We tend to identify rape as bad sex, which in most instances is the case. But after defining rape in juxtaposition to consensual sex, we become lost in the dark. Consensual sex does not mean good sex, and many young people are not ever told the non-physical effects that sex can have on them after the fact.
In high school, practically all of my fellow students dreaded health class because everyone knew about the week we would spend scrolling through PowerPoints with pictures of various sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). As young girls, we knew that having sex could give you diseases and that you could become pregnant. So what was always the answer to this? Abstinence or protection, of course. The one thing we were never told about, the thing we were never given protection for, what was never on one slide of the PowerPoint or one handout, was the mental havoc that would destroy your mind.
When you give yourself to someone, you usually expect that they will respect you and return your affections. For many girls, high school is a fantasy land depicted in hundreds of movies. Unfortunately, it’s easy to get caught up in the magic that high school is supposed to be; finding out your niche in school is a valuable thing, but losing yourself over and over again is not.
It is a sad truth that too many high schoolers are losing their virginity all too soon. And, perhaps, they thought they were in love and maybe they actually were, for all we know. But boys at that age are much too immature to understand how fascinated girls can be and this all too often ends in heartbreak.
Even when you get older, you don’t learn. We grow stronger from every heartbreak and we grow from every boy we thought we loved. The grieving process is the only thing that remains the same, the process that we were never told would damage our psyche.
What we weren’t prepared for were the countless nights that we stayed up too late rolling around in bed wondering, “Why?” Why wasn’t I good enough, why isn’t he texting me back, why did I let him have me? Why didn’t he talk to me when we passed each other today, why didn’t he ask how my day has been like he did before? Why did he pretend to care, why doesn’t he care, why does he like her more? What could I have done differently? What was I thinking and how do I make this better?
It is so difficult to fix all these problems and there are no answers to all these questions. Even if we were told about the STDs that haunt your mind, or the memories we would be left with, we wouldn’t have listened. And this is a horrible irony. There is no way to describe how useless you feel when you give yourself to someone so fully and they repay you with silence.
So, ladies, what I mean to tell you today is that you will be alright. It seems terrible now and perhaps it will for a while, but, you beautiful soul of a person, you will be OK. You will be wonderful. You will find what you’re looking for, and furthermore, you will get the affection you deserve. It might take time, but it will happen. I promise that no matter how bad it seems it will get better.
And, darling, you were beautiful before a man said so.