It was last year, I was 16.
It was at the lowest point of my life. My grandmother passed away and all of my friends stopped talking to me because of some rumor at school. I was failing my classes when I used to get straight A’s because of depression and anxiety, and I had pills for them.
There was this boy who started talking to me.
He was the popular athletic boy with perfect grades.
He would talk to me hours on end, compliment me, charm me… butter me up.
I was so naive. He knew I was dumb and weak, desperate for affection. I used to wonder, why in the world would this guy ever like somebody as weak such as I? Somebody of that caliber giving ME attention?
Starry eyed 16 year old me started falling in love with this boy.
Then a couple weeks later on our first ‘date’, we met at forest park. I thought we were just going to talk and have ice-cream. No. We weren’t.
He unzipped his pants and showed me his penis. I didn’t know what was happening. I was so shocked, why was this boy undressing himself? He started touching himself. I was so confused, this is not just ‘eat ice-cream and talk about life’.
He looked at me, eyes hungry as if I were some meal to eat. He started undressing me without my consent. I was too paralyzed of shock to move. I didn’t know why he was doing this, is this supposed to be love?
I ended up kneeling, and he forced himself onto my mouth.
Then once he was finished, he told me never to ‘tell anyone’. He went away for college after that and I never heard from him again. I felt so used and empty. I trusted this guy… My innocence, my inner child disappeared.
I let him do that to me.
I thought he was my ‘soul mate’ but he no reduced me into one thing- a sex object. A toy he could manipulate for pleasure. I just wanted to be loved and give love, I was so lonely and because of my craving for emotional intimacy I was betrayed and abused.
My depression got even worse. It became so bad that I dropped out of high school and I started wanting to be promiscuous. The girl who used to dream of getting married and becoming a heart surgeon started contemplating on becoming a porn star, an escort or a stripper- because hey? That’s all I can offer for love right- my body?
It’s been a year and thinking about it still hurts and makes me feel sick. I didn’t know it was sexual assault until about a month ago. I’m doing better now I guess. I am back to my career path (not selling my body) and I’m learning to love myself without the need for approval from others …
But now I’m different, I don’t trust boys. Most make me sick because now I can see how messed up people can be.
Whenever I see a guy who looks like him or somewhat reminds me of him, or if a guy is ‘checking me out’, a part of me wants to sob and my heart races and I want to puke. My body and looks are not the only things I am worth, I am not just a meal to be devoured, to be just lusted after and forgotten… I am more.
I tried having a ‘normal’ teen relationship with this one truly nice guy a couple months ago, but I kept messing it up because I was so scared he was going to do the same to me.
I guess I’m better off alone and working on myself. Embracing my solitude because I don’t want to share a piece of myself if something like that is going to happen again. I don’t want to feel that emptiness and vulnerability. It is sad because I don’t believe in ‘love’ in the innocent way I used to. I also don’t trust people the same way.
— Survivor, age 17