I was the Middle-School “Slut”

I was the Middle-School “Slut”

Image for post

Did you even know there was such a thing?

Tell your story.

That?s what this platform reads before you decide to start typing. Before you really commit to telling your story and making what?s inside something ?real? on the outside.

But what is my story anyways? And where can I even begin to make sense of it.

In my childhood I was privileged. I was born to a family with the financial means to get by. We had money, not so much that I didn?t understand the value of a dollar, but not so little that I was intimately familiar with struggle.

My parents loved me. And genuinely, they respected me, even when I was a child. They taught me to think about the world around me. They taught me that I was important and that my opinions, feelings, and behaviors were my own.

I was given the opportunity to learn, and a platform to speak for myself. I was encouraged to explore and experience, to love and to care. I was given all of the gifts that a child can ask for and all of the support to soar into a future without bounds.

But still, it wasn?t enough. It wasn?t enough to protect me from the harsh reality of living as a woman in a male-centric society. It wasn?t enough to keep me from internalizing the endless lessons the patriarchy throws at the youth of America. Perhaps, at the youth of the world.

By the time I was in middle school, I knew about sex. My parents never taught me about the stork. My mother decided early on that if I was old enough to ask about it, I was old enough to know the truth.

She never lied to me about sex. Or relationships. She taught me the difference between love and lust. And most importantly, she told me that sex was not something to be ashamed of.

I literally had every single advantage you can ask for when it comes to a true education about sex in America. I knew to expect the waves of hormones that come with puberty, and the advances of boys during that time too. I knew so much compared to so many of my peers, and I felt prepared.

My mother also taught me about the darker sides of sexuality in America. She was blatant about the risk of sexual assault. She wanted me to feel safe coming to her if anything ?bad? happened.

Despite her tireless effort to make sure that I was prepared, I wasn?t. She had no way of knowing the challenges I would face, or the way that my spirit would be broken.

For most young American students, middle school marks the beginning of something new. You transition from sitting in a classroom all day to switching classes every hour. You learn about time management and how to navigate hallways in five minutes or less.

At my school, middle school marked the beginning of ?Sex Education.? It was a week long event, where our school brought in an outside educator to teach us about the birds and the bees.

Or at least that?s what we all thought. The days leading up to sex ed were filled with blushing cheeks, whispers, and giggles as we all prepared ourselves to learn about the mysteries of sex. Some people bluffed about already ?knowing it all? while others were shy and nervous about the week ahead.

While my peers and I prepared ourselves to sit in on this mysterious class, I don?t think any of us anticipated what it would be like. Sure, we knew it wasn?t going to be lewd or outright instructive. But I think most imagined that they?d leave this extra class a little wiser about the ways of the world.

Because my mom had already taught me so much about sex and sexuality. I didn?t feel nervous or excited about sex ed. It was literally just another class to me. Something that had to be done unless my mom signed a waiver excusing me .

Needless to say, my mother did not excuse me from sex ed. She felt it was important to reinforce the lessons I was learning at home. And, I doubt she knew that ?Sex Ed? really meant ?Abstinence Ed.? That the entire week would center around scary young adolescents out of engaging in sex of any kind.

Now, in case it isn?t clear, Abstinence Education is a far cry from a true Sex Education course. The topics covered in my class included shaming anyone who chooses sex before marriage, undermining relationships that aren?t heteronormative, and exposing us to horrific pictures of venereal disease.

Sure, the ?educator? mentioned birth control and condoms. But, it wasn?t without the warning that birth control causes weight gain and condoms don?t really work. Not to mention, the message that once your virginity is gone you?ll never be as valuable as other ?chaste? women.

Thanks to my mother, the class itself had little effect on me. I already knew about STIs and unwanted pregnancies. I wasn?t scared of sex going into the class, and the words of this unknown instructor weren?t going to change what I already knew as truth.

However, many of my classmates weren?t nearly as steadfast in their beliefs. Or maybe they just hadn?t had their questions about sex answered by a trusted adult.

