****Warning: may be triggering and / or way more information than you asked for.
I’ll need to vamp a little to get over the Facebook “cliff notes” package. So bear with me while I tell you that I thought of all this out on the way home from work tonight, thinking about something my shrink said about what I said. And what I told her, in a very offhand manner, was this:
When I was fourteen, I was sexually assaulted.
He was kind of my boyfriend, six years older, and I loved him in that way that only the very young can love. We’d sneak impassioned kisses, secretly hold hands – he made me feel different than I’d ever felt before. Certainly, that day, I felt more fear. It wasn’t rape, not quite, as fate intervened to interrupt the unwanted tryst, but it would have been. I wouldn’t have been able to get away.
“You know,” he said, “if I can’t get it from you, I’m gonna have to get it from somewhere else.”
Two weeks later, I was in the back of his car. Voluntarily.
Two weeks after that, he was gone.
I’ve always thought about this in terms of what he did to my body – his brute force, my utter helplessness – but what’s even worse is what he did to my mind. I was shattered when he left me, an absolute shell. I loved him. He made me love him. He made ME believe that HE loved ME. And, impressionistic as I was, I believed it. He left me for another girl, an older, taller, skinnier girl, and I promptly started starving myself. My thinking changed. My handwriting changed. It was like the sun went out all of a sudden, and all I could see was smog.
Sixteen years later, and I’m just now reaching the high ground. Sixteen years later, and I’m still trying to eat normally. Sixteen years later, and I’m still fighting like hell to give him less weight in my mind.
I write this not to be confessional, although I realize that’s how it may seem. Nobody talks about these things, nobody wants to hear them. There’s a shame wrapped up in there, in with the grief and the terror, but why should there be? This was something done to me, a venal sin committed on my person, both mentally AND physically. And I’d like to empower other women to be open about it too – women in abusive relationships of all types. Because it’s only through dialogue that we can move forwards, onwards,and upwards. It’s only through ownership that we can take our power back. And that’s why I’m putting my full, real, analog world name on this post.
My name is Erin Anguish, and when I was fourteen, I got royally, ROYALLY, screwed.
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