I did not want to come out on my sexual assault experience. During the few days (or more, I cannot quite remember) following it, I was in utter shock, frozen, felt a loss of dreams and romantic fantasies (I had been a very romantic little girl, dreaming of the ideal prince charming, of the ideal first time, the ideal love story, etc). At that time, I wanted to keep my virginity for the ‘one’. Suddenly, all these dreams were taken away from me. I could not eat or think well, I could not even feel much. Like a part of me was numb or dead. It wasn’t a horribly painful feeling: it was more like the absence of the ability to feel for some time. Traumatized? I didn’t speak about it.
Now that I think of it, I handled it really ‘well’. No one around me noticed or would ever imagine what I had gone through. And I was 14? Yes in the year I turned 15. It was as if I had absorbed everything in and had buried it there. Talking about it or denouncing the guy was out of question. Somehow, I felt that I was guilty too, because I did not try harder to stop him and I should have. But it was not my fault. I did not know exactly how people had sex. I knew in theory that the dick has to go into the vagina somehow, but I hadn’t gone into the details or watched porn or anything like that, and in practice I had no idea how it happened. So I said, please don’t do it. And he promised he would not do it until it was too late. I pushed him, I tried to stop him, I said please stop, then I gave up.
Following that, I could not blame him because I knew if that was out, the punishment would have been horrible for him. My parents would have gone to great lengths to make him suffer as much as they would have suffered had they known the truth. And I knew him, and I still did not see him like the typical child abuser. He was a normal guy, popular with girls and ‘nice’. I also felt the stigma, and didn’t want my parents to feel like the parents of ‘a sexually abused girl,’ which is nothing to be ashamed of, now I realize. IT’S NOT HER FAULT. I obviously did not want people to know what had happened to me. Being sexually abused, or raped, feels like being deeply, irreversibly stained for life. It’s like a mark you can never wash off. It kind of makes you feel inferior to other people.
Also, talking about it meant the whole story would come up again. And it was just too painful to relive this experience and face the fact that it really happened. I’d rather keep it in the dark, by not thinking, not talking about it, somewhere it would not touch me again. But the truth is that it did continue to touch me, deep inside. I didn’t realize it until I was in relationships with people, until I went through feelings of feigned ‘openness’ towards sex, confusion, then developed fear, uneasiness and shame or guilt towards the whole sexual experience. It happened at a very influential moment during my sexual and psychological growth. It was during that special moment of transition from childhood to adulthood and mine was robbed of its innocence and purity.
At one point, recently, and several times, recurrently, I wanted to get rid of the whole ‘sex’ thing from my life, because it was so synonymous with ‘wrong’. Continue reading