When I was little my mother warned me not to change in front of the open window because someone could see. What she failed to mention is by someone, she meant somemen.
I spent two different nights pinned underneath someman with his hand on my mouth and the other down my pants while I squirmed and fought against. I spent one month sleeping on the floor, unable to get into my bed and three years before I could feel someone else’s skin.
In kindergarten, when the little boy from down the street kissed me after we climbed trees and built forts, his mother laughed and said “boys will be boys.”
But the thing is: these boys will become men and they will (still) take what they want; no one has ever told them they can’t have it, just that some girls are a challenge.
These men will age to well past your father’s and think that they know better and touch you (without your permission) and push you till you’re uncomfortable and convince you that you’re the one responsible for them not listening. These men will search you out and find you even though you’ve never told them how; they’ll be there and nothing feels safe.
My skin stopped protecting me the moment my body was used as a weapon.