*TRIGGER WARNING* This piece deals with issues of sexual assault and violence.
I was 15, and it is something I don’t like to talk about.
I was on vacation with my neighbor’s family. We were staying on a ranch in the middle of nowhere and I had always had a huge crush on my neighbor. I’d liked him for longer than I can remember. On the first night we were there he was very sweet to me and we cuddled on the couch. We began to hook up, but only innocent things…I was completely inexperienced at 15. On the last night of the trip we had all been drinking quite a bit and we were kissing but this night there was a violent shift and it was clear he wanted to have sex. I was a virgin and I wanted to wait. The way I was raised made me want to wait until marriage. My parents had always told me that I should wait, and in this moment I had no desire to have sex with him; I was scared out of my mind. I told him no and that I wanted to go back to the room I was staying in on the trip. ‘No’ meant nothing to him. I’ll never forget how he told me endlessly to “shut the fuck up,” “I know you like it, slut,” or “Don’t ever tell anyone about this” while he tore into my body. He pinned me down with one hand while he covered my mouth with the other. I cried and begged him to stop, but there was no end. When we got home my parents noticed something was different but I refused to tell them what was wrong and I buried what happened to me deep down, never to resurface.
Five years later they still don’t know what has happened to me, and I’d never tell them. I would never want to tarnish my parents’ stainless image of me, their virginal daughter who is waiting until marriage. I still wear my purity ring and feel it burn every time I do something that would be thought to be ‘impure.’ After this incident I completely shut my entire life down for almost a year. I didn’t talk to anyone, I only left the house to play tennis and go to school, I had no friends and I trusted nobody, not even my family. To this day if someone hugs me too close, especially unexpectedly, I completely lose it, no matter who it is.
My sex life has been a roller coaster. I can’t have sex with someone unless there is an complete and utter trust. Aggression is completely out of the question and the amount of times I’ve broken down mid-sex is insane. We need more allies, we need more men that stand up against this behavior, and we need to end rape. Nobody should ever have to feel victimized or embarrassed the way I do. Be strong and speak up.