My Story of Abuse
The following tween survivor story came to Laura's House anonymously. A story written in small font, front and back was handed to a volunteer at the 3rd Annual Candlelight Vigil. As I read this story I realized that this is exactly what tweens and teens are talking to me about during H.E.A.R.T. presentation. I recognize that sexual abuse is rarely spoken of and that this story needed to be told. Physical abuse is just one of many forms of abuse. Even though she was harassed and bullied at her school, this brave young woman came forward and decided she wanted to share her story in order to raise awareness and to give others who have been abused an opportunity to speak up. For more information see Red Flags.
I don't know how I loved someone that I KNEW was going to hurt me so much. It was almost like I was under a spell that I couldn't get out of for SO long. The things we did, I hated every moment of it. When I first met him he was shy and quiet kind of guy, at least as far as I could see. I met him in the middle of my 7th grade year. When I met him all he gave me was a smile and a look that I can't even describe. I thought he was going to be the one. So every Wednesday afternoon I would go to the same spot pretending I had to go by that way. And it actually worked. He told me his name and that he liked me, we hugged and walked out in separate directions.
One day, he found me at school and we talked a little and that was that, "puppy love". That was my first mistake; starting to fall head over heels over a guy I had literally just met!
In 8th grade, we ended up having multiple classes together and he started to take more and more of an interest in me everyday. Then in October of 2011, he asked me to meet him after school by the boy's locker room and of course, I went. When we met up he asked me if we could spend at least 20 minutes together. I immediately thought of my parent's rule of coming straight home after school. I hesitated going with him, but I ignored my conscience and walked straight off the school campus with him. I didn't think anything bad was going to happen to me and I thought it wasn't a big deal. I mean we liked each other, it was only for a few minutes and we were only in the 8th grade. This decision wasn't the brightest I had ever made, but honestly think about it-what's the worst that an EIGHTH GRADER could do?
We walked down a familiar neighborhood where my family and I used to ride our bikes. We walked straight into the woods. I knew he had been at this place before, I had no doubt about it, but I didn't think much of it at the time. The place he wanted us to go to was a big bush that had a secret way to get in and it reminded me of a fort I would make with my friends when I went camping. We went inside and it went silent. I checked the time on my phone, only to have him take it from my hands, gently and placed it by our backpacks on the ground. I was a little confused with what was going on at the time and then he kissed me. Right there and then, he kissed me. I felt assured that I was okay because this guy was super sweet. What I didn't know was that he had a dark reputation. He then took my clothes off and used his fingers to violate me. I felt so weird and gross and I really hated it. I made gestures to let him know I wanted him to stop and I didn't like what he was doing by pushing him away and saying I had to go, but I didn't yell at him fearing that he would get upset with me and not talk to me again. All I wanted was to date this guy and be happy with him, nothing more. The told me, "I thought you liked me" and I said, "I really do, I just have to … umm… go home. I am going to be late and my parents will go ballistic." So with that, I put my clothes back on, gave him a hug, he kissed me, and I left.
The next day he asked if we could hang out and I made something up, so I would not have to meet him again. He then suggested we hang out Thursday and I said fine, Fine? Fine!! Why on earth would I say fine? I tried convincing myself to forget how awful I felt about being sexually dishonored by him. I didn't care what beliefs I went against as long as he still liked me. That's all I cared about.
I thought about what he said…"I though you liked me." And that's what I constantly thought about, maybe if we really do like each other I should get over this icky feeling I have. In order to get rid that feeling I had to throw away all of my emotions, my conscience, and my common sense. He told me he loved me and that's all it took for me to become as I refer to it as his "boy toy" a "slave" to his wants. But if that made me closer to becoming his girlfriend I would choose to do it. My friends noticed this change in me. I started dressing more eye-catching and skimpy and provocative and I didn't care how anyone felt about it. It was all about him; He constantly flirted with me and told me he loved me. He used to manipulate me by constantly saying, "If you love me you will do this or that." And I did.
We continued to go to "our spot" where he kissed me, told me he loved me, held my hand and then he asked me if I would do other sexual acts with him. He insisted, "C'mon, we both love each other and people that love each other do these kinds of thing for each other." He said he would officially date me if I did them.
I told one of my friends that I was dating this guy. She said she was happy for me. That same day I saw her and my boyfriend walking together down the same street to go down into the woods. I was heartbroken. I stopped talking to her and I dumped him. He told everyone that he dumped me and described what WE had done. He said I was worthless and annoying. Everyone looked at me differently and I ALWAYS had someone behind, next to or near me calling me a s*** or a w****.
Even though I was upset with him, I still missed him. I missed the guy that gave me that very reputation I still have to this day. So I gave him another chance and we began to do the "usual" things. He said he was sorry. I felt I had to forgive him. Soon after I forgave him, he asked if we could take it a step further and he pulled out a condom. I got up and said I had to go. I wasn't ready for that. He said we could wait until I was ready, and I appreciated him for that.
For days on end he constantly asked me if we could have sex. I rejected the idea straight up. I would try to ditch him as much as possible. He got fed up with the fact that I wasn't willing to loose my virginity to him and he dumped me. He started seeing other girls, one, of which, threatened to beat me up if I came near him.
In 9th grade he was transferred to my health class. He told me he wanted to talk to me. When we were talking he put his hand on my thigh and started moving his hand up a few inches until he got to the very top of my upper thigh and looked at me and smiled. I looked at him for 3 seconds before turning my head. He pulled the, "if you love me," line and asked me to send some nude photos. I did. He said he missed me and that he still loved me and I stayed quiet for a while, then I replied, "you really hurt me, I am not sure if I can trust you anymore." He said he was sorry over and over. He said he would find a way to regain my trust. I tried to find a way to shrug off the awkwardness and I told him that I missed him too.
After class he was waiting for me to get my things from my locker and told me he had to walk the same way home. On the walk home he said, "Want to talk in our spot?" I said, "Sure." He said he missed what we used to do but I stayed silent. I told him I only had a few minutes before I had to go that's where I went wrong.
I had a feeling about what was going to happen next, but I thought I deserved it because I started this mess, right?
He started to have sex with me, I told him to STOP! I told him to get off me. I even tried pushing him off of me. His response was, "I will be done soon. Don't struggle and just let go, lemme finish." He put all his body weight on me and finished his "job." I left and when I got home I called my best friend and cried hard, I sobbed the hardest I have ever sobbed…I felt so used.
He RAPED me. He liked that I was vulnerable, he exploited me. He didn't like me or love me. He showed his friend my most private pictures and spread rumors about me. He told the ENTIRE freshman class lies about what had happened.
Everyday I would hurt myself over that mistake. But now, instead of looking at the horror and despair I see a bright future.
I am a volunteer for Laura's House and am willing to share my story so that parents, teachers, and the community become aware that this is happening. I am training with Laura's House to become a public speaker and hope to raise awareness on dating abuse for many years to come. Due to the harassment I received at my school I am now home schooled and I love it. I am in the process of starting a teen dating abuse club with my fellow home school friends.
I realize that the abuse I endured in middle school and in high school made me wiser, more cautious, and stronger. I know now to pay attention to the "Red Flags." I don't see myself as a mistake, I see myself as a strong woman, a SURVIVOR, an ADVOCATE