The following writings will touch on topics such as death, rape, assault, abuse, suicide, self-harm, and eating disorders.
I Was Groomed
I was 12 years old when I received my first dick pic. I had never seen such a thing, I didn’t know what I was looking at. I was alone in my room, on my HP laptop, which was riddled with viruses from downloading different cursors, such as the flying hot dog I was currently using to scroll through explicit messages. Like any 12 year old, I had dreams, I had hopes, and I had special interests. I was always ashamed to say that I loved My Little Pony, especially after what I saw the fanbase become, but I had found a home online, with friends who didn’t judge me, and people I could talk to when things at home were too hard.
My home life was far from normal. My mother was mentally and physically handicapped due to her battles with brain cancer, but she still tried her best to be there for me. She was there to yell at my brother and I when we played our music too loud, she was there to watch us get face paintings at the zoo, and she was there when life was too hard for me and I just needed a hug. My father was there too, though he was hard at work, stressed with our financial situation, and worried about his wife, he tried his best to be a father when he needed to be.
When my mom was stuck in bed or the bathroom due to her mental and physical ailments, and my dad was either hard at work or drinking and arguing with my mom to do what she needed to do, I was in my room. I would sit at my desk or in my bed, and I would chat away with my My Little Pony friends. Some of them were my age, and we would share our drawings and our stories with one another. Some were a tad older but acted as supporters or protectors. If I told them I was scared at home, they would give me advice on how to tune it out until it was over. I trusted them. I found myself looking up to these online people, we called each other family, and we were there for one another. Each one of us had a difficult background, which is why we turned to the internet for help or comfort.
One “friend” online, acted as a guide for me through this time in my life. It started as innocent, he gave me advice on my crushes, and how to deal with my, at the time, borderline abusive household situation. He told me he would take me away if he could, and I thought it was sweet and innocent. Originally he had thought I was 14 years old, but I later confessed I was 12, about to be 13 as if that made it any better. He was 18 or 19 when this all began. We went from sending messages about ponies, to talking about sex. He would tell me how to please my crush at the time, and I believed him, as he was older so he knew what he was talking about. What was once sweet, quickly turned sour, as he started to request revealing pictures of outfits I was wearing. Sending messages on Skype turned into video chatting, and soon enough, there I was, an almost 13 years old, watching an almost 20-year-old man masturbate on screen. I couldn’t leave, as he would send me tons of messages, including pictures of him crying if I did. I will always remember the line “You won’t get into trouble if we get caught, I will!” So I continued to watch until he convinced me to join him. He would tell me how hard he would fuck me once he got his hands on me in person. He told me that I was his, and he was mine. I had never even thought about this stuff before, and I felt suffocated by the idea of upsetting a dear friend or getting him into trouble. One call turned into several, turned into us sleeping on Skype together, to us sexting one another, and so on. It was like a full-blown online relationship, except I was not consenting, and I was a literal child.
I was 13 when I got my first iPhone. I was wearing my My Little Pony sweater as I unwrapped the box to this sweet new device. A device I could download Skype on, and send compromising pictures on. A device where I could play fun puzzle games, and watch YouTube videos of cats, and people singing about chapstick. An iPhone that would be filled with fear, delight, and danger all at once. I was on Skype when it started. My dad and I were in an argument, he was throwing things, and I was trying to calm him down. This man that I was on skype with, Shain Wilbur, heard it all. He messaged me, stating he was there for me. But that was one of the last times I would speak with him. My dad took my phone, which I had only had for a week, and my HP laptop, and he read everything. When questioned about it, I pretended to not know what he was talking about, until he read the messages out loud to me. I cried. I thought it was my fault. My dad thought it was my fault. Everyone let me believe it was my fault. Everyone who knew, and no one checked in to see if I was okay.
