Most people wait years to find the person they want to spend the rest of their lives with – and if you believe in it, eternity – but I was only a sixteen year old girl. Do to a series of unforeseeable cosmic events, I was led to the man that matched the curvature of my soul so completely that his melded with mine.
While I was born into a highly strict Mormon (Latter-Day Saint) family, there were extreme and troubling issues underneath the happiness that dominated our lives. Often children are too young to process and realize when something isn’t right; they simply believe that that is the way life is. Sexually abused children commonly bury that horrible trauma that happened to them deep in their subconscious where later it can leak out or can be brought to the surface by a trigger.
My sisters Hannah, Beth and myself were molested by our brother Jason for many years and only upon his confession to our bishop when he was seventeen did any justice happen. The bishop reported our brother’s actions to the proper authorities and he was taken away. Only my sister Hannah had memories of any of the abuse, which caused her to suffer a great deal of personal strife. Beth and I didn’t find out until the day before I turned twenty-one and right before Beth turned twenty-three, the revelation in itself causing a whole additional set of problems.
Along with the early and long term sexual abuse inflicted upon us by our brother, my mother had severe mental health issues. I do not condemn or hate her for everything she had done, but she is mentally ill, which was an obvious impact on our family. Mental illness plays a big roll in this unconventional love story. My mom’s biological mother was schizophrenic and most likely bipolar along with a whole mess of other hellish issues that can’t be described at this time. Do to the treatment my grandparents inflicted upon my mother, her own bipolar and schizophrenic tendencies rose to the top and conquered her life from an early age.
Our large family was extremely poor growing up, but we made our own fun of things, and perhaps this was also the cause of her not being able to handle us completely. I wouldn’t give up a single of my seven siblings for the world, but it did make things tight financially. Mother would discipline us with the most common way she knew how; harsh punishment. If we lied we were beaten with a long oak stick across our bums until they were numb. If we did something we shouldn’t have done we were put in the corner for several hours at a time.
As we got older the beatings and the long and harsh punishments dwindled and eventually disappeared all together. The craziest part of it all is that my mom doesn’t remember doing a lot of it, which is part of her multiple personality disorder. This being a brief summary of my early on childhood, and part of the reason for me being the way I am, it is time to get to the main point of this story.
From the ages of eleven to thirteen I was frequently molested by my best friend’s dad. Later on in life it was revealed that he also raped me, witnessed by his stepdaughter, Renee, and because she had no biological link to him, he also raped her for many years. I had apparently buried the memories of him taking my innocence, but it was true.
This trauma set off a cataclysmic event in the chemical makeup of my brain which resulted in the early spike of Chronic Depression, PTSD, Bipolar Disorder, and an odd sexual clinginess towards men and some women. I also believe that the subconscious trauma caused by my brother added to my mental health state. The average psychiatrist would try to contribute this male dependency towards not having a good father figure in my life, but that simply wasn’t true. My father was and is a great man and he would work extremely hard to support his family, do his church duties, and make it work with my mother, which he had started to recognize had some odd issues.
After my family moved into a West Jordan Ward, I soon became attached to a young man named David. I was only nine and it was only a puppy-dog crush, but for a young girl it felt like so much more.
It was right around the age of ten or eleven that I experienced my first orgasm. I was extremely young and I had no idea what was going on. I remember climbing the swing rope attached to a huge Chinese elm tree in our front yard and out of nowhere I felt an explosion of indescribable pleasure come from my nether-regions. Another huge disadvantage of having a mother that has mental issues is that I never got the sex talk. What a wonderful experience I had had! There was no way that something so wonderful should be confined to a single event, so sure enough, I continued to climb that rope at least twice a day. I felt selfish keepings such a wonderful feeling to myself, so I told my older sister Beth about how if you climbed the rope, you could get an incredible feeling ‘down there.’
