A topic that has been on my heart over the last few weeks is my history with sexual assault. The more I think about it, the more I feel drawn to write about it. I’m hoping that what I write below gives comfort to anyone that has been sexual assaulted . ..
The first time a guy touched me in an unwanted sexual manner, was at a summer camp when we were both in our early teens (I might have been about 12 or so). Most of the whole ordeal has been lost but I still remember the more “traumatic” aspects of it.
The first memory that comes to mind involves the guy showing me how to dance. I remember my back touching a wooden ledge with the guy in front of me. I also remember that I wasn’t doing the dance move he was teaching me correctly and the guy corrected this by putting his hand in the space between my breasts as a way to show me how to move my body correctly.
What happened between that incident and the next incident are like the grey memories balls as seen in “Inside Out”: They’ve been sucked away by a large vacuum cleaner never to be remembered.
The next incident started when the guy asked me to sit on his lap. I had a bad feeling about that, so I said no to that offer. He asked me “Aren’t you tired of standing?” a few times and I continued to reply no. After a while, I did get tired of standing and decided to lay on the floor. About five minutes after laying on the ground, the guy stood up and straddled himself on top of me. I remember feeling uncomfortable because well . . he was sitting on me and I couldn’t breath but not because I interpreted it as anything sexual. But again, it was unwanted and that also made me uncomfortable.
The last incident with this guy that was the most traumatic for me. At this point, I was trying to leave the situation but the guy kept saying “Come on, let’s just stay a little longer.” I have a vague memory of him chasing after me and I tried to go downstairs and ended up going into the kitchen with the lights on for some reason that I don’t remember now. When came into the kitchen, I remember he turned the lights off and got very close to my face. I know for certain he did not touch me but I do remember being scared that he would.
After all of this, we finally went downstairs with the rest of the camp and I did not tell anyone.
The next situation where I was assaulted occurred at the hands of someone I met at a youth group I attended for most of high school. I met this guy my first day there and thought he was just a friendly guy. Me being young and naive, didn’t see a problem with a 24 year old guy wanting to be close friends with a 14 year girl but I did understand that my parents would have a problem with it.. . .
.. . . which is why when I invited him over to hang out I lied to my parents and said that the guy was a senior in high school. We hung out on my trampoline for a while and talked. After a certain amount of time, he asked if I wanted a foot massage. I said yes and I remember being really uncomfortable with how much he liked my feet (this was WAY before I knew what a fetish was).
Similar to the above situation, many of the detail have escaped me: For this situation, I don’t remember the transition between massage and him being on top of me and us rolling back and forth on the trampoline. I don’t have any memory of kissing or touching, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.
The next time youth group met, I told an older woman about what had happened to me. She in turn told the youth group leader and the guy was not allowed to come back.
I saw this guy a couple of times after this whole thing happened and I always avoided spending alone time with him.
Between the previous memory and the next, and last, memory, I was touched unwantedly and/or it was inappropriately a few times. There was one instance where this guy (early or late 20’s) at youth group kissed (15 or 16 year old) me out of the blue and immediately afterwards told me I kissed like a frog. Another event that comes to mind was when I dated a guy who wanted to do a sexual act involving a wall and dry humping that I did not want to do, but did it anyways.
With this memory being the most recent of all three, I think of it ever so often. To best understand this situation, you need a little bit of context:
Early into my relationship with the guy in this story, a week or two, I cheated on him with someone I had concentual sexual history with (we didn’t have sex, by the way). I did what I thought was right and immediately told the boyfriend what had happened and apologized. . . but lied about who started it. I told him that the guy had started it when in reality, I had started it because I was not getting the physical attention that 17 year old me that I deserved.
We broke up. Got back together a few days later And he kissed me for the first time about a day after that. We ended up dating for a good year and half, off and on.
One afternoon, my boyfriend and I are fooling around (kissing, hugging, massaging, the whole bit) and he asks to touch my breasts. Without a second thought, I say “No, I’m not comfortable with that.” He responded by saying “Why did *guy you cheated on me with* get to touch your boobs but I can’t?” I explained that I was trying to turn over a new leaf and boob touching didn’t fall under the new leaf.
He accused me of being a tease and said something along the lines of “If he touched your boobs, I want to. That’s fair.” and “Who do you love more: Me or him?” I remember weighing the pros and cons and reluctantly decided to give him the go ahead. I remember it felt nice but I knew I had given up a part of my womanhood and person-hood.
If you read this whole thing, all I can say is wow!
If you’d like to talk more about this with me, please let me know.
I don’t want to make this any longer than it is, so I won’t include my reflections at this time. If I remember sometime soon, I will.