That’s when the self-harm began. I was 13 and wanted help. I told my friends, but they just looked at me differently, some stopped talking to me. My family would point out scars, ask if I was okay, and then later I would overhear jokes about self-harm. I don’t think they meant any harm, but those comments of concern and lack of action have sat with me my whole life. My dad wanted nothing to do with me. And thus began the year that I was grounded a majority for. Imagine being caught red-handed being groomed by a man online, and being blamed for it, and forgotten about. No one knew how to talk to me about it, so no one did, and I don’t think that’s something I can ever forgive my family for, as much as I love them. Imagine not even understanding it wasn’t your fault until years after it occurred. Imagine finding out after all these years, that everyone around you knew what happened to you but never said a thing. I had to sit with this alone, and he got to go onto the next child possibly. I will never forgive him. If I could get into that old Skype account, find the messages and pictures, and turn it in to the police, I would, but I can’t, because it was my fault before the grown man on the other side of the screen’s fault.
I messaged this man again at the age of age 21, telling him how I feel, what he did to me, and how ashamed he should be. I was blocked. If that doesn’t say guilty, I don’t know what does.
I was 14, almost 15 years old when a random person from high school messaged me on Facebook. I replied, thinking I could use a new friend, and we quickly became such. He was pretty funny, dorky, and just my type, but I had never had a boyfriend before. Occasionally he would flirt with me, giving me signals that he was interested. I remember how confused I was when he asked my friend to prom instead of me though. What did she have that I didn’t? According to him, it was an age thing, except she was younger than me, and he quickly got caught in that lie. They dated for two weeks, went to prom, and then it was over, and who was there to comfort him? Me.
He asked me out, and I said yes. I remember telling my dad, and he was nervous, as this was my first real boyfriend. We spent all of the summer together, and although he was almost 18 and couldn’t drive, we made it work. He insisted that we don’t have sex, as I was 15, and he was almost 18, and he did not want me to cry rape and get him into trouble for being with a minor. So what did he do instead? He told me he loved me over text and exposed himself to me at a pool party. I thought we were in love, so I went along with it, and soon enough, I was in his best friend’s bathroom, giving my first blowjob. His friends thought it was funny. We left after that. There would be later times where he would shove his tongue down my throat, pull my top down exposing my breasts without asking, and would finger me so hard that I bled, or would get infections. He once fingered me without my consent in a pool with his friends in it. He once took me by the bathroom at a public park and fingered me without consent. I wish I could have seen how wrong that was, but I was so infatuated with the idea of having a boyfriend that I didn’t care.
Am I guilty of allowing this to happen for so long that it just became normal? Maybe. But I still firmly believe that he should have known better. There would be times where he would whine when I didn’t want to fool around, so I gave in. After facing these actions for so long, I suddenly became insecure, and hypersexual which is a common outcome from those who endure such trauma. His constant “joking” with other women, his degrading comments, and his making comparisons between me, my friends, models, and even porn stars, became too much. As a result, I tried to live up to his ideal standards. I became cold and isolated. I grew away from all of my friends, and all I had at the end of it was him.
Do I blame him? Sort of. But he also had a hard life. His dad was pretty verbally abusive, calling his children the r slur, and throwing things. It was a constant battle in that house, and I believe we related in that sense, but a shitty past doesn’t excuse being a shitty human. Those abusive tendencies transferred from his father to himself, and soon I was used to being called the r slur, annoying, stupid, etc. One time he even told me that one of his friends said I looked like an *insert transphobic slur here.* I was now telling myself that all of these things were true. I played up the dumb blonde trope and tried to please him, but there would be days where he just wouldn’t talk to me because he was mad about a video game, or he was busy with friends or flirting with other girls.
He made me miserable, yet I still tried to fight for our relationship. I even fought for it like an idiot when he confessed he had feelings for one of my best friends. I fought for it when he didn’t have a job or wouldn’t look for a job. I fought for it when he said he was feeling depressed. I suffered that last summer, I was 17 years old, alone, and miserable. I thought I wasn’t enough, or that I was second best, and I felt this way for a long time. I didn’t have any friends. I didn’t have a future. I was defeated.
The night he broke up with me, the night of the 2016 election, was one of my hardest moments ever. I burst out of my room in hysterics, and my dad was there to comfort me. I cried that I had no one, and at that time, I didn’t. He isolated me away from all of my friends, I didn’t know if they would take me back, I felt like everyone hated me, and I hated myself. My dad describes this moment as a sigh of relief, as he could see the negative effects this person had on me. That week I skipped school. I would spend each morning screaming and crying, banging my head on things, and hurting myself. I wanted to die. I remember my poor, sick mother knocking on my door, asking if I was okay. I would give anything to go back into time, open that door, and hug her. Instead, I stopped eating, I stopped talking, I stopped trying, I stopped caring.
