I didn’t know how to say ‘no’.
Now, I could form the word, make the sound, and I knew what it meant, and even when to use it. But I couldn’t say it for me. It just wouldn’t come out.
It wasn’t ‘nice’.
As I child, I couldn’t say that I was unhappy at school. That I was bored. That I hated how mean the kids were to each other. That I lived in a world of my own imagination, to get away from it. It never occurred to me to say such things. They weren’t ‘nice’. It must be me who was the problem. So, instead I learned to lie. I was ‘fine’…
I didn’t know how to say ‘no’ at 12, when the 15 year old neighbor boy invited me to his house for ice cream, and started touching me in ways I didn’t want. And then took my hand and made me touch him. It wasn’t ‘nice’ to say ‘no’ and walk out. Instead, I walked home for supper that night, feeling dirty and ruined, complicit in my own violation.