A Pre-pubescent Slut

Updated: Jun 1, 2020

At seven years old, I was still responding to grown-ups' questions of "What do you want to be when you grow up?" with the starry-eyed answer: "A mermaid." At eight years old, when working on a writing assignment for school about what I think I'll be doing in five years, my thoughts remained on the cutting-edge of impracticality. In my young, neurotic head, in five years––at age thirteen––I would have already been publicly ridiculed as a perverted, dirty whore, shunned by my family, hunted down by the FBI via helicopter, and grown accustomed to the view through my steel bars in the state prison. Of course, that isn't what I wrote down for my school assignment; if I had, then my teacher would have known who I really was underneath the innocent, ordinary eight-year-old façade, and contacted the police to have me picked up from school that day instead of my mom.


Elementary school didn't feel as easy as it should have been when intolerable anxiety would grip my chest each time the school principal smiled at me as she passed by in the hallway––a gesture I imagined I saw right through––beneath that smile was undoubtedly an acute awareness of the horrible thoughts in my head, and she was simply waiting for the right moment to call me out and escort me to her office. Unlike my peers who were happy to have class disrupted, I hated those annual assemblies when a police officer came to talk to us about safety––I held and lost my breath in panic, just waiting for the officer to pull me aside afterwards and slip handcuffs around my tiny wrists. Contrary to Lionel Richie's beliefs, Sunday mornings weren't easy either: I dreaded the few times each mass when the priest cued us to kneel and pray--certainly the crowd of people surrounding me in pews knew the horrible images that were inevitably coming to my mind in moments of holy quiet, and were praying to God asking Him to send me to Hell. And, it never felt quite like a cake-walk circling our abstract-printed living room rug for an hour––meticulously stepping within each shape and avoiding any lines where the colors changed––every time the distant sound of a news-station helicopter or cop car sirens disrupted my solo Barbie karaoke performance. Everywhere I turned, there was something to be afraid of––a constant threat that my "bad" would be exposed to the world and the police would come after me.


The vast majority of my obsessions didn't add up in reality. I was a child. I was pre-pubescent and most definitely a virgin, with no trauma history to attempt blaming myself for. But did I believe I was a slut? Absolutely