Being the good daughter that she was she decided to go inform my parents about my little discovery. I remember walking into my parents’ room and them explaining to me what I was doing was very bad and that I should never do it again, that it was against the churches rules.
I was completely baffled! How could something that felt so completely amazing, and that made me so happy be evil? The logic didn’t add up to me so I continued on with my rope climbing—albeit far more discretely—and soon after I even discovered the wonders of the bathtub.
As time wore on my infatuation progressed and I had convinced myself I was in love with David. Little things he would do—you know, the stupid things kids do to ‘show each other that they like one another—made me grow even more attached to him and I really believed with all my heart that he loved me back. We had started to hang out—which was really just myself, David, and a bunch of his guy friends—more and more often. He and his buddies got it in their minds that they could take advantage of me in small ways. We went into a neighbor’s back yard and we all played Truth or Dare. Each of the boys took the opportunity to dare each other to kiss me or hug me. They were just simple things like a peck on the cheek and a short hug, but one of them decided to push it and to dare David and me to go have a full on, thirty-second make-out session in the shed behind the garage. So we did. It was one of the most glorious things I had ever done. I say this only because I was a fourteen year old girl, and hadn’t done much else.
Making-out of any kind is frowned upon by our religion because it can lead to other, heavier actions. When I got home I was exploding with unsettled hormones. I didn’t sleep a wink the whole night long and I radiated pure happiness. At the time I was in the ninth grade, and I learned the incredibly hard way why a person should never kiss and tell.
I told ALL my friends. No kind of filter could be put on my mouth to shut me up and I just had to brag to all of my friends about me finally kissing the ‘man I loved.’ The next day was unexpected in all the worst ways imaginable. David had many siblings, one of which was a little sister named Susan. Susan just happened to be in my grade, so in addition to us going to church together, we also shared a lot of classes at school. Susan was extremely popular and by the time my story had gotten back to her, she did everything in her power to make my life a living hell. She told people that I was delusional, that I had made it all up, and that I was some creepy stalker girl. For months afterwards people shunned me and made fun of me. When I finally had the nerve to confront Susan about what she had said she informed me why she did what she did.
“There is no way my brother would ever do anything like that, especially with someone like YOU.”
I was shattered and embarrassed. I had been used and discarded in every sense of the term. Keeping my head low and under the radar until tenth grade was all I could do. Going into high school I knew I had to start fresh and pretend nothing had ever happened. A wonderful guy named Derek saw me early on in our Seminary class and he asked me to the Homecoming dance. I was only fifteen and our church is against dating of any kind until you turn sixteen. Well I snuck around anyways and ended up going, but was found out. Grounded didn’t quite cover it.
While I liked Derek and thought he was really nice, I wasn’t attracted to him. During this period of time I had developed a lump on the back of my head which was only a lymph node swelling, but my stupid brother Jason—yes, that Jason, but remember, I didn’t know about what he had done to me at the time—convinced me that it was a brain tumor. I used this as an excuse to break up with Derek which was by far unkind. That rumor really messed with me, but I truly had believed for a short period that I had a brain tumor. That lie ended up hurting a lot of people and I will forever feel guilty about it and for believing my brother.
Throughout junior high to the current time of tenth grade, I was a confused-sexually-promiscuous-reserved-horny-teenage-girl. Everything I had been raised on taught me what I should and should not do with boys and my body, and in a way it was a damn good thing I was brought up that way. If I hadn’t I would have most likely fucked every guy I ended up dating and probably would have become a teenage mother or contracted an STD.
After dear sweet Derek, I started dating this wonderful guy named Weston. He was full of energy and loving and an extremely good kisser and we had good times. I loved his family also! Never had I met a group of such accepting and welcoming people. Right about this time David came back into my life. My heart had never really left him, which was part of the reason all of my relationships had failed. He started giving hints that he wanted to be with me, so I did my very best to be nice about it when Weston and I broke up. I made something up about how I couldn’t date because I was only fifteen—although that hadn’t stopped me before—and I did my best to soften the blow. It was mean and cruel even though I was nice as I could be about it and I will never forget how sad Weston was because of me. For weeks he was gloomy as he stood at our bus stop and walked around the school. I had been very grateful when I found out a few months later that he was finally dating someone new.
