January 25, 2019
The following story contains mentions and implications of sexual assault.
Reader discretion is advised.
‘Dear ______ .
Why did you do it?
You were so sweet to me, so why did you do it?
You were so kind with me, so why did you do it?
The fancy dates, the presents, the feeling of belonging; the way you told me you liked me; why did you do all of it?’
I wish someone had texted me. I wish they’d told me, emailed me, I wished someone had grabbed me by the shoulders and screamed in my face: “Don’t do it!”
I’m about to tell you, my sweet Falconer Reader, my secret. A secret my friends do not know. A secret I hid from my family. A secret I did not reveal to myself until much later:
When I was fourteen I was sexually assaulted by my first boyfriend.
When I met him, I hadn’t seen much at first.
I was and will always be the kind of girl that sees the best in people. I try and please everyone because I love to see people happy. When I was younger, I also did everything to keep people happy because I was not happy myself. I was a very depressed kid, who saw no purpose in life, and not a chance of living a good one. It was pretty bad, to say the least.
When I met him, I hadn’t seen much.
He was just a boy. He was taller than me. We liked the same shows. I thought his shirts where funny. He was heavier than me, which in turn made me feel smaller ─I wasn’t. And to this day, I do not know if I liked him, or if I liked that he liked me.
I know that sounds cruel. I was naive, and I was stupid, and I just wanted to feel like I had something in my life that I could hold onto. I chose the wrong thing.
When I met him, I hadn’t.
Before we were officially dating, he was already telling me that he loved me, and urged me to say it back. For our first date, he took me to a beautiful Argentinian restaurant. We were the youngest people there. All the other customers were older men and women in expensive tuxedos and pretty jewelry. (I was wearing a skirt from Target.) He, as people would say now, flexed very hard for this date. We got every item in the menu that could be cooked on the grill that was brought to the table. After that, we walked over to a candy store, and he bought me all the candy I had mentioned in the time we’d been talking to each other.
When I met him,
His room was big, and its pale blue walls were nice. I like the paintings and drawings he had hanging there. I will not be graphic with you, Reader, because if I am I will cry. All you need to know is that my first kiss happened after his hands had sneaked inside my bra. All that you need to know is that this was the first time this happened; it was not the last.
When I met him, I didn’t know.
I didn’t know that people didn’t do this on their first date.
When I met him, I was stupid.
I was stupid because I didn’t voice my discomfort or doubts, because he would leave me, I was sure of it, and I’d become meaningless once more.
When I met him, I didn’t want it.
I didn’t want it.
I didn’t want his hands on my lower back when we rode an Uber back to my house after another date. I didn’t want his hands on my hips when we walked in and sat on my couch. I didn’t want his hands inside my jeans when I woke up after a boring movie.
When did this end? When did this happen? When did I decide to share this with you, and anyone else that might visit the Falconer?
It ended when he cheated on me, because I didn’t sleep with him.
It happened when I wasn’t ready for it; when I was uneducated on my body and the assault that could be committed to it.
It was clear to me that I had to share with you when I realized I don’t want you to make the same mistakes as me.
If he loves you, truly loves you, and truly cares for you, he will wait. And if you truly love them, you will tell them to wait.
Love is communication. He and I did not love each other, and I did not love myself. So please, allow yourself to love yourself. Love your voice, and your body, and your right to do or not do what you want. Love the women who need your support in times and situations like mine. Love the men that could find themselves in the same position as me. Report and stop those who violate our space and our boundaries. Educate people on what love is and what it means to move forwards in a relationship in a respectful and united way. Do not be afraid to love and have fun, simply make sure you’re comfortably and safely doing it.
I wish you all love and respect in any and all the relationships you might find yourself in.