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Anonymous Story: I Never Told A Living Soul

It was hot that day, so long ago, the summer after I had turned 15. My cousin was visiting me from out of state and we wanted to go swimming. I don’t remember going swimming, but I remember borrowing my cousin’s bikini, because my parents didn’t allow me to wear one. I remember having cut-off jeans over my suit. We didn’t drive, so we MUST have been driven to this house and back home, but I have no memories of that. What I do remember is the room where I joined a boy I thought I was in love with. What transpired soon after was a sexual assault.

The other two people were outside, and I don’t remember screaming however, I did say no, stop, I don’t want to, but I was simply over-powered by his strength and power. I remember crying, as I had been a virgin just moments before and had old fashioned values. I had treasured my virginity, sometimes dreaming (as teenage girls often do) about the future time when I would GIVE this gift to my future husband. Immediately I blamed myself, I shouldn’t have gone in that bedroom, I knew better than to put myself in that kind of situation.

I was ashamed, my parents can never know, NO ONE CAN EVER KNOW! I didn’t even call it rape in my mind, I gave him an excuse in my misguided teenage brain. He loved me, and he just couldn’t stop himself because he’s a boy and they don’t stop when you go too far with them. After all, I had worn a bikini. It was my fault, and no one shouldered that blame and shame but ME. I can, all these years later, describe in detail, that room, that bed, that quilt pattern but I cannot remember the house or its location.

I never told a living soul, not my cousin, my parents, certainly not the police. So after almost 50 years, I’m telling my story. I packed that memory down so far and only as an adult, have even entertained the idea that I wasn’t to blame, and I wish I could make total peace with myself about it, but that’s just an ongoing process. My prayer is that with the current climate of the MeToo movement, that parents of both boys and girls will have serious conversations and step outside of party politics and REALIZE this is a huge problem, deserving of all consideration possible. I send my prayers to all victims, whomever and wherever you are.

A small gesture can turn somebody’s situation around. Support survivors by ONLY leaving a kind, thoughtful comment.

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