Eleven years have gone by since I first came to Scarleteen as a very frightened, very lost sixteen year-old who had nowhere else to go and was ready to give up altogether.
I don't remember now what I wrote or what I asked for. But I will never forget seeing a response from Heather which read "I believe you, and I care."
When one person walks up to another person on the street and just starts punching them in the face, we don't call it boxing. We don't call it "unwanted boxing." We call it assault.
I'm 13 and I really need some help. I have been talking to this guy for ages on my phone and texting him. We have Skyped, and I know he might be 'one of those older people who have random children acting for them and they have voice filters' etc, but he has Facebook and I know loads of people who know him, but I just haven't met him. He is really nice and we both wanna meet each other......
I am 24. I am a virgin. I tried to have sex with my boyfriend. We didn't use condoms. He tried to put it inside of me. I was in pain. He went in a little. I was feeling uncomfortable. He was so angry. I told him, I wasn't ready. He was very angry. He told me to get over it. He is so frustrated. Is there way to get over the pain? Does lube work?...
In Lebanon (or at least, in Beirut) the joke is that it is equally likely to see a woman in a mini skirt as it is to see a woman in a hijab.
In Lebanon (or at least, in Beirut), European tourists feel at ease that the Lebanese still speak a post-colonial French, and let Beirut be called the Paris of the Middle East.
In Lebanon (or at least, in Beirut), tourists and Lebanese alike flock to the beaches and the nightclubs, openly drinking alcohol, smoking hookahs, and belly dancing to both popular western and Arabic music, creating a strange moment that many see as cultural influence, and many others see as cultural infiltration.
Still—despite the post-colonial familiarity and acceptability of Lebanese culture—Lebanese women remain in many ways decorative objects, openly ignored, slighted or discriminated against in legislation.
As some of you may know, I experienced two different sexual assaults when I wasn't yet in my teens within just one year of one another. The second time I was assaulted, my experience ticked all of the boxes there currently are in our culture for what is so often -- now, anyway, easily considered a "real" or "bonafide" sexual assault, or what Whoopi Goldberg, to my great disappointment, would call "rape-rape."
The first time around was different.
This may get a bit vivid. Be warned. I have a twisted sexual history. After being molested at age 5 and again at 14 I somehow allowed myself to get taken advantage of and used in regards to sex. It took me many years to heal and much pain to get to where I am now and I can have a healthy sexual experience with my current boyfriend....
The fact that myself, or Traister or any number of people think errors have been or are being made, or that all of this could be done better or worse doesn't mean we're right. We could be. We could also be wrong. It could be that despite it seeming like this thing or this other way of doing or saying that would have been the better move, that doing a given thing differently would have less impact.