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Lost Dignity

I was fifteen when the 23 year old son of my parent’s best friends came to stay with us. He had just moved from Toronto and was starting a new life in Winnipeg. He acted like my big brother and I liked talking to him. My family had recently also moved to the prairies and I found it difficult to make new friends at school. I was a lonely and ‘moody’ teen.

On my sixteenth birthday, two weeks or so later, my mother made a small family dinner and we had cake. He said the two of us should go downstairs to the TV room and ‘hang out’.

When we got there I noticed he had pulled out the ‘hide-a-bed’ which he got on and stretched out. I naively trusted. I sat next to him and he put his arm around me.
I remember wondering what was going on as his behavior changed quickly and he had his hand over my mouth then somehow he had me on my stomach and was pushing my face so hard into to mattress that I thought I might break my nose. I couldn’t breath and his weight was crushing me as he rushed to take my pants down and shove himself into me.

It was painful but I remember focusing on catching my breath more than what he was doing. Then I heard him hissing in my ear in this voice that was hatred incarnate, “Sweet sixteen and never been kissed but at least you’ve been fucked.”

It was followed by over a year of abuse at his hands as I spiraled down into doing things that were degrading, humiliating and dehumanizing. He wanted me to perform sex acts for his friends in his home while he would watch becoming angry then turning violent when they became aroused. He would throw them out and attack me because I was ‘a slut’ etc. He told me I deserved it.

I learned to disassociate myself by going to a happy place outside of ‘me’. I thought I deserved this treatment. I believed I could tell no one. My family liked him and my mother encouraged ‘our’ relationship as she told me a marriage between our families would be wonderful. This made him laugh and he told me he could do anything to me and my family would not believe me should I somehow find the courage to tell them.

I remember wishing that when he was beating me and hurting me sexually that he would just get it over with and kill me. I guess I neglected to mention he had trained with the police in Toronto, using that on many levels especially how to hide what he was doing. Didn’t occur to anyone that he was removed from them for a reason (everyone thought he just quit) and he had to leave town.

For years I coped with the memory by separating ‘that me’ from the real one, the person I am today forty years later. I never spoke to anyone of this for the first ten years. I have often met women with terrifying experiences and hope they can move on with their lives. So much of your journey in the documentary I could relate to as I recovered my self-esteem over the years and for me most importantly the sense of being worthy. I still find intimacy challenging. Blessings to you.

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