In Your Own Words
I never thought it would happen to me, and when it did I was determined to try and fix it. But it wasn't something I could fix.
What is self harm? How does it -- and can it -- fit into a loving relationship? Will I ever be comfortable with my scars? One self-injurer speaks her pain and her peace.
I used to know God was real. And I knew sex outside of marriage was wrong. Then I lost my faith, and fell in love, and everything turned upside down. One readers story of her struggles to resolve her conflict between sex and religion.
It's common for teens to have a mentality of "that won't happen to me". Well, what if it does? How does one cope when their trust and belief system is shattered by sexual assault?
My body hair first became a problem for me when I was 10. One summer day at the pool, I looked down -- there was pubic hair showing out of the bottom of my bathing suit. I was absolutely horrified. I had never heard of anyone having such a problem. I knew that it was normal to have pubic hair, but surely this was abnormal. I felt like such a freak.
I want to be accepted for who I am, not what I am. I don’t want to be straight if it’s just a VIP pass for friends.
I used to have a mild eating disorder. I saw myself as fat and ugly, despite being told by other people than my parents that I wasn't.
How do you feel about and process a date rape and unpleasant sex after it happens? How do you deal with collective ideas about "grey" rape and the value of virginity when it's actual, not just abstract concepts? How will you talk to a new partner about those experiences? A corageous Scarleteen reader tries to work out very raw and painfully honest feelings on the page.
I painted a picture of pure, perfect mommyhood to anyone who would (or had to) listen. He rides in the sling all day! I never get tired, I'm too happy! I grow all of his food in my backyard and I have a nice, hot dinner on the table for my partner when he gets home from his hard day at work! And we never, ever fight. I was born for this job! Yeah, right.
I Googled the hell out of my problem until I came upon a curious condition called vulvodynia -- or more specifically, vulvar vestibulitis syndrome. Something clicked, the symptoms there... that was me, those stories were me! I brushed it off again as my mind being overactive and diagnosing myself with something that didn't exist – isn't that what hypochondriacs do, cruise the Web looking for obscure problems with big names for every little symptom?
Sometimes we have no idea how things will affect us, no idea about the million ways in which one event can influence our lives. When I ran out of the driveway that day, across the street and to our house, I had no idea that the hard part was still to come. One volunteer's story of her history with sexual abuse, and her journey to healing.
The next morning I got up early and we started talking again. It was too early for me to be awake and I was battling severe cramps, among other things, so I fell back asleep. This is where my so-called friend and ex boyfriend decided he was going to explore the female body: mine. Looking back at this, I can only feel anger: at him for being so "curious", and at myself for letting it happen. I have heard so many "It's not your fault's," that I am honestly ready to puke. It's ironic I guess. I can see how the victim is not at fault in other sexual assault/abuse situations, but I still refuse to see it in my own.
Want to step up and start standing up for the issues most important to you? Here's a few basics on how young activists can get started.
I have genital herpes. Those people you see in the Valtrex commercials, running down a beach with five beautiful women chasing after them? Totally me.
I was about 14 I started to realize that only one of my breasts was developing. That's weird, I thought. Oh well, puberty is weird, bodies are weird, it will all work out eventually. I was about 17 when I realized it probably wouldn't. Damn. Somehow I had ended up with one D cup breast and one A cup breast. Imagine, if you will: at this point I am a dancer. I am a teenage girl. I am sexually active. I am utterly mortified. Sort of.
I'm 16 and I used to be pregnant.
There is really only one thing that you need to know about sex and disability: Disabled people have sex, too.
I came out of the proverbial closet when I was 15, in high school, and in the student newspaper. A sophomore had decided to print an editorial about the moral degradations of homosexuality, stating that God created Adam and Eve, "not Adam and Steve." I was so enraged by this sophomoric (literally) editorial that I sent a letter to the editor responding on behalf of the gay community, which was published, and which publicly announced my sexual orientation for all the student body to read.
I remember when I was seventeen, I tried on some new ideas. One of my ideas was that notions of "right" and "wrong" were false creations of society, and did not actually exist. Yeah, it didn't make much sense back then, either.
Never believe: "I love you, it will never happen again." It will happen again. The tears don't matter, the bruises don't matter, the broken bones and ER visits and warnings from friends and relatives don't matter. Those scars that we bury deep inside us, the mental and emotional scars that we try to pretend don't exist -- they don't matter. It will happen, again and again and again, unless someone puts a stop to it.