Sophomore year was finally coming to a close and once again David was playing with my mind and heart. I had some serious upheavals of my depression and it was a very dark time in my life. Summer vacation started and my sixteenth birthday was fast approaching. I had been saving for a while to throw a big sweet sixteen birthday party and as my present, my parents contributed. Everyone came that I invited and it was so wonderful seeing all of my friends from school. Weston, Annie, Sophia, Jake and Danny all came to support me and we all had a blast and ate pizza.
Right before my sixteenth birthday I decided I wanted to get a head start on getting a job, so my friend Tilly ended up driving me all over town so that I could apply at places and drop of resumes. While I had never had a real job, I had done some summer work over the years at a plant nursery and that had been extremely hard work. I had also babysat for a lot of families in our neighborhood, so all of the work experience and major extra curricular activities for school, got added to my resume. As far as an almost-sixteen-year-old went, my resume was extremely impressive. I went to all the usually places that most teenagers would apply for; fast food restaurants and retail stores were the most common.
Turning my application and resume in at Big-Mart would have more of an impact on my life then I ever could have imagined. Two days before I turned sixteen I was called in to Big-Mart for my interview. I was greeted by a somewhat snooty lady named Tasha, and she directed me to the back of the store where I would wait for the upfront manager, Lisa, to come and interview me. It was an extremely nerve racking experience being interviewed for the first time. After Lisa had finished interviewing me, she went and got the Human Resources manager, Trisha, to run over a quick second interview. I filled out my paperwork right then and was told to come back for orientation on the sixth. It may seem silly, but because everything had happened so fast I hadn’t actually realized that I had got the job until I asked my dad what orientation was.
The day came around and I dressed as professionally as possibly. Trisha was the one directing us and telling us what paperwork we had to fill out. W4s, documents on the jobs we would be doing, and a bunch of other miscellaneous papers that I didn’t really know what they were for at the time. We had the Loss Prevention Manager, Chuck, come in and tell us all about his job and what would happen to us if we ever stole anything. The man was huge and he made a point of being intimidating so that we would know never to mess with him. In addition, he had the personality of an extremely dominant, full of himself male, which added to his overall physical attraction.
This was the time that I first saw Sam, standing in the doorway of the orientation room. He was tall, skinny, and had a marvelous smile. He was holding paperwork that he needed Chuck to look over so Chuck and Sam left the room. It would be another month before I noticed Sam again. I had been assigned to take care of the softlines floor which included ladies wear, infants, the fitting rooms and helping the customers find any clothes they needed. I had a manager that wouldn’t lay off me even though I was an extremely hard worker, so finally I requested to be moved to the front end checkouts. Working with the cash registers paid better and taught me a lot of important skills regarding how people treat low down employees.
One day I was on check-stand four—the register that kept all the extra money behind it—when there came Sam again. He stood looking at the schedule behind me, tapping his hands to a steady fast beat. I kept glancing back at him, and I noticed he kept glancing up at me from the schedule he was looking at. At the time he was a front end supervisor, so it was his main job to make sure all the checkouts ran smoothly.
Back at school, I had started my Junior year and was in a sort of limbo when it came to my relationships with the boys I was interested in at school. All I could do was turn down the guys I didn’t like and hope that David would start being kind to me. My friend Jamie and I started to hang out more and more, and it was fun to discover that we shared several classes together. She was beautiful, fun, and wasn’t afraid to be herself even though she was on the cheerleading squad. The cheerleaders at our school weren’t as bad as most stereotypical high schools. Most of them weren’t stuck up bitches and tended to hang out with any click in the school.
