There’s something about surviving rape that, if a person can heal- or at least begin to heal- makes them stronger. I’ll never say being raped is a good thing. I’ll never say that because it’s not true. I will say I am stronger for learning how to forgive and embrace life as precious.
When I was 15 I had my first real boyfriend. He was 18. I was a little overweight, painfully shy, awkward, and severely depressed. Life had already been a never-ending string of torture and abuse for me and I desperately wanted to to be loved by someone who’s affections I didn’t have to share with anyone else. To this end, I gave up my virginity to him thinking it would mean I would always have him and always be loved. I wasn’t ready and knew it before the deed even started. My parents didn’t really approve of me dating him because of his age but I begged and pleaded and somehow convinced them it would be ok and I was old enough to have such a mature boyfriend.
One summer day we were taking a drive around the back roads, winding past the corn fields, looking for a place to park. By this time he knew I would give “it” up to him any time he wanted. This day I didn’t want to. This day I just wanted to kiss him. This day I told him, “No.” This day he didn’t take, “No.” for an answer. He wasn’t violent. He wasn’t angry. He didn’t threaten me. He just took it like he owned what was mine. I kept saying I didn’t want to- that this time I just didn’t feel like it- but he ignored every word I said and kept going. I stopped talking, turned my head to the side and waited. When he was done he told me he loved me and took me home. I broke up with him and let that be the end of it.
At 15 I couldn’t legally carry a firearm. Gun control is a moot point in this case. But, I think about how many women are old enough to legally purchase and carry a firearm but can’t because of the chipping away at our Constitutional rights by out of touch politicians. Politicians, who in their regal seats of power dictating from a secure place down to the rest of us, are playing with the lives of every American citizen. We become, first, victims of politicians then of criminals.