I was two weeks off my 13th birthday – so yeah, I was 12 years old when this happened to me. We lived in South Africa at the time when I was raped, by a 27 year old American man that I sort of knew. That was the first time I thought about killing myself.
I was still thoughtful although quite serious about ending the agony and shame. I couldn’t look at my Mum and Dad the same way – something had changed in me and I wasn’t their lovely little girl anymore. I was damaged, tarnished, broken, tainted – I was dirty and undeserving. I couldn’t stop thinking about what had happened and how little control I had had over anything that happened to me.
I couldn’t live with that uncertainty at that age. I didn’t want to live a fearful, doubting life! I had been, and should have still been, a carefree, happy twelve year old who loved horses. Now I held secrets, anger, fear and hate. My horse was my savior. I would cry into his mane all the time, feeling so hopeless. We would go for rides for ages or I would just lie on him, or with him, while he grazed in his paddock. He was the only one who knew what happened. And it ate me up.
That was the first time I contemplated suicide. I will tell you how I tried sometime, but that’s another story.