Warning! What you’re about to read may be graphic and if you do not do well with trauma beware..
It was May and I was 13 years old. I was in detention, I forget why. We were in a classroom I was with 3 other boys who were my age at the time.
While we were in the classroom they kept messing with me. Trying to touch or “feel” on me. Maybe it was funny at first and I did not feel as if I was in danger but I was starting to become annoyed.
I would move their hands, tell them to leave me alone. “You Know we’re just joking Tiff”. Yeah I knew that right. But I was still super uncomfortable. Especially since I had no interest in any of them. Boys will be boys right?
They apologized while we were in the classroom. I don’t remember how or why but we all ended up walking down the hallway together. Talking, being middle schoolers. We slowly approach the boys restroom. I didn’t think anything of it. One of them said they were going to the bathroom. I walked on, all of a sudden there are hands on either sides of my arms grabbing me. I was caught off guard so I couldn’t quite get loose as I was pulled into the bathroom. At this point I’m confused. What do they think they’re doing exactly?
The first guy who went to the bathroom starts to pull his pants down. I’m sure you can figure out what he started to do from there. As the other two grab at my pants to try and get them down, my hands are locked at my pants line hanging onto my pants line and belt loops with everything I’ve got.
This persisted for what felt like forever. I guess I’ll never really know how long I was in that stance. I was an athletic girl. Stronger than most boys and girls so I knew that they wouldn’t succeed in getting my pants down. I was not scared because I knew the second my hand slipped or they got an advantage everyone was gonna get punched, or kicked. If I had to I was ready to fight.
At this point I am debating with my fight or flight instincts. My grip is loosening and I’m getting tired. This could go two ways I could sit here and pick a fight or I could pretend I’m about to let go and run.
I chose the latter. I yanked one arm. Not yet I couldn’t get loose. I tank a few more times. It takes a moment but finally I loosened their grip and ran back to the classroom. The rest of the day is a blur until after school that day when I finally told someone what happened.
Fast forward. I’m not sure how soon or late it was that I was in a police station telling them what happened. It was strange because the officer kept asking me if I would be willing to do a lie detector test (of course I replied yes) and she said are you sure? I said yes that is fine. Well they never did so that and I just wanted the whole thing to be over.
My parents would ask me what exactly happened and I would keep it short and simple, nothing happened, I’m fine and I don’t wanna talk about it.
Whenever friends or family ask that was my response for the past 9 years. Until recently I had forgotten the details of what happened until someone asked me about it. It was like I relived it again and realized just how lucky and blessed I was to be able to get a way without ensuring anything more than being touched unwillingly.
I guess I made a near escape and it could have been worse. It would be years before I admitted to myself the danger that I was actually in and the effect that it would have on me. I was closed. I didn’t speak to anyone on the details until now. I managed to erase it from my mind and pretend that it wasn’t a big deal.
But it was. It was a big deal because attempted molestation and rape is never okay. It is a big deal because I have both a daughter and a son who look up to me. It is a big deal because maybe there’s someone, some girl out there, or woman who could learn from my story. Even though I did get away people need to be held accountable for their actions. At that time I didn’t care about the consequences that they would face. I just wanted to pretend it didn’t happen so that’s what I did. I didn’t agree to testify in court or anything. I didn’t want to.
Looking back on it I’m sure this was a set up. How would they both grab my arms and pull me in the restroom without first planning out what would happen. How would the other guys pants be down the moment I was pulled in the bathroom if it hadn’t been previously planned. At the time I didn’t realize it nor did I even think about it enough to realize it was a set up.
Today I want to share my story because it is unfair that people don’t believe women the first time they say something happens. I also want to share because just because you’re strong and can fight and get away doesn’t mean there aren’t long term consequences that you’ll face.
I hope that if you have been in this situation or similar ones that you will choose to hold your abuser accountable. Don’t be scared and don’t bottle it up inside either. Find someone you are comfortable speaking with. I know you don’t want to but it really is healthy. It shouldn’t have taken me 9 years to figure this out but it did.
If nothing else I hope this inspires you to always do what’s right and to never be afraid to tell your truth and hold people accountable for their actions. You may be able to help the next person from being taken advantage of.
As always much love.