This isn’t my transgression, but one committed against me. My first sexual experience involving another person was nonconsensual. I was 10 years old. My parents were recently divorced and my mom decided to roommate with the son of a long-time family friend to save on expenses. He was a young man in the Navy.
Perhaps it was a sign when he and his friends let me watch the animated movie Heavy Metal on a day my mom wasn’t home. The film boasts significant sexual content. I felt so grown up hanging out with these handsome men. As an adult I can see how inappropriate it was for my age.
One day I tried a skateboard, which hit a rock, and I crashed and broke my arm in three places. I wore a large cast and the first week or so my mom tied my arm to our bunk bed ladder while I slept to keep me from hurting myself further.
One of these nights I woke up to him pulling down my panties. Then I felt weird things happening between my legs and I knew something wasn’t right. After a couple minutes of trying to figure out what was happening and what to do about it, I told him my arm hurt and to get my mom because I needed medicine. He did. I told her what happened. I learned later that she went to the kitchen to get a knife and my stepdad – her new boyfriend at the time – had to stop her from going after my violator.
The police were called and took him away. I had to go to the children’s hospital for tests, which felt far more violating than the event itself. Weeks later we went to court and he pleaded guilty so I didn’t have to testify. I don’t remember what his sentence was.
It’s interesting because being molested wasn’t a traumatic experience for me. Maybe because I stopped it so I didn’t feel victimized or powerless. Maybe because I was believed and protected from further harm. Maybe because I saw justice. Maybe because it was never a secret or something to be ashamed of. Regardless the reason, the impact was that it was simply something that happened to me in the story of my life rather another trauma to overcome.