It was a few weeks later that I was put to the test on how badly I wanted to die. I was running late to work, and in a hurry, and then it hit me. Literally. A car turned out into mine, I flipped them, and all I could think was, no, not now. Do you want to know what my ex said to me as he reached out? “I heard about the accident, sorry about the van.” And thus was the end of that chapter in my life, it went out with a bang.
Now, as mentioned before, I had a lot of trouble online in the past. It didn’t end there. My first boyfriend had a group of online friends, who quickly took me in during our relationship, but more importantly, after the relationship as well. Joining fun chats, venting to one another online, etc, they all helped me grow as a person as strange as it sounds. There was a friend who was (and still is) the brotherly type. I could go to him whenever I needed him, and vice versa. I know he is a true friend because he helped me even when I was being too much.
Then, there was the flirty friend. It was innocent and fun, and I never meant for our friendship/relationship to become so intense. What was fun flirting turned into deep conversations, turned into long phone calls, and gifts and letters. Had this been a “real” relationship in person, it might have been different, but being online makes everything much more intense. We spent a lot of time being infatuated with one another, I had a love for this person that I never experienced before, and I still do, just not in the same way.
What was once a lighthearted friendship became a serious relationship through a screen. I would talk to their family, and we were planning to meet one another in person. I sent them gifts and they sent gifts in return, and it was truly special at that moment. But all intense things come with an even more intense end.
I was going through a lot, my mom was pretty much at the start of her very long and drawn-out death, I wasn’t taking my meds, I was extremely manic, and I was overall toxic, as a result of a toxic environment. I don’t blame this person for distancing themselves, but playing me, and using me for themselves and their own pleasure was what crossed the line for me. I was self-harming more than I ever had before, I was going through withdrawals after not taking my anxiety meds, and I wasn’t eating. I thought I was on top of the world, and this person brought me down from that, it was like they owned me, it was intense and it was toxic on both ends. In my head, I thought that I was meant for something more, something unworldly. It’s not this person’s fault, it just so happened that the end of our long, on and off again relationship was the tipping point in my mental illness. They didn’t care about me anymore.
I had watched a lot of true crimes and listened to stories of people just disappearing into thin air. I really wanted that. I wanted to disappear, and for no one to look for me. I packed my essentials, my wallet in case someone needed to I.D my body, my stuffed animals, so I wouldn’t go alone, pills, and sharp objects. I had no solid game plan, I just figured I could walk into this nature preserve, bleed out or overdose, and move onto bigger and better things outside of my physical body. I didn’t tell anyone how I was feeling, I just assumed everyone knew. I gave this person one last chance. I told them. Nothing.
I became scared, and I texted my brother. He told my dad. It’s all a blur from there. The shame I felt. No one talks about surviving suicide, or the day after not dying. I took a week away from everything, I didn’t go to school or classes, I told this person how I felt, and I began to heal quietly, and alone.
A week after surviving suicide, I met someone new. He was cute, funny, and charming, oh and also my best friend’s, who my first ex was in love with, ex-boyfriend. Lovely! To be honest, I have nothing against this person for the most part, but timing is everything in this relationship. I was now on my meds, my arms were healing, my mind was starting to get it together, and I wanted to feel something again. Maybe I came on a bit strong, but I was determined to find love. We hooked up, we traveled to see one another, we went on dates, which was a first for me really in a relationship, and I was feeling good.
That was until my mom died. Everything about this time in my life moves in slow motion. He came to her memorial service, he watched me grieve, he got in one last fuck the night I said goodbye to my mother, and then he needed space, and then I was blocked, and he was dating his friend. Now, I’m usually an understanding person, but this was hard for me to move past without using some choice words. Did he cheat on me? I don’t know for sure, but it all happened so fast yet so slow at the same time, that I just decided I’m better than him and moved on. Sorta.
