As a teenager, as is usual with many teenagers, I went through a lot of teasing and name calling. The group of friends I had was very small and consisted partially of my own relatives. I was completely invisible to all the boys in school, and all the girls found some reason to dislike me. I was too short, too fat, too smart, too straight, and so forth.
One gets bogged down with all these labels. Basically, the boys ignored me and the girls harrassed me. By the time I was 16, all of my self-esteem was crushed. I was shy and withdrawn. By the time I actually had my first boyfriend (I was 19), I had no self esteem and no knowledge of how to handle a relationship of any kind.
The only actual incident of sexual harrassment that happened to me as a teenager was in the 8th grade. I was working in the Library, and one of the football players came in (there was no one else there at the time, not even the Librarian). He grabbed my breast (I was already well developed). When I objected, he accused me of not liking him because he was black. I told him that didn't matter, but that I didn't want to be grabbed like that.
The teacher/Librarian came back and the guy left and that was it. Not much to it, looking back. But it set the tone for how I would handle agressors for a very long time. I did not report his actions. I developed the first step of the fear that I am now learning to face head on. It was the first step in what ended up being a string of easily broken or abusive relationships.
A bit of psycho-babble:
From 1972 (I was 12) until I moved out on my own (I was 25) I had two recurring nightmares that disturbed me to the point that I insisted on having a lock put on my door. I only had the nightmares at the particular house where we lived during that time and not since then (except receintly when I started having flashbacks from two other incidents). While I don't consider these nightmares to be a repressed memory, they were so vivid that I was convinced at the time that I was in physical danger. In one, I was raped by a man whose face I could not see; in the other I was raped while being pinned face down to the bed. [While I know that neither of these things actually happened, they caused me a great deal of fear. I mention them now because although they do not represent anything real, they represent part of my state of mind, and overall fear of men.]
When I wrote this last statement, I was nearly certain that they had no basis in fact. But now, with continued, new flashbacks, I know that I was abused as a very young child. This disclosure I do not make lightly.
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