After this story some of you will call me a victim, some a fighter, others I’m not sure. But I can tell you I have a name, Mira and I’ve been silent for too long.
The occasion flashbacks hijacks my thoughts. And when it does, I’m once again paralyzed – left speechless and powerless as I felt on one particular gloomy night. Believe me when I say that I’ve tried to erase the memories of what happened to me 12 years ago. However, the event of one evening in the month of June, has proven to be impossible to forget.
In a small town where teenagers had little to do with their time and weekends, curiosity led me to all sorts of trouble. And with a bad behavior and choices is where it all started. Drinking at least every other weekend was the norm after a certain age – thirteen was the magic number. I started at the age of fourteen. New in town, I did my best to fit in. And with an absent father and a mother dealing with her own problems and worries, I didn’t wish to burden her with my adolescent difficulties. To my mother, all seem well – I was doing just fine in a new place. The traffic of friends coming to visit showed I had friends. And the teacher’s feedback told her I was doing well in school. Mother had nothing to worry about. Little did she know of the secret I would carry with me on my own.
Although having a curious mind, sensibility was still one of my strongest suite. I knew when to not take things too far. But if I did, I was a master of hiding my tracks – like any other teenager. Amongst my peers it was a normal behavior. But in the midst of my choices, I felt that I had a sense of what was right and wrong. At fourteen years old I had already learned the consequences of alcohol. However, more lessons were to come.
Norwegians are proud of their landscape and forest that even partying in the woods comes all so natural. Growing up I got used to this ‘tradition’ and lived the spirit of it. I can’t even begin to count how many gatherings I have been to that involved socializing and drinking amongst the trees. Consider that a fun-to-know-but-unneeded-information.
At a bonfire festive in the woods a week before, I met a boy five years older. It sounds like something taken straight from a fairy tail, right? Let’s call prince charming for Erik. The curious part of me got me involved with him that weekend. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t enjoying the company of an older guy. His attention semi focused on me, his slurpy kisses for my lips only – I was lost in ‘forever after’. A childlike fantasy. I caved in. All sensibility was replaced with wild and raging hormones. Love was only make-believed. Emotions was all in.
For our next meeting, he invited me to his place that he shared with a friend. It was supposed to be a double date but a friend couldn’t go at the last minute. But convinced me to go. The argument was; in a small town where everyone is familiar with one another what could possibly go wrong.
Nevertheless, one Saturday in June, 12 years ago – at the age of fourteen – I made a bad choice.
The evening started well, then everything was going great. To my surprise I became intoxicated. Drunk. But this time, it all happened too fast. I felt strange. Numb. But I was still aware of what was happening. Music playing the background. Laughter. More drinks all around.
I began to feel weak. I think I passed out but woke up moments later in an unfamiliar bed thinking they had been nice to let me rest and sleep off the alcohol. Instead, an opportunity was seized.
Still aware of what was happening around me, I failed to move or speak.
I couldn’t prevent it. As I laid there in bed, it felt like all muscles in my body stopped working. I couldn’t move to save my life.
I had failed myself at the age of fourteen. Made a bad choice. For them, I must have been the perfect victim as I laid there totally helpless. Not able to move. I then realized the course of this event and from there I let fear take over. I felt nothing.
Prince charming does his business and leaves his mark on my purple shirt that I had bought for the evening. The other one gets bolder. I can see him unbuttoning my jeans. He too does his business and leaves his mark. Force was not needed. I proved to be an easy prey. I was silent, unable to scream. A witness, unable to intervene. That night I unwillingly lost my virginity.
Able to walk again but feeling empty I went home in a taxi that gloomy night. Disoriented about what had happened. Behind the wheel I see a familiar face. I hoped he would hear my silent cry but no meaningful words were exchanged. No concerns was expressed. No questions was asked. The same at home, I kept silence.
I kept what was mine. At least, whatever that was left. I kept it all to myself; thinking it was my mistake to recover from and my burden to carry. I glued on a brave face, learned from it and moved on with a reminder and ‘what ifs’
It would take 11 years before I would unleash this burden. Eleven years before a daughter would seek comfort in her mother.
Human experiences can either transform us or break us. To let this break me was not an option. I carry this experience with me as yet another scar, one of many that serves as a reminder of the strength imprinted inside a human being.
I’m a victim perhaps. Certainly a fighter. But foremost, Mira – a human being.
Thank you for reading. Be kind, be gentle – behind every name, there is a story and behind every story there is a face. Wish you all a pleasant weekend!