I was only 14

I was only 13 when I started helping out around my neighborhood. Babysitting, walking dogs, helping little kids with their homework.. you know, normal things 13 year olds can do for money. I started walking his dogs for money on every week day after school. I was only 14 when he first kissed me.

Keep in mind that this man was in his 40s. He shouldn’t kiss a 14 year old. And it made me uncomfortable. I dreaded coming over to walk his dogs when he’d be home. He would basically start a makeout session before I could leave. I was always worried about what would happen if he wanted to take it further. He lived alone. He had a three bedroom townhouse. I was only 14.

One day he said he got something for me and said let’s go upstairs. I said I didn’t have time to stay long because my parents were expecting me and he assured me it wouldn’t be long. We went upstairs. He played The Who and started kissing me. I finally decided to say something and I said that I’m gay (which wasn’t a lie) and he said “oh me too” and kept kissing me. He was not. He had a girlfriend. I shut up and it kept happening. He pulled up my shirt a little and I pushed him off of me and said I had to go.

This wasn’t the end. I felt trapped because I was embarrassed and didn’t want to quit because I’d have to tell my parents why I stopped. I found out we’d be moving and of course..he was our realtor. I stayed shut in my room and I knew I only had to last until we moved. I saw the end of the tunnel.

It kept happening until we moved in September 2009. I haven’t seen him since. I didn’t have the courage to tell anyone until 4 years later. And now? I finally have the courage to post about it.

I hope that my story can help anyone who is struggling with something similar. When it was happening I didn’t want to tell anyone because “it wasn’t rape” and “I let it go on for so long”. No one should feel this way. This is still sexual assault. There should be no downplaying it. It’s traumatic and scary and I hope that you know you are not alone. 

It’s been 10 years and I’ve lived to tell you about it. It hasn’t been easy, but you can do it too.


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35 comments

  1. brodie_james Volunteer

    Hello friend!

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us! I’m so sorry that this happened to you when you were younger. It takes incredible bravery to share your story, and also strength and resilience to overcome the stress and trauma of having your abuser also be your family’s realtor. I’m so glad you’ve lived to tell us your story, and to share it with others who are struggling with their own experiences. I can imagine it wasn’t easy for you to cope with and heal from, but I’m also so glad that you are in a place where you’re not minimizing your own experiences as not being considered sexual assault; it takes so much strength and growth to have that perspective! If you ever need more support or a space where you need to process through you experiences, please know that you’re always welcome to come back here and share anything you need to.

    Cheers,
    Brodie

  2. genericbailey Volunteer

    hey cultureclashing,

    you are such a strong person for sharing your story, wanting to help, and share your beautiful courage and strength with others who may have experienced something like this. you are one amazing person ! i am so personally proud that you have come out so much stronger after your experience. keep shining ! x

  3. Lizzi G Volunteer

    Hi cultureclashing,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story, and for sharing a message of hope to those that are still struggling with similar abuse. What happened to you was wrong and I’m glad you know that. I’m so glad that you found the courage to tell someone and feel comfortable posting about it today. Like you said, it’s never your fault, even if you let it continue. It was always his fault. It never should’ve happened even once. You never should’ve had to make excuses or push him away. That had to be such a horrible time in your life but I’m so thankful that now you’re able to provide hope to others. You’re an incredible person.

    Lizzi

  4. JProshuto Volunteer

    I am so sorry about what happened to you. Did you report it to anyone after he kissed you? Remember you can message us at any time and we will talk to you to the best of our ability to help you to cope with everything that happened. Thank you for sharing your story with all of us at AVGTI

    ~Jennifer

  5. Brianna W Volunteer Volunteer

    I’m sorry sorry to hear this happened to you 14 is a very vulnerable age and it’s not something you should have had to go through. You are not alone and shouldn’t ever feel alone we are all here for you. Thank you for sharing your story with us it’s an incredibly strong thing to do.

    -Brianna

  6. Roxie-heart317 Volunteer

    I am so sorry that this happened. It’s hard to open up, I’m glad that you can. We are here for you

  7. Colton Kim Volunteer

    I am really sorry that that happened to you, especially when you were 14. You are right. No one is alone. No one should feel like they are in the wrong because of something happening to them. Traumatic experiences can happen to anyone, and no one should feel like they are alone or that they have to hide what is happening or what had happened. It took me a while to accept that I am not alone and that I could talk to others about what had happened to me. So thank you for sharing your story and I hope that your story does help others and remind them that they are not alolne!

