August 1998

Before I wrote this column I re-read my previous ones, and the biggest thing that I noticed is how much I have changed in the last few months. I went from being an angry guy in my second one to being more hopeful in my last. Change is something you can easily not notice, especially when you don't have a way of keeping track of your feelings. Oasis is a record of how I've changed and I think now I can say that I have hope that I'll get over the pain of being raped. I doubt that I'll ever get over watching my mom die in front of me, I mean I haven't even told my dad about that yet, but my rape is different.

Going into therapy was the best thing that's ever happened to me, just being able to go is something I don't want to take for granted because so many sexually abused kids don't have the same opportunity as I do . . . maybe they're the ones I'm writing this column for after all? I just don't know.

Another thing I see is how much I've matured in the past few months, and now I can see that I am so much different from my same age friends that it hurts. I think I stopped being a kid the day I was raped, and I don't know if I can ever get that back? It's not like you can go into a store and purchase a "Be A Kid Again" kit! I think that's a source of tension between my dad and I because I'm just not at all like most twelve year olds, and sometimes he seems to forget that I'm more mature than I look. In the mirror I see a guy that can't go see a rated R movie or buy a pack of smokes (not that I'd ever want to) but I don't feel like the image I see in the mirror anymore. This is something I see at my support group meetings all the time.

My psychologist has told me that I have the maturity level of a 16-year-old because of my ability to reason things, and to me that just sucks. When I talk to my friends they just want to discuss who's a better baseball player or which pro skater's the best, and I'm just like lost on what to say? Deep down I'm into that kind of stuff, but it's not as important to be as it should be. I'm too busy wondering if my next HIV test is going to be positive, or if I'm going to have to have another operation to treat the damage from my rape, or if I'll do okay when I'm home-schooled this coming school year? All I can actually do is make the most of my situation, and the more I work at recovering the better off I'll be, but it's not like I can look at the calendar and say "By this date I'll be back to normal". It's doesn't work that way in reality, but if it did I'd have yesterday circled as my day to go on with my life!

I also have the deal with the fact that I have no real idea about my sexuality, I mean now I have a girlfriend that I feel something for but it bother me when she wants to make out with me, I want to tell her not to but I'm not sure if she can understand why? Part of me wants to go all the way with her so I can tell myself that I'm hetero and that being raped didn't make me gay, but at least part of me knows that's the wrong thing to do. I just feel so damn dirty when I take a double look at a guy (especially if he doesn't have a shirt on) and I feel something inside of me for him, or when I'm wrestling with a friend and the physical contact excites me, or when I'm hugging my girlfriend and she grinds against me and I feel the pressure to show her that I like when I'm not even sure if I do?

I'm able to mark my progress in the big steps I've taken: Being able to sleep without the light on, using a public restroom (well, in a stall with the door locked), changing into my Speedo in front of a friend before we went swimming . . . and not feeling scared. Those are examples of how progress comes when you are trying to recover from being raped, and I'm making fast progress compared to other. One guy that e-mailed me told me that it took him 7 YEARS to be able to wear shorts again after he was raped as a little boy! Imagine that, 7 years of roasting in the summer heat because you're too scared to wear something. That sucks!

I don't know if I'm a model of how someone can recover from being raped, but if I am then maybe those of you out there that are just starting to put your lives back together can look at me and say "If Trevor can do it then so can I! "

I hope that's what you'll say, I totally mean that.

This column is for Mark. You can recover, trust me.


©1998 Oasis Magazine. All Rights Reserved.