Note: This is a snippet of a guest post I wrote over at Trust Tending, a blog written by my friend Kristen Noelle. She is a talented artist with a heart of pure gold. For the entire month of July, she’s been speaking candidly about sex & so graciously asked me to write a story of my own. It’s been published for almost a week, but the weight of this post is so important that I wanted to share it here as well.
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I was fifteen when I entered into a tumultuous relationship with a boy I thought I would marry. In that same year of life I gave my body to him.
In the cramped backseat of a van, as moonlight flooded through the windshield & onto our shoulders, I first experienced the fear in sex; that raw, frightening sense of vulnerability; that vicious kind of surrender, mixed with both Yes & No.
On my back, laying on top of school workbooks & baseball gloves, I winced as I braced myself with each penetration, his mouth recklessly finding mine. So many emotions were pulsating through my body: love, anxiety, excitement, dread, satisfaction, sadness… and not one ounce of pleasure.
I was confused. Was this sex? Was this what the fuss was all about? It all seemed so… careless; so meaningless. I felt my mind leave my body & it hovered over me for the next 10 minutes as I struggled with losing my innocence.
When it was over, I put on my clothes slowly. My body felt like it was vibrating; I could barely tie my shoe laces. I was trembling.
The thoughts in my mind raced as he drove me home. I sat quietly in the passenger seat, ruminating over what had just happened. My feelings were mixed: I felt violated; I felt pain, actual physical & emotional pain; I felt joy for successfully mimicking the passion & moves of a “real” woman; I felt confused; I felt lost; I felt terrifyingly exposed.
These emotions carried on into every single sexual activity he & I found ourselves in. It waxed (very seldom waned) until the day he forced me free from his grip, nearly three years later, when our relationship ended without much warning. He left me picking up the pieces of my broken heart. Many of those pieces were never found; I believe he still has them in his possession.
I have nothing of his.
On the telephone one evening, a friend of mine was playfully coaxing me to get into the nitty-gritty of my sexual relationships. So I told him of my ex-lover. I told him of the tears, the anxiety, the feelings of despair every time he penetrated my body. I told him of the few times I tried (& failed) to slice open my flesh after having sex with him, making thick welts on my arms that lasted for the rest of the evening — my battle scars.
I said these things lightheartedly, almost laughing, as if it were a normal part of any relationship. I’ll never forget the horror in my friend’s voice:
“My god, Ev`Yan. That’s not normal,” he said, concerned. “That was rape.”
It took my friend’s brutal honesty for me to see the sexual unhealthiness in my previous relationship. Before that, it had never entered my mind.
From that moment on, my idea of sex shifted into a place of darkness.