I realised today, when preparing for this entry, that I don’t have a whole lot of pictures from the reign of R. I wanted to include a picture from when I was 14, when it all started. I have pictures before, and pictures after, but not a whole lot in between. I realise I was only with R for a year, but given the amount of pictures my friends took of me, I figured there’d be more. I figure they probably untagged me. That’s probably for the best. I don’t know if I’d like what I looked like. Still. Did I look happy? Was there something off in me, inside looking out? I don’t look that different before or after. Makes me wonder if much changed at all.
I wonder if the tired eyes and plastic skin were all in my own head.
It probably doesn’t matter.
In retrospect, I probably should have seen it coming.
I usually dismiss it by saying I was young and stupid, but I wasn’t that stupid. I knew words my teachers didn’t. How stupid could I really be?
I was lonelier than stupid. I was wounded in ways that had started in childhood and had never really stopped. Society had conditioned me that I wasn’t worth much because I hadn’t had a boyfriend, or even a boy really interested in me. Never mind that I was 14. I had only recently figured out how babies were made. But I needed a boyfriend, and nothing would make me happy until I found one.
Sometimes I think of R as more of an animal than a human. I think he could smell desperation. I think he could smell fear. I was like a bloody seal in the water. The minute I was wounded I was dead. Thrashing made it worse.
I later read about “grooming”, the process by which a sex offender who preys on children ensures their victim’s cooperation. First step: identify victim. Perhaps the girl in creative writing club, who sits by the window and writes disturbing stories about a teacher who murders their student. Second step: collect information. Befriend them. Make up cute nicknames. Try to make them laugh. Find out what they like. Music. Books. If they like hugs. If they like getting their hair pet. If they like kissing. Anything, really. Third step: fill a need. Go to the dance with them. Tell them they’re beautiful. Tell them no one else loves them like you do. Listen to them, but only enough that you can use what they say in an argument later, or to buy some meaningless trinket. Fourth step: Lower inhibitions. Get bolder with cuddling. Touch them more. Touch them all the time. So much that when you stop they notice it more than when you start. Tell them sweet nothings, because that’s all they are. Fifth step: Initiate. Take what you want. Hit it and quit it. Mission accomplished.
I think people forget that I never asked for this. Asking for it would have made it sex, not rape.