You were my brother’s best friend and you took advantage of me.
My parents welcomed you into our home, they allowed you to stay the night, they and my brother trusted you. As an eight-year-old girl, I also trusted you. You were five years older than me and I looked up to you. I wanted to believe that the reason why you first began to touch me was because you liked me. You were mature, so I had to learn quickly what it meant to have a boyfriend. You were the reason my second-grade mind thought that I had a boyfriend and to this day, I find that to be the most despicable part of what happened. In class, my peers would ask me, “Who is your boyfriend…” and I would answer, “He is in the eighth grade, sooo shh, do not tell anyone.” To my peers, it was a childish lie I made up but to my teachers who overheard me talking about him, why did that not raise any flags? This question goes unanswered to this day.
Our parents were close acquaintances, so they would get together once a month to talk about religion and their individual interpretations of the Bible. I would look forward to seeing you on those evenings. I would ask my brother, every weekend, when you were coming over because when you came over, you were always more attentive to me than to those around us. I will never forget the first time you kissed me. I was eight-years-old, and we were in the closet of a family friend’s basement. That always seemed to be the setting. You would suggest that the group of us kiddos would play hide-and-go-seek with you teenagers and we played along because it was the coolest thing to be playing a game with the older siblings. When the other kids were distracted, you would pull me into the back closet of their basement, run your hands up and down my thigh and kiss me. Why? Why me? The second time it occurred, it was as if my mind was growing more comfortable with what was transpiring between us. Again, because I was so little, I had tricked my brain into thinking that I liked it; that, I liked being touched and kissed by you. The next month, you suggested we play hide-and-go-seek again and deep down, I knew what that meant. While everyone was hiding in my room from the seeker, you ran your hands around my back and pulled me into you. Your other hand, was in my lap. Why? Why me? The worst part about this individual memory was that the teenagers were present in the room when you decided to touch me. My brother was there, your best friend and you had your hands in the lap of his little sister. I learned to enjoy what you were doing to me and I wish I could say that was the last time you touched me but you and me both know that is not the truth. The third time, was the most uncomfortable. It was the weekend before your science fair project with my brother as your partner was due to our school and you had come inside the house to “use the restroom.” To a parent, this would not raise any red flags, but I wish my father had realized how long you had been gone because it does not take a teenage boy forty minutes to use the bathroom. I was napping, and you decided you wanted to come into my room to see me. I was napping… and you came in and closed the door behind you. This time, I felt your cold hand run up and underneath my shirt. I was underdeveloped at that age and yet, you still wanted to touch me. I was confused, and coherent enough to know that I did not want you in my room. “Get out,” I would shout in my head, but I was never strong enough to say it out loud. When you left that day, I never wanted you to come back and yet, you did. However, this time, it was different. This time, it was my family who subjected me to you. My parents were out of town which meant that my brothers and I got to spend a couple nights at your place. I still remember the smell of your house and to this day, that smell makes me cringe. The first night, I slept with your sister and while she was fast asleep, you came in to kiss me goodnight. The second night, you wished for all of us to have a “fun sleepover” in your basement and I remember lying awake that night knowing that if I fell asleep, inappropriate things would happen to me. I was afraid to sleep in your house and when your mother saw you kiss me, I felt ashamed. Why did I feel so humiliated? Well, you made me think that it was all my fault, and at my age, I believed you. I do not know what happened next, for my mind and memories are foggy but I do know I never went to your house again and the parents around us, would keep a close eye on me and you. I do not know what anybody thinks of me or what you think of me, but I know now that what you did was wrong and 100% your fault. My parents thought that you were my first crush and took every suspicion they had and shrugged it off towards that idea. My first boyfriend, wanted to hurt you, the way you have emotionally destroyed me. The first man to ever love me, wanted to know why you did what you did because it was him who felt the consequences. It was him who could not hold me, it was him who could not touch me or comfort me, it was him who asked for permission before every single kiss or affectionate touch. My future husband, will also suffer and yet, you go about your days not even thinking about what happened. That is how suppression works; but, for me… I cannot suppress. I chose to explore intimacy with past boyfriends and because of you, I will always be weary to trust those who love me and I will always struggle with men who desire to physically touch me. I was eight-years-old. You were thirteen. You were my brothers best friend and to this day, you are known as the teenager who sexually assaulted me. Congratulations. Do you feel like a winner now?
— Survivor, age 19