    -Colton

  8. Kevin Casey Volunteer

    I’m sorry that this happened to you I’m glad you’re okay I’m happy that you’re sharing this story with us and no grown man should be touching girls that is sexual abuse I hope that you reported it cuz that guy needs to be behind bars

  9. Mary Volunteer

    Hi cultureclashing,

    Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so sorry that you went through this. That man never should have done what he did to you. He was a grown man, and he knew better. You are a survivor, and I am glad to see that you are in a place where you want to help others by sharing your story. We’re here for you.

    Mary

  10. Jay Volunteer

    Thank you for sharing your story, it was really brave of you. It may not be rape, but you’re right it is sexual assault and he had no right to touch you. You did nothing wrong, it’s totally normal to feel uncomfortable coming forward but I’m glad you’re strong enough to speak up.

  11. zoeyb

    Hi cultureclashing,

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. None of what you experienced was your fault and everything you decided to share or not share over the years was within your power and completely valid. There is no right way to process the trauma you experienced because of this man, yet you have come a long way. Your journey over the past 10 years is a testament to your strength, and I commend you for being open, trusting us, and wanting to help others who have experienced sexual assault . We are always here to listen and support you.

    Zoey

  12. Alyssa Day Captain

    Hi cultureclashing,
    I’m so sorry this happened. You are not alone. I’m happy that you were able to tell someone. Like you said, just because he did not rape you, it is still sexual assault and that is just as traumatic as rape. You have nothing to worry about now. You are safe. He cannot hurt you. Telling your story can be super hard and I’m so proud that you had the courage to talk about it. You have come along way. If you need anything you can always write back. Thank you for trusting and sharing your story with AVFTI. Continue to stay strong.
    -Alyssa

  13. Marissa Day Captain

    Hi cultureclashing,

    Thanks for sharing your story with us. That must have been so incredibly scary for you, especially being so young and impressionable, but I’m glad you made it to where you are today. You speaking out will help end the stigma surrounding people who have been effected by sexual assault.

    I’m so sorry he preyed on you. You’re right – a 40 year old should not be kissing a 14 year old and it’s awful that he didn’t realize that. Or maybe he did and he just has something deeply wrong with him. That’s still no excuse for his actions, though.

    You’re so incredibly strong. Keep your head up. We are standing behind you.

    Marissa

  14. Thomas Volunteer

    Hi cultureclashing,

    I am so sorry that this happened to you. He shouldn’t have done what he did. Sexual assault is sexual assault. It is always wrong. It is not a matter of comparing experiences and determining if some are more or less severe. Your experience is valid and none of this is your fault. You have shown incredible strength throughout these years. I am glad that you haven’t seen him since 2009. You are not alone. We are here for you. Please let us kow if there is anything else we can do for you. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

    Thomas

  15. Jess Volunteer

    I am so sorry that this happened to you. He took advantage of you. You’re completely right – a 40 year old man should never have been kissing a 14 year old. It was absolutely sexual assault and no one should feel the way that you did. The strength it took for you to recognize what happened, really process that trauma, and share with us is amazing and I am glad to hear that you know that. What happened to you was traumatic and it should not be downplayed.

    Thank you for trusting us with your story. If we can help you in any way, please let us know. We are always here for you and we believe you.
    -Jess

  16. Zoe Volunteer

    Hi, cultureclashing.

    I’m so sorry for what you experienced when you were younger. You’re right, you don’t need to downplay what happened to you–it was still sexual assault, and he was wrong for putting you in that situation and taking advantage of you. I’m glad that you’ve been able to show yourself empathy and that you understand that what he did to you matters, and that it was wrong. Thank you for sharing your story with us. Talking about something like this takes a lot of strength and courage, so you should be proud of yourself for being able to open up about it.

    Please know that we’re always here for you, if you ever need. Let us know if there’s anything we can help you with or any way we can better support you.

    Zoe.

  17. JFeeney21 Volunteer

    Hi cultureclashing,

    I’m sorry that you had to go through that. As children we are taught that adults are good and we trust them to know what the right thing to do is, clearly this isn’t always true. I’m glad that you are safe now and feel comfortable talking about it. You are incredibly brave for resisting and for sharing your story with us. Thank you and we are all here for you.

