Once you pass a certain age, you become aware that there are not monsters under your bed.
You realize that those sounds you heard were just stray animals and not the Boogeyman coming to take you away to a land far beyond that which you currently reside.
Once you get past the “age of horror,” as I like to call it, you feel a sense of relief.
Relief that you are safe and that evil was just in your imagination.
You live years, if you’re lucky, in a state of constant security.
Nothing can harm you, everything is tranquil.
But this sense of security is soon replaced with the realization that monsters,
though different than you once suspected,
are very real and very dangerous.
Everything can harm you, nothing is tranquil.
I was eleven years old when I was first touched without my consent. I was the first to develop, so the boys at school would grab my breasts in the crowded hallways, in the filled classrooms, and on the car-filled streets after school. I tried to reach out to one of the many spectating adults, but was always met with, “boys will be boys,” and “you’re lucky, they must like you.” Those years started my fear of men.
I was thirteen years old when I dated a boy named Cody, my first love. He was my prince and I was his princess. I was in love when my Prince convinced me to take nude photos, only to cheat on me and distribute them to as many people as he could. This started my fear of love.
I was fifteen years old when the boys stopped grabbing at me as much.
I was fifteen years old when I dated a boy named Xavier who I gave my world.
I was fifteen years old when him and a friend, Evan, held me to a bench outside the town’s library while I waited for my sister to pick me up. Their free hands grazed my virgin body. Xavier took over and held me down as Evan reached into my shirt, his unwanted hands like fire on my exposed breast. I screamed, but to no avail. It wasn’t until my brother called me that they stopped. I was scared for my life, but boys will be boys and I was lucky because they must like me. It was that day that started my fear of the world around me.
These experiences started my fear of monsters.