The Quiet Danger of Trying to be Normal


For seven years of my life I tried very hard to be normal.  I tried to have friends; I gave my trust away freely like others around me did.  It went against every fiber of my being, and was probably the reason I was so awkward.  I over shared so that people would feel close to me and I could feel close to them.

Gradually over time I would share less.  I lived a lot inside my head and hid things, especially from my family, from my parents.  It was very important to me that my mother and father not think that I was ungrateful for my adoption.  That I was normal and healthy.  I remember when I was in middle school, right around the time that Luke and I started to get close, they had me tested for ADD.  They thought that I was struggling in school.

I fought with them.  I said that I was smarter than half of the kids in my class, I secretly thought, why wasn’t I good enough for them?  Why did there have to be something else wrong with me that they had to fix?  They still don’t know that is the way I felt about being tested for ADD.

Then the therapy thing made me feel like even more of a freak.  I don’t think they realized how hard I was just trying to leave everything behind.  They thought that if I worked through everything then that would help me, I’m not sure how though.

Therapy just taught me how to better hide things from my family, and how to act more normal.  After Luke left I drove myself to fortify my friendships with the other girls my friend Vicky was hanging out with.  I never really made friends with the other people in my classes though until my junior year.

After Luke left I was never really friends with any boys.  I felt like I was unattractive and that no one would ever want to date me.  When he came back that feeling only multiplied when he told me he was gay.  So I was surprised that there was a boy who wanted to go out with me.  He was my date for senior homecoming.

Trigger Warning

I think he was surprised by me though.  I was very forward about sex.  It was me not him who invited him over to my house one afternoon when my parents were not home.  He did bring a condom, thank god because I didn’t have one.  That was the first time I had sex.  It felt wonderful.  I wanted to do it all of the time.  He had other after school activities though so he couldn’t.  I was very demanding about the sex though, hello hypersexuality.

I did not realize that he had told all of his friends that we had sex.  I did not tell any of my friends, and I denied it fiercely because we had probably only been dating for about two weeks before I decided that yes, I would have sex with him.  I felt like everyone would think that I was a slut.  Since I had a reputation for the last three years of never dating anyone everyone believed me.

After homecoming he broke up with me.  My guess is for two reasons, he really was only using me for a date to homecoming and his ego was bruised because no one would believe him that we had sex, often.  One of his friends was also a friend of mine.  Those two had a very big competition between the two of them.  But I liked his friend better because I had known him for longer and I trusted him, his name was Steven.

Steven wanted me to come over this house one time and I did, because we had been friends for a few years. He had taken me to the junior homecoming dance.  Even though we were both seniors I didn’t drive and had never been to his house before.  I had told my parents I was staying with Vicky. I had sleepovers with Luke before, nothing happened, and I trusted Steven.  We were having a good time until he made me go into his bedroom.  I have blocked out a lot of the specific details but I remember feeling trapped.  He started kissing me and I was confused.  Steven wanted to have sex with me, he told me because he liked me, but in the back of my mind I knew it was to proof his friend wrong.  That I was a virgin and that Steven was the one that was going to change that.  I said no, but he promised me that it was going to be fine.  That I would be okay, that it wouldn’t hurt.  The only thing that I was able to change was the fact that I made him use a condom.  I was on my period and I had heard that girls could still get pregnant so I made him use one.  He took me from behind and to show me who was in charge he put a knife on my back.  The same knife that he said he wanted to show me when I went into his bedroom.

After that Vicky called me, she said that my parents called and that I should call them.  I was numb and I did not even know what to say.  I called my parents and they demand that I go to Vicky’s right away.  I think I told them some lie that I was planning on going there anyway, they still trusted me.  On the way to Vicky’s house Steven turned on the radio and a song came on, to this day I cannot listen to that song.  When I got to Vicky’s she saw that something was wrong with me.  I told her that I was fine and that I just wanted to go to sleep.  She put me in bed and did not ask any more questions.  I did not tell her what happened until a year later.  And I did not even tell her.  I wrote her a letter.

My parents still do not know what happened.  For about a year there were only two people that knew what happened.  Since my rape was so quiet and so different from what I had heard about rape I did not know what had happened to me.  I could not explain why I never wanted to hang out with Steven again.  Luke and I were walking up around a shopping center one time when we ran into Steven and he saw that I tensed up, my first visible PTSD symptom.  After Steven left he asked me what happened.  I told him, we had sex; just don’t say anything about it.  Luke didn’t listen to me, but I did not know about that right away.  I am glad he didn’t listen to me.

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