Whatever the reason, I sat back and watched as my peers absorbed the lessons of abstinence until marriage and a strong fear of syphilis. So much so, that at , when we were prompted to sign a contract promising we?d save ourselves for marriage, I was the only one who didn?t.

It didn?t seem like a big deal to me at the time. After all, I was confident in my knowledge about human sexuality, and I knew that my mother wouldn?t judge me for my choice. But, if I thought for even one second that my peers wouldn?t, I was so very very wrong.

I went to a small school, and it didn?t take long for the ?big news? to make it?s way around. Before I even realized that I was wrapped up in some sort of ?scandal,? life as I knew it was changing.

Words like ?slut? and ?easy? filled in for monikers like ?hardworking? and ?smart.? The fact that I was an ?early bloomer? made everything worse; as if sporting B-cups in the seventh grade automatically means you?re sucking dick behind the gym in your spare time.

Making friends with other girls was nearly impossible. Even friends I?d had since elementary school drifted away from me. I hate to think that childish rumors could sway the opinions of adults, but I later found out that at least one girl I know was warned that I was ?bad news.?

On the other hand, boys were more interested in me than ever before. For all the companionship I lacked with my female peers, there was a line of boys waiting to ?hang out.? Suddenly, I was ?cool? and ?different? than the other ?uptight? girls at our school.

I always suspected that the boys weren?t really interested in being my friend, but I was lonely. I needed friendship. I needed to feel connected with other kids my age. After all, I was twelve, maybe thirteen at the time.

Now, even though I wasn?t sexually active at the time (and I wouldn?t be for several years to come), I decided to let people believe what they wanted to believe. I was tired of fighting with others. I was tired of defending myself against the onslaught of pre-teen anger that was constantly being thrown at me. I was exhausted by constantly being rebuffed by my female ?friends.?

So I started ?dating?the boys that wanted to be friends. It was nothing serious, just dating in that awkward middle school way that young kids do. We?d be boyfriend and girlfriend. We?d walk around holding hands, maybe we?d kiss once or twice, and before long, it would all be over.

Of course, if you asked anyone else around school, I was doing anything and everything that a hormonal middle school kid could imagine.

Eventually, I laughed at the accusations that were made against me. But at first it hurt. It hurt that my former friends would spread lies about me. It hurt that they believed I was a bad person.

Most of all, it hurt to be rejected.

I wasn?t aware of that at the time. I mean, how could I be? To some degree, we all strive to fit in. As adults we look back at our adolescence and cringe at the things we did just to maintain the status quo. When I look back now, I see the roots of an all encompassing war with myself.

In that ?sex-ed? class I knew who I was. I was confident that I was making the right choice in not signing a contract to keep my virginity. I wasn?t trying to say, ?Hey, I?m sexually active. Let me know what you think!? But, that is exactly how my peers took it.

It seems so small now. In comparison to other trauma I?ve survived. But the fall from privileged-smart-girl grace to deviant-slut-girl drama was the beginning of my tumble into drugs, self-harm, and eventually, suicidal ideation.

As I mentioned, it was easy to redirect my desire for companionship from my fellow female classmates to ?dating? the boys that wanted more. But that?s not to say that I found a true sense of companionship with any of the boys that thought I would put out.

Sure, there were one or two guys that were nice enough. They called me every night, they?d defend me against anyone who tried to make me feel like shit. But, it always came with some sort of price tag.

I heard more than one boyfriend ?defend? me with the phrase: ?She?s not a slut, she?s my slut.? As if stamping their labels of ownership would make me feel better that so many people were questioning my character. Humiliating me for my blatant lack of virtue.

The boys that wanted to be my boyfriends weren?t in it because they liked me. Not the ?real? me anyways. They were in it because they wanted to boost their social status and convince their friends that they had ?experience.?

So what?s the point of telling you this story? Of sharing my experience and putting myself out there for the world?

I guess I just want others like me to know they aren?t alone.

1

No Responses

Write a response