After my first experience of sexual intercourse (which I later came to find out was statutory rape) I became heavily depressed because the other person involved made a disappearing act from my life in the immediate aftermath. I had become very emotionally dependent on him in the months leading up to the fiasco, and he basically talked my 13-year-old self into sleeping him with the promise of a possible relationship that never materialised. For a young girl with a ****-ton of daddy issues it was ought to end badly.
When my mother found out what happened later the same day (some physical complications ensued because I was so damn young), she slut-shamed me to hell and back and locked me inside the house for the rest of the summer. It was a very difficult time in my life despite my young age; the first time where I had prolonged suicidal ideation and a feeling of unshakeable emptiness tinged with sadness. This incident occurred before I had an internet connection (or a computer) so my only lifelines were the television and my diary which I wrote in daily and obsessively for over a year. That diary was kind of the no holds barred place for me. The sheer amount of swearing my 13-to-14-year-old self could drum up is impressive. Almost everyday I'd talk about the guy - let's call him Stefan - from time to time cursing that our sexual encounter didn't result in a pregnancy because it meant having absolutely no link to him anymore. Other times - when I hated him for abandoning me - I'd refer to him as 'red panties' (he had been wearing red y-fronts that one time) or s***head or something or other my young teenage self deemed 'degrading' enough.
The summer passed but my feelings of desperation hung around throughout the following autumn, winter and spring. Having my mum subtly hint that I was now officially 'damaged goods' throughout all those months really didn't help matters. My only highlight - most weeks - was being at school (because it meant I could be way from home) and holing myself up in my room on Sunday late afternoon and having a sneaky fag while listening to Lauryn Hill's 'Ex-Factor'. In the meantime I'd throw myself at anyone who would touch me with a barge-pole, as I had in the months preceding to the life-defining incident with Stefan. It's crazy. I started experimenting sexually at 12-years-old. I would learn much later on in my life that this early experimentation was a result of a previous sexual assault occurring early in my childhood. That latter event was one that I buried at the back of my brain for many years. Had I not experienced memory-suppression first hand I'd call bulls***.
Things started picking up for me in the summer time. By the end of the season my entries came to a halt: my diary had served it's purpose and had allowed me to vent sufficiently. I can't say my battle with those feelings or that incident ended there, but at least getting it out of my system soon after it happened through the medium of writing helped me deal immensely. I was essentially a child dealing with very grown-up feelings and happenings. I was far too young to be going through all that alone but I had no social circle outside of my mother and my class mates. Needless to say neither could relate to what I was dealing with (and I didn't try terribly hard to get my point across either). It's only now - as a thirty-two-year old adult woman - that I can fully appreciate how terribly heavy all of this was. For many years after I never acknowledged the impact this (and other life-changing episodes) had on my emotional and psychological wellbeing; it was just some bad sh_t that happened when I was young.
What I didn't realise then is that Stefan would set a precedent for subsequent relationships I would have. Every single relationship up until my most current one would be marred by obsessive jealousy, emotional unavailability, control issues, physical and sexual violence or codependency. On the other end of the spectrum, the few men that treated me decently got treated like absolute sh_t in return. I deemed any man who truly cared about my wellbeing as pathetic, weak and boring. I often looked for partners with some kind of addiction problem or mental torment to justify and complement my own madness and alcoholism. I've only started to truly love within a healthy framework over the past five (minus a bit) years.
Being in love - rather than just being deeply infatuated - is an amazing experience.