It was January and school seemed to be flying by which was a relief with everything I had to deal with. I decided instead of dealing with guys at school that seemed to be going through their own pubescent-horny-boy issues I would look towards some of the guys that seemed to be hitting on me non-stop at work. Alex and Stephen were best friends and had just graduated from high school, turning eighteen the year before. It’s amazing what a sixteen year old girl thinks passes for flirting because these guys were quite the chauvinistic-woman-sexualizers. All Stephen could talk about was his last girlfriend and how they used to screw all the time. How he missed her, but he was still looking around for a better woman.
One night, while waiting for my mother to come pick me up from work (I owned my own car at the time, but didn’t have a drivers license so I lent my car to my friend Tilly), Alex and Stephen decided to wait with me. Sam also said he would wait with me because he was my supervisor and wanted to make sure I got home safely, but truly, he didn’t trust Alex or Stephen to be left alone with me. The whole time we were waiting, Sam stood in the back ground and seemed to be texting (later on in our relationship he revealed that he had been watching me and checking me out), while Alex and Stephen were talking me up. They kept saying stupid things like “yeah, don’t worry, we’ll wait with you and protect you,” which I’m not sure if they said more to boost their egos or as a way of flirting. Finally my mom showed up and the guys dispersed. My mom never really knew that I would tell her I had to stay a little later then I actually did so that I could hang out with Stephen and Alex for a little bit after work. I was attracted to Sam also, but knew there was no real possibility of anything happening because of his age. I wasn’t actually sure of his age at the time, but I knew he was at least in his early twenties.
A week or so later, Alex and Stephen invited me to a party. Tilly wanted to make sure that I would be safe since I didn’t go out to those kinds of events very often, and so went with me to the party. I had a wine cooler and decided I wanted to go home. It was not my type of scene; dealing with a bunch of blabbering idiots. On our way out, one of their psycho drunk friends chased us down the stairs, pulled out his balls, and started waving them at us. We were both pretty pissed off at that so it was easy enough for us to say we weren’t going to go to any more of their ‘parties.’ A week later Stephen and I hung out by ourselves and while he was very cuddly, I decided I wasn’t that into him. We would still talk at work, but I wasn’t interested in any further advances he made, although that didn’t seem to stop Alex from trying to get me to go out with him.
One night, closing time was quickly approaching, and as I stood at the front of my checkout stand, organizing the racks of candy with my coworker Sonia, Sam approached us to give us further directions. After he had told us what we needed to do before closing, he seemed as though he was going to walk away, but he stopped and turned back to me. “Oh, Erica , I just wanted to let you know that I thought you looked really good in casual wear the other day." Caught off guard, all I could muster was a "Thanks?” in a confused, questioning tone. He then put on a slight, coy smile, and walked away. I turned to my coworker Sonia, who looked as confused as I felt, and asked, what did he mean by that? She shrugged and went back to her register. I wasn’t completely caught off guard. Our company had been doing a fundraiser where the associate was allowed to wear jeans for a day if they paid one dollar to the current charity they were promoting.
His statement perplexed me for the next few days that I had off. Had he been flirting with me? It had been such a nice thing to say, nothing like most other guys would say to me. When I went back to work, I decided I might want to get to know him better, possibly become friends. I told my mother that there was no need to come pick me up after work, that I would be home a little later, but that I had a friend that was going to give me a ride. Knowing that it was a long shot, I told Sam that I didn’t have a ride home so I would be waiting around after we closed for a while.
“Would you like for me to give you a ride home?” He asked.
While it was what I was hoping for, I felt a little sly getting him to drive me home, but I really wanted to get to know him better. I only lived about three miles away from the store so as we were driving I asked him basic questions. He had been doing that constant tapping that he seemed to do at work, on his steering wheel so I had to ask.
“Why do you do that so much?”
“Oh, well, I play the drums in a band. Sorry. I’ll stop.” Sam said.
