I never talk about this. It’s something I’ve buried so deep that I often forget about it, which I’m so thankful for. I have many friends speaking out as the “Me Too” movement has risen to take a stance against sexual harassment and abuse. This is my story…
I was 21. A good girl. The girl who was waiting until she was married to give herself “fully” to the man of her dreams. The girl who was dumped several times because she didn’t “put out”. Not just because that was how I was raised, but because my virginity was something I was in control of. I loved the power and uniqueness it gave me. I remember thinking often, “I’ve waited this long, I can wait until I meet ‘the one'”. I was far from a prude, I just knew what I wanted…and that was to wait.
It was New Years Eve and a childhood friend of mine, we’ll call him Joe, was in town from Pennsylvania. I’d had a crush on him since I was 8 years old, but those feelings faded as I grew up and we just enjoyed each other’s friendship. Since he didn’t have many friends in town and was staying with his grandparents, I invited him to a friend’s New Years Eve party with the plan of introducing him to one of my best girlfriends, knowing they would hit it off. Joe fit in perfectly with everyone at the party, he’s always been a social person and was easy to get along with. As midnight approached, we were all pretty tipsy. The drinks and glasses of champagne were flowing freely.
I remember borrowing a friends bathing suit to swim in their indoor pool and after that things get a little blurry for me. I remember laying down in the basement on one of the couches and passing out…when I woke up my entire world was flipped upside down.
[This is where things get a bit graphic] I woke up to a bloody condom next to me, my bathing suit untied, disheveled and barely covering me and Joe laying next to me. I remember running to the bathroom with tears welling up in my eyes, thinking “No. No. Not Joe. He would never do this to me. He knew I was a virgin. We’ve been friends since we were children. He just wouldn’t do this.” As I sat on the toilet, sobbing from pain and heartbreak, I wiped away the blood. After pulling myself together and putting my clothes back on, I walked out into the room where he slept. His boxers were covered in blood. My blood. I wasn’t on my period. My heart sank and I ran to my girlfriends in the other room. Scared because I couldn’t remember anything. Heartbroken because my virginity was gone. Lost because I felt like I’d no longer have anything to offer to my future husband. I have never spoken out or claimed that I was raped. Rape is a scary word, especially for women who aren’t sure. I never accused him…in fact, I gave Joe, in his blood stained jeans and boxers, a ride back to his grandparent’s house the next day. I never talked to him again after that awkward car ride. He never attempted to contact me again.
I forgave Joe long ago, not because he asked…just because I couldn’t live with the pain anymore. I’ve heard he’s married now with a daughter. I always wrote off that night, telling myself, “We were both drunk. Maybe I told him I wanted it?” It tore me up inside for years. Years of broken and dysfunctional relationships. Complete desperation for acceptance from the guys I dated. I remember being told “welcome to the club!”, “at least he had the decency to wear a condom” and “well now you might as well sleep with your boyfriend since you aren’t a virgin anymore.”
Today, I am here to say that if you want to wait, WAIT! And if you don’t, your value hasn’t decreased! Your value doesn’t rest in your sexual encounters, wanted or not. You are valuable just the way you are. Beautiful, worthy and precious. 8 years later, I’m engaged to the man of my dreams. He loves me despite my brokenness and insecurities. He embraces me, all of me. Even the dark parts I try to bury deep.