Still, through my teenage years, I had not experienced the NHS, or been given any form of label for my mental issues. I felt uncomfortable around boys, I remember several dates where I was completely dehabilitated by nerves and anxiety – I could not understand why to other people it came so easy. I was afraid of any close contact, any form of intimacy. I wonder whether this could be because my parents are not people who show their emotions easily, it is only now, half way through my twenties, that they finally managed to force out the occasional ‘I Love you’.
As my school was 45 minutes from my house and in the centre of the city, I caught the bus to and from school every day. At this time, I suffered with travel sickness in a big way (I still do, just not so badly) so I tended to sit at the front of the bus. In fact, there was a ‘gang’ of girls who liked to sit at the front, and talk to the driver, and we took it in turns to sit in the ‘cabin’ seat. By this time I was 15, and the driver liked to flirt with me. Although he flirted with the other girls, I liked to think I was special. He was nearly 60, but he was my friend, and I felt honoured that he was so flirtatious. I had previously had jobs as a waitress, and in a hotel kitchen (all male environments) so I knew how to banter. I had given the driver my number, and he liked to call me late at night or during the school holidays.
I didn’t see any problem in it – to me it was a perfectly healthy relationship, in fact, when I turned 16 he gave me money for my birthday, and very often he would let me on the bus without paying, so I could keep the money given to me by my parents to spend on myself. He told me about his family, his wife and children, and would often look straight at me in his rear view mirror and tell me how he liked my come to bed eyes. It made me feel special, and I would play up to him, I would banter, and share dirty jokes. I was still a virgin but I pretended not to be, all the other girls acted like that around him too, even the youngest at 7, who didn’t really understand what was going on but liked to play along.
During the September before my sixteenth birthday, I went to a party at my friend Mels house. She had invited her boyfriend, and some of his friends, but had neglected to tell me that she was pretending to be 18 (not 15) and that I was to go along with the story. After a few hours of drinking, I got chatting to a man called Greg. After we had spoken for a while, I asked him if he wanted to go upstairs for a blow job. You might think this is forward, I had no previous experience, but I was nervous and wanted to get it over with. I took him upstairs and did the deed, before coming back down, and starting to chat to a different man called Stew. Yet again, I invited him upstairs, and we had a ‘play’. Luckily I was on my period, and so I didn’t lose my virginity, but I believe this is the first time in my life I had fully lost control of myself.
After a few weeks of chatting to Stew, who was also a virgin, we decided to meet up, to ‘do the deed’ so both of us could lose our virginity. It was a Sunday morning and I arranged to meet him at the local mall at 11am. I got my Dad to drop me off at 10.30, and as the mall wasn’t open I wandered around the gardens. I was wearing a skimpy black top, the tiniest grey tartan skirt and black heels. Now, I am not a mother, (or a father for that matter), but I know for a fact I would not drop my 15 year old daughter at a closed mall, wearing that outfit, and leave her.
Stew arrived at 11am and took me to his car, an Austin Metro. We drove to a deserted lane and did the deed in the back of his car. If I was one for regrets, believe me, this would be my biggest. I envy those people who lost their virginity to someone they loved and trusted, in a safe place. It must have been special for them. I feel disgusted when I think about it, but it’s been and gone and it served a purpose. I believe that it was at this point it hit home to me how much little respect I had for myself, something that has plagued me for most of my life.
Most people would think about something that they were going to do ‘I’m not going to do that, as I have too much respect for myself’ whereas I do it, and afterwards think to myself ‘I am disgusting and should have had more respect’. It is a slow process, but I believe I am now on the road to achieving that.
Take care. x