“No! It’s okay, I was just curious. It’s just so regular, it seemed odd, but now it makes sense. Keep going, it really does sound good. So what’s your bands name?”
He went on to explain that he actually played in two bands at the time, Artisan and Urgent Lemons, and that he had been playing drums, or whatever he could find to bang on, since he was six. I smiled at this. He had a true passion for music, and he was really awesome at it.
The next day he offered me his email address, Myspace information and cell phone number just in case I needed a ride home at any other time. I did take him up on his offer several more times and was really enjoying getting to know him better, and he really did seem to be enjoying my company. Frequently I noticed him looking at me, observing me. He treated me so politely, constantly, I was a little confused. I had been used to men treating me poorly, yet he would go out of his way to be a gentleman. He would open my car door, or any other door for me and just seemed all together chivalrous.
It had become slightly common knowledge around our work that Sam had dated several of the employees over the years. There was a girl that we worked with named Liza that he had currently been seeing for a few months. He told me that he liked her a decent amount, but didn’t really know where it was going. While I had been discovering my crush on him, it was also first nature for me to want those that I cared about to be happy. One day I decided to play match-maker and asked her what she thought of him. She west on to basically say that while she liked him, he wasn’t really her type. That he was too much of a good guy, and that she would probably just stay friends with him. She ended up turning on me, telling me that it was really none of my business though. Everything she had said had pissed me off. I was Sam’s friend and she was leading him on and from what I understood, just using him.
One Saturday I was standing by my check stand and saw my friend Jamie walk in. It was a nice surprise and I was going to go say hi, but noticed Sam walk up to her. They started talking and smiling and walking around the store together. Could they know each other? Their body language seemed to say yes, and all I could think of was what a small world it was. I would have to ask Jamie about it for sure at school on Monday. I was off in a few hours and Sam was closing so I knew I probably wouldn’t have the chance to ask him.
Jamie and I sat down in our Business Administration class, the only college course I was taking at the time. I sat next to Jamie and couldn’t contain my curiosity any longer.
“So I saw you in Big-Mart on Saturday, and I saw that you were talking to my friend Sam. Do you two know each other?”
“Oh yeah! Sam and I go way back. He has a little brother and his little brother is best friends with my ex-boyfriend. We’re still all great friends. They’re my crew.” Said Jamie
“That’s awesome! What a small world. I actually have a small crush on him.”
At that point Jamie looked at me cautiously, eyes tightening only fractionally. Instantly, I was worried that she might like him, or worse, that they might be dating. I had never asked Sam about his relationship status and it had never come up. I had known that he had dated a few girls around the store, but didn’t really think about it.
“What?” was all I could say to that look.
“I don’t think he’s really your type.” Jamie said.
Relieved at this response I said, “Oh it’s okay. It’s just a little crush. So you’re not dating him, right?”
“We have in the past, but were just friends. It was too weird with my ex-boyfriends best friend being his little brother,” said Jamie
“We’re just friends right now, but I think I might ask him out in the future. What do you mean by him not being my type?”
Jamie seemed to take a moment to think about this, and when she continued, she did so in almost a cautious way. “He has very unique tastes. You might get weirded out.”
Wow. What really could Sam be ‘into’ that would warrant this kind of reaction from Jamie. And she was also worried about how I would take it all. As class that day went on, that word UNIQUE kept playing over and over in my mind. What could she mean by it. Nope. My no good itch to settle my curiosity wasn’t going to let me take a pass at this opportunity for a better explanation. I leaned over to Jamie and asked, “What do you mean exactly by ‘unique?’”
She looked a little exasperated. She got a somewhat ponderous look on her face then, but she finally gave in. “Alright. He’s into some pretty Kinky stuff.”
That was enough to shut me up. I wasn’t exactly sure of the definition of ‘kinky,’ but I had an idea. When I got home I decided to Google the word just so I could get a better idea of what she could be talking about. It didn’t come up in any normal dictionary, but I saw a link for ‘The Urban Dictionary’ and decided to click on it.