Hookup after hookup, message after message, I was getting back into the dating game, or so I hoped. There were people I would talk to via Tinder, but nothing came of it. I enjoyed being single, testing the waters, and loving myself. I was about to move out of my childhood home and go to a university, which is something I never thought I was smart enough for thanks to my first love, but I was doing it, and I was happy. Although I had just lost my mom and was dumped, I had things to look forward to for once, which is something I had lacked for quite some time. That was until I was raped.
To My Rapist
We had matched on Tinder, and I thought you were cute and funny. You were just my type. We talked on the phone a bit, and we texted a lot. I recall having some fun through sexts, but it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary for a tinder match. Again, I was single and enjoying it. It just so happened that I was about to be in Wisconsin, a town over from where you lived and worked. We planned to meet up, I was excited.
You arranged the spot we would meet, a high school parking lot, how romantic. I drove my car there, and sat alone, awaiting your arrival. Finally, you showed up, and we hugged. We were awkward but in a cute way. Now, I had assumed we would hook up, but I did not think you would assume no meant yes after a while. We made out, you moved the seats in your car, and we had sex for around 3 minutes. I didn’t want to take all of my clothes off, but you insisted, and before I knew it, you were inside me without a condom on. You didn’t even consult with me about protection, you just felt entitled to my body. You were rough, you bruised my chest, you thought I liked it I guess.
You finished on me, I cleaned it up and quickly got dressed. I thought maybe you could redeem yourself by going on a walk with me around this high school, and we could get to know one another to make up for the poor sex. You were pretty funny, but I was still uneasy. We somehow found ourselves on a tennis court, and you kept insisting you wanted to fuck on it, out in the open. I kept laughing it off awkwardly, kissing you here and there, while also trying to avoid you all at once. I walked off of the tennis court and into a little sidewalk area by the school, underneath a light. I thought surely you wouldn’t do anything if we were under a light where people could potentially see us. I even stated that I saw a police car patrolling and that we should head back to our cars, but that didn’t stop you. You begged to fuck me a second time, and I said no. I said no so many times, yet you still persisted. Eventually, I thought I could get away with just sucking your dick, but that wasn’t enough. You grabbed me. I was on the concrete ground, looking out for help in the cars that drove by, far away on the main road. You groped me, you tried to stick your fingers in places that I explicitly told you not to. You raped me. You took my tiny little shorts, pulled them down a little, and you raped me. It hurt, I was scared and alone. When you finished you made the joke “bye kids!” as we walked away from the crime scene. I don’t remember the rest of that night.
The next day, I went to work as normal, and I was in pain. Everyone was hyping me up on a “successful” date, but I didn’t dare to tell them what truly happened. I was scared I wouldn’t be believed, that I was too much of a slut for anyone to care, or maybe I was asking for it by agreeing to go on a tinder meet-up. But now I know that you, Joey Fujiwara, are a sick individual, who even later hit me up and tried to fool around with me when I explicitly mentioned in the messages that I was currently under the influence and not feeling well. You are a sick and twisted fuck, and I pray that I am the only person you did this to. I hope you think of me every single day, and feel the guilt that I felt for almost two years, and still feel to this day for being raped. I say this with all my heart, rot in hell.
I was aware that I had been used throughout my life, but I never knew how badly it affected me until my person came along. What could have potentially turned into a bad tinder meetup, ended up changing my life in the best way possible. It was a few months after I had been raped, and I was ready to give up on looking for love. I just wanted to feel something, anything. A dear friend of mine knew of this person I matched with, and after I consulted with them, they convinced me to go meet up with him, so I did. I parked my car, and there he was, Jacob. My Jacob. We talked until 3 AM that night, and the night after that, and the night after that, and so on. He is my person.
Through talking with him I realized how skewed my perceptions of reality were. He listened to me, he comforted me, and he told me what I experienced with these past men was not right. He explained that I am valid in feeling upset or angry and that I should feel that way because I was put through a lot of traumatic experiences without my consent. He is the person who sits with me on my good days and my bad days and takes time to care for and listen to me. He has accepted me for who I am, and what I’ve been through, and because of him, I’ve been able to heal, slowly but surely. This is a thank you to the man who has helped me grow as a human being and has helped me become a better person. And this is the end of my traumatic love life experiences and the end of belittling or blaming myself. This is the start to healing from what lies between the lines of these recollections.