to know me and all complained that I avoided sex unless I was drunk. It wasn’t until I was at a Buddhist retreat that I confided my story to one of the teachers who shared his story of being repeatedly sexually abused by a much older female neighbor when he was 11. He and I went off and sat in a room and I cried for what felt like an hour. Simply having someone else who had a similar story to mine to talk to made me feel reborn. Thank you for writing about your experience. This is the first time I’ve ever shared publicly about mine. And once again I feel lighter.