Another Perspective (#3 In This Series)

By | October 14, 2015

*Note: This is one of the many private responses I have received this week based on previous posts about sexual abuse. The writer has agreed to let me share their experience here. I will be posting additional stories all this week.

While I am sickened and saddened this happens to our littlest children most of all, I may have something to add to the conversation. Another tangent of the conversation perhaps.

When I was freshly 14, (just after I was confirmed and officially allowed to date!), I started dating an almost 18 year old guy. He was a “good church guy.” In our first week of dating, we were riding around in his car. Oh, the advantages of dating an older guy. We were holding hands. As we turned the corner to cross the bridge, he pulled my hand on top of himself.

Things progressed quickly from there. Within a week, I had given my first blow job. He told me that it’s “what couples do.”

This might not be as traumatic or shocking as many other stories, and I’m grateful for that. We ended up dating for several years after those first incidents. A lot of that time, I was a blissful teenager in love. It wasn’t until I finally extricated myself from the relationship without a shred of my self-worth left that I realized how sick the relationship had been.

He was emotionally abusive. The sexual acts continued without a lot of regard to what I wanted. We were “right” to do everything we did because we weren’t actually having sex.

I’ve tried placing blame everywhere—on him, on my parents for not warning me, and most of all, on myself for letting it all go too far.

I’m not sure what the answer is. I’m not sure I would have even listened if anyone had talked to me more about healthy sexual relationships. I do know that I’ll be talking to my kids about how to respect themselves and others.

Thankfully, my story has a happy ending. It took a string of bad choices in college before I finally built myself back up to the woman I am now. I’m married to the BEST man for me. He respects all of me.

———————-

If you would like to share any experiences or thoughts publicly, you can leave a regular blog comment down below, or post on my Facebook link. If you would like to submit an anonymous story, you may do so at this link.


You might also like:

6 thoughts on “Another Perspective (#3 In This Series)

  1. Karen

    Happy for you that you are where you are now! How scary for a young teen to be in that situation. Thank you for adding your voice to this whole conversation.

  2. Anonymous

    As a person who has grown up in the same church community as Ev and (possibly) the author of this article, I can say that this is a common experience among my female friends who dated “good church guys”. Being pressured to give blowjobs to their boyfriends without having any desire to do so is a story I hear over and over again. Any time a person is coerced into a sexual act without their wholehearted consent it is a form of rape. Healthy sexual relationships are consensual.

    1. Leah

      I feel like ‘good church guys/girls’ hide behind that classification, thereby confusing the person who has learned about abstinence. The definition of it becomes subject to interpretation once sex acts start happening simply because confusion and shame take the place of self-respect and purity.

  3. Katie

    Anon. and Leah, you both made good points. I know girls this has happened to while dating in the same church. I was shocked when my friends told me their horrifying experiences! Just a thought, pornography plays a part in certain instances of abuse toward women. As I’ve become an adult, I’ve heard some men talk about pornography use among church guys (and it’s negative/devastating effect). Preventing abuse needs to start young, with age appropriate information about boundaries, health, body (correct words for body parts!), sexuality, etc.
    Also this brings to my mind, as a teenager I had a scewed understanding of faith. I wouldn’t think about my actions too much because I’d get forgiven anyway. I wasn’t out acting too crazy, and in the past several years I’ve realized this is a wrong belief. My parents didn’t teach me this, but that’s how I understood faith. I bring this up because I wonder if there are other teens/young adults who aren’t considering their actions and think “oh, it’ll get forgiven”.

  4. Jenna

    I think so many times we (as parents) have good intentions about having difficult conversations with our kids once they “are older”. Unfortunately often that then doesn’t happen because it is hard to turn many years worth of patterns around and by the time the parents have come to terms that said son/daughter is old enough that kid has gotten the information (valid or not) from other sources.
    I think we make it easier on ourselves if from the time our kids start talking do a number of different things. We use the correct words for body parts – I remember the first time using the words penis and vagina how it felt so awkward but my 2 year old sure didn’t notice my discomfort and every time I used the words they became less like gross words and more just words. Also that we answer our kids questions with honesty. We are blessed with wonderful babies and often with pregnancy (at least my kids) have many questions about how a baby is born or how they’re made. My kids were not satisfied with the answer of “the doctor helps me” about a baby being born and kept asking more and more – when I did tell them though they didn’t seemed phased in the least. It made a lot more sense to them then the other lines with which I was trying to satisfy them. And every so often it will come up in conversation again and none of us are embarrassed to talk about it. Our bodies are God’s own perfect design and if we remind ourselves of that it may be easier to forge ahead.

  5. Kristin

    Thanks for sharing your story. Growing up in the same community, I would agree with others on here that the general assumption that all is fine when a young girl is dating a guy from the church is all-too-often not the case. From my experience everyone seemed to know that sex before marriage was wrong, but a black and white understanding of that rule meant there was a lot of gray area left for interpretation, and it was ripe for exploitation by the boyfriend who often got to step in as educator in these unknown territories.

    I think part of the problem is the cultural tendency in the church to over-emphasize rules (no drinking, no dancing, no sex before marriage, etc.) while under-emphasizing a personal relationship with our Lord and understanding of scriptures. If you’re focused on the rules, it’s natural to try to do everything up to the limit particularly in a black and white situation like sex before marriage. If you were to come from the direction of growing closer to God and understanding the scriptures, you’d learn that your body is not your own, because it belongs to the Lord and is a temple for the Holy Spirit… and if you truly felt close to the Lord, you would naturally want to err in the other direction in any “gray” areas in order to honor God with your body, as it says in Corinthians 6.

    I say this not to pick on the church, but to hopefully give individuals another perspective to look at this, and maybe some inspiration for how you think about these issues or teach your kids. I always felt there should be more conversation about this, but it seems like such a taboo subject I think it unfortunately gets very little air time. Thank you Evelyn for fostering a conversation!

Comments are closed.