This is a guest entry from The Beautiful Kind as part of the month-long blogathon to support and raise awareness for Scarleteen.
I was a teenager in the 80's, but before that I was a kid who got molested.
When I was 8 or 9, my teenage adopted brother asked me, "Do you want me to show you something fun?"
I said sure, not realizing his idea of "fun" was sex with a child. He did things like sneak into the bathroom while I was taking a bath and give me a handful of pencils, instructing me to get as many inside me as I could so that I would be prepared for his penis.
When the family watched movies in the dark living room, he would sit in a chair and stare intensely at me instead of the movie, his hands in his pockets, stroking himself. He had big plans for me.
But before he could turn me into his own personal sex toy, I told my parents about it, and they freaked. It took a while for them to protect me due to the complicated family legal system, but in the meantime they put me in therapy. I didn't know WHY I was in therapy; I thought I was being punished. Every week I would sit in the therapist's office in awkward silence. She sat there holding a clipboard, silent as well. I would endure this for an hour, then my mom would give me a candy bar and the therapist a check for $100.
Needless to say, therapy didn't help.
Fast forward to me as a sexually damaged weirdo teenager. I was 15, about to turn 16, and a 24-year-old guy I met at a party was harassing me for sex. I told him I wasn't ready. He assured me I was. He told me sex was no big deal. "So why do you want to do it so bad?" I asked him, irritated.
For a month he kept the pressure on, calling me several times a day. I didn't know what to do. I asked my friends for advice. Some told me he was a creep. Some told me I should do it.
Finally, he wore me down and I decided to get it over with. If he wanted my virginity that bad, fine.
My parents dropped me off at his dad's house and we had sex on the hardwood floor. It was weird. He tried telling me if he squeezed the base of his penis while we had sex, he wouldn't get me pregnant, but I had enough sense to insist on him using a condom.
Still, I wasn't emotionally ready for sex and the experience freaked me out. I was POSITIVE I was pregnant. I couldn't tell my parents, so I internalized my awful feelings and acted out. I got in a fight with my parents, a big screaming match, and I yelled, "I wanna kill you!!!"
I went to bed and fell asleep, escaping from the horrible situation I was in. My parents didn't understand, and I was PREGNANT, dammit. My life was ruined. What had I done?!
The next thing I knew, I was being woken by my parents. They were handcuffing me.
"What are you doing?!" I cried, disoriented and jerked from sleep by the clicking of cold steel cuffs on my wrists.
"You are a danger to yourself and others, so we're taking you to the hospital," my mother told me, standing behind my father the jailer.
"What? No I'm not! I didn't mean it! I was just mad! Please don't do this!" I panicked.
It was too late - I was on my way to lockdown. I tried jumping out of the car, but that's hard to do when you're handcuffed (why did my parents HAVE handcuffs, anyway? Freaks!)
I spent my 16th birthday in the mental hospital. They gave me a pregnancy test (I wasn't pregnant), and forced me to work out to Jane Fonda video tapes and play volleyball. I had a terrible head cold and couldn't taste any of the Easter candy my parents brought me. I thought life was bad before, god it could be so much worse! You should have heard the horror stories the other teens in group therapy shared.
After a week they released me, and I was right back into the clutches of that creepy older guy, who carried on with his mission to have sex with me without a condom. After a month or so I got bored with him and dumped him for a boy my age, continuing to learn as best I could while fumbling around in the dark, hiding from my parents, angry at the world.
I graduated high school in 1991. Scarleteen wasn't around until 1998. I didn't have a resource like this as a teenager. I wish I did. It took me years to heal from my past traumatic experiences. I'm happy to spread the word about this amazing resource for teens so others can learn about sex in a healthy way on their own terms.
Scarleteen is an independent, grassroots sexuality education and support organization and website that is visited by around three-quarters of a million diverse people each month worldwide, most between the ages of 15 and 25.
That includes my daughter. Right now she is 10, but she'll be a teenager before long, and I want her to have Scarleteen as a resource. So please donate today and keep Scarleteen strong!