I wish I had the guts to say this all to your face, but we both know that wouldn’t end well. So here it is — no apologies.
At seventeen, I didn’t think it was odd that you, at twenty-two, wanted to date me. My age limit at the time was probably twenty-five — a seven-year age gap was too much for me, but four and a half? No biggie.
Now, at twenty-two myself, going on twenty-three, I realize how very wrong I was.
When I see seventeen-year-olds, I can’t help but notice the lack of life experience. I mean, it depends on where you look, of course: go to an “inner-city” school, they’ve got tons of life experience I’ve never had. But go to a school like mine… that’s another story.
And I’m old enough to teach them now. No way in my right mind would I ever even think of dating a seventeen-year-old. There is just too much of a difference in maturity and state of mind.
My dad always told me he knew I’d date older because I was “mature for my age.” Sure, I was, but I still lacked so much life experience. I didn’t know what the world was like, even if I thought I did. At seventeen, I was ready for the world, ready to get out there and see everything it has to offer, but you… you had already learned so much about it.
And somehow, you wanted to date me, instead of somebody your own age who was at the same stage in life as you.
See, that’s the thing: we were at different stages of life.
I never thought you were just in it for sex.
I always thought you cared about me, thought I was funny, intelligent, and pretty. You always told me you thought I was smart, that I would go places. You were happy with your life, and I was just getting started.
Yes, I know you cared about me.
But you didn’t care enough to just ask.
I can imagine your reaction if you ever do read this or any of this website. You’ll probably tell me I’m being ridiculous, over-reacting, and you didn’t rape me. How could I say such a thing?
One word: consent.
You didn’t get it from me.
Maybe you thought you did. Maybe the kissing, hands all over each other, me being sure at first was enough of a “yes.” Maybe my memory is off, and you did ask, and I did say yes. Okay — you have me there.
But you didn’t ask me again, and you didn’t make sure I was okay during the whole thing. You didn’t ask me if I was okay until after when I was shaking and scared and lost because I couldn’t stop you.
And yes: I did try to stop you.
There is no way you did not feel me try to push you off.
I hope that if you are ever someone’s first time again, you ask more than just once.
And if you feel their hand on your chest pushing you away, I hope you react.
People can change their minds part-way through.
You always blamed me for your shortcomings and your behaviour towards me, as if I was asking for it. I never shamed you for it or blamed you back. I never even called you out on it, except for the time you called me stupid, on my birthday, while you were stringing me along at the end of our relationship.
But you shamed me. All the time.
You made fun of my interests, hurt my feelings, and made me feel inadequate.
And I never called you out on those things either.
Well, this time, I’m calling you out.
You made a mistake — a big one. I know you didn’t mean to, but you did. And here we are.
It’s taken me all these years to even recognize what happened. It’s taken me all this time to stop caring what you think, and just be me. You wouldn’t believe it — I didn’t want to delete you on Facebook because I didn’t want you to think I was immature. Because for some reason, that mattered to me. I still cared, even though you hurt me beyond what I knew hurt could feel like.
So please, own up to it.
Recognize it, and don’t ever let it happen again.