“Foot-sucking. Rubber wearing. Peeing on partner. Fruit-fucking. Candle wax dripping. Long fingernail scraping. Multiple partner. Oil-drenching. Chocolate sauce, whipped cream covered. Vibrator using. Dress-up, or regular role playing. Tying up. Ball gagged. Drooling. Teasing and spanking. Banned in multiple states, type of sex.”
I deleted my search results immediately, in a hurry to make sure my parents wouldn’t discover my recent curiosity. I felt my stomach flutter and my adrenal gland release a flood of hormones. It hit the spot. Confusion swept over me at my reaction to this news. I was turned on and felt, just like Jamie said I would, weirded out. But it wasn’t a bad weirded out. It was very good, and I wanted to know more.My mouth hit the floor, my head spun and the world rocked. What the fuck?
Going over to my Myspace account, I instant messaged him asking how he as doing, trying to summon up the courage to inquire about this aspect of his life. While making small chat with him, I remembered how he had told me that I looked good in casual wear not too long ago.
Erica : hey, I wuz just curious, what did u mean by “u look really good in casual wear.” Remember how we were closing a few weeks ago and u came up 2 me at da checkouts?
Sam: Um, yeah. Well, it might weird u out so I probably shouldnt
Erica : Promise it won’t. I just wasn’t sure if u were flirting wit me or just paying me a compliment
Sam: Well, i guess it would best b described as really liking jeans
Erica : See, thats not weird, I like jeans too. they r super comfortable and I like how they look on me.
Sam: No! not like that. i guess I have a pretty large fetish 4 them. They r probably the sexiest article of clothing a woman could wear 4 me.
Erica : OH! Well that wasn’t wat I expected. Thank u.
Sam: 4 what?
Erica : 4 paying me a compliment, even though I didn’t know it was a compliment at the time.
Sam: Oh, well ur welcome. Ur ass is incredible in those
Erica : =) I was just wondering, I wuz talking 2 Jamie a few days ago and apparently u 2 know each other. We were talking and I asked about u. She told me, that u like kinky things, what did she mean by that?
(My blood was pumping very fast at the sheer audacity of my questions at this point)
Sam: I really don’t know if I should get into that with u. I will say, that its not something I talk about with just any1. That being said, if u really want to know, know that once u know, u won’t look at me the same.
Sam then proceeded to tell me about a dating file that was available for viewing on a special dating website, and that if I truly wanted to know, I could go read it. He then told me that he had work in the morning, and that if I was still talking to him tomorrow, he would be extremely happy.
With a little anxiety, I continued on to his profile.
In his profile was a long list of is sexual preferences, fetishes, desires in a woman, things he would like to try and things he would be willing to try. It was about a three page charter of detailed information regarding his tastes, including something that jumped off the page at me.
“I will not have sex with any woman that I tie up. This is to avoid any chance of misinterpreting my actions as anything but fetish related. There will be no misunderstanding my actions for rape.”
Me, being a virgin, didn’t understand how the two could be separated. I thought that they would have gone hand in hand. But the idea of a physical relationship without sex did pique my curiosity. At the same time, wasn’t I looking for sex? To lose my virginity to some amazing person?
You frequently see on television or read in books a romanticized version of what sex is, or what it will be like the very first time, so when this visualization is distorted, you may not know how to handle it. I decided to think on it for a while. Did I want this in my relationship? Did I want to ruin a friendship? Could I really trust a guy that said he wanted to tie me up, but not have sex? What he lying to me? The questions raced through my mind.
As the days passed, I would keep saying hi to Sam, and he would return my hello with warmth. My heart leapt every time I saw him, and I finally asked him for another ride home. Everything was in the clear, we were still friends. He was truly amazing with never pushing the matter farther. But I wasn’t the type to back down from a challenge and I wanted to experience his world.