I was in grade 8 when this happened to me
I was hanging out with this guy, let’s call him Jack, just as friends. We had hung out a few times now with other people. Sometimes it was just us, but usually it was in a group.
I thought we were just going to hang out with people. We were walking around like normal, then all of a sudden Jack started doing things that I didn’t want. He kept saying ‘Come on you can do it, it’s fine’. I told him “no” but he kept pushing harder.
In these moments, I felt so weak and powerless. My words meant nothing to him.
Jack knew that I would freeze up, and he used it to his advantage.
That day I remember walking home with this feeling of dirtiness, guilt and disgust with myself. I remember literally scrubbing myself with a cloth until my skin was raw, trying to get the “dirty” off of me. I went to school that week and I saw him and I could feel my stomach drop because he was going around bragging about what had happened.
Seeing him reminded me daily about that guilt, and how i felt stuff like this was the only way I would be accepted by men or even just people in general. I found it really hard to fit in. People started calling me a slut. My friends did, as well as people I didn’t know. I heard it so often that I started to accept it. I hated it – I didn’t want to be known as the girl who slept around.
When I was in grade 9, I started dating this boy who was in grade 11. We would hangout and watch movies together. One night, I fell asleep and woke up to him touching me. At the time, I was startled, but then thought “i mean…. at least he loves me right?” – which I now know was not right in any way.
I’ve had stuff happen in my adult life as well….
In 2017, I was drinking at a local bar when a guy, whom I’d never met before, came up to me and started talking to me. I remember being with my friends and him kind of pulling me out of the bar, and into the bushes, and then he made me do things I didn’t want to do. I was too drunk to do anything about it.
Another time, I was at the club close to where I live. The next thing I knew I was suddenly in a cab with a guy who is known around town for harassing and disrespecting women. I remember next to nothing, other than at some point we were near my high school, then all of a sudden we were in a cab back to the club. My friends saw me come back into the club. I felt so gross and did not want to be there anymore. All the girls were saying I was overreacting and that I was just drunk and making everything up. I honestly don’t remember what happened, where we ended up, all I know is I saw my high school and I wanted to cry in the taxi.
I felt like something was wrong with me.
I felt like I was so messed up that I “attracted” people and situations like this. It took me until this past year to realize that I am not a magnet for this crap. These perpetrators have usually been hurt so badly in their own lives that they feel the need to prey on others to compensate for their own hurt. They think the victims aren’t going to say anything so they can get away with it.
Rewind back to grade school;
My friend Gracyn never once asked what was going on.
She was a great friend. She loved me, supported me, and she was able to make me feel cared about when I felt like the whole world was against me. She would help me get through the days at school, and at all of the sports events we had together. She was the type of girl who wants the best for you, but just never asked me what was really going on.
Eventually, our friendship faded because we didn’t have classes together. I felt lost again.
Then, I got really close with a group of girls; let’s call them Katie, Ashley and Trina.
Trina’s mom was like our second mom, she was always trying to be our friend: asking about whatever boy I was seeing. She would always say I was just going through a phase with guys and that one day I would grow out of it. I knew it was more than just a “phase”. It was a really difficult part of life that should have been attended to. She made me feel like I was just being slutty and always running to guys when, in reality, all I wanted to do was get rid of them.
I was searching for something bigger than me. I knew I didn’t want my life to continue being the same way that it was.
I didn’t want to be seeing a new guy whenever I was single, I didn’t want to just be a “hookup”, but that’s all I felt I’d ever be. Trina always said she would support me with whatever was going on. She has always been able to show love and care towards me. She was kinda like her mom, BUT she never made me feel guilty. The two of us are still friends but the other day she looked at me and said something like “I’m glad you’ve changed you were a big slut in high school”. I don’t know how much she knows about me and my story – but that really hurt.
Katie and I were friends in high school but we lost touch after we graduated. I felt like Katie disagreed with what I was doing and that she didn’t support me. I felt ashamed whenever Trina’s mom would ask or say something about me while Katie was in the room.
Ashley and I were really close, we were both sleeping with guys all throughout high school. I don’t know if she has a story similar to mine or not, but I do know that having sex was something we had in common. About a year after we graduated, Ashley got pregnant. I remember her looking at me dead in the eyes and saying “well it was going to happen to me or you” which hurt so much… her pretty much calling us sluts again.
I have some things to say to Trina and Ashley;
4 years after we graduated, we are still friends, and every time either one of you says anything like “you were a slut”, “I’m glad you went on your trip, you came back changed”, “you’re not a slut anymore” it brings up memories of when I was assaulted the first time or when i was raped! I don’t think friends should ever talk about each other like that anyways. Neither of you ever asked what was wrong, or how my mental health was. Friends should support each other, and look to better each other, not tear each other down.
Ashley and Trina, you were some of my best friends in high school, and you are still my friends today! I haven’t known how to tell you that what you say hurts. I know that you say you want the best for me, but how can I have the best for me if you are always reminding me of how shitty high school was, or how much of a “whore” I was? I was crying out for help and it seems like you didn’t give a shit. To this day I’ve been here for you but it’s not all about you. Friendships need to go both ways.
I can only hope that if you’re reading this , you can get 2 things out of it:
1) You’re not a whore or dirty and it’s okay to call for help,
2) If you’re a friend or family member and aren’t sure what to say to survivors in your life, just love and support them. If you know someone going through something like this, try to reach out, don’t be negative, and don’t degrade them in any way shape or form – it only makes them feel worse.
I am a girl who has a story. No one really knew about it, and if they did, I brushed it off like it was no big deal. I was a girl who walked around feeling like actual crap, never feeling like I was loved or accepted by anyone. I didn’t know where to go, or what to do so I turned to men. I slept with guys because it made me feel like I was good for something. Accepted. Loved. Useful. This shit is f*cked up.
I wish no one would have to deal with this, but I know that many of you reading this, have. I want to say you are all SO f*cking strong and Im so f*cking proud of you. Stay strong, you are getting through this!
-Anonymous, Fraser Valley