It was a beautiful summer morning. I stepped out of our summer home on a midwest lake in my bikini anticipating a wonderful day ahead of me. The trees reflected off of the smooth lake which was untouched on this early morning. I felt the warmth of the sun and smiled as I headed toward the water. I always tended to gravitate toward water where I found peace and tranquility, if only for a moment.
As I walked toward the beach I was distracted by voices and laughter coming from my neighbor’s front yard and I glanced over to see what the laughter was all about. I can’t say how long I stood there staring like a love struck school-girl but when his eyes met mine I was captivated. He was athletically built and incredibly good-looking, I found everything within me flutter when he flashed me a perfect smile. It wasn’t long before introductions were made and I was in shock that this seemingly flawless boy was showing interest in me.
At Fifteen I had a very low self-esteem and was given very few skills in life to boost it. I was told many times that I wouldn’t amount to anything and I believed that to be true as sure as I was breathing…but here I was with this wonderfully sweet guy saying all of the right things…
By evening we were walking the gravel lake road hand in hand. This was perfect and I became absolutely speechless when he turned to me and said, “Do you believe in love at first sight?” This was by far the most incredible night of my life. Of course I believed in love at first sight, didn’t every girl want to be a Disney princess and have some handsome prince carry her away on a white horse? This was the moment every young girl dreams of. The next question that followed was “May I kiss you?” I can’t say that I will ever forget that kiss, my knees went weak and my mind and body went to war. ”I have fallen in love with you and I just want to be with you.” I could not believe what I was hearing. How was it that someone like him, someone so handsome and wonderful could really fall in love with someone as unattractive and useless as me? His kiss left me breathless and I could only imagine that this was what true love must feel like.
It wasn’t long before somewhere in between the words of love and the passionate kissing that he told me how badly he wanted to make love to me, in fact, he had never wanted to be with someone like this. Every sex education class that I had ever had come flooding into my mind and I tensed immediately. I was a virgin and sex was not something that I felt you gave away at the first opportunity. I nervously explained that I wasn’t ready for sex. ”This isn’t just sex, this is making love. I am in love with you and want to show you how much I love you.” The kiss that followed made my legs buckle underneath me and I held on tight to his neck to avoid falling. My body was screaming for him to touch me and my head was ready to knock him over and run like hell. My head became clouded with confusion as he continued to profess his love. ”I do NOT want my first time be outside in some neighbor’s back yard.” ”What if I find a place?” “Um…I don’t know.” Too late, I paused. He took me by the hand and led me along the gravel road toward my house and pulled me into my neighbor’s shed. Much to my horror he quickly began to remove his clothing. I began to panic and pointed out what I thought was a valid reason as to why this should not be done at this moment…”On the cement floor??? It will be cold.” He threw down his shirt and grabbed for me. I folded my arms tightly across my chest in protest and had the sobering realization that I did NOT want to be in the situation that I was currently in. ”I don’t want to do this.”, I begged. ”Yes, you do. You want this.” He pulled my shirt from my body and wrestled me to the ground. I can’t say that it was a battle because he was much bigger than I and I really believed he would stop. It was when he grabbed my pants and pulled them off of me that fear really took over. I don’t remember how many times that I said no and pleaded that I didn’t want him to hurt me, it didn’t matter. With one final “NO!!!!” he forced his way inside of me and when I began to scream he cupped his hand over my mouth, held my arms down with the other and continued to rape me on the cold cement floor of my neighbor’s shed. The tears ran down the side of my face down into my hair but my cries couldn’t be heard. ”Stop tensing up and it won’t hurt so bad.” Clearly this wolf in sheep’s clothing had done this before.
When he finished his assault on my body, he jumped up, threw on his clothes and told me to get dressed. I left the shed and stood in my back yard trying to compose myself in case I were to run into my parents. I snuck into the back door and made it into the bathroom without being seen, I sat in the bathroom and cried. My dad came to the door and asked me if everything was ok and I was shaking like a leaf, I didn’t think the shaking would ever stop. I was afraid to tell my parents the truth – I was always blamed for everything and I was certain they would never believe what this almost 17-year-old boy had done to me, after all, the neighbors and their friends were such great people. I reassured my dad that I was fine but that was a lie, I wasn’t fine.
It would take me years to get past that shed door, to stop blaming myself for what occurred on that warm summer’s evening. And just when I began to trust again my strength and courage would be tested once again only this time I would not know my violent attacker and my mother would blame me for bringing it on myself. Her words would never leave me.
In my darkest hours I have managed to go within and find the strength to keep going, to continue to believe in goodness, to continue to believe in people. When you stop believing, then you have lost.
The Possibilitarian’s Light