I had just turned 14.
I was a quiet teen, you’d never catch me with enough courage to go talk to a boy on my own, so when my friend told me a guy in my class asked her for my phone number I was shocked,I thought for sure it was a joke. I had never in my life talked to this guy…until later that night when I got a text message from a number I didn’t recognize.
That’s where it all began.
I remember having butterflies in my stomach at just the thought of someone liking me. He very quickly asked me to be his girlfriend even though we had barely talked in person and me being young and naive said yes.
It didn’t take long at all for things to turn.
It was our very first time seeing each other outside of school. I remember my mom dropping me off at his house and being so nervous. What if I embarrass myself? Will his family be nice? Will this be my first kiss? When I got there he very quickly introduced me to his family and brought me down the hall to his room. “Let’s watch a movie” he said. He put on “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”. Strange how the little details stay with you after all these years.
After almost no time at all, he kissed me. There was no watching the movie after that point. I remember thinking I was going to throw up I was so nervous. I had never kissed a boy and only knew how to even do it from movies and shows.
Things escalated very quickly.
He put his hand on my stomach and asked, “up or down?”
I was so confused. What did he mean up or down? He began moving his hand this time asking again “up?”, his hand moving towards my breasts, “or down?”, his hand now moving towards my pants. I knew I didn’t want either. I told him I wasn’t ready for anything more. I was only 14, I just had my first kiss! He told me that wasn’t an option.
Everything inside me screamed. He moved his hand again and started to unzip my top. I didn’t want this. That, I was sure of. I tried to move his hand away from me, I tried to move myself away from his hand. He wasn’t taking no for an answer. That was the first time he did what he wanted no matter what I said.
The rest of the “relationship” is a blur. Maybe it’s because of all the years that have since passed, maybe it’s my minds way of trying to block the details. It didn’t take long for him to have control over everything in my life. I look back at my younger self and think why did I even continue the relationship? The only answer I can think of is being naive. My biological dad wasn’t around a lot of my life and maybe I liked the male attention? This guy told me he loved me so it must be true, right? Maybe this is how relationships are supposed to be, I’m sure things will get better.
Things never got better.
He pulled me away from my friends, telling me I needed to spend more time with him. He would take me to a quiet, secluded area and that’s where we would “have lunch”. I say that in quotations because I don’t think I ever actually ate. For those 30 minutes, Monday to Friday, I was in his possession. He would move his hands across my body everyday, under my shirt, in my pants, take my hand and put it in his pants. I told him that I didn’t want to do this. He didn’t care.
I thought maybe this is how it’s supposed to be, he tells me he loves me, so that must be true. Every chance he got, he would touch me or make me touch him. At lunch, in class, infront of friends, during group projects. Everywhere. Rumours quickly spread and I was known as the “easy girl” at school. I hated it, but he loves me right? I have to do what he says.
Soon, he controlled every part of my life. Which friends I could talk to, what I could wear, what I could eat, what sports I could play. My entire life revolved around him. My parents started to notice things changing with me. I would spend all my time in my room and was losing weight fast. I wasn’t allowed to see him outside of school anymore and told I needed to break up with him.
He would always find a way to rope me back in, most of the time saying he would do something to himself if I left. He never specified what, but I couldn’t take the chance. I tried to leave more than once and everytime he threatened me back in. He knew my weaknesses and used them to his advantage.
He continued to do as he pleased with me at school, for seven months. Everyday. While much of my memories near the end are gone, I do remember my parents finding out I was still seeing him and ended up getting police involved, though they never did anything. My parents never knew the full extent of what was happening and still don’t to this day.
I had all forms of communication taken away to stop him from talking to me, while apparently nothing could be done about separating us at school but summer was just around the corner. On the last day of school he gave me a book. He told me to write in it everyday and give it back to him in September when school started up again so he would know what I was doing daily during the summer break.
I didn’t write in it once.
Soon I started connecting with friends again through the help of my parents and started feeling human again. One night at my friends house, with the support from her I finally felt brave enough to message him from her phone. That was the end. I was free.
I was 14.
I am now 24. It took me almost 10 years to realize what I experienced was abuse. I would think to myself “he was my boyfriend, it doesn’t count” or “ we never had sex, it doesn’t count”. I know now what I wish I knew then, it doesn’t matter what the circumstances are.
No means no.
-Anonymous, Fraser Valley.