  18. kelly Day Captain

    Hi, cultureclashing. I’m so sorry he took advantage of you like that. You’re absolutely right, a grown man in his 40s should not be kissing a 14 year old. Adults have power and control that children are taught to respect and that is one of the reasons there are age of consent laws. You are not at all at fault for what he did to you. I understand why you wouldn’t want to tell anyone and I think you’re very brave for sharing your story here. I’m sure it will help someone else because unfortunately this happens to a lot of people. We don’t have to go through this alone, though. Thanks for sharing and please let us know if there’s anything we can do to help.

  19. blashea

    Hi, I am so sorry this happened to you and that you are feeling this way. I am so proud of you for sharing your story with us. That requires a lot of bravery and strength. I am so glad that you are safe now and were able to distance yourself. We are all here for you and support you. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help!

  20. MH Volunteer

    Hello cultureclashing,
    Thank you for sharing your story with us- you are very brave for doing so. You are 100% percent correct that there should be no downplaying it. I am so sorry that you had to go through this alone and that he did that to you. We are always here for you- to support and listen to you!
    MH

  21. Sweetny Volunteer

    Thank you for telling us about what happened to you. You are so brave for coming here and sharing your story – and I believe many people will see this and know that they are not alone. You’re right about everything you said: you are a victim, this is not to be downplayed and no one should feel this way. Thank you again for coming here to share your story with other victims. We are here for you and for all victims!

  22. SAL Volunteer

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. I’m so sorry this happened to you and that you felt like you couldn’t talk about it. None of what happened was your fault and you didn’t deserve any of it. I’m glad you’re able to open up about it now and I hope talking about it has helped.
    Stay Strong,
    Stella

  23. Bluebell13 Volunteer

    Dear cultureclashing,
    Thank you for sharing your story with us, it takes a lot of courage to tell others about something so painful. You are right, no one should feel this way!! I hope that telling your story in this way is allowing you to let go of the feelings causing you pain. We are here to listen and support you. Please let us know if we can help you in any way and thank you for helping others who have had similar experiences.
    Sending you love and strength,
    Roxie

  24. Ryan4121 Volunteer

    Thank you culture clashing. You have incredible strength. This many was clearly in the wrong and am happy you shared the story with us. You are absolutely right…it is still sexual assault. Keep being brave. Keep raising your voice and helping others. We want to support you every step of the way.

    Ryan

  25. jamie.lynn Volunteer

    cultureclashing ,
    Thank you so much for trusting us with your story! I am so glad to hear that you have healed and can speak about your truth and journey. What happened to you was assault, your are right. Nobody has the right to minimize an event like this. I admire your strength to talk about what happened to you and to be hope and light for others! Please know we are here to help in any way we can!

    Thank you again!
    -jamie

  26. Jade Volunteer

    Your bravery and courage to share your story, as well as your strength to keep pushing forward is truly inspiring. No one, especially someone as young as 14, deserves to be put through what you went through. That man had no right to violate you and I’m so sorry he did. You didn’t deserve any of that. I hope you continue to stay strong and keep pushing forward. And please always remember that we are always here for you. You got this.

  27. bravesole Volunteer

    cultureclashing,
    Thank you for your willingness to step out and share your story with us. You are incredibly brave to share this with others and to be able to imprower others who may be struggling. I am so sorry for what you went through . You didn’t deserve this, and this wasn’t your fault. Stay strong and please don’t hesitate to reach out for support we are here for you.

  28. Ashley Day Captain

    cultureclashing,

    Thank you for providing our community with words of comfort.
    Since you were willing to do what you could to obtain money, I get the impression that you’re a hardworking person.
    Considering that this man was in his 40s, he should have understood the difference between right and wrong. I’m sorry that you had to continue seeing him and that he disrespected your boundaries several times. Echoing music2799, there’s not a scale for sexual assault.

    Thank you for taking the time to tell our community about what you have experienced. I believe you.

  29. music2799 Day Captain

    Hi cultureclashing,
    I’m so sorry this happened to you, and you didn’t deserve this. What he did was not your fault, and it seems like he was taking advantage of you. He was the adult in this situation, and he should not have done what he did. You’re definitely right – your story shouldn’t be downplayed. There is no scale for sexual assault, and these experiences affect everyone differently. Your feelings about what happened are valid.
    I’m so glad that you were able to tell someone and that you feel comfortable about posting. Thank you for confiding in us with your story. That takes courage and strength, and I’m proud of you for that. If you ever need anything from us, please feel free to write back. We’re here to support you, and continue to stay strong!

