It replays over and over again. Why can’t I just turn it off?
It’s not who I am now, so why do I still feel like I’m back there, messing up, giving in to the temptation, not being the person I once thought I was?
I can say I was young. I didn’t understand the effects of my actions. I didn’t know.
None of that changes what it was. He was mature. He was kind. He was gentle. He said he loved me. No man had ever loved me before.
He touched my skin and it sparked all my senses. He moved slowly, his hand confident and steady. That always surprised me. I had always heard that boys were after one thing, and in the movies they moved so fast.
But he was different. He wasn’t a boy. He was a man. He was more experienced, more controlled, more confident in what he wanted.
In the beginning of the relationship I was so nervous. I didn’t know anything about this. All I knew was that sex was bad and that I had a purity ring on my hand. I knew right from wrong. I wasn’t going to be one of those girls.
And he didn’t ask me to be.
He was the one who stopped things from going too far. He was the one who stilled my hands when they got a mind of their own. He was the one who recognized that we were too physical.
But letting go of the control felt so good. I trusted him completely. I didn’t just let my guard down, I threw it into the wind. He would stop it. He always did.
But he was just a man. And no man is perfect.
Over time, I found that I liked pushing the boundaries. And over time, he would let them shift a few more degrees each time we were alone. I don’t think he meant to. But he was just a man. And there’s only so much he could stop on his own.
It took more than a year, but when it happened it wasn’t a passionate, split-second decision. He asked me if I was sure. I thought about it. I assured him I was okay.
Because by this point, it was just a technicality. I didn’t try to kid myself. I knew what I was. And I knew what I wasn’t. And I wasn’t a virgin.
I always thought there was a line. I always thought it was black and white, virgin or slut.
I was wrong.
Because sexual sin isn’t like any other sin Satan throws at you. It doesn’t always attack you at the first touch. At least, it didn’t for me.
It was a slow fade from the person I thought I was to the person I found myself to be. I wasn’t strong. I wasn’t special. I wasn’t a role model. Not anymore.
Driving home that night, I didn’t feel a great sense of loss. That had gradually started to hit me after the first time his hand had wandered. That was months ago.
But everything had changed. If I wasn’t the pure, determined-to-be-the-exception Christian I had always believed I was, then who was the person with hard, knowing eyes staring through me in the mirror?
Who am I now?
Editor’s Note: Ann-Marie is a contributor to this blog, but isn’t the only writer whose words you may see here. To read more posts by Ann-Marie or to see the other writers, visit the authors’ categories in the menu at the top right corner of the screen.