I’ve had almost 30 years to process my abuse and rape. In that time I can’t even begin to tell you the range of emotions I have gone through. I’m going to try though. If you have been through something similar, you can imagine the list. My plan is to write a post about all of them. Some are harder than others to speak of, so I will start with an “easy” one 🙂

Cheated. It’s as simple as that. This person cheated me of my childhood, my innocence, and so much more.

It may seem silly, but I’ve seen a lot of “teen romance” movies. In these movies, the sweet and innocent cheerleader meets the wholesome and handsome captain of the football team. They fall deeply in love. In a montage of corny music and images of passionate kisses, they sweetly consummate their love. Yes, they are young, but their love is true and it is all wonderful and pure.

That is not how my “first time” went. At all. After months of pressure, Mark had finally had enough of my saying no. He decided not to take no for an answer anymore.  Nothing was sweet about it, nothing was pure. It was painful and forced and I was crying throughout. I bit my lip to keep from crying out loud, because I knew that would make him angrier. What kind of person can “make love” to someone who is weeping? How could he not know that this was horrible for me? Afterward, instead of a romantic scene of two people holding each other and gazing into each other’s eyes, he left to get a snack. I huddled on the bathroom floor with the shower running to cover my sobs.

Cheated. Of a first time with a wonderful person who loved me. Cheated, when I finally found that wonderful person, of giving myself to him unsullied, virtuous, whole. (Yes, I’m a bit old-fashioned. My husband waited to find the person he wanted to marry, and I couldn’t give him the same thing. My husband was cheated too.)

Cheated. In every relationship I had afterward, of the opportunity to look at that new person with trusting eyes.  Instead, I saw every man through the lens of rape.  It narrows your vision, that’s for sure.  And it’s not fair.

Yes, this isn’t the most powerful emotion that the rape caused, but it’s one that has hung on.  Only over time did I realize how much I had been cheated out of.  I want that sweet moment with the football captain, perhaps on prom night.  I grew up much too fast in that one day, and it was definitely not fair.

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