  30. Erin O'Callaghan Day Captain

    Thank you for sharing your story with us-you are incredibly brave to do so. I am so sorry for what this man did to you. You didn’t deserve this, and this wasn’t your fault. Have the people you told been supportive? I hope so-you deserve that. Let us know if there is anything more we can do to support you.

    Erin

  31. CarmenR Volunteer

    Hi there,

    First, I want to say that you are so incredibley brave for sharing your story. What happened is not your fault. You were a child, and he was an adult. He was in the wrong.

    You are absolutely right that nobodies story should be downplayed, including yours. Thank you for your words of positivity. You are not alone. We hear your story, and we support you. Stay strong, and let us know if there is anything more we can do for you.

    Carmen

  32. eagle206 Volunteer

    Hi Cultureclashing,

    I am sorry that you had to deal with this. Thank you so much for trusting us with your story. What that man did was wrong, and none of this was your fault. You are so brave for sharing your story, thank you for showing others that they are not alone and that they can work through their experiences as well. You’re right no one should EVER feel this way. You are an amazing inspiration. We are all here for you.

    Tyler

  33. Solongago

    I am sorry this happened. There are creeps everywhere.

    It is important to talk this stuff through, because these creeps are uncannily good at picking kids that won’t tell, and are likely to submit to whatever they want. And this is how generation after generation tend to have the same problem. I am not blaming the victims in any way here. But when parents do not work through their own stuff, they are that much more likely to set the stage for the stuff that happens to their children.

    Why do we not tell? Are we afraid of not being believed, or afraid of being blamed in some way. Blamed for being there. Blamed for not telling right away. Blamed for going back. Blamed wanting what the guy offered us — perhaps attention, affection, a sense of being mature, or special, or good at something. Kids do not want to be sexual with older guys. But some of them do want some of what they offer, and I am not saying that was you, but if it was it would STILL not be the child’s fault. This happens because the kids have a void, they are not getting these things from where they ought to get them.

    When we work through our own stuff, we can’t protect our children from everything. Not possible. But we can give them self-confidence and self-assurance that will make them less of a target. And if they are targeted, they will come home and tell. It will be age appropriate and maybe not much, like, “I don’t like Mr. Munchin.” And instead of saying, “That’s silly, honey, he is a nice guy.” We’ll say something like “Why don’t you like him?” or “What does he do?” Or at least, we will watch what he does do when he is around our kids and we won’t let him get on his own with our kids.

    So much abuse is multi-generational because we are all working on empty gas tanks. Child-sexual abuse leaves symptoms of low self-esteem, self confidence and so much more. And when people who have these issues are raising children, they often instill these same traits in their children, and it makes them so much easier for predators. So we have to try and break the cycle, for our children, and the children of those who we might be seen as a protector for.

    I am sorry this happened. I had written out several similar experiences, to show that you are not alone, and that what feelings you have now, and what you did then are valid. But my computer locked up. So I will just say it. Yes, we feel responsible for going back, but it still isn’t our fault. We feel responsible for a lot of what happened, it is part of the insidiousness of this. I think for me, that the feeling of being at fault, or responsible, which prevented me from telling was actually a survival thing that my brain did. A cognitive distortion, that for me, it made it possible for me to live with my assailants for years after the fact. I think if I was seeing clearly, I would not have been able to, and then perhaps it would have been even worse, who knows.

  34. rkr18 Volunteer

    Cultureclashing,

    I’m so sorry you had to experience this, it was not your fault. Also, thank you for trusting us and telling your story. You were so courageous and we are so glad that you are here to tell us.

    Have you been able to talk to a therapist or some group to provide you support? If not please check out our resources. And, If you need anything we are here for you. Please keep us updated.
    -Marie

  35. Natalie M Day Captain

    Hi there,
    I am so sorry that you had to experience this. That man took advantage of you, and that was not okay. What happened was NOT your fault, at all. Thank you for trusting us with your story! It takes courage to share such traumatic experiences, and we are on your side. You are right in saying that it is traumatic and scary and I thank you for letting others know they are not alone! You are not alone either. We are here for you, and we are on your side. You are so strong and inspiring!!
    Stay strong,
    Natalie