I was 11. He was my boyfriend, he was supposed to care about me. He should have showed his affection in that 13 year old way by holding my hand or giving me a peck on the cheek. But he never did either. Instead he used his short temper to keep me from ever disagreeing so he could use my body. I wanted so badly to please him, to keep his affection. My biggest fear was that he would abandon me like my parents emotionally had.
They were too busy to notice I was being abused. Someone else must have known. But no one said anything— not the librarians who thought we were spending a little too much time together, not the lifeguards who must have seen him forcing me to touch him or expose myself in the pool, not even his mom who knew we were in the office bathroom together the day he raped me.
I didn’t know what was happening that day, but he had decided that we were going to have sex. I didn’t know what was going to happen when he let me choose the closet or the bathroom. The whole time I just laid there naked on the cold tile bathroom floor of his dad’s office, too scared to say no or even question what was happening. But that doesn’t mean I wanted it or that it was OK. Before he started, he told me not to worry about getting pregnant, that he would pay all the doctor bills. After that, I just accepted that girlfriends were supposed to do that sort of thing, and tried to figure out when I would have to get my first period by to know I wasn’t pregnant.
I stopped going to the pool after that Tuesday early in August 1999. I could avoid the places it happened, but not the effect it had on me. It took me nearly three years, two suicide attempts, and countless scars on my arms to admit that what happened was wrong. Even then, it took me several years to call it was it is. It was not just sex that I didn’t want. It was rape and it was his fault.
What he did still hurts me, but I’m no longer his victim. I am a survivor. It is a part of who I am, but it doesn’t define me anymore. I don’t think about it every day, or even every week. It has changed and shaped me in ways I will probably never know, but it has also made me a more caring, empathetic, and passionate person. And he can never take that away from me.