I Was 13, He Was 18 -- Was My Statutory Rape Legitimate?

I remember walking through a wood-paneled living room, down a hall, then into his childhood bedroom. I remember the sheets on his bed had horses on them. He took my clothes off, and we had sex.

Sep 28, 2012 at 4:30pm | Leave a comment

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Better than Xanax.

My first kiss was at age 12. Then at age 13 I had sex with an 18-year-old man. I was living with undiagnosed major depression and no self esteem, and I desperately wanted someone to love me. Often throughout my life I have asked myself if this was really rape or just statutory rape. What is the difference? Is there a difference? I felt like I consented at the time, but does that make it OK?

When I was 13, a friend introduced me to someone who worked at his parents' restaurant. I can't remember why, but I have blocked out a lot from that time period. I ended up having a lengthy phone relationship with this guy, and somehow we decided that we would meet up and have sex.

I was 13. I'd like to reiterate that.

After a few weeks of planning, he picked me up and took me to his parents' house. He was in college at the time and was staying at home for winter break.

I remember walking through a wood-paneled living room, down a hall, then into his childhood bedroom. I remember the sheets on his bed had horses on them. He took my clothes off, and we had sex. I took no pleasure in it. I remember the sheets being soaked with blood, covering the horses. He gathered them and set them aside to wash. We finished and he took me back to the mall to meet my friend who was waiting for me.

The next time we met, at his college dorm room, we had sex with his ex-girlfriend. She came through the door and looked hesitant and scared, but we had a threesome. I remember him placing his hands on the back of our heads, pushing us together. I desperately wanted to make a connection with her. I think she was as uncomfortable as I was.

I had a few other sexual encounters with him. The summer that I turned 14, I had an (almost successful) suicide attempt, leading to two separate stays in a psychiatric hospital. One was during the first few weeks of my freshman year of high school, so I bet you can imagine how (not) fun that was. How do you explain a two-week absence during high school? I also had a family therapist who insisted that I tell my parents about my relationship with this man. I insisted on not naming him at the time. Now I wonder if I regret that decision.

Since then I've had a ridiculous amount of counseling, but I've never talked openly about this relationship. Obviously it still affects me, as I sobbed uncontrollably when I first had an orgasm (at age 20). I still cry whenever I climax with a man, though not when I climax alone. I'm sure you can imagine that guys find this display of emotion incredibly uncomfortable.

Despite my years of counseling, I don't think that I have directly dealt with this experience. I preferred to gather tools to deal with life as I experience it now. Would it help me to deal directly with this issue? I still see the psychiatrist that I saw when I was 14. We just do med check appointments now, as I am fairly stabilized (on two antidepressants, Cymbalta and Wellbutrin, and a mood stabilizer, Seroquel). Do I want to bring this up? Would it help me?

I've looked this guy up on Facebook and I see that his band plays a few shows a year at a venue two blocks from my apartment. Part of me wants to confront him. Part of me wants to leave it alone. But most of all, I wonder: Did he rape me? Or do I share the blame?